2016 - 2018 President's Report - Molly Ill

The Virginia Beach Garden Club President’s Report
Molly Ill
2016 - 2018

2016 - 2018 was filled with great programs, well aGended horHculture and flower arranging workshops and successful Fall Flower FesHvals and Historic Garden Tours. We energeHcally donated our Hme and resources to great projects in our community. Our acHve membership remains at capacity and our associates are invaluable to the vibrancy of The VBGC.

Our 94 members are capable, enthusiasHc and very acHve! Our interests are widespread throughout Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth and the Country. We worked locally at the Virginia Aquarium, Lynnhaven River Now, Camp Grom, Adam Keeling Meadow and Mary’s Garden. We aGended state and local ConservaHon Forums and wrote leGers to representaHves concerning conservaHon issues. We have members acHvely parHcipaHng in flower shows around the country; in the GCA judging programs for photography, floral design and horHculture; on GCA commiGees; on GCV commiGees; and locally involved in the Norfolk Botanical Gardens and the local master gardeners’ program.

We highlighted members as they led workshops and programs. Mac Houfek spoke on her book, “ReflecHons on a Coastal Garden.” Meg French discussed the importance of naHve plants, in her program “Choosing Plants to Enhance Nature.” We heard from Sandra Baylor as she talked about our club’s history. Alice Koziol, Dana Parker, Lynda Briggs, Molly Rueger and Jane Booth led floral design workshops and programs. Nancy Freeman and Donna Eure led horHculture workshops. Demaris Yearick and Dana Parker taught a hypertufa trough making workshop. What a talented group!

We met at the Virginia Aquarium and celebrated our years of involvement there. We had programs about smart phone garden photography, the growing oyster populaHon in the Lynnhaven River, the Virginia wine industry and the art of Ikebana. Tony Avent and Mark Weathington, from the JC Raulston Arboretum, spoke at meeHngs.

Thanks to the conHnued success of our Fall Flower FesHval we were able to donate over $50,000 to community projects including the reflecHon garden at Camp Grom, the rain gardens at the Chesapeake Bay FoundaHon’s Brock Center, Mary’s Garden, Virginia Beach EducaHonal Fund, Virginia Beach Public Arts and Nature Camper.

We conHnue to enjoy close relaHonships with the other local GCV and GCA clubs. We hosted both the GCV Joint MeeHng, where Nina Mustard recalled some of the past accomplishments of our four clubs; and the GCA Joint MeeHng, where Candy Crosby, our Zone VII representaHve, spoke to us and the Garden Club of Norfolk. We also invited the Princess Anne Garden Club to join us for our program with Tony Avent. Our partnership with the PAGC for HGW conHnues to be a wonderful way of building friendships and sharing responsibility.

We added a Hospitality Booth (Jane’s Booth) at each meeHng as a hub for sign ups, handouts and recycling. We streamlined weekly email updates and started a wonderful digital Ground Cover, our monthly newsleGer, that Katherine Richardson created using great pictures and content. A commiGee poured through years of saved scrapbooks and papers, soon to be archived at the library. We worked hard to eliminate unneeded papers, creaHng shared documents online so that records can be easily updated. We also made a few revisions to our Bylaws and Standing Rules. We moved to a single slate for the Admissions CommiGee and modified requirements for HGW.

Over the past 2 years, we welcomed 9 new members and sadly lost LaVerne Crown, Tina Minter, Sara Ann Hammond and CharloGe Dashiell. CharloGe was our last Honorary Member.

The Virginia Beach Garden Club is a special group. We keep learning, growing and staying involved with conservaHon, horHculture and gardening issues. Most importantly though, it is the friendships and the fun we have learning and working together that make this such a unique and wonderful organizaHon.

It has been a joy and my privilege to work with each of you.