Scoop: Garden Club is ‘flourishing’

BY SUSAN JONAS

Garden Club of Danville

Everything’s coming up roses for the Garden Club of Danville. Not only are members’ gardens flourishing this spring, the club also received a bushelful of awards from the Garden Club of Kentucky, South Atlantic Regional Garden Clubs, and National Garden Clubs, Inc.

Carcille Burchette, president of the Garden Club of Kentucky, came to town in a pretty hat to present the awards in person at the local club’s annual meeting and “Mad Hatter” luncheon at the Danville Country Club in early May. As a result of all its activities, the club received a Standard of Excellence Superiority Award from the state organization.

The highest honor went to Centre professor Dr. Beau Weston, statewide winner of the Garden Club of Kentucky Enrichment Award. This award is presented annually to one non-garden club member or organization in the Commonwealth that exemplifies the goals of the Garden Club of Kentucky.

Dr. Weston won the award in 2020, but the convention was cancelled last year due to the quarantine, so the official presentation was postponed until this month. He is the organizer of the Danville Tree Project, a 10-year plan to plant 500 trees along Danville streets, with an emphasis on native trees. When accepting the award, Weston said that 350 trees have been planted so far all over town, with the latest adding much needed shade for the walking trail along the by-pass.

Burchette presented three national awards to the local club, which is a member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., the largest volunteer gardening organization in the world. Selected State and Regional award winners go on to the national organization for judging against clubs all over the country.

First place winners were for National Garden Week and Video/CD/DVD/Flash Drive. A second place was awarded to Linda Porter for her Civic Project with Native Plants.

The club received nine first place awards from the Garden Club of Kentucky and one second place. The blue ribbons were for Garden Therapy: National Garden Week; Charles Law Arboriculture (the tree brochure for Constitution Square); Membership; Publicity Press Book; Single News Story; Tree Planting; Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse; and Yearbook. The second-place award was for Civic Achievement, improvements to the Mary Akin Memorial Herb Garden at Constitution Square.

Several state winners went on to the South Atlantic Regional Garden Clubs, representing clubs in five southeastern states. Carla Hawkins, Director of the Bluegrass Region presented first place SAR awards for Publicity Press Book and Yearbook.

Members traditionally wear fanciful hats to the annual luncheon that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Hats may be decked out with flowers, fruit or vegetables, ribbons, and bows, even artificial insects and animals.
Wandering the room admiring the hats is part of the fun of the day. Anonymous judges among the admirers choose winners at the close of the luncheon. This year, winners were presented with a small bouquet of herbs and flowers made by luncheon chair Elspeth Cobb. After more than a year of cancelled and curtailed activities, everyone seemed happy to dress up and put on a pretty hat again.

A silent auction of gardening items donated by members was held at the luncheon. Over $1,000 was raised to pay for a Blue Star Memorial plaque to be mounted this fall in front of the Boyle County Court House. These plaques pay tribute to all who have served in the U. S. armed forces. The National Council of State Garden Clubs, now known as National Garden Clubs, Inc. started the program in 1945 after World War II.