Horticultural Report to Remember
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Frisco Garden Club 85 Years of Gardening
This year begins our 85th year of gardening together. I have chosen two flowers that have a connection with our club The “Chrysanthemum” and the “Iris”.
I will also share some facts about the Frisco Garden Club that may surprise you. Most of the information was furnished from notes and remembrances of Roxanne Goodman, Jane Whitledge and Vivian McCallum.
First up… In April of 1932, two women from McKinney joined 13 women in the Frisco area for the sole purpose of starting a garden club.Now to put this in perspective, I think you have to know what was going on in 1932…
The population of Frisco is 618 people. We are farming outpost connected to the railroad. A dusty, somewhat plain city, trying very hard to grow up. Add to this picture, a deep country-wide depression with 25% unemployment.
With all this going on around them why would 15 women start a garden club?
The needs in 1932 were not unlike today…
Supporting One Another… Sharing Plant Information…
Impacting the Beauty of Frisco…
In the beginning, our club met in each other’s homes and shared lunch prepared by the hostesses of the month. During lunch the members were reacquainted with each other, this is the caring and social connections of this organization. If people needed help everybody rolled up their sleeves and pitched in. It was just what you did. We supported each other.
The early members shared plant information monthly in a program presented by a club member. During this same time our reputation as a “good garden club” was growing, even among bigger garden clubs in Plano and Dallas. We shared plant information and plant materials. Many of the early members were “seed savers”, because you did all you could with what you had.
Our membership was 30 with a waiting list. It was a privilege to be invited to become a member of the Frisco Garden Club. And our reputation continued to grow.
We had worked through the 30s and 40’s with other garden clubs and the Government Works Project to build flowerbeds along the major roads coming into and through the city.
During World War II we supported the victory gardens and showcased the vegetable production at our flower shows through the war years. We were known for the presentation of our extremely large chrysanthemums. Our club organized flower shows featuring “Mums” for flower lovers from surrounding towns all over North Texas.
In the early 50’s we offered Crêpe Myrtles and Texas Redbuds for sale to the citizens of Frisco. The cost of each tree was 40 cents. We donated collections of shrubs to the major municipal buildings in our fast growing city.
And We Continued to Beautify Frisco…
I spoke earlier of the chrysanthemum - it was our club flower.
• The Mum became our club flower because it was easy to grow from seed, inexpensive and it was a perennial, also it came in many colors and sizes.
• It brought a lot of interest to a garden without spending a lot of money.
• Petals of the chrysanthemum are actually florets bound together near the core to show as one flower bursting with vibrant color.
• Mums are well suited for container gardening in patios, along walkways and roads
• They also like to our dry soil because they do not like to have wet feet.
The chrysanthemum served as our club flower until 1955 when it was changed to the yellow iris.
• Irises grows well in most garden soil providing they are well-drained.
• The earliest to flower, blooms in February and March, followed by the dwarf forms and then the tall bearded varieties. It brought a new regal look to the garden early in the year.
• Iris are hardy perennials and are adaptive natives to this area.
• The iris will clump and multiply beautifully and create a tall vertical presence in the garden.
• It’s a very good flower to share. One of the reasons it was loved by the Frisco Garden Club.
In the late 1960s and through the 80’s the membership dropped to less than 14 members This was a result of members residing in surrounding towns and starting their own garden clubs. During this time The “Yard of the Month Club” was adopted in the 1970’s and continued for 20 years, highlighting beautiful gardens in the city.
The club experienced a period of slow growth through the 80s and 90s.
And we are happy to report today we have 80 members and the population of Frisco is 159 thousand people…the sleepy little town grew up and we are still…
Supporting, Sharing, Impacting!