January 7, 2014
Green Triangle Garden Club
Green Triangle members met in November at Shawnee State Lodge and received a snack pack from President Karen Evans. Each particle in the package had a Thanksgiving theme: Pretzels, represent arms folded in prayer; Bugles are a symbol of the cornucopia; Candy corn is reminder that the pilgrims were rationed to five kernels per day; the peanuts recall seeds saved for next year’s planting and the chocolate was an extra, just because everything is better with chocolate.
The horticulture report discussed the wintering of houseplants. Some indications of distress in houseplants are: browning of leaf edges, wilting foliage, lack of bloom, fuzzy mold on dirt or leaves yellowing leaves or poor growth habits. The indoor gardener needs to be aware of the overall humidity, which can be detrimental to plants and to humans. If the humidity is low, changes are the temperature is high. For plants a misting can be beneficial, and perhaps the heat could be adjusted for each room. Just as bad is over watering, plants thrive best with a period of drying out, and too much moisture encourages mold and a build up of salt. Moderation is the answer, or completely repotting along with an improved watering schedule. If mold develops, the plant will need to be thoroughly cleaned and repotted. Blooming plants require adequate light, and need to be positioned near a window or under a lamp. The best advise is always a clean plant, devoid of dead growth, judicially fertilized and tended with filtered water. Plants, like babies require a good atmosphere and tender love and care.
Evans recognized three guests, Joyce Hanna, Art Cardenas, and Rosario Cooper. She received the business reports and made assignments for the December hostess duties at Bridgeport Retirement Facility. Hazel Piatt and Shelby Powell will serve as hosts and members will be bringing gifts for residents. She announced the Christmas Flower Show scheduled for December at Glendale Community Center and the Shawnee Lodge Open House. The December Christmas meeting will be at Dakota’s Restaurant.
Slocum Garden Club
Slocum Garden Club’s December meeting site was at the home of Karen Beasley and featured a home flower show, critiqued by Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Judge Jean Moore of Region 10. The show featured designs not commonly seen at flower shows: illumination, reflection and armature. Diane Reese chose a reflective design; Mary Lou Beaumont’s design featured illumination; while Beverly Norman choose the armature. Show winners were: Reese’s reflective design as Best of Show; Beaumont’s white fir earned Best of Show in the horticulture class; and Abigail Dunn’s wrapped Christmas present was awarded 1st place in the junior class. OAGC encourages club flower shows, as they provide club members a chance to present their ideas without pressure and as a learning tool. Club members are never required to enter flower shows, but find attending them fun and educational.
Beaumont presented a horticulture program concerning the folklore and mythology around Christmas mistletoe, a parasite plant, which must live on a host plant. While no one knows for certain when the practice of kissing under a sprig of mistletoe began, literature finds references as early as the 16th century in England, where the practice was quite popular. Perhaps the practice originated in pre-Christian Europe where mistletoe represented divine male essence (and thus romance, fertility and vitality). (Wikipedia). Cornish tradition holds that mistletoe was once a fine tree and was the wood chosen for the Cross, thus afterwards it was condemned to be a parasite. Another custom encourages the hanging of mistletoe in the house year-round, so as to protect the household from lightning and fire.
In the United States, Washington Irving (The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.), in 1820 described the custom of a young man kissing a girl under the mistletoe, leading to our custom today. Beaumont had secured mistletoe shot out of treetops near Greenup, Ky., and provided members with a take home sprig.
Slocum, along with Willow and Minford Garden Clubs sponsored an annual Christmas Flower Show entitled, “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas”, December 5 at the Glendale Community Center in Clarktown. Seven designs and numerous cuttings of evergreen and berries were entered. The show was judged by Beverly Norman, OAGC judge and Carolyn Wilcox was awarded the Best of Show ribbon, while William Dunn received Best of Show, for his holly sprig in the Junior Horticulture. President Teresa Book conducted the business meeting, receiving reports concerning a sale at the Shawnee State Park Lodge’s Open House, of ornaments and garlands crafted by members. Rose Mary Montavon reported that participants in the club’s garden therapy program at Adult Daily Living, Best Care, Wheelersburg will enjoy a special Christmas craft at their December session.
Members will join other Region 10 clubs at Shawnee State Park Lodge on January 6 to disassemble decorations there. New members are welcome. Call 776-3267 for information.
Portsmouth Garden Club
December is a holiday month, and Portsmouth Garden Club celebrated with a meeting at Oscar’s Restaurant, resplendent with holiday decorations. Shanna Henson presided at the short business meeting, receiving reports and making announcements of coming events. Christmas usually requires a tree and perhaps a poinsettia. Dolly Cole presented the December horticulture program and she advised that if you care for the poinsettia properly, you won’t have to throw it out with your tree. You must start with a healthy plant, so look for a plant with dark green foliage and leaves that aren’t wilted. The red “leaves” should be completely, brightly colored and free of any signs of insect infestation. As the plant is tropical, you should insulate it with plastic before leaving the store if it’s cold outside. After the holidays, remove the poinsettia from its container and place it in a slightly larger pot so that it has room to grow and expand, using fresh, high-quality potting soil in the new pot. Poinsettias like plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, but they are sensitive to extreme temperatures, so don’t place them in direct sunlight, or next to a heater or a drafty window. A daytime temperature between 65 and 80 degrees and nights around 60 degrees will provide perfect conditions for continued growth. They prefer humid conditions, so you may want to mist your poinsettia from a spray bottle daily. In the spring prune the plant back to approximately a 6″ to 8″ height using hand pruners. Prune a couple more inches of growth in late summer to keep the plant compact and manageable as it grows through the fall. In September, you should move the plant into a closet, or a simple trick is to use an empty box covered in black plastic as a cover during evenings and mornings for up to 8 weeks—even incidental glare from outside streetlights, for example, is out of the question Uncover or move it back into its sunny spot during the daytime. Once the red color returns to the plant, you can leave it in its usual full-time spot near a window, etc. A general, all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer used at half-strength is a good choice every two to three weeks. The party atmosphere continued with games and raffles.