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Phil Larsen welcomes new Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club board members Ted Butz and Julie Monroe. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene
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Two board of director seats filled at RSF Garden Club

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club’s annual meeting on May 23 covered business matters including who will fill the director seats formerly held by Covenant residents Fred and Pam Wasserman. Board President Phil Larsen said the Wasserman family members officially retired from the board.

“I am sorry they are not here tonight,” Larsen said. “They have been members of the garden club for seven years and have held positions of responsibility as officers. At any rate, we shall miss them.”

Enough Garden Club members were present for a quorum, so two new board directors were elected. Larsen said that one of its newly elected members was Ted Butz, who recently moved to the Ranch. Also elected to serve on the board was Julie Monroe, who also volunteers at the organization’s consignment shop.

“Ted previously came from Philadelphia and had worked around the world,” Larsen said. “Ted and his family lived in Hong Kong for a few years.” Butz was CEO of a specialty chemical manufacturer, Larsen added.

Shelly Hart, executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, thanks Caitlin Kreutz of the Rancho Santa Fe Workshop for championing workshops at the SantaLuz Club. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene

Larsen described Monroe as a dedicated garden club member who will be acting as secretary.

“In Julie’s spare time, she is a silversmith and owns a jewelry making business,” Larsen said. “She and her husband, Mark, many years ago founded and then later sold a medical services company. She is a very accomplished member of the board, and we are happy that she is with us.”

Next up was Executive Director Shelly Hart, who provided a rundown of past activities and workshops such as a visit from Sonja Glassman, who authored “The Big Promise” and had a book signing.

Hart also talked about workshops that took place at both the garden club, such as a rose workshop, and the Santaluz Club, which hosted an herb workshop. Caitlin Kreutz of the Rancho Santa Association championed the seminars at Santaluz.

“Caitlin is a horticulture specialist that helped us to learn how to plan our own herb gardens,” Hart said. “It was fantastic. We had about 30 people over at the Santaluz Club, and it was very fun.”

Hart also noted the field trips the club has embarked on such as The Grand Tradition in Fallbrook, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana and a train ride to San Juan Capistrano to visit the mission.

Hart then shared the success of the most recent event in the Covenant in May, Rambling through the Ranch. It was co-chaired by both Hart and Janet Lawless Christ.

“We had four open-air trolleys and four beautiful gardens that ranged from succulent gardens to tropical gardens,” she said. “We even had one with an ocean view, a very modern-themed garden with ocean view and then a golf course view.”

Hart then shared upcoming field trips, including one to the Butterfly Farms in Encinitas on June 18, and the other, a DIY Earring Workshop on June 25 with board member Monroe.

To learn more about the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club and its upcoming events, visit