Garden Club continues tradition of making Christmas wreaths for others

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On front row from left are Marian Salter, Juanita Murphy and Charlotte Cross. On back row are Sarah Luster, Cynthia Brown, Gail Hines, Lola Dunahoe, Sharon Gahagan, Kim Johnson, Sarah Katherine Ahrens and Margaret Berry. Members not pictured are Marian Keator, Chrissey Henry, Sandra McCullen, Margie Pierson, Kaye Foshee, Lanell Causey, Rita Kaye Breedlove and Pat Cunningham.

Members of the St. Denis Garden Club have created Christmas wreaths annually for over 40 years to give to local nursing homes, children’s homes and in bound elderly friends. Christmas cheer is spread through the beautiful Christmas wreaths – each an original made with care.  Members bring ribbon, ornaments, garlands and imagination to craft the special wreaths during a workshop meeting.

What began as wreaths made for nursing homes constructed during a holiday luncheon in December, expanded to a workshop in November where a dozen wreaths are made for charitable groups and others. For many years, the group has gathered in the home of Juanita Murphy to construct the door decorations.  Members deliver the wreaths so they will be ready to hang for the Christmas season in the City of Lights.

The St. Denis Garden Club celebrated 60 years since its founding in 1959 by Thelma Mitchell. The club was initially established as a member of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation that studied flower arranging and entered juried floral shows.

Through the years, the group broadened to include floral design workshops; speakers and authors on horticulture, landscape design and flower arranging; visits to southern gardens, historic homes with gardens and plant nurseries; and annual floral shows. Themed floral shows have been hosted at historic plantations and homes, churches, museums, NSU, private homes and members’ homes.

Formerly, the group maintained a pocket park and has decorated for charitable events. The group hosted the Louisiana Garden Club Federation in 2006. These activities provide inspiration for the appreciation of the beauty of flowers in God’s creation.

The St. Denis Garden Club honored past member Ann Williams Brittain with a live oak, past City of Natchitoches horticulturist John Harris with an iron bench and past florist Jeanne Guillory with a commemorative plaque. The small group gathers monthly from September through May.