Floribunda Garden Club

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2000

is still blooming in Troy


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June 5, 2000 11 PM


Say the word loud enough and fast enough and it sounds like an Italian ole.

Add the words garden club to it and it conjures up images of delicate ladies and pretty flowers. This month, Floribunda Garden Club is a little of both.

June is an ole month for the club as it joins thousands of other federated garden clubs all across the country in celebration National Garden Club Week, June 4 – 10. The club has many reasons to celebrate. The first is its long and storied history of community service and the last, but, certainly not the least is the rosy path it has laid for the future.

The Floribunda Garden Club was organized in 1954 and federated in 1955. The club holds membership in The Garden Club of Alabama and the National Council of State Garden Clubs.

At one time, Troy could boast of three garden clubs – the Troy Garden Club, the Green Thumb Garden Club and the Floribunda Garden Club. The Troy Garden Club disbanded several years ago and the Green Thumb Garden Club is no longer federated.

After 46 years, the Floribunda Garden Club is still blooming where they’re planting, although they’re not digging in the way we used to do.

"We’re getting older and we can’t get down in the dirt like we used to," said club president Virginia Clower with a smile. "Most of our getting in the dirt is done at home in our own yards. That’s about the extent of what we can do physically."

However, the Floribunda ladies haven’t slowed down one bit in doing their part to make Troy a better place to live and work. The club recently undertook an on-going project at the Troy Municipal Complex.

"We adopted the area around the new sign and we’ll purchase seasonal flowers so that it will be attractive all year long," Clower said. "Raymond Sexton and his crew will plant and maintain the bed for the city. These are the kinds of projects we undertake now – those that will be maintained for us."

The Floribunda Garden Club has left its mark on the city of Troy in many ways and in many places over the years.

The club planted the flower beds around the city board of education and complex buildings on Elm Street. They oversaw the planting of 20 Bradford pear trees at Edge Regional Medical Center and they also planted the original flower beds at the hospital.

The original beds at Pike Pioneer Museum were a project of the club. The club also helped expedite the landscape plan at the Troy State University Arboretum.

"We replanted the downtown square twice before the renovation project began," Clower said. "We also planted beds at the old library and we contributed to the beds around the ‘Welcome to Troy’ sign which is a memorial to Edna Reeves, who was a member of our club. Our club also contributed trees to Murphree Park. We try to help wherever we can because we love beautiful flowers and we love our community."

The Floribunda Garden Clubs gets the money for its community projects by participating in the flower show at the Pike County Fair each year. The prize money earned supports the projects and also gives the members the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned about arranging flowers and about caring for them.

"We have a theme for each show and our members enter arrangements based on that theme," she said. "We have a lot of fun and enjoy doing the show."

The show also includes

"specimens" submitted for judging.

"We all take great pride in bringing in our best specimens," Clower said. "Not only are they judged, they are also there to educate. Each specimen is tagged with is common name and its botanical name and people are interested to learn the botanical names of the plants we usually know only by their common name."

Clower said the Floribunda Garden Club is still very active and involved.

"We would like to think that we are helping to make our community a better place and we hope to be able to continue to be involved in beautification projects for many years to come. We are proud to join other garden clubs across the nation in celebrating National Garden Club Week this week.