Gaston & Catawba

2 green thumbs up to these women

My family likes to joke that I have a black thumb, not a green thumb, so I admire the ladies of Belmont's Town and Country Garden Club.

Created in 1950 to advance gardening, develop home landscaping and beautify areas around Belmont, the Town and Country Garden Club meets monthly September through May.

Local gardeners and landscape professionals present informative programs for members to learn basic skills as well as the latest trends.

Garden club members also conduct community outreach programs at Belmont Central Elementary, Page Elementary, Belmont Middle School, the Belmont Post Office, Belmont Fire Department, Belmont Public Library, Train Depot and Greenwood Cemetery.

The club also handles fall and spring flower plantings at various spots around town and participates in clean-up days with Keep Belmont Beautiful.

Members gathered for the season's kickoff meeting Sept. 4, at the waterfront home of Claudina Toole.

Four new members – Nicole Adkins, Debbie Baker, Ashley Caudle and Stephanie Southard – were inducted.

The Town and Country Garden Club counts 35 active members and 20 sustaining members with more than a decade of service.

Deborah Walker is the club's president.

Harvest Days at DSBG

Belmont also offers other avenues for budding and experienced gardeners.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden will hold a series of Harvest Days focused on bulbs, gourds and textiles this fall.

First up is “Beautiful Bulbs” on Saturday, with an emphasis on the difference between bulbs and geophytes. Participants can examine bulbs under a microscope, learn proper planting techniques and pot bulbs to take home for forced winter blooms.

On Oct. 25, learn about “Gourd-geous Gourds” with members of the N.C. Gourd Society (Who knew there was such a group?). The workshop will cover how to grow, clean and prepare gourds for crafts. You also can do some shopping for unique holiday gifts.

Harvest Days will wrap up Nov. 8 with “Terrific Textiles,” a celebration of the area's textile heritage. In particular, there will be activities that explore plant-based fibers and dyes.

The Piedmont Fiber Arts Guild will showcase plant dyes and fibers and will give visitors a chance to try crafts on their own.

All three sessions run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are free with the regular garden admission of $10 adults, $9 seniors.