One of my favorite things is to speak to garden clubs. These ladies are a treasure trove for garnering a fine education on Southern culture, fine entertaining, fabulous cooking, and, of course, honing one’s gardening prowess. Many of the groups are a part of the Garden Club of America which is an amazing organization.
Often, the groups meet in a member’s home. If the group is
larger, then a country club, community center or church becomes the
venue, but I relish the opportunities to speak in someone’s
them and teach them, but I’m the one learning! I relish in learning how these ladies
(who often are a tad older than my junior) garden, cook and entertain. My latest trip was of no exception!
I have had the pleasure and honor of speaking
to garden clubs in Memphis three separate occasions. First, to the Memphis Garden Club and most recently
to The Little Garden Club of Memphis. The second time was a combination
of the two groups. This latest trip proved to be a delightful
time of food, flowers, book signings, food, garden lectures, fellowship,
food and some more food. Let me tell you, Memphis doesn’t play around
when it comes to food – this Farmer was extremely well fed and probably
gained some serious poundage on this trip. Memphis is more than ribs
and bbq, ya’ll!
I have to state the old adage that “it sure is a
small world.” Yes, any Southerner worth their grits is going to make
their familial and social connection in other Southern towns, but Memphis
proved to be a delightfully small world!
Alpine Camp for Boys in Mentone, Alabama, proved to be a summer job
to garner a lifetime of connections. Many Memphis boys have camped and worked at Alpine. The host home where I stayed was the home of one of my campers. That’s
Alpine for you - connections! I saw a picture
of the now grown camper and asked my my hostess, “How do you know…as
she exclaimed ‘He’s my son!’” What a time!
came into play. Whether it was seeing friends from school, meeting friends’
parents or sharing Auburn memories, Auburn always paves the way in making
the world a bit smaller.
But another amazing connection came into play while
in Memphis – Bainbridge. My Mimi’s hometown is always finding
some way into the conversation and this time proved notwithstanding.
Another one of my hostesses was from Tallahassee, Florida, and her sister
married a boy from Bainbridge –and they are dear friends with my Aunt
That, my friends, is what I love about
the South – we share this tightly knitted culture and form ever-lasting
bonds with one another over great-aunts, fried chicken, silver patterns
From a dinner party of chicken curry surrounded by
friends, to garden and floral arranging lectures, to a luncheon of fried
chicken and amazing peach ice cream with pecan shortbread, to memorable
moments with new and old friends alike – my latest walking in
Memphis truly felt “ten feet over Beale” and I cannot wait
to visit again.
Hope to see ya’ll at Garden Club soon!