Art, gardening and weekend projects

Published 11:16 am Friday, May 24, 2024

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What one loves in childhood stays in their heart forever.

~ Mary Jo Putney


Last Saturday in Saluda found me strolling the arts festival throughout our little town, crossing railroad tracks, hugging friends and savoring the day. Bad weather held back, taking pity on artists, volunteers, and happy festival-goers as music floated in mountain breezes throughout the day. Not a frown to be seen.

On Sunday, I pulled on the bright-coral gardening overalls, loaded a basket with water bottle and work gloves, and climbed into a friend’s Subaru to head for garden work all afternoon, getting it ready for a garden club tour the next morning. Four women sweated, cussed and laughed, dug, weeded, pitchforked mulch, hauled buckets and wheelbarrows for hours. Men within a two-mile radius disappeared (or hid).

No mascara was to be seen (although I’ll admit to a swipe of coral lipgloss to match the overalls!). Dirty nails and faces were badges of honor as we did battle, only pausing to admire afternoon light on peonies, lavender allium, delphinium and elegant foxgloves, pale yellow roses dripping over pink-coral poppies humming with bees. No one got mad (except at voles), it was teamwork among friends—women who have endured the test of time, yet faces shining with our inner-child love of plants, earth, life. Glasses of cool white wine lifted at the end as golden evening filtered through, mud on our feet, birds singing: a moment caught in amber.

Saluda tailgate market is located near the tennis courts at Saluda School, and runs each Friday from 4-6.

Saluda Community Land Trust’s next “Walks in the Woods” is June 2, to Waters of Camp Creek. Meet at Saluda Library’s parking lot at 2 p.m. to carpool. Visit or call 828-749-1560 for information.

Potluck/Bingo night at Saluda Center is May 27 from 6-8 p.m. Bring a side dish or dessert if you can.

Community Table is May 28 at Saluda Center, 5:30-7 p.m. Bring your own tableware to go green!

On May 31, 2 p.m. Saluda Library will have an author talk with Thomas Raine Crow, an internationally published author, editor, and translator of more than thirty books, including the multi-award winning nonfiction nature memoir of his years living in the woods outside of Saluda, Zoro’s Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods, which he will discuss.

Free swim lessons will be available again this summer at Wilkes Twin Lakes, thanks to Polk County Community Foundation and Saluda Community Land Trust. These lessons are for the children of Polk County and those who reside in the Saluda zip code, 28773. Classes run from 9-5 Monday-Friday for six weeks, starting June 10 and ending July 19. You may sign up for a full or partial program. For information or to register, email Brian Lilburn at Include the child’s name, age, experience, parent’s name, address, email and contact information. Open swims start Wednesday, June 12, and will be every Wednesday through August from 11-4.


Happy May Birthday to Amy Copeland, Corinne Gerwe, Chris Anderson, Mark Jackson, Cary Pace, Lisa Hipp, Trevor Young, Paul Marion, Jesse Thomas, Margaret Sease, Elizabeth Baldwin, Chad Baldwin, Lynn Cass, Thelma Jones, Betsy Burdett, Melia Bradley, June Taylor, Robin Kirby, Kevin Matthews, Susan Warrick, Robin Bradley, Stella Barnett, John Matson, and Dave LaFave.

Feel free to contact me at, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit