Garden Club Programs & Events

2024 Monthly Program Schedule

Our meetings are usually held in the First Presbyterian Church or the Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion unless otherwise noted below.

Please note the exact LOCATION listed under each meeting or program in the list below.

Social time begins at 12:30 pm with speakers starting their presentations at 1:00 pm unless otherwise noted below.

Prospective members and visitors are welcome to attend meetings by emailing

There are no regularly scheduled programs in January, February, March, and November.

Sunshine News | Elk Rapids Garden Club

April 23rd | Gardening with Michigan Native Plants

PRESENTER: Garrett Noyes

Garrett Noyes and Blythe Webster own and operate Birdsfoot Native Nursery in South Boardman. Started in 2018, Birdsfoot grows Michigan native wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs for habitat restoration, landscape professionals, and home gardeners in northern Michigan. Garrett’s talk will focus on how to incorporate native plants into your garden.

LOCATION: First Presbyterian Church

Thank you to our hostesses: Jackie Compton, Ginny Dorner, Sonja Perry, Kathy Rogols

Matthew Ross

May 21st | 15 Plants You Wish You Grew

PRESENTER: Matthew Ross

Matthew Ross is the Executive Director of the Botanic Gardens at Historic Barns Park. During this program, Matthew will explore plants that bring a wow factor to a garden, pop to a container garden, or serve a unique niche in your landscape. He will be sharing his best of the best selections of plants that are flying a bit under the radar. Matthew will also highlight underappreciated plants from the wild that have yet to be fully embraced by the nursery trade. Whether you are a beginning gardener or a long-time pro, you're sure to discover an array of plants that you will want to add to your garden!

LOCATION: Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion

Thank you to our hostesses: Char Brady, Rebecca Henry, Jan Johnson, Robyn Shank

Terrarium Workshop

June 25th | Terrarium Workshop

PRESENTER: Mike Underwood

Mike Underwood has raised tropical plants and worked as a commercial vendor for 45 years. He loves terrarium plants and ships them across the country to those who wish to make their own terrariums. During this interactive program, you will be supplied with everything you need to create your own personal terrarium.

LOCATION: Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion

Hostesses: Karen Kingon, Wendy McWhorter, Judy Oswald, Chris Sloan

The Secret Garden at Brys Estate

July 23rd | Field Trip: The Secret Garden at Brys Estate


Below the rolling hills of Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery, hidden by tree lines, a low-lying, 12-acre parcel was deemed too cold to grow grapes and sat unused. A visit to France convinced Walt and Eileen Brys that the great fields of lavender growing amid the vineyards there could be grown on their vacant land. After careful research, they experimented with a test crop and the results were promising. Today, the Secret Garden is in full bloom and features over 6,000 lavender plants, a fresh flower garden, an herb garden, and more, managed by Kati and her husband Azmi.

LOCATION: The Secret Garden at Brys Estate; Additional details on time and travel TBA.

Hostesses: Brenda Kelly, Lynda Jarrold, Paula Jorge, Sue Whitney

Support the Club | Elk Rapids Garden Club

August 27th | Smart Gardening: Pest Management in the Vegetable Garden

PRESENTER: Dr. Nate Walton

Dr. Nate Walton is the consumer horticulture educator for MSU Extension in Leelanau County, the Extension master gardener volunteer coordinator for the northwest lower peninsula, and holds a PhD in entomology from Michigan State University. He'll be discussing pest management in the vegetable garden with a focus on conserving beneficial insects and protecting water quality. Nate enjoys teaching both youth and adults on subjects such as pollinator conservation, environmental stewardship, and organic pest management.

LOCATION: Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion

Thank you to our hostesses: Linda Kennedy, Karen Kies, Kathy Maxson, Bonnie Miller

Plants as Medicine

September 24th | Plants as Medicine

PRESENTER: Lori Kroger

Lori Kroger, RN, and her daughter Karla Eisner own Northern Elderberry, LLC, an herbal supplement company that offers elderberry products, herbal tinctures, and elixirs. Lori is a registered nurse, herbalist, and homeopath, and taught Karla from an early age how garden and forest plants can be used for medicinal purposes. Together, they share their knowledge with other mothers and grandmothers on how to use safe, inexpensive, and effective plant-based remedies. During this program, you will learn about the top 10 plants to use to create your own medicinal garden.

LOCATION: Elk Rapids Harbor Pavilion

Please note: Social time begins at 11:30 am with the program starting at noon.

Thank you to our hostesses: Carol Bocskay, Kathy Finnigan, Molly Krause, Lisa Layer

Natalie's Petals

October 22nd | Growing Cut Flowers Throughout the Season

PRESENTER: Natalie Peters

Natalie Peters is the owner of Natalie’s Petals, a cut flower farm in Kewadin where she grows cut flowers and specializes in floral design. Her farm uses organic practices to provide the ideal growing conditions for cut flowers, including crop rotation, cover crops, and beneficial insects. Natalie is a registered nurse and plans to combine her knowledge of both horticulture and healthcare. She will share some of her knowledge and tips on growing cut flowers from May to October, the types of flowers to grow during each of these months, and which wildflowers work well as cut flowers.

LOCATION: First Presbyterian Church

Thank you to our hostesses: Sue Finlayson, Kathy Horsley, Leslie Schroen, Kathy Sergent

Hanging of the Greens | The Elk Rapids Garden Club

November/December: Hanging of the Greens

Greens, swags, and garlands will be prepared and placed on the Swan, Library door, Town Hall, and Pedestrian Bridge. Date: TBD.

The Elk Rapids Garden Walk

On July 18th, 2023, Garden Walk attendees toured six magnificent gardens whose owners are on a mission to preserve northern Michigan’s beauty through water and land conservation. Take a look back at the 2023 Garden Walk and stay tuned for updates on our next Garden Walk event!

State & National Garden Club Events

Click the buttons below to explore the events and programs offered by the Michigan Garden Clubs and the National Garden Clubs.

Since 1931

Through the years, there have been many who have volunteered their time and energy to the Elk Rapids Garden Club. Our collective mission is to be environmentally conscientious as we beautify our homes and village, cultivate a taste, knowledge and love of flowers, plants, trees, and a true friendship with fellow members.

Get in Touch


P.O. Box 534
Elk Rapids, MI 49629