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Meeting Minutes


February 14, 2017

St. Christopher's Church, Gladwyne


At 10:05, President Jackie Burke called the meeting to order. She expressed her thanks to meeting chair Weezie Johnston and hostesses Connie Carlson, Patricia Doolittle and Linda Anderson. As the first piece of business, the January minutes were approved and accepted. Jackie then disclosed that member Dixie Chapman, now living in Maine, had experienced a bad fall. A card expressing our concern has been sent to her.

TREASURER, Nancy Evans announced that more donations have been made in memory of past Weeders. Expenses for the fiscal year so far have amounted to $10,603; income totals are $4265; $3725 remains in our checking account.

FOUNDERS FUND: Please read descriptions of the three finalists which have been selected from civic projects proposed by clubs across the country which appear in the winter GCA Bulletin. We will vote to select one at our March meeting.

FERTILIZER FUND OF PCGCA: Those projects to be financed in this coming year by this fund, to which $4200 has been contributed by Weeder members, are to be chosen next month.
Voting on the revision of the Weeder by-laws sent by email to members will take place in March.

AWARDS: it has been decided that Weeder awards are to be given every two years; the next to take place in 2018.
Member Amy Frietag is to be presented the GCA Achievement Medal at this year’s annual meeting in May.  Members Jackie Burke, Marilyn Sprague Ellie Penniman, Linda Anderson and Phoebe Driscoll are to be commended for their efforts in obtaining the necessary letters and information, supporting her nomination.  Amy’s letter of appreciation to the Weeders for this recognition follows.

Chairman of CONSERVATION, Biddie Edwards stressed that members check with their individual recycling agency for what and in what form items are to be recycled.

HORTICULTURE chairman, Alice Doering will be giving a seed propagation workshop at 10 a.m.on Tuesday, February 21 at her home. She very generously offered to advise any member on selecting and grooming of potential plant entries to the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Melissa Bullitt, PHOTOGRAPHY Chair, reminded members that the deadline for entries to the spring photography show is April 1, and that the class listings appear in the Weeder handbook.   A workshop will be held at Nancy Evan’s home from 10-12 on Thursday, February 23, at which members can obtain pointers on potential entries, and help in staging photographs.

PROGRAM chair, Karen Doyle will hold a program committee meeting on March 6, at 10 a.m. at her home.

Regina Wagner, SCHOLARSHIP Chairman, invited members to propose candidates worthy of receiving stipends for their efforts relating to horticulture. So far, those organizations suggested are: the Strawberry Mansion Learning Center; North Philadelphia Peace Park; La Finquita (Little Farm) South Kensington.

Following the business meeting, we were treated to two presentations by Weeder members.

Margaret Sager and Regina Thomas, our sage practitioners of the law, presented a brief primer on charitable giving. For those not present at the meeting, an enclosure follows.

Member Patty Minehart, using a powerpoint presentation, described her trip to Cuba, made in January, 2016, with a group composed of visitors from England and Australia, which had been advertised as a tour of gardens, but in actuality was an illuminating “cultural immersion”, lacking in much in the way of gardens. Traveling to Havana and other outlying areas, they observed beautiful architecture in the process of crumbling; once beautiful gardens overgrown due to the lack of tools, garden equipment and diesel for running machines; residents living on a small stipend doled out by the government; centralized food distribution; the once thriving tobacco and sugar industry no longer existent; a black market distributing tobacco and liquor; bus transportation limited by lack of diesel. They found hotels lacked basic commodities and ran out of hot water. The reason old areas in the cities are preserved is because other countries have invested in them.

Letter from Amy Frietag: dated February 14, 2017
Dear Fellow Weeders:
I am writing to express my deep gratitude for your outstanding efforts to successfully nominate me for the GCA Achievement Award. I am completely overwhelmed and honored. As someone who has climbed the mountain of submitting a GCA award nomination in the past, (unsuccessful, I might add!), I know how much time and effort you invested on my behalf.  This means the world to me and my family.
As you know, I have spent the past decade studying the conservation achievements of garden club members, their clubs and the national organization. My base map for this research has been the list of Achievement Award recipients.  Each of those women distinguished themselves and the GCA with their hard work, courage and intelligence. I find it incredible that my name is being added to that list at this year’s annual meeting in Baltimore.  Thank you for making this happen.
As you know, there is something extremely special about being a Weeder.  Had it not been for Phoebe Driscoll’s enthusiastic encouragement to join the club when I arrived in Philadelphia to start my graduate work, my life would have been far less interesting and fulfilling.  Your warm welcome and my curiosity about Philadelphia as the birthplace of the GCA led me to research the organization and its many remarkable members.
But it’s really because of the Weeders and your special combination of wit, humor, intelligence and friendship that I gained an even greater appreciation for what Elizabeth Price Martin referred to as “a periodic gathering of friends to share garden wisdom.”  In forming “The Garden Club” she unleashed a life force that not only shaped our American landscape but built generations of friendships and collaborations among women from coast to coast.  I cherish my Weeder friends and the knowledge have gained from them over these past two decades.  I thank you for tolerating my spotty attendance at meetings and workshops these many years and for always welcoming me and my family whenever we return to Weederdom.
So, on this Valentines Day, I send you much affection and gratitude. I wish I was there with you in person to express my thanks but it is my hope that we can celebrate together at some point later this year.
With warm fond regards,
Amy Frietag

Respectfully submitted,
Polly Garnett, Assistant Recording Secretary


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