Garden park established as memorial
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.
Asa Godbold is honoring the memory of his wife, Marilyn Charles Godbold, with a garden park at the corner of Cherokee Road and Garland Drive.
Marilyn passed away on Sept. 3, 2017, following a five-year battle with cancer. She had retired as the Volunteer Director at McLeod Regional Medical Center after 28 years with the hospital.
“Marilyn loved her flowers,” her husband said.
She often brought home a flower collected from her walking route in their neighborhood and put it in a vase to admire. As an artist, Marilyn also enjoyed painting flowers.
The couple’s home is off Cherokee Road near the property where Asa has established the park.
Asa’s desire is for the park and its flowers to bring enjoyment and inspiration to others.
“It is for everybody to enjoy,” he stressed.
While most people don’t know what’s going on with the beautified lot, those who do have expressed their appreciation, he said.
Asa purchased the property, which included a house, about 15 years ago. The house was torn down leaving a heavily wooded lot until Hurricane Matthew blew through in 2016 knocking down 120 trees.
Asa began this project in November, working with landscaper David Seabolt in designing and developing the garden park.
The lot was cleared leaving a few tall trees. Next underground electrical and irrigation pipes were installed.
Then the planting began with 1,000 trees and shrubs, along with 2,000 flowering bulbs.
“The goal is to have something blooming all year,” Asa commented
He feels he has a good background started and plans to add seasonal areas. In the spring, sod will be spread along the outside perimeter of the park.
Asa is talking to an artist living on an island in Washington state in hopes he will design a wind sculpture to add to the park. He also plans to install benches and possibly a swing or two.
The garden park includes four palmetto trees with one in the center. A large wooden crescent moon has been placed above it, representing the emblem on the state flag. The tree and the crescent moon are lit up at night.
Trees that have been planted include dogwoods, sugar maple, fragrant tea olives, green arbor vitae, little gem and star magnolias, red buds, crepe myrtles, holly trees and flowering apricots which are already budding out in pink blossoms.
Shrubs and plants include dwarf spruce, yellow bells, gardenias, camellias and Snow on the Mountain sasanqua, dwarf roses and knock-out roses, oak leaf and limelight hydrangeas, dwarf loropetalum, gold thread cypress, snowball viburnum, cast iron plants, butterfly bushes and lots and lots of azaleas.
Flowers and bulbs selected for the garden include canna lilies, irises, amaryllis, and Mexican petunias. Also 210 daffodils have been planted on every corner.
Come spring Marilyn’s garden will be bursting in color and everyone will get to enjoy this lovely tribute.