Club’s maintenance of the downtown gardens ‘a labor of love’

Garden Club members who turned out for a work day last Thursday are Debbie Ryals, (seated); back row, from left, Susan Simmons, Sandy Wilson, Shirley Speed, Lois Jacobson and Cathryn Dravis. To learn more about that activities of the Franklin Garden Club, watch the community calendar in The Macon County News for notice on the next meeting. photos by Vickie Carpenter

When visitors come to town – and residents too – they are inevitably drawn to the gardens on the square, immaculately kept by the Franklin Garden Club. With 35 or so members, the club frequently descends on the clock tower gardens and the Rankin Square gardens weeding, mulching and planting making Franklin’s downtown a thing of beauty. The club meets the first Monday of the month and is always looking for new member. No experience is necessary, says president Debbie Ryals, just folks who love gardening. A beautification committee decides what to plant and what to take up with suggestions often coming from the membership as well as input from visitors to the gardens. Plants and supplies are paid for with grants from the Town of Franklin and from the county. The club also raises money with an annual plant sale and a raffle that is held after each meeting. When asked why the club puts so much work into the gardens, Ryals said, “It’s a labor of love. Can you imagine what downtown Franklin would be without the gardens?”