With a $1,000 grant from the National Garden Club Plant America program, the Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club recently replanted roses in Hansen Park.
The club came together Saturday, March 20, to replace 38 rose bushes. A group of 24 Garden Club members worked alongside three Livermore Landscape Maintenance employees to get the roses planted.
Wearing masks, the members worked in groups of two or three members from the same “social bubble.” Many of the members had received COVID-19 vaccines prior to the event.
“It went extremely well,” said Dana Boyd, Club co-chair. “We got all 38 rose bushes planted.”
The group was excited to have a little bit of socializing and see each other again even behind the masks, according to Boyd.
“It was the first day of spring, so we celebrated the first day of spring by planting these roses,” Boyd said.
The participants were able to get everything planted in three hours after a demonstration of how to plant the roses by Boyd’s Co-Chair, Gayle Pawloski.
Dana Boyd and Jeri Stark, Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club President, received the grant after working together to submit an application to the Plant America program.
“I got a phone call in December telling me that we had won it, and we got the full grant amount,” Stark said.
In order to qualify for the funding, the applicants had to commit to building the project with members of the community. Livermore Landscape Maintenance helped on Saturday, allowing the community engagement requirement to be reached.
“They come and cart stuff away, and they bring fertilizer; they do all kinds of stuff. They are extremely helpful,” Stark said.
The Garden Club accepted donated supplies and a discount on the roses from Jackie Williams-Cartwright, who owns Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore.
“(Williams-Cartwright) has been sort of a mentor since the beginning when someone first came to her and said I want to start a club,” Stark said.
Another community member and the owner of Western Garden Nursery, Aries Souto, helped secure donations of fertilizer.
As a 21-year club member and publicity chair, Dolores Bengtson participated in the replanting of the rose bushes at Hansen Park on Saturday.
Thanks to the donations of Suoto and Williams-Cartwright, the Livermore Amador Garden Club completed the project within budget, according to Bengtson. She also agreed with Stark that the Livermore Landscape Maintenance had been very helpful.
“I couldn’t tell you what a joy it has been these last few years and with this project working with them,” Bengtson said. “They have just been 100% cooperative and helpful.”
The City of Livermore asked the Garden Club to help maintain the garden at Hansen Park for about 10 years. Ever since then, the club gathers to garden at the park twice a month for what they call a “work party.”
The work parties continued during the pandemic but applied social distancing and masks to maintain safety.
“I love working on the different projects that we do,” Bengtson. “We take care of the roses, and that’s always a pleasure.”