Are you in need of helpful advice on one, many, or all aspects of gardening? Would you like to meet fellow garden enthusiasts? Join the club! Garden clubs, or horticultural societies, are found throughout the Province and are as varied in nature as the gardens that enhance the landscape and as unique as each individual who helps to shape them. If you do not yet enjoy the benefits of a club in your community, here are some easy guidelines for starting one. If you already belong to a club, you may find ideas for keeping it fresh and attracting new members. And, remember, the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs (NSAGC) is ready to help!
Garden clubs can have as few or as many committees as are needed to support their activities. Committees can consist of one member or many. Clubs can start off with just a few committees required to function and then add others as the need arises. The following are committees that clubs might consider putting in place.
Executive Committee – Is made up of the President, Past-President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and other committee chairs. This committee provides direction for the club.
Program Committee – Seeks out speakers for your meetings, arranges any equipment that the speaker might require and introduces and thanks the speakers. The Committee should do some long-term planning (up to one year in advance) to organize for specific guest speakers in order to ensure that the speakers you would like to have are available when you want them.
Refreshments/Social Committee – Looks after refreshments during the social part of the club meetings.
Membership Committee - Usually one person who signs up new members, maybe greets people at the door, gives out tickets for door prizes, has a sign-up sheet at the meetings to record attendance, collects the dues, and updates member information.
Members-At-Large Committee - Members who attend executive meetings and fill in when and where needed.
Plant Sale Committee – Organizes and runs plant sales, which clubs often put on to raise funds for their activities.
Garden Committee(s) – Organizes members to work in gardens that the club maintains.
Publicity Committee - Sends notices to the local newspapers and community papers to advertise information on upcoming meetings, speakers and events. This committee would also typically update the club Facebook page or web site and submit articles about club activities to the NSAGC newsletter.
Yearbook Committee - If the club keeps a yearbook, this committee would update it on a yearly basis and make sure that it is taken to the district meetings and NSAGC conventions.
Flower Show Committee - If the club hosts flower shows a committee is required to organize and run the show.
Special Events Committee – Could arrange for club bus tours, special workshops, or events your club wants to participate in like the NSAGC District Meeting.
Nominating Committee - Usually the past-president is responsible for finding replacements when members of the Executive Committee resign.
Although not required by NSAGC, the new club may consider establishing a Memorandum of Association and By-laws. These provide a framework for how the club will function. They define the club's objectives, the management structure, and responsibilities of the executive and committee chairpersons. A sample Memorandum of Association and By-laws may be found under the Societies Section of the Registry of Joint Stocks Companies website.
NSAGC is registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies, but it does not require that clubs be registered.
There are a few benefits to a club of being registered with Joint Stocks:
The initial setup and annual requirements by the Registry of Joint Stocks, as well as forms required, may be found under the Societies Section of their website.
NSAGC is the coordinating body for organized gardening groups in the province. It is made up of garden clubs and horticultural societies, as well as affiliate clubs, from all areas of Nova Scotia. Garden clubs and horticultural societies are groups with general garden interests. Affiliate clubs are specialty plant or garden groups. The main objective of the NSAGC is to promote the general landscape beautification of the Province of Nova Scotia, by promoting community beautification and encouraging the formation of horticultural groups (garden clubs) which will share interest in all phases of home gardening and ornamental horticulture in their areas.
The NSAGC is guided by an elected board of directors, whose members come from the different districts of Nova Scotia. The district representative, also known as the District Director, serves as the link between the individual clubs and the NSAGC board. The districts of the NSAGC are Cape Breton, Eastern, Central, Halifax, Valley, Western and the South Shore. Within each district, local clubs provide the outlet for budding gardeners, amateurs and professionals alike. There are over sixty local garden clubs, horticultural societies and affiliate clubs throughout the province.
The NSAGC is a registered organization under the Registry of Joint Stock Companies under the Province of Nova Scotia and has an approved Memorandum of Association and By-laws. The Memorandum of Association and By-laws define the objectives and structure of the Association. A copy of these documents is available from the Secretary of the NSAGC.
The advantages of joining NSAGC are many. The primary benefit is being able to meet with other garden clubs in the Province to exchange information and ideas. The NSAGC provides the following additional benefits to their membership:
Working together as a group, the Association is able to provide its members with: