Ocia Ratliff volunteers at the Port St. Joe Elementary School STEAM Open House, showing kids how they can take advantage of the garden club’s seed library and compete in the Flower Power zinnia contest. [ David Adlerstein | The Star ]
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Garden Center to host June flower show

The Port St. Joe Garden Club extends a hearty thank-you to the community for making the annual Plant/Bake/Yard Sale a smashing success. Special applause is due the hardworking members who have planned, planted, and pitched in to ensure that this major fundraiser can sustain the club’s mission. 

Founded in 1948, the garden club was organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. Its stated objectives are “to encourage horticulture and conservation of soil and natural resources, as well as beautification of streets, highways and other areas.” In addition, it sponsors youth education in horticulture and conservation.

Currently, members of the club coordinate the well-received seed libraries that operate in both Port St. Joe and Wewahitchka. They also create and maintain large container gardens at the library, nursing home, Gulf County Senior Citizens Association, the Mexico Beach Welcome Center, and City Hall. 

Many members pour their energy into the Downtown Beautification Project along Reid Avenue. Some are collaborating with the Port St. Joe Elementary School STEAM program while others assist young summer campers to experience first hand the joy of starting a flower garden at CareerSource Gulf Coast.

The Port St. Joe Garden Center, built in 1925, is registered on the US Department of the Interior’s list of historic places. It served as the city’s first Catholic Church until 1968, whereupon it became the home of the garden club. 

The Garden Center at sunset [ Susan Wozniak | Contributed ]

The building, constructed almost entirely of pine wood, is a local gem. Countless receptions, family reunions, and professional meetings have taken place there over the decades due to its charming ambiance and reasonable rates. 

The next event sponsored by the garden club at the Garden Center will be a flower show slated for June 6 to 8. Flower show judges certified by the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs will drive from Tallahassee to assess floral arrangements and horticultural submissions and award ribbons. The public is invited to participate. 

Follow the Port St. Joe Garden Club’s Facebook page for information about joining or for more details about the upcoming flower show. Contact rental coordinator Lanann Tuttle at 404-932-0646 to reserve the Garden Center.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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