The final meeting of the Four Seasons Garden club was a joyful yet poignant experience for the members who have spent the last 58 years gardening, studying about gardening, and promoting their love of gardening. On Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 11 a.m. President Marilyn Easter called to order the meeting that would prove to be the club’s last. Ten members and one guest gathered to celebrate the history of the club and reflect on the many years of fellowship enjoyed by club members.
Created in 1959 when there was a keen interest in women’s clubs, the Four Seasons Garden Club was one of 5 garden clubs established by Corinth residents to satisfy the desire the women had to form neighborhood based clubs.
These clubs included Town and Country Garden Club, Corinth Garden Club, Little Garden Club, Four Seasons Garden Club, and a fifth club which met in the evening for women who worked during the day. Today marks the end of the Four Seasons Garden Club with only the Little Garden Club remaining.
At one time in the 1980s there was a men’s garden club established by nurseryman Grady Strickland and his friends but this club only lasted a few years.
Community Projects have been a tradition and a hallmark of the four seasons garden club. For many years the Curlee house grounds was a target for the talented gardeners who pruned, planted, and planned how best to enhance this lovely old homie in the city. Many of the members brought in reinforcements, so many husbands were asked to join in their efforts.
The generosity of the Four Seasons garden club extended to the Corinth Library which received many volumes on gardening donated by the members as well as books purchased with FSGC donations.
Fund raisers followed as the need to pay for plants at the Curlee House- now the Veranda House, downtown planters, benches for Coliseum Pocket Park, the “Y’ at Cruise and Proper streets, and the Corinth Library grounds became the focus of this energetic group.
The members of FSGC Fold wreaths, Christmas ornaments, cookbooks, and other items for many years and promptly invested their money in community beautification projects.
Programs about gardens, gardening, and plants provided the members with ideas for their own gardens as well as the garden work they were doing around town.
Garden club members Gloria Williams and Donna Janzen, who have been members since 1969 and 1970 respectively, recently remarked that the FSGC has influenced gardening throughout Corinth and the surrounding areas so that we have a beautiful city filled with lovely gardens today.
Original members included Gigi Palmer, Martha Hammond, Lucille Martin among others. None of the original members remain since the founding of the club 58 Years ago. Although not original members, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Janzen remain as the longest serving active members in the club.
Meetings were a joyous opportunity for the members to study together, share their successful garden stories, commiserate about their rare garden failures, and partake of light refreshments. Those delicious morsels led the members to create their unusual flip card cookbook which funded many projects.
As times have changed, so have the garden club members. The members have grown older and are less able to handle the heavy work of community garden projects. The Curlee/Veranda House was closed for several years for renovations and when it was reopened a professional garden service was enlisted to maintain the grounds.
The large planters located throughout downtown Corinth are now being maintained by Main Street Corinth which provides a bright spot in the business area. Other beautification projects started by the Four Seasons Garden Club have been turned over to other organizations which have done a good job of maintaining gardens and providing bright spots of color around our town.
Meetings held in members’ homes has less appeal than it did years ago, so the library is a frequent meeting place.
As this charming club with a generous group of women comes to its final meeting we need to remember the goal and purpose as stated in the club’s by-laws:
We strive to promote beauty and appreciation of nature, inspire gardeners, teach others about plants and flower arranging, and promote gardening in any way we can as well as provide beauty in our community.
Farewell, Four Seasons Garden Club, you have planted the seed, nurtured the tender shoot, and nourished the sapling. May you now enjoy your peaceful rest under the trees.
We thank you for your inspiration,
We salute you for your dedication,
We honor you for your propagation of the shining ideal of gardening in Corinth.
William McMullin is director of the Northeast Regional Library.