On Veteran’s Day the District Region 10 Garden Clubs met at Shawnee State Park Lodge to begin decking the halls of the lodge for Christmas. Over 60 trees are on display with 35 of those decorated by the club members, volunteers and more than 50 youth volunteers from area schools. Region 10 consists of garden clubs from Scioto, Pike and Lawrence counties. Youth volunteers were from Northwest and Rock Hill Schools.
Shelby Powell, 2019-2020 Director of Region 10 Garden Clubs, said the only Jr. Garden Club is located in Lawrence County at Rock Hill School. Powell said there are 10 clubs in the region and they all come together to decorate the lodge. The clubs will return for an open house on Sunday, December 1 starting at noon with vendors set up for shopping and the community can browse and take in the decorations. Some of the ladies from the garden club make items and sell them at the open house.
Robin McIntire, general manager of Shawnee State Park Lodge said this is the 28th year the clubs have been decorating.
She stated, “We purchase new lights each year and this year we purchased over 50,000.”
The decorations will be up through January 22. McIntire said they will donate the lights to whomever wants them after that date.
According to McIntire, the open house brings over 1500 people to the lodge. West High School Chior will be singing, a buffet will be available and the garden club ladies will be there with cookies and hot chocolate. McIntire said a woman has planned to come as far as Connecticut that she knows of in addition to the regular lodgers that include hunters from 11 different states.
“We appreciate the area garden clubs coming out,” said McIntire. “This was a record breaking year for the youth volunteers,” said McIntire.
Michael Kidd drove the Rock Hill National Honor Society, Science Club and Jr. Garden Club’s (named the Weed Whackers) student members from Rock Hill High School.
“There was about 40 kids and three teachers on the bus this morning,” Kidd said. “It is really nice and the kids look forward to it.”
The honor society started coming about eight years ago but it continued to grow and they needed more help so they asked the other student clubs to start coming.
Hannah Ratliffe has been in Jr. Garden Club since the start of it three years ago along as an honor society.
“We help pickup the trash around the school and we have an ongoing landscape project at the school,” said Ratliffe.
Rock Hill also has the ROC’s Jr. Garden Club which is a garden club for disabled children of middle school age. The members were not present but did hand-make ornaments for their “Pollinator Tree” to be displayed.
It was the first year for Gracie Worley and Hannah Fout, freshmen students, to volunteer. Worley said, “I have been helping decorate trees all morning.” Fout added, “My favorite part was helping in the Tecumseh room.”
In addition to coming together for this event the Scioto County clubs put on a few flower shows including the largest one at the Scioto County Fair.
According to Caroline of Minford Garden Club most garden clubs have a certain area to maintain during the summer. “Ours is at Bennett Cemetery (Minford), ” said Wilcox. “We (Minford, Slocum and Willow Garden Clubs) also have a Christmas Show coming up at 1 p.m., Thursday, December 5 at Glendale Community Center.”
Margaret Reed also of Minford Garden Club was with Wilcox decorating the fireplace in the lobby.
“We have good times and we tour other gardens and nurseries and enjoy being together,” Reed said. “We go to Four Mile Greenhouse in Jackson and we went to my friend Debbie Schultz’ flower garden to view her garden and fish pond.”
If you have a garden you would like to show off contact your local garden club member to schedule a tour. To join a garden club you can go to any meeting, which are usually held once per month, or contact Shelby Powell, Region 10 Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs at www.oagc.org