Sharing the gardens

St. Andrew’s party draws crowds for sale, tours

More than 150 people toured the flower garden at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church earlier this spring, thrilling the membership with their attendance and interest.

“We sold 155 tickets, so we had a great response, better than we’ve ever done before,” church member Peter Kopp said of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Garden Party. “We had a very successful plant sale, very successful ceramic pot sale and the silent auction went well. It was lot of fun. It is just a great community activity.”

Kopp, who grew many of the plants sold, said about half the folks who came don’t attend St. Andrew’s. “People love it. With the garden tours, cars were stacked up, and we had a lot of people come out to tour. It was very successful.”

Kopp said the fundraiser supports the gardens at the church as well as outreach efforts in the community. “I think the fact that more than half of the guests don’t go to St. Andrews is significant. It is something folks look forward to.”

Dr. Sue Hamilton and garden expert Beth Babbit from the radio show “The Garden Girls” spoke, and people toured the gardens.

Kopp said he grows plants for the sale. “I propagate a lot of them for the University of Tennessee. A lot of hybrids I raise end up in the UT Gardens,” he said. “We don’t buy any plants to sell. I produce many of them, as does Marialice Ellis and Glenda Turner.” Kopp said about a half dozen people take care of the garden at St. Andrew’s on a regular basis. “It’s open space, a community thing. It is connected to the Presbyterian cemetery, and we encourage people to come utilize the space,” he said.

Ellis echoed Kopp’s thoughts on the success of the sale and event. “We thought it went great,” Ellis said. “Everyone seemed to have a good time, and the people on the tours said they didn’t want the day to end because it was perfect.”

Turner said the goal was to provide an event for people to have an enjoyable evening in a nice setting.

“We’re proud of St. Andrews,” Turner said. “We want everything to be inviting. It was a good day for us,” she said. “We do it for the community. Our church people enjoy the garden, but we like to offer opportunities for people to come and be with us.”

The Garden Girls radio show is broadcast every Saturday afternoon at 2 on 100.3 WNOX.

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