The Rochester Garden Club members have many opportunities to serve the greater Rochester community. We translate our love of gardens and plants into events and activities to reach different groups of people. We offer emotional support, community beautification and educational opportunities on a regular basis to our community.
Horticultural Therapy is an ancient practice that uses plants and plant-based projects to help heal and soothe people. The Rochester Garden Club has an active group who meet monthly at the Bellbrooke Senior Living Facility in Rochester Hills to practice horticultural therapy with residents. They also assist the Early Childhood Special Education preschool in Rochester Hills, and at Dutton Farms in Rochester Hills. They engage seniors, special education students and disabled adults in horticultural related activities that stimulate their minds, bodies and hearts. They make delightful projects together that are often based on calendar themes such as Easter hats, Christmas gifts, Valentine cards, and spring gardens while using flowers, plants, seeds, bulbs, fresh greens, stones and other of nature’s special gifts.
Civic Service is a committee with many roles. They coordinate the beautification efforts around the community. This committee organizes the donation of holiday swags to area fire and police departments and local charities. They oversee the annual Memorial Tree Planting that the club supports each year to honor our deceased members. They also give our Annual Beautification Award to local businesses who display beautiful gardens around their properties. However, the biggest effort by the Civic Service committee is the annual spring planting of annuals at many sites in the community including the Rochester Library, the Children’s Garden and numerous non-profit locations such as Neighborhood House and Paint Creek Center for the Arts.
Community Programing is a multifaceted club-wide effort to offer our educational programs to the general public. In 2021, we offered “Programs in the Garden”, a series of one-hour casual lectures on gardens, plants, and gardening tips and techniques. We also host a “Summer Meeting” which is a very well attended morning of fun, food and education. Our Native Plant sale is held in conjunction with the Garden Walk and provides shoppers an opportunity to talk to growers and club members about the importance of using native plants in the garden. Prospective new members are encouraged to attend our monthly General Meetings which include a business meeting and a speaker.
Preschool Gardens is a fun and lively event. Club members are invited into preschool classrooms in the Rochester school district to help the eager four-year-olds plant their own take-home garden. We provide seeds, soil and potting materials and teach them how seeds grow into the plants we eat, wear and enjoy. This window garden can be transplanted into the family yards in late May and in many cases the children see their little seeds turn into great big plants. This first step in gardening may unlock a lifetime of garden pleasures. Due to Covid restrictions, this activity has been temporarily suspended.