Your president has just returned from the National Garden Club convention in Richmond, Virginia where 570 garden club members were present. I heard, saw, and experienced many wonderful and exciting things which are in store for garden clubs in the coming two years. Please go to the NGC website and enter your member password “pumpkin” to discover the Plant America project and grant program available to garden clubs across America. Also as an added bonus, the Espoma Organic company has partnered with NGC to offer an additional grant. Take a look and consider applying.
Closer to home, be sure to make your calendars for the MSU Horticulture Camp, Lanoux Nature Camp and the 62nd Ed Martin Landscape Symposium. These are wonderful opportunities for our young gardeners and members. Go to the GCM website and take advantage.
As your brand-new president, I chose the theme “Gracious Gardening, Mississippi”. I referenced my own mother and grandmother as the sources for my theme. Observing them I learned that gracious living can be accomplished on a grand scale or certainly more simply. As gardeners, we share our bounty from the vegetable garden, flowers are sent to an ill friend or the church. We compost and recycle empty containers into pots for flowers. We have mentored a friend and savored the fruits of our labors. We have all used our gardens as instruments of hospitality to create a culture of gracious living.
As we have shared our gardening interests in our clubs, we know that growing is always the keystone of a garden club whether it is actual plantings, reputation or civic work. And the time has come for us to take a giant leap toward growth. Therefore, in the two years of my administration, 2017-2019, I would like to challenge each garden club in Mississippi to make membership a focus of each meeting. In other words, “Mention Membership”. Make it your goal to bring in 9 new members by the end of my term in 2019. This is my “9 x 19” project. Each club accomplishing this will receive recognition at the GCM convention. You will be surprised what a casual conversation in the Walmart line can produce.
And so, I wish all of you two years of gracious gardening.
Lynda Dickerson, President
The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc.