By Berklie Haag & Lauren Brant
The Gordon Chamber of Commerce and public congregated at Precious Gardens in Gordon on Thursday, June 21 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
As the public arrived, Madison Miner and Avery Merryman greeted guests and invited them to enter a drawing. The day after the ribbon cutting, owner Joy Hollingsworth had Savannah and Avery Merryman draw a winner. Gordon Mayor Nancy Russell won a free wedding with all expenses paid of an À la carte menu as a showcase of what Precious Gardens offers.
Hollingsworth started on her garden design business venture in 1991, which became a corporation in 2003. She opened Precious Gardens in 2018, located at 221 S. Main St. in Gordon. The business offers services in gardening tips and a beautifully decorated wedding venue.
After being inspired to start her business by her parents Harold and Mabel nearly 40 years ago, Hollingsworth has been determined to see her business blossom into something great. In honor of her parents, three green balloons welcomed guests to Precious Gardens. “We were the three peas in a pod,” she said. “Harold and Mabel, my mom and dad, taught me everything.”
Events held at Precious Gardens are sheer, simple elegance. The venue is available for weddings, renewal of vows, and public commitment ceremonies. Hollingsworth noted that couples can have day, night, full moon, and candlelit weddings. The grounds are available not only for the ceremony but also for photography. Should the weather not permit an outdoor ceremony, an indoor venue can be used as a back-up. In preparation for the wedding, there is a bridal room for the bride and her attendants. The groom has the option of arriving on horseback. “My goal is to make sure it is all about the bride on her special day,” she said.
The bride and groom are responsible for choosing their clergy, purchasing flowers, beverages, and a cake. However, alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
After the commitment ceremony is held, the couple can take their party elsewhere by miniature pony and cart.
Hollingsworth is more than qualified in the area of gardening and outdoor designs. She has achieved Master Gardener status in three states and is an active member in two states’ gardening clubs. She received an honorable mention from Chicago’s Garden. Hollingsworth was honored to be a part of the Annual Garden Walk put on by the Bonita, Calif., Residence program. She was also in contention for Better Homes and Gardens and won the Silver Cup in Coronado, Calif., for gardening.
At this time, Precious Gardens’ only other employee is Bryan Forrester. Hollingsworth refers to him as her Gordon Botanical Bible due to his knowledge of plants.