Garden Club’s history comes to life at new heritage exhibit

Vashon’s garden club has flourished on the Island for more than 60 years. In celebration, club members have created an exhibit at the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Museum, curated by board members and Island historian Bruce Haulman.

Called “Passion in the Dirt: Sixty Years of Plant Lust and Flower Power,” the exhibit opens at 7 p.m. Friday at the museum.

The exhibit will include several displays — from “A Flair for Flower Arranging” to “Glorious Community Gardens” — all of them adorned with photographs and artifacts drawn from the archives of both the garden club and the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association.

“The exhibit will knock everyone’s socks off, gardener and non-gardener alike,” said Nancy Studer, a garden club member and one of the curators. “We are showing not only the history of the garden club, but the history of Vashon as well, and the agricultural changes that have occurred along the way.”

Haulman said it’s been a joy to work with garden club members, whom he called fun and enthusiastic, to put on this exhibit.

“They’ve had a lot of fun with this exhibit,” he said. “It’s serious, but it’s also lighthearted.”

Haulman said the show is organized by themes. Visitors will learn not only about the club’s history, but about trends in gardening and agriculture in the past 60 years and the club’s involvement in key Island events. For instance, Haulman said, the garden club did landscaping at the old Nike missile site and supported the creation of the heron rookery preserve on Maury Island.

“It’s sort of the idea that clubs like the garden club become microcosms of the Island. They become sort of recorders of trends and issues that the Island is dealing with, from the perspective of gardeners,” he said.

The Heritage Museum recently expanded its hours and is now open from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.


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