Restoring Our Heritage A Capital Improvement Plan for the Thomasville Garden Center
A Part of Thomasville’s History The Thomasville Garden Center was completed in 1956, the result of a community fund drive that had lasted for many years. With the hard work and efforts of Garden Club members and the generosity of many friends of the Garden Center, the mortgage note was burned in a ceremony on the front lawn in 1962. The land was given by Mrs. Parker Poe, a member of one of the local garden clubs and one of its most beloved benefactors. An endowment campaign was launched in 2005 and the 50 th Anniversary saw the celebration of the successful endowment campaign, which is to be used for major repairs and maintenance of the Center. A glance through the yearbooks reveals the important history of the Center and its affiliated clubs in the life of Thomasville. The first club was begun in 1914 to “cultivate flowers, to create civic pride, to add to the beauty that nature has already so bountifully given us; to make Thomasville a more lovely place in which to live; and to foster in our children a love for the beautiful”. The Thomasville Garden Club was one of the first to affiliate with the Garden Club of Georgia and the Garden Club of America. The Garden Center continues to be important to Thomasville-a home for Garden Clubs whose goals now include environmental issues, tree conservation and a love of gardening and flower arranging. And the Center’s unique place in the community offers everyone the chance to host a beautiful and memorable special event.
An Exciting Plan for the Future The goal of the Restoring our Heritage, A Capital Improvement Plan for the Thomasville Garden Center, is to enhance the grounds at the Center providing organized garden and walkway areas, add safe parking and freshen the interior spaces so that the Center continues to be a beautiful place to meet and entertain.
A $30,000 pledge from the Parker Poe Charitable Trust has allowed us to launch a community wide capital campaign which offers Thomasville’s citizens the unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to improve and update the Thomasville Garden Center and assure its future. The total campaign goal is $200,000. Gifts from $250 and above will be commemorated in the new garden areas, at the entry gates, on benches and on brick walkways on the grounds.
Creating a Place of Beauty and Education The plan for the Center is exciting. We hope to beautify our grounds as well as add educational and environmentally friendly design features and organized and safe parking. As Gardeners, we hope to share our love of nature with the community. In summary: We plan organized beds of trees and shrubs and specific garden areas surrounding a lawn in front and a new lawn area in back adjacent to the patio, which will allow for overflow entertaining and tenting for special events. We plan a corner Entry Garden at the intersection of South Broad and Blackshear Street and then a series of special gardens, including a Camellia Walk, an Evening Garden, a Wedding Garden and a Children’s Garden. We also hope to have two large live oak trees framing our front lawn area. These gardens and oak trees will feature donor recognition with granite markers placed in the landscape.
The front lawn will feature Live Oaks and areas of seasonal color with brick walkways connecting the parking to the Center. A new Camellia Walk, planted with camellias propagated in Thomasville, will one day offer a canopy inspired by Middleton Place in Charleston. The Camellia Walk leads from one parking area and along a new Evening Garden, which will be planted with white flowers and flowering trees. The Wedding Garden will be designed in the rear of the property and viewed from the rear Neely Neel patio and will offer a beautiful setting for special events. To the right of the patio will be a new Children’s Garden, complete with a jostling bench and butterfly features. Teak benches will be placed along the walkways and will acknowledge donors to our capital campaign.
Organized parking is achieved with two parking areas to each side of the center. A new 18” brick Garden Wall will be built along the front and will feature two garden gates to access the grounds of the Center. Donors will be recognized at the front gate posts and along the gate. Entering and exiting to the Center will be more organized and safe, and new handicapped parking will be convenient for wheelchair use. Personalized bricks along some walkways will also honor donors. We hope to freshen up our interior spaces with new flooring and updated interiors.
These new Garden Center grounds will be designated as an arboretum and will be a bird habitat. Plants and trees will be permanently identified so the grounds become an outdoor classroom for school groups and visitors. A new Flower Trail is being developed as a tourism destination in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and Thomasville’s Main Street. Thomasville will be a site along this tourism “Trail” and our newly planted and identified grounds, which will feature yearround color and interest as well as native plants, will give guests to our community another reason to see and experience Thomasville.
We Need Your Help We hope the community will rally around the Garden Center as they did in the 1950’s and help us secure its usefulness, its beauty and its place in Thomasville’s history. We invite you to honor or memorialize a loved one or commemorate a special occasion with a gift to our campaign. Naming opportunities give you a chance to secure your place in what will be a public place of beauty for generations to come .
Naming Opportunities for Gifts to our Capital Campaign $30,000 +
Name one of our specific garden or lawn areas or an interior improvement
Commemorated in bronze at the front gate
Commemorated on a Garden Bench.
Recognized on the Wall at the front gates
Personalized brick pavers used in the new walkways
Recognized in the opening reception donor program
To Donate Online Visit https://www.cfsga.net/DFund-ThomasvilleGardenCenter.php Please type in the Tribute/Honorarium section of the form what you would like your plaque, brick or recognition on donor program to read. (18 characters per line, 2 lines max) The Garden Center Campaign is a component fund of The Community Foundation of South Georgia, Inc. Please make checks payable to The TGCI Capital Improvement Campaign or give on-line through their link at our website www.thomasvillegardenclub.org. Opportunities for name recognition available from August 20, 2012-March 1, 2013. Contact Julia Singletary at 229-225-9711 for more information or to make an appointment to discuss donations and gifts of property, stock or other assets. Mail to: The Community Foundation of South Georgia, Inc. P.O. Box 2654, Thomasville, GA 31799. All gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.