By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
“Doll-EE! Doll-EE! Doll-EE!” the children chanted to make sure Dolly Ballard got into the group photo with them at the end of their flower arranging session.
The Pinetta third graders had gathered in science teacher Peggy Ross’s classroom to learn how to put together eye-catching centerpieces to take home to their parents. Madison Garden Club’s Dolly Ballard was on hand, along with Laura Coleman, Ann Paquette, Jean Fiori and Jackie Kirkland to provide the necessary materials and demonstrate the simple steps for creating something beautiful. Ballard then showed the children how, by keeping the fern-like greenery as a base, other things besides the yellow flowers they were using, could be added or substituted to change the look of the arrangement for different holidays or different seasons of the year. They could use a candle, pinecones, different colored flowers, or anything pretty they could find around their house or yard.
“You can do anything,” Ballard told the class. “You can be creative.”
After the flower arrangement lesson was over, the ladies went out to check on the school’s winter vegetable garden to see how it was coming along. Ballard and her team also lead the Madison Youth Gardeners and 4-H Club, teaching the children the basics of gardening and growing their own food.
Last month, when the children held their pumpkin-weighing contest on Oct. 13, the patch of bare ground had just been tilled and prepared for planting. Three weeks later, the seeds the children had sown for carrots, radishes and mustard had made pale green lines of fine, feathery vegetation just above the soil, and the cabbage and broccoli plants were coming along nicely.
Next month, the Madison Garden Club ladies will be back at Pinetta with another seasonal, creative project for the children to make and take home.