Protect Our Environment: Join The Georgia Water Coalition & The Garden Club of Georgia for Capitol Conservation Day 2021

Protect Our Environment: Join The Georgia Water Coalition & The Garden Club of Georgia for Capitol Conservation Day 2021

Capitol Conservation Day 2021 (Virtual)

WHEN: March 3, 2021
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Capitol Conservation Day 2021 will be a virtual event. Click here to register https://tinyurl.com/yav7yra8 Click here to become a sponsor or make a donation https://www.gawater.org/donate

Join us to get the information you need to make a difference for cleaner, more plentiful water in Georgia. We will virtually come together on March 3 using Zoom.

Experts from the Georgia Water Coalition will brief you on important legislative issues. Then you will put your new skills and information to work! Following the event, meet with your local legislators virtually to advocate in support of important legislation.

Register early so that GWC can match you with fellow constituents and assist in scheduling a group virtual meeting with your local legislator.

Please consider sponsoring Capitol Conservation Day for $150 or donate any dollar amount to the GWC to support our ongoing efforts to protect Georgia’s essential surface water and groundwater resources.

Sponsors will be recognized during the event.

Tasks for the Georgia Gardener in January & February by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

Tasks for the Georgia Gardener in January & February by RGC Blogger Suzy Crowe

For several years I’ve been a little late trimming the liriope. Determined to get a jump on it this year, I did some research and found great info on what I can do right now, not just with the liriope, but with my gardens and my entire landscape.

 Gwinnett County UGA Extensions office’s Tips for the Landscape & Garden: January says it’s time to:

  • Plan & prep new construction projects and planting zones
  • Study your lawn & figure out how to eliminate hard-to-mow spaces…after making a plan, push your mower around the new space to test the flow
  • Review your vegetable garden plan…think about last year’s layout, yield, and maintenance–are changes needed?
  • Sterilize your tools, pots, etc…use one part household bleach to nine parts water; sharpen edges; oil surfaces
  • Plant fruit trees…it’s not too late, but you’ll need to water them
  • Prune grapes now to avoid bleeding from the cut ends… check out the Extension Publication Dormant Spur & Cane Pruning Bunch Grapevines for a wealth of info
  • Start Gerbera seeds for June blooms
  • Think about your deer prevention plan, putting necessary components into action now or mark your calendar for the right start time for you
  • Prune the appropriate woody perennials in your landscape (more to follow)

The Tips contain detailed info on each of the above items, so be sure and click on the link and check it out.

The UGA Extension Bulletin Basic Principles of Pruning Woody Plants gave me my marching orders. It’s time for me to prune my nandina, trumpet vine, fringe flower, crepe myrtle, Rose of Sharon, and barberry. The bulletin has information on how to decide what pruning method is best for your design and how to effectively prune different woody plants.

 While reading, I also found out it’s time to clean up my Lenten Rose.

 So much to do… this year I have plenty of time and I can’t wait to get going. Hope you can join me. Not ready to get outside yet? I urge you to head to the UGA extension page and browse some of the publications. They are informative and inspirational.

Christmas Cactus FAQs by RGC Bloggers King Trousdale, Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Christmas Cactus FAQs by RGC Bloggers King Trousdale, Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

A Christmas Cactus is a succulent plant from the Brazilian rain forest. It is at home in a jungle, not a desert. Treat your Christmas Cactus right and it will live and bloom for decades. Here are some FAQs to help you treat your Christmas Cactus just right.

Should I repot my Christmas Cactus?

  • If your Christmas Cactus came in a small pot, it needs to be transplanted to thrive
  • Select a medium pot and fill it with a mix of potting soil and perlite

When do I water my Christmas Cactus?

  • During bloom season, water when it is dry to the touch–not sooner
  • In spring and summer it likes frequent and thorough watering with good drainage
  • Never let your Christmas Cactus sit in water

What kind of light does my Christmas Cactus like?

  • Your Christmas Cactus needs bright indirect light
  • It will adapt to low light by forming fewer blossoms

How long will my Christmas Cactus bloom, and will it re-bloom?

    • A Christmas Cactus blooms for about three weeks, from Christmas to Thanksgiving
    • It’s normal for some blooms to fall off
    • If your Christmas Cactus is indoors year round, you need to force dormancy for it to re-bloom
      • Force dormancy 6 to 8 weeks before you wish it to re-bloom
      • Force dormancy by cutting back on moisture, light (12 to 14 hours of darkness) and temperature (around 50°)
      • Make sure you keep your Christmas Cactus away from drafts

Can my Christmas Cactus live outside?

  • The Christmas Cactus isn’t cold hardy so leave it inside until April 15
  • At that point, take it outside, put it in a shady area, and water it weekly until early October (cool nights are required for the bloom cycle)
  • You may want to take precautions against squirrels and chipmunks. Common precautions include spraying hot wax on the Christmas Cactus. Hot wax is a product that has a thin coat of wax with hot pepper sauce
  • RGC member Nancy Moses keeps her Christmas Cacti on a beautiful rolling rack, which she displays on her patio during the spring, summer, and early fall. When it’s time to force dormancy, Nancy rolls the rack into her garage

Where can I read more about my Christmas Cactus?

Have fun with your Christmas Cactus. We hope it will live long and prosper.

 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling by Guest Blogger & 1st Place High School Competition Winner Tara Goff

The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling by Guest Blogger & 1st Place High School Competition Winner Tara Goff

As rising temperatures bring attention to the problem of global warming, society becomes more involved in ways that the carbon footprint may be reduced. Restaurants commonly choose not to provide straws, the vegan community has grown, and local produce is becoming more readily available, for example at the Roswell Farmer’s and Artisan Market. There are, of course, still the basic approaches, such as opting to walk or bike ride over drive, as well as recycling. The term “reduce, reuse, recycle” has been prevalent in society for some time, and has been taught to young ages. But what can happen when we go about this the wrong way?

Using recycled materials lowers a need for exerted energy on extraction of new material; this in turn lowers carbon footprint. Unfortunately, the emphasis on the need to recycle has clouded people’s judgement on what to recycle. Although your Friday night pizza may have come in a cardboard box, it is tainted by grease, which will affect the recycling process. Other items become contaminated, therefore making them no longer recyclable and increasing waste. Roswell could, however, create separate bins for composting the greasy parts, perhaps even located at various pizza chains so that they are easily accessible. Cut up your pizza box and recycle non-contaminated parts while bringing contaminated parts to pizza compost bins, which could be taken to compost piles help with decomposition of organic material.

Another common misconception surrounds recycling Styrofoam. Although the bottom of the egg carton may indicate that it is recyclable, many places, Roswell included, do not have the machinery to separate Styrofoam from all other materials. Styrofoam is a type 6 plastic, making it hard to break down. It is also very porous making it easily contaminated and not easily cleaned. As a solution, it can be overall reduced or simply reused. Opt for different methods of carry-out meals or use reusable insulated cups instead of Styrofoam to keep your drinks warm. Another option, similar to that of the pizza compost box, is to have stations where Styrofoam can be returned, as many manufacturing companies accept used material and turn it into packing peanuts.

Recycling reduces carbon footprint, however it must be done properly. Educate Roswell and create options for proper recycling in order to improve the world we live in before it is too late.

References

Is Styrofoam Recyclable?

Photo by: Unsplash

We Can Lower Our Carbon Footprint and End Climate Change—Here’s How, by RGC Guest Blogger & 2nd place HS blog winner Savannah Young

We Can Lower Our Carbon Footprint and End Climate Change—Here’s How, by RGC Guest Blogger & 2nd place HS blog winner Savannah Young

 It’s needless to say that there’s no shortage of plastic in the Roswell area. 

Between the sheer amount of straws given out at restaurants to the load of plastic bottles you can find on the side of the road, there’s no doubt that we need to make a change. 

However, while some may struggle to see that we need to make changes in our lives to help the environment long term, others may find it difficult to actually make the change.  

So, we’re throwing it back to elementary school and reminding everyone of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. 

I know, I know, it’s something we were taught at a very young age, right?  

As we get older, the three R’s slowly slip into the back of our minds. I mean, we no longer do those big earth day projects anymore, do we? That’s why it’s important that we keep the three R’s in our heads at all times, as it’s one of the steps towards a greener future for us and generations to come. 

So, let’s start off by talking about the most well-known R: Recycling.  

For any of those unfamiliar with recycling, it means “the action or process of converting waste into reusable material”.  

Here in Fulton County, we can recycle metals (aluminum, steel, tin), glass (bottles, jars), plastics 1, 2, 5 (including grocery bags, bubble wrap, and shrink wrap), and cardboard. 

And, while it’s great that so many people in Fulton County recycle, we could take it a step further—which brings us to our next R: reusing

For example, instead of recycling cardboard, you could find another use for it. You could use it for storage or as a way to mail gifts down to family and friends. As for plastics, you, too, could use it for storage (for cereal, snacks, etc.) and other household needs. And, for all those Pinterest lovers out there, Mason Jars have a variety of uses. 

While reusing is another amazing way to help the environment, we could take it even further than that. How, you may ask? 

We could reduce our use of single use items. Yes, I know, it seems impossible, doesn’t it? Well, it may be easier than it seems.  

For those who haven’t heard of reducing, it means to “make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size.” 

If we were to stop purchasing one-use items, such as Q-tips, straws, and water bottles, we would be a few steps closer to being eco-friendly. 

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to make the switch (or worried about the cost of going eco-friendly)—you don’t have to worry. After all, you can make small switches along the way, rather than completely giving up everything at one time. 

In order to make the switch, and help the earth in the long run, you need to go into it with an open mind and positive attitude. Instead of fearing the change, be open minded. Remember that you’re doing this for future generations, wildlife, and, most importantly, to save your earth.  

You may be one person, and while that may not seem like a huge difference, one person is all we need to get more on board with the idea of a greener and brighter future.  

Below, we’ve compiled a short list of links to eco-friendly switches you can make from your average, every day, one-use products. With your help, we can end climate change and lower our carbon footprint. 

Why am I Helping the Environment?…by Guest Blogger & 3rd Place Winner Maynor Chinchilla

Why am I Helping the Environment?…by Guest Blogger & 3rd Place Winner Maynor Chinchilla

I want you to think about the question “Why I am helping the environment?”. For a lot of people this question is difficult to answer because they may not help the environment or not ever think about it, and if you are one of those people here is the answer. We need to help our environment so we as the entire humanity can have a better future. Remember that this is the place that you are going to invite

What is the point of destroying your home and not having another place to live in

your children. Remember that their future is located in their home, and I don’t think someone can have a future when it does not even have a home. You are choosing between letting the kids live and die. Trust I know that those words are really strong but this is the reality. Right now we can have the chance to repair some of our environments and if we don’t take this chance these kids may not have the best future in life. If you ask Why? Here is your answer if we don’t change the way global warming is going. These kids would not be able to stop it. It’s like writing with a pen you can not erase, and yes you can cover it but it is always going to be in there. So let’s stop covering these problems and let’s try to repair it. Remember that humanity is strong and we have changed the way we do things all the time. Let’s become more modern and not just use the thing in our home. Let’s also keep our home stable, and ready for the future that comes. So be ready to help the earth and be ready to give them the future that they deserved. Let everyone say “I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet earth and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.” And also let’s all find a better and more modern future for the good of our children, for the good of our home, and for the good of the entire humanity. I hope you help our generations to find a future.

Lets Learn how to protect the beauty around us

Now that we talk about why let’s talk about what we can do. Something that we can do is show care about it every time there is an election. Remember that the leaders would give us representation in the government. Which means that if we show care they would start to also show care about it. Let’s demand the care that this topic needs. Other activity that we can do is planting trees, but please do research to see if the tree belongs to your environment so you don’t create an invasive species. Other activity is recycling. This would help our future generation to have less starving communities because right now a lot of animals that we eat are dying because of contamination on water and earth. That is why after going into a park you need to remember to clean after yourself. Remember to stay safe and to help the future generations.

2020 RGC High School Environmental Blog Post Competition Winners

2020 RGC High School Environmental Blog Post Competition Winners

Roswell Garden Club is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Environmental Blog Entry Competition:

1st place – The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling, Tara Goff

2nd place – We Can Lower Our Carbon Footprint and End Climate Change—Here’s How, Savannah Young

3rd place – Why am I Helping the Environment?, Maynor Chinchilla

We encourage you to read the words of these student-bloggers from our community and take action on their suggestions. Let’s work together to take the National Garden Club, Inc.’s challenge and move from consumers to caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.

Plants: Winterizing Your Dahlias by RGC Blogger Donna Feit

Plants: Winterizing Your Dahlias by RGC Blogger Donna Feit

I love my dahlias. I bought some tubers online a few years ago, planted them as soon as they arrived, and several weeks later was delighted with beautiful pink and sunset-orange blossoms. They bloomed throughout the latter part of summer right up until the first frost. I left them in the ground for the winter and they returned the following year.

After that, I wanted to learn more and started to research growing dahlia. I was surprised to learn that they don’t “winter” well and are often killed by freezing cold weather…I was fortunate in that the first winter was an especially mild one and my tubers survived.

I don’t want to run the risk of losing my beautiful dahlias, so this year, I’m going to dig up the tubers and store them properly over the winter. Since we’ve already had a couple of frosts, now is the time! Cut off the stems and leaves. It’s a good idea to let the tubers cure (dry out a little), especially the larger ones. Shake the dirt off, but it’s not necessary to completely clean them. They may be okay wrapped in newspaper, and/or stored in a paper bag. But, it’s even better to store them in dry-to-slightly-moist packing material such as peat moss, coco coir, wood chips, pet bedding, or sawdust. You could also use a mixture of vermiculite and perlite. Use whatever you have on hand.

Line the bottom of a box with newspaper to keep any packing material from falling through the cracks. Layer the packing material on top of that. Lay the tubers in the box so they will be surrounded by the packing material. You can store several clumps in the same box as long as they are not touching. Fill the box with packing material so the tubers are completely covered. Close the box and put on a shelf. It’s important that your dahlia storage space is cool and dry. A basement or the inside wall of your garage should work. If it is too warm, the tubers could rot.

You’re all set! After the last frost next spring, you’ll be able to replant your tubers and enjoy beautiful dahlias from late summer through fall.

 

 

 

Using Floral Design to Create a Fall Wreath by RGC Blogger Gretchen Collins

Using Floral Design to Create a Fall Wreath by RGC Blogger Gretchen Collins

Although wreaths are beautiful, they are a bit more challenging than creating an arrangement in a container. Here are some pictures and commentary about creating a fall wreath.

 First the ingredients: I chose several items from my design collection. I chose an interesting vine form…it’s a bit trickier to put together than a plain grapevine or straw wreath. Also, wheat stalks, Sea Grape painted foliage, dried Aspidistra leaves. Freshly fallen oak leaves, an assortment of ribbons, and sprayed Palmetto (I ended up not using this). Wire and tools.

 

Second, the wreath is put on a stand to decorate: Wheat sprays and Aspidistra go on first. Aspidistra is normally green or green with white stripes. This Aspidistra was used before…It was manipulated, folded, and pierced when still green and used in a fresh design. I usually save fresh Aspidistra for more uses since it turns to these beautiful brown tones as it dries.   

Third, the wreath hanging on the stand is completed: I chose the gold ribbon as it stands out well against the other colors. The orange Sea Grape leaves came from Florida years ago and have been used more than once. This fall, some of the oak leaves are falling in clusters. As you can see, I picked up the greener ones to add the green accent. The gold bow completes the wreath.

And, this is how it looks on our front door. The oak leaves will continue to dry and turn brown but there are more out there to replace them. I have painted completely dry oak leaves gold in years past. 

Remembering Lov by RGC blogger Florence Anne Berna

Remembering Lov by RGC blogger Florence Anne Berna

Roswell Garden Club lost a loyal member and beloved friend, Lov Heintzelman, this spring. Florence Anne Berna shared this written account of Lov’s dedication to RGC. Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Lov Heintzelman, thank you for touching all of us and making the city of Roswell a more beautiful place.

On May 3, Roswell Garden Club lost long-time honorary member Lov Heintzelman. While she went by the nickname “Lov,” her full name was Lavonda Marlene – a beautiful name for a beautiful lady. She was born, raised and educated in Grand Rapids, MI. She attended a private girl’s college called Stephens College majoring in, of all things, Aviation. Upon her graduation in 1955, she attained her pilots license. Also that year she married Robert Heintzelman. They were together 59 years, raised 3 boys (one set of twins), and enjoyed 3 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. 

 Not many people know, but Lov worked as a detective for a few years. When she established her own arts and crafts business, that platform allowed her artistic talents to soar. She sold her creations from her Roswell home, and later when she and Bob relocated permanently to the North GA Mountains, from a store nearby. She and Bob also collaborated on a business venture entitled Interiors by Heintzelman. Lov truly enjoyed entertaining family and friends and was an expert cook, baker and decorator—especially during the holidays. Even after her move to Jasper, Lov continued to commute to Roswell to attend monthly garden club meetings and functions. Many of us remember how stoic and strong Lov was when both her husband and son were so very ill.  Randy–one of the twins—battled cancer for years. As fate would have it, Randy and Bob passed away within a few days of each other. Lov brought her family through 2 funerals and 2 out-of-state burials. Despite those losses, Lov wanted to remain in her Jasper home. Since Bob was a member of the US Marine Corp. and a member of a local Marine Corp. League, Lov had lots of support and many friends helping around the house, checking on her and keeping her company. Lov battled health and heart issues for years and finally needed to relocate to an assisted living facility in Jasper. It was there while in hospice she left us after an amazing 85 year life. A few years ago, a poem was printed I believe in the GA Garden Gate magazine by Barbara Bailey. I think it’s appropriate we revisit it. 

                                                                            Meet You at the Gate

                   A beautiful garden now stands alone,
                   Missing the one who nurtured it.
                   But now she is gone.
                   Her flowers still bloom, and the sun it still shines,
                   But the rain is like teardrops, for the ones left behind.
                   The weeds lay waiting to take the garden’s beauty away,
                   But the beautiful memories of its keeper are in our hearts to stay.
                   She loved every flower, even some that were weeds!
                   So much love she would plant with each little seed.
                   But, just like her flowers, she was part of God’s plan,
                   So when it was her time He reached down His hand,
                   He looked through the garden…searching for the best,
                   That’s when He found her; it was her time to rest.
                   It was hard for those who loved her to just let her go.
But God had a spot in His garden that needed a gentle soul.
So when you start missing her, remember..if you just wait…
  When God has another spot in His garden,
He’ll meet YOU at the gate.