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Act of Kindness at Ward Hall

Ward Hall Garden and Fountains Little Garden Club makes a big splash at Ward Hall

Written by Kathy Witt

For nearly 10 years Georgetown’s Little Garden Club has tended to the gardens at Ward Hall: gathering plants and supplies, donating seating and sculptures, prepping the plots for spring, cleaning them up in the fall and maintaining all in between. And members do this for not one garden but for five – pretty amazing for a little gardening group that sees itself as a social club, one that just happens to volunteer to beautify what is considered among Kentucky’s grandest and most historic homes.

“We’re a low-key kind of garden club,” said Hazel Werner. “We’re all home gardeners but we don’t belong to any national societies.”

The club’s current president and member since 2013, Hazel said their involvement with Ward Hall began in 2011, when a member – also on the board of the 12,000-squre foot Greek Revival manse – suggested taking on a civic project.

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Members agreed and committed to caring for five gardens at Ward Hall. They gathered plants from their own gardens, solicited donations from local landscapers and netted a $500 award from the Georgetown Women’s Club to purchase needed supplies.

“That’s what started the project,” said Hazel.

Today, the 35 or so members of the Little Garden Club maintain Ward Hall’s hosta and daylily gardens, the front garden which is filled with knock-out roses, another garden showing off a variety of plants and one fondly referred to as the Lady garden. Named for the statue that presides over it, it is fragrant with lavender and showy with columbine and other plants that might have been abloom during Ward Hall’s heyday in the mid-19th century.

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“When you go out into the gardens, knowing what they used to look like and seeing what they look like now, that’s a reward in itself,” said Hazel of the ongoing project. “When people tour the gardens and compliment them, it means a lot.”

Each of the five gardens has a small team of member volunteers assigned to it, with less active members cheering everyone on.

“We meet in the gardens twice a year, in April and September, to clean them up and then put them to bed,” said Hazel. “In between, it’s the responsibility of these small groups who go intermittently to clean up their specific garden, do the weeding, freshen it up, etc.”

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The club also takes care of planting the urns on the property and a few club members have taken on the iris garden as well. A portion of the dues collected by the Little Garden Club goes toward the purchase of annuals, mulch and other necessities for the gardens.

April is both National Garden Month and Lawn & Garden Month – the perfect time to start thinking about and preparing the home garden and visiting other gardens, like the ones at this national architectural treasure, to see what’s coming to life. And it also coincides with the first Open Houses of the year at Ward Hall, held 1-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on April 3-4 and April 10-11*. (You just may spy Little Garden Club members on the grounds and see what they’re doing to continue beautification efforts in their five gardens.) For more information, visit www.wardhall.net or call 502-863-5356.

*NOTE: 2021 dates are subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visitors must follow all COVID-19 mandates or posted rules.

 

 


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