Slocum Garden Club

A truly beautiful place in May is Shawnee State Park Nature Center, and Slocum Garden Club met there for their May meeting, featuring a picnic, plant exchange and scavenger hunt.

May also brings the arrival of the hummingbird, an interesting bird for gardeners. Although red is a color that attracts them, they also like purple color. The day’s presentation encouraged the use of several specimens that attract hummingbirds, and that are easily grown. The June/July 2019 edition of Birds and Blooms magazine suggests planting purple salvia, hummingbird mint (anise hyssop), bee balm, beardtongue, foxglove, aster, columbine, petunia, butterfly bush and Rose of Sharon. This collection provides color and nutrition throughout the growing season. Foxglove is optional, as it is poisonous to humans if swallowed. Keep feeders clean and use only boiled water and sugar. Feeders should be hung in shady areas to discourage spoilage.

Carla Scifres, Club President conducted the business meeting, welcoming a guest, Cheryl Helphinstine and hostesses Shelby Powell and Anna Cardenas. The hostesses presented gifts of tiny colorful potted cacti from Coleman’s Garden Center to all attendees. Business reports were received and Scifres provided information concerning the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs’ Convention Flower Show Horticulture Division July 18-20, which will feature herbs for judging. Slocum members are growing herbs to be displayed at the September meeting. Information was also available for the Scioto County Fair Flower Show.

Reports were received concerning previous club activities. On April 26, Scifres and Mary Lou Beaumont visited with Jennifer Phillip’s class at Valley High School and assisted students in planting Shumark Oak specimens in cups to take home and transplant and in planting a Blue Spruce on school grounds. Trees were donated by Shawnee State University’s Botany Department, Dickess Tree Farm and the Pike, Scioto Soil and Water Conservation District.

On May 14 club members Sue Leadlingham, Connie Percell, Carol McCain and Mary Lou Beaumont assisted residents of River Bend House Assisted Living Center in Wheelersburg in the creation of colorful planters and a herb/flower/fairy raised bed garden in the facility’s courtyard. Lady Bug Nursery was acknowledged for contributing to this event.

Rounding out the month was a trip to Wahkeena Nature Preserve near Lancaster, Ohio. Members joined other Region 10, Ohio Association of Garden Clubs members for an informative and restful day walking the trails there. The preserve has been in existence for over eighty years. The former resident, a garden club member, and her husband purchased the home and property with the goal of making the preserve as it is today. The home now serves as a lodge-like gathering area where guests view all sorts of animals, birds, and waterfowl that make Ohio their home. The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs has had an amicable and supportive relationship with Wahkeena for many years, contributing to the many projects there. Wahkeena is celebrated as one of the best nature destinations for students in Ohio and an excellent family sojourn.

In closing the meeting, Scifres offered a hint: Keep dirt off lettuce and cabbage leaves in the garden by spreading a1/2 inch layer of mulch (untreated by pesticides or fertilizers) around each plant. This also helps keep the weeds down.

Being in a garden club means members always have exciting and educational opportunities. During April and May, the Slocum Garden Club has traveled to a state forest, a nature center, a nature preserve, greenhouses, garden centers, an arts and craft mall and provided nature-focused outreach activities to high students and assisted living center residents. Successive months will bring as many, if not more, activities.

Who wouldn’t want to join a garden club?! For more information contact 740 352-9046