The Cooper-Young Garden Club has had a wonderful year.  It’s time for the 2021 Garden Club Recap!

It’s hard to believe that our club is only six years young because we’ve been incredibly industrious. I’m often reminded of the famous quote, 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

We started the year learning all about zoom……there were more than a few glitches, but thankfully, we were able to resume in-person meetings this summer.  Everyone was thrilled to get together again, sharing friendship, garden tips, and of course, delicious food. Keep your fingers crossed that we can continue to do so.

Some of the speakers included:  Bill Dickerson on “Growing Roses”, Daniel Grose on “Native Plants, Marissa Mender-Franklin on “Arranging Cut Flowers”,  Amaranthus Hayden on “Growing Fruit Trees, and Susie Askew on “Creating Beautiful Window Boxes”, If you want to see specific speakers or topics, contact Connie Arduini at [email protected]

In June, we planted and donated 2 red buckets planted with tomatoes and herb plants to the fire stations on Union and Lamar.

In October, Sharron and I happily chose winners of the 4Points Neighborhood Yard of the Month Contest. Great Job, Tyra Cleasant, for all your hard-work.

In May, we held our annual Garden Walk. It was resounding success and we heard so many positive comments from our 1200+ visitors.  Our visitors came from as far away as Cincinnati, Oh, Texarkana, TX,  Des Moines, IO, Fredericksburg, VA, Knoxville, TN,  and Connecticut. Closer to home, visitors drove from Little Rock, Lakeland, Eads ,Tupelo, Birmingham, Germantown, Cordova, Collierville, Hernando, Rossville, Louden, Nashville, Millington,  and all parts of Memphis.

We had 101+ gardens, 24 more than 2019.  Add in new vendors, speakers, educational booths and 6 musicians.  What started as a simple garden tour in 2016 has become a full-blown garden extravaganza!

Of course, the goals of the Garden Walk are to beautify our neighborhood one garden at a time and raise monies to beautify and improve our community.  Each year we identify areas to tackle.

This year’s projects are:

  • Southern Avenue Beautification Project
    • Club Member Christine Conley is spearheading this project.  The goal is to beautify eight blocks from East Parkway to Cooper along our Southern Avenue gateway.  Daniel Grose and his team are designing landscaping plans using native plants that can handle the hot, dry conditions of the sidewalk hell strips. We also to plan to add 8 horse trough planters filled with evergreens for height and year round color. It will define our neighborhood boundary and  visually block the traffic view. The club is using profits from our garden walk to fund the prep work, design, and purchase of the native plants.  Club members will help plant, weed, and water the first year.  If we do it right, yearly maintanence will be manageable.
  • Neighborhood Historic Signs
    • Spearheaded by  Bill Patton and Kim Halyak. The goal is to place 10-15 historic signs around the neighborhood, showcasing important events, persons, or historic buildings.  More information to come later.
  • Safety Mirrors in dangerous intersections.  More information to come later.

Each of these projects will take time, money, and club power to pull off.  Thankfully, our current membership is 44. What makes our club so dynamic, I believe, are the creative, diverse members. Our members’ ages range from 20’s-70’s, men and women, and beginners to master gardeners.  Everyone brings different talents and interests to the mix. Welcome all members! We look forward to your input this year. 

If you’d like to join our club or haven’t paid your dues yet, go here:  https://donorbox.org/cygw-membership

Looking back on not only this year’s accomplishments but over these past six years, the club members have much to be proud of. Please thank them when you see them.

2016-2021 Accomplishments:

  • Monthly garden meetings
  • Annual Garden Walk
  • Neighborhood Level 3 Arboretum 
  • Tree reimbursement program
  • Ginkgo Trees weeding + mulching
  • Container Pots at neighborhood entrances + CYBA office
  • Decorate gazebo for holidays
  • Adopted Spanish Memorial Park
  • Spanish Memorial Park tree plantings and clean-ups
  • “Yard of the Month” , “Business of the Month” and “Beauty Grows Here” signs
  • Garden website www.cooperyounggardenclub.org
  • Fund “C Y We Beautify” Grants
  • Garden Speaking engagements around town
  • Giant Bug Hotel” installed at Peabody Elementary School
  • Peabody Elem. Garden Club partnership
  • Purchased camera for CYNW Program
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade Participant
  • Sponsored 4-H Club Student for garden camp
  • Contribution to TFGC Racheff House

As you can see, our club belies the image of the matronly gardener with sun hat and sneakers. We love to have fun and we love to make the space around us beautiful. Come join our dynamic group, anyone interested in gardening is always welcome.

Let’s make 2022 bloom in peace and beauty!