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BRIEF: Meet the Birchwood Garden Club

Local garden club gives back to the community

Millie the dog sits in front of garden beds the Birchwood Garden Club planted at Bellingham Public Library. The Birchwood Garden Club maintains the beds throughout the year. // Photo by Ciarra Shaffer

On Feb. 12, 1931, Anna Laxall called community members to her home to form the Birchwood Garden Club. The first meeting had 39 attendees, who all became club charter members. Today, the Birchwood Garden Club has over 130 members.

On the first Wednesday of the month from September to May, club members meet and hear a guest speaker discuss a gardening topic. In June and July, the club tours local gardens.  

Sheri Lambert joined the club 12 years ago to learn more about gardening through the community and became president in 2020. 

“Gardeners love to show off their garden, so it’s pretty easy to find places,” Lambert said. “One evening we toured five gardens all in a block radius, it was really fun.”

The club values giving back to the community. They maintain garden beds at the Bellingham Central Library and the Whatcom Museum. Every May, they hold a plant sale at the library where members bring in plants they’ve grown throughout the year.  

Jenni Johnson is the community relations specialist at the Bellingham Central Library. She works as a liaison between community organizations and the library. 

“We’ve always had a focus on community partnerships and it’s been a nice collaboration,” Johnson said. “They do such a great job taking care of the beds and get to hold their annual plant sale here. We’re very grateful for the work they do.”

The money raised from the plant sale last year helped the club form a donation committee. They donated money to Common Threads Farm, Maple Alley Inn and the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters

Lambert said they had a successful plant sale this year, and the club is looking forward to donating their earnings. 

Club membership is open to anyone in Whatcom and Skagit counties. Individual memberships are $15 per year or $25 for families.

Ciarra Shaffer

Ciarra Shaffer (she/her) is a city life reporter for The Front. She is a junior majoring in the public relations track of the journalism department. In her free time, Ciarra enjoys being outside and going to concerts. You can reach her at 

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