Members are treated to a long drive through a mature wood to the beautifully landscaped and elegantly appointed meeting space made available to us by garden philanthropist Deen Day Sanders: Bellmere Garden House, located at 10777 Bell Road in Duluth.
At the door, membership chair Ricky Cox welcomes arriving members, dispenses name tags, collects dues, and keeps the attendance.
At the front of the room, Treasurer Dexter Henry and Ways and Means Chair Steve McMurtry coordinate the plant-sharing and fundraising activity for the meeting.
Julia Lyons stands by in the kitchen at the back of the room to accept contributions of savory and sweet foodstuffs and direct their final presentation for the buffet lunch.
There’s the call to order by President Scott Smith, followed by a quick trip through the business agenda and announcements of interest to the membership.
On then to the tasty portion of the get-together as members enjoy each other’s contributions to lunch.
After lunch, it’s the featured presentation, offering in-depth insight into an aspect of the genus hosta and companion plantings for shade gardening. Probing questions and comments from the audience enrich the sharing of expertise of the speaker.
Meetings often conclude with a bit of poetry or an anecdote from society historian Claudia Walker to rally perseverance over pests and pestilence or to encourage members to take satisfaction in their gardening successes.
The group gradually disperses as successful bidders claim their auction plants and pay up. Others might elicit recipes for specially appealing lunch items.
The room returns to order, name tags are turned in and reminders called out.
Then, folks head home, having enjoyed a thoroughly rewarding Saturday in the companionship of others who appreciate the diverse beauty of the genus hosta.