Lena Gallitano, a prominent Audubon naturalist, shared a multitude of information on how to host a 'bird friendly' environment within your yard and garden. She shared ideas for planting native items to attract, feed, and protect birds throughout all seasons and migration. Did you know that you should leave your hummingbird feeder up all year? Over the past three years Rufous Hummingbirds have been gracing our area as their winter home. Want to know more? Check out the book Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Doug Tallamy.
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.
Nelsa Cox, owner of The Garden Hut, entertained and instructed the members on the many perennials and shrubs available to beautify their home's surroundings. Stop by her shop to receive expertise advice on deer resistant plants, plants for the sun or shade, or just to mosey around the inviting grounds. Don't forget that Nelsa also specializes in landscape design as witnessed throughout the area. The Garden Hut is constant supporter of the FVGC and we greatly appreciate everyone there.
Rebecca Kaenzig and Sarah Gilley presented a program on the Daniel Boone Native Gardens in Boone, NC. The Gardens were begun with the cooperation of the Boone Garden Club and the Garden Club of NC as a dream was for a place for conservation of native plant species and education. The Daniel Boone Native Gardens were officially opened in June, 1963. Be sure to support and visit Daniel Boone Native Gardens while in the area.