Gardeners celebrate the Beauty of 50


Tribune Features Writer


FOUR of the country’s largest garden clubs will combine their talents for a special showcase to commemorate the country’s fifth anniversary of Independence.

The Carver Garden Club, the Nassau Garden Club, the International Garden Club and City Garden Club will host The Beauty of Fifty - a show of Horticulture and Design this weekend.

The purpose of the show is to educate the public as to what can be grown successfully in our climate, says Cynthia Gibbs, one of the event’s co-chairs.

The show also seeks to spark the joys of gardening in others.

Mrs Gibbs said: “The combined clubs started preparing for the event - which is on the official roster of the anniversary secretariat - back in March.

“Persons can expect a lovely variety of beautiful plants, I would say that our exhibitors have literally turned themselves into plant whisperers for the past couple weeks, they have been petting up these plants, grooming them and talking to them to make sure that they are in perfection on show day.”

Each of the clubs predates independence, having a collective history of more than 200 years between them.

Jackie Sawyer, the president of the Carver Garden Club, added that when the clubs were initially formed a large part of what they did was to beautify public spaces such as roundabouts and also to help restore the landscape after hurricanes.

The Carver Garden Club also planted trees along Poinciana Drive.

Fifty years is a long time, Cynthia acknowledges, when asked if the clubs have remained relevant. She said: “I think as more people have more leisure time and more disposable income people have paid a lot of attention to plants just for pleasure.

“You know in our parents’ time, gardening was seen as the way you provide food for your family. Now today’s gardeners do grow food and backyard gardening has come back into style again but I think the majority of garden clubbers, they do a lot of plants just for the fun - and some people will specialise in orchids, bromeliads, some love African violets or ferns, so as people get more and more exposed to plants they gravitate to particularly one and some people just have a general collection.”

She added that the clubs have actively sought to attract new members to ensure they remain relevant. A great part of gardening is sharing, she added.

“You can’t be a selfish person and be a gardener. If something happens to another’s member’s plant and it dies then I have one that I can give her, it’s always reciprocal,” Cynthia said.

Jackie added: “Why it remains relevant, if you drive around and you look at the garden and the landscaping of the yards, it is just simply beautiful, you know, it is still relevant.

Cynthia said: “And as the world becomes more stressful, a beautiful yard becomes a refuge for you.”

The show will include a pop-up restaurant from the young chefs of the University of The Bahamas.

Plant lovers can add to to their collection with offerings from Marina Greeves, Dornell Ferguson and Arimentha Hanna.

Art lovers can visit Havens Acrylic Art and Jacqueline’s Exquisite collections. Another vendor, Divine Nature, will be offering organic healing and wellness products.

The Ministry of Health Mobile Health Screening Clinic will be in attendance and there will be a display of local bush medicine collections.

The Beauty of Fifty takes place on Saturday, October 14, from 2-7pm, and Sunday, October 15, from noon to 6pm at the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation Gardens East Hill Street. Admission is free.


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