Master Gardeners welcome a new class

Staff photo by Suzanne Stone. The Aiken Master Gardeners program held a graduation ceremony Tuesday for those completing the course. Shown: Chere Avery, Sally Barrett, Tina Donnelly, TAmmie Esselman, Phil Haggerty, Sylvia Doyle, Vicky Hall, Theresa Hefferman, John Hill, Sam Huff, James Nix, Peggie Piemonte, Bettye Ralon, Susan Reynolds, Phyllis Roy, Cathy Sabol, Hank Smalling, Joyce Timmerman, Leo Toomajian and Gloria Wade. Not present: Cole Lindell and Tom Kaufman.

The Aiken Master Gardeners welcomed a fresh crop of graduates of Clemson Extension Service's Master Gardener Course to the club Tuesday. The Master Gardeners held a dinner and graduation ceremony Tuesday evening at St. John United Methodist Church. Extension agent Suzanne Holmes led the graduation ceremony. "I want to thank the older Master Gardeners for coming out to support the new members," Holmes said. "New members, I encourage you to come to our meetings, we have one coming up in February. "I also want to tell you about some of the service projects these new members worked on. They did meet a master gardener, they helped their neighbors, they worked at Redcliffe Plantation and at Banksia, at Aiken High School's horticulture program, at Chukker Creek Elementary School and at the Spring Flower Show. One even became a beekeeper," Holmes said. "That's an enormous amount of hours given back to the community, and that's what sets the Master Gardeners apart from other organizations." Graduating from the course Tuesday were Chere Avery, Sally Barrett, Tina Donnelly, Tammie Esselman, Phil Haggerty, Sylvia Doyle, Vicky Hall, Theresa Hefferman, John Hill, Sam Huff, James Nix, Peggy Piemonte, Bettye Ralon, Susan Reynolds, Phyllis Roy, Cathy Sabol, Hank Smalling, Joyce Timmerman, Leo Toomajian and Gloria Wade. Completing the course but not present at Tuesday's ceremony were Cole Lindell and Tom Kaufman. For more information about the Aiken Master Gardeners, call the Clemson Extension Service at 649-6297. Contact Suzanne Stone at sstone@aikenstandard.com.