Monday, October 24, 2016
Plant Now: WWI Centennial Poppy Project
By the Heritage Garden Club
Garden Clubs in District 9 of The Garden Club of North Carolina in conjunction with the NC Department of Transportation, Daughters of the American Revolution and Veterans Affairs are planting poppies and blue cornflowers to make the public aware of 2018 World War I Centennial and of the veterans who served.
Although barely anything survived in the muddy wasteland of the Western Front, by a miracle of nature one flower not only bloomed but thrived. That was the poppy (Papaver rhoeas) https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/papaver-spp/.
The fact that the flowers were bright scarlet added to the uncanny aptness of its symbolism: the fragile red petals vividly suggested the spilt blood of the millions of young men who had died, while the growth of these flowers against all the odds represented hope in the face of despair.
Since the end of the conflict, the poppy has been an internationally recognized sign of remembrance for The Great War.
We are hoping to plant these seeds, poppies and cornflowers, i.e. bachelor buttons (https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/centaurea-cyanus/) in public areas like Blue Star Memorials, libraries, government buildings, entrances to neighborhoods, and schools. It is hoped to get the seeds in the ground before November 1, 2016.
The first bloom in summer 2017 will be a trial. In the fall we will plant again and have signage available and news releases ready for your local media. Remember to keep talking about this project on your social media and share with us your photos.
The goal is to have a bed of poppies and bachelor buttons planted by every District 9 garden club and have the community aware of the 2018 World War I Centennial.
We are going to compete for a prestigious National Garden Club award. The cost of seeds is FREE to each club or organization. We just need to know who planted, when planted and where planted. In the spring we need photos of your poppies.
In 2017, the seeds will be FREE, and the estimated cost for an official WWI Centennial garden sign to educate the public will be $15, at cost for Heritage Garden Club. This is not an expensive project and will not take much time. It will be fun working together with other District 9 area businesses and organizations to compete for a national award by National Garden Clubs (gardenclub.org). The towns and neighborhoods of District 9 (Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Granville, Orange, Person, Warren and Vance Counties) will be beautiful in their red and blue splendor, and the residents will be educated about World War I as we honor our veterans.
The Heritage Garden Club of Durham is paying for the seeds from the profit gained by their annual Poinsettia Project . We have always used the funds to furnish plants for the assisted living patients at the Durham VA, but as there is construction in their raised bed area, we were not able to help them this year.
Questions and ideas about the WWI Centennial Poppy Project can be discussed with Co-Chairs Marcia Loudon (firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-338-3957) and Pat Cashwell (email@example.com or 919-801-2446).