Sally Giauque is passionate about gardening. As an associate member of the Ottawa Hills Garden Club, Ms. Giauque brings her love of working with flowers and plants to help her community.
As a member of the club for more than 15 years, Ms. Giauque became involved because of the impact the group has on the village of Ottawa Hills.
"I love gardening. It's a nice group of people who care about the village. Everything we do relates to the village," she said.
So far one of her favorite projects included installing crab apple trees in front of the village's municipal building. "I picked out the trees," she said. "It's very pretty in the spring."
Ms. Giauque said the group works on beautifying the village and works together on several projects each year. The all-women group also holds monthly luncheons to socialize and learn more about gardening.
Every three years, the group organizes a flower show and invites the community.
Formed in 1932, the club has members ranging in age from the early 40s to 80s. Member Vanessa Prince said the different ages and life stages have helped the women understand each other better.
"It has allowed me to meet a generation of ladies whom I would not have met and they are very knowledgeable, fun, and a wonderful group of women," she said. Together, she said, they have more than 1,000 years of experience gardening.
The group funds its beautification projects from membership dues only, while also making contributions to the Toledo Botanical Garden.
In 2008 members took over a small island of land between Brookside and Indian roads.
The club worked to landscape and maintain the space, which serves as a welcoming entry to a housing addition. Called the Central Avenue garden, the plot is tailored to fit the seasons. Spring features grape hyacinths and viburnum bushes; in summer, roses are in bloom.
At the root of why the club chooses to enhance the community with gardening is the desire to make public spaces beautiful spaces for all.
"We're proud of what we've done," Ms. Giauque said.
Camaraderie has sustained the group for the past 80 years. "This group of women, they're just so bright and open to new ideas," member Carol Bardi said.