Cultura Garden Club learns about best botanical gardens 

By Susie Hovater Malone
Lifestyles Columnist

The April meeting of the Cultura Garden Club was held at the home of Sherry and John James. Members enjoyed touring their lovely home which was accented with family antiques and other unique accessories. Assisting Sherry as co-hostesses were Barbara Sage and Susan Pearson. Everyone enjoyed delicious refreshments.  

The title of the program was “America’s Best Botanical Gardens” and the Institute “Plan Your Visit.” As program chairman, I had to do some research to prepare for the presentation. Of course, Google has an abundance of information on botanical gardens, not only in the United States, but worldwide. Pictures and the history of each botanical garden are available. 

Each member was given a handout of interesting facts of the seven best botanical gardens in America. These included Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, Penn.; the Denver Botanic Garden; Brooklyn Botanical Garden in Brooklyn, NY; Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis, Tenn.; Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, OR; Atlanta Botanical Garden, GA; and the Huntsville Botanical Garden, Huntsville, Ala. 

Some of the members have visited a few of these botanical gardens. Donna Lowery shared some of her memories of the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon which features five Japanese garden styles. This garden is one of the must-visit gardens in the U.S. as it combines tranquility and harmony with nature in a way that represents a different culture. 

Closer to home, the Huntsville Botanical Garden was named No. 4 best botanical garden in North America in the USA Today “10 Best Readers’ Choice” travel award contest. Public voting determined the winners.  

The Institute included how to plan your visit, such as getting a map of the garden, asking the experts; prioritizing; and planning what to wear and what to carry on your visit. 

Debbie Nale, President, reported on the spring flower fundraiser. McGee Farms will deliver a little more than 250 flowers to her house on Mon. May 8. Club members were requested to contact those who purchased the flowers and inform them of the time so they can plan to pick up their flowers. 

Members discussed refreshing the hanging baskets and flowerpots downtown. The Russellville Street Department agreed to clean out the large pots and help put new soil in the pots. The garden club will provide the soil and flowers.  

Other topics discussed included Earth Day, Arbor Day and Anti-Littering. The club recognized April as National Garden Month and reminded members that club dues need to be paid by the May meeting.  

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