The month of February found the Chipley Garden Club outside in the fresh air with students at Kate Smith Elementary School. 

The children learned design and a bit of horticulture, complete with hands-on activities.  

“This is an exciting and fun time for both the children and for the club members,” an announcement from the Garden Club said. “All of the children’s creations and their plants were entered in the Washington County 4-H Youth Fair.”

Local kids recently got to learn about plants and gardening, courtesy of the Chipley Garden Club. [CONTRIBUTED] 

On Feb. 20, the project of the day was dried floral designs with fifth graders. 

Following instructions from Youth Chair Linda Pigott, over 40 students got busy creating designs using a variety of dried materials collected by club members during the past year.   

The containers were recycled cans and plastic containers filled with damp red sand.   

“We are always surprised at the designs these children put together,” Pigott said.

On Feb. 23, over 180 fourth grade students had a blast assembling succulent dish gardens. Prior to beginning, the students were schooled on growing succulents – water, soil, sun.  

Each child was provided with a shallow dish, gravel, soil, charcoal and a choice of succulents that had been propagated by club members. When the dishes were completed, club members transported them to the Ag Center for entry into the Youth Fair. 

At the beginning of this school year, potted plants were given to second and third grade students who have been caring for them in the classrooms.  

On Feb. 26, Club members lined up to transport over 350 live potted plants from the school to the Ag Center for judging.  

Ending up the month on Feb. 27, Club members arrived at KMS with buckets of freshly cut greenery, clippers, recycled cups, and bundles of fresh cut chrysanthemums.  The mums were provided by Kirby Holt’s Blossoms.   

Pigott provided all the technical data to the children on how to make fresh cut designs. 

“The focal point impressed the kids the most,” the Garden Club said.

A group of 40 fifth graders got busy creating designs of their own.  These designs were also moved to the Ag Center to be judged. 

“Working with the children is a blessing for us and for them,” Club President Gweneth Collins said.

Chipley Garden Club assists the 4-H program by providing horticultural experiences for our young people.  

“Somewhere out there are budding gardeners just waiting to sprout,” Collins said. “The club supplies everything the children need to complete their projects – recycled containers, soil, rocks, plants, cuttings, dried materials, fertilizer, and more. We also set up the horticultural and floral design displays, transport all the entries from KMS to the Ag Center, and judge the entries.”

For more information about the Garden Club, call Club President Gweneth Collins at 850-260-4049.  

They meet at 10 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. The March meeting will be at Falling Waters State Park at the large pavilion.