Montevallo Centrala Club blossoms

Members of the Centrala Garden Club in Montevallo listen as Michele Pawlik tells the stories of her yard. (Reporter photo/Jessica Crihfield)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – The Centrala Garden Club, which is made of 25 local women, sponsor civic projects throughout Montevallo and share one thing in common: the members love to garden.

The club’s ladies marveled over Montevallo resident Michele Pawlik’s yard during their monthly meeting at Pawlik’s home. Instead of following rigid lines and landscaping, Pawlik creates “rooms” in her backyard, including a swimming pool, shaded seating areas, a wooden swing for two, a goldfish pond and a hammock suspended beneath mature trees.

“The wonderful thing about gardening is that you can exchange with family and friends,” Pawlik said. “There are things (in the yard) from everyone in this community just about.”

Pawlik shared with the Centrala Garden Club members that many of her plants derived from the yards of friends and family members, as well as in commemoration of major family landmarks.

Her yard sports an offshoot of a crape myrtle from her great aunt’s farmstead, and the original tree is about 80 years old. She planted a Ginko tree in honor of her daughter’s graduation from law school, and planted trees from an Arbor Day celebration.

“It’s been a learning journey,” Pawlik said. “There are a lot of stories in this garden.”

The Centrala Garden Club members maintain the “Welcome to Montevallo” sign at Moore’s Crossroads, which is the intersection of Shelby County 22 and Alabama 119 north of town.

According to club member Joan Pickett, the club meets each month to discuss garden-related topics and hear from local guest speakers and professionals.

The club, which was founded in 1963, provides education magazine subscriptions to Montevallo schools, and members plan on assisting with the upcoming garden at Parnell Memorial Library.

“We do a lot in the community, and we help a lot with local schools,” President Erin Hayes said.

The club holds a yearly tablescapes fundraiser in November to be able to send two children to Camp Cosby in Alpine each year.

For the June meeting, Myers Plants and Pottery in Pelham, Cedar Creek Nursery in Montevallo and Collier’s Nursery in Birmingham donated gifts for the club.