GREENVILLE — About a dozen women gathered on the third floor of the Greenville Public Library Wednesday night to enjoy a workshop put on by employees of Hannah’s Garden Center.
The workshop focused on herb and fairy gardening, with participants filling clay pots with rich, dark soil, then choosing from a variety of plants supplied by Hannah’s for the event. Herb gardens focused on tea leaves and fragrant scented blooms often used in cooking, while fairy gardens incorporate plants cut to resemble trees and bushes, small stones shaped to look like boulders, and tiny decorative props such as benches, swings, and of course, fairies to produce a more fanciful, artistic sort of effect.
According to a website devoted to the practice, Fairy Gardening dates back more than a hundred years, and was first popularized in the U.S. after being featured in a New York Times article.
After a brief demonstration by the presenters, each participant at the workshop was free to construct their own unique garden.
Hannah’s manager Mary Coppock has been doing three or four workshops like this a year for the past four or five years, and says the interaction with customers is her favorite part of the experience.
“I enjoy the participants,” said Coppock. “Watching how they put their gardens together, how they all look different. They inspire me. It’s just a lot of fun.”
This particular workshop was arranged after Rachel Brock, who handles adult programming for the Greenville Library, contacted store owners Jim and Patti Meade. Hannah’s has put on numerous workshops at the Versailles Winery over the last few years, but this is their first event at the library.
The library sponsors a number of events for families and community members, including knitting and chess club meetings, concerts, yoga demonstrations, lectures, and film screenings. These events also allow the opportunity for the library to collaborate with local businesses.
“It attracts people who maybe wouldn’t otherwise come into the library,” said Brock of her motivations for scheduling the event. “It shows them we’re more than just books.”