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Cassina Garden Club members actively participate in various garden club activities on the local, District and State level.  While these activities are included in our Newsletters on a timely basis, we have established this page so that we may share these activities with website visitors and highlight our members' efforts.

November, 2013 - Neil Henry, Cassina's first male member, has assumed responsibility for heading up our "Golden Days" daffodil project for the National Garden Club.  An additional 250 bulbs have been purchased for our daffodil area. Our planting date for these bulbs will be Thursday, December 12 - all are welcome and encouraged to help.


"Plant It Pink" - Our members weeding and "fluffing" in our "Plant It Pink" garden at Hospice of the Golden Isles.  Cassina began this project of the National Garden Club in the fall of 2012 and its members regularly work to maintain it.  Nan Fuller, 638-8029 is in charge of this effort.


Ronald McDonald Houses - For a number of years, the Garden Club of Georgia has supported the Ronald McDonald House Foundation by collecting pull tabs.  It has been very successful in generating much needed funds for the support of the Ronald McDonald houses throughout the State.

Beginning this year, the Garden Club of Georgia announced an expansion of their support of Ronald McDonald houses to include the donation of personal size toiletry items. Beginning in November, we are asking members to bring personal size toiletries to each of our meetings throughout the year.  Joan Wilson is our Ronald McDonald coordinator.

Penny Pines - Cassina participates in Penny Pines, a partnership between the NGC and the USDA Forest Service sustaining our national and urban forests through this forest education program. We contribute $68.00 at a time to a Penny Pine plantation as part of the costs of reforestation with trees indigenous (not just pine trees) to a particular damaged area. According to Art Loesch, NGC Penny Pines chairman, $68 now covers the cost to plant approximately 350 seedlings, which translates to about one acre. Bring your pennies (or any change) to each meeting!  Sallie Sasser is our Penny Pines Chairman. 

2013 Oleander District Meeting - Eleven members represented Cassina Garden Club at the 55th Annual Oleander District Meeting on October 22, 2013. The meeting was held in the historic J.P. Morgan Tennis Center on Jekyll Island which has been refurbished and repurposed as a convention meeting place. Presiding at the meeting was Marilyn Cheney, Oleander District Director, from Reidsville Garden Club.
Delegates learned of many state and district projects, including a legislative effort to prevent hog farms from raising the number of hogs per acre allowed, because of the pollution impact on water sources. Highlight of the day was a talk by Dr. Terry Norton, the founder, director and veterinarian of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Since opening its doors in 2007, the Turtle Center has welcomed 650,000 visitors of all ages, thereby fulfilling one of its goals: to educate the public about the need to protect chelonians.

July, 2013

The September Membership Meeting will be the last date to purchase the 2014 Garden Club of Georgia calendar. The calendars are desk size (5 ½ inches x 8 ½ inches). The calendar plus GA sales tax is $8.56 each. Please make your check out to the Garden Club of Georgia and mail it to Becky Stephenson, 143 Rosemont Street, St. Simons Island, GA 31522, or purchase your calendar at the September meeting. The proceeds from this state fund raiser will go to the State Scholarship Fund.
These calendars make wonderful gifts so make sure you get your order to Becky before the September deadline. All calendars purchased will be available in November in time for Christmas giving. For more information, please contact Becky Stephenson.

May, 2013

Cassina Garden Club has contributed to the GCG Roadside Beautification program to help achieve lovely and welcoming roadsides for our residents and visitors.

GCG and the Georgia Department of Transportation have worked together for many years to protect roadside wildflowers and promote the seeding of annuals and perennials. Most recent plantings in our DOT District (Jesup), include 30,000 daffodil bulbs and many acres of wildflowers with Corn Poppy, Delphinium, Coreopsis and Cosmos.

Deep South Convention - Cassina member Liz DeMato attended the 52nd Annual Deep South Region of National Garden Club Convention "Georgia's Treasures" in Savannah in March. Members from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, and Louisiana participated in this annual event.

Liz, Caroline Silcox, President, Garden Club of Georgia and Winette Almon, DSR Historic Preservation Chairman enjoyed an outdoor evening at the opening of the convention.

The Golden Days Program of the National Garden Club.  Cassina has participated for the past three years. Our plan is to encourage the planting of daffodils to honor Cassina members who may now be confined to their homes or in assisted living or nursing homes, those who have “downsized” and are no longer able to garden or those who can no longer participate in garden club activities.  It was also to honor members who have made significant contributions to the garden club such as past presidents or long time or Life members. Over the years Cassina has tried several different approaches to carry out the Golden Days idea and honor our members. This year we will be delivering approximately twenty-three Bud vases filled with blooming daffodils. Each is tied with a yellow bow and includes a personalized note from the Membership of Cassina. We have received many thank you notes from those given daffodils this year.

March, 2013

The Garden Club of Georgia’s 85th Annual Convention, “Gardeners on Parade,” will be held at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center, April 16-18, 2013, 500 Powder Springs St., SW, Marietta, GA 30064. Hosted by the Laurel District, the full three-day convention features a design program, workshop, awards, vendors and an interesting tour. The GCG sponsored Deep South Region of The National Garden Club’s 52nd Annual Convention, “Georgia’s Treasures” will be held at the Hyatt Regency, Savannah on March 24-26th. For more details please visit www.dsregion.org. Check the GCG website http://gardenclub.uga.edu for the master calendar, forms and activities.

February, 2013

The Deep South Region of the National Garden Club’s 52nd Annual Convention, “Georgia’s Treasures” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Savannah on March 24-26th. The event is sponsored by The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. For more details please visit www.dsregion.org. Dixie Diffenderfer (Awards, Oleander) and Cassina’s Liz DeMato (Legislation, Oleander), recently attended a Convention committee meeting in Savannah. 

Golden Days - Once again this year we are participating in the National Garden Club Golden Days project. This project honors our members who for various reasons are no longer able to garden or participate in gardening activities with the club as they have in the past. We also are honoring members who have served Cassina as our past presidents and others who have served in other ways and made significant contributions to the club.

Last year we started our “Field on Daffodils” on our property adjacent to the cabins. Some of those daffodils planted last year are beginning to poke their heads up for this year’s blooming. By allowing these to naturalize each year, we want to make this an ongoing attraction.

This year we are adding to our original planting to make it even larger and hopefully more special and beautiful. On Saturday, January 12th members met to prepare the area for planting. On Saturday January19th members gathered to plant approximately another 250 daffodil bulbs. Over the next couple of months, we will need additional help to keep these watered and cared for. If you can help with this in any way, please contact Beverly Nash. The more members participating in this project, the easier it will be to make a success.

Pennies for Pines - Cassina has been participating in the National Garden Club’s conservation project by collecting pennies at each membership meeting, and has met the goal of $68.00. This has been forwarded to the USDA Forest Service and will be used to help reforest devastated areas in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Northern Georgia.
Andy Baker, Blue Ridge District Ranger of Georgia’s northern national forest is very appreciative of Cassina members’ efforts.

A certificate to honor the donation will be dedicated to Cassina Garden Club celebrating its 85th Anniversary.

December 2012

It’s time again to start the prep work for our Golden Days Daffodil planting project for this year. Prep work includes cleaning off a new area for this year’s planting. We have ordered another 200 bulbs for this year and hopefully they will do better than last year’s bulbs. Our timing this year should be much better.

Anyone interested in helping please contact Beverly Nash so that a date and time for the work days can be set up (not necessarily on Saturday). We need to be ready to plant by early January. This is a fun project and the more helpers we have, the easier and faster the job. Come help us out

November, 2012

This fall, Cassina Garden Club participated in the National Garden Club “Plant It Pink” project for Breast Cancer Awareness by landscaping the new entrance to our local Hospice of the Golden Isles. This project promotes the National Garden Club theme of “Planting in Special and Public Spaces.” One of the main initiatives of our Garden Club of Georgia President, Caroline Silcox, is to encourage garden clubs to undertake such projects. This project with Hospice certainly qualifies.

Cassina member Elaine Zeyock, developed a landscape plan. Elaine and Anne Aspinwall then selected our “pink” plantings which included azaleas, roses, crepe myrtle, muhly grass, sedum, gaura, dianthus and obedient plants. Our hope is that there will be something “pink” blooming throughout the year. Working with Hospice landscaper Bill McCauly, space was cleared, redesigned and planted. Cassina members spent a morning planting, watering and putting out pine straw. The whole effect is beautiful.

We are still getting praise from Hospice personnel and visitors. Thanks to Frances Allen, Dale Anderson, Martha Armstrong, Anne Aspinwall, Nan Fuller, Barbara Murrah, Beverly Nash, Joanne Scott, Sara Taylor, and Elaine Zeyock for all their hard work.

Our first phase is now complete, and throughout the year there will be additions to our landscaping plan. Watch for these opportunities and help when you can. Please stop by Hospice to view what you, as a Cassina member, helped make happen.

Oleander District Meeting

Nine members of Cassina Garden Club attended the fifty-fourth annual Oleander District meeting in Vidalia, Georgia. The meeting was conducted by Oleander District Director, Sharon Flores and the honored guest was Caroline Silcox, President of The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. The President of the Nominating Committee presented the slate of 2013-2105 Officers for the Oleander District, which was approved. The incoming President of GCG, Suzanne Wheeler, was introduced.

The findings from the workshop conducted by Oleander district officers at Brunswick Country Club in May, “Great Programs Lead to Increased Membership”, have been published. The first book was presented at the meeting to the President of GCG, Caroline Silcox. A copy was given to the President of each Oleander District Garden Club. The book will be available for viewing on the Oleander website.

Upcoming events, including Cassina’s Christmas Tour of Homes, were announced. Sales of the GCG Calendar “Expressions” last year raised $64,000 which provided scholarships for 22 students. Noted Bonsai expert, Merv Greenburg of Bonsai Potensai Emporium, Alamo, Georgia, presented a fascinating program, “The Art of Bonsai.” He demonstrated the techniques of creating bonsai through leaf trimming, pruning and wiring branches. Cassina received one District Award. It was an exciting meeting for Cassina. Next year’s District Meeting will be held close to home on Jekyll Island on October 22nd.

Penny Pines

The National Garden Club and the USDA Forest Service have formed a partnership sustaining our national and urban forests. Living in the Oleander District, surrounded by pine trees and motivated by recent fires that burned throughout Georgia, Cassina Garden Club is participating in this conservation project to replace and replant trees indigenous to damaged areas. Our gift in multiples of $68.00 will be donated to a Penny Pine Plantation - $68.00 will seed ten acres. Pennies will be collected at each membership meeting. Mary Carnathan and Alice Marie Burnet are overseeing this project.

October, 2012

"Plant it Pink"

This year Cassina will be participating in the National Garden Club “Plant it Pink” program. This program seeks to raise awareness and support for breast cancer and cancer research by planting pink landscaping in prominent locations in the community. Cassina will have the privilege of doing a “pink” landscape for the newly-constructed entrance to Hospice of the Golden Isles. We will be developing the landscape plan, choosing the “pink” plantings and installing these as we complete the project. Once completed, Hospice will handle the ongoing maintenance.

The garden club has already made a specific monetary commitment to the completion of this project. In addition, we are offering the opportunity to any members who may wish to do so to have a special part in supporting these efforts by making a “strictly” voluntary contribution to “Plant It Pink.” Any additional contributions will allow Cassina to enhance our plans to really make a statement with an outstanding landscaping effort. Contributions of any amount would be welcome and can be made to Cassina/Hospice to go specifically to this project. Hospice is a non-profit organization.

Our community is fortunate to have such an outstanding facility as Hospice of the Golden Isles. Not only does Cassina have a unique opportunity to help them, but we also, through “Plant it Pink,” have the opportunity to help in our community to raise awareness for the need for research for a breast cancer cure.

More plans on this project will be coming shortly. For information on how you can be involved, contact Beverly Nash or Elaine Zeyock.

Garden Club Council

The St. Simons Council of Garden Clubs meeting was held on September 10th. Cassina hosted the meeting with an Open House at the tabby slave cabins. Thirteen Council and club members attended.

Anne Aspinwall, president of the St. Simons Council of Garden Clubs, held a brief meeting to discuss the Council’s projects and to distribute the yearbooks. Each of the four Club representatives had a chance to discuss their Club’s projects for the year. One of the activities of the council is to promote and support each other’s fundraising efforts.

Sharon Flores, Oleander District Director discussed ways to involve more garden club members in support of the Council and District. One way is to attend the Oleander District meeting in October. A registration form was attached to the September Cassina Newsletter. Cassina members are carpooling to Vidalia for the District Meeting. Contact Beverly Nash for details.

Pull Tab Reminder

Don’t forget to save your aluminum can “pull tabs” for collecting at each of our Cassina Garden Club meetings. We have a new Ronald McDonald house that we are using for collection. This is a GCGA project, and all of the proceeds go to support the work of the Ronald McDonald houses across our area. The Ronald McDonald Houses offer a “home away from home” for parents who have hospitalized critically ill children. So save those pull tabs from drink cans as well as many other canned goods items (soups, fruits, meats, etc.)

September, 2012

 The Garden Club of GA - Oleander District
Cordially Invites All Garden Club Members to the
Fifty-Fourth Annual Fall District Meeting
Friday, October 19, 2012
Hawks Point Golf Club
Vidalia, GA
9:00 a.m. Coffee & Registration
10:00 a.m. Meeting begins
Program: The Art of Bonsai Trees
by Merv Greenburg of Bonsai Potensai Emporium
Registration form on page eight of this Newsletter

National Awards

The Cassina Garden Club’s Newsletter won First Place at the National Garden Club Convention after also winning first place at the Garden Club of Georgia Convention. Janis Rodriguez, editor of Cassina’s newsletter, also credits Kay Harrell, Joanne Scott and Leslie Carlton for helping Cassina win these awards. Cassina also received the National Award for Historic Preservation. Well done indeed!

GCGA Calendars

Our September meeting will be the "last call" for orders for the Garden Club of Georgia's 2013 "Expressions" Calendar for Scholarships. You can make a difference in the life of a Georgia student majoring in a garden or historic preservation-related field by purchasing the calendar. The calendar is 5.5” x 8.5” (the same size as our Yearbook) and easily fits into a generous purse. The photographs of winning floral arrangements throughout the calendar are both educational and inspiring.  Mary Lynch will be accepting your check for $8.56 payable to "THE GARDEN CLUB OF GEORGIA, INC." at the September meeting.  Calendars will be delivered at our November meeting.

July, 2012

2013 Garden Club of Georgia Calendars

The beautiful 2013 “Expressions” Calendar , published by the Garden Club of Georgia, is now available. You can make a difference in the life of a Georgia student majoring in a garden- or historic preservation-related field by purchasing the calendar or making a tax-exempt donation. The calendar is one size this year, 5.5” x 8.5” (the same size as our Yearbook), and easily fits into a generous purse. The photographs of winning floral arrangements throughout the calendar are both educational and inspiring. Mary Lynch is taking pre-paid orders NOW. Please make your check payable to THE GARDEN CLUB OF GEORGIA, INC. and send your check ($8.56) to Mary at 115 Shore Rush Circle, St. Simons Island, GA 31522. Calendars will be delivered at our November meeting in plenty of time for holiday gift giving.

May, 2012

Garden Club of Georgia State Convention

The Garden Club of Georgia State Convention, “A Garden Jubilee”, was held April 16-17 in Macon, Georgia. Cassina members attending were Liz DeMato, Sharon Flores, Beverly Nash, and Janis Rodriguez. The convention was held at the Macon Marriott City Center and over 250 Garden Club members from around the state attended the one day event.

Adding to the excitement this year, Cassina Garden Club won eleven awards for achievement. There were seven first place awards, two first place with trophy, and two second place awards. Several projects will be sent to the National Convention to be judged.


Garden Club of Georgia State Awards:

First Place and Trophy, Special Achievement Award #7–A-iii for Archive Preservation
First Place and Trophy, Horticulture Achievement Award #14–A-ii for Cassina Gardens,
    Spanish Gardens, Red Cedar Tree, Olive trees, Golden Days Project
First Place, Historic Preservation Award #15-A-iii for Preservation of the Cabins & grounds
First Place, Publicity Press Book Award #28-A-iii
First Place , Publications Award #37-B-5-A-iii for Membership brochure
First Place, Publications Award #37-A-2-A-iii for Newsletter
First Place, Website Award #53-A-iii
Second Place, Yearbook Award #16-A-6

Deep South Region Awards:
First Place, Certificate of Achievement Award #11-A-iii for Horticulture
First Place, Special Achievement Award #10-A-iii for Archive Preservation
Second Place, Certificate of Achievement Award #31-A-iii for Publicity Press Book 

Garden Club of Georgia Calendars

As we look forward to our 85th anniversary next year, the Garden Club of Georgia will be celebrating the 60th year of it’s “Expressions” calendar for scholarships. The Garden Club of Georgia awarded $20,000 worth of scholarships from the calendar sales this past year. Let’s help them maintain this tradition! Please plan to place your orders for the 2013 calendar at our September meeting.

April, 2012

National Garden Club Project - Golden Days

Come by the cabins and see! Our daffodils have begun to bloom. Many are still growing and will, hopefully, give us more beautiful blooms over the next few weeks. This is just the beginning. As we plan to add more bulbs in coming years, we anticipate a larger spring spectacle of blooms each year. We will shortly be preparing an acknowledgement to present to those we wish to honor through this National Garden Club Golden Days Project. Many thanks to the more than 50% of our club membership that helped in this effort.

GCGA Convention

The Garden Club of Georgia Convention will be held April 16th and 17th, in Macon. Registration forms are available online at www.gardenclubofgeorgia.org.
If interested in attending, please contact Janis Rodriguez. Beverly Nash, Liz DeMato, and Janis plan to attend and carpool to Macon.

March, 2012

Lee Dunn, Member of the Georgia Historic Preservation of Gardens & Sites Committee Addresses Cassina's Annual Luncheon

Our February luncheon was a great success. What a treat it was to be at “A Cottage Garden Party” and to enjoy the beautiful setting at Epworth and all the spectacular floral decorations contributed by members and guests.

One hundred twenty attendees heard our guest speaker, Lee Dunn, explain about the Garden Club of Georgia’s preservation of historic gardens and sites. Lee also enlightened us about the activities of the Cherokee Garden Library in Atlanta. Lee’s talk truly related to Cassina because our club had completed a survey of the historic Eugene Lewis Garden. Both the photography contest and floral competition added to the excitement of this special yearly event. Thanks to all who were a part of making this a wonderful day.

Garden Club of Georgia News

This year’s Garden Club of Georgia Convention will be held April 16-17th in Macon. Registration deadline is March 26, 2012. Registration forms are available online at www.gardenclubofgeorgia.org. Janis Rodriguez and Beverly Nash will be representing Cassina at the State Convention and would love for other members to join them.

Two other Garden Club of Georgia events in our area that may be of interest to members are the following:

* Basic Design Fun with Flowers in LaGrange on March 13, 2012, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
* South Georgia Native Plant and Wildflower Symposium in Tifton on March 28, 2012.

For more information check the website http://sgnpws.org/registration2012.php
Check the GCG Website http://gardenclub.uga.edu for the master calendar, forms and activities.

February, 2012

Golden Days Project

This year Cassina’s Golden Days Project has a new twist. Coordinated by Beverly Nash, daffodil bulbs were planted in an area on our newly leased property. Fourteen members met at the cabins to till the soil and prepare for the planting of the bulbs the next Saturday when twenty plus members arrived with trowels in hand to plant almost 260 bulbs. Some of the bulbs were donated by members in memory or in honor of someone special. The hope is that our Golden Day Project will bring joy to the community when visitors come to the cabins this spring and the daffodils are all in bloom. We will continue this project again each year as there is room for more daffodils which would truly make a great statement when they bloom each spring.

Oleander District

The Oleander District Board of Directors attended their Winter Board Meeting in Jesup on January 25th. The meeting was hosted by the Wayne County Council of Garden Clubs. Cassina members on the District Board include Director, Sharon Flores, and Committee Chairs Liz DeMato, Beverly Nash and Julie Spivey.

January, 2012 

“Golden Days” Time Again

Once again this year we will be participating in the National Garden Club “Golden Days Project.” This project honors our members who are no longer able to participate actively in gardening activities but who have served our garden club faithfully in the past.

Previously we have prepared potted Daffodils and presented them to past presidents and many members and associates who are no longer able to garden with us. This year we have decided to take a little different approach. We will be planting daffodils on our newly leased grounds at our cabins. These will be bulbs that are appropriated to our area and that will come back year after year. When the bulbs are in bloom, a picture will be sent to designated members with an invitation to come by and view the daffodils planted in their honor.

We will start this year with one section of our grounds. Next year we will hope to add another section. Eventually, perhaps we can have most of our grounds abloom each spring with these beautiful flowers. These will certainly beautify our grounds and not only will they be enjoyed by our members, but also by our whole community.

When our bulbs arrive, we will set up a planting day for those of you who may wish to participate and help us with the planting. With each person planting a few, this should not take us long and will be lots of fun as well. Please look for a sign-up sheet at our January meeting.

November 2011

Oleander District Meeting

A record gathering of two hundred ninety members of the Garden Club of Georgia made the 53rd annual Oleander District meeting on St. Simons Island on October 11th a huge success. Hosted by the five clubs of the St. Simons Council of Garden Clubs, the meeting held at Epworth by the Sea attracted members from across the State. The honored guest was Caroline Silcox, President of The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. The meeting was conducted by Oleander District Director, Sharon Flores.

Cassina members made huge contributions to the success of the meeting—from creating the magical centerpieces to serving as hostesses to directing guests to the various venues throughout the day. Beverly Nash and Ruth Kolumber led the floral centerpiece team, and Jane Bangert contributed hundreds of yards of ribbon for both the centerpieces and the eleven door prizes. Ann Caswell, Anne Marie Dalis, Jane Rives and Sandy Storino were in charge of the sale of Ryan Gainey’s book, The Weekly Weeder, with proceeds benefiting the Oleander District.

Libby Hogan and Becky Stephenson served as Timekeepers during the Business Session, and Elizabeth Freyer and Ann Worthington served as Tellers. Libby Hogan and Jane Bangert collected thousands of pull tabs that will be taken to the Ronald McDonald House in Savannah. The sale of these aluminum tabs provide operating funds for this important non-profit. In addition, they accepted huge donations of underwear and socks for the Fig Leaf Project. These clothing items are desperately needed for patients at the State Hospital in Savannah.

Edward Armstrong’s floral demonstration of The Magic of Flowers enthralled the audience. Cassina received two District Awards. It was definitely a day of Magic for both Cassina and the Oleander District. Next year’s District Meeting will be held in Vidalia on October 19th.

October 2011

National Garden Club Contests

The National Garden Club is offering several contests to bring gardening and our youth together. This exciting process can be fun for parents, grandparents or other adult friends. Reach out to your grandchildren, youth groups already formed or classes at school and encourage them to enter the NGC contests. There are several contests available for different age groups from high school to elementary school.

The High School Distinguished Service Project Award is offered for grades 9 through 12. A high school student will be awarded $100 first place or $50 second place for an outstanding civic project making a significant improvement for public benefit, e.g., the environment, conservation, recycling, horticulture, etc. The Youth Sculpture Contest is for children in the 4th through 8th grades. The purpose is to encourage youth to keep our planet green and to get involved with saving our planet by recycling items to make a sculpture. Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster contest is for children in 1st through 5th grades. The winner will receive a $100 Savings Bond.

Contact Ruth Kolumber for more information regarding these contests. Your grandchild is eligible to enter and the application will be sent by Cassina Garden Club.

Preservation and Outreach

Our successful fundraising events, the Christmas Tour of Homes and the Tabby & Tillandsia Garden Walk, enable Cassina to make contributions to projects that relate to Cassina’s mission statement in addition to providing funds to self insure our cabins. The funds for projects and contributions to the following organizations totaling in excess of $10,000 were approved by the Board and Membership:

National Garden Club:          Golden Days
Garden Club of Georgia:     Arboreal, Memorial and Botanical Gardens
                                                                  Garden Therapy
                                                                   Roadside Beautification
                                                                   Scholarship Program

Garden Related Contributions:     Botanical Garden (Savannah Area Council of Garden Clubs)
                                                                                 Georgia Southern Botanical Gardens
                                                                                 Historic Southern Red Cedar Tree Project
                                                                                 Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation
                                                                                 Leconte - Woodmanston Foundation
                                                                                 Live Oak Garden Club Tree Project
                                                                                 St. Simons Council of Garden Clubs
                                                                                 Signature Squares - Brunswick
Preservation:     Altamaha Riverkeepers
                                    Arthur J. Moore Museum at Epworth
                                    Coastal Georgia Historical Society
                                    Epworth by the Sea
                                    Georgia Heritage Day (Oglethorpe Elementary School)
                                    Hospice of the Golden Isles
                                    St. Simons Land Trust
                                    St. Simons Public Library

Summer 2011

Oleander District Club & Council Officers Workshop

The Garden Club of Georgia—Oleander District Club & Council Officers Workshop was held on Wednesday July 13 at the Sapelo Hammock Golf Club on Shellman’s Bluff. The Workshop was designed for incoming and returning garden club officers and interested club members. Conducted by Sara Lanier, Deep South Regional Director and past President of the Garden Club of Georgia, the workshop focused on ways to enhance leadership qualities, responsibilities of Club Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers, along with ideas for increasing membership. Anne Aspinwall, Liz DeMato, Sharon Flores, and Janis Rodriguez represented Cassina at the workshop.

Garden Club of Georgia 2012 Calendars

The 2012 calendars, “Expressions,” published by the Georgia State Council of Garden Clubs, is now available. The photographs were taken at Deen Day Sanders’ Garden House in January and the designs are exceptional. Two sizes are offered, Purse and Desk, same price for either, $8.56, tax included. Proceeds from the calendar sales go to the scholarship fund.

MJ Choate is taking pre-paid orders NOW. The Desk style is plentiful, but only 1000 of the Purse style were printed and they are popular. No more will be printed. The early bird is more likely to get her choice!  Make out your check to Cassina Garden Cub and indicate your style choice on the memo line. Mail you check to MJ Choate, 103 Spyglass, St. Simons Island, GA 31522. Contact MJ for any questions. (912-634-2518)

May 2011

Oleander District Fall Meeting

We are all excited that the 2011 Oleander District Meeting is going to be held here on St. Simons Island. The five member clubs of the St. Simons Council of Garden Clubs will be in charge this year. The Council has already been busy with much of the planning necessary for staging such an event. Each club will have a major designated responsibility for the meeting and Cassina has been asked to provide the table decorations for the meeting and luncheon.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “The Magic of Flowers” with our own Edward Armstrong as the feature speaker and “floral magician.” We need to make sure we provide the most STUPENDOUS magical floral arrangements that will WOW our guests. A committee is being formed to get things started. All those interested in helping are encouraged to sign up at our May meeting or call or e-mail Beverly Nash.

We need all your creative ideas, your floral arranging expertise, and many willing hands for all the big and little jobs that will be necessary to make this event a success.Start thinking of “magical” ideas now and sign up at the May meeting. We need to start meeting during the summer months to begin planning and preparation.

Garden Club of Georgia State Convention

The Garden Club of Georgia State Convention was held April 26—28, in Athens, Georgia. Cassina members attending were Anne Aspinwall, Sharon Flores, Beverly Nash, and Janis Rodriguez. In keeping with this year’s theme, “Where it all Began”, our members had an opportunity to visit the State headquarters and the State Botanical Gardens.

Adding to the excitement this year, we were especially glad to have Cassina representatives on hand to see our own former president Sharon Flores installed as the new Oleander District Director.

February 2011

Garden Club of Georgia News

The Garden Club of Georgia’s 83rd State Convention will be held April 26 -28 in Athens. Recalling Athens as the birthplace of all garden clubs in the U.S., the theme this year is “The Beginning Was Here”. The keynote speaker will be Allan Armitage. See your winter Garden Gateways for other details and registration information.

A Garden Club of Georgia Flower Show School Course III will be held in Millen, Georgia March 1 - 3. Registrations are due by February 25th. If interested, details may be obtained from pincejohnson@bellsouth.net.

Remember the State Ronald McDonald Project for collecting your aluminum pull tabs. Save all you can each month and bring to each meeting. Let’s all “PULL TOGETHER” for this very worthwhile cause.

January 2011


Garden Club Member Elected To State Office


L-r; Winette Almon, current Oleander District Director; Betty Grimes, Garden Club of Georgia President; Sharon Flores, Oleander District Director-Elect.

Sharon Flores, Immediate Past President of Cassina Garden Club was elected to the position of District Director of the Oleander District for the Garden Club of Georgia. The announcement was made at the annual District meeting in Savannah. She joins the State Board of Directors for a two-year term. There are seven districts in the State, and the Oleander District represents twenty seven counties and seventy five garden clubs. The responsibilities of the District Director include supervision of all clubs in the district, encouraging the formation of new clubs and promoting National and State conservation, preservation and civic beautification projects. In addition, she will be responsible for working with local clubs to organize the annual District meeting. The 2011 Oleander District Meeting will be held on St. Simons Island in October.

December 2010

Ronald McDonald House

Starting this month, Cassina will begin participating in the Garden Club of Georgia Project to collect aluminum pull tabs for the Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the state. Pull tabs from any aluminum can will be accepted. We want to encourage all members to start saving these for this very worthy cause. Susan Baltzell will be heading up this project for us and will be providing a collection box at each of our meetings. She will also be sending us reminders, so START COLLECTING NOW.

November 2010

Annual Oleander District Meeting

Congratulations to Sharon Flores who was announced at the district meeting in Savannah as the next Oleander District Director. Eleven Cassina members traveled to Savannah on October 12 to attend the annual Oleander District Meeting. We were all glad to be there to support Sharon and to represent Cassina. Of particular interest to us was a program which provided information on the Garden Club of Georgia’s Bulletin Board Project with our elementary schools. We also brought back information on the Floral Arrangement Competition to share with members for next year’s calendar competition. As a part of the St. Simons Council, Cassina will be taking part in next year’s district meeting which will be held on St. Simons. We all came away with many good ideas and possibilities for helping Sharon make the next district meeting a big success. Cassina also came away with several major awards and numerous door prizes and “goodies” from the Country Store.

Golden Days Project

National Garden Club President Renee Blashchke’s Golden Days Project promotes planting of daffodils as a way to recognize our gardening friends who are no longer in their homes or no longer able to plant flowers. Cassina will be participating again this year in the National Garden Club project by potting daffodils to deliver at bloom time. Help is needed to pot the daffodils as well as to deliver them. If interested in helping in either of these areas and you have not already signed up, please call Caroline Fleetwood. Planting date will be announced as soon as the daffodil bulbs arrive.

October 2010

Historic Preservation and Community Outreach

Through club efforts and the success of our fundraising with the Tabby and Tillandsia Garden Walk and the Christmas Tour, Cassina was pleased to be able to make donations to the following non-profit organizations in our community and throughout the state for 2010.

Frederica Park Gazebo Project; St. Simons Land Trust ($12,500)
Altamaha Riverkeeper ($100)
Hospice of the Golden Isles ($1000) Signature Squares Brunswick ($100)
Coastal Georgia Historical Society Corporate Sponsorship ($1,000)
St. Simons Library League ($100)
St. Simons Land Trust Live Oak Membership ($1,000)
LeConte-Woodmanston Foundation ($100)
Garden Club of Georgia; Cassina Scholarship ($1,000)
St. Simons Council of Garden Clubs ($100)
Epworth By The Sea Conference Center 60th Anniversary ($2,000)
Southeastern Horticultural Society ($100)
Epworth By The Sea Historical Museum ($2,000)
Garden Club of Georgia Therapy Project ($100)
Garden Club of Georgia Community On My Mind Project ($400, Oak Grove Cemetery)
Coastal WildScapes ($100)

A large part of the mission of Cassina has always been to work toward promoting our local community and preserving our local history. Through these donations this year, Cassina is certainly fulfilling that mission.

Garden Club of GA 2011 Calendars

This year’s edition of the Garden Club of Georgia 2011 Calendars are still available. If you did not order yours last month, they will be on sale for the last time at the October meeting. Pocket size is $7.00 and large size is $9.00. These must be paid for at the time of purchase. These calendars are offered in support of the scholarship program of the Garden Club of Georgia. All proceeds go to awarding scholarships to worthy applicants attending our state schools for degrees in landscaping, horticulture, and historic preservation. This is such a worthwhile program and certainly deserving of our strong support. Calendars are great for our own use, but they also make great gifts for friends and family. Let’s get behind this
wonderful program of our State Garden Club.

Oleander District Meeting

The Oleander District Meeting will be October 12th in Savannah. Cassina members will be carpooling from the Cabins on Tuesday morning. We will depart at 8 a.m. Please note that your reservation for the meeting does also include your lunch. Please confirm with Beverly Nash if you have sent in your reservation so we will not leave anyone behind. Although we do have a good group signed up to go, there is always room for more. If you would like to join us, place contact Beverly.

Island Garden Club Council News

Neptune Garden Club is once again selling fresh greenery for Christmas. To order call Sheri Bowen at 268-2022 or e-mail at sheridanrb@aol.com

Live Oak Garden Club will also be selling Poinsettias again. Orders can be placed with Chris Salo at 262-0144 or e-mail at cpsalo@comcast.net.

September 2010


All garden club members are invited to the 52nd annual Fall Oleander District Meeting. The meeting will be held in Savannah on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at The Coastal Georgia Center located at 305 Fahm Street. Coffee and Registration begin at 9 a.m. Betty Grimes, President of The Garden Club of Georgia will be a special guest and the program will feature garden lecturer Norman Winter. Cassina members are encouraged to attend. The registration fee is $25 or $30 after October 1st. Contact Beverly Nash for details or go to the “What’s New” inset page on the Cassina website.


The Garden Club of Georgia 2011 Calendars are now available. Prepaid orders for the calendars will be taken at the September Meeting. The calendars will be priced at $7.00 for the pocket size and $9.00 for the standard size.
Proceeds from calendar sales will fund scholarship recipients who attend Georgia colleges and universities and major in fields related to gardening. The 2009-2010, calendar sales provided $61,000 for scholarships, the largest amount in the Garden Club of Georgia history. The goal this year is to exceed this figure.

Everyone is encouraged to sign up for their calendars and exceed Cassina’s contribution to help deserving and aspiring young people begin careers in an area we all love. Consider buying several as they make nice, reasonably priced gifts for someone you would like to please.

July 2010

Convention Happenings

On May 15 and 16, 2010, Beverly Nash, Sharon Flores, Elizabeth Freyer, and Janis Rodriguez traveled to Atlanta to attend the National Garden Club Convention. This was a huge event with both national and international garden clubs represented. Elizabeth Freyer attended a Saturday session to hear a presentation by feature speaker “Pearl” about his South Carolina Topiary Garden. Beverly, Sharon, and Janis attended the awards banquet. Cassina received a National First Place Special Achievement Award for our Garden Walk.

On May 12th, Beverly and Sharon traveled to Macon to attend the Garden Club of Georgia Convention. We can proudly say that Cassina came away from this meeting with first place awards in all categories in which we entered a submission. Look for your September Newsletter with a complete listing of winning awards. Thank you for all you do to make these awards possible. They are your awards.

May 2010

National Garden Club Convention

Members of Cassina will represent the Club at the 2010 National Garden Club Convention held this year in Atlanta. Attending will be Caroline Fleetwood, Sharon Flores, Elizabeth Freyer, Beverly Nash and Janis Rodriguez.

April 2010

Golden Days Project

Garden clubs nationally are participating in the Golden Days project which was conceived to honor our senior members by creating mass plantings of daffodils or potting the bulbs to give to these members. Barbara Murrah, Cassina’s Golden Days chair reports that our 37 pots of daffodils were potted in November by her, Anne Aspinwall, Anne Caswell and Beverly Nash. The green nubs began to appear in January and thenthe beautiful yellow blooms. The committee is delivering this special “ray of sunshine” throughout the month to past Cassina presidents and members who have moved to retirement homes. Beverly Nash & Anne Aspinwall

Garden Club of Georgia Historic Garden Initiative

The Garden Club of Georgia requested that Cassina participate in the Historic Garden Initiative for the Cherokee Garden Library, Atlanta History Center, to research the Hamilton Plantation Garden that was developed by the Lewis family during the first half of the 20th century. The garden was located on land that is now Epworth-by-the-Sea. Frances Allen volunteered to lead the project and assembled a team consisting of herself, Beverly Nash, Janis Rodriguez, Julie Spivey, Jennifer Kuja and Sharon Flores to document the garden.

After months of research that included unearthing old photos, reading private papers, tracing the changes in the landscape and interviewing personnel at Epworth, Coastal Georgia Historical Society and local historians, a comprehensive report was produced and sent to the Garden Club of Georgia. A copy was presented to Judi Fergus and David Ogletree, Epworth-by-the-Sea Museum on March 18th, and Cassina retains a copy for our records.

(l-r) Beverly Nash, Janis Rodriguez and Frances Allen with Judi Fergus and David Ogletree of Epworth-by-the-Sea Museum

November 2009

District Meeting in Jesup

More than 240 garden club members attended the meeting on October 15. Representing Cassina L-r: Jennifer Kuja, Sharon Flores, Anne Aspinwall, Janis Rodriguez, Elizabeth Freyer, Anne Caswell and Caroline Fleetwood.

October 2009

Cassina Collection Presented to Historical Society

Eighty years of Cassina scrapbook history was officially presented to the Coastal Georgia Historical Society as part of the Cassina Garden Club Collection on September 1. Future installments will include club yearbooks, copies of documents, newsletters and other paper records, as well as copies of contemporary meeting minutes and reports. The efforts are being organized by current Club Historian Peggy Golden, Historic Preservation Chair Ruth Kolumber, and committee members Frances Allen, Wendy Reilly and Sharon Flores.
Rose Ann Williams (left) and Mary Lynch move scrapbooks from the Cabins to their new home at the Historical Society.

Historical Society Director, Pat Morris, Curator, Jenny Herring and Cassina President, Sharon Flores celebrate the placement of the historic scrapbooks in the vault at the Society (right).


 September 2009

District Officers Workshop

President, Sharon Flores and Recording Secretary, Anne Aspinwall traveled to Reidsville on July 21st to attend the Oleander District’s annual Workshop for club officers. The Workshop was conducted by the Garden Club of Georgia’s Immediate Past President, Sara Lanier. Pictured below (l-r): Sharon Flores, Winette Almon, District Director, Sara Lanier, Anne Aspinwall.

Garden Club of Georgia Engagement Calendar

Prepaid orders for the 2010 Calendar will be taken at the September Meeting by Chair Betty Davis. The price for the pocket size is $7.00 and the standard size is $9.00. Revenue from the sale of these calendars funds scholarships for deserving students attending Georgia colleges or universities and majoring in garden related fields.

District Meeting to be Held in Jesup

The 51st annual Oleander District Meeting will be held in Jesup on Thursday, September 15th at 10:00 a.m. at Altamaha Technical College. This is an important and informative Garden Club of Georgia event, and Cassina members are encouraged to attend. The honored guest will be Betty Grimes, President, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc.

The registration deadline is October 6th and registration forms will be available at the September meeting.

Oleander District
Cordially Invites All Garden Club Members
To the Fifty-First Annual Oleander District Meeting
“Our Future - Beautify it, Conserve It”
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Coffee/Registration: 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM
Meeting: 10:00 AM
Altamaha Technical College
Curtis P. Scott Center
1777 West Cherry Street
Jesup, Georgia 31546

Honored Guest: Betty Grimes, President, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc.

Program: “Gourd Art Work” presented by Louise Horesovsky, a graduate of Florida State University with a BS degree in Art. She is a member of the American Gourd Society, the Georgia Gourd Society, and the Florida Gourd Society.

Directions: Coming into Jesup from Hwy 341E, it is on the right. From any other direction, follow West Cherry Street, take a left onto Hwy 341W. It is on the left past the intersection.

Suggested Accommodations:
Jameson Inn Days Inn Ramada Inn
205 Hwy 301N 1090 Express Lane 1100 Express Lane
Rates: $59.00 + tax $55.00 + tax $57.80 + tax
Phone: 912-427-6800 912-427-2980 912-427-7760

Exhibit Space Chairman: Liz Dubberly, 912-427-6571 or email: sarahjane@bellsouth.net

Registration Form - Oleander District Fall Meeting October 15, 2009

Last Name_______________________ First ________________ Phone _____________
Check all that apply:

___Nat’l Board Member ___Former State President ___District Board Member
___Nat’l Life Member ___State Board Member ___Council President
___Deep South Board Member ___State Life Member ___Club President
___Deep South Life Member ___District Director ___Club Member
___State President ___Former District Director ___Club Voting Delegate

Complete the form above, make check for $22.00 to Wayne County Council of Garden Clubs,
and mail to: Willie Burch, 1579 Stanfield Rd., Screven, GA. 31560.
Telephone: 912-579-6620. After October 6, 2009 registration cost will be $25.00.


The following are links to Garden Club sites:                                                                                       
                               National Garden Clubs, Inc.

                                      Deep South Region of NGC

                                      Garden Club of Georgia, Inc.

                                      Oleander District of GCGA




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