Sunday, September 25, 2022

Local author to recount stories of African American gardeners

A local author will recount the story of African American gardeners as a prelude to Historic Garden Week. (Photo courtesy of Martha McClenny Williams)
A local author will recount the story of African American gardeners as a prelude to Historic Garden Week. (Photo courtesy of Martha McClenny Williams)

HAMPTON — As Historic Garden Week draws near, a local author recounts the stories of African American gardeners in her new book.

Martha McClenny Williams will discuss her new book, “WPA Original Gardeners: Norfolk Botanical Garden” from noon- 1 p.m. on April 18 at the Hampton History Museum.

“WPA Original Gardeners: Norfolk Botanical Garden” centers around the City of Norfolk’s  Works Progress Administration grant, which offered 200 African American women and 20 men the job of clearing a swamp to build an azalea garden in 1938, according to a news release from the city.

McClenny Williams will talk about the journey to find the names of the gardeners and the stories that she learned from their families. After the talk, she will sign copies of her book, according to the news release.

Historic Garden Week in Virginia takes place from April 21-28. The week is a chance for the state to showcase its over 250 gardens, homes and historic landmarks.

The program is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a bag lunch. Additionally, the museum will provide free dessert.

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