Seeing the recent renovation of the greenhouse at Lake Junaluska deeply moved Barbara Stanton, she said. The improvements enhance the gardening and landscaping initiatives she has helped support as a volunteer for 20 years, and the renovation project was made possible through a charitable gift from her son, Dale Stanton-Hoyle, in her honor. A plaque hanging in the greenhouse says the gift and renovation honors Stanton’s “love of the lake, grounds and natural beauty of God’s creation.”
“Connecting with nature and experiencing the overwhelming beauty of the grounds is a key part of renewal,” said executive director Ken Howle. “This charitable gift to transform the greenhouse today enables Lake Junaluska to continue our mission of renewal well into the future. Because of the generosity of the Stanton-Hoyle family, both residents and visitors will continue to experience the renewing power of these grounds for years to come.”
As part of the renovation, the greenhouse received new plastic and a new water heater, an improved airflow system, strengthened support beams and other equipment updates.
Melissa Tinsley, landscape manager at Lake Junaluska, said the greenhouse looks beautiful and the renovations will make a difference not only in energy efficiency but also to the more than 8,000 plants cultivated there annually.
“This is really going to help us to be more efficient and provide more even heat to our greenhouse, which allows us to produce better, healthier plants,” said Tinsley. The new greenhouse heater is 97 percent efficient, she said.
A renovation celebration event in late August featured remarks, a prayer of dedication and ribbon-cutting in which Stanton and Tinsley used garden shears to cut a ribbon held by Howle and Roddy Ray. Ray is the retired Lake Junaluska landscape manager under whom the greenhouse was established and the renovation project initiated.Stanton said she has enjoyed working with Ray and the garden club over the years because the gardens are such an important part of the experience of visiting Lake Junaluska.
“When I‘m walking around, it’s so nice to hear people say, ‘Oh, it’s looking so good this year,’” said Stanton. “It’s very rewarding.”
She traces her personal love of gardening to age 7, when her family had a victory garden.
“We planted food to eat during the war, and that was in 1941,” said Stanton. “Every year, I would help dad out a little bit. Mom had flowers too, and they had shrubbery and trees. After I was married and the kids were little, whenever we came back home, we would go see the garden, and eat tomatoes, turnips or whatever was growing.”
As she and her husband, Donald Stanton, a retired elder in The United Methodist Church, worked in ministry over the years, she continued to take part in gardening and beautification efforts.Then when the couple moved to Lake Junaluska, a place they knew well from attending events and family vacations, she quickly became involved with the garden club. She has done everything from assist with fund-raising craft events to making red bows for Christmas wreaths along the Rose Walk. She has worked in the Butterfly Garden, Biblical Garden, the Corneille Bryan Native Garden, Inspiration Point and other spots, and she knows firsthand how important the greenhouse is to enable Lake Junaluska to grow just the right plants for specific locations and gardens.
“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to work with so many fine people here at the lake,” said Stanton. “I enjoy so much living here, being here and being able to share Lake Junaluska.”
Lake Junaluska is a conference and retreat center and residential community that surround a 200-acre mountain lake in Western North Carolina. Lake Junaluska’s mission is to be a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.
Lake Junaluska Communications