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Garden club freshens up Woodrow Wilson home

Posted: December 9, 2012 - 1:10am
Fran Weber and Laraine Yarbrough, members of the Spade and Trowel Garden Club, clean out a garden at the Boyhood Home of  Woodrow Wilson in Augusta to prepare it for planting.    Photo by Jim Blaylock
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Fran Weber and Laraine Yarbrough, members of the Spade and Trowel Garden Club, clean out a garden at the Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson in Augusta to prepare it for planting.

On a recent weekday morning, several members of the Spade and Trowel Garden Club worked in the gardens at the Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson, a historic house museum. The club adopted a plot in the backyard as a civic improvement project in November 2007.

While regular maintenance means clearing the garden of brush, adding amendments to the soil, pruning plants and weeding, this week’s efforts included planting narcissus – or daffodil – bulbs that will bloom in the spring. Last month, club members planted violas and snapdragons to give the garden some color during the winter.

When choosing plants for the garden, member Fran Weber said organizers looked at plants that were specific to the time period when Wilson lived at the home.

Researchers discovered that the late president’s mother liked roses, so antique roses were added in 2008. Other plants include a Clematis planted along the fence and Lenten roses under the cover of crepe myrtles.

“This is a really happy place,” said Weber, noting that late-season irises and black-eyed Susans were still blooming in the garden.

Because the club doesn’t have regularly scheduled meetings during the winter and many members can’t volunteer during those months, they decided to plant low-maintenance plants such as violas and snapdragons.

“Violas don’t have to be deadheaded, unlike pansies,” said Weber, who lives in Martinez. “They require the least amount of effort.”

The snapdragons will grow through to spring, Weber added.

Members of Spade and Trowel, who hail from all over the Augusta area, say they enjoy working in the garden. The typical turnout for a morning of work in the gardens is five or six members.

“We are really active when we do spring planting and take out our winter annuals,” said Weber, who noted that the club won a Civic Improvement Award from the Garden Club of Georgia in 2009.

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