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Planting seeds and reaping success

Written by Nicholas Serrano. Posted in Featured, Home & Garden

Published on April 03, 2012 with No Comments

Spring is here, the flowers are beginning to bloom, trees are regaining their leaves and for gardening enthusiasts around the country, it’s time to begin sowing the seeds.

For local residents with a green thumb, the Portage Garden Club is a fabulous place to meet fellow gardeners, share information and participate in gardening activities.

Founded in May 1964 by 21 original members known as the “Portage 21,” the Portage Garden Club is affiliated with statewide gardening organizations such as the Central Regional Garden Club, the Garden Club of Indiana, Inc. as well as nationally established groups such as the National Garden Club.

Gardens can come in all shapes and sizes, and with varied purposes. From gardens without edible plants, called ornamental gardens, to all-organic farms bursting with produce, each individual garden is as unique and special as the person who tends it.

“When you plant the seeds in the ground and watch the lovely ladies (flowers) grow, it’s amazing,” said Yolanda Josleyn, club treasurer.

Gardening is a great way to release stress and an opportunity to spend some time outdoors. It’s both soothing for the gardener and good for the environment as well.

For club secretary Tamara Hall, gardening offers a pleasant escape from the calamities and worries of life.

 “When I spend time in my garden, I go into my ‘zen.’ It’s exercise and mental relaxation,” said Hall. “When I have troubles in my life, I go out into my garden, my troubles wash away.”

Someone interested in gardening could spend their entire life studying, researching and learning about this ancient activity. Aside from books, pamphlets, websites and attending seminars over gardening, an excellent way to gather information about gardening is becoming part of a club or community. Josleyn even goes so far as to acknowledge that she’s learned more from the gardening club than she has from most books she’s read.

 The Portage Garden Club offers individual gardeners an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals eager to help each other out in a friendly and fun atmosphere.  Sharing ideas is one of the special aspects of the club.

“The part that’s most beneficial to me is the friendships. You have something in common that you both like and, after a while, you’re in the club and you become friends. Just like any other group, we started with the mutual interest in gardening, and then sooner or later you’re sharing a friendship,” said Karen Hix, club parliamentarian.

“It’s a good place to ask questions and a great melting pot of information and opinions. Gardeners share a lot of information. Not all gardeners are the same, were versatile in our interests. We’re all different and we combine it and come together to share what we’ve all learned.”

The Portage Garden Club participates and hosts a variety of community events and projects throughout the year including trips to arboretums and botanical gardens and civic improvements such as the establishment of the Gilbert Park Memorial.  It also hosts fund raising events throughout the year such as its Spring Plant sale coming up on May 5.

“We always get a lot of compliments about our plant sales. We grow them ourselves; we nurture them and offer local plants that grow around here,” said Hix.

The Portage Garden Club is open to the public, ages 16 years or older, after attending two regular meetings. Annual dues are $14. For more information, call 219-759-1025.

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