Bonner Garden Club celebrates 50 years of growth, friendship
April showers bring May flowers. At least that’s what members of the Bonner Springs Garden Club hopes for as they enter an anniversary year.
This May, the Garden Club will celebrate 50 years of existence. Through that time there have been many changes in the club, but the members’ focus of wanting to learn everything they could about gardening remained the same.
“We were interested in gardening and thought it would be nice to have a club,” said Doranne Tewell, one of the club’s founders who is still a member. “We wanted to learn more and since we were all young mothers we did not know much about (gardening.)”
The club is a chapter of the national Garden Club and was established on May 24, 1960. Since that day the club has been meeting on the third Tuesday of each month and continues that schedule today.
Donna Schif, current club president, said the majority of the club’s activities include taking tours of area gardens. The rest of the members’ time is spent learning about gardening techniques, either from each other or master gardeners who visit as guest speakers.
“I just enjoy gardening and to simply be outside,” Schif said. “It just is relaxing. I enjoy the people.”
Each year the national club picks a theme and sets goals for each one of its chapters to attempt. Each chapter then creates a yearbook recording its activities, members and community outreach programs, such as maintaining the flower pots in Kelly Murphy Park and making them butterfly-friendly – a common national club goal.
The Bonner Springs club has won several awards for its yearbooks over the years and takes pride in showing off how the club has changed over the years.
Shelia Miller still has three of the yearbooks from 1987-1989 in which the cover was hand-drawn by the late Ernst Ulmer, a famous artist in the Kansas City area. Miller said for those three years, Ulmer’s wife was a member of the club, making the club’s yearbook covers extra special.
This year’s theme is daffodils and the club has already taken it upon itself to plant the flowers at the nursing home and senior living building in Bonner.
“I just love the outdoors,” Tewell said. “I love the flowers and I really enjoy the friendships I’ve made in the Garden Club.”
The club’s biggest annual event, the Bonner Springs Standard Flower Show, is also going to be a birthday celebration for the club’s anniversary.
The Flower Show will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 20, at the Bonner Springs Library Community Room. The show celebrates “50 Golden Years” and is open to the public with no charge for admission.
“I enjoy the flower show,” said Frances Haynes, another club founder. “I enter one to two arrangements a year but I enjoy going and seeing the different pieces brought in by other members.”
As the weather changes and the flower show nears, club members are looking forward to their most active season and continuing the traditions that were established 50 years ago.
“There’s nothing quite like seeing that first blossom in the spring,” Tewell said.
For more information about the club or about the upcoming flower show, call Miller at (913) 422-5191.