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Amanda McNulty to speak at Lugoff Garden Club

Posted: November 15, 2013 9:50 a.m.
Updated: November 15, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Amanda McNulty shows off her creative handmade hat.

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Amanda McNulty, Clemson Extension agent
and host of Making it Grow will be the speaker
for Lugoff Garden Club’s third meeting of the
year on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the home of Judy
Baxley on Holly Berry Lane in Lugoff. The Emmy
award-winning Making it Grow is a live, interactive,
call-in program produced by ETV and Clemson
University. Her handcrafted garden hats (and
she means that literally) have their own legion of
followers. It is not unusual for audience members
to show up wearing their own creations as well.
McNulty grew up in Columbia, graduating from
Richland County schools. Her first memories of
gardening began when she was 6 years old. Her
family had just moved to a new house, which had
an acre of newly plugged zoysia to weed. Before
her father would take the family swimming, everyone
had to fill up a brown paper grocery bag
with weeds. In the fall, they had to fill up a bag
with pinecones. No one minded it, since they were
all out ther together and got to go swimming afterwards.
On the well-trodden path between their house
and her Aunt Liza’s, there was a dog cemetery
with four o’clocks growing in it. Her father worked
at the Palmetto building on Main Street, in Columbia
and walked through Kennedy’s Florist to
reach the interior parking lot. When they lost a
dog or other pets, he would often bring flowers
home for the funeral services. Sometimes her
mother would walk around the yard with her and
crush anise leaves for her to smell. McNulty planted
anise as soon as she started having children so
she could do the same thing with them.
She worked in Atlanta for the Georgia Council
of Arts while her husband, Edward Wimberly,
went to art school. During those years, she enjoyed
the benefits of free tickets to many art events and
developed an appreciation for music, dance and
the visual arts.
She finished her undergraduate work, after several
detours, at Clemson. There she majored in ornamental
horticulture and graduated summa cum
laude. She also has a Master’s degree in teaching
science from South Carolina State University.
Under the direction of Mark Steadman, McNulty
began writing and served as editor of Clemson’s
literary magazine. Her gardening columns won
the National Association of Country Agricultural
Agents top award in 2007 and have won two silver
trowel recognitions from the Garden Writers
of America.
For many years, she decorated for events with Ruthie Lacey of Gardens and Parties,
cutting down everything  in her yard plus gathering interesting plants found on the roadside.
She still spends time picking her way through fire ant mounds along the highways between her home
in St. Matthews and her office in Sumter.
For Clemson Extension, McNulty serves as the Keep America Beautiful and Horticulture
Agent in Sumter. As the host of Making it Grow, McNulty discusses gardening issues with humor and unusual
analogies to help people make the connections between what plants and humans have in common.


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