Camellia lovers learn of proposed garden in city

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Camellia enthusiasts gathered Monday at the Greenville-Butler County Public Library in an effort to jumpstart the city’s Camellia Society. An abundance of free materials relating to the history, growth and care of the camellia were provided, along with a display of photographs of the flowers in Greenville and Butler County provided by Barbara Middleton.

“I am hoping by this time next year we’ve had our first camellia show. There are enough yards in this town with blooms to fill up any space we chose to have it,” said Shirley Roberson, camellia gardener and artist.

Attendees also got to hear plans for a new camellia garden and walking trail to be added to the Beeland Park complex.

Email newsletter signup

Mayor Dexter McLendon shared details of the City of Greenville’s plan to purchase the land directly behind Beeland Park.

“This is in the works right now; once we get the deed, we will be demolishing an old house and removing a trailer currently located on the property,” McLendon said.

“This isn’t going to happen overnight. Basically, we want to get a plan, set it up in steps and carry it out over time.”

McLendon said monies would be sought through ADECA grants to carry out the plans to transform the Beeland Park property.

“Imagine a beautiful garden on top of that hill and a walking trail down through there to the parking lot at Beeland. I believe this would be a place to draw people in from the interstate,” McLendon said.

City Horticulturist Jennifer Stringer described the site as “ideal” and said she felt the City had an excellent chance to get grant monies for the project.

“While the site does need a good clearing out, it has a lot of potential and there are several older camellia bushes already in place,” Stringer said.

“I am really looking forward to this project. I love plants and making Greenville a more beautiful place.”

McLendon said the Beeland Park Center itself would also need a good facelift as part of the project.

“We’ll be building new tennis courts at the Y, so we’ll also have the old courts and the old swimming pool to do something with it, But we’ll have to wait and get to them as time and monies allow,” McLendon said.

Look for additional information about the proposed Beeland Park Garden project and the Camellia Society in future editions of The Greenville Advocate.