ON THE COVER
For many, the tree is a symbol of longevity, integrity, and enduring beauty. But how many of us have truly seen a tree? How well do we know the intimate details and secrets of that old familiar oak in the backyard? In Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees, author Nancy Ross Hugo introduces us to whole new way of watching a tree. And in breathtaking shots of striking detail, photographer Robert Llewellyn shows us why it’s worth it.
On every page, we see the miracle of seeds maturing, leaves unfurling, and flowers emerging. This book teaches us what to look for when we slow down and take the time—what we can see in the scars of a leaf, the twig structure, and the pattern of the bark. With profiles of the most familiar and beloved species, including the American Beech, the Red Maple, the Southern Magnolia, and the Tulip Poplar, the book opens our eyes to a tree’s shy magnificence, and invites us to deepen our relationship with these earthly treasures.
Albemarle Garden Club Celebrates Centennial
One hundred years ago, the endless information we have today on growing plants and flowers, conditioning the soil, and other gardening tips was much harder to come by. So nine women traveled to the grand Morven Estate in southern Albemarle County just past Jefferson’s Monticello for the same purpose: to become better gardeners to beautify the landscape surrounding their homes. Together they decided to “associate into a garden club, of which the general purpose shall be the study and culture of flowers.” Thus, in 1913 the Albemarle Garden Club was officially born.
Typical of the time, most of the founding members were housewives and some were the wives of local University of Virginia professors. These women were bonded together by their quest for in-depth knowledge of plants, flowers, and soil and inspired by the example set by their most famous local gardener, Thomas Jefferson. In 1915, the Albemarle Garden Club joined with Garden Club of America and five years later went on to become a founding member of the Garden Club of Virginia. During the Club’s early years, members helped with restoration efforts of Monticello’s Gardens, maintained the University of Virginia’s Pavilion IV boxwood garden, and even visited France to assist with the restoration of Marly-le-Roi’s gardens. Further projects include victory gardening at the height of World War II, making wreaths and arrangements for local nursing homes, and offering the Nellie Hough Gardening Course.
To celebrate their centennial, the Albemarle Garden Club has planned a year of lectures and events that focus on their heritage and the extremely important role garden clubs will play in the future. The Club is also planning to create a public garden in honor of their 100th birthday. Although no site has been selected yet, fundraising has started for this effort.
The Foxfield Races' 35th Anniversary
The Foxfield Races has been a fun, exciting steeplechase tradition for more than 35 years here in Albemarle. Presently, J. Benjamin is the president of Foxfield Races and his history with the event ensures that this year’s 35th anniversary will be no less memorable than the 20th anniversary. So here’s to this wonderful team that have helped preserve a long-standing Albemarle tradition well into the 21st century.
The annual Foxfield Races is a day-long affair of tailgating, socializing, and exciting horse races featuring the country’s finest horses, riders, and trainers. This year’s beneficiary is the non-profit WVPT.
By Louise B. Parsley
As the petite woman with a meticulous flattop approached our door, my son, three years old at the time, peered through our front window. His eyes narrowed and nose prickled as he mulled over her dark skin. Our daughter, a year older, played quietly in the next room, absorbing her brother’s skepticism by osmosis. As I welcomed her and showed her around our home, my son hid behind my leg. He had never seen a black person in his home before.
"Hi, I’m Sallie," she said kneeling eye level with him. Shy and apprehensive, my son took her in, still mute.
With little notice, Sallie Smith entered our lives. "Mrs. Parsley," she said, "I look a might young, but I’ve worked for a family and raised their children. They grown now. I need a new family and … I hear you need me."
A force of nature not the size of a peanut, Sallie set about organizing my home, my life. Holding a front row center ticket to the intimate details of our lives, Sallie dressed scraped knees, mended ripped jeans, cut countless crusts off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and soothed furrowed brows with home-baked chocolate chip cookies. She made us whole, restoring everything – be it a broken power washer, fingernail or heart.
As featured in the December/January 2011-12 issue of albemarle Magazine
Special Section: Giving, Volunteering, and Nonprofit Service to Our Community
Our area nonprofit organizations touch our daily lives in countless ways: assistance and caring for our most vulnerable people; education and mentoring of youth and adults; artistic and cultural enrichment; protection and preservation of our natural and historic resources; spiritual and religious fulfillment; and many other vital services to our community.
albemarle magazine recognizes the many ways in which nonprofits build personal connections, enhance communities, and strengthen lives. All across the United States and especially in our local community, the lives of individuals have been touched—or will be touched—in some way by a non-profit organization.
The following section contains a sampling of the numerous worthy charities, services, and organizations in our surrounding communities. Nonprofits are essential to our quality of life. Find an organization from the list and choose to give, volunteer, or serve. Your contribution large or small, can really make a difference.
Images from The Holsinger Studio Collection Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, 434-924-3025, www2.lib.virginia.edu/small/