WHERE FRIENDSHIP BLOOMS
Roots of the Sierra Desert Garden Club go back 40 years.
WRITTEN BY SARAH PARKS
PHOTOS BY SHAUN HUNTER
Members of the Sierra Desert Garden Club pose in the yard of Eyre’s Lake Tahoe home
Whether they’re learning about the best ways to grow and build their gardens, traveling to flower shows across the state, or engaging philanthropically with the community, the ladies from the Sierra Desert Garden Club have been making gardens beautiful since 1977.
For more than 40 years, the group has been preserving and growing plants, flowers, trees, and other plant life across Northern Nevada. Comprised of 25 women, the club began as a way to meet a growing need in the area.
“We had all these questions about gardening and what would grow here in Carson City,” says Jane Beckett, a legacy member and two-time president of the club. “The real purpose of getting together was sharing ideas about our gardens, having programs so we get more educated, and also, as a social group of ladies, to get together and share our gardening ideas.”
Foley shows off the tomatoes blooming in her garden
Once a month, this dedicated group meets to discuss planting topics such as how to use yard art and features to enhance your garden, what plants grow well in our Northern Nevada climate, and what plants are deer resistant.
They also regularly invite guest speakers and professionals to lead educational programs, including recent guest Dave Ruf, owner/manager of the Greenhouse Garden Center in Carson City, to provide new gardening perspectives and ideas to the members.
According to Beckett, the group does try to add philanthropy to its list of activities, and members try as often as possible to donate to the community. Throughout the club’s history, members have selected and planted the flowers around the Nevada State Capitol, and they’ve donated roses to the rose gardens at the Nevada State Museum and Carson-Tahoe Hospital Cancer Center. More recently, they bought a bench that will be in the newly renovated pavilion in Downtown Carson City.
Roses in the garden of Sierra Desert Garden Club member Carol Eyre’s Lake Tahoe home
The club meets once a month from March to December, and during their season, members learn about various gardening and landscaping techniques as well as all about the varieties of seasonal plants and flowers.
“If you’re interested in gardening, [a gardening club] is a great avenue to find out what grows in Nevada and learn tricks of the trade,” Beckett says. “It’s really just a great way to meet people and to grow your gardens.”
Although the club currently isn’t accepting new members, the Sierra Desert Garden Club encourages other budding gardeners to create their own clubs and learn all they can about gardening in our community.
Club member Sandy Foley presents the fruits of her gardening labors in her Carson City backyard garden
Freelance writer Sarah Parks is happy to learn new tips and tricks for building her own garden-in-progress and loves getting inspiration from others.