On June 8, the Dogwood Garden Club of Orangeburg dedicated their beautification project for the National Garden Club “Plant America” grant.
Outgoing President Roxie Milhouse, along with Dogwood gardeners, presented the finished project to Melissa Sturke, representing the H.F. Mabry Center for Cancer Care. This project included designing, landscaping and maintain a healing garden for all the patients, caregivers and medical providers who are part of the Mabry Center at the Regional Medical Center. The club filled five existing flower beds with flowering plants, shrubs and flowers, adding beauty to the highly visible area as well as refurbishing the main entrance landscape. The Dogwood Garden Club was one of 250 clubs that applied for the “Plant America” grant awarded by the National Garden Club. Dr. Candace Fowler, a Dogwood gardener, led the club’s efforts to achieve this grant award.
As a gift of inspiration for all those battling cancer, Becky Wienges, Dogwood gardener and artist, created a painting to be placed permanently inside the Mabry Center. Her acrylic work, presented to Melissa Sturke, features a pathway winding beside lovely trees to depict a vision of the journey all cancer patients travel.
Incoming Co-President Patty Pickens said, “The painting represents a vision of hope for the cancer journey which can be overcome. Our club wanted to add inspiration and hope for all those who are on the challenging journey of cancer along with all care givers, doctors, and nurses as well.”
Community collaboration involving employees of the Mabry Center and RMC, communication with other area garden clubs, and local gardening professional Gail Bolt from the Plant Depot have been integral in the success of the project. Although the national grant offered substantial financial assistance, additional funds were needed for completion of the project. The Dean Law Firm, the RMC Auxiliary and every member of the Dogwood Garden Club contributed financially in order to see that all areas around the center would be enhanced.
In addition to the shrubs and flowers, a PVC bird feeder was placed in a prime location for patients to view while taking treatments. This feeder will be maintained by gardeners Kathie Goodwin and Pam Reynolds, while members Sylvia Burwell, Angie Hydrick, and Meg Wolfe will coordinate maintenance of the area to insure that this project remains a gift of beauty and hope to the community for years to come.