Harvey Cotten speaks at Garden Club Tea

Saturday, April 21, Chipley Garden Club held its annual English Tea in the John Wesley Building at First United Methodist Church. Outside under the portico, 4-Hers offered up plants they grew themselves from seeds. Inside tables were decorated by club members with a variety of beautiful fine china, crystal, artfully folded napkins, and flowers.   Matthew Orwat, Washington County UF IFAS Extension Agent, provided atmosphere with music from the 20s and 30s. He also offered some titillating tidbits of information about each musical selection.

English Tea Chair Glenda Wilson stated, “This year we’ve tried something new. Instead of our usual garden tours, we are delighted to have Harvey Cotten, a noted garden writer, designer and consultant, as a guest speaker.”

Harvey Cotten speaks to guests.

Cotten presented a very informative, and entertaining, program beginning with his career at Huntsville Botanical Garden and continuing with horticultural information for our area. He touched on ways to make gardening fun and easy, choosing the right plant for the right place, watering issues, light requirements, soil, pollinators and bugs. After his colorful and educational presentation, he chatted with the guests and answered questions.

President Debbie Mitchell (right) and Gail Exum with tiered servers ready to be filled.

While Mr. Cotten enlightened tea guests and “waitresses” on the joy of gardening, other club members were busy in the kitchen filling tiered servers with fruits, sweets and finger sandwiches. Scones were in the oven, bowls were filled with Devonshire cream and strawberry jelly, homemade lemon curd was scooped into tiny pastry cups, and skewers joined fresh pineapple and strawberries together. Hot tea, scones, and all the goodies were served at noon with Garden Club waitresses attending each table.

Just a few of the “waitresses” – from left: Lillian Pittman, Vice President Linda Pigott, Sarah Bush, Mary Nell Rustin and Pam Morzos

Following the event, President Debbie Mitchell remarked, “I believe we’ve held another successful Spring event! We are so happy with Mr. Cotten’s presentation and the food was delicious! With this behind us, we can start planning for the return of our scarecrows in September.”

Glenda Wilson speaks with Director Louise Michaels, former Club President and former FFGC District II Director, who was visiting from Dothan, AL. 

If you are interested in learning more about Chipley Garden Club activities, please contact President Debbie Mitchell at 638-0536. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 2nd at 10:30AM at Shiver’s Park. Guests are always welcomed!