Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter presents unique holiday showcase on Saturday


Sumter's Holiday Showcase is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday - in a new format. Rather than a tour of seasonally decorated private homes, the showcase will be presented by The Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter and will be set at the Alice Boyle Garden Center, 842 W. Liberty St., adjacent to the Swan Lake Visitors Center, where tickets can be purchased. Advance tickets are $13, and day-of event tickets are $15 per person. Tickets for those 12 and under are $5 whenever purchased.

Patricia Fernandez, showcase representative, said the event will include several examples of "upcycling," the process of recycling (items) "in such a way that the resulting product is of a higher value than the original item," according to The Merriam Webster dictionary.

The examples of upcycling are displayed on a festive and elegant holiday table. Featured on the centerpiece of silvered manzanita branches are unique decorations created by decoupaging plastic ornaments using stylish paper cocktail napkins.

Alongside these one-of-a-kind ornaments are sparkling crystals harvested from discarded light fixtures. The overall effect of this table, set with china and crystal sourced from thrift stores, warehouse and discount stores as well as yard sales, is an upscale offering fit to impress the most discerning guests.

This upcycle adventure is the work of Poinsett-Bland Garden Club member and newly transplanted Sumter resident Patricia Hamilton Fernandez.

Traditional holiday decorations give way to the whimsy of a light-hearted and campy rendition of "Mrs. Santa's Boudoir." This fun interpretation will share with visitors how the "Mrs." is spending her time now that the season's work is done and her jolly husband is on his Christmas Eve journey. The transformation of the Garden Center Parlor into Mrs. Claus' very PINK personal space will surprise and delight. A bold statement of style and wit is the creation of Poinsett-Bland Garden Club members Fair Edmonds, Gay Nelson and Lynn McGarey.

A special addition this year is a fully decorated live tree in memory of Dick Edmunds, who passed away this year. A Sumter native and an honorary member of The Poinsett-Bland Garden Club, he is remembered fondly by many for his love of fishing, hunting and the beautiful bluebird houses he crafted from local cypress and cedar. His wife, Fair Edmunds, president of the Poinsett-Bland Garden Club, said there must be hundreds of bluebird houses in town, as he truly cherished making them, and they were a big hit with the birds as they flocked to nest in these unique garden structures.

Dick's memory will be celebrated with a very unique "Sumter" tree. Ten Sumter symbols and landmarks have been captured in original ink drawings by Sumter artist Terry S. Newman, a member of The Azalea Garden Club. The drawings are featured on ornaments decorating the live tree donated by Bradley's at The Rustic Market in Dick's memory.

Giving more "Sumter" life to the tree will be a bevy of handcrafted origami swans and irises alongside additional nods to the local flora and fauna - glittered magnolia pods and nosegays of cotton, berries and cone, also created by Newman. This tree will be offered as a raffle item, and the fortunate winner will go home with a beautiful live tree, with all the decorations and a tree stand.

Also, not to be missed at the showcase are the lovely grounds of the Alice Boyle Garden Center, which will be enhanced for the holidays. After experiencing the excitement of the interior decorations and seeing nature all dressed up for Christmas, you will leave with enough Christmas spirit to carry you through the season. But you can take home much more than just Christmas spirit, as there are many raffle items including wreaths, trees and more. Raffle tickets are available on site.