April 2017 Meeting: Insects in Gardens, Gardens in Terrariums

April is an exciting month for gardeners.  It is that middle month of spring hinting at bright, hot summer days ahead  while reminding that the gray chill of winter may still have a visit or two left.  Here in Connecticut, we’ll be met one day with soaking rains and warming soil, and another day with a blustery blast from the newly-departed cold.  Our April meeting nodded to both faces of the month with a discussion of what to expect outside with garden insects and a presentation from special guest Tovah Martin on the delights of indoor terrariums.

With the start of 2017, ORGC has reached 54 members!  With more people, we are able to achieve more in the community, and we have increased our committees accordingly.  We are maintaining gardens at the Post Office, Community Center, the Huntington Green, high school, Plumb Memorial Library, and Police Station.  As in past years, we continue our Garden Therapy program and have added work at the Adams House Grief Center.  Among new committee signups, Diana Wehger has accepted the role of Historian, and Holly Secskas and Glenda Mercer will be chairing the new Youth Committee.

Joyce Fedorko speaks about “Garden Insects: Good, Bad, and Naturally Controlling Them”

Horticulture Chair Joyce Fedorko spoke to members about “Garden Insects:  Good, Bad, and Naturally Controlling Them.”  Topics included how to identify insects and which of these common visitors are beneficial or detrimental.  For those that are harmful, we learned about natural predators and insecticides to control populations.  With the growing season nearly upon us, this is a critical time for anticipating mitigation strategies.

We were delighted to welcome special guest Tovah Martin.  Tovah has been seen on TV shows like Martha Stewart and PBS, and she is the author of many gardening books and articles in publications throughout the country.  Tovah presented a lecture entitled “Terrariums & You,” in which she shared ideas for transforming everything from vases to cake stands, fishbowls, lemonade pitchers, and cookie jars into receptacles to host nature almost anywhere.  Terrariums are the ideal venue to bring the outdoors into anyone’s life.  These “small worlds” introduce beauty, botany, whimsy, sophistication, and sparkle into any décor, plus these projects are also surprisingly inexpensive.  Tovah gave tips for finding budget-friendly, beautiful containers, then advised on the self-sustaining nature that can be achieved with terrariums.  Lastly, she shared the surprising range of plants that benefit from terrarium environments.

Our Artistic flower arrangement theme for April was “Visions of Spring:  using early bulbs, forced branches,” and the horticulture classes included “Darling Daffodils,” “Hail the Hyacinth:  Harbinger of Spring!” and “Tantalizing Tulips.”  As always, our meeting concluded with a wonderful lunch spread:  gourmet, tea-sized sandwiches and delectable desserts.

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