Four Seasons Garden Club celebrating its 50th

CORTLAND — For the past 50 years, members of the Four Seasons Garden Club have not only spent time beautifying the city of Cortland but have expanded into other communities and other projects.

Mary Lou Jarrett, club president, said the group has grown since its first organizational meeting in October 1967, which had five members.

The goal of the club is to learn flower arranging skills, flower growing and gardening tips.

Early on in the club’s beginning, members collected food and clothing for local families in need throughout the year and especially at the holidays.

The first flower show was held in the 1970s and by 1985, the club adopted space at Willow Park and created a landscape where they planted shrubs and perennials. Members today still maintain the area in the park.

Jarrett said in 1988 the members decided that they would do more gardening throughout Cortland, including placing large barrels at the entrances of the city. Every spring, each barrel is planted with flowers and members take turns watering them.

Flowers and trees were planted at the tennis courts across from Willow Park.

In 1990, the club also landscaped the city’s sign at the point and a sign in front of the Opera House.

Four Seasons held their first fundraiser in 1972 at the Grange Hall with members creating their own items for the auction.

In 1991, the club had a ”Rally Round the Flag” event with 100 U.S. flags installed around the Cortland street for Memorial Day.

”The club had been working on this project for two years. Some of the flags were dedicated to military personnel who were involved with Desert Storm. The poles were installed by Cortland and Bazetta fire departments and other groups.” Jarrett said.

Eagles topping the poles were given by the club. The flag display was up until Labor Day.

”The display follows the main route through town and continues each year. The club also displayed and sold orange bows to commemorate Desert Storm,” she said.

Other fundraising has included a spring flower sale, mum sale, garden and home tours, farmers market, with funds used to buy flags and donate them to other charities such as the Cortland Street Fair, Cortland Area Cares, Lake Vista and the splash pad.

Jarrett said in recent years the club has partnered with Warren Junior Women’s League in placing dozens of flags on the King Graves Road bridge over state Route 11.