It has been over a century since the Oakdale Garden Club laid down its roots and branched out on its own. A venture, which began in 1909 when they disbanded from the Oakdale Women’s Club to become established as a separate entity.
One hundred and seven years later, the club of all things living, has continued to maintain a strong presence in the community of Oakdale.
Garden Club president Bob Taylor shared the club is open to the public and caters to those interested in gardening, agriculture, farming, water, as well as community service.
The club meets on the third Tuesday of each month at Bianchi Community Center. The 10:30 a.m. meetings are hosted every month, except August. To date the club has close to 50 members.
“Every year we have a little Dogwood sale,” Taylor said of club events, noting the sale is in homage to its founders who planted the tree around town in the early 1900s to add variety.
“It’s partly historical,” he added, “and partly because they are hard to grow, but grow well in Oakdale.”
The club also hosts an Annual Salad Bar Luncheon and Plant Sale each June. The event serves as a fundraiser for the annual scholarships they award to local high school seniors.
This year’s OHS $1,000 scholarship recipients were Alexander Pena, who will major in Crop Science and Madison Morgan, majoring in Education. Both students plan to attend California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.
When club members are not busying themselves with beautification projects around town and neighboring areas, a small committee busies themselves working on planning for the Stanislaus County Fair.
This year marks the fourth year the Oakdale Garden Club will be a participant, with a 10x10 outdoor display. The club will be among other local garden groups in the theme related horticulture competition. Flower Power is the theme chosen by Fair Officials for the 2016 judging.
“The Fair picks the theme and we decide what to do with the space,” Taylor’s wife and fellow club member Marilyn said.
The president indicated the group begins growing plantings months out, as soon as they learn of the fair theme.
“We have a great relationship with Morris Nursery in Riverbank and P&L in Escalon,” he said, adding that their cooperation in the way of discounts allows the club to reserve funds for other projects as well as their scholarships.
Now in her third year as a member, Judy Little shared she enjoys working on the Fair display, as well as being active with the area group.
“It’s a great group,” the newer member said. “So many creative people. My mother had a back yard habitat. She loved to garden. For me it’s a sort of coming home to honor my mother. It’s a good community of people and doing something I love.”
The Oakdale Garden Club is open to community members of Oakdale as well as outlying area gardeners looking for a place to connect with others sharing their interest. For additional information call 848-8746, visit www.oakdalegardenclub.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.