Living in Butte County, we are blessed with a Mediterranean climate that allows for outdoor activities almost year-round. Not only is the climate accommodating, but most of us in the valley have good soil. And in the foothills, soil can be amended to allow the growth of a wide range of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and shrubs. To top it all off, there is a wealth of experience, guidance, and support to be found in the form of local garden and gardening-related clubs. If you'd like to spend time with others who share your specific gardening interests, or if you have a garden issue you need help with, start with a look at the Butte County clubs and organizations described and listed in alphabetical order below. (Apologies to any clubs that have been inadvertently omitted). Please note that most of these clubs do not meet during some of the summer months).
Butte Rose Society (BRS)
Dedicated to the enjoyment of roses, the Butte Rose Society is an affiliate of the American Rose Society and the Northern California Nevada Hawaii District (a Benefactor Patron of the American Rose Society). Membership is open to all rose lovers and guests are welcomed at the general meetings which are held on the last Tuesday of each month from August through May at 7:00 p.m. at the Chico Veterans Memorial Hall, 554 Rio Lindo Avenue, Chico.
A much-awaited event each January is the annual BRS pruning fundraiser, which has a waiting list of homeowners with roses who are eager to benefit from the pruning aid and expertise of the club's members. The fundraiser supports the annual rose show, as well as membership meeting expenses. Consulting Rosarians are also available to answer rose-related questions and concerns. For more information, go to the Society's website.
Chico Horticultural Society
Organized in May of 1921, Chico Horticultural Society (commonly referred to as “Chico Hort”) is one of the oldest horticultural societies in the state. It is also a charter member of California Garden Clubs Inc., California's state-wide horticultural society founded in 1931.
Club members plant and maintain gardens at the Chico Library, the City Plaza's Veterans Garden, and the flowerbeds at the Chico History Museum at Salem and 2nd Streets. Chico Hort's annual plant and flower sale at the Home and Garden Show in April raises money for the School Gardening Program, a project that provides grants for school gardens and other horticulture-related school projects.
Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month from September through June at the Butte County Library, 1108 Sherman Avenue, Chico. Meetings are open to the public and visitors can participate in any or all portions of the meetings. The upcoming meeting on May 15 will begin with social time at 11:30 am, followed by the business meeting from 12:00-1:00, and the guest speaker from 1:00-2:00 pm. The speaker will be Emma Harris of Pine Creek Flowers, a two-acre flower farm in Chico.
Green Thumb Garden Club of Gridley
Meeting the third Thursday of the month from 9:30-11:00 am, the Green Thumb Garden Club of Gridley presents programs on gardening, houseplant selection and care, and other horticultural topics pertinent to the local area. Meetings are held at the Orchard Hospital Medical Specialty Building, 284 Spruce Street, Gridley.
The club is offering a local scholarship to a Gridley High School graduate who has taken a floral design or horticulture class and plans to study either horticulture or floral design at a two- or four-year college.
Lake Oroville Area Garden Club
Meeting on the second Thursday of each month from September through June, the Lake Oroville Area Garden Club is gearing up for their major fundraiser of the year. The free event, located at Sank Park, 1067 Montgomery Street in Oroville is billed as the 11th annual “Garden Gift Sale in the Gazebo.” Succulents planted in decorative planters are offered for sale to the public, as well as annuals, perennials, birdhouses, yard art, Atlas gloves, and raffle baskets.
Monthly meetings begin with social time from 9:30-10:00 am followed by an educational presentation or workshop. A short business meeting wraps it all up. Meetings are held at the Trinity Presbyterian Fellowship Hall, 2350 Foothill Boulevard, Oroville.
Leo T. Clark Iris Society
Magalia Beautification Association (MBA)
Beginning in 1997, Magalia residents Dolores Crum, Trudy Tweedt, Clarice Wert, and Jean Jessop wanted to spruce up the Magalia Post Office. Their efforts were so successful that they next turned their attention to Fire Station #33. Thus the Magalia Beautification Association was born. The first public meeting was held on June 23, 1997. Those two initial civic gardens led to the sixteen gardens and various small plots that MBA now maintains throughout Magalia.
Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at the POA Racine Center in Magalia. Meetings begin with lunch at 12:30, with the business portion of the meeting following, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. For more information, go to the organization's website.
North Valley Orchid Society
An affiliate of the American Orchid Society, the North Valley Orchid Society meets formally every other month at the Butte County Library, 1108 Sherman Ave, Chico. On the alternate months Society members tour orchid collections at member's homes, commercial greenhouses, and other places of interest. The next meeting will be held on May 9, 2023 at 7:00 pm. Members enjoy swapping plants, displaying their orchids, attending lectures by leading local and national orchid authorities, and, of course, “meeting and mixing” with other orchid enthusiasts. Membership is open to novice, advanced, and commercial growers.
Paradise Garden Club Inc (PGCI)
The annual Paradise Garden Tour is scheduled for June 3rd and 4th, 2023 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Titled “Watch Us Grow,” the self-guided tour of privately-owned gardens in Paradise is always a fun and educational event. The tour hub, located at the Paradise Irrigation District office on Clark Road, will host a Plant Sale and Gardener's Boutique. Tickets are $20 and available at local nurseries. Proceeds from the tour provide scholarships for Butte College agriculture students.
Chico Bonsai Society
Local practitioners of this ancient art meet on the second Sunday of each month at the Chico branch of the Butte County Library, 1108 Sherman Avenue, at 10:30 am. Meetings cover a wide variety of topics, from plant cultivation and care to the styling and staging of specimen plants. Meetings often also include a round table discussion of unusual and unique plants, and conclude with a raffle and silent auction of bonsai plant material. For more details, see the group's website.
UC Master Gardeners of Butte County
And of course, there is great companionship, knowledge, and problem solving with Master Gardeners too!
MASTER GARDENERS PLANT SALE! Mark your calendar for our plant sale on Sunday, May 14, 2023 from 9 am to noon. The sale will be held at the Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at Patrick Ranch, 10381 Midway, Durham. The plants, which are selected to thrive in our climate, have been propagated by UC Master Gardeners of Butte County. For more information and a list of the plants that will available, see our website.
UC Master Gardeners of Butte County are part of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) system. To learn more about us and our upcoming events, and for help with gardening in our area, visit our website. If you have a gardening question or problem, email the Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a phone message on our Hotline at (530) 538-7201. To speak to a Master Gardener about a gardening issue, or to drop by the MG office during Hotline hours, see the most current information on our Ask Us section of our website.