“The first and foremost purpose of the club is to educate members on gardening, because there is always something new on gardening," said Charlotte Thomann, current president of the club.
The second purpose of the club is to educate the community, mostly through programs like the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour and the Downtown Planner, in which members of the club take care of flowers on Franklin Street and Columbia Street.
“Hopefully (we can) pass on to them maybe some inspiration and get them to love gardening,” Thomann said.
Every other year, the Chapel Hill Spring Garden Tour is the main fundraising activity of the club, which draws 1,200 to 1,500 visitors.
“We’re so lucky to have this. It serves the whole state," Norwood said. "It’s not only in your backyard."
Norwood's personal garden was recently selected to be featured on the cover of Country Garden magazine's May issue.
For about 15 years, all of the proceeds from the tour went towards the new building, which is now the James & Delight Allen Education Center, said Charlotte Jones-Roe, the director of development at N.C. Botanical Garden.
“That’s a huge contribution. I think that gave over $100,000 toward that facility,” she said.
N.C. Botanical Garden and Chapel Hill Garden Club have a long history of cooperation. An early president of the club, Addie Totten, and her husband, donated their home to N.C. Botanical Garden after their deaths.
The first building in the garden was funded by them, Norwood said. Members of the club are therefore given the chance to meet in the N.C. Botanical Garden’s building for free.
“They are very supportive and they help with bringing the community and support N.C. Botanical Garden,“ Jones-Roe said.
The club helps other organizations, as well.
“We take care of gardens at the Stratford and Livewell Sister Learning Center. We donate garden tools to new owners of Habitat for Humanity homes,” Thomann said.
Thomann said the whole group is wonderful and everyone is very supporting.
“We just enjoyed each other’s company," Norwood said. "We make lifelong friends.”