The Ottawa Garden Club is involved in a number of community outreach activities including raising funds for various charities, creating and maintaining gardens at the Perley Veterans and Health Centre, providing a scholarship to a promising young student in a horticultural program, and other special projects.
A significant Community Outreach activity has been the creation and maintenance of the south courtyard garden at the Perley and Rideau Veterans' Health Centre. This project was begun in 2005, and has been expanded to include maintenance of the the north courtyard garden as well. A team of volunteers works in the garden throughout the summer for the benefit of the veterans and residents who enjoy sitting or walking through this wonderful space.
A favourite activity for the group has been planning and decorating the historic postal cart in the main entrance of the Centre. Thanks to the creative talents of Dianne Breton and Cynthia Hoisak, the cart is decorated at least twice a year with winter themes ranging from a Christmas village, to snowmen, to piles of wrapped gifts, while at other times of the year the cart has been festooned as a thanksgiving harvest , beach party, and last year a theme honouring the 2014 Olympics. Residents and guests alike enjoy the festive and fun decorations as they enter the building.
Each year, the Ottawa Garden Club offers a bursary for a promising horticultural student at Algonquin College. The bursary is named in recognition of Anstace Esmonde-White, founding member and Honorary President of the Club. Anstace and her husband Larry produced, wrote and starred in the popular gardening series, "From a Country Garden", which was broadcast on PBS across North America from 1984 to 2000.
Every two years, talented artists of the Garden Club mount a magnificent and varied display of their work at Another Bloomin' Show, held at the Rockcliffe Retirement Residence in early June. In 2015, proceeds from the sale of art was generously donated to the Butterfly Garden at CHEO. The Butterfly Garden was created in partnership with the Ottawa Chapter of Compassionate Friends in memory of children who have passed away. Designed in the shape of a butterfly with a paved body and wings of flowers, it is a peaceful place for families to visit and find consolation. In 2017, a portion of the proceeds was donated to the OGC's Commemorative Garden of Remembrance at the Canadian War Museum.
The creation of a Commemorative Garden of Remembrance, in collaboration with the Canadian War Museum, offered the Ottawa Garden Club a special opportunity to collectively celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Canada to benefit our community. As flowers have long been symbols of important moments in our history, the OGC proposed to the Canadian War Museum (CWM) a simple wildflower concept to commemorate the valour and sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom. We were honoured that the CWM designated the Beaumont-Hamel site for this project. A small team of members have planted a variety of wildflowers common to Newfoundland and Labrador including forget-me-nots, pitcher plants, and lupins to commemorate the sacrifices of the Newfoundland Regiment on the morning of July 1, 1916. The official opening of the garden took place in June 2017.