Haddonfield Garden Club and Crows Woods Gardeners gear up for spring with activities

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As the weather starts to finally warm up, Haddonfield is starting to see little signs of spring. From Warwick Road to downtown Haddonfield to the North Branch Cooper River, birds are chirping, trees are flowering, and daffodils are blooming.

This time of year is just right for local organizations such as the Crows Woods Gardeners and Haddonfield Garden Club, as spring is their time to plant and grow flowers and veggies. Both have and are hosting a lot of events in Haddonfield, helping not only to beautify the town, but also to help the environment as a whole.

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“Gardens help the earth and help the community. If everyone had a garden, the earth would be a better place,” Paul Schmeck, president of Crows Woods Gardeners, said.

The Crows Woods Gardeners held its opening day on April 18 at Crows Woods fields where members, families and friends of the community came to help by planting trees, cleaning up old plants and getting the plots ready to grow vegetables in the summer and fall. According to Schmeck, there were a list of accomplishments they wished to achieve, and by working together, they were able to get it all done.

“That is one of the great things about Crows Woods. It really is a community garden, where everyone chips in together as a community,” Schmeck said. “It’s a very nice experience to see everyone working together.”

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To help the community in return, the gardeners of Crows Woods take all the excess produce they grow and donate it to the Cherry Hill Food Bank. There is a bin at the field that the gardeners can put their produce in and take to the food back.

“That is something we thought was really important to do. We wanted to give back,” Schmeck said.

The Crows Woods Gardeners also participated in Haddonfield’s Earth Day on April 25. Normally held at Crows Woods, this year it was held in Kings Court where the members provided children with small flower pots they could decorate, add soil to and plant a sunflower seed.

“It is a good tradition that we like to keep up,” Schmeck said.

May is when the gardeners will be busy preparing their plots for the season. According to Schmeck, the group used to have a waiting list for a plot. But a few years ago, they were able to get more plots and expand, so at this point they are evened out. However, he said if someone was still interested, he would try his best to get them a plot. To learn more, contact Schmeck at HAUSCAP@aol.com.

Crows Woods Gardeners also welcome donations of long-unused shovels, rakes, hoes and other garden equipment. Donations may be placed under the canopy at the gardens in the Crows Woods complex.

For the Haddonfield Garden Club, its events for spring are just beginning.

“May is a great time to check out the Garden Club. You can buy some plants, get some advice, get some Mother’s Day arrangements and come to our club’s lecture, which should be really great,” Lorrie Hart, the vice president of the Haddonfield Garden Club, said.

Starting the first week of May, members of the club will beautify the town by putting together planters and pocket gardens as well as providing floral arrangements for the library. From there, it will continue to take care of the plants and flowers throughout the season.

May 9 is the Garden Club’s annual Herb & Perennial Sale. At the sale, they will have herbs, spices, perennials and floral arrangements just in time for Mother’s Day. They will also be selling a variety of milkweeds, which are known to be great pollinators for monarchs, which stop here along their migration paths.

“A lot of stuff will be going on that day. It will surely be a fun day in Haddonfield,” Hart said.

The Herb & Perennial Sale is the club’s only fundraiser for the year, supporting all club activities as well as scholarships for children who pursue environmentally-friendly majors. Last year, the club was able to give two $1,000 scholarships.

For its next meeting in May, the club will have Kent Russel, a nationally recognized celebrity gardener. In his presentation, called “Eye Candy: Spectacular Displays for Limited Spaces,” he will provide education as well as entertainment, teaching about plant materials and how to create “eye-catching drama” with such materials. He will also be selling his own plants that are known to be unique and of designer quality. The event will be held on May 12 with light refreshments at noon and a half hour meeting, followed by the speaker at 1 p.m.

“Everyone is welcome and it is free to the public. He really is hilarious,” Hart said.

The Garden Club has meetings usually on the second Tuesday of each month from September through June, where it usually has an interesting speaker. Most are open to the public. It also provides several garden therapy programs at the Mabel Kay House as well as helps with several Blue Star Memorial activities.

If you are interested in joining the Haddonfield Garden Club, come out to one of the club’s events or contact Hart at lorriejhart@gmail.com.

The object of the Garden Club is to encourage an interest in all aspects of gardening, horticulture and artistic use of plant material to promote the study of nature and the environment and to participate in related community projects.

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