Archived Story

Suffolk hosts Va. garden club

Published 10:31pm Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Nansemond River Garden Club hosted the Garden Club of Virginia’s statewide meeting this week, welcoming more than 100 women from throughout the state to conduct the club’s business.

The members were in town Tuesday through Thursday. In addition to the business meeting, they toured Cedar Hill Cemetery’s gardens, the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum, Riddick’s Folly and the new Visitor Center, and they had lunch at Mosaic in the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and enjoyed an evening banquet at Cedar Point Country Club.

Visiting garden clubs were required to bring to the annual meeting a flower arrangement and recipe that could be made with the edible flowers. This arrangement by the Hampton Roads club features zinnias garnishing a loaf of chocolate-flecked banana cream bread.

“They get a lot of exposure to what we have to offer here,” said Sharyn Flintoff, a member of the Nansemond River club. “I know they have been downtown shopping and eating. It’s a real coup for the city to have all these ladies from all over the state.”

Each of the 47 clubs that constitute the Garden Club of Virginia takes turns hosting the event. The last time it was held in Suffolk was 1986.

“The important thing is the exposure we’re giving the city,” Flintoff said.

After arriving in town Tuesday, the visitors — presidents of the 47 clubs as well as officers, directors-at-large and past presidents of the Garden Club of Virginia — had a board of directors’ luncheon at the Hilton Garden Inn and dinner at Mosaic.

After a dreary start to the week, Wednesday morning’s weather cleared up just in time for the walking tour of downtown locations, starting in the cemetery. The ladies viewed Cedar Hill’s scatter garden, heritage garden and restored fountain, which combined earned the Nansemond River Garden Club the CommonWealth Award several years ago.

Given by the Garden Club of Virginia, the award recognizes garden projects throughout the state that promote conservation, beautification, horticulture, preservation and education.

“They thought it was fabulous,” Flintoff said of the gardens and fountain.

Flintoff hopes the ladies will help inspire tourism to Suffolk when they tell their friends of their trip.

“They’re very impressed,” she said. “Hopefully, they’re going to go back to their hometowns and tell all their friends how great the city of Suffolk is.”

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