The gardens that surround Merrehope highlight its classic beauty. Without the work of volunteers, the landscaping would not be able to attract brides-to-be and bus loads of tourists interested in possibly moving to Meridian.
Merrehope dates back to the 1850s. It was restored in 1968.
Keeping up the large gardens is not exactly easy, but the results are awe inspiring. This year, with the help of Meridian Board of Realtors, the gardens will be more breathtaking than ever.
"It's just an honor to be able to come out and work on the community. I remember coming here as a child," said Angel Callahan, with Boyd Williams Realty. "I think the community just holds some people that will work and support things like this so our children will be able to enjoy Merrehope and the trees and other things like that at Christmas that they support."
April is Keep America Beautiful Month and Mayor Barry continues to ask local volunteers to become involved in her Beautify Meridian campaign.
More members of the community are asked to become involved in keeping the landscape surrounding Merrehope nice enough to attract the weddings and private parties that fund the mansion's museum. Another reason to keep Merrehope beautiful is simply preserving one of the oldest relics in Meridian.
"Merrehope and the FW Williams building have been here a long time and we have different people that come into Meridian and we want everyone to be proud and for it to look good," said Joann McPherson of Pigford & Corey. "So we're just giving a couple of days to Merrehope and the community so that it'll show good."
Next on the list of things to do is cut down two small trees located in the center of the side garden, so that more tents can be set up, mainly to be used at weddings."
This Friday tour buses from Florida will stop by Merrehope and the Meridian Board of Realtors hopes to have most of the gardens weeded and planted by then. However work will continue on through the summer. If you would like to help, just show up and grab a rake.