Clarence M. “Zig” Ziegler

Clarence M. “Zig” Ziegler

“A rose is a rose is a rose” may be true but a magnificent garden needs more than just “seed money.” Happily, as the idea for a Sandhills Horticultural Garden complex was developing, volunteers stepped up to form the Sandhills Horticultural Society to raise the money needed for the expansion. “The Ebersole Holly Garden was the first garden, followed by the Sir Walter Raleigh Garden,” recalls Clarence M. “Zig” Ziegler, the first treasurer of the Sandhills Horticultural Society. “We had talented students who could do the work and leaders with vision such as department head Fred Garrett. What we needed was more money.”

Mr. Ziegler, a former Air Corps pilot and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, had moved to this area after retiring from 33 years at the telephone company. “I had many transfers over the years. In fact, the house I’m living in now is my tenth house,” he says. “I really enjoyed landscaping so I started taking classes at Sandhills. Next thing I know, I’m involved with the Horticultural Society.”

This dedicated volunteer had a three-part plan for the organization to raise money for garden expansion: contact garden clubs in the area for help, ask every person you know to donate, and have the Horticultural Society hold plant sales. The plan was a resounding success.

“The people of this area have been so generous, including great help from the local businesses,” he says. “Most gratifying of all was the wonderful work by the students, using the money we raised to create tremendous gardens.”

Mr. Ziegler’s involvement with the Horticultural Society and the Gardens continued for decades. He also has been a substantial and frequent donor and served on the Board of the Sandhills Foundation.

His contributions and efforts will never be forgotten. Sandhills Horticultural Gardens, twelve lovely themed gardens now on 32-acres, draws visitors from around the world.