Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club's Petals for Patriots. Photo/RSF Garden Club

The Rich History of the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Clubhouse

Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club's Petals for Patriots. Photo/RSF Garden Club

Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club’s Petals for Patriots. Photo/RSF Garden Club

Since 1926, the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club has proven to be an invaluable asset to countless residents and numerous organizations belonging to the community.  Earlier this year, it was decided that the Clubhouse would be put on sale as a way to maintain the facility and keep it as a valuable landmark.

While the process has taken several months, it seems a decision on its purchase will be made in mid-October.  Whatever the outcome may be, the news is an opportunity to reflect upon the Garden Club’s history of community participation, charity, and education.

The Garden Club began operating in 1926, the project of a small group of families who wanted to further the advancement of gardening and landscaping the Ranch.  Since then, it has become a nonprofit California corporation, and its purposes have expanded to include “beautification, horticulture, philanthropy, education, culture, and civic activities.”

In the past, the Garden Club has hosted Garden “Work Parties.”  These parties consists of a workshop to help members learn about sustainable gardening, and include the opportunity to help renovate and refurbish the gardens.

The annual Garden Club Village Tag Sale, one of the Club’s most popular events, has given members the chance to not only enjoy the gardens, but also find some unique antiques, collectables, and other items in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

Over the years, the Garden Club has proven to be just as dedicated to philanthropy as it is culture and the education of its members and the Rancho Santa Fe community.

Petals for Patriots, created by a San Diegan floral designer by the name of David Root, was initiated in the spring of 2008.  The Garden Club made a recent delivery on April 8th, cheering up wounded warriors at the Balboa Naval Hospital with flower bouquets and baskets of fresh fruit.

LaVerne Schlosser, philanthropy chairman of the Garden Club, said, “Petals for Patriots was a perfect project for us to get into.”  Schlosser, whose own husband was in the air force for 35 years, said that the program was one of the Club’s favorite things to participate in.

Although for sale, the Club will continue to operate and sponsor events for its members, including Coffee in the Garden, Petals and Prose, educational lectures, and Petals for Patriots.  According to co-president Fred Wasserman, “In mid-October the board will meet and review all the offers submitted and select the best offer…and we will ask for a re-offer from the finalists.”

The 1.04-acre property has been listed with Colliers International and realtors are handling all offers submitted.  Proceeds for the sale will be used for grants for nonprofit organizations that qualify under the mission statement of horticulture and conservation activities, in agreement with the Garden Club’s original intent.

Overall, the outcome appears promising.  Said Wasserman, “We’re hopeful that we’ll find someone that wants to keep the facility available to the community.”  Considering the great value that the Club has added to the community and its residents, it is likely a sentiment that is shared by many.

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