By Lynda Jones
About two years ago on an unassuming vacant piece of land owned by First United Methodist Church in Crockett, the Crockett Garden Club embarked on an adventure that members previously only dreamed of becoming the reality it is today. They envisioned a garden containing as many as possible of the more than 100 plants mentioned in the Bible.
FUMC loaned the Crockett Garden Club the land, and the ladies started digging. Not only did they dig in the dirt, they dug for financial resources. In addition to semi-annual plant sales, they planted a seed with AMES Companies, Inc. Earlier this month, that seed produced a bountiful harvest.
The metaphorical seed was a grant application to AMES Companies, Inc. The harvest includes approximately $700 worth of rakes, hoses, garden carts and other equipment to help make the Plants of the Bible Garden a total dream come true.
The AMES Companies, Inc. grant is part of a national program to furnish gardening tools for local landscaping projects.
This program was open to the 5,602 garden clubs that are members of the National Garden Club, Inc.
The application process for the tools grant included submitting a description of the Crockett Garden Club's Plants of the Bible Garden project, along with a list of tools requested and why they are needed. The club submitted its documents to the AMES Project Committee for judging and approval.
Members of the club say they are thrilled to have AMES see the value of the work that is being done in the Plants of the Bible Garden and to be awarded the tool grant. Before receiving the grant, the club had one rake, one hoe, etc.
Since starting the project, the Crockett Garden Club as planted 60 plants and trees mentioned in the Bible. The garden also contains benches to rest on, a butterfly garden and certification as a National Wildlife Sanctuary.
The garden is open to the public for tours at no cost, and an informational handout has been developed to enable visitors stroll at their own pace and learn about the individual plants. A Diboll Garden Club recently visited, as well as a Red Hat Society group from the Houston area.
With the new tools and equipment from AMES, Crockett Garden Club members expect completion of the garden to be easier to attain. "Additional plants will continue to be installed as they are located for sale, and are found to be adapted to grow in East Texas. A meditation area to memorialize loved ones is being developed, and another area with plants that have a Christian tradition, but are not mentioned the Bible (dogwood trees, Easter lilies, holly, etc.) also is in the works," member Jolene Renfro explained.
Crockett Garden Club members have done the planning and most of the planting in the garden. The club holds two flower sales a year to raise funds for this project and its other city beautification projects. "We have also involved a Boy Scout troop in the clearing of the flower beds and Girl Scout troops in planting some of the herbs in the garden," said Renfro. "In addition, we have used the service of people who are doing court-ordered community service."
The AMES Companies, Inc. was founded in 1774 by blacksmith John Ames and today is located in Camp Hill, PA. The company's brands include AMES® True Temper®, Razor-Back® Professional Tools and Jackson® Professional Tools. Tools from this company have been used to build the Transcontinental Railroad, the Statue of Liberty, the Hoover Dam, Mt. Rushmore and the American Highway System, to name just a few significant constructions. The tools are known for being quality, well-built gardening equipment.
While they aren't tackling a task as monumental as the American Highway System or Mt. Rushmore, the Crockett Garden Club already is using its harvest of tools to complete the Plants of the Bible Garden and other beautification projects in the City of Crockett. The garden is located next to FUMC Crockett.