Gardening Glimpses

By MRS. HERMAN MCKENZIE,

We can always count on the Garden Club of Jackson to provide us with something interesting, challenging, and in this case something beautiful. This year they will hold their Spring Garden Tour on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21.

The double date is the first accommodation to the real world in which gardeners live. Years ago, the last tour I remember was on a weekday morning, which left out all of the working women (and presumably men.)

I’m interested to see that though the leadership changes, the spirit of adventuring goes on. And this year they are focusing on a major area of Jackson - somewhat old, somewhat new. For the first time in my memory, the Eastover area is the feature destination.

This year’s tour will include three houses and four gardens in the Eastover area, old enough to have mature growth in the gardens and full of elegant homes.

I well remember, when I was first a student at Belhaven in 1955, that Eastover did not exist. Jackson stopped at Meadowbrook.

I’m pleased to see that Primos Café will provide the box lunches, as it was Gus Primos who bought all the open land north of Meadowbrook, just open farm land, which is now the dividing line between Jackson and North Jackson.

There’s enough of garden inspiration in the list of high quality tools for sale, many of them of the highest quality steel, highly recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society, as well as the trendy cedar mason bee shelters.

Another specialty item for sale will be antique roses, as noted Southern expert Miriam Etheridge has brought her favorites from the Antique Rose Emporium, as well as knowledge about growing these trendy but sometimes tricky specialty roses.

 

Lest your husbands feel left out, consider making a date night of it, for the evening garden party at the home of Pryor and Robert Lampton. Their terrace has a spectacular sunset view framed by their wooded landscape and the lake beyond.

Tickets and all of the details are available on Gardenclubofjackson.com. If you are looking for a special treat for your mother, grandmother, or other special women in your life, perhaps a ticket to one or more events would be just the surprise you have been looking for.

To show you how committed I am to the work of this group, if you will email me (no phone calls), at Lmckdaffodils@aol.com, I will forward you some of the plans and pictures in my original packet from Dolly Goings.

This is the garden club that, in addition to all of the things that all garden clubs do, has done a couple of innovative things. One was a workshop for those who work in garden stores, and for those who hire their own workers - some even came with their helpers and learned together.

I told my good friend Cheryl Welch that sometimes I didn’t approve of their innovative programs, such as the work session a couple of years ago which cleared great swathes of Chinese tallow trees gone wild, along the Pearl River where they were choking out the other bushes, and clogging the waterway at the Pearl River curve beneath the science museum.

I treasure my Chinese tallow trees, and dare anyone to touch a branch. But I know, I know - sometimes things have to be cleared out.

 

Cheryl then explained to me about the worthy goal of all this entertainment (besides making your spring time happier) - the money goes to the work at the Lowry House.

I had to ask what it was, and why it needed their creative work, and learned a bit more about Jackson’s history. It was built in the 1850s, and is a rare surviving example of a hip-roofed galleried cottage.

It was originally located at 425 Fortification St., but was moved in 1914 when North Congress Street was extended north beyond Fortification.

(If you are somewhat lost, think “Manship House.”) It had various owners, but was donated to the Mississippi Heritage Trust by the Baptist Hospital, after being named one of Mississippi’s Most Endangered Historic Homes. It is now renovated to house the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s offices.

But it is in need of a garden design plan and installation of paths, lawns, and paths appropriate to the period. So that is where your ticket money goes, with your thanks for the boundless creative energy of this group of women.

Meanwhile, if you are ready to think about something simple in your gardening life, set the alarm clock for this Saturday morning, March 24, for the plant swap at the Madison Library in Madison and turn the page to mark the next Thursday, March 29, for the plant swap in Flora, also at the library in Flora.

The plant swap in Flora is historic, the oldest plant swap in Mississippi. I think the one in Madison is brand new, sponsored by the Madison County Master Gardeners,

The rules are simple. Bring one or two well-rooted sturdy plants (labeled for identification if possible), in Flora allow time to hang around and trade any extras that did not get chosen. In Madison, a new event, they will be serving refreshments and probably explaining about the value of being a Master Gardener.

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