Potpourri Garden Club

Organized:  April, 1978
Meetings: 2nd Tuesday

Gardens, like friendships, are comprised
of collections, both varied and beautiful.

About Us

This year our club will be celebrating 46 years of gardening
together! The Potpourri Club enjoys a ‘potpourri’ of experiences.

The Potpourri Garden Club is comprised of diverse, fun members  who enjoy learning about and preserving nature. Our programs are varied and include opportunities to explore gardens and natural settings as well as garden centers, making garden art and meeting others who also enjoy playing in the dirt! Some members also volunteer at the Rock River Food Pantry, assisting clients to pick fresh vegetables from the Pantry Garden.

In past years, our schedule included a brunch at a members home followed by garden trivia, a trip to Hampshire Farms where perennial plants are grown for Home Depot, a floral design event, plant exchange, a visit to Tinker Swiss Cottage, McEachran Homestead Winery and Hoo Haven.

We love learning about new garden trends, making our own garden art such as hypertufa garden planters, bird houses and painting garden stones. We also take on important causes such as saving the Monarch’s by encouraging the planting of milk weed plants. Preserving bee habitats is another mission. Without bees we wouldn’t be able to satisfy the appetite brought on by so much gardening! All these things inspire us to keep trying new things in our gardens.

Guests are always welcome at our meetings and activities which end in some form of food and fellowship. One guest remarked at a meeting that “Everyone talks to everyone!” Interested gardeners may attend 3 activities as a guest. We usually meet the second Tuesday of the month at 10am unless there is an extra-special event being planned.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Linda Baker
President of Potpourri Garden Club

We have fundraisers such as our plant exchange throughout the year with proceeds donated to a garden-related nonprofit organization in Rockford.

Guests are always welcome at our meetings and activities which end in some form of food and fellowship. One guest remarked at a meeting that “Everybody talks to everyone!” Interested gardeners may attend 3 activities as a guest.



2024 Potpourri Calendar of Meetings

Click here for 2024 Calendar

If interested in attending a meeting, joining our club, or just want more information, send an email through the ‘Contact Us’ feature on this page.  (Additions to programs, locations and information subject to change)

    Contact Potpourri Garden Club

    * indicates required field



    President: Linda Baker, assisted by Maryann Miller

    Vice President: Open

    Treasurer: Susan Schmitz

    Secretary: Karla Hardman


    Potpourri $500 community donations:
    Rock House Kids

    In addition, hundreds of socks, hats, gloves, and mittens
    were donated to Miss Carly’s.


    Members (39)

    Sharon Ackerman
    Linda Baker*
    Kathy Batzkall
    Becky Berggren
    Debra Bieschke*
    Cynthia Black
    Susan Buzzard
    Hope Collins
    Becki Dennis
    Diane Donze*
    Karin Emery
    Sandra Erickson
    Lynne Franzene-Lynde*

    * = member in more than one club


    Joyce Graczyk*
    Jody Hade
    Karla Hardman
    Bonnie Heimbach
    Mary Lou Hiemenz
    Sherry Henson
    Mary Jo Hull*
    Julie Johnson
    Deb Jurs*
    Bev Larson
    Mary Ann Miller*
    Alice Moczynski*
    Carol Nelson


    EJ Rebman*
    Cindy Remsen
    Susan Schmitz
    Marlene Schoeneck
    Susan Schumacher
    Sherry Seaver
    Arch Smith*
    Ann Somers*
    Connie Spencer
    Cathy Stewart
    Linda Weiss
    Pat Wengrow
    Vicki Woodhouse

    Potpourri Club members assist clients in choosing fresh vegetables at the Rock River Valley Food Pantry

    History of the Potpourri Club

    In March of 1978 a group of enthusiastic women met under the guidance of Edythe Bailey to form a new garden club. Many of the women were newcomers to Rockford. The first formal meeting was April 12, 1978 and Shirley Pettis was elected the first president. Members suggested several names for this new venture and “Potpourri” seemed to be everyone’s favorite. The first members of Potpourri were Edythe Bailey, Marge Bloomquist, Mary Cloery, Shirley Freund, Inez Hayden, Vera Jackson, Sharon Johnson, Hazel Klirt, Sue Lesher, Lorraine Lightcap, Ginny Loesch, Shirley Pettis, Eleanor Rowland, Jan Schabecher, Sylvia Schultz, Laura Schulz, Robert Sell, and Gladys Swensen.The members of Potpourri had lofty dreams of enhancing gardening skills, attempting service projects, trips to gardening centers and shops, plus the added benefit of acquiring new friends. Projects taken on were plantings at Lewis Lemon School, areas along the river in Shorewood Park, several flower plantings in local nursing home grounds, plus some help in the beautification of parts of the downtown area planters. A major venture was at Midway Village and Museum Center. In the Spring of 1980, Potpourri took charge of the herb garden and spent a lot of time planting, weeding, harvesting, and drying the herbs. When this was accomplished, they packaged the herbs for sale in the museum’s gift shop, complete with directions for using the herbs. The project lasted for many years.

    Several members were also active in the Winnebago Garden Council, which Potpourri became part of. Disagreement with goals of the Winnebago Garden Council led several clubs to form another garden council. The Council of Rockford Gardeners was formed in 1980 and Potpourri became one of the founding clubs. Several of their members have been members on this board, even up to this day. They have supported garden walks, entertaining District I meetings, enjoyed elegant council Christmas luncheons with floral designers as the program and the Spring luncheon awards events. For many years they had a table of handcrafted items or tempting foods to sell as a money-raising project. The club always had success in their spring plant sale. They have shared gardening skills, recipes and tempting morning coffees, as well as potlucks.

    Over the years the club have lost some members who moved, or chose to leave, but it has always attracted new members. In 1978 the club comprised of 18 members and in 2020 we have 32 members.

    Potpourri has maintained its goals of enhancing gardening skills, attempting service projects, trips to gardening centers and shops, and I think the members will all agree that we have cultivated a bountiful garden blooming with new friends.

    Potpourri visited Event Floral on April 16, 2019 to make Easter bouquets with Jordan Calgaro, manager.
    Gorgeous flowers! Click here for Event Floral’s website.

    Event Floral manager, Jordan Calgaro, assists Mary Jo with bow making for her Easter basket floral.
    Everyone working on their masterpieces.
    Liz and Linda created beautiful arrangements!