Garden club brightens Boone mainstays
They might be Watauga County’s first environmentalists.
Since forming in 1949 as a group of ladies concerned about the beautification of their quaint mountain home, the Blue Ridge Garden Club has blossomed into a volunteer organization dedicated to the upkeep of several iconic gardens and greenways.
Today, the club is responsible for the maintenance and replenishing of five local gardens, including its largest endeavor, the Daniel Boone Native Gardens.
The club also keeps a watchful eye on the Queen Street, Greer Memorial, Coffey Arbor and Vivian Reynolds — the club’s original founder — gardens that dot Watauga County.
“The objective of the organization is to promote horticulture and floriculture in the community,” said the club’s president, Emily Stallings. “We also cooperate with other programs in the town, such as roadside beautification, and to aid with the conservation of our natural resources.”
The club meets monthly to discuss issues relating to community happenings in Boone.
Their choices of projects are varied, but ultimately tie back into gardens and landscape beautification.
The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, for example, is another common recipient of their efforts.
“Every year at the hospital, we decorate the entrance area with a Christmas tree,” Stallings said. “Also, we planted the gardens in pink to honor cancer victims at the cancer center.”
The club does not discriminate when it comes to helping others.
“We just do different projects,” Stallings said. “If something comes up and there is a need, we do it. We also helped the Hospitality House by planting a garden. Today, they have their own vegetable garden. We try to help out in different areas. If there is a need, we go plant a garden.”
While helping others may create the same feel-good sensation that watching a recently planted rose bush blossom does, Stallings said it is also the camaraderie she enjoys with the other ladies that has created a waiting list for membership.
“I love the knowledge that all of these women bring to the club,” Stallings said. “We also have lectures for our meetings, and it is just wonderful. Sometimes in the spring, we will dig up things in our yard, like flowers and bushes, and swap them out with each other. It’s just a wonderful group of women.”
For more information, including how to get involved, call (828) 264-6390.