Tag Archive for: New Albany Garden Club

NEMiss.News NAMS Garden Dogs



For close to fifty years, the New Albany Garden Club has been an organization which works by the motto of Preserve, Protect, Plant. “2022 has been no different,” commented Tracy Vainisi, club president, adding, “New Albany Garden Club members have had a wonderful year of activity in the Best Southern Small Town.”

NEMiss.News Robert Ballard discusses native plants

Native Plant expert and owner of Camp Creek Native Plants, Robert Ballard, spoke at the September Club meeting to educate garden club members about native plants.

During 2022, club members hosted a variety of guest speakers who shared topics ranging from historic preservation to student-based community volunteers. Members read at Union County Library’s PreSchool Storytime and volunteered for cleanup days in neighborhoods and parks.

NEMiss.News Sherra Owen in Faulkner Garden

Sherra Owen, in the Faulkner Literary Garden, has dedicated countless hours to the garden, keeping it in top notch shape for visitors from all over the world.

Some of this year’s highlights were garden therapy activities with New Haven clients and residents at Dogwood, working with the New Albany Middle School Garden Dogs, and keeping the Faulkner Literary Garden at the Union County Heritage Museum in tip top shape.

New Albany Garden Club members enjoy the work they are involved with and look forward to a wonderful 2023.

NEMiss.News Main Street intern Alea Hudson

New Albany High School student Alea Hudson, shared her experience as a Main Street intern, recommended by 1st Ward Alderman, Parks Smith, at the club’s October meeting.




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NEMiss.News New Albany Garden CLub


New Albany Garden Club has enjoyed a productive fall season. September kicked off with a wonderful Evening of Jazz in the Faulkner Garden. Tracy Vainisi and Carrie Rogers, club president and vice president were pleased to greet over two hundred guests at the Union County Heritage Museum. Perfect weather, vintage cars, live music, food and drink made for a wonderful event.

In October, club members gathered at the home of Cassie Henson with guest speakers Lydia Charles and James Bridgforth spoke on the work of historic preservation throughout the state and in the city of New Albany.

Angie Staten welcomed club members into her home for the November meeting. Landscape Architect Bob Mercier, who has been working with the New Albany Sustainability Advisory, shared an overview of landscape goals for New Albany’s Historic Downtown District.

As the club moves into winter, they will gather for a garden therapy activity with residents of Dogwood Assisted Living and meet to learn about the topics of sustainable gardening and environmental issues.

The New Albany Garden Club has enjoyed a  year of activity throughout the community including meetings, celebrations, and beautification projects. It’s members are looking forward to a wonderful year and wish the entire community a healthy and happy 2022.

NEMiss.News Mark & Cathy Garrett at Evening of Jazz

10/01/2021 – New Albany Garden Club entertained a crowd of 275 community members and visitors at the Union County Heritage Museum.

The event, An Evening of Jazz in the Faulkner Garden, kicked off Tallahatchie Riverfest weekend and is a fundraiser for the New Albany Garden Club. Guests of the event enjoyed an evening under the stars and twinkling lights in the backyard of the Union County Heritage Museum that overlooks the Faulkner Literary Garden.

NEMiss.News Evening of Jazz guests

Guests enjoying the evening on the museum’s back patio.

Vintage cars from the 1920’s, live music from jazz trio Eric Holloway and Friends, and a variety of hors d’oeuvres from Tallahatchie Gourmet made for a wonderful night.

Local artist LeeAnn Thompson used drawings of William Faulkner as inspiration to create art to promote the event and was on hand to sign posters. Artists Gail Morton and Rebecca Browning were also in attendance sharing their art processes of pottery and printmaking.

Funds from the evening will be used for the maintenance of the Faulkner Literary Garden and other community-based activities.


An Evening of Jazz in the Faulkner Garden

–Tracy Vainisi, New Albany Garden Club

New Albany Garden Club members Mary Webb, Betty Campbell and Carol Riddell visited Ninabeth Capaning’s and Glen Reeder’s EXCEL classes at New Albany Elementary School and presented information on the Great Backyard Bird Count.  Club members led the students in making bird feeders.  This year’s Great Backyard Bird Count took place February 14-17. Following an informative video on the Bird Count, the students created a list of common birds in our area which they used to count birds over Presidents Day weekend.


young gardeners

New Albany Middle School Young Gardeners recently spent the afternoon with members of the New Albany Garden Club. The two groups got together for an exercise in garden therapy. Studies show that garden therapy offers a range of physical, social, psychological, and cognitive benefits for people of all ages and abilities.

Young Gardeners co-chairs, Paulette Cossitt and Carrie Rogers, along with other members brought fresh magnolia, cedar, and holly from their yards. After explaining that the swags were for Dogwood New Albany, club members and the students got to work with greenery, snippers, wire cutters, wire, and recycled hangers to create over a dozen holiday swags. Afterwards, students enjoyed a tray of delicious refreshments.

“This experience was a great opportunity for the Young Gardeners to do something special for the elders in our community,” said Vainisi, teacher at the middle school and garden club vice president. “My students always welcome a chance to be leaders in the community.”

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NA garden at dogwood

New Albany Garden Club’s December meeting, themed “Celebrating Christmas,” was spent with residents at Dogwood Assisted Living. Garden club member and program leader, Rheta Ann West, who participates in regular garden therapy activities with the clients at New Haven, felt that local seniors would benefit from such an activity. “Social participation and garden therapy both have such positive outcomes of well-being for older people,” she said, “and we were honored to spend the afternoon here at Dogwood.”

Garden club members created a fresh greenery candle holder, visited, and enjoyed refreshments with residents.

NA garden dogwood

NA Garden Club president

The New Albany Garden Club enjoyed an afternoon honoring city workers during their November meeting. Garden club members organized a reception at the Community Center for department heads Bill Mattox of New Albany Light, Gas, & Water, Johnny Peyton of Streets and Sanitation, Johnny Epting of Parks and Recreation, and Mayor Tim Kent of City Hall along with their staff. The afternoon included box meals prepared by Nichols Deli, a beautiful Giving Thanksfloral arrangement from Angie Staten, and lots of handshakes and hugs expressing thanks to the invaluable work that city employees do throughout the year. BNA Bank was a sponsor for the reception and Baptist Hospital donated insulated cups for each employee.

During the meeting following the reception, Billye Jean Stroud, New Albany Garden Club President, welcomed new members Leslie Sumners and Margaret Maxwell. Members elected Lynn Collins Swigard, discussed youth contest deadlines, and finalized plans for making Christmas swags with Young Gardeners at New Albany Middle School in preparation for their December visit to Dogwood Assisted Living.

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New Albany MS garden club thanks city workers

City workers each received a free meal, gift and thanks for their service Thursday, courtesy of the New Albany Garden Club.

As one of their community service projects, club members invited city employees in the light, gas and water, street, park and recreation department, and city hall to the community center for the complimentary meals.

“We just wanted to thank them for all they do and keeping us safe,” member Jolyn Cooke said. Civic improvement and community service chairman Angie Staten agreed, noting that those who provide these essential services may be overlooked or under appreciated.

Cook said that BNA Bank and Baptist Memorial Hospital helped sponsor the event with contributions.

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About 200 people attended the Evening of Blues in the Faulkner Garden Thursday evening, Sept. 26, at the Union County Heritage Museum.

The New Albany Garden Club sponsored the fund-raising event for the museum.

New Albany MS Evening of Blues at museum

Tallahatchie Gourmet catered the event.

The General Musicians Club provided live music, as people visited in garden.

Folks strolled among the collection of native plants mentioned in the novels and short stories of William Faulkner and enjoyed food and drink catered by Tallahatchie Gourmet of New Albany and Oxford.

Some took in the many exhibits inside the museum or sat and visited in the museum’s Faulkner Library. A variety of artists were on hand, demonstrating their skills at painting, sketching, working with glass, etc.

New Albany MS, Evening of Blues crowd

A bit more of the crowd at An Evening of Blues in the Faulkner Garden.

The Evening of Blues in the Faulkner Garden is a part of the Tallahatchie Riverfest, which continues through Saturday evening.

Tallahatchie Riverfest 2019 events and performers.

What is the Tallahatchie Riverfest schedule?



New Albany MS garden club

The New Albany area is blessed with many civic minded gardeners.

When you look around New Albany, the work of the local garden clubs and of the Union County Master Gardeners is always a beautiful part of the view.  These organizations are an integral part of keeping New Albany’s environment desirable.

The beautiful and ever-changing Faulkner Garden at the Union County Heritage Museum is a local treasure.

In addition to providing plants, flowers, sculptures for everyone’s enjoyment, the clubs sponsor many programs to encourage love and respect for the environment in the younger generation. Art contests, poetry contests, mentoring beginning gardening skills, book donations, etc. are all designed to foster interest and passion in protecting our environment, our health and all things natural.

If you know gardeners, thank them for their service.


New Albany MS Garden Club donates book to library

New Albany, Miss. Members of the New Albany Garden Club recently attend the Tombigbee Valley District Spring Meeting on May 29th. The meeting was hosted by the Byhalia Garden Club at Meadow Baptist Church n Byhalia, Miss. The theme was Land of Cotton, and attendees met in small groups to discuss a variety of topics.

The Garden Club purchased books while at the meeting and donated them to two groups in New Albany.

Sissy Bullock and her staff at the Union County Library received THE WORLD OF BUTTERFLIES.

New Albany MS NAES library accepts donation

Lisa Skinner accepts THE WORLD OF BEES from New Albany Garden Club

As her last act as New Albany Elementary School’s librarian, Lisa Skinner accepted the book THE WORLD OF BEES.  After being the NAES librarian for about a decade, Skinner is moving to the high school this fall to teach at the VoTech.

–Tracy Vainisi, New Albany Garden Club
(662) 316-0434

New Albany MS recycle sculptures

New Albany, Miss., June, 2019: Garden Club Sculpture Contest:

The New Albany Garden Club sponsored a recycled sculpture contest last spring. The club is pleased to announce that  two local entries placed in the state-wide level Garden Clubs of Mississippi contest.

Eva Aldridge, 7th grade student at New Albany Middle School, placed 1st with Mr. Peanut.

New Albany MS Mr. Peanut

Mr. Peanut, by Eva Aldridge

Mac Blackburn, 6th grade student, placed 2nd with Sir Loin Steak.

New Albany, MS Sir Loin Steak

Sir Loin Steak, by Mac Blackburn

The project was a culminating activity in Tracy Vainisi’s classes at New Albany Middle School. Vainisi said, “My students had just completed a unit about reducing, reusing, and recycling. We go through about 400 plastic milk bottles a day at the middle school. My students had collected and washed out milk bottles one day and some of them thought it would be a good way to bring awareness to the idea of reusing things instead of putting them in the trash.”

The idea fit in perfectly with the New Albany Garden Club sponsored contest. New Albany Middle School will be working on rebooting their recycling agenda with an anti-littering and recycling campaign for the 2019 school year.

If you are interested in helping with the recycling reboot, contact Tracy Vainisi at tvainisi@nasd.ms or leave her a message at New Albany Middle School (662) 534-1820