Shopping time!

Garden clubs know the good stuff when they see it and are adept at sharing the news of such things. Two examples are the spring club fundraisers for the Here and There Garden Club and the New Neighbors Garden Club. Both are clubs with members from the South Dayton area. Either club would be more than happy to help you get your green thumb on. Sale information is found below.

Here and There Garden Club Caladium Sale

Here and There Garden Club recently celebrated their 80th year and are offering Caladium bulbs for sale. Long prized for their colorful summer displays, caladiums make a visual splash in containers and garden beds alike. Bulbs are #1 size bulbs and are offered $1/each.

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New Neighbors Garden Club Posy Power Sale

New Neighbors Garden Club is offering the wonderful organic soil amendment Posy Power for sale. The .65 cubic foot bag, when spread 1-inch thick, covers about 9 square feet. It loosens heavy soils, binds sandy soils, increases soil’s water holding capacity and promotes soil aeration. Who wouldn’t like that? Sale information is below.





Resurrected love

Over my lifetime, I’ve killed hundreds, no, thousands of plants. Houseplants in particular. The plants I grow outside are lucky. Most are better off letting Mother Nature nurture them through the growing season. My dear African violets aren’t so lucky. Their lives depend on me, of all people, to keep them alive. I’m grateful when they reward me with their beauty.

Looking back, I remember growing African violets in my college apartment and also being the subject of a written assignment. Well, it has been a long spell between those 1970s college days at The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute but my African violet interest has come back to life. Don’t ask me how many I have. I pick up a couple more every month at our African violet club meeting. And of course, my motherly instincts kick in when I have to rip out suckers. I CAN’T throw them away; I HAVE to pot them – which only exacerbates the overpopulation problem!

Here are a few of the cuties on the shelves (6 four-foot light fixtures) at the moment.



Jolly Orchid (miniature)



Amour Elite (standard)



Paula’s PB and J (standard)


I lost the name for this one – I call him Fred. (miniature)


Jolly Gala (miniature)

Second flower show winners

The 2012 Montgomery County Fair Flower Show wrapped up its second and final flower show held during the run of fair in Dayton, Ohio. The Garden Club Federation of Dayton and Vicinity would like to thank all those who helped make it a success – especially considering the difficult drought this summer.


Best of Show – Section 1 (Roses): John Adams

Best of Show – Section 2-6 (All Other Cut Specimens): John Adams

Best of Show – Section 7 (Container-Grown Plants): Dale Rodgers

Best of Show – Section 8 Cacti/Succulents: John Adams

Best of Show – Section 9 (Junior Horticulture): Michelle Keck

Best of Show – Section 12 (Adult Artistic): Joni Duncan

Best of Show – Section 14 (Junior Artistic): Lilly Svisco


Judge’s Award of Distinction – Adult Horticulture: Jan Vomacka

Green Thumb Award – Adult Horticulture (for Cultural Perfection from Sections 1-6): Jan Vomacka

Container Growers Award – Adult Horticulture (for Cultural Perfection From Sections 7-8): Barbara Warner

Judge’s Award of Distinction – Adult Artistic: Babs Sabick

Green Thumb Award – Junior Horticulture (Horticultural Excellence of a Junior Exhibit): Ben Zink

December 2010

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I know I enjoyed a great Christmas meal (quite out of the ordinary brunch and a movie) with the hubby, my mom, both children, their spouses, our first grandchild and an in-law from Germany. It just might turn out to be a NEW tradition! My red cabbage with apples got a big thumbs-up from my German-native daughter-in-law and her father who was visiting for the holidays.

Christmas presents
Did you get something for the gardener in you? I did! If you enjoy birdwatching, you’ll agree that a good field guide can make all the difference in the world with regards to identifying your birds. I received the Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America. At over 800 pages and 3400 photographs this book is a bargain at its list price of $24.99. However, you can purchase this book for under 17.00 if you shop around on line (click on the link above). It even includes a CD of 150 birdsongs.

Open Meeting Reminder
Don’t forget that my club, the Here & There Garden Club, invites you to attend their 2011 Open Meeting 7:30 pm on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at the Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren (800 E. David Rd., Kettering OH 45429). Bob Iiames, Master Gardener, will speak on “Perennials that Pop – from Bed to Dead”. Refreshments will be served. Bring your friends.

Question of the week:
Sharon in Cincinnati asks: How and where do you store your birdseed?
Vicki’s answer: Thankfully, I do not have any winter heat-seeking rodents in my garage. Well, none that I know of! Considering I am using up seed quicker than Mr. Mickey Mouse can eat it, my sunflower seed and Nyjer seed is just stored in the unheated garage in their 25 lb bags. However, I have been also known to store my seed in a recycled tub/bucket who’s former life was a 28-lb container of clumping cat litter and in the large recycled styrofoam container that Omaha Steaks came shipped in. I would never suggest that you keep seed inside your house unless it is in an air-tight container. All it takes is one infestation of Pantry Moths (that came in the birdseed) to learn that lesson the hard way. (Kinda reminds you of my ‘school of hard knocks’ tip from freezing faucets from the last post?) Does anyone have any other response?

Oooooh, that reminds me. I want to pass along a great recipe for winter feeding your birds. I religiously follow the OAGC 2010 keynote convention speaker Julie Zickefoose’s blog ( She is also on facebook. She has a home recipe for winter bird dough. Please be sure to read her full post on Zick Dough before you try to make it. Your bird will thank you!

Melt and stir together:
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup lard

In a large mixing bowl, combine:
2 cups chick starter (unmedicated – I bought mine at Tractor Supply. 20# bag for $7.99)
2 cups quick oats
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour

True or False: Is Mistletoe the “Kiss of Death?”

There is a myth about American Mistletoe, the green-berried parasitic plant often hung in doorways during the holiday season to elicit kisses from those standing beneath it. Reputed to be the “kiss of death,” it is said to be so poisonous that humans can be killed if they ingest the leaves or berries. This myth has been endlessly repeated throughout the years, reappearing every December in countless holiday safety reports on television and in print.

Is it true? Is American Mistletoe (Phoradendron species), a holiday killer? Two physicians and researchers from Pittsburgh decided to find out. Dr. Edward P. Krenzelok (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) and Dr. Terry Jacobson (Carnegie Mellon University) examined data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers and found 1,754 reports of mistletoe exposure over a seven-year span. Curiously, not only had no one died of mistletoe poisoning, in the overwhelming majority of the cases (approximately 90%), the patient experienced no effects at all. Those patients who did have effects suffered only minor discomfort. Treatment at a poison control center or at home made no discernible difference in patients’ recovery or outcome. (Source: