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Welcome to the Rumson Garden Club

Over the past one hundred plus years, RGC’s purpose has been to promote the knowledge and love of gardening and nature. It has maintained a vital community presence ranging from informative lectures open to the public, promoting the planting and conservation of native trees, plants and wildflowers, designing and maintaining mini-gardens in Rumson and donating scholarships to graduating high school students who demonstrate an interest in environmental studies. RGC both supports the purpose and activities of the GCA activities, and keeps its members informed on governmental issues that pertain to natural resources.

Recent Activities

October Speaker: Katie Bliss


Katie Bliss and her Blissful Gardening Crew are skilled horticulturalists who love to share their knowledge of garden design and plant care.  Their true love is ‘Re-Design’, a cost-effective way to return a landscape to its natural beauty by using and moving viable plant material on site and supplementing with new, carefully chosen specimens that complement the established plantings to achieve a beautiful and healthy landscape.

Can I Hear a Motion For a Little Fun?

kent russell

Comedy and chaos, crocodile shoes and coral bells, were the highlights of the first meeting of RGC's 2018-19 season on September 18. Garden Guru Kent Russell stormed into the Sea Bright Beach Club with hilarious stories, a truckload of gorgeous perennial specimens and yes, shoes, to keep our members in stitches.

A nationally recognized celebrity gardener, Kent regularly entertains and educates garden clubs (he particularly loves GCA clubs like ours!) and horticultural organizations across the U.S. with his colorful, over-the-top presentations. Based in Bucks County, PA, Kent has been giving gardening talks since he was 18 years old, when members of garden clubs who visited his family’s nursery, Russell Gardens, noticed how knowledgeable he was. Over the years he's developed an entertaining and educational program which focuses on creating eye-catching drama in any garden setting.

Kent russell butterflys

Kent began his RGC presentation with a hilarious story of his entry of an unusual Foxtail Rosemary in the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show, where it received The Edith Edelman Scott Award for Best of Show in the Horticulture division. Parading around the room wearing a colorfully painted pair of Christian Laboutin shoes, and with pots of gorgeous plants spilling out of his arms, he delivered information and tips on colorful container or garden combinations for all to oohh and aahh over.

But the shoes! Kent shared his recent passion of pairing his Laboutins with some of his favorite plant specimens, creating living works of art. What fun we had laughing at his antics as he allowed members to "stroke" his snakeskin loafers and admire the gorgeous butterflys on a pair which he nestled in a grouping of fall-themed plants.

As the laughter subsided, Kent offered a wide assortment of unusual and high quality plants from around the mid-Atlantic region for sale to his "Rumson Garden Club friends" and members had fun choosing plants for their own gardens.

"Fashion, flowers and footwear create the sole of the garden," said Kent. Many thanks to Program Chair Ciona Buckley for bringing Kent's creative, fun and visionary presentation to RGC!

RGC Hosts "Greetings From the Jersey Shore"


Everything came up roses…and peonies, wisteria and allium, succulents and topiaries at Garden Club of America’s (GCA) Zone IV Meeting and Flower Show hosted by Rumson Garden Club (RGC) on May 30 and 31 at Navesink Country Club.  Although the weather was unseasonably cool and grey, Navesink Country Club bloomed with color and excitement, with hundreds of GCA members from as far away as Hawaii enjoying the inspiring talents of our Club members.

As the only Zone IV club sited on the New Jersey coastline, RGC chose “Greetings from the Jersey Shore” as our theme with topical titles ranging from “Bay Head” for a floral design sun hat and “Seaside Park” for a topiary shaped like a boardwalk ride; from “Locust” for a photograph of “grand old trees” to “Loveladies” for a botanical arts rendition of a sailor’s valentine. 

Event Co-Chairs Jeanne Shanley and Christine Hetzler, along with Flower Show Chair Elizabeth Lilleston, outdid themselves, planning and organizing two days of meetings, field trips, speakers, and fun.

One of the highlights of the event was a magnificent mosaic created by Stella Ryan and Lucy Kalian. Stunningly beautiful from a distance, closer inspection revealed that it was made completely from trash which had been collected along the Jersey shore in a single day.

The “Greetings from the Jersey Shore” Flower show was open to the public on Thursday May 31.  Hundreds of attendees viewed the “Best in Show” of the Horticulture division’s container gardens, propagated plants and flowering specimen cut from gardens throughout the GCA’s 12 clubs in New Jersey.  The show featured floral arrangements, photography and botanical arts, as well as displays on Conservation and Garden History and Design, which illustrate the GCA’s strong environmental mission and RGC’s dedication to preserving local natural resources. 

RGC members shown like superstars, taking many awards:

GCA Botanical Arts Creativity Award: Stella Ryan

Best in Show–Botanical Arts: Stella Ryan

Ann Lyon Crammond Award: Avery Brighton

Harriet DeWaele Puckett Creativity Award: Pam Russo

Best in Show–Floral Design: Pam Russo

GCA Novice Award in Horticulture: Christine Hetzler

Catherine Beattie Medal: Diane Guidone

Best in Show–Horticulture: Diana Landreth

Corliss Knapp Engle Horticulture Sweepstakes Award: Rumson GC

All the RGC members should take a bow for a job well done!


KPS 9/2018