Horticulturalist to give talk about White House Christmas decorations
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.