Chris Goforth, NC Museum of Natural Sciences researcher and entomologist, educated us on Devil's Darning Needles, and Mosquito Hawks: The Amazing World of Dragonflies. Dragonflies are a gorgeous addition to our landscape, but they play several important roles in the environment. We learned how dragonflies develop, about their amazing behaviors, and the common local species we see within our area.
Bryce Lane is known well in the area as an engaging Teacher, Speaker, Horticulturist and The Producer/Host of "In the Garden with Bryce Lane." As our special guest this month when he presented on Garden Art: Using Ornament to Accent Your Garden Spaces. Accents can invite you and nature into the garden. They also can provide artistry and interest to the space.
Our September speaker was Frank Schwartz who has specialized in water gardens for years. Based in Raleigh, Frank enlightened us on how to create a quality water garden, be it in a pot or large area. He shared photos and tips for various waterlilies, lotus, fertilizer and pond fish.
Our May meeting was an field trip to Brie Arthur's garden to again observe her foodscaping talents. Brie is a dynamic and passionate gardener who braved the rain to teach us and share her techniques with the members.
She sure makes it all sound easy! Want to know more? Purchase her book The Foodscape Revolution.
Many thanks to Kate, a club member who opened her yard and home for our annual plant swap. The turnout was fantastic with 22+ members who traded a multitude of garden favorites. It is so much fun to plant the gifts and think of that plant donor when it enhances your yard. The weather turned extremely windy and cold which forced us inside but Katie squeezed us all in; now that is a tight knit group!
Donna Pittman opened Flowers on Broad in Varina over 21 years ago. Her artistic talents have been recognized by numerous organizations in her field. Donna’s love of flowers and creativity were obvious in her demonstration. She entertained the members and shared tips for cutting flowers and arranging them for a vase or oasis arrangement and then gave them away to very happy winners!
Our speaker for this month was Rich Woynicz from the Wake County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. His talk, How to Love Your NC Soil, was very informative. He discussed the importance of soil tests and amendments to optimize plant growth.
Our speaker, Susan Quinby-Honer, shared her enthusiasm for worm composting by explaining the garden benefits to the club members. Worm castings make soil more absorbent, making moisture more consistently available to plants and preventing soil from completely drying out. Red Hen Enterprises has been involved with many community gardens being installed and local businesses composting projects. Susan grows and sells different species of earthworms for composting systems and mealworms for feeding bluebirds, chickens, and reptiles. Her favorite part of the business is classroom/event presentations.
Dale Batchelor owns Gardener by Nature LLC, a residential design and consultation company in Raleigh emphasizing sustainable landscapes and native plants. With her husband, John Thomas, she co-created Swiftbrook Gardens, a habitat certified by the N.C. Native Plant Society and the National Wildlife Federation. She presented on "The Winter Garden" and provided us with a great deal of inspiration. Read Dale's Triangle Gardner article "Use Self-Sowing Flowers to Expand Your Garden Display" in the September/October issue.
Each May we hold a plant exchange at a member's home. This year we gathered at Pam's home to swap plants, socialize and walk in her beautiful garden. Over the summer the club doesn't meet unless we visit homeowner's gardens and plan our fall fundraiser. Our September meeting was a productive planning meeting for our Garden Tour and members shared their favorite garden tools.