A memorial garden to a long-time leader in area gardening circles is will underway at Camp Jordan.
On Saturday morning, members of the Crestwood Garden Club and others gathered to plant shrubs at the Jo Lawrence Memorial Garden situated at the base of a flag display in the center of the city’s park.
Maggie Burns, the garden club’s president, said the garden is a collaborative effort between the city, the club and area Master Gardners. The design for the garden which is comprised of trees surrounding shrubs and grasses with annual plantings in the center, was designed by Tiffany Roerdink of Scenic Land Designs.
“We’ve tweaked the design a little and changed the layout because of water in this area,” Burns said. “In the summer it will be hot and dry, though.”
Six Kwanzan Cherry trees ring the garden which surrounds a flag pole and monuments in the park. The trees were planted in the previous week by the club. On Saturday, about two-dozen folks were busy planting a variety of shrubs located inside the arch of trees. Among those shrubs are Pinky Winky hydrangea, Ruby loropetalum, pink drift roses, viburnum, Black Dragon cryptomeria, along with adagio grass and muhly grass. The central color theme of the garden is pink.
“Pink was one of Jo’s (Lawrence) favorite colors,” said Sue Henley, a member of the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County.
Burns pointed out that Jo’s husband, Jim Lawrence, has been instrumental in helping install the garden that is dedicated to his wife’s memory. She said Jim came out with some of his strong friends and helped plant the trees on Friday, Nov. 13.
Burns is keeping her fingers crossed that the high water table in and around Camp Jordan will not be detrimental to the tender young plants. She and the members of the Crestwood Garden Club are shooting for a formal dedication the second week of May in 2017.
But there’s much left to be done. The club has a quote from a contractor to install a Blue Star By-Way marker that Jo Lawrence had kept inside her home for sometime looking for an appropriate place to install the plaque. The garden club movement came up with these markers more than 65 years ago to honor our nation’s armed forces.
In addition, the club wants to install a fence around the garden.
The garden club has footed the bill for the shrubs, organizers said. The county’s Master Gardners helped finance the trees. To offset these costs, Burns said the club is exploring the possibility of raising money to offset these costs by selling pavers that would be installed as a walkway into the plantings.
The Crestwood Garden Club is very active in the city. Burns said the club maintains the plantings in the atrium of City Hall, the memorial garden in front of the Community Center and all the concrete planters distributed around the city, including those planters in front of the Fire and Police Services Center on Ringgold Road.
The club meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the East Ridge Community Center. Burns said the club is always interested in attracting new members and everyone is welcome to attend the club’s meetings.