A new garden celebrating the changing of the seasons was dedicated on Clock Tower Hill on Wednesday to a woman who has been constant in her love for all things Rome: Anne Culpepper.
The As Time Goes By Garden, located on the eastern flank of the Clock Tower, was designed by John Schulz for visitors to have the ability to walk through it once a month as the blooms reflect the changing time of year.
Plants in the garden include camellias, drift and coral drift roses, gold mount spirea, hydrangea, frost proof gardenia, autumn fern, “stained glass” hosta, dogwood trees, tea olive tree, the buddleia butterfly bush and much more.
Retired city manager John Bennett told a large crowd that he could always handle tourism directors Diana Shadday and Lisa Smith one-on-one, “but when they brought Anne I knew it was the end of the line, and you knew you just had to figure out how you were going to pay for it.”
Bennett explained that over the last several decades, Culpepper has had a hand in just about everything going on tourism-wise, in Rome and Floyd County.
Culpepper said she wished she had kept track of how many school children she had led on tours of the Clock Tower over the years.
“I do think it’s the most beautiful building in Rome,” Culpepper said.
She recalled her multiple thousands of hours of volunteer service to the community with a story about a youngster who saw Culpepper and asked his parents “isn’t that the cemetery lady?” referring to her tours of Myrtle Hill.
“You get so much more than you give,” Culpepper said as she thanked city officials and the tourism office staff. “They let me build my own agenda and I loved every minute of it.”
“She’s just a charming, gracious lady and beacon of Southern hospitality,” Bennett said.