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Gates Mills Improvement Society

Gates Mills Garden Club

The purpose of the Gates Mills Garden Club is to stimulate interest in gardening, preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Village of Gates Mills, and promote charitable, educational, and scientific endeavors related to gardening.  In 2023, GMGC did the following:

  • Held the annual Plant Sale and Vintage Boutique at Esquire’s Cottage on Memorial Day Weekend.
  • Held a flower show “Jewels from the Garden” with a youth division, “Sparkle”.
  • Held monthly educational program meetings and workshops, followed by lunch.
  • Maintained the cottage, barn and gardens at Esquire’s Cottage.
  • During the planting season, held monthly Stage Hands working sessions to teach gardening skills.  The programs are so named in honor of Florence Stage, who bequeathed her property to the garden club.
  • Planted and maintained winter and summer plantings in the flower boxes on the North and South Bridges.
  • On the 4th of July, decorated and entered a float which won the Silver Trophy for Best Parade Theme Interpretation.
  • Helped the Village maintain the Village Arboretum.
  • Organized the Annual Roadside Cleanup for the Village.
  • Worked with Gates Mills Elementary School students, planting flowers and herbs.
  • Celebrated Arbor Day at GMES by planting a tree in memory of Jen Decker.
  • Celebrated National Garden Week with daily programs, including  a youth workshop “Backyard Birds”, which included decorating bird houses for entry in our flower show.  Also created and placed bouquets on graves of our members in the North and South Cemeteries.
  • Continued Senior Outreach activities including small floral arrangements for Hospice and Meals on Wheels, as well as delivering fresh flower arrangements to Village residents suffering illness or loss.
  • Designed and planted the planters in front of the Old Livery Tavern.
  • Designed and decorated a holiday tree at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
  • Provided weekly flower arrangements in our Library and Post Office branches.
  • Completed the woodland restoration project and cleared invasives at Esquire’s Cottage.
  • Planted, tended and harvested both cut flower and vegetable gardens at Gates Mills Environmental Education Center.
  • Awarded three college scholarships to high school students interested in pursuing environmental programs.
  • Participated in Annual Service Department Luncheon.
  • Held a plant exchange with members exchanging plants from their properties.


   In 2024, we can look forward to doing all those activities again, with the exception of doing a flower show in the fall.  Instead, On June 21 and 22 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, we will present our biennial garden tour “Through the Garden Gate”, a tour of 7 exclusive private gardens, with lunch at the historic Hunt Club, mini-coach transportation, and vendor shopping also available. 

   As we do every year, we will hold our annual Plant Sale and Vintage Boutique on Saturday, May 25 from 8:00 am until Noon at Esquire’s Cottage & Barn, 1280 Chagrin River Road. This sale features a wide variety of perennial plants grown in local gardens plus vintage home and garden items. We will also once again be working with students through activities at both Gates Mills Elementary School and Gates Mills Environmental Educational Center. As you drive around our village, please enjoy our May baskets brightening our street signs followed by beautifully blooming bridge boxes in late spring and summer. We are looking forward to another year of fulfilling our mission in Gates Mills!


Janet AuWerter and Linda Wiest

Co-Presidents, Gates Mills Garden Club