by Michelle Smith, Intern, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Although I caught up with our volunteer of the month, Sherry Giese, just hours before the volunteer-run Spring Plant Sale while energy was high and schedules were hectic, Giese was calm, quite charming, and wore a disarming smile. She is a Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, and has demonstrated her passion for and dedication to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden for nearly 9 years. She explained that she chose to volunteer at the Garden because of her interest in plants. Not only is she a Garden Guide, giving group tours of the Garden, on the weekends, but she is also known to take an entire week’s vacation from her professional job to work the plant sales each year.
Professionally, Giese is a scientist in the epidemiological support department of the state’s Division of Consolidated Laboratories. When asked about what she enjoys doing in her spare time, she quickly jokes, “Well, I don’t keep house very well!” In her spare time, she enjoys running as well as spending time with her three dogs and two birds. Oh, and she is an accomplished runner. She has run in over 24 marathons, 4 of them, the highly competitive Boston Marathon. Let’s face it…she’s impressive!
Before letting Giese get back to work at the plant sale, I asked her one final question: “If you had to use just one word, how would you describe your experience as a volunteer at the Garden?”
“Fabulous. Fantastic. Enriching. There are so many adjectives for this place because it’s become a great part of my life. And the people, the people have become very dear to me and a big part of my life.”
If we were to describe how we feel about Giese in just one word, it would be lucky. The Garden is incredibly lucky to have her. Thank you for all that you do Sherry Giese.