By Pam Dudding
When spring arrives, many people think of beautiful flowers. The New Castle Garden Club helped to accentuate that feeling by hosting their annual plant auction.
On Thursday, April 28, over 50 people entered the New Castle Christian Church fellowship hall to bid on what seemed like a couple hundred different plants. There were men, women and younger kids there to take part in the event.
A delicious buffet of snacks were free for all to have during the auction, which lasted over two hours. They also had a table of freebies for people and a silent auction. A great assortment of plants were donated by club members. “These are grown in Craig, therefore we know they will flourish in this ground,” the club shared.
Beautiful flowers such as periwinkles and black-eyed Susans, as well as house plants and herbs were auctioned, and as a few garden plants. There were hostas, Christmas cactus, shamrocks, creeping yellow Jennys, Solomon seal, aloe and snake plants (which I learned are also called Mother-in-law’s tongue!).
They had many shrubs and small trees such as lilacs and red buds, and even an ornamental peach tree. Also auctioned were a gorgeous variety of day lilies, from the original orange bloom to more unusual types and colors such as well-known deep purple with a yellow beard, to the award winning “dancing with giraffes” daylily (I personally was waiting on the “Double My Sunshine” daylily, which was auctioned at the end, but I got it!).
“Daylilies are known for their low maintenance and showy color during the hot weeks of summer,” Diane Givens shared. Carter Bank donated two huge peace lilies, which were already in beautiful pots and received many bids.
Member Carolyn Fleming assisted by telling people what areas around a home you could grow them in, as well as other specifics. She has an elaborate array of flowers she grows at her own home.
The club welcomed the return of volunteer auctioneer Virginia “BlueBell” McWhorter. She had helped for many years, only taking time off during the pandemic. Her wit and smile added much fun to the entire evening as she told her own little stories.
The auctions went fast, and people held their numbers high to bid on their favorites they hoped to take home to add beauty to their personal yards. In the absence Darlene Saunders, Anita Martindell emceed. Martindell added a lot of fun by announcing three door prizes every fifteen minutes, which were related to planting and miniature yard art.
It seemed most everyone bid, even the members, and most everyone had something in their hands when they left. Everyone left smiling, some more than others, as they needed a lot of help carrying their “lot” out.
“The Plant Auction has been a primary fundraiser for the Garden Club, which is marking 83 years since its organization with the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs,” Givens said. “The Garden Club was founded in 1939.”
The current New Castle Garden Club officers are: President Darlene Charlton; First Vice President Anita Martindell; Second Vice President Linda Calderon; Recording Secretary Barbie Winstead; Corresponding Secretary Karen Walker; Treasurer Carolyn Fleming; Historian Tina Crawford and Parliamentarian Sue Crenshaw.
The club cares for many areas in Craig, including maintenance of the plantings at New Castle Post Office, the cabins on Court Street as well as other memorial plantings in the area. The club also supports the 4-H summer camp program, the public library, local first responders and the new Land Lab at Craig County High School. They shared that they donated to the Land Lab last fall and will be working their plant sale on Saturday, May 7.
Again, as most can see, the monies combined with the club members’ hard work goes right back into Craig to add to its beauty throughout the county. Their meetings are the first Thursday of each month, which varies between afternoon and evening, mostly held at the Craig Valley Baptist Church. To join, contact Sue Helems at (540) 864-5593 or write [email protected]
Currently, the club has 27 members, but welcome anyone who wishes to join to learn about God’s nature and to add their knowledge and love for plants as well.