Shenango Valley Gardeners plan tour
By LINDA M. LINONIS
Members of Shenango Valley Gardeners share a love of digging in the dirt and watching plants grow and flourish.
They’ll be sharing the fruits and flowers of gardening chores during a Tour of Treasures planned Sunday. The tour showcases various types and styles of gardens and how innovative and dedicated gardeners have turned city plots into scenic oases.
Recently, Sally Giordano, president; Babs Quincy, recording secretary; and Dr. Martha Bruce, member, discussed the club. The organization is the merger of Shenango Valley Community Gardeners and Shenango Valley Gardeners.
Because the groups shared common goals, Giordano said, the merger was a natural course. It took place this year. “We can do so much more as one organization,” she said.
The 25 members live in the Shenango Valley. The club meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of the month at the Community Library of the Shenango Valley.
Members plot, plant, tend and harvest their own gardens, which are vegetable, flower, herb and ornamental, or a combination of these. They also adhere to their motto, “Growing a Greener Valley
... One Garden at a Time,” through community efforts.
“We plant and maintain a flower garden at Bicentennial Park [in downtown Sharon],” Giordano said.
Bruce added, “We also encourage our neighborhoods to garden. Decorative plants make quite a difference.”
The women said the gardening group is involved in community gardens. Penn State Shenango Community Garden, which is on the garden tour, showcases a mix of vegetable plants, flowers, herbs and fruit shrubs.
A children’s garden at First Presbyterian Church lays the groundwork for future gardeners. “It’s about teaching children about growing vegetables and eating healthy,” Giordano said.
At Musser Elementary School, a large garden involves community residents, a 4-H group and a day care. Youths who must perform community service help out in the garden. At Hickory High School, the Green Team there tends a garden.
Farrell Community Garden is another neighborhood growing project, and the Ark House, a transitional home for women, has a small garden for residents to try their hands at working the soil.
“It all shows what can be done with gardens in an urban setting,” Bruce said.
“Vacant lots could be turned into community gardens,” Giordano said.
Bruce added, “It’s something organized and useful.”
When Bruce tackled her yard 29 years ago, she said it was “a miserable weed patch.” Through planning, time and effort, she transformed the city lot. “It’s about seeing the possibilities” she said.
Bruce, administrator of the Adopt a School program in Youngstown, said the Men’s Garden Club of Youngstown mentors young gardeners at Paul C. Bunn Elementary School. The club helped students establish a garden.
Quincy and her husband, Tom Amundsen, have created a peaceful paradise at their home in Hermitage. “You name it and we’ve got it,” Quincy said about the array of plants.
A hops-covered gazebo offers a shaded vantage point to their Mexican-themed courtyard. “I can’t explain it, but work in the garden isn’t work to me, it’s fun,” Quincy said.
The gardening club also sponsors various educational programs.