When it comes to social gatherings in El Dorado, many things come to mind: dances, craft fairs and festivals are probably what most would think first. If you were to ask Faye Shull what her favorite social activity is, she would simply say, “Gardening.”
Shull is one of the remaining original members of the El Dorado Gardening Club, which was started in the fall of 1999 by a group of five individuals in Butler County.
“In spring of 2000, after we had our first meeting, we held our first garden tour,” said Shull. “We brought a sign-up sheet just to see if anyone was interested in forming a club.”
Soon after their first tour, the club started getting lots of response from potential members.
The club, which now boasts almost 40 members, meets on the first Monday of every month and has been a host to many different activities.
During the winter, the group meets to hear different speakers, covering topics from specialty ornamental grasses to proper irrigation. In the summers, the group has been known to host garden tours, take road trips to different gardens in Wichita and the surrounding area, and host progressive dinners in members’ gardens.
“I love seeing other people’s gardens and getting ideas,” commented Shull. “In our next meeting, we are making hypertufa pots.”
The gardening club does not just make crafts and dig in the dirt, they have been known to raise money for their surrounding communities as well. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the group’s garden tours and parties goes back into what they love most: gardening.
“We donate to the Leon school’s greenhouse every year,” said Shull, “They then supply us with plants for our projects. We’ve been doing that for six years now. We’ve also donated to museums and landscaping in Augusta. We beautify the community and teach people how to garden.”
The organization is home to several different degrees of gardening enthusiasts: from beginners to master gardeners, members of the rose and pond society and just ordinary people with green thumbs.
“Our club is very informational and very social. We have fun and overall we enjoy what we’re doing,” remarked Shull.
Shull explained there are no entry forms or hoops to jump through. The club is open to the public. To join, just show up to one of the meetings. The monthly dues are $1.
For more information, call 316-775-5973.