All Seasons Garden Club meets at Ballard home


By Becky Hackman

For The Tribune

Hank again was the official greeter as 16 members and one guest arrived at the home of Julie Ballard for the April meeting of the All Seasons Garden Club.

Tables were set with a spring/Easter motif, and a light meal of sandwiches, chips, fruit salad, cookies and cold drinks were served by Ballard and co-hostesses Joan and Jana Thompson.

Bobby Eldridge, owner of The Flower Cart by Prestigious Affairs and Brownstown Greenhouse & Gifts, presented an interesting program on his involvement in the Rose Bowl parade held each December in Los Angeles, California.

In 2000, Eldridge received the American Institute of Floral Design award. The following year, 2001, he began his career in being responsible for overseeing and decorating various floats for the yearly parade. He stressed there are rules and regulations on how the floats are to be done.

In late September, he receives the insight on the design of the two floats he chooses and then receives a cartoon of the design. He then spends time on making a grid of the design so he knows what flowers and how many need to be ordered, and this has to be done by Oct. 1.

Last year, 2022, Lainey Wilson rode the Louisiana Tourism float, which he designed, and was the only float allowed to stop for 3 minutes for her performance. The other float, Building Industry Association of Southern California, was based around a reading theme.

Another interesting fact he told the group is that the focus on the floats, such as any last-minute repairs to the décor, is on the right side, which is the side the press and judges see. Both floats that he designed for the 2022 parade received the highest awards possible. The parade route is 6.2 miles, and at the end of the parade, for $10 per ticket, the public can view the various floats.

Some of the other projects he has done in the past were the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby and President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The Biltmore Estate is his favorite garden to visit.

President Linda Kamman then conducted a business meeting. She called on Secretary Becky Hackman to read the minutes of the March meeting. The minutes were read and approved.

Treasurer Rita Wischmeier then collected dues and gave a report on the balance of the treasury fund.

Kamman also acknowledged the members celebrating birthdays in January and February, and Hackman was noted as her birthday for April.

A card was passed for the members to write notes of encouragement for Jeanette Chastain.

Shirley Lewis and Kathy Rush, who will host the May meeting, told everyone to bring an item for a white elephant auction. If members wish to carpool, they are to meet at Jay C Food Store by 5:15 p.m.

Nita Bridges noted the June meeting will be held at The Little Lavender Place, and carpool instructions were given.

Hackman told the group that a picnic lunch will be provided at the July meeting, and carpooling will be announced at the May meeting.

Sandy Kovener suggested the August meeting will be on garden journaling by Trina at the Seymour Library.

Wischmeier passed out zinnia seeds, and door prizes were won by Hackman and Peggy Broshears. Each member was presented with handmade Easter eggs from felt, and the meeting was adjourned.

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