Flower show continues at Clayton library

By Curt Yeomans


Many of the people who attended the "Green Grows the Garden" flower show Friday, at the Clayton County Library System's headquarters branch, noted how fresh the library's community room smelled.

The flower show, which is co-sponsored by the Clayton County Extension Service's Master Gardeners program and the Clayton County-wide Southwood Gardening Club, concludes today at the library, which is located at 865 Battle Creek Road, in Jonesboro. Anyone interested in seeing the 134 entries, which include daylilies, shrubs, dahlia's, Anabelles, and plant arrangements, can go to the library from 9 a.m., to 4 p.m., today.

"This is a community service that we do," said Carolyn Hawkins, the flower show chairperson from Clayton County Master Gardeners. "It's here to educate people in the community on the different types of flowers they can grow in their own gardens at home, and how they can use them in floral arrangements."

Hawkins said four Morrow and Peachtree City-based flower judges, who have each completed three years of flower-show judging school, reviewed the entries and awarded first-, second- and third-place ribbons in several categories, which included shrubs, annuals, perennials, arrangements, and several sub-categories.

Jonesboro residents Lou and Gloria Hisel won the best-in-show award for receiving 36 blue ribbons, Hawkins said. Lou Hisel said his wife deserves much of the credit, though, because she has been a gardener for more than 30 years. He said he's only been gardening himself for three years, through the master gardeners program.

Lou Hisel said he and his wife have a woodland garden in the Spivey Orchard off Jodeco Road in Jonesboro, where they grow their plants. He said an example of his wife's planting prowess is an Anabelle flower, grown through the husband-and-wife team's experimentation with growing location.

Lou Hisel said they normally grow the flower in wooded areas where they get a lot of shade. His wife decided to try growing one in the sunlight to see what happened, he said. The ball of little flowers at the top of the plant grew to be twice the size of the other, shaded Anabelles.

"I do all of the manual work, and she's the real planter," Lou Hisel said. The experimental Anabelle won a blue ribbon.

On Friday there was a steady flow of library employees and patrons who walked through the flower show and said they were impressed by the variety and health of the flowers at the show.

As headquarters branch Library Assistant LaDonna Tolbert, a resident of Stockbridge, walked around the flower show during a break from work, she said the various plants reminded her of a recent trip to Callaway Gardens.

"I was at Callaway Gardens last Sunday, and it was just like this because of all of the different species of flowers they have here," she said.

Jonesboro resident Alfred Phelps, who grows 15 plants on his own, said he could tell the people who grew the plants for the flower show took a great deal of care in doing so, because of how they looked.

"I think that they're beautiful," Phelps said. "Plants require a lot of time and dedication to take care of them ... They all look so healthy. You might say it's hard to believe they're not plastic because they are so healthy, but there are people who have a lot of passion to take care of them."