Country Garden Club History
Established October 27, 2012
On Wednesday, October 27, 2012, a group of Hunterdon County residents met at the home of Michele Liana in Tewksbury Township to discuss our common interest in the love of “Gardening” and decided to form a new garden club.
The purpose of the organization would be to stimulate and educate the public in the knowledge and practice of conservation, environmental awareness, horticulture, and the artistic use of plant materials. At this first meeting, there was sixteen present.
We discussed suggestions for the club’s name, what we would like to achieve and decided our first project would be to decorate and donate a Christmas tree for the 4th Annual Festival of Trees held during “Dickens Days” in Clinton, NJ. Our tree was named “Peace for Christmas”. Bids went up to $80.00 to benefit the Red Mill in Clinton. The public voted our tree the best large tree.
Our second meeting was held at Michele Liana’s home on November 14, 2012. We decided the name of our club would be, “Country Garden Club”. We agreed our membership fee would be $5.00 a month. Michele Liana was elected President of the club.
We needed a place to hold monthly meetings. Pat Morse spoke to Adam Ambeilli, owner of Custom Alloy in High Bridge, who allowed us to utilize his training building for our meetings on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Our first meeting at Custom Alloy took place on February 27th, 2013.
The Club decorated and donated a Victorian Wreath for the 5thAnnual “Dickens Days” in Clinton, NJ in December of 2013. The wreath was voted Best Wreath.
As we started our third year as a club, Custom Alloy could no longer host our meetings. Mary Ellen Ikenson’s daughter, Melanie, a member of the High Bridge Emergency Rescue Squad, was instrumental in arranging for the club to hold future meetings at the Emergency Rescue Squad Building on Main Street in High Bridge for $35.00 per meeting, but we needed to change our monthly meeting date to the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Two new members joined, Bobbi Godleski and Gay Orfe. The club had 21 members as of June 2014.
In June of 2014, the club received two awards from the Garden Club of NJ. We received recognition and a certificate for the planting and maintaining of the gardens at the Red Mill Museum and the Whitehouse Station Library. Our Yearbook also received an award.
In June of 2015, the Club received a $200 award from the Garden Club of New Jersey for the continued maintenance of the Red Mill Museum and Whitehouse Station Library gardens and a certificate with a gold shield for the 2014-2015 Yearbook. The club had 23 members as of June 2015.
December 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Club members chose to share the holidays with families in need. With that idea and working with School Nurses in local schools, Club members purchased gift cards which were then divided between three different families each of those years. To date, gift cards totaled $3,920.
2016 – 2017 was a very successful year. The Garden Club of NJ presented the following awards to the Cub’s President, Michele Liana: the Moorestown Garden Club Trophy for “supporting, managing and working for a community garden outside the Club which included partnering with the Boy Scouts to build and plant a community garden; the Thomas Turner Cook Memorial Trophy was awarded for outstanding achievement in the area of conservation for planting and maintaining a butterfly garden at the Red Mill Museum Village and for planting pollinator-friendly planters at the Hunterdon Art Museum; the Florence S. McNeil Membership Participation Trophy was awarded to a club with less than 50 members for having the highest percentage of membership participation in state events; a Certificate of Merit with Gold Seal for an Excellent Yearbook and one for a Garden Club with a Membership Less than Fifty having the highest percentage increase in new members.
We are a newly established garden club and we are always looking for new members.
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