Dig in the dirt at ‘Wine & Weed’ | Beaumont Examiner

Dig in the dirt at ‘Wine & Weed’ | Beaumont Examiner

People turned to gardening during the pandemic not only to give them something to do while quarantined, but also to help relieve stress. The benefits of watering, weeding, trellising, mulching, and harvesting is a great way to exercise, experience joy, beautify a garden space and even grow your own food.

Closer to home, the Southeast Texas community is invited to participate in the Mary Howell Garden Club’s third annual “Wine & Weed” event Thursday, March 23, which helps maintain the Beaumont Botanical Gardens at Tyrrell Park.

“This event brings the community together at the beautiful Beaumont Botanical Gardens,” said Lynda Kay Makin.

Open to anyone of all ages, volunteers will meet at the gardens (6088 Babe Zaharias Drive) from 5-6:30 p.m. to remove invasive weeds while enjoying fellowship as well as wine (for those 21 and older), lemonade, water and a variety of finger foods. All at no charge to attend.

No experienced green thumb is necessary, but bring garden gloves, weeding spade along with closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get dirty. If you don’t have gloves or a weeding spade, event organizers will provide them.

The City of Beaumont set aside 10 acres of land in Tyrrell Park in 1968 for the Beaumont Council of Garden Clubs to develop and the original building was constructed using bricks from the Southern Pacific Railroad Passenger Station and was dedicated on August 20, 1971.

It has since grown into a 23.5-acre of ever-changing beauty that includes a “Friendship Walk,” Garden Room, the Binks Horticultural Center, The Bob D. Whitman Propagation House and a 10,000-square foot Conservatory named after Warren Loose. Inside, visitors can see common to tropical areas and rain forests, as well as arid regions, along with some of Warren’s favorite bromeliads plus a waterfall splashing into a pond of champion Koi.

A number of garden projects were accomplished in ensuing years, consisting of several theme gardens such as the pineapple, which is a traditional Southern symbol of welcoming and hospitality.

“Walking through the sections of the garden is amazing,” said Makin. “It’s absolutely gorgeous with amazing plants from everywhere. It’s like you are stepping into another world. So soothing and calming.”

It was 1954 when the Mary Howell Garden Club was established. Organized by Thelma Cottle, who owned Cottle’s Florist, the club was named for the subdivision in which many of the founding members lived in the 77706-area code.

The organization hosts a calendar of events from September-May. Monthly meetings are also held that consists of teaching gardening related subjects, tips, and presentations. Other projects include landscaping at Tyrell Library, Girls’ Haven, Sabine Oaks Home and Sally Curtis Elementary.

“We encourage a lot of people who have never been out there to join us,” said Makin.

“Come dig in the dirt, drink some wine and visit with friends.”

The Mary Howell Garden Club will also sell “Wine & Weed” T-shirts for $20 and koozies for $1.

Also in attendance will be the Southeast Texas Orchid Society, who will be selling their lovely orchids as well as the Beaumont Camera Club out and about taking photos.

“We have wonderful sponsors that allows us to provide more plants and improvements,” added Makin. “It benefits the gardens at Tyrrell Park. We are hoping to have 300 people in attendance.”

Makin said that sponsor boards will also be displayed throughout the gardens.

-Chad Cooper, Entertainment Editor