At our February meeting, we heard all about native groundcovers, alternative plants to use instead of English Ivy and periwinkle. Meehan’s mint, foamflower, and Allegheny spurge are just a few we covered. The plant catalogs our speaker brought along were so mouth-watering that our club decided to order some flats of native groundcovers for sale at our annual plant sale, which will take place on Saturday, May 19th, from 8am – 2pm. Mark your calendars! No early birds, please. (Rain date Sunday, May 20th, 8am – 2pm.) Come feast on the wide selection of perennials dug at bargain prices from our own gardens, colorful annuals from Country Gardens at competitive prices, and, for the first time this year, native perennial groundcovers. We’ll have the afformentioned Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower) and Meehania cordata (Meehan’s mint), Heuchera ‘Caramel’ (alumroot) with gorgeous orange foliage, Ascelpias tuberosa (butterfly weed), and several others. Natives plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife, including butterflies, beneficial insects, and birds, and contribute to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. So please come and check out our ever-wider selection of healthy, beautiful plants!
As in prior years, the Garden Club could use your recycled plant pots! If you have any extra plastic plant pots lying around, the Garden Club can use them to pot up plants from our gardens for the sale. Please drop them off with Doris Clair (or leave them in her driveway) at 1308 Cape St. Claire Road.
On March 6th, the Garden Club met for its annual Anniversary Dinner, celebrating the club’s founding in 1975. As usual, club members contributed to a potluck dinner along with a turkey and a ham, and we all had a festive time, especially when we raffled off the centerpieces and some choice perennials. Colorful primroses and hyacinths, a variety of gorgeous foliage plants – what a lovely reminder for us all that spring is just around the corner. We’ve had a few surprise late-season ice storms, but surely the daffodils will be blooming by the time this goes to print!
Our next meetings will take place on Tuesday, April 3rd and Tuesday, May 1st, at 7pm in the Clubhouse. In April, Gene Sumi will speak on Growing Edible Fruits and Berries. Ever wondered what kinds of fruit trees are easiest to grow? Ever wanted a blueberry bush or a few strawberry plants right on your deck? Come find out all about it at our April meeting. We have quite a few new members since last year, and it’s always a pleasure to meet and get to know more gardeners. So please join us for a meeting – all are welcome!
Submitted by Audrey Lengbeyer
Happy May, all!
This month the Garden Club is busy preparing for its annual plant sale. As always, it will fall on the Saturday after Mother’s Day: Saturday, May 19th, from 8am-2pm. No early birds please! We know you’re all eager, but as usual, we request that you wait until 8am. As always, we will have a wide variety of healthy and interesting perennials from our own gardens, at bargain prices, as well as a variety of colorful annuals at competitive prices: impatiens, marigolds, begonias, petunias, and many others. Also we will have many flats of vegetables and herbs for those who want an edible garden as well as a pretty one! And also this year, for the first time, we will be selling several varieties of native groundcovers. Have a bare patch? These plants are not only colorful and interesting, they provide native wildlife with food and habitat, and contribute to the health of our precious Chesapeake Bay. Come see what we have!
Anyone who is planting this month, the Garden Club can always use your recycled plastic pots for our plant sale. Please drop them off at Doris Clair’s house, in the driveway: 1308 Cape St. Claire Road, at the corner of Mountain Top. Thanks!
At our April meeting, we heard Gene Sumi, horticulturalist, speak on Growing Fruits and Sweet Edibles. Most people know you can grow apples, cherries, and peaches easily in our climate, but did you know that we can also grow apricots, kiwi, and figs? We can also grow many berries, including blueberries (a native shrub in Maryland), raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. Gene talked about how to choose trees that fit in our gardens – some grow to a full size of a mere 12 feet tall, and are self-polinating, for those of us with tiny gardens. He also discussed protecting the fruit from birds and disease. We all learned a great deal and had a very fun time. We even had several new faces in our audience. Thanks for coming out – it was nice to meet some new Cape residents!
Last but not least, congratulations to all our Yard of the Month winners for April:
- Area 1: The Wales and Railey residence, 1437 Cape St. Claire Road
- Area 2: The Zduns at 1123 Crestview Drive
- Area 3: The Backs at 1142 Hampton Road
- Area 4: The Barnharts at 847 Chestnut Tree Drive
- Area 5: The Kirkpatricks at 1245 Ramblewood Drive
The Garden Club judges Yard of the Month from April through October, with each team of judges picking their favorite yard in one of five zones in the Cape. Photos of these beautiful gardens can be seen at the Cape St. Claire website, http://www.cscia.org – take a peek! Thanks to all our judges, and to Catherine Salam for taking and submitting the photos each month.
And that’s all the news this month. See you at the plant sale!
Submitted by Audrey Lengbeyer
What a beautiful May in the Cape! Our community was blanketed with pink, red, and white blooms. Azaleas everywhere! Summer is upon us, and already we are experiencing days in the 80s. Time to get the hose out again! One way to cut down on watering is to mulch your flowerbeds. Got bare soil showing? Head to a nursery or hardware store and pick up a few bags of mulch. Mulch on top of the soil helps keep the soil beneath moist and cool for the plants’ roots, and means they need a lot less watering from us to stay healthy and bloom prolifically.
In May the Garden Club met for one last meeting before our plant sale. We had a wonderful talk by our very own Linda Droneburg, who talked to us about propagation, the making of new plants from existing plants. Most plants in our gardens spread, either by seed or by root. Hostas, planted in a tiny clump, will soon spread into an enormous mound, and can be spread by digging up the mound, cutting the roots into smaller pieces, and replanting. This is best done in early spring, just as the leaves emerge from the ground. Linda brought many examples of various plants to show us how to divide their roots, and also the tools for doing it.
Linda also taught us about taking cuttings from shrubs, such as azaleas. Does your neighbor have a prized azalea you can never find while shopping? Are you patient and willing to put in some effort? Taken at the right time of year, a snip off your neighbor’s shrub will root in soil, and in a few years, you will have a new baby azalea bush in your yard! Linda has generously invited the members of the Garden Club to take cuttings from her many and varied azaleas in July. Linda and her husband have nurtured the cuttings they took 13 years ago into enormous full-grown azaleas of many varieties, and they continue adding to their impressive collection. Interested? Please join us! (Please phone 410-757-5175 or email email@example.com for dates and times.) We all learned a lot from Linda’s excellent talk, and look forward to visiting her garden in July!
Congratulations to our May Yard of the Month winners:
- Area 1: The Riesetts, 1009 Magothy Park Lane
- Area 2: The Roppels, 1339 Swan Drive
- Area 3: The Joneses, 1172 Latrobe Drive
- Area 4: The Meads, 1232 Mt. Pleasant Drive
- Area 5: The Maldonados, 1219 Ramblewood Drive
This month’s gardening tips:
Remember to set your mower to keep your grass nice and high, 3” tall is ideal. Taller grass is healthier, more resistant to disease and pests, and won’t need as much water. Also, for those of us who are buying a new mower, try to find one with a mulching option. Grass clippings mulched into the lawn add valuable nutrients and organic matter back into the soil, helping to keep our lawns healthy and maintenance-free. And hold back on the fertilizer – the best time to feed our lawns is in the fall, when they are building their root structure. If you employ people to mow or fertilize your lawn, you can ask them to mow higher and also to fertilize only in the fall. In addition to reducing unnecessary nutrient runoff into our precious Chesapeake Bay, you’ll be saving a heap of your hard-earned money.
Thanks to all of you who came out for our annual plant sale. Your support enables us to continue our mission to beautify the Cape, educate our members and other interested gardeners, and contribute to the wonderful sense of community in our neighborhood. (This year your support also helped two of our long-time members become Master Gardeners, through a county program. They received training in many gardening topics and will provide many volunteer hours to the county. In addition to joining a valuable program that educates the public about gardening topics like composting and soil-testing, our two newly minted graduates also bring valuable knowledge back to our club and the Cape, helping us all to grow as gardeners.) Each year we have our plant sale, we enjoy the opportunity to meet fellow Cape residents and to provide perennials from our gardens to yours. We hope our plants give you many days (or even years!) of pleasure!
Enjoy your gardens!
Submitted by Audrey Lengbeyer
July / August 2007
Happy July, all!
What a wonderful June! The daylilies and hydrangeas are blooming, and we have even had some decent thunderstorms. What more could a gardener ask for? (Maybe fewer mosquitoes in the coming months – read on!)
The Garden Club had a wonderful meeting in June at a member’s house. We all brought potluck, and had a marvelous time walking through her gorgeous new woodland garden. Hostas, hydrangeas, ferns, grasses, and many other plants combined to make a lovely, private place for contemplation. What fun it is to see how plants can be used in so many different ways for such different effects! Special thanks to Judy for such a fun and enchanting evening.
In July the Garden Club will meet at another member’s house for an azalea cutting party. Did you know that azaleas can be propagated by taking foliage cuttings? Just a dip in rooting hormone and a bit of coddling can make a brand-new azalea! Linda and her husband Don grew quite a collection of azaleas from cuttings 13 years ago, and they are now large, beautiful shrubs, plenty big to spare a few cuttings of their own. We are all looking forward to some new azaleas, providing we can keep the cuttings alive! Watering, as always, will be the big challenge…
The Garden Club will take a break during the month of August, and resume regular meetings on the first Tuesday in September, the 4th, at 7pm. Please join us for some gardening chatter and a lot of good fun.
Now that the heat has really set in, those mosquitoes really are biting, aren’t they? Did you know that mosquitoes live and breed within a few hundred yards of where they are born? This might seem like pointless trivia, but knowing this means that controlling their breeding in our yards really has an effect on whether we have a mosquito problem! (Having our neighbors on board really helps too.) All of us can help reduce mosquitoes in our yards by following the guidelines found at the website: http://www.mda.state.md.us/plants-pests/mosquito_control/tips_rid_your_community_mosquito_breeding_sites.php
Tips to Rid Your Community of Mosquito Breeding Sites
- Clean rain gutters to allow water to flow freely.
- Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in tires used for playground equipment.
- Store plastic wading pools inside or turn them upside down when not in use.
- Turn over or remove clay pots and plastic containers.
- Dispose of all empty beverage containers, plastic wrappers, discarded toys, etc.
- Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water.
- Pump out bilges in boats. Turn canoes and small boats upside down for storage.
- Replace water in bird baths at least twice a week.
- Remove pet food and water dishes that are not being used.
- Flush livestock water troughs twice a week.
- Don’t leave garbage can lids lying upside down. Be sure water does not collect in the bottom of garbage cans.
- Flush water in the bottom of plant holders twice a week.
- Fix dripping outside water faucets.
- Turn wheelbarrows upside down when stored outside.
- Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading prevent drainage problems.
- Check ornamental ponds, tree holes and water-holding low areas for mosquito larvae. Call the nearest Mosquito Control Office (see below) if you find, or suspect, mosquito larvae are present.
- If ditches do not flow and contain stagnant water for one week or longer, they can produce large numbers of mosquitoes. Report such conditions to a Mosquito Control Office at 410-841-5870. Do not attempt to clear these ditches because they may be protected by wetland regulations.
Mosquitos can breed in just a tablespoon of water, so you can’t overstate how important it is to clear all standing water, no matter how small the amount! Good luck, all!
Finally, congratulations to all our June Yard of the Month winners:
- Area 1: The Wajbels, 1057 Little Magothy View
- Area 2: The Correas, 1032 Skyview Drive
- Area 3: The Maclarens, 1040 Lake Claire Drive
- Area 4: The Banares residence, 1196 Summit Drive
- Area 5: The Benners, 1206 Green Holly Drive
Thanks to all our judges and their queen bee Kari for all their diligent work, and to Catherine Salam for diligently posting photos on the web of the winners’ yards. Check them out at http://www.cscia.org.
This will be my last Garden Club article for now, as I head to Israel for a year with my family in late August. Best wishes to all my gardening buddies – may plentiful rain grace our gardens while I am gone! We’ll think fondly of our wonderful Cape neighborhood, and look forward to day when we return to our garden here in the Cape. Until then, happy adventures, all!
Submitted by Audrey Lengbeyer