Regional garden meeting held

Slocum Garden Club joined the Portsmouth Garden Club on April 19 to host the spring regional meeting of Region 10, Ohio Association of Garden Clubs at Shawnee State Park Lodge.

The theme for the day-long meeting was “Greening It Up.” Region 10 encompasses Pike, Scioto, Lawrence and Adams counties. Sheila Tackett, Rock Hill Garden Club, is Region 10 director, and conducted the day-long meeting. The lodge provided a buffet breakfast and a sit-down luncheon.

Tackett chaired the morning business meeting, receiving reports from several regional divisions. Beverly Norman provided information concerning the exhibitor’s and judge’s school agendas for the 2018 spring and summer sessions. Certificates were awarded to clubs for 2016-17 programming and publicity efforts. Many clubs received superior awards, and Slocum Garden Club was recognized with a distinction of excellence for publicity efforts. Mary Lou Beaumont, Slocum Garden Club, was named Region 10 Outstanding Garden Club Member Of the Year, joining Marty McGraw of the Rock Hill Gardening Club as Outstanding Amateur Gardener, and Ironton Garden Club as Outstanding Garden Club for 2016-17.

The morning session presentation was delivered by Irmalee Gampp, Minford Garden Club. Gampp spoke about the availability and the maintenance of succulents. Gampp is a well-known floral designer, and she demonstrated her design talents in creating several lovely planters using a variety of succulents. She stressed that one should choose a healthy plant in the beginning, and provide a container and soil that is well drained. Care must be given in the watering schedule. As a generous ending, she donated several succulent planters as gifts.

Region 10 designers had completed a beautiful flower show in the conference room, and accredited OAGC Flower Show Judge Diane Reese made the announcement of blue ribbon winners. The winners are Jean Moore, Miniatures & Award of Distinction; Beverly Norman, Small Design & Daffodil & Foliage plant specimens; Ginny Moore, creative design; Robin Hanning, Table Setting & Tulip specimen; Angie Strickland, Best of Show; Diane Allen, daffodil specimen; Joyce Rombaker, spring flower; Pat Unger, Blooming House Plant & Best of Show; Lyric Bare and Zoey Cooper, Special Junior Class; and Abbi Dunn, who swept the Junior Horticulture Class with her forsythia, quince and redbud specimens.

The afternoon session welcomed Andrea Moore, park naturalist with Hocking Hills State Park, and her presentation of “Mindful Gardening,” a well-orchestrated appeal to honor earth’s plants and animals in gardening choices and practices.

The meeting ended with the presentation of door prizes.

Slocum Garden Club promotes gardening

Slocum Garden Club toured the Gladys Riley Golden Star Lily Nature Preserve at Otway in April. This local preserve is situated on protected land once owned by the Riley and Ralston-Ivers families. It contains walking paths, bridges and a stunning pastoral setting reflective of days gone by. Gladys Riley was a beloved first grade teacher at Otway Elementary School, where she would often walk with students through nearby woods, bringing their nature studies to life.

In 2005, the Arc of Appalachia purchased the family plot, assuring a more secure future for the rare Golden Star Lily. This preserve is the only habitat in Ohio and surrounding states for this rare lily, however many other wildflowers were also in bloom. The preserve is near the Otway Covered Bridge and Recreation Complex, making a perfect spot for an interesting tour in Scioto County.

Club members met for a brunch at Barlow’s Kitchen Restaurant in Lucasville prior to the tour, where hostesses Connie Percell and Rebecca Holt provided lovely spring gifts. President Carla Scifres conducted a brief business meeting. Discussion focused on the club’s involvement in the spring meeting of Region 10 Ohio Association of Garden Clubs, plans to participate in the OAGC State Convention, and the exhibitor’s and judges’ school at Deer Creek State Park April 9 and 10.

Mary Lou Beaumont reported on plans for a May garden therapy activity at Wheelersburg’s Riverbend House Assisted Living Center. The club will assist with providing a new fairy garden in a large raised bed at the facility.

During the horticulture discussion, the topics were pruning and dividing spring plants, and tree planting in conjunction with the OAGC’s initiative for garden clubs to plant trees in 2018. Members learned to prune forsythia once it blooms, divide hostas before they come into leaf and plant summer blooming lilies, bulbs, ranunculus and gladiolus in the spring. Two members were acknowledged for tree activity: Brooks Sexton for having had a tree planted on the Shawnee State University campus and to Beaumont for her participation in the Tree City USA Awards Luncheon at SSU. Earth Day activities included planting a cherry tree in Greenlawn Cemetery.

Cemetery beautification began in Victorian times when gravesites often contained flower garden plots where family members would gather for afternoon picnics. This activity was so popular that families applied in advance for an admission ticket to schedule an afternoon at the cemetery. Happily, this is a trend now in many cities, as cemeteries were America’s first public parks. In the French tradition, graves were built into raised garden areas with stone borders. Many still exist, and the trend is growing.

The meeting ended with an auction.

Minford Garden Club turns 80

Minford Garden Club met during April at the Minford Regional Airport to discuss plans for the early spring. Early in May, the club will travel to Four Mile Nursery in Jackson to enjoy the huge inventory of bedding plants. Later in May, some members will be attending the Nature Study Retreat in Geneva, with naturalist Steve McKee as a guide.

2018 marks the 80th anniversary for Minford Garden Club, and the club is planning several celebratory events, including a published cookbook.

The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs has many opportunities for garden club members.

Among the opportunities was a trip to the Philadelphia Garden Show. Member Diane Allen and her husband attended the “Wonders of Water Display,” and she shared the highlights. Many of America’s leading floral and garden designers created tropical rain forest, native woodlands and arid landscapes showcasing the beautiful horticulture that grows in each environment. There were also side trips to “Fallingwater,” the iconic home built by Frank Lloyd Wright featuring a mountain waterfall, and a short visit to Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.

Another opportunity, OAGC Exhibitors & Judges School was enjoyed by three members, Faye McGinnis, Irmalee Gampp and Allen. A comprehensive program in design, showing and judging, and plant identification is offered during a two-day school at Deer Creek State Park, Mt. Sterling.

The Bennett Cemetery entrance is one of the club’s beautification projects, and in April, members cleaned and prepared the area for planting in May.

President Brenda Covert chaired the April meeting, and received the business reports.

She announced the spring regional meeting, and suggested that members enter the flower show.

She also noted that design classes are continuing at the home of Irmalee Gampp on the first Thursday of each month, and registration is not required. She suggested that members remember that spring is a great time to plant summer bulbs.