Hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist to give talk about White House Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Arts & Entertainment -

STEVENSVILLE — The Kent Is­land Gar­den Club in­vites the pub­lic to meet Claire Jones, noted hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, land­scape and flo­ral de­signer, at 11 a.m. Fri­day, Nov. 9, at the Kent Is­land Li­brary as she presents a talk about her ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing on White House Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions. Jones was se­lected to par­tic­i­pate in 2011, 2015 and 2017.

The process to ap­ply for this spe­cial op­por­tu­nity be­gins with go­ing to the White House web­site at https:/ www.white­house.gov/ to re­quest an ap­pli­ca­tion. The ap­pli­ca­tion in­cludes a re­quire­ment for a writ­ten es­say ac­com­pa­nied with pho­to­graphs of the author’s flo­ral work. Thou­sands of ap­pli­ca­tions are re­ceived and re­viewed so it is a great honor to be se­lected. The honorees are an­nounced by the White House So­cial Of­fice in Oc­to­ber. Each vol­un­teer ab­sorbs the costs of travel, lodg­ing and most meals. White House does serve lunch each of the five work­ing days. The vol­un­teers be­gin each day at a meet­ing that be­gins at 6:30 a.m. to re­ceive the day’s as­sign­ments.

The dec­o­ra­tions are planned around a dif­fer­ent theme each year. The White House main­tains a ware­house with an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of Christ­mas dec­o­rat­ing ma­te­ri­als from which the vol­un­teers se­lect what they wish to use. The work day be­gins early and lasts un­til that day’s planned dec­o­ra­tion ses­sion is com­pleted. Upon the com­ple­tion of the White House dec­o­ra­tion, each vol­un­teer and a guest is in­vited for an evening re­cep­tion of su­perb food and en­ter­tain­ment to en­joy the magnificent dec­o­ra­tions.

Jones lives in Bal­ti­more County, where she main­tains three hon­ey­bee hives, a large veg­etable gar­den and fruit bushes. She gar­dens or­gan­i­cally and nat­u­rally with the health of the planet in mind.

As the owner of Claire Jones Land­scapes LLC, Jones’ gar­den de­signs have been fea­tured in Ch­e­sa­peake Home, Style Mag­a­zine, Gar­den De­sign and na­tional tours. She is a board mem­ber of the Mary­land Fed­er­ated Gar­den Clubs and a Master Judge. In ad­di­tion, Jones also main­tains the FGCMD Face­book page and she is the author of the ex­ten­sive blog en­ti­tled “The Gar­den Di­aries” cov­er­ing the ups and downs of the gar­den­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

CLAIRE JONES

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