Garden Author coming to Halifax County-South Boston Museum

     There is poetry in gardening.  Each day, we watchpetals open to the sun, hummingbirds probing for sweet juices, the blush rising on a tomato and we file these images away in memory, maybe in a garden journal.  Anne Bethel Spencer (1882 - 1975) often put the love of her garden into words, caught on scraps of paper scattered around her house.  Eventually these scraps and her remarkable story were captured in a book, Lessons Learned from a Poet's Garden.

     As part of the Master Gardener Fall Garden Forum on August 2nd, author Jane Baber White will discuss her book, which details the 28-year restoration of Anne Spencer's Lynchburg home and gardens.  Anne's husband, Edward, built her a lovely small house out in the garden and together they named the sanctuary Edankraal ("Ed" for Edward, "an" for Anne and "kraal," an African word meaning "place").  Anne then went to work planting many exotic varieties of flowers and crafting garden-themed metaphors.  Her works inspired other writers and gardeners, especially during the years of the Harlem Renaissance.  Her gardens continue to inspire poets and gardeners today.

     Anne developed her way wwith words at an early age.  She graduated from the Virginia Seminary in 1899 and married in 1901.  Always a strong, independent thinker who advocated equality and education for everyone, she gravitated toward people like herself.  She became involved in her community and in the early NAACP and welcomed many notable people of the era to her home, including Langston Hughes, Marian Anderson, George Washington Carver, Thurgood Marshall, W.E.B. Dubois and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The Spencer property is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

     Jane Baber White is also a life-long resident of Lynchburg and shares Anne's love of gardens.  Her book draws on the steps that she and the members of the Hillside Garden Club took over almost three decades to restore the Spencer garden.  Along with her garden club, White discovered links between Randolph (Macon) College and the Spencers.  White served as Director for the Old City Cemetery for 27 years and has been active in many other restoration projects.  She is also the author of Once Upon a Time...A Cemetery Story and The Book of Attributes for the Living Horticultural Collections of the Old City Cemetery Museums and Arboretum, Lynchburg, Virginia.

     An exhibit on Lessons Learned from a Poet's Garden and Anne Spencer will be on loan from Lynchburg to our county Museum.  This exhibit will be open September 11th through November 2nd.  Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

     The November 2nd Garden Forum is scheduled for 9 am to 1 pm.  The first presenter is Kevin Conrad, speaking on the preservation of rare plants and an overview of the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  Jane Baber White is our second forum speaker.  Ms. White will discuss the life, house and gardens of Anne Spencer and sign copies of Lessons Learned from a Poet's Garden, which will be available for $45.  To register for the Forum, call (434) 476-2147 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Second Saturday and Tools by Laverne Fuller

     As any do-it-yourselfer knows, the right tool can make all the difference in a project's success or failure.  The same goes for gardening.  Pruners or loppers?  Spade or shovel?  It all depends on the job.  Along with choosing the correct tool for the job, tools should be maintained for ease in use and so they will last.  Good tools are an investment and with proper care will serve you well for many years.  Be sure to clean your tools after each use.  Dirt and mud can be removed with a spray from the hose or a little scrub from steel wool or a grill brush.  Mixing used motor oil and sand in a tub and running your shovel or hoe through the mixture will help prevent rust.

     Keeping your tools sharp makes them easier to use and is better for plants.  Most folks can sharpen their own tools with a ten inch mill or bastard file.  When you file the blade, it is important to pull the file away from the edge and to maintain the angle of the factory bevel. 

     If your have questions or dull tools, bring them to the Halifax Farmer's Market, Saturday, September 14 between 8 and 11 a.m.  The Southside Master Gardeners will be there for their Second Saturday workshop on tool sharpening.  You can also support your neighbors who bring homegrown vegetables, fruit, organic meats, baked goods and other local products for sale at the market.  For questions about the Master Gardener program, call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, visit the website at or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Celebrate Virginia Farmers Market Week with the Town of Halifax Farmers Market

Come celebrate Virginia Farmers Market Week with the Town of Halifax Farmers Maket on Saturday August 10th.  Beginning at 9:30 am with the Master Gardeners Demonstration on how to properly divide perennials.  Also at 9:30 am a cooking demonstration on makiing pizzas on the grill with Hudson Heritage Farms.  Then at 10:00 am there will be Children's story & project time with Victoria Worley, where the kids will enjoy the story "The Bee Man" along with the first 20 children getting to make honey butter and Free Ice Cream for all kids!  

BUY LOCAL-BUY FRESH - Market vendors will have fresh produce along with fresh pork sausage, goat, beef and lamb, fresh eggs, goat cheese, goat milk lotion & soap, fresh sourdough bread, sourdough cinnamon buns, lots of other baked goods, fresh cut flowers, sugar body scrubs, railroad garden bugs & MUCH MORE! 

209 South Main Street, Halifax - Market open 8am - noon.

Community Clock Project Open House on August 7th

Community Clock Project Open House

The Town of Halifax and the Halifax Village Association will host an "open house" in the Halifax Town Hall, 70 South Main Street, starting at 5:30 pm on Wednesday August 7th to share with the community the design and plans for the new town clock purchased by the Halifax Village Association as part of the town's ongoing revitalization efforts

Hill studio planners and designers have been working with the Halifax Community Clock Committee and town staff to develop a phased design for a plaza at front of the Halifax Marketplace at 209 South Main Street to host a vintage-style clock acquired by the Halifa Village Association through their various fund-raising efforts.  The clock and surrounding plaza will be a wonderful new focal point on Main Street for the town, and will eventually serve as a multifunctional gathering spot.

Come learn about the process, see the most recent depictions of the town clock plaza design, and find out what next steps will be involved to construct this new centerpiece in historic downtown Halifax, the County Seat for over 230 years!

For more information, contact Halifax Town Hall, at 434-476-2343.

Halifax Clock Committee members:  Marsha Hite - HVA President, Karen Schopen - HVA Clock Committee, Tom Brown - Town Council (former), Kristy Johnson - Town Council/Planning Commission, Mike Sexton - Planning Commission, Denise Barksdale - Assistant Manager/Town of Halifax Farmer's Market Manager, Carl Espy - Halifax Town Manager/Zoning Administrator.


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