Category Archives: Events of the month

The Season Of Giving!

Our garden club ends every year with a beautiful fellowship of holiday cheer celebrated at our end of the year holiday bash and in the midst of this fellowship we give to others in need which in turn gives us great joy!

We were blessed this year to celebrate at the home of our past president and fearless leader Ginny.  Ginny and her husband graciously opened their home to our club and in gratitude we give thanks to them both.


The house was very festive and definitely full of cheer!


We gathered, we gave, we delivered and those we blessed, received!

From our Garden Club Family to yours may you end your Christmas season with joy and may you bring in 2018 with open hearts to receive the best that is yet to come.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Countryside Garden Club!

A “Place” for Everyone!

Merry Christmas / Happy Holiday’s!! It’s the last party of the year for Countryside Garden Club and the sky’s the limit in fun, food, festivities and creativity. This time of year if you celebrate Christmas you “Prepare a Room for Him” most people think this means prepare room for baby Jesus as in the biblical story of making room in manager when there was no space in that infamous inn. We tend to do this by Christmas shopping (overspending), entertaining, decorating, and for some just stressing all the way out in the name of Jesus. Yup, most of us normal people do just that and maybe more and that’s NOT what it’s all about. But Prepare a Room for Him really means preparing a place in your life for Jesus at all times whether you are a believer or not we all know what it means to make room for something bigger than us!

What does this have to do with garden club, well this year we were asked to create a table place setting that would be used (eaten on) only by the creator but viewed and informally critiqued by the rest of the group; it of course had to be a holiday theme setting and displayed with creative or simplistic ideas that would no doubt “Wow” someone. Of course this group gave it their best and there were 17 amazing displays each unique and creatively special. The place setting had to include a plate, glassware, a floral arrangement of some sort, napkin and optional place mat and silverware. In the end we were asked to pick (not judge-thank God) two place settings; one to represent our favorite and the other to represent what we thought was the most creative. Barbara B. won for most creative using a snowman theme and Kathleen M. won for the favorite; Barbara won reindeer ears and Kathleen a homemade gingerbread house made by creative Ms. Patti.

We managed to squeeze in our annual gift exchange PolyAnna aka Dirty Santa where you can steal from “ your friends” which this year included two new garden club family members who joined in on experiencing the joy of a holiday hangout in royal fashion. Both Mary Beth and Mary Lou had a great time and don’t you find it ironic both their names are Mary … Hmm Mary was baby Jesus’ Mum this is starting to sound suspect giggling.


In addition, assembled 25 adult gift stockings and 11 children’s gifts to send to our friends at Friendship House.


And last but not least we shared a feast and let me tell you something if there is one thing Countryside GC can do that is cook their tails off, we know how to throw down in the food department.

So how does this all tie together in Prepare a Room for Him, when you gather together to exchange gifts of love (by the way the gifts this year were well thought out, practical and generous), experience deep belly laughing, give gifts to those in need, break bread and set a table to share food, conversation and creativity; YOU prepare room for others to join in and be a part of a something special; a bond that allows you to escape from the craziness of the world and focus on what truly matters especially this time of year and that is to prepare in your heart, mind, body and spirit room for the joys of our Divine creator that made us all and allows us to share memorable moments such as a holiday party with garden club “family” and walk away with more than what you came in with, which in the book of life happens to be a priceless gift we all could use everyday throughout the year and not just during the holiday.

So from all the members of Countryside Garden Club we want to thank you for supporting us and visiting our website in 2016 and we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season filled with love and happiness as well as a Happy New Year that allows you to prepare room for the joys and and blessings of 2017!

Recycle, Reimagine & Reinvent

A small standard flower show created with a large dedication to excellence due to a combined and beautiful effort from Countryside and Moonflower Garden Clubs. Two sister clubs that really showed off what it means to recycle in style!

There were a plethora of blue ribbons given to both clubs in design, horticulture and a newbie to the scene photography. The show was held at Cokesbury Village a sassy retirement residence that graciously shares its space and welcomes the outside community to bring in the joys of life that they once embraced on a daily basis. We gave Cokesbury their very own entry for horticulture, open only to this special community. It was our pleasure to encourage them to participate in something they probably had more knowledge about then us, LOL. Its just pure respect for the wise and wonderful and it blessed our hearts to include them.


There were three classes of design, recycle-photgraphy, reimagine- horticulture and reinvent-functional, small and creative designs. The functional table design blue winners were Patti McCarter and Barbara Boyce awesome job ladies.


I just wanted to sit down and have Chinese take out at their table! Hiro gave his best in his entry and placed third while Marsha took a second for her creative design.


In the small design an outside participant took the blue but our very on Phil Worrell proudly took the second he is quite elated with his win. Way to go Phil!!!


In creative mass another outside participate took the blue for a very unique design utilizing small volume water bottles just lovely indeed!


We even entered our challenge plants and as you can see most survived and one in particular bloomed fabulously! Congrats Joan Yulduzian on doing as you said “ Oh nothing, I did nothing” (yeah right, LOL)



The photography class was such a hit there was a waiting list and it closed with the maximum of 27 entries.


Many of us took a chance on being creative including myself by entering into classes we have never done before. It’s quite evident that being in a flower show is truly about surrendering to something new and taking a leap of faith, of course you may not walk away with a blue ribbon but you definitely earn a blue for effort!

There were also lessons on how the rule book is really interpreted even by the judges; most of us (the participants) were more by the book then they were. That was obvious with a winner that won by not following the rules a good lesson for all of us to let go and learn; and just being accepting to the powers that be. Another schooling on how judging is totally subjective.

So, a year worth of efforts led by our fearless leader Ann Perry and the commendable support and teaching of Dottie Howatt has finally come to an end, fulfilled with lots of enlightenment along the way. Many thanks to all the members of each club that put forth their time and talent and ultimately encouraging all that visited our show that recycling can be a beautiful thing!

The Philadelphia Flower Show 2016

If you are a true nature lover; this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show was a tribute to honoring 100 years of our nation’s national parks.  “Explore America” was the perfect title for this year’s event, the show captured and recreated quite a few of America’s most visited and beautiful national parks.  It all started at the Big Timber Lodge an amazing arch way leading to the flower show’s acres of trails and exhibits of our nation’s landscapes which included deserts, wildflowers, pine lands, meadows, redwoods and coastal plains.


Not to mention an abundance of horticulture, which allowed some of our garden club members to explore on sharing their own talents.  For me, it was a joy to enter in the novice horticulture section this year strictly solo. And boy what an experience, which led to me winning my very first blue ribbon in the Philadelphia Flower show!


Let’s just say I was over the moon with excitement and embraced the pure joy and happiness that came with it.  I said to my youngest son “It’s something about that blue ribbon that makes you instantly think you are an expert”  NOT, LOL, I am NO expert when it comes to this species of plant just a lover of it’s color and unique textures.  It simply grows in my dining room window the only spot in our home that gets special sun rays from the good Lord above; no fancy greenhouse beauty here, just a humble houseplant doing its own thing!  I will say, I could hear Bill Baur in my mind encouraging me to just enter it and after many plant turnings and second hand looks I decided to GO FOR IT!!  Thanks Bill:)  Let me tell you entering is no joke, I felt like I earned another high end college degree reading the rule book, something definitely needs to done about that! But I got thru it and there should also be a video on how to dress and groom your pot (aka hide the original one inside the show pot). There is apparently a science to potting your plant with special top dressings, I ended up with black aquarium gravel from Walmart!  Another humble move that produced a blue ribbon anyway, Classic!  But I will say I met a wonderful woman who shared with me one of the coveted pot dressings that only the fancy-dancy exhibitors use.  She just pulled some out of her stash of grooming supplies and gave me enough to last many many flower shows to come.  The generosity of gardeners at the show can sometimes just make you smile.  In addition to entering my plant I also volunteered in my favorite job as horticulture recorder ( that’s how I met the really nice lady who shared:) this is another wonderful way to be apart of the show.  Getting back to sharing our talents I wasn’t the only garden club winner, Mr. Bill had his share of winner winner chicken dinners too, Bill took home two blues and some other ribbons for his horticulture specimens of succulent, cacti. and trough planters.  Bill this year had his very own grooming table, labeled and all with his name only!  He’s definitely now an experienced veteran of the show.

PFS Blue Ribbon winners 2016 004Tala Graham also entered into the design section of the show with a miniature that gave her a ribbon placement as well.  Other members diligently gave their time in volunteering and Barbara Boyce who volunteered for the first time, shared her experience as being a wonderful one. She learned the ins and outs of getting to the show with other garden club members, seeing the show from behind the scenes and working as a horticultural aide.  In her job; she passed out placement ribbons, planned the routes of the judges and also led them from one entry class to the next.  Barbara was amazed my the displays and how HUGE  they were, she had not attended the show in over 10 years and back then was just a part of the general public.  Her experience this year allowed her to see the show in a different perspective  and her favorite display was a keepsake box made out various seeds and beans!

philly flower show 2016 053

If asked would she attend again, she says “In a word, yes.”  Hope you all had a chance to “Explore America” this year at the show and if not there is always next year: Zie je daar!

That’s dutch for “See you there” we are off to Holland in 2017!

A Holiday Affair!

This year’s garden club holiday party was held at the home of one of our most creative members, Ms. Patti. We were welcomed into a holiday palooza of Santa Claus collections, gingerbread houses adorned with sugar plums and christmas candies, nutcrackers, assorted trees of all kinds and seating arrangements based on the colored rim of your plate!



A festive event indeed but with a purpose to help others in need; this party of course bought joy to all of us but better yet created joy for the transitional home residences of Friendship House and their children. Amidst the laughter we stuffed many stockings for the adults filled with personal toiletries and pampered the children with stockings chock full of Christmas love and joy.


The party ended with our annual polyanna which this year created joyous sound effects from Tala unwrapping her secret santa gifts wrapped in recycled plant catalog paper; she definitely gets the grammy award for her audible shouts of Ooos and Ahhs.  Kathe was even more excited when she shared her joy and love for the sound of tissue paper being unraveled from a present and Hope was adorned in the coolest Christmas garb!

IMG_3306IMG_0512IMG_3298The piece de resistance was Mr. Bill setting his “man card” aside to take a dare to try on the holiday Cinderella Shoe found on the last cleanup of the Brackenville Road Adopt a highway project presented to Patti as a hostess gift.  Luckily he has found his “Princess Charming” in his lovely wife Ruth and so the shoe not fitting was all in fun!  Thanks Bill for being able to just have fun, we nearly wet ourselves in laughter! By the way if anyone out there knows anything about this shoe please send the club a note in the reply box below we would love to hear about it’s story.  


On a serious note; the members of Countryside Garden Club want to wish you a very Merry Holiday and Many Blessings for 2016!  See you next year:)

Everything Frogs!

This month’s DFGC (Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs) luncheon and meeting was held at the Executive Banquet hall in Glasgow, DE.  Countryside Garden Club had the honor of hosting this month’s meeting.  This meeting’s attendees numbered 127 registrations and 16 clubs present from all counties in the state of Delaware. Our theme was based off the new book entitled The Frightened Frog -An Environmental Tale by Brenda Moore and Jean Ohlmann; we gathered as a club and hand crafted frog origami name tags and place cards which adorned each attendee and table place setting and sold all 88 books ordered!


The guest speaker was Dan Benarcik from Chanticleer Gardens in Wayne, PA sharing his 25 must have plants for a garden. It was a wonderful day of gathering with gardening friends, overall it was a “hopping success”!

Lifetime Honoree

Our very own Bill Baur was given the gift of Lifetime Membership to DFGC presented by his beloved garden club members of Countryside Garden Club.  Bill was presented this distinguished honor at our November DFGC meeting hosted by Countryside GC.  Bill is most deserving of this membership and gives 110% to our garden club at all times as his bio stated one of his most important roles is being the club’s “Coffee Master” we are never without fresh brewed coffee and other wonderful drinks perfectly set up in the wee early hours of the morning solely by Mr. Baur.  He does this and all tasks for the club with great enthusiasm and without hesitation to always lend a helping hand to our club.


At our normally scheduled meeting the next day after the state meeting Bill led our club in the proper techniques of planting a cacti, which was given to all of us as a challenge plant.  He continues to encourage us to do our best and when given the opportunity to always share our club with others in the community.


Congratulations Bill!!  We truly appreciate all you do for Countryside Garden Club, much love always.

A visit at Brader’s wetland habitat

DSC_0225This morning, members of Countryside Garden Club visited Brader Elementary School in Newark, DE to meet with Sharon Brubaker, a national award winning librarian, who developed the unique program about wetland habitats for the Brader students.  She introduced us to the wetland in the school property and showed us some interesting wetland species. You can learn more about the Delaware’s wetlands programs at the Division of Watershed Stewardship website. Thank you Sharon for your excellent work.

Our September Meeting Reminder


New members are welcomed to join us!


  • Bring horticultural and/or related questions or topics to share
  • Remember to bring your coffee mug


  • Organizational Meeting & Yearbook Review:  Let’s get organized for this year’s events and projects. We’ll distribute Yearbooks, discuss goals and programs for the upcoming year and approve the new budget.


  • Thursday, September 24, 2015
    • 8:30 – coffee & tea social with light refreshments
    • 9:00  –  Business meeting