To say that there is a lot going on with the Creative Thyme Garden Club is a serious understatement!
Since its inception in the early 90s, the club has participated in numerous projects, learned from guest speakers and hands-on projects, and undertaken special projects to beautify the Kingsport community.
Perhaps no project is more visible than the club’s Adopt-A-Spot: the “Welcome to Kingsport” sign area located on East Stone Drive at the intersection of John B. Dennis Highway. Not only is the beautiful garden area visible to drivers, so are some of the club members themselves.
“We have a work day at the sign area several times a year,” says Alyce Kohlmann, president of the Creative Thyme Garden Club. “We bring a picnic lunch, have a brief business meeting, sometimes have a plant swap, then ‘play in the dirt’ weeding, planting, thinning, and feeding the many shrubs, annuals, bulbs, and perennials on the site. People driving by honk their horns and wave.”
It is important to note that most, if not all, the plants are donated by the club, while the City of Kingsport provides the mulch for the site. The club schedules the work days for the entire club, but individual members also work the site between work days.
In November, another major project for the Creative Thyme Garden Club is decorating the Hospice House at Bristol Regional Medical Center for Christmas.
“We’ve been decorating the inside and outside of the Hospice House for over 10 years,” says Kohlmann. “Because of fire code regulations, we are not allowed to use fresh materials, so we use a lot of artificial wreaths, garland, and trees, and also greenery, berries and cones. Except for the Angel Tree, we donate the holiday decorations for the Hospice House, too. It is a very special place and we really enjoy decorating it for the staff, patients and their families.”
There is no meeting in December, but activities start back up in January.
“Even though we are a Garden Club, some members are Master Gardeners, but you do not have to be one to be a member,” stresses Kohlmann.
“We have some members who love to garden, some who like learning about new plants, those who like to make things out of flowers and plant life, and some that just enjoy nature, so we plan a wide variety of activities for our members for the rest of the year.”
Past activities include trips to the North Carolina Arboretum, ETSU’s Tree Walk, Ippolitos’ Winery, and tours of private gardens. Some of the hands-on classes include making framed succulents, fall wreaths, stepping stones and glass wind chimes.
“We try to offer something for everyone,” she said.
Membership is simple. Dues are $15 per year and members are required to attend work days. If you are interested in joining, contact Kohlmann at 423-782-0390.
And if you see a group of men and women working by the Kingsport sign on East Stone Drive, honk and thank them for a job well done!