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"Mill Creek Garden Club Leaps into the 21st Century!" By Lila Johnson

It took a bit of nudging, but we did it! It might have been a baby step rather than a leap, but December 8th marked the first Zoom meeting for Mill Creek Garden Club. Oh my, I cannot tell you how great it was seeing all those smiling faces. We laughed about makeup or lack thereof, casual or formal attire, and long or short hair.
Riz Reyes and his enchanting “twig grid” winter woodland arrangement. Photo courtesy of Mill Garden Club.

By Lila Johnson, Mill Creek Garden Club Publicity Chair.

It took a bit of nudging, but we did it! It might have been a baby step rather than a leap, but December 8, 2020, marked the first Zoom meeting for Mill Creek Garden Club. After a Board discussion, a member survey, a request for a volunteer and two “practice sessions,” Garden Club had a successful virtual meeting with more than half of our membership signed in!  

Oh my, I cannot tell you how great it was seeing all those smiling faces. We laughed about makeup or lack thereof, casual or formal attire, and long or short hair. Our techie volunteer, April Guentz, checked everyone in, made sure we knew where to find the mute button and then we were greeted by President Lyndal Kennedy. 

1st VP Kathy Thomas reminded us about our December 10 Toys for Tots toy drive and then our terrific guest speaker Riz Reyes was introduced.  What a knowledgeable and personable young man!  He came to this country from the Philippines as a young boy and fell in love with plants and flowers immediately.

Riz gave us an up close demonstration of how to create a winter woodland floral arrangement using foliage from our garden, including interestingly-shaped dried up leaves. He included store-bought white roses and green carnations for holiday flair. He gave a great tip on how to create a “grid” of twigs and woody stems or a ball of galvanized chicken wire to create and stabilize the arrangement. 

One of these grids placed on top of a vase eliminates the need for commonly used “oasis” and both are environmentally friendly and safe for the designer. The arrangement rests on top of the vase, while the stems go into the water. Both grids allow the arrangement to be lifted for easy, no-mess water replenishment.  Riz joked we could tie a bow around the removed arrangement, and we’d have a bridal bouquet!

Riz has a degree from the University of Washington, has won numerous design awards, owns his own company, and is the garden manager for McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell.  He was a congenial speaker, offering tips and answering questions on the fly. He graciously offered two items for our raffle (a fresh woodland arrangement and a kit to make the twig grid) and agreed to safely deliver them to the winners’ homes this week!  

Talk of our raffles brings me back to resident techie April; she amazed us with a computer-generated spinning wheel with all our names on it. After several rotations, it selected the winner for both raffles.  She’s our own Vanna White! 

Congratulations to December meeting raffle winner Judy Morrier and Riz’ surprise winners Lynne Menzies and Mary Carlson, who was celebrating her birthday! 

Lynne Menzies, Program Chair has booked other guest speakers for those upcoming virtual meetings. Thank goodness for technology during Covid; it was worth the leap!   

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