Affiliated with The Men's Garden Clubs of America and The Gardeners of America

Meetings: Meetings are held monthly on the third Thursday of each month in the Garden Center Building in Hermann Park, except in July when we hold our annual outing such as a watermelon party or barbecue and December when we have our Christmas Party. Our regular meetings begin at 7:30 P.M. (doors open at 7:00 P.M.) with a program, then a short business session followed by "Show and Tell" and the drawing of names for the plant exchange. We also have a magazine exchange - members bring in used magazines and can choose used magazines that are brought in by other members. Then we have a social period with coffee, cake and/or cookies. Guests are welcome.
Club History and Organization: The Houston Club, founded in 1938, has been affiliated with the national organization, Men's Garden Clubs of America, since 1941. National is located in Johnston, IA. A National Convention is held each year hosted by one of the affiliated clubs in their own city. National is divided into regions of which the Houston Club is affiliated with the Southwest Region. A Region Conference is held each year, and in addition there are two board meetings each year. These are held in various cities in the region (Texas cities as we are the only state in the region with affiliated clubs) hosted by that particular club. The Houston Club is the oldest affiliated club in Texas. All members are welcome and are encouraged to attend the National Convention and Region Conference and regional board meetings. The Southwest Region elects two National Directors to represent the region on the National Board.
Membership: The regular annual dues for the club is $20.00: $15.00 goes to National and $5.00 to the Houston Club. In recent years Life Membership and Double Life membership were initiated as an alternate. Life Membership is $150.00 which goes to National, then you pay only the $5.00 annual local dues. Double Life Membership is applicable to those who are Life Members and is $50.00 and goes to the Houston Club. Both Life and Double Life are one time payments. A Family Membership also is available for an additional $12.50.
Dues include a subscription to the National magazine, "The Gardener" which is published bi-monthly. The Houston Club's newsletter "The Yardner" which is mailed each month, normally, one week prior to our meetings.
Plant Exchange: This program was designed some years ago to promote a variety of plants among members. Each member should bring a nice plant donated to the plant exchange and write your name on a slip of paper provided at the door. Then these slips are drawn at the end of the meeting; first called gets first choice, etc. Sometimes members will bring a surplus of plants that are not wanted and to be given away in the plant exchange. If a member does not bring a plant, then the member should not participate in the drawing. Vegetable growers may substitute produce for plants.
Coffee Hosts: Each regular meeting we have coffee, and cake and/or cookies served by members. At each January meeting, we pass a form for members to volunteer to serve as coffee hosts. If you volunteer, you may donate your expense or the treasurer will reimburse your expenses by submitting the receipts. There are two volunteers for each meeting; one for coffee and the other for cake and/or cookies. There is a coffee box that is kept in the Garden Center closet that contains coffee, sugar, dry cream, cups, and napkins. The measuring cup and filters are furnished by the Garden Center. The volunteer for coffee should arrive by 7:00 P.M. to make coffee available for those wishing to have a cup prior to the meeting. Normally the coffee volunteer will be advised by a note attached to "The Yardner" current issue listing the items needed to provide a full inventory for the "coffee box". The volunteer for cake and/or cookies may bring cake or cookies, or both as he chooses - enough for about 35 to 40 servings. Cake and/or cookies should not be served prior to or during the meeting. The volunteer should wait until the drawing for plant exchange before preparing to serve so they may be placed on the serving table in time far the social period.
Wearing a flower: Is an idea started a number of years ago to promote conversation about some of the flowers that are worn, that others may ask questions and learn more about horticulture. It does not necessarily have to be rare or uncommon species for there are beginners in gardening that need to gain more knowledge. If you forget to wear a flower at a meeting, then you donate $0.25 when called for at the meeting.
Other benefits: At the meetings we often have seeds, pots, plants, cuttings, bedding plants, potting soils, fertilizers, compost, etc. that are sold, auctioned, or raffled.
Library: We have quite a few garden books in our library that are available to be checked out at one meeting and returned at the following meeting. This privilege is for members only. These are kept on a small mobile cart.

Shows and Plant Sales: Each year we have a show and sale in the spring and another in the fall; usually the last weekend in May and the last weekend in October, either Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday. We have them either at the Garden Center or a shopping mall. The show is open to not only members but anyone other than professionals. The show is conducted according to a schedule compiled by the club. The show is judged by accredited judges from the region other than the Houston Club or from other clubs in Houston Area. Awards are made not only for blue, red, or yellow ribbons, but also for best ornamental and best esculent entry at the show, best of section, best of species, most blue ribbons for ornamentals, and most blues far esculent. Every member should show at least one entry. We always need volunteers for clerks for the judges at these shows - this is one job which helps you learn a lot about horticulture. Plants for the plant sales are furnished by donations from the members and friends of the club. We need plants that will sell for $1.00 or more. The profit we make from the plant sales keeps us going financially. Dues help, but dues don't cover much more than the newsletter, "The Yardner", so we have to rely on income from other sources. Another job that helps you learn about horticulture is volunteering as a sales clerk in the plant sales either full time or part time. We now have 3 members that volunteer full time - we need 3 more for full time to ease the work load.

Visit Our Plant Show and Sale Image Gallery to see a few pictures from previous shows.

Calendars: National publishes some great calendars, especially for a bargain price which we sell them. They are usually available around summertime, and make nice gifts for Christmas.
Club Directories: The club publishes a directory listing members at the time of printing. However we would like to bring to your attention other articles in the directory. Included are a listing of deceased that died the previous year; a history and activities of the club; a few names and numbers outside the club which you might need; a table for diluting liquid materials; functions of plant foods; fertilizer costs and measures; winners of awards for the two shows of the previous year; and a listing of the National, Region, and Houston officers.
Projects: The club has supported many horticultural projects listed in the directory. Our current projects are sponsoring the cylinder gardening program together with the Master Gardeners for many HISD schools; and scholarships for college students.

Links to Other Interesting Sites

Back to MGC Home

Page Prepared by;
Milton L. Pierson

Last Modified September 26, 2001