Early in 1973 a group of gardening enthusiasts, with the help of local garden club activists Lydia Carter and Cissy Howell, set out to establish a garden club on Lady‟s Island for the primary purpose of encouraging interest in all phases of gardening, environmental protection and conservation while providing service to their island community, in these areas.
In November 1973, Lady‟s Island Garden Club was formally organized with 19 charter members:
The first official meeting was held in December 1973 and the first officers were elected. Edie Rodgers presented the slate of officers:
|President Jerry Tomlison
1st Vice President Vi Hawley
|2nd Vice President Frances Weed
Secretary Rae Carter
|Treasurer Martha Dooley
Historian Betty Frick
By the time the Club was federated in April 1974 membership had grown to 23. As a Federated club Lady‟s Island Garden Club became a member of – the Beaufort Council of Garden Clubs, West Low Country District, Garden Club of South Carolina, Inc, South Atlantic Region, and the National Garden Clubs, Inc. It continues to be an active and progressive Club supporting initiatives established by all the various levels of the federation.
In December 2003 the Club celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a “Tea Party” at the home of then President Jean Herrmann. This event honored charter members: Martha Dooley, Vi Hawley, Teddy Hislop, Edie Rodgers Martin, Lee Stockell, as well as former member Sarah Keller.
A most notable civic project the Club has sponsored since 1986 is the Blue Star Marker, located at the Lady‟s Island-St. Helena Fire Station on Route 21. Garden clubs around the country were sponsoring such markers to honor World War II veterans, and expanded the program in 1951 to recognize American men and women serving in all conflicts. Initially under the Presidential leadership of Teddy Hislop with backing by Edie Rodgers, then President of the Beaufort Council; the marker was purchased, installed and landscaped under the sponsorship of LIGC and dedicated in May 1986.In 2001 the refurbished marker was rededicated in a ceremony attended by military and local dignitaries along with the Parris Island color guard and the Brass Quintet. Charter member Martha Dooley, LIGC Chair, Blue Star Memorial Committee, was in charge of the refurbishment. She worked with the Garden Club of SC, which assisted LIGC with financing the project, and with the State Representative, Dist. 124, Honorable Edie Rodgers, liaison to various organizations represented at the rededication ceremony on March 16, 2001.
Plantings around public buildings, area roadways, and schools have been among the projects the Club has participated in throughout the years. We continue to work with other area clubs in sponsoring flower shows (the most recent being the Camellia Show in January 2004), local garden and house tours (to benefit the Beaufort Historic Society, and the Art Council), and planting projects with area youth (The Boys & Girls Club of Beaufort, and Lady‟s Island Middle School, as well as Coosa Elementary School). These activities not only keep the Club in touch with the community, but also help to educate all age groups in the area.
In 2002 under the chairmanship of Bobbie Cahill, our Club started working with the children at Lady’s Island Middle School in designing and planting to encourage wildlife. We used Arbor Day as a learning experience, planting 3 ribbon palms there in 2002. The teachers and students designed a program around the event, which included not only the planting, but songs and poetry to commemorate Arbor Day. We continued in the early Spring of 2004 to enlarge the LIMS garden by incorporating a Carolina Fence Garden into the design, to draw birds and butterflies. This brought into play the SC Butterfly – the Tiger Swallowtail, SC Wildflower – Goldenrod, the SC State bird – the Carolina Wren, the SC stone – Blue Granite, and already in place, the SC state tree – the palmetto. Upkeep and additional embellishments were added in 2005.
2006 found the members involved not only in ongoing projects carried on from the previous year, but also adding the planning and planting of native plants and grasses around the “Welcome to Lady’s Island” sign by the McTeer Bridge from Port Royal. Lady’s Island Business Association (LIBA) provided a plaque with our name on it to identify who put together and maintains the garden around the “Welcome” sign. We also had the opportunity to help Friends of Hunting Island plant 20 thousand Sea Oats in an effort to help preserve the newly re-nourished beach sands in this barrier island state park.The Club‟s ongoing project provides Thanksgiving floral arrangements for Bayview Nursing Home and the Naval Hospital. Introduced and approved by membership in September, 2006, the Club took on the development of the Beaufort Tree Walk Project, as suggested by Cecile Dorr. The first public invitational walk took place on May 12, 2008. Since then our Club has received a multitude of awards from local to National recognition. Please review the section about On-going Projects and Contributions for a more in-depth view of what our LIGC is doing.