WGC leads gardening week celebration
Wesson Garden Club (WGC) helped the town last month participate in a national celebration of gardening.
From the public library to Fountain Park to local businesses, the Club touched a wide spectrum of the community during National Garden Week in promoting the joys and benefits of gardening. Its wide-ranging projects during the celebration included:
An educational setup on the benefits of gardening at Wesson public library.
Decorating Fountain Park in the downtown area with butterfly sculptures made by Steel Outdoors. Wesson Alderman interrupted their June meeting to help Club members dedicate the whimsical sculptures that uniquely honor frequent garden visitors and one of nature's special joys which adds color to the world.
Gifts of gardening books for Wesson Public Library to make available to the public and spread gardening know-how and appreciation of its rewards and benefits.
Gifts of flowers to local businesses to symbolize the importance of nature even in commercial life.
Gardening in America traces to 1565 when Spaniards brought plants from their native country and novelties from the West Indies to their new homes in St. Augustine, Florida. In 1607, English colonists carried seeds from their old homes to their new settlement in Virginia, where they also cultivated crops grown by Native Americans, such as tobacco, corn, beans, and squash. Between 1619 and 1865, African American slaves in the U.S. found time to cultivate garden plots, even as they attended to the crops of their owners, providing additional food to the enslaved community and sometimes being able to sell their yields for profit.
John Bartram of Philadelphia, who established a botanic garden in 1728 -- the oldest one of its kind surviving in North America, is an important figure in American gardening. Considered the greatest naturalist in the world, he traded seeds and plants with Peter Collinson, a London merchant, and botanist; introduced 150 North American plant species to Europe and earned the title of "Royal Botanist" to King George III for his reputation in international trade and Botany.
National Garden Clubs (NGC), established in 1891 with branches in 19 states, spotlights gardening and its programs during National Garden Week every year. The organization of local groups, including WGC, helps communities through gardening projects and educational programs, produces “The National Gardener" quarterly and provides college scholarships and grants for youth clubs planting pollinator gardens.