Having built a 29-year reputation for green thumbs that has expanded interest, and increased membership to more than 50 women, the Holborn Herb Growers Guild continues to reap what they sow within the gardens of the Western Reserve Village on the Canfield Fairgrounds, as well as those of Boardman Township Park.
Taking formation in 1982 under the direction of its five founding members: Carri Bookwalter, Terri Ham, Barbara Crook, Carolyn Martindale, and Chris Yelton, the Holborn Guild continues with the goals of educating the public in the use and enjoyment of herbs.
“We have a lot of new members,” said Bookwalter, adding, “We have a good group of people.”
Amongst the founders of the guild, Bookwalter shared that she is also a trustee of Western Reserve Village Foundation.
“You never mind weeding your garden when you grow herbs,” said Bookwalter, explaining that the fragrances make the task seem much less like work.
“We put a lot of emphasis on learning,” she said of the guild, which over the years has created numerous gardens within the Western Reserve Village. Among them are the Culinary Garden, Decorative Garden, Medicinal Garden, and Children’s Garden.
Additional gardens include the Tea Garden, Dyer’s Garden, Native American Garden, Shakespeare Garden, Knot Garden, Settlers Garden, and Entrance Garden, all of which continue to thrive thanks to the countless hours of tender loving care provided by the ladies of Holborn.
In 2009, the Blind Garden was added to the village. Setting along the Railroad Station, the small container garden is placed at wheelchair height, and labeled in Braille, as a welcome to touch and indulge in the fragrances of nature.
Annually, Canfield Fair visitors can break from the crowds, relaxing in the sanctuary of the village and its gardens, enjoying musical entertainment under the gazebo, and touring the village buildings.
The Holborn Herb Guild meets the third Tuesday of each month, caring for the gardens of the Western Reserve Village and Boardman Park locations. They meet and work from April through October.
Having taken shape throughout the summer, the gardens of Western Reserve Village received a late summer sprucing-up in preparation for last week's fair.
With two guild members undaunted by their recovery from broken bones this years, guild member Judy Moore joked about their dedication to the task at hand.
“You can’t keep a good gardener down,” she said.
Photos by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
The Canfield Fair Western Reserve Village looked great this year thanks to the efforts of the Holborn Herb Growers Guild members. Pictured are members Virginia Bartos, Claudia DiRienzo, and Marion Summers as they prepared the gardens at the village.