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May 16, 2022

1:00 - 3:00 pm

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Healdsburg Garden Club History

2018 marks the 87th year of the Healdsburg Garden Club.

Thanks to Velma Hock for digging into our history at the Healdsburg Museum and finding these nuggets from our first days as a club (see below). We still hold true to these values! In fact, the research inspired Velma to suggest that we dress up in 1930's garb at our 70th Anniversary Celebration in December 2001.
Holiday Party
HGC Members in 1930's style clothing


Marsha McPheeters Did you know that Healdsburg has it’s own “Johnnie Apple Seed”? On almost any day of the week you can find Marsha digging, pruning or planting trees, flowers and shrubs somewhere in the Healdsburg community. You might have noticed the yellow daffodils that bloom every spring on the railroad easement across from the Vineyard Shopping Center – that was Marsha.

Who is she?

Marsha McPheeters, twice past President of the Healdsburg Garden Club and long-term Treasurer. You may find her planting or pruning the roses in the City Rose Garden, or sprucing up the planter boxes at the Senior Center. She has put in tens of hours at the library bringing in good soil, planting shrubs, doing cement work; she plants and cares for hundreds of plants for the Garden Club’s Spring plant sale each year, and she will even come to Club members’ homes to prune our roses and teach us how.

Along with other club members she has planted and weeded the Healdsburg Airport landscaping, the planters at the Villa Chanticleer, the memorial garden at the Animal Shelter, the Victory Garden Apartments, and various schools in Healdsburg and Geyserville. She was instrumental in the restoration of the historic “Ulrich’s Arizona Garden” at Stanford University.

And do you know what is best about Marsha? When you talk to her about her many achievements her response is “I just like to play in the dirt”.

Thank you Marsha, we don’t know what we would do without you!

Thursday, March 26, 1931

Healdsburg Enterprise

Garden Club Starts With 40 Members

The new Healdburg Garden club was off to a flying start of 40 active members in its first regular meeting ~ Monday afternoon at the Improvement clubhouse in Center street. Forty-five persons attended the session, which was addressed by Mrs. Martha Phillips of Petaluma, garden writer, lecturer and advisor.

The large attendance and initial membership brought out that many others, unable to be present on the occasion,, were planning to join and enjoy the mutual benefits of the organization. Two of the members were from Geyserville, and more also are expected from that town.

Tentative plans were discussed for an autumn flower show.

It is planned to visit gardens, not alone in Healdsburg, but in all the surrounding section, to secure an exchange of ideas on planting and landscaping.

The spirit of the club was expressed in a declaration that it was organized and planned to "do" things rather than to just "talk" and "plan."

Prior to the club session there was a luncheon at the home of Mrs. Edgar Briggs, attended by the speaker, Mrs. A K. Lee, president; Mrs. Ira Rosenberg, secretary; Mrs. H. J. Wright, treasurer, and Mrs. Charles Cole, director.

Mrs. Byrd Weyler Kellogg and Mrs J. C. Williamson, Santa Rosa guests, were taken on a garden tour by Mrs. Lee and Mrs. Russell Stevens after the club meeting.

Thursday, April 23, 1931
Healdsburg Enterprise


"Criticism" of the Healdsburg Garden club and its policy toward plant exchanges and public participation in garden activities was answered today by Mrs. A. K. Lee, president of the Garden club.

Mrs. Lee’s statement follows: "In last Saturday evening’s Tribune, under the heading of the "Ramblings of a Spectator," there is a reference made to the Garden club. "Assorted thoughts of a vagrant mind" - or perhaps it is "asserted thoughts’- I may be confused. At any rate the writer of these ‘thoughts’ goes on to ask: ‘Why the garden plant exchange, when turned over to the ladies, was made an exclusive club, nobody but members getting the opportunity to exchange planet?’ Unquote , as they say over the radio.
"In a measure this may seem to be true. But in reply to this, as you know, it was found that the forming of a club like this, made it possible for those who had no plants to give, or exchange, to feel perfectly free to ask for, or to take, as many plants that had been given for that purpose, as the felt they needed, and no sense of obligation imposed.

"Our idea was to beautify each individual members’ garden, thereby adding collectively to that of the entire town. When working together, and with our neighbors, who are not members, we make this a concerted action for the beautification of the entire town. There is the same democracy in our club as in the flower kingdom. To know a plant is like knowing your neighbor and his needs; it makes us like them more and more; become better friends. They reward our mutual interests with closer feeling and greater beauty in living. A garden is like a person, each possessing its individual charm. A flower is no respector of persons; it blooms as well for the owner of a small plot of land as for the owner of a large acreage, given the same care and attention.

"To give this care, and to know how, is why we pay the small dues. This enables us to have speakers on the various kinds of plants that they have specialized in for years and give us the benefit of that experience."