Hoe & Hope Garden Club beautifies depot

Hoe and Hope sign
The Hoe and Hope Garden Club beautifies the Pulaski Train Depot: Mary Beth Glenn, Dianne Wallace, Paul Bennett, Savannah Kaitlynn Guthrie, Diana Bennet, Kay Reynolds, Jenny Shepherd, Martha Parker. Courtesy photo


Patriot Publishing

A blustery yet pleasant Wednesday morning saw members of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club busily beautifying the historic Pulaski Train Depot.

“We hoe the ground and hope it grows,” exclaimed Mary Beth Glenn, as she placed a Vinka flower in one of the square block planters at the depot. “This is the second year we’ve done the train station. We want to make it pretty for Marketplace and for folks like me who walk here every day.”

The Hoe and Hopers had recently returned from a trip to Poor Boys for their gardening goods and were presently digging in the dirt with much enthusiasm. Many of these plants were donated by Poor Boys proprietor Shannon Collins but other plants, including the succulents bought by Diana Bennett, were purchased by Hoe and Hope Garden Clubbers.

Some of the oversized flowerpots around the station had already sprouted blooms that returned from the year before.

“Elizabeth Whitman and Martha Biggar, who have a Marketplace stall here, planted these Snapdragons and we’re filling in with Verbena just to give it more color,” Mary Beth said as she wielded her trowel.

Eight members of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club made the trek for Wednesday’s planting project, though there are officially 20 members in the club. Nate Repass, the Town of Pulaski’s Outdoor Facilities Coordinator was also present and accounted for at Wednesday’s planting party.

“We couldn’t do without Nate,” said Mary Beth. “Nate Repass waters the plants Tuesday before Marketplace and he cleans the curbs.”

“My thumbs aren’t super green but I’m pretty decent with the water hose,” Repass replied.

In addition to sprucing up the train depot, the Hoe and Hope Garden Club maintains the planters at the Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Transportation Museum and decorates the Wilderness Road Regional Museum of Newbern. They also do informative programs to discuss various topics like how insects affect what grows in the garden or the role that birds play in one’s garden.  Preserving and planting native flora is another subject of interest. Oftentimes, one of the Hoe and Hope club members delivers the program.

Hoe and Hope club member Diana Bennett gave several of these talks and her husband Paul came along to hear her speak. Realizing that he and garden club members had similar interests, Paul asked to join and though the Hoe and Hope Garden Club has traditionally been a woman’s club, they let him in.

“He’s our token male,” said Mary Beth with a grin.

“Just about all of us have taken a turn for a program and we invite lots of guests to give them, too,” said Dianne Wallace, whose mother Anne Wallace was a founding member of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club in the 1950’s. “Back in the day, they had garden shows with judges, said Dianne. They did programs and beautification as well but they probably had elegant dinner parties, too. We’re more casual now. We bring our own picnics.”

While members of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club tend to be more seasoned citizens, nine-year-old Savannah Kaitlynn Guthrie, granddaughter of Kay Reynolds, also lent a helping hand at the train depot.

But age is just a number. Just ask Martha Parker, Co-President of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club.

“You’re never too old to play in the dirt,” said Martha, as she finished planting yet another bunch of flowers.

Thanks to the efforts of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club, by noon Wednesday, the Pulaski Train depot had been thoroughly bedecked with a new floral array that will surely brighten the day of the next visitor who ventures there.