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Gardening a hobby all can enjoy

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By The Staff

Area garden clubs will celebrate National Garden Week from June 1-7 by showcasing, touring and improving some of the most beautiful gardens in the county.

The celebration unites the Green Gardeners, King Alfred, the Lancaster and Leaf & Petal garden clubs with more than 6,300 garden clubs and 209,000 members across the nation.Their common goal is to promote gardening and environmental responsibility, said Elaine Adkins, president of the Lancaster Council of Garden Clubs.“Gardening is an activity that everyone can enjoy and take part in year-round,” Adkins said.While garden clubs across the nation may be uniting for National Garden Week, Adkins says there is still an emphasis on geographical diversity.“The plants that are native to our specific area are the things that grow the best and flourish,” Adkins said. “That’s really become a focal area for all of us.”The Leaf & Petal Garden Club recently toured Genie and Terry Graham’s garden in Van Wyck. Adkins said they rambled through a myriad of old roses that tumble through cedar trellises while taking a close look at native plant species that grow there, along with lavender and a field of poppies.“It’s a beautiful setting at a historic home,” Adkins said. “We had the best time.”Green Gardeners focus on Carolina Fence GardensThe Green Gardeners Garden Club are celebrating National Gardening week by issuing a challenge to its 19 members, who are focusing on native plants by creating or enhancing their own Carolina Fence Garden. According to the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, these gardens should include plants, historic components and symbols like the split rail fence that are directly tied to the Palmetto State.Plants that provide berries or flowers, as well as a water feature for wildlife to enjoy should be included in a Carolina Fence Garden. Blue granite should be added to serve two purposes: Symbolically, it is our state stone and functionally, it provides a landing place for butterflies to enjoy the sun. Birdhouses are recommended to offer shelter to our state bird, the Carolina wren.Many club members already had Carolina Fence Gardens, so they are using National Garden Week to spruce them up by adding fresh plants. Other members – like Alma Neal – are starting from scratch to construct their own Carolina Fence Garden.As a Mother’s Day gift, Neal’s children removed a line of old red tip photinia and built a sturdy split rail fence to serve as the base structure. Alma has begun the plant selection process.“So far, my garden includes two Carolina Jessamine vines on each end of the fence, as well as butterfly bushes placed by the center poles to attract butterflies,” Alma said.Two birdhouses, mounted on the fence posts, await visits from the Carolina wrens. Neal said she plans to add Indian Grass and several flowering bushes to draw bees, birds and butterflies and other state symbols.Free garden tourThe Lancaster Garden Club is sponsoring a free, open to the public, garden tour from 2-5 p.m. June 8.Tour stops include:– Margaret and Charlie Bundy, 518 Briarwood Road – The Bundy garden is home five beautiful varieties of hydrangeas, including one from Alabama, along with handcrafted iron work from a family cemetery plot in the Yellowhammer State. The landscaping also contains a rose grown from a cutting from the late Dr. Barnwell Allison’s yard on Chesterfield Avenue.– Norma and Doug Burnette, 549 Briarwood Road – The Burnette’s yard displays a wide array of spectacular rock gardens, a goldfish pond and several bridges amid a peaceful setting of flowers, trees and shrubs. – Tracy and Tony Gilreath, 1404 Lavoy Court – The Gilreath yard is neatly landscaped with an iron fence surrounding a swimming pool and children’s playground area. There is also a charming pool house that lends itself to the total beauty and the hollies, ground covers, trees and shrubs throughout their yard.– Jackie and David Palmer, 1970 Strafford Drive – Approaching the Palmer home, it’s easy to notice the begonias, abelia and spectacular landscaping that borders the circular driveway. The yard also features fences, arbors, brick walkways and oak-leaf hydrangeas, along with varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers. – Carolyn and David Tolson, 525 Briarwood Road – The Tolson yard features well-established azalea beds designed by Valhalla Nurseries, which was the only landscaping company in the area 35 years ago. It also includes brick walls and a prayer garden that offers a quiet, peaceful setting, along with boxwoods, some of which were transplanted from the yard of Carolyn Tolson’s grandmother in Campobello. – Pat and John Troutman, 1904 Tara Trail – Beautifully landscaped with a wide array of flowers, the Troutman yard also includes a traditional touch with its two vegetable gardens. One of the vegetable gardens is bordered by a white picket fence and the other garden is located in a more established area to afford it plenty of sunlight.