April 19, 2014 10:59:36 PM
"Columbus, Where Ideas Take Flight"is the theme for the 85th Annual Convention of The Garden Clubs of Mississippi to be held in Columbus April 22-24. The convention, hosted by The Council of Columbus Garden Clubs, has been coordinated by Chairman Doris Ebner and Co-Chairman Eulalie Davis, along with a host of volunteers. The convention is held in various cities throughout Mississippi. It has been more than 10 years since it has convened in Columbus.
More than 200 garden club members from across Mississippi have already registered and will begin arriving in Columbus Tuesday, when convention activities begin with meetings and a festive early arrival reception and dinner.
On Wednesday, convention attendees will tour Whitehall and Rosedale antebellum homes. Garden tours of the Colonnade Garden and Pratt Thomas Home Garden will be available, as well as a bus tour of historic Southside including Friendship Cemetery. Other activities are workshops, a design banquet, flower show awards and an awards luncheon.
"A variety of workshops will be available and are designed to be beneficial to the individual as well as their community," Davis said. "Some of the workshops offered will be Gardening Sustainable with Native Plants, Designing for a Xeriscape Garden and The Importance of Pollinators-Beekeeping in Mississippi."
The Council of Columbus Garden Clubs has for many years worked diligently to further interest in gardening, conservation and beautification. This active group of volunteers has planted gingko trees in the downtown area of Columbus and planted 5,000 daffodils at the Riverwalk as part of the Plant The Town Project. They have planted trees in the medians and along roads and highways. Flowers at the Stephen D. Lee Home during Pilgrimage are provided by the Council.
Future projects planned are landscaping of the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center and assisting with the Columbus Cultural Foundation's garden club event held during the Decorative Arts & Preservation Forum Antique Show and Sale. The Council also supports the Mississippi State University Horticulture Summer Camp for high school students.
There are approximately 12 active local garden clubs in Columbus. They work on many community improvement and beautification projects. They have worked with various city and county schools, maintain an area of the Gen. Stephen D. Lee family plot at Friendship Cemetery and planted and maintained maple and crepe myrtle trees at Friendship Cemetery. They have worked on garden projects at Brighter Days Senior Day Center, maintain planters at The Good Samaritan Clinic and assisted with the Blue Star Highway Marker and The Blue Star Byway Marker for the historic Vaughn Cemetery. Garden club members serve as hostesses during the annual Columbus Pilgrimage.
Trotter Convention Center will be headquarters for the convention. Additional activities will be held at the Stephen D. Lee Home, Lion Hills Center and Fairfield Inn & Suites.
"The City of Columbus, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, local garden clubs and the entire business community have been assisting in every way possible." said Ebner. "We're extremely grateful for their cooperation and efforts in making the convention guests from across the state feel welcome in the Friendly City."