Non-profit Spotlight: Winter Haven Council of Garden Clubs
The Winter Haven Garden Center, located at 715 3rd St. NW in Winter Haven (across from Lake Silver and next to the new Trailhead Park) is run by the Winter Haven Council of Garden Clubs. The beautiful Gene Leedy-designed building has just been refurbished, and has been the site for many weddings, private parties, civic meetings, and garden club activities for more than 40 years.
The Council of Garden Clubs is comprised of three local garden clubs that serve the Winter Haven community and beyond. All three clubs are members of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs. Each club has its own board and chooses the outreach it wishes to do each year.
The Council will sponsor its inaugural Winter Haven Garden Center Vintage Market on Saturday, Sept. 28. This free, non-profit event will feature more than 30 vendors from the local area. Antiques, cottage glam, vintage fashions and garden décor are just a few of the many items that will be available for sale. There will be fun activities for all ages. Proceeds will benefit the Garden Beautification Project.
Plants will also be available and the council will have beautiful, hardy mums grown in Naples, Florida, for sale. A café will be provided by Sweet Magnolias Tea Bistro and speakers will present talks on herb gardening, container gardening, and how to “live the vintage lifestyle.”
In addition to council activities, member clubs may choose to do their own fundraisers.
Bouquet Garden Club has a fundraiser fashion show and silent auction each October. This year’s theme will be “Fly Me to the Moon” and will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The event will feature two shows (noon and 6 p.m.), include lunch and dinner respectively. Tickets are $25 and go on sale Sept. 1. For tickets call 863-293-7638.
The Gardenia Garden Club hosts “Pilgrimage,” a house and garden tour offered every other year. The club features beautiful private homes and gardens in the Winter Haven area and provides all the floral décor. Gardenia also provides the floral décor for the annual Winter Haven Hospital gala.
Camellia Garden Club, the third member club of the council, also provides the Winter Haven community with garden- related outreach.
With the funds raised, the three clubs support such varied interests as Snively Elementary School’s First Start program, Keep Polk County Beautiful, Keep Winter Haven Beautiful, Wekiva Youth Camp, Avon Park Correctional Facilities Garden Therapy program, the Humane Society, FFGC’s Penny Pines Project, and many others.
The Winter Haven Council of Garden Clubs members believe the Winter Haven Garden Center is a jewel in the 863 area. The center is available for rental. Call Penny Green, the Office Manager, for more details at 863-293-7638.
The public is invited to the Winter Haven Garden Center Vintage Market on September 28. For more information visit www.WHGC.Synthasite.com.