The Junior Garden Club of the Rake and Hoe Garden Club contributes to the Westfield Community with many projects throughout the year, and currently is preparing to compete in the annual New Jersey Garden Show. The Juniors ranging from Kindergarten through high school students, meet monthly during the school year to work on projects focused on flower design, gardening and community service.

They began the current school year cleaning up the garden at Shadowlawn Pocket Park. The girls also learn the basics of flower arranging to compete in the annual New Jersey Garden show each February.

This year’s project for entry in the Garden Show was making “bugdominiums” taught by the Rake and Hoe members. The girls learned about solitary bees, such as mason bees, that nest in hollow plant stems and other cavities rather than in hives like honey bees. The purpose of the “bugdominiums” is to provide nesting sites for solitary bees.  These may be located in the butterfly garden planted and maintained by the Junior members of  The Rake and Hoe Garden Club.

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The boxes are made of plywood boxes that the girls dipped in a black walnut “bath” to color the plywood. The girls decorated the outside of the boxes as well as filled the insides with plant materials that included: drilled logs, bamboo, hollow stems of shrubs such as forsythia and deutzia, pine cones, sections of plane tree branches, acorn tops dyed blue to attract bees, and slices of pine branches.

The Rake and Hoe Juniors have also completed botanic jewelry made from all natural materials – a craft entry also for the Garden Show. In the 2014, they won five of the nine Top Exhibitor Awards in the Youth Division including  “Best in Show” out of more than 150 entries. Call Mrs. Beth Siano at 908-2334150 if interested in joining.

This year the show is February 11-14, 2016 at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center, 93 Sunfield Avenue, Edison, NJ.

The Rake and Hoe Garden Club of Westfield has a long-term reputation for its service to the community and donations to worthy causes by maintaining the gardens at the northside of the Westfield Train Station, the Miller Cory House Museum, the Shadowlawn Pocket Park and the Claire Brownell Wildflower Garden at the Reeve History and Cultural Resource Center of the Westfield Historical Society.  

Anyone interested in joining the Rake and Hoe Garden Club is invited to call Club President, Diana Kazazis at 908-654-8783.  For additional information, you can also find us on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/rakenadhoe and on our website, http://www.rakeandhoe.com.org.