Submitted by: Amanda Allen Huggins, Secretary
The September meeting of the Magnolia Garden Club was hosted by Bettie Carmichael and Barbara Berry on September 11th at the historic Edwards House in Downtown Latta. Bettie provided a stunning fall arrangement with Mexican sunflowers and cotton. The ladies enjoyed each other’s company while delicious refreshments were served that included red velvet cupcakes, cheese straws, fall candies, and chicken salad tea sandwiches.
Program Chairman Dottie Brunson introduced guest speaker Corey Jackson. Corey is a local talent that charmed the ladies with his personality and wowed them with his floral design ability. Corey demonstrated how to design and execute a floral arrangement for a church setting. His talent is surely inherited from his grandmother Carolyn Strickland (former owner of The Petal Pusher). Corey began by instructing the ladies to soak their oasis until it is saturated with water. The first step is to start with the background greenery, in this case a robellini palm. He always cuts the stem at an angle and works from the middle out to the sides measuring against the ones already placed. Next, you will need to place your background flowers; anything rod-like will work such as gladiolas or snapdragons. You need to ensure the flowers are deep in the oasis to make sure they continue to get plenty of water as the arrangement sits. Then place the main or focal flowers such as roses, lilies or gerber daisies a bit lower than the snapdragons. Corey suggests to always wire your roses individually; when they begin to wilt, the wire will ensure the heads stay upright. Insert the wire at the head and twist all the way down the stem. Once your focal flowers are in place, add your green filler which is typically leatherleaf and finally filler flowers. Corey used golden solidago which really tied the entire arrangement together. Finally, Corey sprayed green glow on the foliage to give it a lasting sheen. The arrangement was spectacular, and Corey ended his presentation with a special gift for each of the ladies—a single yellow rose tied with beautiful ribbon. Corey can be reached at (843) 632-2798 if you are ever in need of a gorgeous arrangement for any occasion. He ideally likes a week’s notice but can accommodate most requests.
The business meeting was called to order by President Casey Pitts with a prayer called “Gather the Flowers”. Secretary Amanda Huggins asked the club members for their input on what historic trees and historic places should be nominated for the statewide program Historic Trees for Historic Places. Jerry Martin has agreed to assist Amanda with identifying these special trees and nominating them to the Garden Club of South Carolina’s project. The ladies shared over a dozen ideas to help get the list started and were encouraged to email any other suggestions to Amanda by October 1st.
President Pitts began discussing the various fundraising possibilities for the year encouraging the ladies to support those events that bring positivity to our community. The club agreed to participate in a bake sale at the upcoming Harvest Festival, Latta Christmas Parade and Springfest. Casey offered a new idea for the spring—a picture day at Abingdon Manor where families could purchase packages for a photo shoot on the grounds of this beautiful local bed and breakfast. The club members also agreed to purchase a Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker to be installed on Veteran’s Day 2015 in Veteran’s Park. Postponing the dedication until next year will give the club time to plan a special ceremony. Dottie Brunson made a motion to purchase a full page ad for the Latta Christmas Tour of Homes brochure with Margaret Parham seconding. The motion passed unanimously. The club will receive two tickets with the ad purchase for the tour and will draw names to see who will receive those tickets. President Pitts reminded everyone about the Coastal District Fall Gathering on Tuesday, September 16th.
President Pitts then brought a constitution/by-laws issue to the table concerning the number of members allowed in the club. After some discussion, Eleanor Powers made a motion to increase the number allowed in the club to 25. Lynn Liebenrood seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
The constitution and by-laws will be updated accordingly. Dues were also discussed and everyone agreed for full time members that dues will be $20 a year and for associate members $30 a year. The ladies also agreed that each month’s hostess will be responsible for getting a count for the meetings. Members were asked to let the hostess know if they cannot attend. A reminder that the program chairman is responsible for the speaker’s gift was given; the typical gift includes 2 jars of honey for $13.00.
President Pitts mentioned that Clean Up Day in Latta will likely be held on October 11th prior to the Harvest Festival on the 18th. The club will make sure the Belva Finklea Garden is in great condition; the club may hire someone to do some much needed pruning prior to that weekend. The deadline for the Winter Issue of the SC Gardner is October 15th. Amanda Huggins will have an article in this issue updating the state on the progress the club has made with the Legacy Tree Trail. The ladies wished Dottie Brunson a Happy Birthday, and the meeting was adjourned.
Submitted by: Amanda Allen Huggins, Secretary