Welcome to our newest Staff member – Carrie Camden

While she holds the official title of Receptionist, our newest employee Carrie Camden is really a “Jane of All Trades”. She spent most of her career in higher education at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia. Carrie comes to us as a recent transplant from Statesboro, Georgia where she was the Executive Assistant to the City Manager, Human Resources Director and … Read More

Staff’s “Pick”

by Shon D. Cameron, SGG Gardener As one of the newest staff members here at the Gardens, I had the privilege of picking a plant for this section of the newsletter. My choice, Ilex cornuta D’Or, commonly known as the D’Or Holly,  is part of the Aquifoliacae family and related to the ‘Burfordii’ holly.  It has blocky oval, shiny dark … Read More

Volunteers Ate, Drank and Were Merry!

By Susan Schroeder, SGG Director of Operations I’m embarrassed to say I was having so much fun at Smith-Gilbert Gardens’ volunteer appreciation dinner that I FORGOT to take any photos! Around 75 volunteers, staff and City Council members filled the Hiram Butler House.  The always delightful Jim Parks arranged a warm welcome by lining the driveway with luminaries.  The extraordinarily … Read More

Gather ‘n’ Grow With The Veggie Plot Series

Inside the new Gather ‘n Grow Garden, four foot square raised beds called Veggie Plots will be the key to an educational program for families and individuals to learn sustainable and responsible vegetable gardening. Program fees ($150) will include your Veggie Plot, participation for your family in a series of 10 educational classes, and access to the Gardens during regular business … Read More

Volunteer of the Month – Jim McHatton

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep him from his appointed rounds. No, we are not referring to the postman, but of Jim McHatton, our stalwart parking guru. Ever wonder who that guy in the back parking lot wearing a long sleeved neon yellow shirt and hat is waving his arms? That’s Jim! He had … Read More

The Birds of SGG

by Pat Pepper This is my first column for the Smith-Gilbert Gardens newsletter. Over the summer I really enjoyed getting to meet many of you who came to my Backyard Birding workshop held on the porch of the Hiram Butler House and out in the gardens. As many of you know, Smith-Gilbert Gardens is an Audubon Wild Bird Sanctuary because … Read More

How to be truly Happy

By Lynn Vanderhoff One fine October day, June Jack, sister of one of the Gardens founder Richard Smith, stopped by SGG for a visit. She and I got to talking about her memories of “Hap” as he was called. “Hap” is short for “Happy”, which described his countenance and demeanor. Miss June described wonderful visits and meals they shared, as … Read More

Let the Feasting Begin!

Is fall a great time to start feeding wild birds? Now that there are some chilly days out there it is a great time to start feeding the wild birds, right? Well the answer is yes, but not for the reason most people think. Tradition has it that you should start feeding the wild birds in the fall. It is … Read More

Why Volunteer Here?

By Doug Davis The Great State of Tennessee (in which I happened to originate) is known as the Volunteer State because more men from that State volunteered for both sides than from any other area during the Civil War.  Why would anyone decide to give of themselves, and in many cases their life, for such a cause?  The basic answers … Read More

In defense of a hand lens: When everything comes down to the fine points

By Dr. Bob Gilbert Walking to the mailbox one day in October I was shocked to find what appeared to be a gentian. From school days I remembered a poem by William Cullen Bryant, (do not ask me why this is the only poem I remember): Thou waited late, and com’st alone, When woods are bare and birds have flown, And frost and shortening days portend, … Read More