What do Gardeners do in the cold wintry days of January? They study the environment and birds. Barbara

Howard of the Lucasville Garden Club provided the January program on Feeding & Watching Birds. Howard

reminded members that we have the advantage of living near Shawnee Forest (Ohio’s “Little Smokies”) containing

63,000 acres of forestland. While spring and fall are the best times to observe the resident birds, bird watching

season doesn’t end in Ohio when resident birds head south in late fall. In fact, birding opportunities really heat up in

winter as a wide range of visiting birds wing their way into the Buckeye State and make it their temporary home.

Winter travelers are the northern finches, such as evening grosbeaks, pine siskins, red and white-winged crossbills

and common redpolls. However, in Shawnee’s wide-open spaces, snowbirds such as eagles, hawks and owls are not

uncommon. In fact more than 250 species of birds live in or pass through the Shawnee Forest.

Gardeners can use their own recipe for winter bird food i.e. smear peanut butter on a tree trunk, and poke

some peanut bits into it: or melt suet and pour it into an ice-cube tray to harden, but before it solidifies, add peanut

bits, raisins, apple bits, and finish freezing. With hardly any trouble, you have cubed bird treats—easy to make and

easy to use!

Joan Adaway, President conducted the business meeting, receiving several reports. The club has received

information from the State Highway Dept. that the south garden plot at the intersection of Rt. 348 with Rt. 23 will

be eliminated as a part of a new turn lane for Rt. 23 highway. Discussion centered on the plants to be salvaged

prior to the construction period.

The February meeting will be at Lucasville Entertainment Center and will feature an auction.


Minford Garden Club met at the home of Diane Allen for their January meeting and members were treated

to a romantic program, presented by Brenda Covert.

The program featured “Biblical Flowers” and the romantic feature was discovered in the verses of Song of

Solomon. Within the Old Testament only two flowers are mentioned by name, the rose and the lily. However it is

generally agreed that those were genetic names and may or may not refer to the flowers of today. The terrain of the

Holy Land might have been better conducive to the cyclamen, than our modern lily. Various species of the crocus

also grow well in Palestine. The Hebrew word “Rose” actually translates to “plant with a pungent bulb”, which

hardly describes our present day roses. Also mentioned are the “flowers of the field” and today in Palestine and

Syria, beautiful fields of anemones, bloom from February to April, Covert reminded members that God could create

all the plants in three days, but we should use at least January and February to plan our gardens.

Covert, as president also conducted the business meeting, receiving various reports. Several activities are

planned in celebration of the clubs 80th year in existence. Announcements included, the schedule for design classes

at the home of Irmalee Gampp (Classes are the 1st Thursday of each month, beginning on March 8). Members were

encouraged to participate in the Appreciation Luncheon at Shawnee Lodge in February and to make plans for a trip

to the

Columbus Home and Garden Show in February.

The monthly garden tip was to be aware and increase the indoor humidity for houseplants. The February

meeting will be held on the 8th at the home of Diane Allen.


What goes up, must come down and that is the fact for area Garden Clubs in January, as they dutifully

remove all the Christmas decorations at Shawnee Lodge. This year a group of students from Portsmouth High

School were available to assist with the “take down” and storage of the tree decorations, so everything was smoothly

accomplished before lunch.

President Karen Evans convened the January meeting in the afternoon at the Lodge. Joyce Payton was the

hostess. Evans received the business reports.

Merrill Wood presented the horticulture report. Everyone has encountered Grandma’s name

for the flowers in her garden and we certainly never thought it should be consider scientific. However,

local ordinary names are important, when they can be linked to Plant Classification.

Charles Darwin’s proposed theory of evolution (1859) postulates that, the present day plants

have descended from those existing in the ancient past, through a series of modifications in response to

changing environmental conditions, which means that all present day plants are related to each other in

one way or another, regardless of their names. There are three types of Classifications: 1. Artificial

Classification 2. Natural Classification 3. Phylogenetic Classification. Artificial Classification is based on

one or a few easily recognized characteristics of plants (trees, shrubs, herbs etc.). Natural Classifications

are based on overall resemblances. For example closely related plants are grouped together and a

larger number of characteristics are considered. Phylogentic Classification uses as many characteristics

as possible in addition to the evolutionary interpretation. Simply put, a particular plant must be

identified, then classified as to its family. Plants are important and there is much more to be learned,

than just planting a marigold.

Evans scheduled the February meeting for the 12th and asked that members bring Valentines to

give to the residents at Bridgeport Health Center. Also on the schedule is the Appreciation Luncheon at

Shawnee Lodge on the February 22.