Shelby Gardeners Club member Mark Smith’s front yard is filled with purples, pinks, reds and more.

Shelby Gardeners Club member Mark Smith’s front yard is filled with purples, pinks, reds and more.

Photo provided by Ivy Schwartz


Shelby gardeners find themselves deep in their gardens during quarantine

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 4, 2020

 Ivy Schwartz’s garden is an oasis at home, filled with plants along a pathway with vines climbing about.

Ivy Schwartz’s garden is an oasis at home, filled with plants along a pathway with vines climbing about.

Photo provided by Ivy Schwartz

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The outbreak of the coronavirus kept many people at home for an unusual amount of time this past summer, and some found themselves filling the extra time with their love of gardening.

The Shelby Gardeners Club recently visited two of its members’ gardens to see what they had chosen to do during the shutdown. After being away from other members for so many months, they said it was a refreshing way to catch up with each other while also enjoying some natural beauty.

The club visited the gardens of members Mark Smith and Ivy Schwartz.

“COVID-19 has slowed us down. We now have time to smell the roses, find our silver linings and nurture what we do have within us and in our homes,” said Schwartz, who is the club’s publicist.

The tours were filled with flourishing plants and gardens that filled both the front and back yards.

Smith, who is a member of the garden club, said he has been gardening for years and that being able to garden during the quarantine provided a sense of stress relief.

“I have enjoyed gardening ever since the fourth grade when my grandmother showed me how to plant marigold seeds for a class project. Gardening is a great stress relief, especially in today’s environment. It is always a great feeling when someone passes by our home and comments on how nice the flowers look,” he said.

His front yard is full of luscious, bright flowers and leaf-filled plants with a beautiful walkway to the front door.

Ivy Schwartz’s garden includes sunflowers several feet high and walk-through garden paths with climbing vine plants and little garden decorations in every glance.

Many members spent several hours planning and designing the perfect gardens for their own homes. Touring gardeners were able to catch up and share their favorite parts of their gardens while also learning what others had chosen to do.

The Shelby Gardeners Club usually meets in person for special and interesting events for gardeners to learn more information about a chosen topic, but due to the virus, the club has had to cancel all events.

Members had the option to attend the tours if they felt safe, and few members had chosen not to attend.

The club’s events are free and open to anyone, and the club is always looking for people to join.

The Shelby Gardeners Club does charity work and hosts its garden walk fundraiser in July every other year, which is the club’s biggest fundraiser. The brick walkways, planted beds, gazebo, statuary and fairy garden in Heritage Gardens at 24 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue in Shelby Township are supported by the club’s fundraisers, ranging from the garden walk to craft and plant sales.

Part of the club’s mission statement is to promote interest in and knowledge of gardening, flower arrangement and ecology.

The club also hosts many free community lectures throughout the year at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center to educate and share gardening joy. To join the club, email lindapelloni@yahoo.com.

For more information about the club, visit www.shelbytwp.org/gardeners.   

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