Volunteer Recognition Reception in the Garden

June Cyrus, President of Montgomery Federation of Garden Clubs; Montgomery Area Daylily Society members, Oliver Billingslea, Therese Goodson, and Jane Martin

A glorious spring morning greeted the volunteers as they arrived at the MBG Lion Terrace on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, for the event planned in their honor. Soft music played, chairs were arrayed, and displays and refreshment tables were prepared. The Events Committee members, Cathy Maddox, Maggie Stringer, Sallie Finney, Beth Wicker, and Ethel Boykin planned and coordinated the reception to acknowledge the many hours of volunteer work provided and to express gratitude on behalf of the Montgomery Botanical Gardens Board of Directors.

Dr. Tyna Davis, MBG board president, opened the event with a warm welcome and expressed her thanks to the volunteers acknowledging that there would be no botanical garden without the volunteers. MBG Founder Ethel Boykin reviewed the history of MBG and expressed her gratitude for the volunteers also. Cathy Maddox explained the volunteer program and its progress over the years and then began the presentations to recognize their work.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to all 157 volunteers. Garden aprons featuring the MBG logo were presented to the volunteers who are members of the committees who consistently serve as volunteers for MBG. They are the members of the Capital City Master Gardener Association MBG Project Committee, the members of the Montgomery Area Daylily Society, and the members of the Montgomery Federation of Garden Clubs. Additionally, 15 elite volunteers who have faithfully come, from the beginning of the gardens and continue year after year to heed the request for help were given a very special token of appreciation. A car coaster bearing the green MBG logo was gifted to those special volunteers so they can be reminded of the board’s gratitude whenever they are in their cars.

Refreshments for the attendees included beautiful acorn-shaped cookies iced in brown that were presented on lovely tables arranged by Sallie Finney and Sadler McLemore. Parks and Recreation staff were very helpful in preparing for the event, assisting with the equipment, and removing the furniture afterward. 

Capitol City Master Gardeners Marie Tomblin, Lynne Kuhlman, Justin Skipper, Karin Carmichael, Tom McLemore and Jane Martin

Volunteers Mike Forster, Sallie Finney, Fran Carpenter, Shap Ashley, Billie Crawford and Warren Davis

Kappa Lambda Chi military fraternity members Gregory Moore, Sr, Vershone Graham, Orlanda Andrews and Leon McCord, Jr.

Watch the reception videos here:

Part 1
Part 2

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Visitors From Across the State Tour the Gardens

Monday, May 2, was a lovely day in the gardens for guided tours of over 100 visiting Master Gardeners from across the state of Alabama. Touring MBG was the most popular of the pre-conference options offered to the attendees at the Alabama Master Gardener Conference held in downtown Montgomery at the Embassy Suites Hotel. The conference was hosted by the Capital City Master Gardener Association.

The volunteer partners of the botanical gardens were present to guide the visitors, including the Federation of Garden Clubs, the Montgomery Area Daylily Society, and the MBG Project Committee members of CCMGA. They were on hand to provide information about the various sections of the gardens. Each tour group was introduced to the gardens and the history of MBG by board member Cathy Maddox. Then they were guided to the Daylily and Companion Plants Bed, then to the Lion Terrace, then to the three Green Bridges Pollinator Gardens, then the Wisdom Woods Outdoor Classroom, then to the Biblical Garden, and finally a tour of the Greenhouse.

Visitors were very complimentary and vowed to return with their families and friends for another visit and perhaps picnics. 

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Commemorative Plaque Donated by the Rotary Club Dedicated at Montgomery Botanical Gardens

A dedication ceremony was held at Montgomery Botanical Gardens recently to honor the Rotary Club for donating the plaque that provides the history of the beautiful cast iron lions in the gardens. The plaque reads: “In Memory of John Hall Haardt (1901- 1971). The gift of this majestic pair of life-sized cast iron lions was donated by Anton Haardt and Haardt Moses to The Montgomery Botanical Gardens. The Lions were cast by the Robert Wood Foundry circa 1860, and guarded the Haardt home at 44 S  Haardt Drive for more than 50 years. The Lions previously stood at Morning View, the estate of General Mitchell B. Houghton in Capitol Heights. John Haardt was well known for his real estate entrepreneurial endeavors, antique collecting, and his great love of Montgomery. He was active in civic organizations, and served as President of the Montgomery Rotary Club.
 
Board President, Dr. Tyna Davis, and founding board member Ethel Boykin, thanked the members of the Rotary Club and expressed appreciation for the generosity of Ms. Anton Haardt, daughter of Mr. John Haardt for the donation of the lions. The lions have been restored to their majestic beauty and now guard the terrace at the gardens.  
 
By Cathy Maddox

Left to right: MBG Board members Mary George Jester, Cathy Maddox, and Dr Tyna Davis, and Rotary Club representatives Richard Cater and Stacia Robinson

Left to right: MBG Board members Fairlie Rinehart, Dr. Tyna Davis, Rotary President Stacia Robinson and MBG Board member Ethel Boykin

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Volunteers Prepare the Gardens for Spring Visitors

The beauty of the gardens does not occur by accident. Through God’s natural processes of growth, change and weather, the gardens require a lot of maintenance to produce the beauty and variety of venues for visitors. Master Gardener Volunteers spent time in the gardens recently to perform seasonal tasks. Some added more plants to the three Pollinator Gardens. Some watered the new plants by hand to support them until the next irrigation cycle. Others diligently removed some stubborn weeds and spread pine straw mulch to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth. While another blew the debris off the pathways. Thank you, faithful volunteers! 

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