Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas At the Cabin

     The Monroeville Garden Club members donned their tackiest holiday wear for an "Ugly Christmas Sweater Party" on December 13, 2012 at the Hornady cabin in Peterman, Alabama.  Pat Hornady was the hostess and co-hostesses were Bev Colquett, Deloris Dean-Bailey, Elba Bonham, and Kim Dillow.
     To start the party , a paper plate art game was played.  Members were given a paper plate and pen and told  to place the plate on top of their head.  They were then instructed to draw various things such as a Christmas tree, ornaments on the tree, a fireplace, etc.  At the end, points were given based on the drawing.  Winners were Judi Burns and Carolyn Holley.  Carolyn won a ceramic holiday platter and Judi won a garden journal.
     Members each  brought a garden related wrapped gift and played the "Right-Left" game to exchange.  The Christmas Story was read with the words "right" and "left" inserted throughout and each time the words were used, the gifts were passed accordingly.  At the end of the story, each member unwrapped the gift she held.
     Following the games, members enjoyed hot spiced cider, cheeseball and crackers, and an assortment of cookies.

Door Prizes decorated with fresh flowers (hydrangea and Queen Anne's Lace) and
greenery (asparagus fern, rosemary, pittosporum, and boxwood)  The gold holder is
a Christmas ornament purchased from the Dollar Tree.   Floral foam was used inside
the holder to help keep the flowers fresh.

  Pat Hornady, Dorothy Jernigan and LeNette Knapp

Ree Smith and Carolyn Holley

Judi Burns, Margaret Groves, and Audrey Griffin

Kim Dillow and Dana Shinholster

Evelyn Bond, Margaret Groves and Gail Touchton

Deloris Dean-Bailey and Dorothy Jernigan

LeNette Knapp and Elba Bonham

Members playing the paper plate art game

We had some interesting "Master Pieces"

Judi Burns with her nicely decorated Christmas tree which won a prize.

Members look at their gifts.

Enjoying spice tea and other refreshments.

Beautiful wreath made by our hostess, Pat Hornady

Easy Cheese Ball
Brought by Kim Dillow

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened                           2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 (1 oz.) package of ranch dressing mix (she used Dill)       1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

DIRECTIONS:  In a medium size bowl, mash cream cheese.  Mix dressing mix and cheddar cheese into the cream cheese.  Shape the mixture into a ball.  Roll the ball in the chopped nuts.  Refrigerate covered until ready to serve.

Rollo Pretzel Bites
Brought by Bev Colquett
Rollo Candy
Pretzels (small)
Pecan Halves

Lay pretzels on a baking sheet.  Top each with an unwrapped Rollo.  Bake at 350 for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove from oven and place a pecan half on top of the rollo and press down a bit.  Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to harden.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Members Share Gardening Hints

     The home of Gail Touchton was the setting for the meeting of the Monroeville Garden Club on Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 1:00 p.m.  Dorothy Crawford served as co-hostess.
     After the business session, a program on "Gardening Hints" was given by various club members.

     Gail Touchton shared her extensive file of gardening articles that she had collected through the years.

     Bev Colquett talked about keeping a garden journal and gave a handout to use as a guide for starting a journal.  Bev passed around her garden journal which she started about ten years ago.

     Evelyn Bond cautioned members about buying plants without first considering whether they are suited to our area (8a) and also recommended that you know where you will be placing them in your yard so that sun requirements will be met.

     Pat Hornady brought a set of gardening books that she no longer needed and offered these to anyone interested.  She also shared some Meyer lemons grown by her brother who lives in Birmingham.

     Dora Pelham shared a hint that she learned from garden club charter member, Mamie Lou York, who had learned it from her mother.  She said the most important thing is your soil and you should always be doing something to improve it.  She added coffee grounds, leaves, pine straw, and vegetable scraps to her soil.   Dora said that in her own garden she also adds egg shells to this mix.  Mrs. York's mother was so protective  of her soil that was was careful to shake loose any soil around the roots of plants she shared with others.  When she pulled weeds, she would let them dry several days and then shake the soil from the roots before disposing of the weeds.

     Margaret Groves offered several hints for repelling gnats and mosquitoes that plague gardeners.  She has found that a spray of original formula Listerine works for her.  Margaret also suggested attaching a dryer sheet to your clothing as a bug repellent.

     Nancy Ziebach recommended that members look at "Pinterest", an internet sharing service as a source for helpful garden information.  One "pin" that she found there suggested using vinegar as a weed killer.  Dana Shinholster said that she uses a homemade weed killer using vinegar, salt and dishsoap.

     Dorothy Crawford shared that she has found that using pecan hulls as mulch is helpful in keeping the family dog from digging in flower beds.

     Everyone who participated in the program was eligible for a door prize drawing.  Winners were Gail Touchton, Pat Hornady, and Dana Shinholster.

     Following the program, members enjoyed refreshments and a social time.  Fourteen members attended along with guests, Brenda Gardener, Casey White, and Martha Kress.

Door prizes were wrapped in brown kraft paper and decorated with items from the
yard:  oak leaves and acorns, hydrangea blooms and a rose made from oak
leaf hydrangea leaves.  To find out how to make one of these roses, check out this website


Dora Pelham shares gardening hints.

Gail Touchton and Sara Bradley visit during social time.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Great Tool - The Popup Yard Bag

     Recently I purchased a popup yard bag from McNider's Ace Hardware in Monroeville and so far have been pleased with this purchase.  I have seen similar bags around for a while and though interested, found them too heavy before you even put anything in them.  These bags were much more heavy duty and more expensive.  This bag is only $4.99 and works great for collecting leaves from the yard to move to the mulch pile, etc.  I would not recommend it for sticks or other heavy materials.  It comes packed flat and when you release the velcro straps, it springs open.  It collapses to 3" when you are ready to store it.
     Read about it here:

Great Tool For Planting Bulbs and Bedding Plants

     Recently I ordered a heavy duty bulb and bedding plant auger by Better Garden Tools from Amazon.  The auger attaches to most any drill.  It was $21.95 plus shipping.  You can read about it here:

     I highly recommend this tool.  If you have a prepared bed, it works like a dream.  If you have a bed with rocks or roots, it still works but is more difficult and you will probably need to have your husband dig the holes.

   The auger will work with a cordless drill but works better with an electric one and it is more powerful.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"The Dirt on Soil"

     The Monroeville Garden Club met at the home of Dotsy Compton on October 11, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.  Carolyn McMillian and Sara Bradley were co-hostesses.  Fifteen members attended and there were three guests.

     During the business session, it was decided to have a garage sale as a fund raiser.  The sale will be on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot of St. John's Episcopal Church in Monroeville.  Any money raised will be used to fund the expenses for the large flower pots and hanging baskets around the square and The Katherine Lee Rose Garden.

     Ellen Huckabay, Regional Extension Agent with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System in Mobile was the guest speaker and presented an informative program entitled "The Dirt On Soil".  She stressed the importance of having a soil test done as the first step in starting a garden and she gave each member a soil sample kit.  Information from a soil test points out what needs to be done to make the soil ideal for the kind of plants to be grown.

     Following the program, guests were served caramel cake, miniature pecan pies, cheese straws, and coffee.

Dotsy Compton, Carolyn McMillian, and Sara Bradley

Ellen Huckabay talks with guest, Judy Burns.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Review of Programs For the New Year

     The Monroeville Garden Club met on Thursday, September 13, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. at the home of Ree Smith in Monroeville, Al.  Audrey Griffin and Margaret Groves were co-hostesses for the meeting.
Seventeen members were in attendance.
      New yearbooks were passed out with a review of programs for the coming year.  The cover of the new yearbook features a copy of an original oil painting of the newly designed Katherine Lee Rose Garden.
     Members also participated in a "Seed Exchange".  In particular demand were the red poppy seeds from the Shumack Garden in Lenox.
     During the social time, members enjoyed pound cake and homemade lemon ice cream and coffee.


Seeds that were shared with members.

Yearbook cover featuring the Katherine Lee Rose Garden

Margaret Groves, Ree Smith and Audrey Griffin


Monday, May 21, 2012

Time to Collect Those Larkspur Seeds!

     For those of you who planted the larkspur seeds that you were given at the October meeting, now is the time to check to see if the seed pods are ready to collect.  For a good illustration of this process, check out this blog:    

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tour of Shorter Garden in Camden, Al.

     On May 10th, 2012, club members traveled to Camden, Al. to tour the beautiful and extensive garden of Mrs. Gayle Shorter.
     The garden has been planted so as to have something blooming at all times.  Right now the daylilies were most prominent and Mrs. Shorter had a number of unique specimens blooming.
     In the backyard, there were raised beds with plantings of tomatoes and other vegetables.  The back patio area featured a shade garden.
     Following the tour, Mrs. Shorter took members inside her home where she had tables set up for lunch. Our lunch was provided by the Blue Spoon Cooking Company.  Members enjoyed a cold plate of chicken salad, pasta salad, fresh fruit, assorted cheeses and crackers .  The finishing touch was a delicious layered lemon dessert.
     After lunch, members visited other points of interest in Camden:  Camden Jewelry and Gifts, Young's Produce Center, Wilcox Farm Center, and Black Belt Treasurers.
     A trip to Petals of the Past is planned for June 7 and then we will have a break in meetings until September.

Mrs. Shorter telling us about the garden.

"Red Hot Poker Plant"

Shade Garden

Vegetable Garden

Evelyn Bond, Mrs Shorter, and Elba Bonham discussing the vegetable garden.

Gail Touchton admiring the shade garden.

Water feature.

Delicious lunch provided by "The Blue Spoon Cooking Company".

Young's had a large assortment of plants and concrete statuary.