The Thomasville Garden Center was completed in 1956 as a result of a drive for many years, the efforts of Garden Club members and the generosity of friends. The land was given by Mrs. Parker Poe, one of our most beloved benefactors.
The interior of the building consists of a large assembly hall, library, kitchen and utility room. A beautiful sitting room was decorated and furnished in 1988 by the family of Mrs. Fred (Elva) Scott and updated in 2007. The room was dedicated in Elva’s honor for her many years of love and devotion to the Garden Center. She was appointed chairman of the Garden Center in 1956 and held that position until 1989 when she was honored with the title Chairman Emeritus.
The wall paneling in the hall and library is of magnolia wood from trees at Pebble Hill and Melrose Plantations. Other walls are pine paneling. The Helen Hay Whitney Memorial Library, endowed by Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, is equipped with four large handmade Honduras mahogany cabinets and contain a collection of volumes on artistic designs, horticulture, all phases of Garden Club work, art and travel.
A portrait of Mrs. Pansy Poe hangs in the living room.
The Garden Center committee handles the rental, use and upkeep of the Center and grounds and all repairs to the Center. The chairman coordinates activities that are held in the Center.
The activities held at the Garden Center are club meetings, civic meetings, flower workshops, flower shows, special projects of each club, receptions, teas, art shows, Camellia Show & Luncheons.
The Garden Center is funded by the individual clubs, rentals, proceeds of special events and contributions from friends. A successful endowment campaign, launched in 2005, has secured funds in the Garden Center Support Fund in the Community Foundation of South Georgia and gifts to this fund are appreciated.
The Nellie Neel Memorial Terrace was completed in 1986. Several beautiful paintings have been given; Mrs. Herman Rosenberg donated one of Camellias. A painting of a Queen Elizabeth Rose was given by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Goggins in memory of Mrs. Gladstone Goggins.
A framed needlepoint of the Seal of The Garden Club of Georgia was given by Mrs. Lawson Neel, past president of The Garden Club of Georgia. Several other pictures and paintings are on display also, including Hettie Love Wine’s watercolor Camellia painting.
A complete history can be reviewed at the Garden Center Library.