Message from the President

President's Message, March 2017

Cheryl Welch - Monday, February 27, 2017

Wow! Can you believe this early spring? Enjoy it now, for there won’t be spring blooms during the months that we expect spring blooms! I wonder how this affects birds, bees, and other wildlife. Hopefully, they will adapt. The variations of first spring bloom are wide. Even Eudora Welty wrote in her journal about plants being in bloom early, and sometimes a snow coming.

We have been working on the GCJ web site - Please check out the progress! You can purchase luncheon tickets on line. There is important information posted in the “Members Only” section. You will need to create an account to access that member section. See below the steps to create your account - I promise it is very easy!

Lesley Frascogna promises to offer us creativity and inspiration about current floral trends on Tuesday, March 28. She will be featured in the March/April issue of flower magazine. Spread the word and invite your friends to attend. Check out the GCJ Facebook page and share the link to your page. Forward the PDF of the invitation to your email list. Thank you to all our members who have been working to make this project a success!

There is no general meeting in April. Take advantage of the Putnam and Putnam event in Memphis on March 30, the Garden History and Design workshop in Little Rock on April 12-13 and the fun Bellingrath Garden trip on April 20-21.

Happy early spring!

Cheryl Welch - Summer 2015

Missy Donaldson - Monday, August 01, 2016

I am not a “morning” person! I envy people who get up early and get out and garden when it is relatively cool and enjoyable. My gardening takes place in the late afternoon and evening after dinner. I have been known to turn on all the flood-lights and continue to pull weeds! A week ago I did go by my veggie garden about mid- morning and found a delightful surprise! My garden was full of bees and butterflies!! The bees were feasting on the cucumber blooms and several varieties of butterflies were all over the old-timey zinnias that have more stamens than the new hybrids. As I stood there in awe, a hummingbird came to visit. It really thrilled me to see these creatures that are so important to our survival as they protect, pollinate and nourish our gardens. The GCA and the GCM are both emphasizing pollinators this year. One of the projects that we will fund from the spring garden tour is to install pollinator gardens at the Children’s Museum. I am pleased that we can share this important information about pollinators with all the museum visitors. Many members have been busy this summer getting things “ready” for our September 10 meeting to kick off the year. I look forward to working with you all as we learn and have fun!



Cheryl Welch - January 2016

Missy Donaldson - Friday, January 01, 2016


A happy new year to you all! We have a spring filled with many fun opportunities to learn and share and expand our lives, gardens and knowledge! I can’t wait! Our club has a special spirit of giving and our large gift to the community is the Landscape Learning Seminar. This free event is open to anyone interested in lawn and garden care and especially for small business owners who do lawn and garden care. Please spread the word and come to this special event!

The Central Mississippi Daffodil Society invited us to do the photography show part of their annual daffodil show. This is a great opportunity for us in several ways. We get to have fun taking photos, we get to practice doing a photography show, we get to showcase our talented members, and we get to join hands with an esteemed horticulture group on a joint effort. I am pleased that our club has stepped up to this challenge!

Note the photography workshop at noon after our meeting on January 14. Even if you don’t want to enter a photograph in the show, you will want to come learn from Marsha about creative Apps for taking pictures. Our Christmas party was so much fun! Many thanks to Paula and the executive committee for hosting the special occasion! Again, I look forward to all the many exciting things happening in 2016!



Lee Threadgill - November 2014

Missy Donaldson - Sunday, November 01, 2015

The lesson I have thoroughly learnt, and wish to pass on to others, is to know the enduring happiness that the love of a garden gives. Gertrude Jekyll, 1843-1932

Along with Elizabeth Lawrence, Gertrude Jekyll is at the top of my list as a writer, gardener and person. When she passed away at age eighty-nine, The Times said: “She sought ever for practical knowledge allied to beauty, and in that quest whereby she may truly be said to have transfigured the gardens of England, she never grew old at heart or wearied in mind, was never discouraged by difficulty or defeated by failure, neither did she cease to share widely the fruits of her long and loving apprenticeship to Nature.

Frances Morse, at age eighty-four still gardening and organizing gardeners, might be our closest thing to Gertrude Jekyll, but every one of you in the GCJ has generously shared your knowledge and love of gardening, in the tradition of Miss Jekyll. Sharing with others is what the Garden Club of Jackson is all about, and why we are so excited about our newest venture Greater Jackson Landscape Learning Day, a seminar for small business landscapers, lawn care workers, and homeowners.

Two years ago a group of Welty weeders, having lunch at our favorite sushi bar, came up with the idea of approaching Mississippi State to help us improve the quality of the day to day care of the Eudora Welty garden – to become more sustainable and professional in our work. This was a tremendous success not only for the garden, but for the relationships it built with the professors. When Hort Chair Susan Haltom asked Professors Tim Schauwecker and Brian Templeton if they would offer a public seminar, teaching up to date best practices for lawn care, pruning, mulching, fertilizing, care of tools, etc., they responded enthusiastically. The executive and horticulture committees have jumped in to help, and this seed of an idea is becoming a reality.

The challenge will be to reach our target audience and encourage their participation and we need your help to do that. Please note down phone numbers or speak to lawn care professionals who work in your neighborhood, and encourage them to come. Some of you are already doing this, and it is working! Cheryl spoke to the leader of a work crew in Belhaven recently and told him about the seminar, and the man said he had already heard of it through one of his clients, and planned to attend! Surprised and delight, Cheryl asked who the client was and found out that our own Jacquie Planck was the one responsible! Thank you Jacquie!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and please remember to spread the news of Landscape Learning Day, Saturday, January 10, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, free to the public, breakfast included.

Thank you all for all you do!



Cheryl Welch - November 2015

Missy Donaldson - Sunday, November 01, 2015


The rains finally came! It was amazing how fast the grass and plants perked up. Even with almost 9" rain, we are still in a moderate drought. This is a reminder to me of how precious water is to us and to life. Water conservation should become a way of living for us. Rain barrels and rain gardens can help keep the runoff water in your own garden. When you irrigate, water deeply for a long time, rather than lightly watering several times a week. Utilize water with great care!

The Fall Bulletin focuses on water and has interesting articles and information that have been good to read. Take time to read this great GCA publication! The canoe crew was thrilled that the rain came and filled up the Strong River so that paddling was easy as the current moved us down the river. Many thanks to Sarah Dabney for her gracious hospitality in hosting us and feeding us a sumptuous luncheon! If you haven't ever gone on this trip, consider it next year! See you at the November 12 meeting!

In the end, there is really nothing more important than taking care of the earth and letting it take care of you.” Charles Scott





Lee Threadgill - October 2014

Missy Donaldson - Thursday, October 01, 2015

And then to bed, to lie with one's face to the uncurtained window, thinking of seed-sowing, pruning and mulching, and slug hunting, and this year's done and next year's doing, and the other garden preoccupations that obtrude themselves so pleasantly before a gardener sleeps - from A Gardener's Nightcap by Muriel Stuart, 1938.

As I write this from my room in the historic Seelbach hotel in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, I am pleasantly "preoccupied" with seed packets from other participants here at the Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference that I am bringing home to you. Also spread across my bed are forty years of old garden club yearbooks dating back to 1939 from the little town in Mississippi where my great-grandmother gardened. Susan Haltom lent me these books belonging to her mother-in-law, and I am gleaning rich lore to share with you at our October 9 meeting, where we will focus on Garden History and Design. Susan Haltom, the Vice President of the Southern Garden History Society will be showing us photos of historic public and private gardens. Susan and I will also be discussing the Horticulture Committee's new 'Easy Seed Project' and handing out seeds to those members who are participating. I have met so many wonderful gardeners and picked up a lot of tips as well as seeds here at the Hort Conference, and taken many photographs of gardens which I can't wait to share with you at the meeting!

In the 1946 yearbook from the Eupora Garden Club, the May page suggests the "members wear a hat to the meeting decorated with flowers from their gardens"- for our October Garden History meeting everyone is welcome to celebrate our history by wearing hats, with or without flowers from your garden!

Happy gardening.


Cheryl Welch - October 2015

Missy Donaldson - Thursday, October 01, 2015

This has been a month of travel for our club members! Katie Breese went to Seattle for the Shirley Meniece Horticulture Conference and came back inspired and bearing over 100 seed packets for us to plant in our gardens! Our Horticulture Zone Rep, Hollidae Morrison, went on a Conservation Study trip to South Boston, Virginia. She will educate us with all things conservation at our meeting. Hollidae was the “belle” of President’s Council – and we know why! Marsha Cannon, Hollidae and I went to Knoxville to President’s Council and got much information that will be helpful for our club and our committees. We all enjoyed beautiful gardens in this wide range of climates, delicious dinners, and the joy of being with fellow GCA gardeners. Other club members have been touring gardens in Italy, Nova Scotia, Paris and England! Susan Haltom has been to Winston-Salem, NC for a Southern Garden History conference and has brought back many ideas for our club. And some members attended the Antiques at the Gardens event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I look forward to seeing you all at our meeting on October 8 and sharing in the joy of all gardens and gardening!



Cheryl Welch - September 2015

Missy Donaldson - Tuesday, September 01, 2015


Fall has flirted with us after this long, hot, dry summer! What a relief to have the delightful coolness in the evenings and mornings. It motivated me to do some garden cleaning in preparation for the fall. I have been collecting seed for Katie to take to the Meneice conference. The joy of sharing seeds with fellow gardeners is a delight! I like knowing that some GCA member somewhere is enjoying my purple coneflowers and Stokes Aster! When you share a plant or seed, you are sharing a part of yourself. Your officers and committee chairs have been busy planning and getting ready for this new garden club year. Take advantage of all the fun things that will be offered to you! A big thank you to them for their work and commitment! I look forward to our first meeting on September 10. Bring a “survivor flower” to show and share!

Learn to be an observer in all seasons. Every single day, your garden has something new and wonderful to show you.” Author Unknown





Lee Threadgill - March 2015

Missy Donaldson - Sunday, March 01, 2015

One at a time, by one woman. Two hand, two feet and very little brain.” Gene Bauer

So reads the sign at the gate of the Gene Bauer Daffodil Garden in Running Springs, California. Beginning in 1958, Gene planted close to a million daffodils over the next 49 years, and as you can imagine visitors came from far and wide to see this golden paradise. One of the most amazing comments she received was from a young woman who was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the garden she asked, "Are all these flowers yours - they're so beautiful - did they . . . just happen?" (http://

As any gardener knows, beautiful flowers don't just happen - but it's not hard as it looks! Especially with daffodils! Plant a few every year, and they will multiply and probably outlive you. The Daffodil Lady of Jackson, Loyce McKenzie, a national force in the daffodil world and our beloved local garden columnist has given us a list of daffodils that do well in our area and it is on our website! If you have daffodils to show or you just want to be inspired, please attend the Central Mississippi Daffodil Show on Saturday March 14, at Mississippi College in Clinton. Mary Elizabeth is gathering daffodils the Friday morning before and if you want to show, contact her and go with her on Friday afternoon to enter or go early on Saturday and Loyce will put you to work - the Daffodil folk are warm and friendly as well as brilliant!!

Spring is now upon us and with a calendar full of garden club events, this favorite season will pass all too fast! If you're like me, we need to check our calendars daily before wandering into the garden with our coffee so that we don't miss anything!

If you want to become a better flower arranger or just to watch the maestro in action, you will want to make your reservation for the "Stump John Grady" Floral Design Mechanics demo on Wednesday March 25 at Oak Ridge Hall, St. James, from 10 am to 12 noon. Try to stump John Grady by bringing that unusual container you have and join the fun!

The big event is Thursday March 26 - our gala spring luncheon at the Country Club of Jackson, 11 am to 1 pm. We have had over 20 people volunteer to do tabletops with their own collections ranging from antique books to silver to teacups and everything in between! John Grady will regale us with stories behind his new book Collections: Sharing the Passion and also will demonstrate incorporating flowers into your collection, using a collection of blue and white porcelain. I will be sad to lose Pryor's painting to the lucky winner of the raffle!

"Gather your strength for a busy and beautiful spring! "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galations 6:10

Lee Threadgill - February 2015

Missy Donaldson - Sunday, February 01, 2015


Just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring, becomes the rose.

From the song "The Rose" by Amanda McBroom

This is the "Year of the Seed" for The Garden Club of Jackson! From September when we gathered seeds from annuals and perennials in our gardens and packaged them up for the Shirley Meneice Conference, to October when we distributed larkspur, poppy, and coreopsis seeds to members for fall planting in our Easy Seed Project, seeds have been in the forefront of our activities, all leading up to the February meeting when Barbara Tuffli, the GCA Vice-Chair of Seed Sharing and Propagation, will come share her knowledge and wisdom on all things seed! Barbara hails from the San Francisco area, is a past president of the American Camellia Society and has been in the national forefront of promoting sharing seed and seed stories, a subject dear to our hearts also.

As I write this, I am 38,000 feet in the air on the way to California with my husband Burney on a free (well almost) trip to play golf at Pebble Beach! I'm missing the January meeting with Dodie Jackson and the Landscape Learning seminar, but I know things are in good hands with Cheryl and Susan leading the way. I started thinking about how these ideas were seeds planted in the summer that are flowering in the dead of winter with an incredible outpouring of financial support from our sponsors and active support from our members that is very humbling. Then I realized that our current success is truly the result of seeds planted long before this summer by the first members of The Garden Club of Jackson, and those who have carried the torch through the years.

Snapshots from old GCJ photo albums show vividly these early plantings - seeds still bearing fruit today! To the ladies of the GCJ, I salute you all and look forward to a most wonderful spring!

I say Love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed.