Garden clubs prepare for summer


May brings is a busy month for garden clubs as members are eager to find new plants and actually start the garden. During May, Slocum Garden Club also investigated the relationship between wildlife and gardening.

Members presented, as their education exhibit, types of feeders and feed which attract birds and sometimes other creatures. A variety of feeders containing fine and tiny seeds for finches, black oil sunflower seeds, mixed seeds of corn, grains and millet, suet, meal worms, fruits and nuts will assure a variety of birds flock to the backyard. President Carla Scifres distributed and outlined an article from BBC Nature, which suggests ways to help attract wildlife, and included the recommendations of Helen Bostock, Royal Horticultural Society specialist. In a nod to English fashion, members donned “fascinators” and listened to the BBC recommendations.

Scrifres spoke of the importance of bugs and insects to a garden as a food source for other creatures. She suggested leaving a garden with good access to other gardens and wild spaces, if possible. These areas provide creature safety. Trees provide not only nesting spots, but fruit for foxes and deer. Hedgerows provide essential cover and corridors for small mammals. One should provide a range of flowers with differing blooming times, also. Leave some lawn untrimmed, as long grasses are essential for egg-laying insects, while taller flowers attract bees and dragonflies. Provide night blooming flowers for moths and bats, and provide windbreaks with trellis and evergreens. Assure a water source for amphibians. Compost heaps offer a warm home to reptiles as well as a great source of nutrients for one’s garden.

Bostock’s top 10 picks for plants and wildlife are sunflower, foxglove, thyme, lavender, honeysuckle, rowan, ice plant, firethorn and barberry.

Discussion was given the plight of the monarch butterfly. The world has lost 90 percent of its monarch butterflies. This crisis is so serious that the Environmental Defense Fund has launched an initiative to pay farmers to plant milkweed and maintain a percentage of their acreage for the purpose of assuring a monarch habitat. Gardeners also need to plant milkweed, as monarchs lay their eggs only on milkweed.

The May meeting was held at the Mackletree Road picnic shelter near Lake Roosevelt.

Scrifries conducted a brief business meeting, receiving reports and making announcements. She thanked Teresa Book, Mary Lou Beaumont and Sue Leadingham for their assistance in delivering a garden therapy activity in April at River Bend House in Wheelersburg, where residents created baskets of live flowers. She also welcomed guests Janet Day and Richard Duffney.

Several important flower shows are scheduled for the summer, and members were encouraged to participate in the show at OAGC Convention and the Scioto County Fair.

The club enjoyed several “gardeners day out” excursions in early May, traveling to Minford’s Lady Bug, Minford and 4-Mile greenhouses Jackson, 2nd Street garden centers, Portsmouth, and Hardin’s and Imel’s greenhouses in Kentucky.

Mary Lou Beaumont informed the club of an offer from Shawnee State University officials to Region 10 garden club members to tour the SSU greenhouse and be given plants grown there. The activity is planned for mid-June, and Scifies, who serves on the Region 10, will notify clubs as the event is finalized.

It was noted that several members participated in planting a cherry tree at Portsmouth’s Greenlawn Cemetery on Earth Day, and members will plant a dogwood tree in Porter Township Community Park in memory of those who lost their lives in the 1968 tornado at Wheelersburg.

The meeting was adjourned with a horticulture hint: control powdery mildew on your plants by spraying with a mixture of one part milk and nine parts water. A club competition for the summer will be growing a coleus tree, to be judged in September. Other plans include the visit to Shawnee State University greenhouses and area urban gardens; the OAGC Convention and the June club meeting at Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center in Rockbridge, with a stop at Lunch in the Park, Waverly, for a plant sale offered by the Pike County garden clubs.

Want t o join a garden club? Contact 740-352-9046.


Members of Minford Garden Club met in May to celebrate their 80th anniversary at the home of Carolyn Wilcox. Hostess for this Garden Party was Beth Bennett, and she presided at a beautifully decorated table, featuring, an antique candelabra, with vases of roses on a floral covered table.

So, it was 1938 when the ladies formed the very first meeting of Minford Garden Club.

In 1938, Minford was very “country,” and a garden first contained vegetables for the family dinner table, excess to take to the neighbors and enough to preserve for winter. Then the ladies added flowers and shrubs. But the garden was not frivolous or for show, as it was necessary to the family welfare. One should note that there were no power tools, insecticides or fertilizers. Even so, the members of Minford Garden Club (1938) were eager gardeners, respectful of the environment. Our mothers and grandmothers spent hours in the garden, hoe in hand, from April through the fall months growing and then preserving the bounty of the garden. Utility is a requirement, but the ladies could not resist the beauty of a rose bush or a row of marigolds. We are forever in their debt for the legacy of gardening.

President Brenda Covert reviewed all the coming activities related to the 80th anniversary, and received the business reports. The designer “school” at the home of Irmalee Gampp will convene at 10 a.m. June 12, and is open to all Region 10 gardeners. Covert offered a garden tip: June is a good time to prune azaleas, lilacs and forsythia after the blooms fade.


May is the perfect month for Gardeners Day Out programs, as they entail traveling. Green Triangle Club members traveled to neighboring Greenup to visit Imel’s Garden Center, where everything was available for the spring garden. The fairy garden is a current favorite, and many items were on display along with perennials, herbs and annuals.

Merrill Wood provided the horticulture report on summer flowering bulbs. Summer bulbs provide some dazzling color for the summer garden, and they include dahlias, oriental candalla lilies, gladiolas and cannas. They should be planted in well-drained soil, with plenty of light and air. Plan a space of 18” to 20” between bulb, for growth and air circulation. Fertilize and water when the soil is dry, preferably in the morning or early afternoon to enable foliage time to dry before nightfall.

President Karen Evans presided at the short business meeting, and received a number of reports.

During April, Green Triangle members hosted a therapy session at Bridgeport Health Care Center. They assisted residents in completing Easter decorations. Therapy enables elderly patients to use their motor skills and achieve the pleasure of creating something lovely for their rooms. It is a pleasure for the members participating and the elderly residents.

The June meeting will be at the home of Helen Hale, and will feature a program by John Simon.