Glad GC members tour garden

Glad Garden Club held its April 11 meeting at a special location: the botanical garden at Georgia Southern University, a hidden gem located on Bland Avenue off West Gentilly a few blocks from campus.

Beginning around 10 a.m., Kathy Tucker, education coordinator for the garden, gave a tour and explained the history.

According to her, the botanical garden is a small portion of what was formerly a large farm operated by Dan and Catharine Bland. As to be expected, the farm had cows, pigs, chickens, horses, and mules—but its owners also grew peanuts, cotton, corn, pecan, and pear trees.

The Blands, Tucker went on to explain, also had a love for nature and native plants. Therefore, they planted magnolias, camellias, and heritage plants, including more than 20 of Georgia’s protected species.

After their death, the husband and wife duo donated the land and buildings to the Georgia Southern Foundation, directing the donation become a botanical garden. Their mission was to promote knowledge and appreciation of plants and animals native to the Southeastern Coastal Plain, to connect people to the natural and cultural heritage of the region, and to inspire environmentally responsible behavior.

Today, various types of tours and educational programs are offered, like the one provided to members by Tucker.

In closing, Tucker pointed out many of the plans for future development.

Following the tour, members held a business meeting in the garden.

At that time, the Glad gardeners organized a successful day of selling raffle tickets as the club’s annual fundraiser at Harvey’s and Walmart. This would take place four days later on Friday, April 15. However, tickets will continue to be sold by members until the Pine Tree Festival on Saturday, May 7, at which time the winner of a $500 Visa gift card will be drawn.

Additionally, Jeanette Hall and Audrey West gave an update on an ongoing beautification project. Specifically, these two members continue to work with the city in cleaning up and renovating the butterfly garden at Pine Brook Park.

As an extension of this conversation, Hall mentioned the need for pine straw and a general clean-up of the signs located at the entrances to Swainsboro.

Lastly, members discussed assisting the Seedling Garden Club in putting on the Pine Tree Festival Flower Show. This event will take place Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, April 31, in cooperation with Swainsboro Kiwanis Club.

Sylvia Durden donated a raffle gift, which was won by Hall, then the club adjourned to Olive Garden for lunch.

Glad Garden Club is a member of the Oleander District of Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. as well as the Deep South Region of National Garden Clubs, Inc.

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