08 January 2009

Garden club

Can you believe it? Shortly before Christmas I was invited to join one of Edgefield's garden clubs. Tal and I have lived here for almost five years -- and have been associated with Edgefield since early 2001. Books clubs, lunch clubs, gardens clubs abound. The Village Gardeners are taking a chance on this chronic outsider.

It's a group of 22 or so, ranging widely in age. We met at the Heritage Corridor Freshwater Coast Discovery Center (the freshwater coast being the Savannah River) where the staff was involved in taking down the Christmas decorations. How sweetly satisfied (translated: smug) I felt knowing Tal and I didn't have that yet to face. Our speaker was from Ada Michigan (near Grand Rapids, I think), an avid gardener who lives in Edgefield October through mid-May, her husband flying them back and forth, the Edgefield house sparing them the Michigan winters and providing a hurricane evacuation destination for her son, a firefighter at Hilton Head, and his family.

She spoke about the two gardens she manages, the transformation of the one here in Edgefield pretty miraculous for those of us who travel her street. Her photographs, of the property in Michigan in particular, were delightful. To me, anyway. I don't know if hearing that she was from Michigan set me up, but, when I saw the first photo -- an aerial view of the ten acre plot with wind rows, regularly spaced fields for the vegetable gardens and beds for the flowers, the house, barn and hanger, I experienced a sudden moment of gladness, transported back to childhood, to family vacations, to other similar scenes, to other photographs.

Garden club today, it almost goes without saying, where outsider met outsider, was an above average experience and one which I shall enjoy recalling for a long time.

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