Visit flower extravaganza Wednesday at Natchez Convention Center

Published 12:36 am Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Our beautiful spring flowers which create a kaleidoscope of color throughout our town bloomed early this year.  Nature controls, but man compensates.

A unique floral display awaits all residents and tourists of Natchez from 2 until 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Natchez Convention Center.

“Riverside Reflections,” a flower show, will be staged by the Garden Lovers of Natchez for the Zone IX meeting of the Garden Club of America. The public is cordially invited to visit the free event  which also includes outstanding horticultural specimens and nature photographs from the twenty clubs in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.  The flower show will exhilarate the senses and excite the imagination with creative arrangements reflecting aspects of “Old Man River.”

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Downtown Natchez is the headquarters for the 150 ladies who will attend this Zone IX Annual Meeting, but they will also travel to lovely local venues for meals.  On Monday evening they will enjoy dinner at Dunleith and on Tuesday evening they will board buses to dine at seven local private homes.  The Garden Lovers of Natchez are grateful to these hostesses for their generosity and hospitality.

On Wednesday an early morning walk along the Natchez Bluffs and Broadway Street is an opportunity to exercise and view the river and the hanging baskets, a project of the Garden Lovers of Natchez.  Later, on a downtown walking tour the ladies in attendance will visit several private gardens. Following the garden tour, lunch will be served to the meeting participants on the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.

Interspersed with these activities are meetings at the Convention Center for the members featuring expert speakers. Mimi Miller, director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, will begin with a talk on Natchez’s 19th century gardens and landscapes. There will be a program on Garden History and Design and the “Camellia Man”, Tom Johnson, will speak on the many varieties of camellias in Natchez and around the world.

The Garden Lovers of Natchez and the Natchez National Park are partnering to showcase the mansion Melrose, its outbuildings, and beautifully landscaped grounds. The purpose of the conservation and educational exhibit is to educate the public about conservation issues and to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship.  It will address environmentally friendly maintenance practices used at Melrose for the landscape and gardens.

The three-day Garden Club of America Zone IX meeting concludes with the traditional Awards Dinner at the Natchez Community Center which will be decorated with large elaborate floral arrangements designed and executed by local club members.  Outstanding members of the twenty garden clubs in Zone IX will be recognized and rewarded for their achievements in civic improvement, conservation, floral design, historic preservation, horticulture, and photography.

On Thursday, 150  ladies will return  to their homes after experiencing all facets of Natchez hospitality and leaving their legacy of “Riverside Reflections,” for all who chose to visit the floral extravaganza on Wednesday afternoon.


Betsy Holleman is a member of the Garden Lovers of Natchez and is the Representative from Zone IX on the Garden Club of America’s Communications Committee.