On a deck at the Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park, surrounded by flowers, trees and greenery, past Grapevine Garden Club presidents Joetta King and Pam Braak talk about the club that they said has come a long way from when it first formed 90 years ago.
“We’re one of the fastest-growing garden clubs in Texas,” said King, who joined the club in 1985 and now serves as the club’s historian.
When the club formed in 1932, it had 25 members. Today, it has 255, according to King and Braak.
The nonprofit Grapevine Garden Club helps North Texas residents connect with other nature lovers, attend relevant educational lectures and work to beautify the community.
“We’re not all residents of Grapevine,” said Braak, the club’s vice president of communications. “We include anyone in the area that has an interest in gardening, conservation, birds [and more].”
King said anyone who loves nature, regardless of age, is encouraged to join the club.
“We have some children that are members with their parents and grandparents,” King said. “Our oldest member is 90 years old—she’s as old as the club.”
King said the club has grown quickly because of its education programs. Expert speakers at the club’s monthly meetings teach about a variety of topics, such as light pollution’s effects on birds or monarch butterfly migration patterns.
The structure of the club meetings has changed a bit over the last 90 years, King and Braak said. The earliest club members were not just “little ladies having tea,” but both men and women with the common goal of beautifying the community.
“It was influential members of the community,” King said. “A minister, a postman, a librarian, a banker... all with that common goal.”
As times shifted, the garden club entered an era where floral design became more of a focus, with the annual flower show taking center stage, King said.
“It was a social event for the community, with refreshments and probably around 250 guests,” King said.
Around 1985, King said the club returned to its original purpose: landscape beautification and improvements to the community. Club members help by landscaping medians throughout Grapevine, among other projects.
Since 1985, the Grapevine Garden Club has given out $145,500 in scholarships to 75 Grapevine-Colleyville ISD graduates.
Money for the scholarships comes from club dues—$30 per year for one member and $35 for families—and the annual Grapevine Garden Club Plant Sale, which was held April 23.
The plant sale takes place each spring, and members sell plants from their own gardens. It is the club’s largest fundraiser.
“We’re not afraid to get our hands dirty,” Braak said. “So we can help our community as much as we can.”
More information on the Grapevine Garden Club and the Heritage Park Botanical Gardens can be found on the club's website, www.grapevinegardenclub.org.
Grapevine Garden Club meeting location: Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 S. Main St., Grapevine. Meeting times: fourth Tuesday of every month at 9:30 a.m.
Grapevine Garden Club celebrates 90th anniversary
Joetta King (left) and Pam Braak, former Grapevine Garden Club presidents, said that anyone who loves nature is encouraged to join the club. (Samantha Van Dyke/Community Impact Newspaper)