in focus: Allegheny County Garden Club

With a father in the military, Debbie Beck moved frequently growing up. Every time her family moved, however, she had a special task to do. “It was always my job to leave the property looking nicer than when we first got there,” she says. Her property improvement invariably meant making the yard prettier.

Thanks to that early green thumb, Beck, Mayfair Drive, continues to garden not only at home but also with the Allegheny County Garden Club, a group she joined in 2004. She is now helping the club mark its centennial year with a special version of its annual “Pizzazz” fundraiser, Thursday, October 16 through Saturday, October 18 at the Fox Chapel Golf Club.

On Thursday from 6 to 9 P.M. the club will have its Centennial Birthday Party, with a cocktail reception and shopping for unique items from exclusive boutiques. Tickets are $125. Friday and Saturday are shopping days with optional buffet lunch. Admission is $10 at the door; lunch is $20.

Pizzazz supports regional gardening and botanical efforts. Last year’s grant recipients included Tree Pittsburgh, maple tree research at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and the UPMC St. Margaret Hospital Garden of Hope. In honor of centennial, the club’s aims to raise $100,000, which would get them to more than $1,000,000 in total contributions over the years.

The Garden Club itself has two booths at the event, Fleurs and Timeless Treasures, which are mixed among vendors from New York to Missouri selling merchandise such as silk garments, jewelry and even embroidered cowboy boots.

“It is truly a unique shopping experience and worth the trip,” says Beck.
Beck works exclusively with Fleurs, a French-style floral stall, selling fresh flower arrangements and made-to-order items that use plant material from members’ gardens.

Her Mt. Lebanon home overflows with flowers. “My husband always tells me if I put one more thing in our yard I will need to get a zoning permit.”

Details or call 412-720-6702.