Club plants thousands of daffodils

The Oak Harbor Garden Club will celebrate 100 years in October of next year.

Next spring, thousands of bright yellow flowers will bloom throughout the city of Oak Harbor.

The Oak Harbor Garden Club planted over 6,000 daffodil bulbs last month to celebrate 100 years in October of next year, fulfilling the nonprofit’s mission of developing a beautiful city through the loving care of small areas.

“They should be noticeable. It should be kind of stunning,” said Kathy Chaflant, the chair of the garden club’s leadership board.

Helene Valdez, who is a member of the club, suggested the idea to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

“We all thought that sounded like a great idea and we decided to go for it,” Chaflant said.

A total of 6,850 bulbs were planted by club members and volunteers. The city supplied 2,000 bulbs to go in the blue pots along Pioneer Way and in various parks. The club purchased an additional 5,000 bulbs to decorate areas such as the leaf sculpture on Highway 20 which has 450 bulbs planted near it.

The club donated 1,000 bulbs to the Oak Harbor School District – 100 for each school. All schools participated and the daffodil bulbs were planted with the help of students.

“We had a great turnout of help,” Chaflant said.

The club dates back to Oct. 3, 1923, when a group of Oak Harbor women created the organization to protect Garry oak trees in Smith Park.

In more recent years, the club has focused on civic improvement. Members have done landscaping at the Whidbey Playhouse and on the corner of Midway Boulevard and Whidbey Avenue, as well as beautification of the city of Oak Harbor’s welcome signs.

The club is focusing on revitalizing after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s a really nice energy and younger people joining,” Chaflant said.

Currently with 73 members, the club’s goal is to have 100 by its centennial.

The garden club meets the second Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon at the First United Methodist Church in Oak Harbor. Along with speakers who lead educational sessions, members gather to discuss local city gardening projects and what’s growing in their own gardens.

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