On Monday, Nov. 26, for the fourth year running, representatives from the Mount Airy, Carroll and Silver Fancy garden clubs joined Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan in the State House rotunda for a celebration of Maryland-themed holiday trees and wreathes.
“Lady Hogan, this is her holiday project each year. There are 24 trees exhibited, 23 from each of the counties and one tree from Baltimore city,” said Tina Swanson, Mount Airy Garden Club president. “They are supposed to be 6-foot trees — they are artificial trees. No lights, just decorations that somehow honor your county.”
In the past few years, the three garden clubs had created ornaments celebrating Carroll County history, its fire companies and fire houses.
“This year we are doing the Carroll County Barn Quilt Trail. We made all the ornaments,” Swanson said, with quilted squares featuring the patterns on barns around the county. “There are 31 quilt designs on all the ornaments.”
And while decorating artificial trees is not gardening per se, it has been a hit with garden club members since it began, according to Carroll Garden Club Treasurer Diane Brown, who noted the club members enjoy meeting with the first lady.
“It’s Yumi’s idea, she’s an artist. I don’t know if she is a gardener, but she certainly enjoys talking with gardeners. She is such a gracious lady,” Brown said. “Thankfully her husband is in for four more years.”
“It’s something we really look forward to,” Swanson added. “When we go to Annapolis, we get to meet club members from all over the state.”
The event has also been a hit with the Silver Fancy Garden Club, with membership in Taneytown and Emmitsburg, according to member Jackie Kegel.
“It’s really nice! A lot of talented people,” Kegel said. “We get a certificate from the governor and the individuals who help do it get an ornament designed by his wife.”
The only problem, Brown noted, is demand has outstripped supply.
Silver Fancy Garden Club President Betty Cree may be reached at 410-346-7663, Carroll Garden Club President Brenda Powell at 301-447-6335 and Tina Swanson, of the Mount Airy Garden Club, can be reached by email at email@example.com.