Monday, November 22, 2010

Decorating the Downtown for Christmas

And the prettiest sight you'll see  . . Toots Hobson has a bird's eye view of the square as she adds Christmas greenery and a red ribbon to the historic fire bell. She noted that mischievous children in an earlier time would run a string from the bell to the top of Hill Brothers Store to ring the bell and not get caught!

The Merry Weather Garden Club and the County Commissioners purchased sixteen new wreaths for the courthouse this Christmas season. Garden Club members responsible are,from top, Sally Neal, Toots Hobson and guests Margaret Corbett from Connecticut and Muriel Quinn from Rhode Island.  Also offering vital help but not in the photo were Linda Gasses, Battle Neal, Ed Hobson, and Melvin Kelley. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

October-November 2010

The Merry Weather Garden Club met in October and was hosted by Dee Garrett and Jean Biggers.  The club went to Rocky Branch Garden Center in Pine Mountain owned by Ken and Sherrie Callaway and met gardeners Debra Daniel and Debbie Lee who presented the program.
   The club first enjoyed learning about Clay Buster, an organic and mineral soil conditioner that improves heavy soils by loosening the soil and allowing better drainage so roots can thrive.  It is a mixture of bark, limestone, sphagnum peat moss and gypsum that Rocky Branch adds to regular dirt in their potting.
  Debbie Lee showed the ladies two ways to root plants: making a lateral cut and inserting in water containing a baby aspirin.  Plants that are blooming may be rooted by cutting a sample, dusting it in Rootone, a rooting hormone and then planting it.
   The program was also about blooming plants like dahlias and chrysanthemums and the garden center had many colorful mounds of Korean and Belgium mums. There are many hybrid chrysanthemums and genus and cultivars branching off from them that allow for many types of blooms: daisy, pom pom, button, etc. and they come in every color with the two overall divisions of mums being a basic garden variety that is sturdy and planted outdoors and an exhibition variety that is for annual bloom and color.
   The mum is used in Asia to brew tea, it is a natural insecticide, and an air purifier. Japan holds the mum dear with the Chrysanthemum Throne, the position of the Japanese emperor; the Order of the Chrysanthemum, the nation’s finest honor; and the mum on crests, incorporated into architecture and stamped on their currency.
   Korean mums are the tall with daisy like flowers and are the sturdy popular garden variety. The newcomer is the Belgian mum with tight flowers sometimes numbering over 600 to a plant that mound and bloom well into cold weather. The Belgian mums come in hundreds of colors and shades and are popular plants for sale in the fall.
   The ladies at Rocky Branch pointed out flowers and shrubs that have year around interest or color and texture: viburnums for deciduous fall color, deutzia with its white and pinkish blooms that is part of the hydrangea family, Warren’s Red holly that is a shrub or small tree, and evergreen hollies that have soft leaves instead of spiky briars.
There are several new varieties of Loropetalum or Chinese fringe flower and they now come in pink, red, purple, and white and dwarf varieties like Pixie.
   The club members enjoyed discount shopping in the garden shop where there are many attractive and humorous gift items plus making purchases from the garden area.  The morning finished with lunch at Rose Cottage.
   The garden club met Thursday, November 4 at the Foxx Den Restaurant and covered three items of business: the club voted to purchase sixteen wreaths to decorate each of the bases of the columns of the courthouse and to purchase one $250 paver in honor of the garden club to support the Better Home Town Program.  Final preparations for the group to gather on November 20 to decorate the square in Greenville and the railroad bridge were made.
   Linda Wilburn led the members on a tour of the Jones Print Shop she has purchased and is renovating to make into a consignment gallery for local Meriwether artists. A massive, old, unique paper cutter was left in the building and Wilburn will leave it on display and incorporate it into the gallery’s name.