Eldon Garden Club members are passionate about flowers.

They are even more passionate about spreading community pride.

And the two go together.

Eldon Garden Club members are passionate about flowers.
They are even more passionate about spreading community pride.
And the two go together.

“We’re trying to promote gardening and flowers and community pride,” said Melissa O’Guin, who is co-chair of a “Planting Community Pride” project, along with Joan Eads. “That’s our main goal.”

“The idea is to better the community,” Eads said.

The project involves encouraging residents and business owners to plant pink petunias. The petunia is the city flower, adopted in 1929.

“We were told it was a pink petunia,” Eads said.

“When we found out we had a city flower, we thought it would be nice if we did something with it,’ O’Guin said.
So, in cooperation with the city, the Eldon Area Chamber of Commerce, EACBO (Eldon Area Community Betterment Organization) and local businesses and residents, the garden club is sponsoring a plant pink petunias campaign.

Or, people can plant any other flower, for that matter. The idea is to beautify the city.

“We want to encourage the city flower, but the garden club, we like any flower,” O’Guin said. “So put any flower out.”
The garden club, in cooperation with Shirk’s Produce and Greenhouse, has been taking pre-orders for petunias, which will be delivered the first of May.

“The advantage is you get a little bit of a discount (by pre-ordering),” O’Guin said.
The garden club will submit its orders to Shirk’s by the first of March.

“Whether you buy from us or not, we’re just trying to make a little bit of money for our projects,” Eads said.
The garden club’s major fundraiser is a plant and rummage sale on May 5.

One of the club’s past projects was the Blue Star Memorial at the entrance of the northeast side of the city.
“The Blue Star Memorial was a community effort,” Eads said.

The club is also in the process of developing a butterfly garden next to the Blue Star Memorial. The first phase of the project was funded last year by a grant from the Eldon Community Foundation.

The garden club has been around since the 1950s. But it used to be more of a social club. O’Guin credited Eads, the club’s past president, with transforming the club into a working club.

“When she became the president five years ago, she’s the one who got it to be more than a social thing,” O’Guin said of Eads, who was president for four years.

Jackie Bray is the club’s current president.

“She’s very passionate about things, too,” Eads said.

“We have a lot of club members who are,” O’Guin added.

The garden club meets the second Friday of the month, either at someone’s home or at a restaurant. The club has 20 members, all women.

“But it is open to men,” O’Guin said. “The men always get involved. Can you build this? Can you dig a hole there?”
And a person doesn’t have to know anything about gardening to become a club member.

“Before I joined, I didn’t know anything about flowers,” O’Guin said.

Education is part of the garden club’s mission.

“We not only plant flowers, but we try to have a special speaker of some sort (at the meetings),” O’Guin said.
For information about meetings or the pink petunias project, call O’Guin at 480-7994 or Eads at 280-0670.