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Garden club helps downtown Turlock welcome spring
Kathy Tucker, Soni Hill, Carol McRoberts, Holli Walker, Judy Green and Bernie Semore of the Turlock Garden Club pose for a picture before planting flowers for their downtown beautification project. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Downtown Turlock is already a beautiful place, but it just got a whole lot prettier. As part of their efforts to beautify the downtown area, the Turlock Garden Club planted stunning displays of flowers in the large, cement pots that decorate Main Street.

The flower pots are a collaboration between the Turlock Downtown Property Owners' Association, the Turlock Garden Club and The Greenery Nursery, which sponsored the planting. Orchard Supply Hardware Store donated items used for the planting as well.

“We love flowers and we love the downtown area to look nice,” said Carol McRoberts, a past president of the Turlock Garden Club. “It’s a win-win situation for the club.”

The 40 flower pots are spread throughout five downtown blocks. Each block has a captain from the garden club who is in charge of planting and maintaining the flowers in their assigned area. Twenty-four garden club members volunteered their time Tuesday morning and weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty – all in the name of beautification.

“There are so many businesses downtown,” said volunteer Judy Green. “It makes it beautiful and makes people happy.”

Flower pots that spend a lot of time in the sun became home to the roots of colorful marigolds and zinnias, while those that are covered by shade welcomed salvia and SunPatiens. The flowers and their colors were chosen to match the Stanislaus County Fair banners that currently hang throughout the downtown area, according to Turlock Downtown Executive Director Gina Loretelli.

“The flower pots are a labor of love,” said Loretelli. “The garden club is so passionate about what they do, and we really want them to know that we appreciate it.”

The garden club plants the downtown flowers twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Volunteers work on the pots once a month year-long to maintain the flowers, cleaning up any spent blooms and trimming excess plants down.

Though the garden club keeps the flowers in tip-top shape, it is hard for them to look out for the flowers at all hours of the day. The flower pots have been subject to theft and vandalism in the past.

“We’ve had stolen flowers,” said Block Captain Susan Smith. “People just pulled them up and stole them.”

Smith urges community members to keep an eye on the pots when visiting downtown in order to prolong the preservation of the flowers.

All of the Turlock Garden Club’s digging and planting truly paid off, with the bright reds, golds, purples and greens of the flower pots bringing beauty that can only be found in the spring to downtown Turlock.