Eastside Garden Club met in April for a brief review of what the year would hold. Many members chose not to attend as we had increased active cases of Covid still in our county. The meeting was more social than work but felt so good to just see the smiles and hear a dear voice.

We had some projects we started in 2020 right before shut down. A courtyard garden for long term care facility was completed. New soil and plants were added to the Doak Herb Garden prior to campus restrictions. Members felt a keen sense of just wanting to do more but decided to work in their gardens and manage personal projects long neglected. At the April meeting I informed the members of the awards that the club had been given in recognition for their work.

Just a week ago we received a plea for help with the physical therapy garden at Laughlin Health Care and proceeded to donate three 50-pound bags of soil, four tomato plants, four baby tomato plants, onion seed, basil, cucumber and marigolds to the therapist for the patients to engage in their gardening. They still have restrictions and only limited access to family members and were so happy to receive this gift.

We have planned to restore the rolling barrels for plants we donated last year before the shut down for their garden in the court yard. We have a plan to provide flowers, herbs and veggies in these for patients and staff will roll them into position in the sun filled area of the courtyard.

Our ongoing project with the Doak herb garden is nearly completed for the year. New timbers of cedar replaced the rotting ones, the four gardens were weeded and we still have more work to complete. We could not visit the campus last year after our first planting. The herbs are healthy and several plants had been removed either by some person or deer.

Dr. Peter Noll, professor at Tusculum, head of this historic area is planning to expand the gardens on campus. He has already planted a pollinator garden next to our herb garden. The area has been prepared for a neighborhood vegetable garden. Students and Eastside will be helping with these projects. We plan to provide educational information on the gardens for the public once established and excited about this expansion of the project.

National Garden week has been proclaimed for June 6-12 in honor of all organizations and the public who enjoy the number one hobby in the nation, which is gardening.

Last year Eastside Garden Club won a National Garden Club Espoma grant for our Doak project and we are using their products for the garden health. The Greene nursery that holds our funding has been so eager to assist us in our projects and we worked together to give all of the members of the Eastside Garden Club a 10 percent discount on their plants and products as well as our project plants. Their plants are outstanding and it is a great working relationship to encourage the young couple to provide high quality plants with binomial names and they are delighted with our membership. It has been my pleasure to negotiate another discount with Evergreen Nursery in Kingsport to give a discount on their products. We printed up cards stating our members were in good standing and they can show to the nursery.

A beautiful sign was engineered that states “this project is sponsored by Eastside Garden Club” to display when we are working on projects. Artistic Printers once again delivered an outstanding poster. It is waterproof, print is on both sides and gorgeous. This will be placed as we work in our project beds across the county.

Our members are eager to expand our projects throughout the community and support other gardening and teaching opportunities. We are on a quest to increase our membership and delight in our team efforts. For information regarding membership or ideas for community projects please email:tiger129ts@aol.com.

We know you will enjoy the learning and fun it is to work with gardens, plants and conservation issues. Eastside once again was awarded the honor of a Club of Excellence and President Jeanie Jackson has received a Presidential Citation from TFGC President Maggi Burns for her work with the Mack Prichard project for the State of Tennessee park service and funded by the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs. Mr. Prichard was instrumental in the establishment of all of our state parks and conservation efforts of Tennessee’s most wondrous gifts from Mother Nature. Mack was appointed “Mr. Conservation” by the governors of Tennessee. Visit his website for more information of what this young man started after college and his death last year at 80 left a lasting legacy of his work for the future children of Tennessee. Friends of the Cumberlands have worked closely with Mack over the years and dedicating much of their work in his name.The garden clubs of Tennessee are funding work on a hiking trail that begins in Cumberland Gap State Park and will end in Chattanooga. This is working out to be highly successful and public are already hiking on developed sections of the trails.

So it is our pleasure to be a part of an organization that is supporting public works across the nation, involved in tree reforestation with their Smokey the Bear campaign and Penny Pines , encouraging pollinator gardens, and environmental changes in an effort to provide leadership for the children of tomorrow by example.

By the way, we still provide classes on floral design, landscaping, gardening and many other enticing ventures for making a better world. You too can be a part of this worldwide adventure.