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Diggers and Weeders Garden Club of Montreal fonds (P697)

1932-2005 - 105 cm of textual records - 521 photographs - 2 sound recordings

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

The Diggers and Weeders Garden Club of Montreal was founded in October 1932 by a group of women who wanted to acquire hands-on experience in their own gardens. Its first president was Mrs. R. M. Ballantyne. According to its by-laws, the club's object was to "stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening among amateurs and to aid in the protection of native trees, plants and birds." From the beginning, various topics were discussed at the monthly meetings, including Canadian wild flowers, winter bouquets, bulbs, fertilizing, etc. Today, the club meets once a month between October and May. While membership was limited to 20 following the club's foundation, it was gradually raised to 60. In the late 1990s, the club still had over 50 active members.

Like many other horticultural associations, the Diggers and Weeders Garden Club of Montreal held flower shows, workshops, garden tours, luncheons, plant exchanges and special 3 to 4 day trips in Canada, the Northern United States or even England. In 1982, for the club's 50th anniversary, a major flower show was held at the Forest and Stream Club and, in 1992, an "Art in Bloom" show saw each member make an arrangement to complement their favourite art work.

The club quickly became involved in the community. Its members laid out and managed gardens in various locations, including the Queen Mary Veterans' Hospital, the Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre and St. Margaret's Home for Incurables; the club donated 1000 cans and a canning machine to a community garden that had no way to preserve its produce; and for many years, the lobby of the Montreal General Hospital and the halls of Montreal museums like the Château Ramezay were decorated by the club's members. The club prepared flower arrangements for many occasions, like church openings. It even managed with its limited resources to help sponsor summer jobs for horticultural students. The Diggers and Weeders Garden Club of Montreal had close ties with other social associations, such as the Junior League Garden Club, as they worked together to provide seeds and tools for community gardens. And like the Junior League, the Diggers and Weeders helped decorate the lobby of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts each year with a Christmas tree.

Scope and Content:

The fonds pertains to the activities and members of the Diggers and Weeders Garden Club of Montreal. It contains records on the club's history and by-laws, annual reports, minutes of meetings, president's files, secretary's journals, membership files, documents on the club's activities and projects, information on other garden clubs, publications and photographs showing members at various events.

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • P697/A Club History and By-Laws, 1967-2005
  • P697/B Reports (annual, financial, etc.), 1951-1998
  • P697/C Minutes of Meetings, 1932-2003
  • P697/D President's Files, 1994-2003
  • P697/E Secretary's Journals, 1951-1973
  • P697/F Membership Files, 1932-2005
  • P697/G Activities and Projects, ca. 1950-1998
  • P697/H Information on Other Garden Clubs, 1969-1984
  • P697/I Publications, 1973-2002
  • P697/J Photographs, ca. 1940-2005