Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas

by Stan Aten

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The Rainbow Garden Club of North Texas (RGC) has its roots in the gardening chat room of AOL. Two gardeners, Lew Begley and Jesse Rocha, met there in 1991, and agreed that there was a need to organize a garden club for GLBT gardeners to share their knowledge with each other & with the community at large.

The first meeting was held at Lew’s home in January of 1991.  There were five people present, Lew Begley, Jesse Rocha, Stan Aten, Jim Garnsey, and Gene Lewlis (deceased). From those early roots (pardon the pun) has grown a large and vibrant club of over 100 members.

Since 1992, RGC members have traveled to public gardens and garden-related attractions in Austin, Dallas, Fredericksburg, Ft. Worth, Galveston, McKinney, Oklahoma City, Tyler, and Weatherford.   RGC also helped in the formation of the Rainbow Garden Club in San Antonio.

In recent years, the RGC sponsored public garden tours of member gardens to raise money for garden projects that benefit the community.   These projects include gardens at AIDS Services of Dallas, Resource Center Dallas, Trial Gardens at the Dallas Arboretum, and at Kiest Park in Oak Cliff.   This group continues to provide monthly programs to help fellow gardeners learn how to garden in North Texas.