Signs of Hope from Garden Club

(Courtesy of Orinda Garden Club)
Louise Diracles, who is writing the History of the Orinda Garden Club needs to identify the women in this photo from 1966. It is believed they are (L-R) Dorothy Lamb, Mary Field and Mattie Borden.

    The shelter in place order didn’t stop the silky orange petals of California poppies to spread across the Highway 24 on-ramp triangle, their frothy blossoms waving about in the breeze. Glinting in the sun, they have all but overwhelmed the earlier blooming daffodils.
    The Orinda Garden Club’s Beautification Committee created this little bit of springtime heaven, which was planted in the fall, according to club president Jane Wiser.
    Sue Anderson-Berger, Lisa Hallahan and Gina Barretta led a crew of club volunteer planters. Narcissus (a bulb) and Eschscholzia (an annual from seed) thrive without additional water. Both are adapted to the East Bay’s climate as long as they get sun; they lie dormant except in late winter and early spring.
    “They represent renewal and the certainty that we will emerge from this crisis together,” said Wiser.
    Inveterate club gardeners, by complying with safe-distancing practices, are continuing their connection with the earth and all things beautiful it brings. Many are planting victory gardens.
    Tomato Lady, Sue Anderson-Berger, is nursing several hundred tomato seedlings, a reminder for the rest of us to get busy, whether in a container, raised bed or just the plain old ground. She also sent seed packages of easy-to-grow Virginia Stock (Malcolmia maritima) to members to unite their gardens with its profusely flowering cinnamon/clove scented white blossoms.
    New members are cultivating Scented Geranium (Pelargonium spp.) cuttings from the original plant of club founder Dorothy Lamb.
    Louise Diracles, who is working on the History of the Orinda Garden Club while sheltering in place, needs the public’s help to identify the women in a photo from 1966 (above). In addition, there are two garden club presidents whose first names she does not know: Mrs. Hans Lugenbuehl (1939-1940) and Mrs. Neal East (1948-1949). Diracles can be reached at

(Kathy Enzerink, Photographer)
Eschscholzia californica or California Poppies with their silky tangerine petals glinting in the sun brighten up the triangle meridian on Camino Pablo near the Highway 24 on/off ramp.

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