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Garden clubs gather to commemorate Camellia Day at luncheon

The McDuffie Garden Council held its 52nd annual Camellia Day Luncheon with a proclamation by Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry and a program by Peacock Hill.

Approximately 85 members from McDuffie County and their guests from clubs in Tignall, Harlem, Warrenton and Crawfordville attended the luncheon Wednesday, March 4, at Thomson Presbyterian Church. The meal was catered by More Than Mud Pies.

Mayor Usry presented Lucie Wills, president of the McDuffie County Garden Council, with the proclamation. According to the proclamation, the City of Thomson is blessed with the favorable climatic conditions conducive to the growth and development of camellias. Thomson has been designated the Camellia City of the South for more than 80 years.

Therefore, the garden clubs of Thomson have observed the first Wednesday in March of every year as Camellia Day in Thomson.

As he gave the proclamation, Mayor Usry took the opportunity to promote the beautification projects being worked on by the city government.

"Your government is trying to make a difference, but we need everybody's help. ... As citizens, it is our responsibility to try to make things look good. You've got to get out of your box and look and see what you can do to improve where we live. My challenge to you in '09 is to get out of your comfort zone," he said.

The mayor offered to loan the garden clubs the 20 large flower pots that formerly were on the downtown sidewalks before the trees and shrubs were planted. He asked the members if they could think of a way to use the pots on public property to further beautify the city.

After the mayor's proclamation and challenge, a program called "Designs of '09" was presented by Bonnie McCorkle and Diane Wood of Peacock Hill.

"With the economy the way it is, we will show you ways to go out and clip flowers and greenery from your yard and use them to decorate. And you can entertain at home more," Mrs. Wood said.

Door prizes included the arrangements made by Mrs. McCorkle and six camellia plants donated by McCorkle Nursery.

Guests included members of the Iris Garden Club, Washington-Wilkes Garden Club, Pioneer Garden Club, Warrenton Garden Club, Sharon-Raytown Garden Club and Garden Study Garden Club. Hostesses were members of the Pine Needle and Merry Tillers clubs of Thomson.

Web posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009

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