Sunday, December 13, 2015

Garden Club Holds Annual Christmas Luncheon

     The Monroeville Garden Club held their annual Christmas luncheon at Vanity Fair Golf and Tennis Club on Thursday, December 10, 2015.  The doors opened at 11:00 a.m. and guests were treated to appetizers of cheese straws, olive rollups, spinach dip with chips, mixed nuts, Mock Poinsettia Punch, and coffee.  Guests enjoyed visiting and looking at the different table decorations that had been set up by garden club members.

     At 12:00 p.m. a luncheon plate of chicken salad, fresh fruit, and a muffin was served.  During the lunch, a program on decorating for Christmas was given by Richard Stembridge of Bulkhead Interiors.  Mr. Stembridge demonstrated how to make a Christmas bow, how to use a bow to decorate a chair back and then he made a large centerpiece using fresh greenery.  He added "bling" to the arrangement to give it a more formal look.  At the end of the presentation, a drawing was held for the arrangement and Heather Gaston was the winner.

     The next garden club meeting will be January 14, 2016,  at the home of Patsy Wadlington.  Members should bring their favorite gardening books and/or gardening websites to share with other members.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Garden Club Learns About Native Plants

     The Monroeville Garden Club met on November 12, 2015, at 1:00 pm at the Monroeville Presbyterian Church.  Dana Shinholster was hostess and Brenda Gardner was co-hostess.

     Mrs. Judy Stout, a Master Gardner from Mobile, presented a program on native plants.  A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular area.  Native plants are adapted to the climate, diseases, and pests of the area so they require less care and attention than exotic plants brought in from other areas.  Mrs. Stout had a slide presentation showing trees, shrubs, and vines that are native to our area.

     After the program, a business session was held.  The club voted to allocate funds to buy plants for four flowerbeds which are located at the front and back entrances of the courthouse.  Also, they will buy four hanging baskets for the gazebo located by the rose garden.

     Final details for the Christmas luncheon were discussed and then the meeting adjourned for a social time.  Refreshments included cream cheese and pepper jelly sandwiches,  Chickpea Salad, Baked Brie Bites, Oatmeal Cake, cookies decorated like fall leaves, and orange sherbet punch.

     Members who attended the meeting were Laura Bodiford, Evelyn Bond, Sara Bradley, Judi Burns, Lynn Byrd, Bev Colquett, Dotsy Compton, Brenda Gardner, Audrey Griffin, Margaret Groves, Carolyn Hutcherson, Dana Shinholster, Ree Smith, Vonceil Stringer, Gail Touchton, Patsy Wadlington, and Nancy Ziebach.

     On December 10th, the club will host a fund-raising luncheon at Vanity Fair Golf and Tennis Club.  A program on  decorating for Christmas will be presented by Richard Brown Stembridge, a Birmingham decorator.

(L to R)  Brenda Gardner and Dana Shinholster were hostesses for the meeting.

Judy Stout, Master Gardener from Mobile, who presented the program.

Members brought bulbs to exchange.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Beautification Award Presented by Monroeville Rotary Club

     If you have ridden down the bypass lately,  you have likely noticed an area where the  landscape has been improved with the addition of new flowerbeds and a neatly manicured lawn.  Each time I rode by , I took notice and was curious as to who was responsible for this lovely area.  The mystery was recently solved when the  Monroeville Rotary Club presented their first annual Beautification Award to James and Millie Salter.  They were given a plaque and a check for $250.00 and a sign denoting the award to be placed in their yard.

  The club graciously invited me, as a representative of the Monroeville Garden Club,  to attend the presentation ceremony and I had the opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Salter.  The property had belonged to Mr. Salter's parents and after their death, he acquired it and began the improvements.  Mr. and Mrs. Salter currently live in Mobile and right now just visit periodically which presented a challenge during the dry summer months to keep their landscape looking good.  Mr. Salter retired from the US Postal Service and eventually, he and Mrs. Salter have plans to move here permanently.

   The Salters not only have worked to improve their property but also keep the public sidewalk that adjoins it neatly edged.  They are truly an asset to the community and an inspiration to us all to do whatever we can to make our city the best it can be.

President, Marshall Black, present award to Mr. and Mrs. Salter.

Marshall, Mr. and Mrs. Salter with the sign that would be placed in the yard (and the spelling
was corrected later!)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

New Arbor Installed in Rose Garden

One of our major projects this year was to replace the arbor which had broken.  The previous arbor was purchased from a commercial outlet and this one was made by a local welder (at a cost of almost $500.00), so we expect this one to be around for many years.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Monroeville Garden Club Travels to Perdido Vineyards

The Monroeville Garden Club traveled to Perdido Vineyards in Perdido, Al. on October 8, 2015.  The Perdido Vineyard was established in 1972 by Jim and Marianne Eddins.  It features a 90,000 gallon winery with cold fermentation and temperature controlled storage.  They produce premium white, red, and rose table wines and a number of gourmet wine vinegars made from Alabama grown fruits and vegetables.

Mr. Eddins spoke to the group about the history of wine making and the health benefits of drinking wine.The vineyard is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am till 5:00 pm.

Following the program, a buffet lunch of pasta salad, grapes, crackers, bread, and desert was served to members by hostess, Gail Touchton, and Dana Shinholster, co-hostess.  Other members in attendance were Laura Bodiford, Dotsy Compton, Bev Colquett, Carolyn Hutcherson, Patsy Wadlington, and Nancy Ziebach.

The next meeting will be November 13, 2015, at the Monroeville Presbyterian Church.  Ms. Judy Stout, a Mobile Master Gardener, will present a program on Native Trees and Shrubs.  Members should bring a bulb or bulbs for a "Bulb Swap".

Display of some of the grape juice and wine available for purchase.

Samples of muscadine grape juice being served to members .

Mr. Eddins, owner of the vineyards.

Laura Bodiford and an employee of the vineyard discussing wine choices.

(L to R) Dana Shinholster and Gail Touchton setting up our lunch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Garden Club Begins New Year

The Monroeville Garden Club held their first meeting of the new year on September 10 at 1:00 p.m. at the home of Laura Bodiford in Monroeville.

Members were given their yearbooks and programs for the coming year were reviewed.  Fund-raising projects being considered are a Christmas luncheon and a garden tour in the spring.  All funds raised by the club are used to beautify the square.  This year the club plans to replace the arbor in the rose garden.

Following the business session, members enjoyed refreshments of chicken salad sandwiches, ham salad sandwiches,  a vegetable tray with dip, fresh fruit and miniature pecan tarts.

Those in attendance included:  Laura Bodiford, Judi Burns, Bev Colquett, Dotsy Compton, Brenda Gardner, Margaret Groves, Pam Hindman, Pat Hornady, Carolyn Hutcherson,Dana Shinholster, Ree Smith, Vonceil Stringer, Gail Touchton, Patsy Wadlington, and Nancy Ziebach.

New yearbook for the year.  

Our hostess for the meeting, Laura Bodiford

Members, Vonceil Stringer and Carolyn Hutcherson, 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Trip to Gaucho Farms

     On May 14, 2015, the Monroeville Garden Club traveled to Slocomb, Al. to tour Gaucho Farms.
Gaucho Farms, owned by Jorge and Suzanne Sanchez, is a small, diversified family farm.  It produces all natural 100% grass fed beef and lamb, pastured broiler chickens and turkeys, pastured free range eggs, chemical free fruit and vegetables, and heirloom vegetable plants from certified organic, non GMO seed.
     The farm takes a holistic approach to farming where each small enterprise supports the others.  For example, the chickens and turkeys provide fertilizer for the pasture.  Gaucho Farms never use herbicides and they make their own compost which is used to fertilize the garden.  The poultry and livestock are never given antibiotics or growth hormones.  The lambs and steers are never fed grain, soy hulls, or other industry by-products like chicken litter.
     Gaucho Farms was started because the Sanchezs' wanted to grow the kind of food that they would feel good about feeding to their family and eventually expanded to offer their farm products to others.  You can find more information about the farm on their website:  gaucho
     After taking the farm tour, members of the garden club were served a box lunch of chicken salad wraps, chips, an apple, and cookies.  Hostesses were Patsy Wadlington, Dana Shinholster, and Gail Touchton.
     On the way home, the club members stopped at The Blue Goose Garden Center in Andalusia.  Members who went on the trip were Patsy Wadlington, Nancy Ziebach, Bev Colquett, Pat Hornady, Dana Shinholster, and Laura Bodiford.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Garden Tour

This is a copy of the program for the garden tour which included a history of the house as well as instructions for some of the projects that were displayed.
It is impossible to include photos of all the many features of the Countryman's yard but some of the highlights follow the copy of the program.

Sarah's "scarecrow" greeted everyone as they started the tour.

This chair was "repurposed" to make a planter.

This building featured a garden hose wreath.

The pot puppy and brick books were projects included in the program.

A pallet was used for planting Mr. McGregor's Garden.
The back corner of the yard was set up as a garden party complete with burning
candles and soft music playing.

Here are some of the items that were sold in the
Garden Boutique.