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Garden Club gears up for nursery tours & programs

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POSTED September 25, 2012 1:20 a.m.

The annual Manteca Garden Tour is more than seven months away. But the private Edens that will be highlighted are already lined up.

“We’re really excited. The houses are all beautiful,” Rita Canales, who is reprising her previous year’s role as president of the organization that’s been serving Manteca for more than half a century, told members during their first meeting of the new club season.

The last garden in the itinerary will be at Woodbridge at Del Webb where refreshments and drawing for door prizes will take place.

The tour is the club’s only major fund-raiser during the year with the money going back to the community in the form of scholarships, beautification projects such as part of the landscaping of the newly renovated and improved Manteca Library Park and around the Veterans Memorial in front of the library on West Center Street, and the Memorial Rose Garden at the Senior Center on Cherry Lane, among many others.

The popular garden tour, though, is not the only project on the club’s pipeline. Different gardening topics and presentations are scheduled at each monthly meeting. The November 19 meeting, for example, will be hosted by Silverado Nursery in Ripon where members will be able to tour the garden center at the same time. In October, the program will feature a guest speaker from P&L Nursery in Escalon who will be talking about container gardening.

At the September meeting held last week in the John McFall Room of the Manteca Public Library where regular meetings are held, the special program presentation was on the George Perry & Sons, its history and everything one wants to know about watermelons and pumpkins including how to select the ripest and sweetest watermelon at the grocery store. Guest presenter was Marlene Champlin who is in charge of marketing at Perry & Sons in Manteca.

Other club activities offered, described by Canales as “above and beyond our regular meetings,” are various field trips such the two upcoming field trips in October - one is a tour of Fredrik’s Nursery on South Austin Road, to be followed on the same day by a tour of Poots’ Cactus on East Highway 120 in Ripon. Lunch that day will be hosted by club vice president Paula Elias.

The club always welcomes new members. The latest to join the club’s membership roster were the half-dozen guests who attended the September meeting at the library.

Joining Canales and Elias as the club’s new officers are Elizabeth O’Fallon, treasurer, and Pamela Dias, secretary.

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