Serenity Garden Bed

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Discover a bit of peace and quiet at the HCMGA Serenity Garden, located just outside of the kitchen on the southwest side of the main exhibition center. (Look for the silo at the back of the building!) There you will find a welcoming bench and lovely crabapple trees that provide much appreciated shade, especially during summer events.


This is a small garden that serves a big purpose: To provide a respite when you need a moment to yourself in the shade.

What Grows Here?

The Serenity Garden consists of mostly dry shade where various hostas thrive. Three crabapples provide the canopy of shade. Dotting the perimeter of the bed are several red ‘Tuff Stuff’ mountain hydrangeas and red Knockout roses. A few hot, sunny spots feature a granite gravel hardscape showcasing artemisia, ninebark, penstemon ‘Husker Red’, and a large concrete container of colorful annuals.

What Volunteers Do

Volunteers maintain the beds by watering, weeding, trimming, pruning, and fertilizing as scheduled. They also keep pests (Japanese beetles, slugs, etc.) and disease under control. The hottest parts of the summer weeks might include weekly watering. The team will also mulch and replace plants, as needed. Spring and late fall consist of a thorough cleanup. Water faucets (built into the sides of the building) are located at each end of the bed. The faucets require a key (see the committee chair for access) to turn on the water.

Committee chairs stay in touch with the assigned officer-at-large. Chairs ensure there is a list of volunteers to maintain the bed throughout the year and schedule the volunteers.

How the Garden Began

In 2007, the HCMGA approved a request from the Hamilton County Extension Homemakers to install a memorial garden with funds donated by the family of Pauline Beck, a deceased member of the Homemakers organization.

HCMGA members made preliminary sketches for the garden and applied for approval from the fairgrounds board. HCMGA members Norma Minion and Sharon Overholt (both also Homemakers) volunteered to become committee co-chairs for 2007.

A final planning meeting took place with Homemaker officers Barbara Lawson and Frances King, HCMGA officers Brenda White and Suzanne Stevens, ANR Bill Rice, and fairgrounds superintendent Tony Charlton.

The new plan was for a serene garden sited outside of the extension’s kitchen and dining room. Features included a memorial bench, shade trees, and 15 rose bushes representing the 15 home extension clubs.

During a few of the hottest, driest weeks ever, Sharon, Norma and Mel Minion, and Suzanne (who picked up and delivered planting materials), completed the garden in early June 2007. The HCMGA Serenity Garden was formally dedicated in July 2007 at the County Fair.

Sharon and Norma served as co-chairs through 2018. During their 11-year service, the Serenity Garden has matured into a welcome oasis for Homemakers, Master Gardeners and the public.

The 2021 co-chairs are Patricia Pan and Anna Scarlavai.

(updated 09/17/2021)

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