Books In Bloom


Members of the Hollyberry Garden Club recently held their Books In Bloom flower display at the Severna Park Library. Vibrant, original flower arrangements were used to interpret works of literature using fresh flowers and unique, colorful containers.

Event coordinator and longtime Hollyberry member Peggy Turnblacer said the event gets more popular every year.

“People seem to like to see all of the splashy and colorful designs matched up with their favorite classics,” Turnblacer said. “The library staff enjoys it as well and looks forward to see what we come up with each year.”

John Berendt’s “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” is one of the books that was interpreted. Hollyberry members Alison Figlioli and Kathy Nelson interpreted the good vs. evil theme by using dark burgundy flowers to represent evil, including wine and roses weigala, red maple, Japanese painted fern and safari sunset protea. For the “good,” they used white bearded iris, white azalea and eucalyptus.

“We have participated in Books In Bloom for three years and we just love doing it,” Figlioli said. “Interpreting a book through flower design is so much fun. It really sparks your creative juices, and it is nice to get such positive feedback.”

Hollyberry Garden Club was formed in 1955 and became a member of the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland in 1963. The group has collaborated with the Severna Park Library native garden since the 1970s. Members created the landscape plan and replaced invasive and non-native plants with native indigenous species. Hollyberry also installed a sign describing the benefits of a native garden with some pictures of the plants. They added planters and benches for hundreds of locals to enjoy as they walk to and from the library.

Additionally, club members donate hundreds of volunteer hours each year and the funds to mulch, weed and keep the plants thriving and healthy in the Bay-Wise certified garden.

Ann Bacot Edwards, who was recently installed as president of the Hollyberry Garden Club, said the club is all about service to the community. “We really are partners with the community and stewards of our environment. We do a lot of service activity that doesn’t necessarily get a lot of attention.”

One of the club’s pet projects is its garden therapy program. Members visit the Genesis Eldercare facility in Severna Park to maintain its gardens and other activities. Members also roll up their sleeves to help maintain the Hatton-Regester property several times a year.

“Garden clubs are much more than just about gardening,” Edwards said. “We are about service to the community and the environmental health of the planet. It’s a fun and creative outlet to do some good.”

To learn more about becoming a member of the club, join the Hollyberry Garden Club Facebook page.

Other Books Represented

“Peter Pan” (Sandy Allen and Kathy Wilson)

“Bravery Becomes You” (Sharon Fenton and Paulette Forbes)

“The Wizard of Oz” (MaryJo Robey)

“The Lorax” (Bonnie Madden)

“The Secret Life of Sunflowers” (Sally Smith)

“Giraffes Can’t Dance” (Trudy Steffey and grandson Alden)

“The Senator’s Wife” (Grier Smokovich)

“Lessons in Chemistry” (Peggy Turnblacer)



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