In Memory of Shirley Meneice

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Shirley Meneice on July 16, 2020. She was a passionate horticulturist, a mentor to so many, and inspiration for all of us. She was a member of the Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club.

Shirley began gardening with a great zeal at the age of 5, when her mother gave her a small patch of garden. She planted radishes that did quite well, and she never looked back. After college, she moved west to Kansas City, then California, learning from each ecosystem what would thrive. She was an accomplished propagator, including of camellias, and has a cultivar named for her. On the GCA seed share database you will still find seeds of numerous plants that Shirley collected and made available to GCA members.

Shirley was so grateful to participate in the conference that was inspired by and named for her when we hosted it in 2019. She enthusiastically joined tours and breakout sessions, taking notes and constantly looking to learn something new. Her note to me after she returned home was full of gratitude for our hospitality and admiration for DBG’s amazing staff. She said of the staff “if any of them would like to live in the Carmel area, I’m sure we could find a place for them – although our skiing is mainly on water, salty water.” But her highest praise was for our club in planning and executing “the best Shirley Meneice Conference ever.” As her friend Luise Strauss noted of Shirley, “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you may never get to see.”

She requested no service, but should you wish, sow a seed, propagate a plant, or dig in the dirt in her memory. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Garden Club of America Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference Fund, Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club, Center for Plant Conservation, UC Santa Cruz Arboretum & Botanic Garden, League of Women Voters, Connecticut College, or the organization of your choice.