Lelila Sisson Case: How does your garden grow?

Published 12:42 pm Saturday, April 27, 2019

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockleshells
And pretty maids all in a row.”

I don’t know how Mother Goose’s garden grew, but it is has to be delightful. We had a thriving and beautiful flower garden at our home in Atlanta where I grew up — my stepmother was a remarkable gardener — and so was my aunt’s garden across the street, and my grandfather’s gardens were spectacular, too. He grew peonies, that don’t do well here, and when in bloom he picked armloads to bring indoors and to share with others.
How does my garden grow? Thankfully, the lawn is practically weed-free due to Brandon Vann’s spraying it in late February. But to be honest, our garden isn’t exactly a Callaway look-alike — we have a few red knock-out roses that are not exactly knocking themselves out — maybe they need more tender love and care. The Gerbera daisies are poking their heads through the ground after a long winter’s nap, and the Christmas amaryllis transplanted to the garden awoke to greet spring in all her flaming glory.
Why, when we have all this space, don’t we have flowers blooming galore? I have to beg, borrow, and cajole for help to dig in the dirt. I’m look forward to the limelight hydrangea to bud out along with others, but a tree is growing, not in Brooklyn, but in the center of the huge white oak hydrangea in our side yard. The invader tree needs cutting down.
I have planted the window box at the back door with colorful annuals and I bought a unique planter filled with red and purple petunias, dusty miller, and fennel that Faye Frazier, gardener extraordinaire and master flower designer/arranger, created. Faye, along with members of the Dogwood Garden Club, planted 36 containers for the 91st annual convention of the Garden Club of Georgia at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center last week.
These colorful containers graced the tables at the district’s breakfast meeting the second day of the event, and there were compliments all around. Janice Cliett coordinated this project with members from Dogwood Garden Club digging in to plant with material from Joiner’s Feed and Seed on West Forsyth Street. Faye also created the large traditional mass design arrangement of pale pink roses in honor of Garden Club of Georgia President Jane Hersey that positioned at the main entrance of the Trade Center.
Dogwood Garden Club members attending were Joyce Carreker, GCGA, chaplain, and Janice Cliett, Faye Frazier, Willie Maxwell, Mary Ann Parks, and Drenda Sternenberg; and Jane Wilson Abernathy of Leslie of the Town and Country Garden Club. Azalea Garden Club members there were June Ewing, Brooks Nettum, Sheilla Snell, and I. And Brooks had a special duty — she was page to President Hersey. During the business session Phyllis Argo of Azalea Garden Club was appointed Magnolia District corresponding secretary and Joyce Carreker, chaplain.
Keynote luncheon speakers Staci Catron, director of the Cherokee Garden Library at the Atlanta History Center, and Mary Ann Eaddy of Atlanta, retired historic preservationist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, authors of “Seeking Eden: A Collection of Historic Gardens of Georgia” was among the highlights. They gave a fascinating power point presentation about their book that took 12 years to write. They, along with photographer Jim Lockhart, crisscrossed the state visiting historic gardens to research information. The book is a stunner, and proceeds from sales go to the Garden Club of Georgia. I hope we can bring these two authors to Americus so more people can hear their story.
Meanwhile, this is Garden Week in Georgia. So, go and dig in the dirt. I pulled weeds and planted my window box. What are your plans?
It’s recital time for Amy’s Dance School at the Rylander Theatre today. And make your reservations now for the “The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra” that will perform in concert on Thursday, May 9 at the Rylander. Mark, Anne, and I will have a preview in Savannah at the Georgia Society’s 125th Celebration of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America. Bruce is holding down the fort. I’ll tell you all about it next week.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.