After four long years of hoping to plant a line of flowering trees along the entrance to the Southern Virginia Botanical Gardens, Agnes Gregory’s vision has come true.
All it took was bringing the right players together: Winfall Nurseries in Gladys, Mitch Conner of Conner and Conner Enterprises and South Boston Memorials, plus a digging crew of Master Gardeners.
Last fall 14 welcoming Red Rocket crepe myrtles were planted.
Beside each tree, a carved brick was installed in memory of loved ones or in honor of those who have been especially important members of the SVB Gardens.
Known for their eye-catching crimson flowers, Red Rockets got their name due to their fast growth that will reach up to 15 feet high and 12-15 feet wide at maturity. These trees also are deer-resistant and drought-tolerant.
The 15th tree, a Black Diamond crepe myrtle and accompanying brick were installed next to the stage and Children’s Garden to recognize SVBG President Jonathan C. Chandler for his leadership and work with agriculture students at Halifax County High School and the summer internship program.
The following people donated trees, and bricks were dedicated at a ceremony at the gardens on Oct. 20:
• Agnes R. Gregory, in memory of Betty N. Church
• Shirley and Bill McCaleb, in memory of Nancy P. Mangum
• Nancy D. Bane, in memory of Harriett Dunn
• Muriel Jean Bainbridge, in memory of William and Lillie Meyer
• Bettie F. Irby, in memory of John O. Irby
• Kathy Conner Cornell, in memory of Grover and Stella Conner
• Linda Singer, in memory of T.O and Whitie Mae Johnson and Walter and Sandy Johnson
• Brenda McDannald, in memory of Pauline C. Decker and in honor of Jean Bainbridge and Dean C. Payne
• Margaret A. Westervelt, in memory of Marion S. Clark
• Jonathan C. Chandler, in honor of Dr. Charles and Loretta Stallard