MEMORIAL MYRTLES: Master Gardeners honor late member Elaine Blair with trees

Published 8:54 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Pike County Master Gardeners braved the stiff and chilly winds early Tuesday to plant two crepe myrtle trees on the lower loop of the Walking Trail at the Troy Recreation Center.

The crepe myrtles were planted in loving memory of Elaine Blair, a founding member of the Pike County Master Gardeners, who died on November 1, 2014.

Elaine England Blair was a native of Arkansas but found a second home in Troy. She had a volunteer spirit and made a positive difference in her community.

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“In 2003, a group of ladies decided we needed a Masters Gardeners’ class in Pike County,” said Judy Griswold, club president. “Elaine and her husband, Curtis, had a cabin out in the country and we met there several times, when we were getting organized and after.

“Elaine was one of the most enthusiastic members of our group. She loved to see things grow and she loved the outdoors. She was a very active member of the Pike County Master Gardeners.”

Griswold said the crepe myrtles will honor Blair’s service and commitment to the Master Gardeners and will be a living tribute to her.

“Elaine was not only active in the Master Gardeners,” Griswold said. “She was very involved in the First United Methodist in Troy, especially the choir. She was a longtime contributing member of the Troy Arts Council. Curtis was a Shriner so Elaine also helped with the activities of the Troy Shrine Club. Elaine contributed in many ways to our community. We miss her and always will. These crepe myrtles will always remind us of our wonderful friend.”

The Pike County Master Gardeners are about 20 strong with an on-going Master Gardner class of 13.

The Master Gardeners like to keep their trowels in the ground. They will plant an herb garden at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama on Friday. Other upcoming projects include working with the residents at Troy Group Home in gardening projects.

The Master Gardeners volunteered to assist Troy University’s Civic Engagement Center planting project at Troy Elementary Schools and also planted a flowerbed at the Pike County Extension Office.