“Signs of Spring” was the hopeful topic for the March meeting of Slocum Garden Club. Hostesses Beverly Norman and Teresa Book provided a St. Patrick’s Day décor and members shared spring photos of their yards with early flowers, birds, and rainbows.
The program was “Signs of Spring, Birds in the Garden”, and members received the National Wildlife Federation’s handout, “Create a Bird-friendly Habitat”. Key points in the handout were: provide water year-round, install native plants, remove invasive plants from your wildlife habitat, eliminate insecticides in your yard, keep standing dead trees (snags) which provide cavities for nesting and insects, put out nesting boxes, build a brush pile in the corner of your yard, offer food in feeders, reduce lawn area to reduce time spent on mowing, applying fertilizer and watering, observe and identify your bird visitors and keep cats inside. Cats are the #1 killer of songbirds worldwide.
If you are interested in nesting boxes here are a few rules: nesting boxes must have ventilation holes near the top (but not in the top, as water will leak in) and drainage holes below; do not install a perch, as certain birds will sit on the perch and peck at the birds inside; monitor the boxes for invasive species such as European starlings or house sparrows, which are known to harm or outcompete our native species.
National Wildlife Federation’s “Certified Wildlife Habitat Distinction Award” recognizes individuals for their sustainable wildlife practices. Getting certified is as simple as providing birds with food, water, cover and places to raise their young through sustainable gardening techniques such as eliminating pesticides, conserving water and planting native species. Often a person will explore the requirements and realize that they already meet the criteria. Once certified the recipient receives inclusion in the National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat national network, a personalized certificate, an optional press release to share with local media, if interested, a subscription to the National Wildlife magazine, a 10% discount on nesting boxes, feeders, birdbaths and other products from National Wildlife catalog, plus eligibility to purchase and post an attractive yard sign to display your commitment to wildlife and the environment. Is it possible to live in a city and obtain this certification? Yes! For more information about this certification process, contact nwf.org/garden.
The business meeting was conducted by President Carla Scifes. Her announcements contained information on the April 18 Ohio Association of Garden Clubs, Region 10 Spring meeting in Lawrence County at the Dickess Tree Farm. Another opportunity mentioned was April 12 evening presentation of “What’s Hot and What’s Not in Flowers for 2019” by Natrop’s Nursery in Mason, Ohio at the Hampton Inn on Vine Street, Cincinnati.
Scifes also acknowledged the work of Mary Lou Beaumont, Sue Leadingham, Carol McCain and Teresa Book at the February Garden Therapy session at Wheelersburg’s River Bend House Assisted Living Center, where participants fashioned painted potpourri filled sachets. March activity will feature the making of a Spring-themed wreath.
March tip was provided by Book: paint handles of your garden tools with a bright color other than green to help find them among your plants.
Spring is here! Get out the bird book, take a walk and put out the bird feed. Put some sugar water, oranges or other fruit out to attract orioles and hummingbirds, then watch the show. Contact 740-352-9046 to obtain more information about garden club activities.