Date this page is last edited: Feb 23, 2007

The Charlottesville Horticulture Club

We like to play in the dirt


The Charlottesville Horticulture Club has been a vibrant club in the Horticulture comunity. We need new leadership to start it again. Here is a history of the club which gives a flavor of what it once was. If some one is interested in reviving it call Mary Anna Rushia for consultation and more information. .

History: We started as "The Men's Garden Club" in 1971 founded by Robert Franklin. By 1987 because of dwindling attendance the men decided to invite women to join and there after changed the name to "Charlottesville Horticulture Club." We are a group who work with our hands in the dirt and have programs related to horticulture. Plant exchange and "timely tips" have been a regular part of the program as well as open discussion of gardening problems. We met monthly at various locations in the evening. We have organized field trips to the U.S. National Arboretum, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Dumbarton Oaks, Andre Viett Nursery and Snow's Water Garden as well as to members' gardens. These have been planned with the assistance of the Senior Center.

We nominated the Senior Center for the award given by the Charlottesville-Albermarle Council of Garden Clubs for the Beautification of Small Gardens in 2001. The plaque hangs on the wall of the Senior Center. Leadership from Howard Cromwell, a member of the club, enabled the Senior Center to buy and plant the trees and bushes on the Senior Center grounds with the help of volunteers. Earle Leake in 1989 mounted a campaign to have a rose garden and with persistence found that Liz Seabrook said: "Go Ahead." He single-handedly obtained volunteers from our organization, the Senior Center, the Charlottesville Rose Society and the community to build the Rose Garden. It still exists, being maintained by volunteers from the Charlottesville Horticulture Club and the Senior Center. The Thomas Jefferson Rose Society was a consultant in the construction and maintenance of the Rose Garden and now Crystal Kennamer is the consultant since the Thomas Jefferson Rose Society disbanded in 2001.

Some of our programs have dealt with wild flowers, dahlias, and day lilies. We also had demonstrations on pruning of bushes and trees by Mike Neal and regular visits from Charles Goodman and Peter Warren of the Extension Department, as well as from Ian Robertson, a local landscaper. We have in the past had a close alliance with the Senior Center and they with us since the new building was built. We are, however, a separate organization and have our own constitution and officers. The attendance is open to the public.

Submitted by: Mary Anna Rushia

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