Although the award was given on May 27, the club’s president, Becky Oliver said she didn’t hear the news from the president of the Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. until two weeks ago.
Blue Star gardens are part of the national Blue Star Memorial Marker Program. The program started in 1945 as a way to honor veterans of World War II, according to gardencentral.org. The name came from the tradition during the war of displaying flags with blue stars in the windows of homes and businesses. This was to show that those homes and businesses had family members serving in the Armed Forces.
Garden clubs petitioned state legislatures and cooperated with the U. S. Department of Transportation in order to have some roads designated as Blue Star Highways. There are now gardens with markers throughout the country.
President Becky Oliver said the garden first won the award for Blue Star Gardens from the Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc., and that it moved to the national competition from there. She had gotten a call from the awards chairman for National Garden Clubs, Inc. requesting information prior to the ceremony, so she had been anticipating it. The award was for the best Blue Star Memorial Highway garden from a club that had less than 25 members. The Gateway Garden Club has seven members.
Oliver said she was proud of how pretty the garden was, and that it could have been even nicer-looking if the club members hadn’t restrained themselves. She said she had been warned by someone from the Kentucky Department of Transportation not to make the garden too pretty because it would be a safety hazard. He told her that some of the most beautiful gardens have caused many traffic accidents. One of the examples he gave her was when poppies are in bloom in Clarksville.
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