Desert Garden Club Shifts Focus During Covid-19 Pandemic

Before the Covid-19 shutdown of all SCW facilities at 4 pm on March 13, nearly two dozen club members rushed to the greenhouse to get the plants and cuttings into pots. 

With a mere 24 hours notice, well over 300 plants and cuttings were prepped, potted and set out to grow roots during the Covid-19 shutdown.

Talented garden club member Sandy Warmuth spent part of her coronavirus shutdown painting and refurbishing pots.

The Sun City West community often donates pots to the club. During the period when he was unable to be at the greenhouse, club member Bill King drills a drainage hole in one of those donated pots.

Gary Schroer, Sun City West Prides Monitor, helped garden club member Bill King and Bill’s guest Jim Pruitt harvest plants from the median on Meeker on Saturday, April 11, 2020.  Harvesting plants didn’t stop just because the greenhouse was closed!”

At his summer home in Wisconsin, Dave Wiegand creates, prints, and laminates plant identification signs. These will be attached to stands and placed by the larger plants on the walkway between the buildings.

Several plants, cuttings, and three trays of small plants hang out on Vice President Linda Hunter’s patio awaiting the reopening of the greenhouse.

Not content to just rescue plants, Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth also gathered up plants, pots, and soil and then potted up several specimens.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

On April 23, 2020, during the coronavirus shutdown, Steve Davitt and Sunwest True Value generously donates a pallet of pumice to the Desert Garden Club.  The pumice will be stored at the home of club member Denise Wirz. It will be moved to the Beardsley Recreation Center as soon as the greenhouse is reopened.

This pot by Sandy Warmuth will be filled with several cacti as soon as the greenhouse is open for activity.

Club member Jeanette Johnson’s home sports a stash of prickly pear cactus paddles harvested by Mike Anderson.

Before many plants were removed by the Sun City West Prides organization, Bill King worked to save many plants and pieces that were no longer wanted. Prides was in the process of a major redesign of the various plantings in their care.

Garden club members Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth harvest some larger agave on Saturday, April 11, 2020.  They already cleaned the agave and were getting ready to pot them.

Since she was unable to distribute membership cards at the club meetings or the greenhouse during the shutdown, Membership Chairperson Caren Halloran mails the cards. The sponge was to moisten the envelopes (no spreading Covid-19!) and some VERY OLD donated stamps that were not self-sticking. Once the cards were received and the stores were opened again, the members could receive their 10% discount at the SCW True Value Hardware and 15% off at SummerWinds Nursery.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

Desert Garden Club members Dick and Inez Bird loans their pick-up to haul the donated pumice from Sunwest True Value to the home of garden club member Denise Wirz.

Using a variety of techniques, Sandy Warmuth turns plain pottery into dynamic vessels that will soon be filled with a variety of plants at the cactus garden section of the club’s sales.

Laura and Bill King needed a truck to haul all of these plants and cuttings. Their home was the destination as these plants await the reopening of the greenhouse.

Gail Bosma, a garden club volunteer, plants two pots of variegated agave plants to take in to the greenhouse as soon as it opens up.

Strictly adhering to the governor’s order to shelter in place, Lisa Sailing spends many hours at her computer writing up a much needed Desert Garden Club Procedures and Policies Manual. After composing several pages, it was a surprise to many how complicated and detailed the club has become.

On April 16, 2020, garden club member Alison Burton delivered various donated pots to Sandy Warmuth and Denise Wirz.  Alison had posted a request for pots on various social media sites, and then she went out and collected pots from people in the community who chose to donate them.  Sandy and Denise will use them to pot plant material harvested during the coronavirus shutdown.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.

More work by Denise Wirz and Sandy Warmuth.