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.
Every Spring, Summer and Fall, members of Rumson Garden Club's Civic Committee water, weed and deadhead the perennial plantings at West Park, a visual gateway to the Sea Bright Bridge. In addition, the Club seasonally maintains the plantings around the Rumson town sign, which is visible when entering the town from the Oceanic Bridge.
Local mini-gardeners, aged five and six, enjoyed the Seed to Sprout program, run by members of the Rumson Garden Club at the Oceanic Library. The children learned how to plant and propagate seeds and cuttings. Once the plants are strong enough, the children will see the ‘fruits of their labors” as their plants will help fill and decorate the library’s 10 new window boxes.
This April, Rumson Garden Club (RGC) teamed with the Rumson Shade Tree Commission (RSTC) to hold a Native Plant Sale that was open to the public. Surveying the pots of Echinacea, Monarda, Lavender, Baptesia, Heuchera, Lobelia, Chelone, etc., Liz Card, RGC president, commented: “Native shrubs and perennials help sustain our land and waterways. These native plants not only beautify but also benefit our environment, helping to conserve and filter water, provide habitat for wildlife and protect soil resources. In addition, native plants reduce the costs and environmental impact associated with fertilizers and pesticides.” The plants also were selected for their value in attracting pollinators.
According to Stephen Barrett, RSTC Chair, the sale of native plants was a teaching opportunity: “Any time we can educate the public and make it easy for them to utilize our native resources, Rumson will benefit physically, economically and aesthetically.” Rumson’s Navesink River recently has suffered from pollution, so the plant sale was another way to publicize the need to be aware of how locals can help save the Navesink watershed.
In keeping with the environmental theme, the sale offered composters with proceeds benefiting RSTC.