March 2007 - Column:

Spring Container Gardening
with Sue Gagliardi and Sonia Cargile

Members enjoy a visit to the Southeastern Flower Show in early February.
Fran Haakmeester, Gordon Griffith and Nancy Popp discuss the next stage in development of the Garden Trail.

Barbara Barnett, Pam Epstein and Lee Updegraff take a first look at the completed scrap book of 2006 events.

Blossom Holyoak, Carol Haas and Barbara Hill work out the details for the Club's opening meeting in March.

April’s Wildflower Bunch meeting promises to be very popular.  Container Gardening topped the list of requested topics when Program Vice President, Barbara Barnett surveyed the membership at the end of last year.

Sue Gagliardi and Sonia Cargile have been members of the Garden Club for a number of years.  Sue is a former President and Sonia was one of the presenters when the club looked at “Protecting your Garden from Deer” last August.  On Wednesday, April 4 at 1 PM in the Broyles Center, they will provide a demonstration of Container Gardening for spring.

Monthly meetings are open to all.  We love to welcome new members, but we also encourage anyone who has not been a member in the past to attend two meetings as our guest before deciding to join.

New Venue for Plant Sale
April 13 – 14.

The annual Big Canoe Plant Sale will be held at the Wildcat Recreation Area, on Wildcat Parkway on Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14.  (From the North Gate, take a right on Wildcat Parkway, the recreation area is on your left.)  The sale will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. 

The extensive inventory includes deer resistant plants for sun and shade and as well as plants used by Sue Gagliardi and Sonia Cargile in their spring Container Gardening demonstration.  Fern Ridge Farms will return as a Vendor this year offering visitors a wide variety of ferns.  Soil amendments will also be available for purchase.

Cynthia Hendry and her committee of Wildflower Bunch volunteers will be on hand throughout the sale to assist and advise on appropriate choices of trees, shrubs and smaller plants.  Proceeds from the sale help to support projects undertaken by the Garden Club including the Garden Trail.

A Busy Start to the Gardening Year

The Club extends thanks to Cynthia Hendry for providing an informative slide show at its opening meeting in March.  New and returning members enjoyed a quiche and salad lunch before listening to Cynthia’s presentation.

Prior to the March meeting, several members attended the Southeastern Flower Show at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, while and another group visited Piccadilly Farms, near Athens for Hellebore Days.

For February’s Wonderful Wednesday, members enjoyed a visit to Jim Gibbs’ garden to see a dazzling display of daffodils.  Originally scheduled for Feb 21, the visit was postponed for a week as the daffodils were a little behind schedule.  The brilliance of the blooms at the end of the month made the wait worthwhile.

Wildflower Walk In Long Swamp Gorge 

Readers of this article have only a few days to register for the upcoming Wildflower Walk, led by Don Wells and Jim Smith, to Long Swamp Gorge.  Reservations are required for this walk, which is for members only.  It is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21 with a rain date of March 28.  Be sure to check your Alpha Boxes for registration details.    

Board Welcomes Nancy Popp

After several years on the Wildflower Bunch Board, including a year as President of the Club, Donna Wright has stepped down as Parliamentarian. 

Donna has been an instigator in the research of Indian Trail Trees in and around Big Canoe and active in the development of the wetland area of the Garden Trail.  She has taught container gardening at the Plant Sale and has led the Christmas tree ornament workshop.  The Board is grateful to Donna for all her help and delighted to know that she will continue as an active member of the Club.

Her place as Parliamentarian will be taken by Nancy Popp, also a former President and enthusiastic member of the Wildflower Bunch.  Welcome back, Nancy. 

Horticultural Tip of the Month

Time to PruneWax myrtle is a regular in the landscapes of Big Canoe.  This fast growing broadleaf evergreen shrub can reach 15 to 20 feet high and wide and sometimes as much as 5 feet in height and width in a single growing season.

A favorite of homeowners as a screen plant or informal hedge, the wax myrtle is also popular with birds, which use it for food and shelter.  When planted in partial shade to full sun, Wax Myrtles do not require a lot of maintenance, but their shape will improve with pruning in early spring.

Knowing how big a shrub is likely to grow once it matures is an important consideration when planting and may minimize the need for aggressive pruning, but pruning helps to open a plant to sunlight and air and encourages growth from the center of the shrub.  Pruning generally improves the health of a plant.

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