Renovation of the Entler Hotel Garden, Historic Shepherdstown Museum

The work party

Several members of the Shenandoah Garden Club, Peggy Bowers (the project’s landscape architect), and several members of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission (HSC) showed up, armed with trowels, garden gloves, bug spray, and lots of enthusiasm. As Sue Guay of the Shenandoah Garden Club described it  – It was Planting Day! And they were there to put into their new home over 200 perennial plants which had been purchased in a joint project between the garden club and HSC. Hydrangea, hosta, amsonia, polygonatum (Solomon’s Seal), iris, clematis, astilbe, Lenten rose, cone flower, and ferns, as well a few large shrubs, will bloom and grace these newly-refurbished gardens.

In 2008, Shenandoah Garden Club had received a $9,000 grant from the Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council to renovate this same space at the Entler. The funding for the original project was generated by the sale of tickets to the annual House and Garden Tour that year. This generous gift made possible the renovation of the Entler Hotel flower beds; the installation of landscaping including boxwoods, ferns, fothergilla; and the enlargement of the flagstone patio. Using this grant the Historic Shepherdstown Commission was able to have the yard graded, replace plant material, define the beds, and enlarge the flagstone patio.

Many of those plants installed sixteen years ago have grown and flourished and have become a bit unruly; many have run their course and have died. The large flower bed, the centerpiece of the Entler’s patio area, now consisted of a large bed of…mulch!

The Entler Hotel needed help.

The Shenandoah Garden Club needed a “Small Project.”

The Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council needed garden clubs to apply for an annual grant, called “Small Project Awards,” which uses funds generated from the annual House and Garden Tour to fund community beautification projects.

It was a three-way match, and luckily Shenandoah Garden Club Vice President Mary O’Hara knew about all three organizations. She contacted Susan Guay, Chair of the Club’s Project Committee, and the ball began to roll. Mary is also a member of Historic Shepherdstown and a docent at the museum. She contacted Dave Pugh,  the Vice President of  HSC, who was delighted to learn that the Entler was being considered for the grant. Ms O’Hara then called Peggy Bowers to request assistance with this project, and Ms Bowers agreed to participate. She donated a landscape plan, developed a plant list, and even drove to Pennsylvania to pick up the plants.

Meanwhile, Ms Guay waded through pages of grant application, made phone calls, wrote, re-wrote, changed, modified, and edited the paperwork. She was thrilled to find out that the application had been approved by the Council, and the project was awarded $1,000, which was matched by  Historic Shepherdstown Commission. That $2,000 purchased nearly 285 perennial plants and shrubs.

The newly-planted perennials are now flourishing in their new, spacious beds.  Next time you are on German Street, look through the wrought iron fence next to the Entler into the garden, or better yet, visit the museum at the weekend and come in and enjoy it up close.  Historic Shepherdstown is most grateful to the Shenandoah Garden Club, in particular Mary O’Hara and Sue Guay and to Peggy Bowers for her inspired design work and plant knowledge.