Welcome To The Lebanon Garden Club

                             CELEBRATING 79 YEARS

We are a non-profit organization serving gardeners in greater Lebanon. Our goals are — Promote & encourage the art of gardening & the study of horticulture; Aid in the protection & conservation of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers & natural resources; Promote civic beauty & roadside improvements; & Cooperate with other agencies interested in these projects.

“I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet earth and promise to
promote education so we may become caretakers of the air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.

Joli Root, President
Lebanon, OR 97355

Trudie Bason, 
Vice President


Lebanon Garden Club is a non-profit organization and a member of:

Santiam District of

National Garden 
Clubs, Inc.

Third Monday of each month in Members
homes or First Christian Church, 170 E. Grant at the corner of Grove, Lebanon. 
Time: 12:00 noon unless stated otherwise.

All Meetings Open to the Public


LEBANON FARMER'S MARKETWe spent two days at the Lebanon Farmer's Market,  sold a few  plants and met some new friends. This is going to be a good way to inform the public about our Garden Club and maybe generate some new members.

Photo/Joli Root
We're walking down the path towards the store where there’s a very warm wood stove—James is on the right. 
It was A Cool, Not Muddy, Fall Garden Tour

GREATER ALBANY, OREGON, —In the early days of Linn County, it often rained continuously in fall and winter, making the Santiam Valley too muddy for travel. So pioneer farmers drove their wagons on trails in the rolling Cascade foothills. There were just too many lakes, ponds, and overflowing creeks to travel the valley floor.

Given this history of farming and gardening in Linn County, it is rather interesting that Lebanon Garden Club’s first stop in its Fall Garden Tour was a water garden—Finch Family Water Garden.

Photo/Joli Root
Inside the store, it was much warmer with a wood stove made from two 55-gallon barrels

This is Joli Root’s report on the tour.

Finch Family Water Garden
Our first stop was at Finch Family Water Garden, 772 Goldfish Farm Rd SE in Albany. The Water Garden is owned by James Finch and has very interesting water plants and several kinds of fish and pond supplies. James' expertise will help with all your pond needs.

Although only ten members dared to venture out on our Garden Tour and given that the weather was sunny but cool—We found it very enjoyable.

James also sells seasonal decorations in the store. The Water Garden nursery sells all your needs for ponds such as pumps, waterfalls and a selection of interesting water plants. He also has an incredible stock of Koi and other outdoor pond fish.

Photo/Joli Root
This pond is on the property near where James dug his first pond on the family farm when he was nine years old

In fact Finch Family Water Garden is advertised as “The only nursery that caters to the pond enthusiast.” James says, “We offer over 100 varieties of water plants, pond supplies, and the largest selection of pond fish in the area.” Some say they have the largest supply of pond equipment and aquatic plants in all of Linn County.

James was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. He can also help you in the design of an outdoor pond if you’d like something original.

Photo/Joli Root
Babe grows hundreds of gorgeous Dahlias—Some even as large as dinner plates

The farmhouse on the site is 135 years old and James grew up in that home as well as lives there today.

Although James is normally closed on Thursdays, he stayed around to entertain the Garden Club. If you have any questions about the Finch Family Water Garden you can contact him at 541.926.9737.

Thanks James. We really enjoyed your showing us all your very interesting Water Garden. It was very educational as well as entertaining and fun.

Photo/Joli Root
A plethora of color!

Babe Mueller's Beautiful Dahlias
Our second stop was at Babe Mueller's on Clover Ridge Rd in Albany.

She harvests bulbs in winter and divides them in spring when she sells bulbs to her friends.

Fry Road Nursery and Winter Gardening
On the way home we made a stop at Fry Road Nursery at 34989 Fry Road SE, Albany, Oregon 97322. (541) 928-7038.

Barbara Fick from the OSU Extension, (541) 967-3871, gave us a program on winter gardening. We learned what plants to plant and still have beauty in your yard during the cold winter months. Some plants when they lose their leaves display an amazing array of color on their bark, making for a striking landscape. Lucky for us there are several plants that are evergreen.

Thanks from Lebanon Garden Club
The Lebanon Garden Club thanks all the folks who made our Fall Garden Tour such a success.

Thanks to James Finch and Finch Family Water Garden. We really liked your warm stove.

Thanks to Babe Muller for showing your beautiful Dahlias.

Thanks to Barbara Fick, OSU Extension, for a great program on winter gardens.

Thanks to Fry Road Nursery for for a workshop on colors in a fall and winter landscape

       Garden Club Plant Sale A Growing Success

Photo/Joli Root
Photos by Joli Root See more photos on Photo Album page..

LEBANON, OREGON, —Lebanon Garden Club held another successful annual plant sale in Lebanon on Friday,May 1st.

Club president Joli Root said: "We did pretty well. There were lots of members and other people buying plants. From our point of view it was a success." 

Photo/Joli Root
Starting early, many club members brought plants and helped set up

Dena Williams, Club Secretary, was also very happy with the sale. She commented, “This is our club’s major fund raiser. We use the money to support our work in the rose garden at Ralston Park and our upcoming Strawberry Festival Flower Show. It supports club donations to various charities and our operating expenses.”

“Many members brought plants and we had many donations from local nurseries, commercial and private. This really makes our sale a success,” Joli continued.

Photo/Joli Root
There were also many other nice garden and gift items to buy—It all helps fund our club

Key commercial nursery donations came from Van Essen Nursery Company,  Peoria Gardens on Peoria Road, south of Albany, Vogt's Nursery in Lebanon, Lebanon Planting Seeds Of Change, Heirloom Roses in St Paul, Samurai Greenhouse Supply in Albany. The Audubon Society donated a Blue Bird House, and Kris' Kitchen donated a gift certifcate. Also thanks to Barbara Rowe, Production Garden Manager with Planting Seeds of Change for growing plants for us to sell. 

Closer to Lebanon, Timeless Gardens, Garden Club member Trudie Bason’s business out on Brewster Road, donated many various plants. Members donated home grown plants such as herbs, and vegetables and house plants, as well as Dahlia bulbs.

Bason Signs also has donated many club signs over the years.

"We had lots of fun selling these beautiful plants,” said Dona Townsend, former club president. “The sale was a great success with a good variety of reasonably priced plants sold to visitors from all over the area.”

Photo/Joli Root
These trees where among the many great plants available at the sale.

However success – like heaven – is not reached in a single bound. It takes many bounds or bounders. This annual spring plant sale’s success was due to hard work and dedication from many club volunteer bounders. Led by Dona Townsend, Plant Sale Committee Chair, Trudie Bason, Peggy Christopherson, Betty Gentry-McCown, Meg Kuster, Elsie Kuenzli, Lynne Neuman, Ruby Ruth, Joli Root, Sylvia Wood and Dena Williams all these members showed great springs (bounds).

A special thank-you goes to the City of Lebanon for letting us use the Ralston Park building and Partners For Progress for organizing the storage building for our use. This was the first time we have been in this location and it proved to be very profitable 

Thanks to our vendors, Myra's Cookies, Patricia Harding with her Orchids, Sheryl Casteen with Lebanon Schools Planting Seeds of Change, Raylene Gordin with the Linn County Audubon Society/Blue Bird Trail.

Great job volunteers and many thanks to all those who donated plants! Our 2012 plant sale sends a special Lebanon Garden Club thanks for all your hard work and donations.

      Ongoing Projects—Ralston Park Rose Garden

Photo/Joli Root
Roses "in a warm and glorious splendor"—quote borrowed from Joseph Conrad—Rose Garden, Ralston City Park, Lebanon, Oregon

The Rest of The Story…

The Ralston Park Rose Garden Project began in March of 1983. Kathy Shanks, from the Chamber of Commerce, and Fran White, a representative from the City, “Roses for Lebanon” project, introduced a plan for a rose garden, in Ralston Park, north of Oak between Park and Grove streets. Walt Griffith, of  Walt’s Greenhouse Nursery of Lebanon, volunteered to mastermind the project. Jackson & Perkins donated 100 rose bushes. The roses were all planted by May 1983. Garden club volunteers signed up to work in the rose garden on a year around basis, a month per person. Just after the new rose garden was planted, some of the roses were dug up and stolen. In 1985 Walt Griffith, of Walt’s Greenhouse Nursery, donated 40 more roses.

 Walt’s Greenhouse Nursery was located on Old Santiam Highway. He had a satellite store in town off the corner of Milton & Santiam Hwy, next to where Ace Hardware used to be. Walt Griffith decided to go to work elsewhere, and turned the Nursery operation over to his parents, closed the store in town, and resumed the operation at the Old Santiam Hwy site.  After the death of Walt’s father, the nursery was closed, indefinitely.  

 In 1985, Pat Gruebele moved to Lebanon after working in the nursery business in California. He started up his own nursery, Green Thumb Nursery, next to the Ace Hardware store, off the corner of Milton & Santiam Highway, where Walt’s Greenhouse Nursery had been years before.  Pat had purchased a farm where his nursery is today and kept a large greenhouse there for his nursery stock. In 2000, Pat moved his in town nursery, to its current location, south of town at 5795 Santiam Highway.

Years passed, the rose garden project dwindled and the rose garden sat for years in ruins.

In the year 2000, the then Mayor of Lebanon, Scott Simpson, asked the Lebanon Garden Club to take on the care of the Rose Garden at Ralston Park. The Club voted on the Rose Garden, again, as a project, and found the garden to be in serious disrepair. It was overgrown with weeds, and many of the original roses planted were either dead or dying. Sylvia Wood, Dena Williams, Dona Townsend, Frankie Gray, Pearl Virgin, Elsie (Nelson) Kuenzli, and others went to work digging, weeding, and asking for donations of roses from various Nurseries. 10-15 roses were donated, by nurseries and members. The members also used some of their own resources to buy fertilizers, and other supplies.  As the project evolved, the Garden Club voted to allocate funds in the budget in order to continue developing the Rose Garden. In March 2004 The Lebanon Garden Club joined the “Adopt a Park” program with the City of Lebanon.

The rose garden is a member project where they assume responsibility for the rose garden, providing improvement and seasonal care of the roses. From budgeted monies in the Club’s treasury, they purchase fertilizer, spray and any other supplies, as well as replacement rose plants when needed. A few years ago, one member designed a rose garden logo, and printed t-shirts to wear when they work. They call themselves “The Wild Roses.”To date, the Garden Club has planted over 60 roses, which includes, shrub roses, hybrid teas, floribundas, mini-roses and four climbers, totaling over 125 roses. Some of our past projects has been the purchase of two custom made wrought-iron arbors and a stepping stone pathway.  In addition they have installed a stone memory bench where one can sit and ponder past members while viewing the absolutely beautiful rose garden, now and for years to come. In May of  2011 one of the Club’s very community minded members and a steady rose garden worker, Frankie Gray, passed away. A donation was made to the club by the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce Past “Woman of the Year Club” to do something from the club in her memory. In September 2011 we purchased a special rose to plant in her honor. The bronze tea rose is called ‘Bronze Star,’ and also a yellow/gold floribunda called  "Julia Childs."

The rose garden is also home to a plethora of Daffodils, which were donated by the Oregon Daffodil Society. These yellow beauties put on quite a show in the early Spring before the roses bloom, keeping the rose garden a place of beauty to enjoy for many months.

 The Garden Club works the first, second & fourth Monday’s each month in the rose garden, March through October, with the third Monday being the club’s meeting day. 

 In 2011 Pat and Debby Gruebele of Green Thumb Nursery generously donated four new ‘test’ roses from Weeks Rose Company, A purple climber named "Stormy Weather", a chocolate and lavender floribunda "KoKo LoKo", a white hybrid tea "Sugar Moon" and an orange shrub "All a Twitter". In 2014 those 'test' roses were put on the retail market. 2015 brought another donation from Pat of eight Weeks 'test' roses; 1. "Miss Congeniality" a white edged pink Grandiflora; 2. "Pretty Lady" an old fashioned, fragrant, dark pink Hybrid tea; 3. "Smokin' Hot" an orange blush purple w/white reverse Hybrid Tea; 4. "Watercolors Home Run" a Gold Blush-Pink Shrub; 5. "Sunshine Happy Trails" a Yellow Ground Cover; 6. "Rainbow Happy Trails" a Yellow-edge Ground Cover; 7 & 8 are Star (Brand) roses which are Rose-Peach Ground Covers. The current Rose Garden Committee purchases all of their rose garden supplies from Green Thumb Nursery, as Pat and Debby have been staunch supporters of the Ralston Park Rose Garden. They have donated roses throughout the years, maintenance supplies, and have been a wealth of information with their knowledge. Pat even grows his own roses at home.

 Information compiled by Sylvia Wood, Dena Williams, Rose Garden chairpersons, since 2000; Joli Root, President, Lebanon Garden Club, from research of the archived minutes of the club and word of mouth from past President, Dona Townsend, and Pat Gruebele, of Green Thumb Nursery, in 2011.


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