Thursday, December 29, 2011

Decorating the Patio For Christmas

     The Monroeville Garden Club held their December meeting at the home of Bev Colquett in Monroeville, Al. on December 8th, 2011.  The program was on decorating a patio for Christmas and members were shown a number of ideas which were used on the Colquett patio.
     Decorations included a large "bird themed" Christmas tree which featured birdhouses, birdseed ornaments, twig balls, bird nests,  small fresh flower tussie mussie ornaments, and red berries.  Other garden related decorations included a cart with a collection of watering cans filled with fresh flowers, a small Christmas tree decorated with garden tools, and a display of a gardener's hat trimmed in Christmas fabric, red garden gloves, and red rain boots.  The patio table was set using red snowflake embossed chargers, white dishes, and holiday napkins.  The centerpiece was an iron birdcage decorated with red roses, rosemary and pittosporum.  Fresh greenery was used throughout the patio including covering the trellis over the patio gate and fresh wreaths on all the gates.
     Following a tour of the patio, members went inside and played several Christmas games.  Afterward, they enjoyed sampling a variety of cookies that had been brought by all members.  Cookbooks of all the recipes were given out along with treat bags for taking home cookies.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Make Birdseed Ornaments


1/4 ounce package of unflavored gelatin
2 cups of wild birdseed
metal cookie cutters
ribbon or twine for hanging
drinking straws (to make hole for hanging)

DIRECTIONS:  Empty gelatin into a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of cold water.  Let it set for a minute and then add 4 tablespoons boiling water and stir several minutes.  Next add 2 cups of birdseed, mixing thoroughly.  Let it set for a few minutes and stir again until all liquid is absorbed.
     Put your cookie cutters on a baking sheet.  Spoon mixture into them, packing down.  Insert a piece of a drinking straw to make a hole for hanging.  Put the pan in the refrigerator and leave over night.  After removing from the refrigerator, let the ornaments continue to dry another day or so.  Then push the ornaments from the cookie cutter and let dry several more days.  You should flip over occasionally so that the backside can dry as well.  Remove the straw and use twine or ribbon to make a hanger.
     (SOURCE:  Family Fun  website:     or just google family fun tweet treats)

Club Members Make Bird Seed Ornaments

     The Monroeville Garden Club met in the CAC at Monroeville First Baptist Church on November 10, 2011, at 1:00 p.m.  Evelyn Bond and Audrey Griffin served as hostesses  for the meeting.
     During the business session, members were brought up to date on club projects:

     Rose Garden - The rose garden was recently mulched with fresh pine straw.  The new benches and sign are ready and will be installed soon.  Chairman, Dana Shinholster, hopes that we will be able to hide the air conditioning system that faces the arbor end of the rose garden with decorative slats in the chain link fence.

     Containers and Hanging Baskets Around the Square - Evelyn Bond reported that she recently re-planted the containers using pencil shrubs, pansies and ornamental cabbages.  The hanging baskets have been taken down and put into storage until next spring.

     "Historic Camellias" - These are the camellias that were rooted from the camellias around the old courthouse on the square.  Jean Booker reported that we have about 50 of these left and it was decided to sell these at the reduced price of $10.00 each.

     Following the business session, Bev Colquett led a workshop on making birdseed ornaments and then members enjoyed a social time with refreshments.

Pat Hornady putting the birdseed mixture in a mold.

Ree Smith showing the "kit" that members were given to make their ornament.

New plants in containers around the square.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October Program on "Passalong Plants"

     On Thursday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m., The Monroeville Garden Club met at St. John's Episcopal Church in Monroeville.  Mrs. Barbara Hundley, Master Gardener from Jackson, Alabama, presented a program on "passalong plants" or plants that are passed from one gardener to another.  In fact, that's about the only way to get these plants because you can seldom buy them at garden centers.  Typically, these are hardy plants that perform well year after year with little or no care.
     Mrs. Hundley gave a power point presentation featuring her yard which she and her husband have been developing since 1974.  Among the "passalong plants" in her yard were flowers that had been given to her years ago by her mother-in-law, the late Mrs. Blanche Hundley of Monroeville.
     In addition to plants, Mrs. Hundley has re-cycled a number of things to provide structural interest in her yard.  She had a syrup kettle that is now a fountain; a wind turbine used as a planter, a stand from a broken bird bath which now holds a gazing ball to name just a few of them.
     Gardeners are always interested in collecting new plants and Mrs. Hundley suggested items to have on hand in your car in case you find someone who has cuttings or seeds to share.  Helpful tools which can be carried in a ziplock bag include a large spoon for digging, clippers for cutting, paper towels to wet and wrap around cuttings, 3 x 5 cards and a sharpie for identifying items.  She pointed out that with seeds in particular, you will most likely forget what you have collected if you don't identify them.
     Following the program, members participated in a plant swap and social time.
Mrs. Barbara Hundley
Recycled syrup kettle which is now a fountain.  The wall behind the fountain is made from bricks rescued from a demolition site.

Some of the plants that were brought to exchange.

Lucy Calloway, LeNette Knapp, and Evelyn Bond examine a plant brought to exchange.

Evelyn Bond as she waits on her turn to choose a plant.

     Sarah Bradley and Carolyn McMillian with their plants.

As part of the "passalong" exchange, each member received a package of larkspur seeds.
Once established, these plants will re-seed.
One of the hypertufa pots made at the September meeting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hypertufa Pot Workshop

The Monroeville Garden Club met on Thursday, September 8th, at 1:00 p.m. at the home of Pat Hornady. Members participated in a workshop led by Louise Barnes making hypertufa pots . Hypertufa (pronounced hyper-toofa) is the term used for a type of artificial stone. It's made by mixing water to equal parts of peat moss, perlite, and Portland Cement. Each member brought common household containers to use as molds to fill with the hypertufa mixture and then took them home to cure.