WELCOME TO THE MEN'S GARDEN CLUB
OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
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.
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
Other benefits: At the meetings we often have seeds, pots, plants, cuttings,
bedding plants, potting soils, fertilizers, compost, etc. that are sold, auctioned,
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