Garden Club of Taos

Activity Value

  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021 2:26 PM
    Message # 10975150
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Which Los Jardineros activities do you enjoy the most or receive the most benefit?  How does the community value Los Jardineros?  Can our current activities be reorganized to use less volunteer hours but increase value to our members and/or the community?  Post your thoughts and ideas about activity value below

  • Thursday, September 09, 2021 8:29 AM
    Reply # 11026384 on 10975150
    1. I feel the garden club in Taos is historic and provides great benefit to the community as well as each of us who loves to garden and create beauty. 
    2.  The tour has been a social and educational highlight for years… providing funds for improvements that benefit the whole town and are charming to our visitors. 
    3. The idea to abandon either of these is premature. Covid has disrupted many groups but this will pass. 
    4. I recommend an ad be placed in the paper next Spring when gardening resumes.. (May?) and a call goes out to all who love nature snd gardening to come to an open … preferably outside, forum to draw new people into the club.
    5. The “Enchanted Trails of Taos”* may be a good model for how to conduct a forum and get a better handle on defining the membership and keeping enthusiasm for the club.
    6. There is no need to rush into dissolving …a good membership secretary can help provide a group of new members who will do the jobs. 
    7. Although I think the club meetings were good in the past, I think the winter months are a challenge, and more emphasis needs to be put on how winter is addressed… ( should you even meet? Perhaps a group of smaller greenhouse tours… like the gardens of this summer snd last?, or a chance to-really know our professional Landscsper’s and garden centers ( w/ some goodies or freebies presented as a draw) .
    8. I think bringing gardening and a love of nature to our kids is paramount. Instead of folding up as it seems you may be considering, why not find a whole new idea to get excited about … like a nature center for the town of Taos! Yes, it’s a big idea and would take years, but imagine the wonder and tourism dollars a activity center would bring to our community.
    9. You must address the fact that many home owners and gardeners are here “part time” and yet are still avid gardeners and probably plan to live here more full time at some point.
    10. I would be happy to host your “Spring Forward” Forum in my garden ( Arroyo Seco) but I am sure there are many in the club who would be willing. 
    11. My name is Susie Soderquist and I would appreciate a phone call or text if you wish to continue this conversation. I hate this form! It is very difficult to use. My # is 214-499-0789, and I do have a Taos landline…575-776-2816.
    12. Good luck!
  • Friday, September 10, 2021 3:53 PM
    Reply # 11043587 on 10975150
    Deleted user

    Posted by Judy Weinrobe 9/10/2021.  Call me at 214/236-1650 if you wish to discuss my comments!  Thanks.

    The problems Los Jardineros face are not due to the Pandemic (although it did not help) as about 5-6 years ago it became almost impossible to fill open positions - from Board of Directors to Tour leadership positions.  

    The tour had become a great success over the years due to a dedicated, but limited, number of members.  Each year we measured our success by how we had increased income from tickets and boutique sales over the year before.  And, as key players moved from Taos, became less excited about the tour and/or the club, etc., it was more and more difficult to get volunteers for these essential roles.  

    I believe that the best way for us to move forward is to downsize our expectations for at least a year or so by:

    1.  Have the tour focus turn from the Garden and Home Tour to simply the Garden Tour.  I know that some will be disappointed by not being able to tour the home, but touring the garden is better than no tour at all.  Also, maybe one of the venues should be to a "grantee" location and have someone from the Grants Committee there to explain to the attendees how our previous grant made these improvements possible.

    2.  We "sort of" experienced this by the tours we had this summer limited to members only.  I certainly enjoyed the ones I attended.  

    3.  Of course, we will have to adjust the pricing.  Which, in turn, will limit the funds for grants.  But instead of multiple grants maybe we just have one meaningful grant.

    As far as membership is concerned, we have an influx of people moving to the Taos area.  Maybe we should encourage our members to invite someone new to a meeting and ask them to join.  That is, when we are able to meet as a group again. Once we have identified a group of potential new members, maybe we could have a lunch or tea and have a presentation for these folks to explain what we have done in the past and what we intend to do in the future.  Grants committee would be a key presenter, maybe have copies of photo books from the past tours to show what we are capable of, etc.

    I am not ready to give up on Los Jardineros and am betting that the general membership isn't either.  As far as the tour is concerned, I will help with ticket sales and distribution, working with sponsors or whatever else you need.  My question to the membership is "What will you commit to do?"

  • Saturday, September 11, 2021 7:52 AM
    Reply # 11052058 on 10975150
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Susie and Judy, thank you for putting your thoughts into words in this forum.  While this might not be the easiest way to communicate these ideas, it is the one way that all the members can share ideas and build off of one another.  Perhaps as we get a clearer sense of the thoughts of the membership, someone from the few Board members left will call you about your ideas.  But right now we need to get more feedback.  If you see or talk to other members please encourage them to reread the email and respond with their thoughts and offers to take on a role, big or small, in operating the organization in whatever form it takes.

  • Thursday, September 16, 2021 2:11 PM
    Reply # 11094668 on 10975150

    Looking at the solutions email sent out by the Board of Directors, I agree that #1 is too much for the Club at the moment. I am a part-timer in Taos and cannot do a lot of the volunteer activities. My husband and I have often been docents, parked cars, etc for the Garden Tour, but jobs that require more responsibility than those are difficult to fit into our lives at the moment.

    I like a blend of Solution #2 and #3. 

    The Garden tours this summer were nice and low key. I think many people are intimidated by the idea of opening their home to a lot of strangers. Touring Gardens only, eliminates that problem.  A larger event could include several gardens, artists or musicians, and a museum pairing. Maybe the end of the event could be a garden concert? I think the garden shop was also popular. 

    I don’t think we need food at meetings. I think that position can be deleted. Not many people eat anything due to dietary restrictions and with Covid, who knows when it will be safe to have food out anyway!

    I do think we need to get more young people involved. I am a member of the Facebook group Taos Farm and Garden. There are so many great gardeners and farmers in that group. They are full of information about vegetable gardening and farming. I would love to hear talks or go to farms to learn about composting, growing starts, hoop houses, and acequias just to name a few subjects of interest. If we reached out to that group, we might find some new members. They might not have high end gardens to show off, but they might have every day gardens that show how they have overcome the climate to make things grow. 

    I would, also, like to see social events with the garden club. I always enjoy getting a chance to chat with other gardeners, but 10 minutes before a meeting is not enough and all other events are too busy. Maybe some cocktail garden party’s could happen. There could be a fee and a limit on participants. We could have a guest bartender making drinks with a flower theme. 

    I think we should struggle onward and not give up on the club just yet. I should be able to take on more tasks by this winter or spring.

  • Thursday, September 23, 2021 8:22 PM
    Reply # 11114629 on 10975150
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From our email account:

    When we moved to Taos twenty years ago, I joined several groups to find friends and learn about the area. I was on the boards of 3 when I had health problems and stopped my intense involvement in those groups, later moving on to other things when I recovered. My responsibilities included several years as treasurer of Los Jardineros. Same “burnout” was true then, officers had to resign after years of work to get anyone to pick up the slack. I had heard Los Jardineros was doing members only garden tours this summer and joined just to take my sister on one when she visited. I knew we’d enjoy the activity and that the $ was for a good cause. Also expect to rejoin for next year.

    The past 2 years have provided a reset in activities for all. I’m aware that in the past the Home & Garden Tour attracted groups of friends who planned a weekend in Taos with the tour as the center of activity, thus 700 - 900 attendees. But visitors enjoy Taos all summer. Some gardens are better in June or July than August. Some would like to show their gardening talents, but don’t have parking for masses. Many wouldn’t mind visitors walking through the public rooms of their house to get from front to back garden, but don’t want to open all their personal spaces. Would a scaled back tour (say 2 gardens on designated Sat: once in June, once/twice July, once in August) be feasible? Charge low $ for members and higher $ for guests/visitors? Advance advertising would help attract groups of visitors.

    Since I left Los Jardineros membership several years ago, it seems the most I heard about the club was the Home & Garden Tour ads and meetings in Tempo, but not a push for new members. In order to attract new members, could an introductory garden visit/meeting be held focusing both on long term residents and new arrivals, maybe in April/May when everyone starts to get excited about their garden? Summer only residents?

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