By GWEN SISSON
The 2011 Art in the Garden tour was an opportunity to celebrate local talent, in a variety of forms.
Seven of the most beautiful gardens in Starkville were open for public viewing Saturday, giving ticket holders the opportunity to not only enjoy the green thumb talents of five private gardens and two public gardens.
Gardens on tour as part of Saturday’s event included two public gardens, the Veteran’s Memorial Garden at Mississippi State University and the Rain Garden at the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum.
Private gardens on display as part of Saturday’s event included the gardens of Jackie and Nina Wofford, Duane and Diana Lyon, Paul and Wanda Cheek, Joe and Becky Stockwell and Bill Poe.
Musicians set the mood for a beautiful day outside, while local artists busily create works of art inspired by these magnificent gardens.
Suzy Turner, co-chair of the 2011 Art in the Garden tour, sponsored by the Starkville Area Arts Council, said about $1,500 was raised through ticket sales Saturday for arts scholarships, grants and other art-related activities.
“For me, the big enjoyment of the event comes from seeing everything come together,” said Wanda Thorne, co-chair of the 2011 Art in the Garden Event, “the gardens, the visitors, and the artists and musicians. The gardens reflected many hours of hard work and expense by the garden owners. They really had their gardens in tip-top shape. It made it all worthwhile for the garden owners when tour visitors expressed their appreciation for the gardens’ beauty. We were lucky that the weather cooperated once again. In my opinion, the Art in the Garden tour provided a special gift to our community.”
Thorne said the artists and musicians really enhanced the tour experience. She also said SAAC couldn’t do this event without the help of many volunteers.
“The fifth Starkville Area Arts Council Art in the Garden tour concluded a successful event Saturday,” Turner said. “Highlights included not only the memorable gardens but the talented musicians and artists that performed during the tours as well as the wonderful members of the hosting garden clubs and the Master Gardeners. This event can only be successful with the assistance of all of these people.”
The musicians participating in this year’s event included Shandy Phillips, Danny Holland, Ed Swan, Richard Brown, Elizabeth Hawkins, Eric Abbot and Stuart Herring.
Artists painting in the gardens were Vicki Burnett, Laurie Burton, Liz Johnstone, Briar Jones, Kathryn Ramsey, Tahmineh Borazjani, Dylan Karges, Betty Jane Chatham, Fay Fisher and Jeanette Jarmon.
Local garden clubs provided refreshments at each garden and people to man the ticket and refreshment tables were Clover Leaf Garden Club, Green Thumb Garden Club, M’Lady Garden Club, Oktibbeha County Rose Society, Oktoc Garden Club, and Town and Country Garden Club.