Beautifying Brighton: Members of local club share love of gardening

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By Christine Hollister

As Judee Dickinson led a group of gardeners on a winding tour through the flower and vegetable garden behind her historic Brighton home Aug. 28, a fellow gardener stopped and leaned over to examine a delicate purple flower.
    “Now, what is this?” she asked.


    There’s plenty of curiosity among the gardeners of Brighton Bloomin’ Buddies Garden Club. And there’s even more of a passion for taking in Brighton’s horticulture talents.
    Dickinson and the other members of the Brighton Bloomin’ Buddies Garden Club meet each month to learn about gardening techniques and to chat with other local gardeners. The club was formed in January 2009 by City Councilmember Wilma Rose.
    Brighton City Forester Kyle Sylvester has been involved in the club since it began. He joined the club to meet fellow green thumbs – people who were interested in horticulture like himself, he said.
    “One of the areas that I lack in knowledge is vegetable gardening,” Sylvester said. “We have numerous people in the club that have great vegetable gardening knowledge, and I have learned a lot as a result.”
    The club meets the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Depending on the weather, club members might take a tour of a club member’s garden or listen to a speaker on a specific gardening topic. There are no dues for the Bloomin’ Buddies, and the club doesn’t meet in November or December.
    Flower and vegetable gardener Sheryl Johnson is also a founding member of the club. She said while growing up in rural Nebraska, she helped her parents with the farm and garden.
    “I’ve been doing it for all of my life, really,” she said. “The club is great because I get a different perspective. We get different ideas to beautify the community.”
    Linda Young, a certified horticulturist and landscape designer, joined the club in March 2009.
    “I wanted to join because I love everything about gardening and wanted to meet and interact with other people who feel the same way,” she said. “Gardeners can always learn from each other. Even the newest gardener will try something that an experienced gardener hasn’t quite done and will have something to share about it.”
    Young said she has learned a wealth of information from other club members over the last year and a half. Visiting the gardens of other club members gives her ideas, she said, and she encourages other members of the Brighton community to stop by a meeting.
    “People should get involved in the club if they want to learn more about gardening and/or if they want to share some of their knowledge and experience, and if they would like to meet and interact with other gardeners of various experience levels,” Young said. “We’re still a very new club and our members have a lot of different interests, so everything is pretty new to most of us.”    
    Dave Thomas has been a member of the club for about three months. Thomas got involved after meeting Young and said he’s learned a lot about a variety of plants from other club members.
    “You don’t have to be a master gardener to be involved,” Thomas said. “ It’s been a great time.”
    “This is a great opportunity to expand our knowledge on what works and what doesn’t,” Sylvester said. “Anyone who has a yard should be interested in this club as we talk about all kinds of useful topics from turf to fertilizer to trees to vegetables. There are so many cool plants out there that can be experimented with here in Colorado. This is a good way to share knowledge so we aren’t wasting our time and money on things that won’t perform well. We also want to stress that this is a club for all levels of gardening expertise. All are welcome.”
    Club member Lisa Snyder has been gardening for nearly 20 years. She has a degree in horticulture and owned a garden center for a number of years. She’s enjoyed learning from and socializing with other Bloomin’ Buddies.
    “We just have a lot of fun,” Snyder said. “Everybody brings something different to the club. We’re just looking to have fun and beautify the community.”