The Richmond Hill Garden Club’s 14th annual Pumpkin Patch held in early October was a great success thanks to the generous support of local citizens. The garden club is truly grateful to those who attended and those who helped us publicize and arrange the occasion.
The event was fun for all. Children — many in costume — romped among the pumpkins, climbed hay bales and carefully selected the perfect pumpkin to take home. Parents snapped picture after picture of their youngsters playing or visiting with Ms. Pumpkin. The games were fun for everyone, with prizes for all participants — snakes, fake teeth and funny glasses among the favorites. The game and activity lineup this year was expanded to include Pick-a-Pumpkin and Kiddy Bean Bag Toss. Next year, the garden club hopes to add even more games.
Everyone enjoyed the home-baked goodies at the food booth and browsed through the holiday decorative and craft items. A special event this year was the plant giveaway. The club hoped to spark an interest in gardening among young and old alike, as a kind of extension of the club’s Green Thumb Kids project at the farmers market.
The Pumpkin Patch is a family-oriented time that everyone enjoys. The garden club’s only fundraising effort, it enables the club to complete its many projects that benefit the community. The club has a long history of civic involvement, dating from its beginning in 1955.
The club has planted and maintains a garden at Henderson Park. This area is an ongoing effort and is expanded each season. Already bluebirds nest there, and butterflies flock to the blooming native plants. At the library, the G-Team (Gardening Team) takes care of the beds at the front entrance which the team planted several years ago. The club also provides a mini-garden inside the library. Additionally, the club works with Bryan County Health and Rehabilitation to maintain a garden area for residents, and, recently, the G-Team planted several beds at Magnolia Manor, a residential living facility for seniors.
Selecting a Yard of the Month allows the club to highlight residents’ gardening efforts and, thereby, inspire others to improve their yards. Judges rotate subdivisions for each selection so that everyone has an opportunity to win this honor. This year, the club will also initiate a Beauty Spot of the Month during some months of the year, with the focus being local business areas.
Furthermore, the club supports numerous community groups. It collects canned goods for and donates funds to the Way Station. It donates funds to the Richmond Hill Library to expand its collection of books related to gardening. This includes both adult and children’s books. It supports the Adopt-a-Wetlands Program and, in April, hosts a plant exchange open to the public. Even those without plants to swap can attend that event and take home plants.
In correspondence with one focus of the state garden club, the club offers a $1,000 scholarship each year to a student graduating from Richmond Hill School and planning to major in an agricultural-related area such as horticulture or landscape design. Also in cooperation with the Garden Club of Georgia, the club participates in the Ronald McDonald Pull Tabs program.
Monthly meetings in September, November, January, February, March and May feature a presentation related to gardening or environmental concerns. These meetings, held at 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month in the John W. Stevens Wetlands Education Center in J. F. Gregory Park, are open to the public.
Anyone interested in joining the club or simply learning about gardening and the club is urged to attend. The subject of November’s program is worm composting in a relatively small container. The presenter will be Barbara Minchey, former Richmond Hill resident. Minchey will demonstrate setting up a container and provide a few starter worms to those who wish to begin their own project.
The Richmond Hill Garden Club is most appreciative of the community’s support of the Pumpkin Patch and, through numerous activities, is happy, to support the Richmond Hill/South Bryan County community.
Each year’s Pumpkin Patch is held on the first Saturday in October. Check your calendars now and pencil in that date. We hope to see you next year with your cameras, your children and your friends, ready to stroll through our patch to find pumpkins, mums and decorative items and ready to enjoy face painting, games and delicious food.
In other words, we’re already looking forward to having fun with you again. Garden club members will tell you that we enjoy seeing you have fun at the Pumpkin Patch as much as we hope you enjoy attending.
Shearin is first vice president of the Richmond Hill Garden Club.