View Mobile Site

Grace Church’s Memorial Garden receives Margot Rochester Landscape Award

Posted: May 7, 2013 5:17 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2013 5:00 a.m.
Fraser Speaks/C-I

Howard Wallace (far left), who designed Grace Episcopal Church’s memorial garden poses with some of those who attended Friday’s ceremony, including (left to right) Anita Stead, Grace Episcopal Church Junior Warden Dan Cantey, Margie Lane and Virginia Furman.

View More »

A rainy day did not deter the Camden Parks and Trees Commission from awarding Grace Episcopal Church the fifth annual Margot Rochester Landscape Award Friday in honor of its memorial garden. The rain only moved the celebration -- both of the garden and of the award itself -- indoors into Grace’s Richardson Hall.

The judges in the competition came from various gardening societies including Paige Woods and M.J. Rowell of the Kershaw County Master Gardeners; Cathy Cook of the Camden Garden Club; Virginia Furman, Florentine Garden Club; and Julie Trott, King Haigler Garden Club. Woods and Rowell attended Friday’s event and brought up how much fun the entire judging process was for them.

Not only was Margot Rochester described as being a “magnificent gardener,” she was also described as being an educator and a “prolific writer,” “a doer not a teller” and having “joyous energy.” These, Woods and Rowell said, along with numerous other reasons, were responsible for the creation of the Margot Rochester Landscaping Award. Previous Rochester awards have been given to Camden Elementary School’s Sensory Garden, Kirkwood Commons and Aberdeen. This year, Grace Episcopal Church’s Memorial Garden was the recipient due to its “exceptional landscaping and grounds maintenance,” according to Senior Warden of Grace Episcopal Church Jim Wiley, who accepted the award. What began as a way to clean up what had become a “big mess” turned into a project that resulted in a space for mediation and serenity, Wiley said.

Camden Mayor Tony Scully remarked on the “tradition of beauty” that has been evident throughout the years in Camden. He referred to the leaps being made in terms of landscaping as a “greening of the city” which now includes the Grace Memorial Garden.

Rochester’s husband, Dick, was scheduled to be present at the ceremony but was unable to attend due to a sudden illness.

Camden City Councilman Willard Polk spoke about his relationship with Mrs. Rochester and the legacy she left in the community.

“We will always remember her,” Polk said.

Scully and Camden Parks and Trees Commission Chair Deborah Davis presented the award to Wiley.

Although the weather prevented the actual ceremony from being held outdoors, attendees flocked to the Memorial Garden afterwards to enjoy the abundance of vegetation, flowers, statues and a fountain that resides at the entrance of the garden. Many of those who attended the ceremony took their time in the garden recounting stories and memories of Rochester and how she touched their lives. Furman shared a story about her friendship with Margot and love for her books on gardening. Polk talked about Rochester’s expertise and passion in education and in writing.

Scully said that although he never knew Rochester personally, he could see the legacy she has left on the area and its gardening and landscaping community. In his address, Scully also shared with the crowd reviews found online for her books illustrating her impact in the lives of others.

Davis closed the ceremony in saying “God bless Camden and God bless Margot.” She also said that “Margot’s love of gardening has inspired all of this.”


Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.

Contents of this site are © Copyright 2018 Chronicle Independent All rights reserved. Privacy policy and Terms of service

Powered by
Morris Technology
Please wait ...