April 2010
What’s Your Cause?

Gardeners are a compassionate lot — many of them love to support their local communities. What are you doing to encourage them? It could bring new customers in your door!

Hilary, 26
Memphis, Tenn.

One of my favorite things about spring gardening is that I know that there will be a flock of kitties outside “ready to help.” They like to offer advice about which plant should go where and how much mulch I should spread out. I actually find them to be rather pesky when it comes to my garden, but the truth is that kittens have a very special place in my heart.

In Midtown Memphis, there are many exciting charitable things happening. Almost nothing makes me sadder than a homeless kitty, and there is an organization called “House of Mews,” a not-for-profit, cat-only shelter.

Last spring, my neighborhood gardening center, Midtown Nursery, offered truckloads of free mulch for the taking. All of the mulch available had been made from tree branches that were gathered during spring storms in Memphis. I was naturally delighted to have the opportunity to take part in anything free! Especially since that will benefit not only my flower beds but also my four-legged friends.

Gay, 63
Topeka, Kan.

Here in our town, we have a beautiful lake. The lake is cared for by the county. In the past, it was just a huge fishing lake, but in recent years many gardening groups have gotten together, and with the help and generosity of the local garden centers and volunteers, the lake has turned into a beautiful place to be.

My area of interest is water gardening. Our local water garden society does all the work on a huge three-tiered pond with several falls and meandering streams. They take care of the cleanup in the spring, the plantings, building of new areas and anything else that needs to be done. The area gets more beautiful every year. The walking trails sound of the water and the beauty of the ponds lend to the peaceful, healing atmosphere.

I am proud of a local area group that provides all of this with the labor of their backs and a sense of volunteerism. The garden centers in the area help with donations, and the ticket sales for yearly water garden tours. People taking care of people and the environment: It’s a beautiful thing.

Jayme, 34
Eugene, Ore.

I have not attended many charity events. However, we donate food every year to Food for Lane County, whose mission is to “alleviate hunger by creating access to food.” I can’t think of one business in our area that hasn’t supported Food for Lane County in one way or another. I plan to make time to volunteer at one of the local gardens that grows fresh edibles to the food bank all year round.

I know that several of our local nurseries support other community charities. One sponsored an on-site adoption program for Save the Pets. During the month of December, customers could adopt a homeless pet. In the end, many pets found loving homes, and the events increased awareness. Another nursery offers a fundraising program for local organizations that are under- or self-funded, such as churches, sports teams, marching bands and schools. Since 1988, this nursery has helped organizations in Lane County raise more than $500,000. Why not support a good cause and buy the plants you love? Makes sense to me.