IRON MOUNTAIN - As the Northwoods Garden Club enters its 25th year, Club President Marie Anderson offers insight into the philosophy guiding the group.
The Northwoods Garden Club has four main goals: the continuing beautification of the community; keeping gardens healthy throughout the season by weeding, fertilizing, watering, and mulching; supporting members with encouragement and continuing education; challenging one another and appreciating each individual's perspective.
"We work hard as a group," Anderson said. "We are dedicated, passionate, and experience joy in gardening."
Anderson explained that all plantings done by the club must be located on civic and community areas only, with signage identifying each site.
To date, the club has developed and maintains six sites: Chapin Pit berm, Dickinson County Courthouse, Carpenter Avenue and B Street green space, Kingsford City Hall, Kimberly Corner, and the gazebo on the corner of Balsam Street and Woodward Avenue.
Two new sites will be developed this summer - at the Dickinson County Chamber of Commerce and the entrance to Lake Antoine Park.
"These sites provide areas for gardeners to learn, plant, explore, and share," Anderson said.
She thanked past and active members for their efforts in promoting civic
beauty, and pointed out that site development is a "labor of love."
The undertaking begins by obtaining permission to utilize a specific site, followed by preparing the topography of the location by removal of existing foliage and debris, replenishing and fertilizing the soil, mulching and laying landscape material when necessary.
The choice of annual and perennial flowering plants and shrubs is guided by knowledge of plant species and their susceptibility to climate, soil conditions, maintenance concerns, and deer resistance, Anderson said.
The placement of plants to achieve an aesthetically pleasing design or pattern is also given a great deal of time and consideration, she said.
In conjunction with actual beautification projects throughout the community, Northwoods Garden Club encourages participation in local conferences, seminar presentations at the library, and invitational guest speakers at their meetings to enhance the members' enthusiasm and knowledge base.
To commemorate the club's 25 year anniversary in 2014, there will be a tree planting dedication early this summer at the gazebo on the corner of Woodward Avenue and Balsam Street.
This summer, Northwoods Garden Club members will also participate in the Fourth of July parade, and host their annual Strawberry Social, scheduled for July 13 at the gazebo site.
The club continues their tradition of "appreciating each other's gifts, talents and energies," Anderson reflected.
"Northwoods Garden Club consists of a group of women who continue to challenge me and each other to work very hard to achieve beauty and success in our gardening endeavors," she said.
The club is sustained through community business contributions and individual donations. Donations may be made to Northwoods Garden Club, P.O. Box 104, Iron Mountain, MI 49801.
For more information, visit www.northwoodsgardenclub.org.