And the winners are……

The 160th Montgomery County Fair (Dayton, OH) is now underway running August 29-September 3, 2012. The Garden Club Federation of Dayton and Vicinity (‘like’ us on Facebook) produces two flower shows during the run of the fair. The first flower show was held Wednesday, August 29 and the winners are noted below. Reminder to exhibitors: the first show entries will be released at 5 pm, Friday, August 31.

Anyone who is a Federation member or is a resident of Butler, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble or Warren Counties is eligible to enter these flower shows. Entries for the second show on Saturday, September 1, will be accepted from 6-9 pm, August 31 and 7-9 am, September 1. There are no entry fees and no premiums will be given. You’ll just win beautiful ribbons, maybe some big rosettes and be the envy of your green (and brown) thumbed friends. Check out the complete flower show schedule and exhibitor rules HEREThe second show entries will be released at 5 pm, Monday, September 3. We hope to see you there!


Best of Show – Section 1 (Roses): Ed Marrinan

Best of Show – Sections 2-6 (All Other Cut Specimens): Jean Beecher

Best of Show – Section 7 (Container Grown Plants): Caralynn Appenzeller

Best of Show – Section 8 (cacti/succulents): Nancy Denlinger

Best of Show – Section 9 (Junior Horticulture): Grace Hansford, age 6

Best of Show – Section 10 (Artistic Special Class): Joni Duncan

Best of Show – Section 11 (Adult Artistic): Louise Bennett

Best of Show – Section 13 (Junior Artistic): Rachel Dalyrmple


Judge’s Award of Distinction – Adult Horticulture: Marcia Heil

Green Thumb Award – Adult Horticulture (for Horticultural Excellence in Sections 1-6): Caralynn Appenzeller

Container Grower Award – Adult Horticulture (for Cultural Perfection in Sections 7-8): John Adams

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

Green Thumb Award – Junior Horticulture (for horticultural excellence from Section 9): Rebekah Hansford, age 13

Gear up for Arbor Day

The great French Marshal Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow-growing and would not reach maturity for a hundred years. The Marshal replied, “In that case, there is no time to lose, plant it this afternoon.”

Keeping that thought in mind, many Southwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts are offering tree seedling sales. You can check out the sales at the following links. Thanks to ODNR Regional Urban Forester Wendi VanBuren for this information.

Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District – (937) 492-6520 – Orders due by Friday, March 23rd. Pick-up on third week of April.

Darke Soil & Water Conservation District – (937) 548-1752 – Orders due by Wednesday, March 21st. Pick-up on April 3, 4 & 5.

Miami Soil & Water Conservation District Orders due by Friday, March 16th. Pick-up on April 3 & 4.

Preble Soil & Water Conservation District – (937) 456-5159 – Orders due by Friday, March 16th. Pick-up on April 3.

Montgomery Soil & Water Conservation District Orders due by Friday, March 9th. Pick-up on April 3 & 4.

Greene Soil & Water Conservation Orders due by Friday, March 16th. Pick-up on April 12 & 13.

Butler Soil & Water Conservation District Orders due by Friday, March 23rd. Pick-up on April 19 & 20

Warren Soil & Water Conservation District Orders due by Monday, March 19th. Pick-up on March 29, 30 & 31.

Clinton Soil & Water Conservation District – (937) 382-2461 – Orders due by Friday, March 16th. Pick-up on March 29 & 30.

Hamilton – No Tree Sale

Clermont Soil & Water Conservation District – 513/732-7075 – Orders due by Friday, April 13th. Pick-up on April 21.

Highland Soil & Water Conservation District – (937) 393-1922 ext #3 – First come, first served. Pick-up on April 6.

Brown – No Tree Sale

Adams Soil & Water Conservation District – (937) 798-4018 – White Pine and Norway Spruce only – Ordering until gone. Arrive March 13th.

Flowers in January?

Helleborus spp.

It’s hard to believe that anything in our Miami Valley gardens would be thinking about growing let alone blooming in January yet a stroll around the garden proved just that. Today’s spotlight is on the plucky group of perennials in the Helleborus genus which are also known as Hellebores or the Lenten Rose.

If the perk of having something bloom in your garden in late winter/early spring isn’t enough to entice growing these beauties, perhaps knowing that many of the cultivars have leathery, evergreen foliage will. The Hellebores are truly a sight for sore eyes on a day like today!

Educational Opportunities

Montgomery County Master Gardener Classes Gear Up

Do you love to garden?  Would you like to learn new skills and meet others who share your horticultural interests? Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012 Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.  Classes meet every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 6 through May 8, 2012, at the extension office at Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1001 South Main Street, Dayton.

Training provides 50 hours of classroom instruction provided by OSU professors, county extension agents and other experts.  Topics cover a broad range of subjects, including plant propagation, herbaceous and woody ornamentals, trees and lawns, soils and fertilizers, fruits and vegetables, herbs, pest management and more.

Participants must attend one of several volunteer orientation sessions scheduled for February 7 – 9, 2012.  They also must pass a background check before entering the program and volunteer 50 hours of horticultural service to the community after completing the classroom instruction to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer.  The class fee is $150.

For more information, please contact Clare Thorn, Program Assistant, Horticulture, at (937) 224-9654.  Applications and other required forms are available on line at  The deadline for application is January 30, 2012.