Holiday Doors of Hudson–our club’s new event

A warm welcome begins at the front door and one beautifully decorated also conveys the spirit of the season. Hudson Garden Club invites Hudson residents to participate in a new holiday event–Holiday Doors of Hudson. Send us a photo of your decorated door and we will post it on our website. The door that best reflects the city of Hudson and the holiday season will win two tickets to the Hudson Home and Garden Tour. Visit the Holiday Doors of Hudson webpage on our site for all the details and to see the entries.

Our club decorates a tree for the 2011 Wintershow at Cleveland Botanical Garden

Cleveland Botanical Garden (CBG) is decorated for the holiday season each year by their staff with the help of CBG’s affiliated Garden Clubs. Hudson Garden Club is an Affiliate of the Cleveland Botanical Garden and this year particpated by decorating a Children’s Storybook Tree. Over 30 clubs each selected a book to donate to the CBG library and used it as the theme for their tree. Our club used Winter Moon by Jean Craighead George. Our tree featured the main characters from the story including the moon, a bear, an owl and a mole! Enjoy Wintershow November 25- December 31. For hours and admission visit for details.

Members make faux stone planters for Garden Shop

Six club members met on a rainy May morning to create faux stone planters. Styrofoam shipping containers were cut to size, the sides were roughed up and drainage holes were made in the bottom. Spray paint in several stone-like colors was used to spray the outside, top and the top inner edge of the containers. Finally, the planters were planted with an assortment of annuals and perennials. The faux stone planters will be available for purchase at the Tour Garden Shop in the Hudson Middle School on June 17 and 18, 2011.

HGC youth activities featured in magazine

Our club was featured in Hudson Monthly magazine! Youth Chair Bronwyn Pierson was interviewed by Stephanie Fellenstein, editor of the magazine. The result was a wonderful article about HGC’s involvement with the youth of our community. You can read the entire article below, or view it online at the Record Publishing website.

A blooming good time by Stephanie Fellenstein, Hudson Monthly magazine, April 2011

Start with the extremely active Hudson Garden Club. Sprinkle in some flower seeds, an herb here and there and a vegetable garden. Finally, add the piece de resistance — some Hudson students — and the result is an explosion of color in the spring, a bountiful harvest in the Fall and a solid foundation /groundwork that promises Hudson’s gardens and trees will be taken care of well into the future.

“Our goal is to help beautify the place where we live and get the students interested in gardening,” says Bronwyn Pierson, the garden club member in charge of youth programming.

And to make that happen, Pierson and the club members are hard at work long before the first green leaves peek out of the frozen earth. They must make sure they have their plans in place before planting season arrives.

In February Pierson visits all the second-graders at Ellsworth Hill Elementary School, talking about the proper technique for planting seeds and how to use recycled containers to start seeds before spring.

“The second-graders usually do a section on soil so I try to tie my presentation in to that,” Pierson says. The garden club also sells packets of seeds. The seeds are neatly bundled together according to three themes.

Last year’s themes included “Grow an Olympic Garden,” in honor of the Winter Olympics; “George Washington at Mt. Vernon Garden;” and “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Garden.”

“I try to include at least one vegetable and an herb in each packet,” Pierson adds.

For example, after a little research about the gardens at Mt. Vernon, the George Washington packet includes Purple coneflowers, black-eyed susans and sweet basil, all found in the Mount Vernon garden.

The Itsy-Bitsy packet included miniature versions of everything — Thumbelina Max Zinnia, Unwin’s Dwarf Hybrid Dahlia, Tiny Tim Tomato, Tom Thumb Impatiens and Jack-be-Little pumpkins.

The students do not have to purchase the club’s seed packets and can get them elsewhere. They are encouraged to spend the summer cultivating vegetables, flowers or herbs and then bring their successes to the annual Harvest Fair in September at McDowell Elementary.

“It is really neat to see what they did,” Pierson said, mentioning beautiful flower arrangements, vegetables and, of course, the crazy critters. “They are so excited to get out of the car and explain how they did it.”

Crazy critters are made from items grown in the gardens, Pierson says, like zucchini with blossoms for eyes and carrots for legs, tomato people with googly eyes and pipe cleaner legs. “One year a little girl made her crazy critter entirely out of things she dead-headed in the garden,” Pierson says.

The garden club goes all out for the Harvest Fair. Each participant receives a certificate documenting their participation in the Green Thumb Club. Their entry was labeled with their name and a ribbon — green for vegetables and herbs, yellow for flowers and orange for crazy critters.

The Hudson Garden Club’s connection to the students does not end there.

The students again meet the garden club in the fourth grade at East Woods school for Arbor Day. “Again, we try to tie our message in to their curriculum,” Pierson says. “We ask them to take notice of the trees around us. If you’re hot while playing, you sit under a tree, or build tree forts or baseball bats are made of wood. Not to mention that the discovery of gravity was tied to a tree.”

By fifth grade, Hudson students at East Woods are well-acquainted with the garden club and have planted daffodils around the school.

“We are trying to keep them interested and told them the gruesome story of Narcissus,” Pierson said, adding this ties in with their studies of Greek and Latin. Narcissus, according to Greek mythology, was known for his beauty. Because he was extremely proud, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool and wasted away to death. Then the tale goes that Narcissus is turned into a flower, the daffodil.

Pierson says they make the story really gory and the kids love it.

School maintenance staff helps by digging six-inch deep trenches around the school.

“We fill those trenches with fertilizer and humus, and then the students plant the bulbs,” Pierson said. “We’re done at East Woods. There is no room left. We may move to the middle school and then probably keep moving from school to school.”

For Pierson, joining the Garden Club was an easy decision. She first discovered the club when her parents moved to Hudson. Living in Fairview Park at the time, Pierson would attend herb group meetings with her mom.

“They have really good programs,” she says, mentioning the speaker from the Botanical Gardens that spoke about growing your own tea. “It is a really nice group of ladies.”

Pierson’s involvement with youth programming began after she volunteered at the Harvest Fair one year. “I really enjoyed it and decided to get involved.”

With more than 200 members, the Hudson Garden Club has been leaving their mark on the town for the past 75 years. The club meets one Thursday a month at Laurel Lake Retirement Community September through May. Besides funding school programs, proceeds from the annual Home and Garden Tour also fund tree planting around town, scholarships, grants, mentoring workshops and community gardening.

This year the tour will take place June 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presale tickets are $20 and may be purchased by writing to the Hudson Garden Club, c/o Ticket Chairman, P.O. Box 651, Hudson, Ohio 44236. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and a check payable to the Hudson Garden Club. From June 1 to June 16, presale tickets may be purchased at The Learned Owl Bookshop.

And even after the students leave Ellsworth Hill and East Woods schools, the club continues to share their love of nature through a scholarship. The Genevieve Jyurovat Scholarship is awarded to a Hudson resident continuing in the study of horticulture or related environmental sciences. Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA. Forms, which are due April 1, can be downloaded from the garden club website.

“We are just trying to get their hands a little dirty,” Pierson says of the school programs. “and at the same time, instill a little information.”