Garden club celebrates 87 years

The members of the Pickens Garden Club celebrated the club’s 87th birthday April 2. Pictured are, front row, from left: Miriam Hendricks, Dora Tait and Maura Edwards. Second row: Lucy Ward, Selena Day, Cindy Wood, Katherine Gitto, Kathryn Morgan, Debbie Teeple and Ann Bowen. Third row: Avanell Morrison, Judy Atkins and Anne Hall. Back row: Ann Day, Pam Jones and Lindsey Jones.                                 Rocky Nimmons/The Courier

PICKENS — Eighty-seven years ago, the year 1926, eight ladies gathered in Miss Elinor Knight’s music room under the bell tower of Pickens High School to establish the Pickens Garden Club.

The ladies attending were born in the late 1800s. Amazingly, the group had time to leave its ironing and quilting to think of flowers and nature’s beauty. This club, and through the years many others, beautified the town and the highways of Pickens.

Almost a century later, on April 2, the Pickens Garden Club gathered on the porch and grounds of the Hagood-Mauldin House in Pickens to celebrate the 87th anniversary of the club. Not much ironing and even less quilting goes on these days, but many of the club’s goals continue.

“We still foster the study and love of gardening, landscape design, flower arranging and horticulture,” club member Katherine Gitto said. “We also encourage civic planting and beauty by planting trees and helping to erect signs welcoming visitors to our town. We have added the goal of fostering environmental concerns throughout the community.”

The club sponsors the Holly Springs Elementary School Youth Garden Club, recent winner of an award bestowed by the Garden Club of South Carolina. The beautiful rose garden on the grounds of the Hagood-Mauldin House is also maintained by the club.

The club annually sponsors a youth’s attendance at Camp Wildwood and sells low-cost plants at the Pickens Azalea Festival to enable all interested citizens to have home gardens.

To add a bit of frivolity to the April 2 event, members donned hats and gloves for the birthday celebration. In 1926, the gloves were white, but this year, many wore festive gardening gloves. Members and guests were participants in the club’s annual April share and care plant exchange.