Williamson in Bloom
Williamson is always lovely, but throughout the spring and summer months, it blossoms-- literally!
Thanks to the Williamson Wildwood Garden Club, the city is filled with gardens and flowers.The club has planted a total of 13 gardens in Williamson, including some by a local bank and the City Hall. Members of the club are assigned to particular gardens throughout town to help nurture the gardens and keep them healthy.
In addition to the gardens, Wildwood planted and maintains the front lawn of the courthouse and the Coal House, a local tourist attraction. Members are also in charge of a unique project around town: the hanging and upkeep of floral baskets, which hang throughout the streets of Williamson. Many businesses in town purchase baskets to be hung outside their storefronts and members of the club help to water and feed them.
Keeping Williamson Beautiful
Wildwood is a member of West Virginia Garden Club Inc, and National Garden Clubs, Inc, which gives members the chance to hear professional speakers discuss gardening, landscape design, and artistic expression through floral arranging.
Jamie Weaver, who has been a part of the club for 25 years and currently serves as the corresponding secretary, describes the club as “one of the largest and most active clubs in the state of West Virginia”.
Kathy Pinson is the current president of the Williamson Wildwood Garden Club. She and Joan Trimble, the recording secretary, tend to four different gardens in town.
“Seeing our town look so inviting is especially dear to me,” says Pinson.
“I am happy to see what the club has been able to accomplish in our efforts to beautify the city,” says Weaver. “I like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I look...and know first-hand the amount of time, money, and labor it took to make these projects come to life.”
Beyond the Garden
Members of the club are doing more than just gardening: they have many programs and projects designed to encourage new and old gardeners in town. Encouraging a love for gardening in local students is important to the club. They host a gardening poetry contest for younger kids and sponsor scholarship essay contests for high school students in the region.
Wildwood sponsors the “Garden of the Month” program, which selects a winning garden on a monthly basis. “The purpose is to incite pride in homeownership, lawn care, and beautification in the area,” says Weaver. They also host an annual flower show, with awards for various categories as well as a “best in show” prize. Every gardener in town is encouraged to enter their favorite variety of flower, free of cost.