A Garden For All: Our champion neighbors to the east
It was a debate between my brother and I a few years ago: when choosing plants for your garden, do you focus on long-blooming plants to enjoy over an extended period of time? Or, do you cater to the individual plants that dominate the garden for a special showing for a limited time only, like Rhododendrons, for example.
When the Rhodies are in bloom, they rule the garden ~ but is it better than a subtle long bloomer?
I’m always looking to the garden for a good metaphor, and The Inland Empire Gardeners (TIEG) are both the long bloomers, and the champions of the garden club scene. While their enthusiasm and generosity lasts throughout the year, their big annual show is on this coming weekend. Gardeners unite!
The driving force behind this club are the many volunteers that are willing to pitch in, and it is The Sisters too. Well, I call them The Sisters, it makes them sound like action heroes: a three person team that hold down the lead jobs of the club, that make it possible for the rest of the group to do “the good work” of volunteering and contributing. It’s a fabulous system that just works.
TIEG’s enthusiasm is contagious and their organizational skills are admirable – they have to be – the club is somewhere around 400 in number. They have met every month since 1994, they publish a monthly 10-page newsletter that has won national awards, and they maintain their own Web site and blog – in their spare time!
Their countless events throughout the city include charity work for the hungry, abused children, the YMCA, foster kids and the Humane Society (I’ve probably missed some). They have a club library, an email group and even more groups within the groups. Yes, there is a place for everybody and every type of gardening.
But this weekend is their champion event: 250 vendors will set up at the Spokane Community College for Saturday May 9, and it’s all about gardening, baby!
Local growers, local art, seminars, demonstrations, music, shows, food and much more are jam-packed into to one fun-filled day. And with free parking and free admission, how can you lose?
So, come out and play with us this Saturday! Come checkout the celebration that this humble garden club has put together for all to enjoy. And, come by and say hi to America’s only complete Miniature Garden Center: Two Green Thumbs.
The Inland Empire Gardeners: http://www.tieg.org