Garden Week in Georgia: Sharing a Little Peace of Our Gardens by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe with a Little Help from My Friends

Garden Week in Georgia: Sharing a Little Peace of Our Gardens by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe with a Little Help from My Friends

One of the things I love about being part of a community of gardeners is getting to share plants with each other. Whether you are the giver or the receiver, when you share plants, you are sharing a teeny tiny part of the happiness and peace that gardening brings. To close out Garden Week in Georgia, here’s a peek at RGC members sharing pieces of plants and the peace of their gardens.

Dotty E – Due to a new fence and other challenges in my back yard, I had to completely redo areas of it. Florence Anne graciously shared her Mahonia and Lenten Roses with me. This is the area along the fence line that I have named Florence Anne’s garden.

Dotty EI’m just now planting Solomon Seal and Hardy Chinese Ground orchids in my garden thanks to Carolyn. You can see it’s a work in progress in this area of filtered sun and shade. Soil has been amended, light pine straw mulch added. and I will probably check on them at least three times a day, every day. This section will be referred to as Carolyn’s garden.

 

Linda Lee – My sweet friend Marcia gave me some Spiderwort years ago. It comes up every year plus explodes all over the yard. Ever indebted to her.

Linda B – This Chinese ground orchid came from Carolyn when we had a garden club pass along plant day. I love it!

 

 

 

 

 

Florence Anne – Trilliums on the path leading down to my oriental strolling garden along the creek from Nancy. They are special to me because, well, they are from Nancy! Every time I see them or another volunteer popping up around them, I think of her.

 

 

Gretchen – The one I could have shared a year ago is a miniature Japanese Maple, in a pot, that I bought about 8 years ago from a grower who spoke to our club. Sadly, last year the deer started to include this in their diet. And, it has lost its shape. It now resides on the porch, out of reach of the deer. I am about to move it to our daughter’s home…she also lives in Roswell but not in a deer path.

Gretchen – The beautiful ground orchid, or Bletilla, in the center of the flowers was a donation to one of our plant sales by Carolyn. I have several different types of plants that originated in Carolyn’s garden. This orchid is very hardy and survives with almost no attention.

Some of my Spanish Bluebells, Hyacinthoides Hispanica, are in the background.  These are a favorite spring bulb and are planted by the house as well as in my garden area in our woods.  They last well and are not eaten by deer!! That is a Camellia in the background. One bluebell clump’s foliage was sampled by deer this year, but just one. Hoping he/she had a wicked stomach ache!

 

Suzy-The picture at the top of this post is a basin of plants Lisa just gifted me. There’s a wealth of plants in here which I’ll be planting later today. I have plants from Carolyn, King, Nancy, and Donna in my yard and garens. And my grandma, my daddy, my sister Becky, and my sister Jeannie. And the deer, the birds, and Mother Nature.

At this time of year, RGC usually give away azaleas at the Roswell Open Air Market. Due to Covid, that isn’t happening this year. We miss this sharing of plants, and we hope it’ll be back on for 2022.

Whether you are the giver or the receiver, a lot of love and peace is passed on when you share plants. Here’s hoping some plant sharing takes place in your life. Thanks for spending Garden Week in Georgia with us!

 

Garden Week in Georgia: Volunteer @ or Check-out Johns Creek Beautification’s Secret Gardens Tour by Guest Blogger Jennifer Schau

Garden Week in Georgia: Volunteer @ or Check-out Johns Creek Beautification’s Secret Gardens Tour by Guest Blogger Jennifer Schau

If you are interested in a great garden-related volunteer opportunity or a fantastic tour, check out Johns Creek Beautification’s Secret Gardens Tour on May 1, 2021, come rain or shine.

Secret Gardens is a drive-yourself and walking tour of seven homes and the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve. Each stop has its own special, charming features. The tour features a beautiful hillside oasis and beehive fireplace; a woodland garden with a hand-made stone bridge; an iris garden; a creek-side garden; a gated gazebo garden; and so much more.

 Autrey Mill Nature Preserve is home to splendid woodland and butterfly gardens. The preserve has a visitors’ center, farm museum, Summerour cottage, the old Warsaw church, Green Country Store, and a tenant farmhouse. There will be musicians and artists to enjoy as you walk around surrounded by the blooms of spring. When you order your passes, make sure to pre-order a boxed lunch to pick up and enjoy at the preserve. 

 All proceeds from this event support the work of Johns Creek Beautification and are specifically earmarked toward the purchase of public art for the city, landscape beautification projects throughout Johns Creek, and to benefit a massive citywide, daffodil planting effort to raise awareness of cancer survivorship through JCB’s partnership with CanCare.

Interested in helping? As the Volunteer Coordinator for the JCB Secret Gardens Tour, I am recruiting volunteers (ages 18 years and up) to get involved in the community and fill various roles for this event. All volunteers will receive a complimentary pass for the tour (value: $25), so that they can also enjoy the gardens during the hours before and/or after their shift. Go to https://www.johnscreekbeautification.org/volunteer_sign_up to sign up. A variety of positions and times are available. Everyone involved in the Secret Gardens of the Johns Creek Community event will be practicing current masking and social distancing guidelines.

Just want to tour? If you are unable to volunteer but are interested in attending the event, passes can be purchased on our website at the the following link https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTA4NzUx

 Questions? If you have questions, email me, Jennifer Schau, Volunteer Coordinator, at jennifer.schau@johnscreekbeautification.org

 

 

 

Garden Week in Georgia: It’s Earth Day 2021–How Are You Going to Help Restore Our Earth? by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

Garden Week in Georgia: It’s Earth Day 2021–How Are You Going to Help Restore Our Earth? by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

This year EarthDay.org is collaborating with people around the world for three days of climate action. April 20 is the Global Youth Summit led by Earth Uprising & the We Shall Breathe Hip Hop Caucus; April 21 is Teach for the Planet led by Education International; and April 22 Earth Day Live starts streaming at 12:30. All of these events can be streamed on earthday.org. Earth Day also marks the start of President Biden’s Leaders Summit on the Climate.

While I was checking out what was going on for Earth Day, I came across earthday.org’s 51 Ways to Restore our Earth. As I was reading the tips, I realized it’s pretty simple to start making a difference every day. I picked out a few to start with, and I encourage you to try some, too. We only have one earth, and we need to stop trashing it right now. Here’s my plan:

  • Take earthday.org’s zero-waste challenge: The first step is to commit yourself to logging each and every item of food for a whole day. Start with breakfast and include everything, even the snack you have in the middle of the night. Compile all of your packaging and food waste, and then take a hard look at what you have: Is there a lot of plastic? Are any of your food scraps compostable? Are your leftovers stored in plastic or glass containers? Once you know your food habits and the waste you produce, you can start making some adjustments. For example, you can swap out daily yogurt cups for one larger container to reduce the total plastic used. But don’t stop there — keep going! The folks at earthday.org have some recommendations to support your waste transformation.
  • Take part in the Great Global Cleanup. You’ll find suggestions for individuals and groups on the earthday.org. I’d be interested in plogging (picking up plastic litter while jogging), but I don’t jog. I’ll have to stick to plalking (picking up plastic litter while walking)
  • Try a foodprint calculator https://www.earthday.org/foodprints-calculators/ or foodprint quiz https://foodprint.org/quiz/ to see how the food you eat impacts the earth. I took the foodprint quiz and found out I’m not doing too bad, but I definitely have room for improvement–especially if I do everything I said I do when I took the quiz. After you take the quiz, you’ll see your general score and detailed suggestions for improvement. Here’s some improvements I’m jumping on:
    • Meatless Monday…I’m in. And let’s add those Rosemary Beans to the menu
    • Cut your meat serving-size in half
    • Stop buying individually packaged items
    • When my plastic storage containers wear out, replace them with glass
    • No straws unless they are re-usable

I was going to say I have my work cut out for me, but really, all I need is a more informed, intentional approach to some everyday activities. Join me and let’s restore our earth!

BTW, the beautiful featured image for this post is from Share America. You can download it for free at https://share.america.gov/earth-day-2021-download-free-poster/

Garden Week in Georgia: Floral Design with an Emphasis on Color by RGC Blogger Gretchen Collins

Garden Week in Georgia: Floral Design with an Emphasis on Color by RGC Blogger Gretchen Collins

Yellow and gray are the Pantone colors for 2021. The following floral designs make beautiful use of these colors.

The featured image, from Art Floral Francais, 96 Rue Raymond Poincare, Bordeaux, France, has beautiful rhythm. This would possibly be the first quality commented on were it to be judged. The vine appears to be a bundle of fine reeds that are tied and shaped, probably with some wire within. Calla Lily stems can be easily shaped when wet. The Aspidistra leaves are also flexible and have been manipulated.

The elements have been skillfully combined. There is probably a piece of oasis hidden in the center for hydration as all the Calla Lily stems emerge from the center.

 

This second design has a tube like sculpture for its base or container. The interesting foliage consists of palms that have been manipulated and braided. After drying they probably were colored with gray since their natural color when dried is tan. The blooms are heliconia. Heliconia is easy to use in creative designs as it is sturdy and long lasting. This design has a creative combination of forms and textures.

 

 

 

 

 

The final design is a creative horizontal design.  I’m not sure what the base is underneath the attached dried leaves and yellow fabric, but it has a pleasing form. The manipulated foliage and yellow roses create a restful design with the horizontal line. One criticism has to do with scale, or the relationship in size of one material to another. I find the tiny pieces of plant material do not relate well with the other forms–they are fussy and detract from the total. 

 

Garden Week in Georgia: Hard-Pruning Rosemary or Down the Rabbit Hole by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

Garden Week in Georgia: Hard-Pruning Rosemary or Down the Rabbit Hole by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

This winter, my neighbor cut down a 50-year old maple tree on the east side of my back yard, instantly changing the light in my yard. My rosemary, which had crept toward the house in search of light, could now grow straight up. It needed hard pruning so that it could flourish in the new sunlight.

Of course, I hard to research how to prune rosemary before daring to attempt such a drastic pruning. My research told me to hard-prune rosemary in the winter before the rosemary started growing again. Sources also cautioned against cutting shortly before or during a cold period. With this conflicting information, I decided to prune the rosemary the first week in April. Things were under control. I was ready to roll, then e-gads! It got up to 80 degrees in March. What?? Now what was I going to do? Since this is Georgia, I knew we would have to have at least 1 more hard freeze before April 15, but wasn’t that rosemary trying to throw off the shackles of winter and grow? What to do, what to do? I decided what the heck, if I killed the poor plant, I could replace it. Not that I wanted to replace it, but I could.

With sharp, clean hand-pruners, I pruned that plant. After hard-pruning, my rosemary was petite and shapely–in a hard pruned way, that is. I also had a wealth of freshly cut rosemary on my hands.  

I knew just what to do with this since, while I was wandering through the web, reading about pruning rosemary, I hopped off on every link that had suggestions on what to do with the trimmings. I read about propagating rosemary via cuttings and water-rooting; making rosemary salt; cooking rosemary beans; drying rosemary; preserving rosemary in ice cubes; sliding farther and farther down the rabbit hole with each click of my mouse. Hmmm…maybe that’s why I didn’t get the rosemary pruned before the March heat wave.

Anyway, the down-the-rabbit-hole part of me wouldn’t let me simply throw away the trimmings. Nope. Not me. So I revisited the rabbit hole and chose a few of those suggestions:

  • I tried propagation. Here’s my healthiest looking cuttings trying to take root in water. I simply stripped leaves from the bottom 2” of 6” cuttings and put them in water. I keep the jars in a bright spot out of direct sunlight. I change the water every 2 days. Unless I forget.

 

 

 

 

  • And I made rosemary beans. Yummy, yummy, yummy. Here’s my sister Becky’s recipe for them. Since I don’t have an instapot, I used canned beans. Also yummy.

Rosemary White Beans, serves 6

 Ingredients:

    • 2 cups (1 pound) Great Northern beans
    • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
    • 4 cloves garlic, roughly diced
    • 5 sprigs rosemary
    • ½ medium onion, cut into wedges
    • 1 teaspoon salt

 Method:

    • Add all ingredients to an Instant Pot or electronic pressure cooker
    • Stir to prevent sticking
    • Set Instant Pot/pressure cooker to high for 32 minutes
    • When the timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to naturally release the pressure for 20-25 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure
    • Skim onions off the top
    • Remove rosemary twigs (the needles will have fallen off – leave them in the beans)
    • Stir the beans

For thicker bean liquid:

    • Discard ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
    • Add about a cup of the beans and some of the bean liquid to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and thick.
    • Return the puree to the pot and stir through the beans to thicken.

As you can tell, this pruning project turned into quite the adventure. I hope you, too, have some down-the-rabbit-hole gardening adventures during Garden Week in Georgia. Just don’t forget to come out of the rabbit hole.

 

 

 

 

Garden Week in Georgia: RGC’s Community Series Let’s Talk Plants Kicks Off at Roswell’s Adult Recreation Center by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Garden Week in Georgia: RGC’s Community Series Let’s Talk Plants Kicks Off at Roswell’s Adult Recreation Center by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Roswell Garden Club is pleased to invite you to our inaugural community plant talk in the raised beds garden at the Roswell Adult Recreation Center. We hope you can celebrate Garden Week in Georgia with us by coming to our talk–Planting Annuals in Pots or Beds–on Friday, April 23, at 11.

Planting Annuals in Pots or Beds is the first in a series of community talks based on the plants in the raised beds at the ARC. The raised beds are planted for easy teaching & learning. The beds, which are refreshed in the spring and fall with appropriate seasonal changes, have a great variety of plants, including

  • Succulents
  • Herbs 
  • Ground covers & bulbs
  • Pansies & other annuals provide seasonal color
  • Bulbs & annuals are the final pairing

RGC built the raised bed gardens in 2007 for the ARC’s guests with physical and mental challenges. In 2017 the gardens were rebuilt as a Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout Project. These gardens have always been maintained by RGC and the ARC’s Young Adult Group. On November 6, 2020, Roswell Garden Club members transformed the waist-high beds for use in mini-lessons on planting and caring for various types of plants. All seven planters were stripped, the beds were charged with new soil, and plants were put in place. The plants were marked for reference and teaching purposes. This great team effort is about to yield results as RGC’s community talks begin.

Our current schedule of talks followed by Q & A is:

  • April 23 @ 11, Planting Annuals in Pots or Beds 
  • May 12 @ 11, Success with Succulents
  • June 9 @ 11, National Garden Week, Milkweed Mud Pies for Monarchs

 We look forward to sharing the fun of plants and planting. We hope you join us!