Betty Davis has enjoyed being in the garden for as long as she can remember. At the tender age of 5, Davis was wielding a hoe and offering her assistance in her grandmother’s garden.
“I grew up gardening under the influence of two grandmothers who did big gardening,” said Davis, who was recently installed as the president of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs. “My country grandmother always had a vegetable garden and did lots of canning and freezing.
“My city grandmother always grew all kinds of flowers, was in a garden club and did flower arranging,” she added. “Every spring, she had a field full of daffodils that would bloom and smell wonderful.”
Davis said that long after she was married and had children of her own, she enjoyed the trip back to Toccoa, Ga., in the early spring to pick a bunch of daffodils to bring back to her Martinez home.
It is the fun of gardening that Davis wants members of the Augusta Council of Garden Clubs to focus on over the next two years. She follows Grovetown resident Judy Kirkland as president of the group, which oversees approximately 20 clubs and 550 members.
“As Judy Kirkland says, gardeners are fun and happy people and some of the nicest folks you will ever meet,” Davis said. “It is an honor to be elected president of the ACGC. As I look at the photos of all the past presidents, each name is very familiar to me because of their garden club works and the many projects they completed to help beautify this area. They were all pillars of this community and I have some very big footsteps to follow.”
A retired medical office manager, Davis and her husband, Roger, have been married for 50 years and lived in the Augusta area for the past 47 years. She is a former member of the National Hills Garden Club and current member of the Pine Needle Garden Club, which she joined in 1999. Her husband is a landscape architect, which lends itself to her continued interest in beautiful gardens.
“I want people to enjoy the fun events and activities we offer through the council,” said Davis. “I want members to have fun learning about district, state, deep South and national organizations that we operate under.
“It’s true as they say, ‘We are not your grandmother’s garden club,’” she added. “We are involved in government, conservation, wildlife, education and hundreds of other worthwhile projects in addition to beautification in the world around us, both locally and nationally.”
Today, Davis has mostly plant and flower gardens, but she does plant some tomatoes and peppers on the curb of her front yard.
“I think the neighbors enjoy watching the plants produce, and last year we had plenty to share,” she said.
Her father had a huge vegetable garden and would plant something new each year.
“He did it mainly for the pleasure it brought him and others and he always had plenty to share with family, friends and neighbors,” she said. “His greatest joy was walking with his children, then his grandchildren, and having them sample fruits and vegetables right off the vine.”