Garden/Social Club History
The first meeting of the Garden Club was on September 17, 1974, at the home of Jo Criddle, the club’s first president. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a Garden Club to do landscaping and maintain the entryways and herb garden of the Radley Run Country Club; decorate the club house; and develop the gardening and decorating skills of the membership.
The club’s two charter members were Rosemary Wood and Marge Canby. Today, the club has more than 40 members actively engaged in various aspects of the club’s charitable, not-for-profit mission.
Plans were made to hold a Christmas Bazaar with weekly workshops to make Christmas decorations and hand-crafted items to sell at the bazaar. The first Christmas Bazaar was held on December 5, 1974. A volunteer offered to organize the first fashion show and luncheon to be held the same day. SO BEGAN THE FIRST CHRISTMAS BAZAAR, LUNCHEON AND FASHION SHOW WITH 300 ATTENDEES.
Other early projects included planting of spring bulbs on the country club grounds, landscaping of the Birmingham Road entrance, developing a library of gardening books, placing floral arrangements at the clubhouse, working on the Mansion House gardens, meeting with landscapers, planting flowers, and planting flower boxes around the clubhouse. Meetings and events included speakers and demonstrations, as well as trips to the Philadelphia Flower Show and various gardens.
Throughout the years the Garden Club has planted numerous trees on the country club grounds to honor past Garden Club Presidents. We have also provided scholarships to students enrolled in horticulture and related programs at Penn State University, West Chester University, and the Williamson College of the Trades. In addition, we have donated money to local community projects. In the past three years, more than $20,000 has been raised to fund the scholarship program through a variety of efforts, including the annual Fashion Show & Luncheon, now in its 49thyear.
Note: Margie Schwartz did the research and writing of the initial history of the garden club in 2014.