Written by Gillian Farrow, and published in the November 2006 Newsletter

As many of the current members have not been around since the beginning of the club I thought you may like to hear how our club started.

The garden club first began in 1993 as an idea that Jo Tilton had. Jo had read about a club run on similar lines in NSW and decided to start one here. She sent out letters inviting interested people to a meeting at her home in Seville and so the Seville Cottage Garden Club was born. In the early days meetings were held every second month with many of them being at member’s gardens.

I used to talk to an English lady, Sheila when out walking the dog. Sheila worked for the council and cleaned at the home of Jo’s Mum in Heathmont, and Jo’s Mum mentioned that her daughter was starting this club, so consequently I told Kath and the two of us fronted up to the second meeting and we have been involved ever since. I am so glad that the news filtered down to me then.

Gradually the club grew, attracting members from far and wide. Unfortunately for Jo, her parents and become ill and needed nursing and so she was unable to continue to run the club. I don’t actually remember when I took over as secretary, but my newsletters go back to 1998 and I was doing it then – so quite a long time. Over the years we found that very few of our members still came from Seville and that we had outgrown our name. A competition was held to find a name that did not tie us to any one district and was not sexist – even though, at present, we are all women. Many names were suggested, a short list was compiled and voted on and we officially became Dibble and Hoe Cottage Gardeners Inc in 2001.

As I said previously, meetings were two monthly to start, but we were missing out on some good months and so we added an extra one in Spring and another in Autumn and were up to about 8 meetings per year. For quite some years now we have had 10 meetings – only missing January and one winter month.

To raise some funds we ran a plant and craft sale every second year, where we also made Devonshire teas and sausages for lunch etc. This brought in quite a few more members and gave us enough money to publish our newsletter. We have not had the plant sale now for several years for two reasons. Firstly we have enough members and have had to cap the membership at 40 so that we can fit into each other’s homes and secondly we have won money prizes for our hanging baskets in the hanging basket competition at the Flower and Gar-den Show for four years out of the last six, and so have not needed any extra money. Also, there was an awful lot of work involved in running the plant sale.

I have made many very good friends and had a lot of joy from this club and I hope you all will too. May it go on for ever.