Gardener's Dirt: Christmas Shopping In August - Paver Project Expanded
By Brynn Lee - Victoria County Master GardenerEdited by Charla Borchers Leon
Aug. 25, 2011 at 3:25 a.m.
The Victoria County Master Gardeners have just become your personal holiday shopping elf by offering you that special gift that will keep on giving long after Christmas - and for many years to come.
PHASE IV EXPANSION
Several years ago, a Military Honor Garden was established in Victoria Educational Gardens to honor those who served in our military. Along with it came a "Pathway of Family and Friends" to allow recognition of those considered "special" - both garden areas to recognize individuals through the placement of brick pavers inscribed with names and credentials. To date, there are 675 military pavers and 125 "Family and Friends" pavers that are in place at VEG for viewing. The beautiful gardens are open to the public free from dawn to dusk and are located at 333 Bachelor Drive at Victoria Regional Airport (across from the control tower).
Because of numerous additional requests to purchase these brick pavers, the Victoria County Master Gardeners have decided to expand the Military Honor Garden and Pathway of Family and Friends into Phase IV. So, if you have or had someone in the military, or have special family or a friend you would like to recognize, now is your chance.
Included in Phase IV, we are offering a new option. We will make a brick paver available for purchase to be displayed in your own personal home garden, business or your favorite chosen place. Just a few ideas for you to consider are: "Grandmother's Garden," "The Lee Family," "Please Don't Pick the Daisies," and let's not forgot those family pets who are no longer with us, "My Best Friend, Duke."
HOW, WHERE TO GET FORMS
We have made it convenient to place your order via email. Simply go to the Master Gardener website, vcmga.org, click on "pavers" and follow the steps. Or we have order forms available at the following locations in Victoria: County Extension Office, public library, chamber of commerce, armed forces recruiting offices, VFW, American Legion, National Guard Armory, Army Reserve, Catholic War Veterans and Fossati's Delicatessen. The different brick sizes and their prices are noted on the purchase forms, along with names and telephone numbers for any questions.
WHY BRICK PAVERS IN A FLOWER GARDEN?
There are still many people in the area who have never even heard of VEG - much less visited. VEG offers much more to the community than just roses. Master Gardeners are dedicated to educating the public in all aspects of planting and landscaping. Because the gardens are located at the old Foster Field air base, we combine the beauty of flowers and plants with the honoring of our military, past or present.
I have been so blessed to have personally heard some of the heartwarming and heartbreaking stories told by so many of the paver donors, including those of the heroic military buddy and/or the loss of a dear parent.
VEG GIVES BACK
With each fundraising project organized by the Victoria County Master Gardeners, every penny earned is put back into the gardens. It may be in the form of garden tours for school children, the selling of cookbooks with recipes and tips by our members, the rental of our new pavilion for meetings or parties, or for our fall and spring plant sales. It might even be for a symposium aimed to educate the public on topics from care to the planting of flowers and trees, such as at the upcoming Gardening Symposium scheduled for Sept. 24. Look for upcoming information.
We've began a new class to train those interested in becoming a Master Gardener. You can find out about when and where the next special event is taking place by reading "The Gardeners' Dirt," published weekly in the Victoria Advocate. You may access our website or call the Victoria County Extension Office, 361-575-4581.
SHOP NOW, BRAG LATER
Don't let the opportunity to honor someone pass you by - be the first to purchase a gift that keeps on giving. The deadline to buy your paver is Nov. 12, with the anticipation of it being in place and ready for your viewing by Christmas. Order yours now.
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.