The December meeting was one of comfort and joy as we were entertained by the talented FVHS Choir, partook in the many treats provided by members and met our 2015 Scholarship Winner who is attending NC State. The District 10 President, Maggie Larson, also graced us with her presence by conducting the Induction of our 2016 officers.
What an informative meeting! Eric Eibelheuser has been in the landscaping and nursery business for years and enjoys experimenting with plants and garden materials. (If you attended this year's tour you probably visited his amazing gardens.) At our meeting Eric demonstrated how to create a hypertufa planter using everyday items as molds. He also constructed a hanging planter which he raffled off along with an abundance of beautiful succulents.
Enter the world of gardening and you enter a world of pleasure that can be interrupted by disease, drought or insects. This month we were educated and entertained by Tom Hunt, a retired NC State entomologist, who provided an abundance of information in a short time. His presentation spotlighted how to identify and treat some of the most common insects we see on our plants. The audience really appreciated his collection of insect leafage to witness pest and their damage first hand. Included was a bagworm which are often found on conifers in the fall.
His best advice for gardeners? Be proactive by frequently walking and observing your plants to catch problems early.
This month the club enjoyed a very informative presentation about the history and construction of the formal, 16th century Elizabethan Gardens. Carl Curnutte entertained us with his animated style and inspired us to visit the elaborate venue. Check out their webpage throughout the year; whatever your age or interest there is something for you!
February brought a winter lapse as we had to cancel the meeting due to bad weather, however, the March event was a welcome treat with our guest speaker Mark Boone from Gardeners of Wake County. Mark shared his personal experience and interest in Chinese Gardens as he has traveled there about 40 times! He explained the five components of Eastern- inspired gardens, explained how the yin and yang are incorporated into them and shared stories and photos examples of materials and plants.
North Carolina's Wildflower Program, a project intended to beautify the state's highways, turns 30 this year. Derek Smith, an environmental engineer with the N.C. Department of Transportation, shared his enthusiasm for this wonderful program. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was the result of Mrs. Johnson's national campaign for beautification and The Garden Club of NC has been involved since the beginning. There are 14 districts throughout the state who design and landscape our highways into works of art. This program is primarily funded by the revenue of personalized license plates.
The December meeting was a delight as The Fuquay-Varina High School Choir blessed us with their amazing talent. A variety of cultural selections were masterfully performed by one-third of the full choir (due to room restrictions) that brought peace and joy to the audience. Thank you for making our program a very special one! Following the program Gail Bannister of District 10 inducted our new officers for 2015.
This month's meeting was held in a member's home and three Master Gardener Volunteers presented information about this program offered by the NC Cooperative Extension. The ladies provided the members with a brief history of the program, the course expectations and role of the Master Gardener, and shared strategies for dealing with wildlife pests that invade our gardens. For additional information and resources go to the Resources section of our website.
This month we were honored with a presentation by Monty Busick who shared his expertise on ferns. Monty brought a large collection of specimens and conducted a hands-on approach to help us learn about the fronds, identification, and reproduction of these beautiful plants. We learned a great deal about where to plant ferns, seasonal grow, how to split them and that the Boston Fern did not originate in Boston! Did you know that the Foxtail and Asparagus Ferns are not ferns? Ferns do not have flowers or seeds but have spores which are on the back of the fronds.