Orinda Garden Club Launches Downtown Beautification Project

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(Jane Wiser, Photographer)
Orinda Garden Club members take a moment across from the Orinda Theatre before replanting pots and beautifying Orinda for spring. (L-R) Sue Andersen-Berger, Alyssa Harris, Julie Abramson (sitting), Montelindo Garden Club member Judy Hammon and Orinda Garden Club members Lisa Jorgens and Bobbie Wilson.

    The Orinda Garden Club (OGC) is marking the turn of the season by taking on the new project of refurbishing garden pots in Theatre Square.
    According to club leadership, the pots were first installed around 2011 when an anonymous donor contributed generously to the Orinda Garden Club, Orinda Juniors Garden Club, Orinda Valley Garden Club and Montelindo Garden Club. Per the request of the donor, the money was to be used in a cooperative project among the clubs. According to OGC’s Community Affairs and Beautification Chair, Sue Andersen-Berger, that is when the idea for the pots originated.
    According to club member Bobbie Wilson, most of the money for the repairs came from the Orinda Foundation, but the rest was financed, once again, by an anonymous donor.
    “Plants are good to have around town; they bring color and life to a city and soften hard landscapes,” Wilson said.
    Wilson’s subcommittee took responsibility for leading the project.
    “Bobbie really has been the boots on the ground for this one; she has been great,” OGC President Jane Wiser said.
    Andersen-Berger, responsible for selecting the array of plants to be installed in the pots, said that she’s mainly focused on providing a sense of “connectivity and uniformity” throughout the city.
    “I want to tie Orinda together. I want it to look planned. And, of course, I want it to be drought resistant,” Andersen-Berger said.
    In an earlier project, Andersen-Berger worked to re-plant and landscape the plot of land located next to Safeway at the intersection of Orinda Way and Camino Sobrante. For that project, she focused on incorporating flowering plants with cooler tones, which also offered high drought resistance. She hopes to take the same approach to the pots project.
    Although her favorite plant to garden is old-growth roses, Andersen-Berger plans on incorporating grasses like Platinum Beauty Lomandra and Clematis in the downtown area.
    According to Wiser, the club has its sights set on a few new projects, most notably redoing the landscaping around the Community Center. Wiser noted, however, they have not nailed down an exact timeline for that project yet.

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