Small Wonders

Miniature designs must be less than 5" in any direction

I had a great day in Chillicothe (OH) yesterday sharing a Miniature/Small floral design program with the Story Place Garden Club of Region 9. What is the difference between as small or miniature floral design, you ask? The Ohio Association of Garden Clubs’ Exhibitors’ and Judges’ Schools teach that a Miniature design can be no larger than 5″ in any direction. A Small design is larger than 5″ but no larger than 12″ in any direction. Getting the right scale and proportion is the most important part of creating these lilliputian beauties. Sometimes it’s not easy but it is FUN! When you get the scale right, it is hard to tell if you are looking at a five inch or a 40 inch floral design.

Lots of sales news to report:

Our friends at Bluestone Perennials in Madison (OH) is a family owned Ohio-grown mail-order business. They have many great sale offerings for spring of 2012; some up to 50% off. Check out the deals at www.bluestoneperennials.com

If you haven’t subscribed to Knollwood Garden Center’s (Beavercreek) email newsletter, you should. (Sign up on their home page.) You’ll get a heads up on the specials and also the schedule of their wonderful gardening seminars. For instance, this week email customers are being rewarded with four special days (Thursday-Sunday, March 15-18 ONLY) to redeem their Bonus Bucks. The next opportunity to redeem Bonus Bucks will be in June. They are also offering a drawing for free tickets to the Dayton Home and Garden Show (an $8 value). Don’t forget the Dayton Home and Garden Show is offering entrance discounts. Check them out HERE.

Grandma’s Gardens (Waynesville) is offering 20% off the regular price of everything Thursday-Sunday, March 15-18 in their Spring Preview Sale. They, too, have an email group for customers. Sign up HERE.

Tomorrow (March 16) is the last day to sign up for Siebenthaler’s (Centerville and Beavercreek) Frequent Gardener Card for the discounted price of $15. Starting Saturday, March 17, the price goes up to the full $25 price.

Marvin’s Organic Gardens (Lebanon) is now open weekends.

Scrambled eggs anyone?

At first glance it looked like someone had spilled scrambled eggs under my neighbor’s tree. It was brilliant yellow in color and upon closer inspection had a furry look about it. Dusk was nearly upon me and because I’m not a big fan of taking pictures with flash, I waited until morning to get these photos. By that time the beautiful yellow color had already dulled to a pale beige. And it had grown. Exponentially!

It turns out to be one of the prettier varieties of slime mold, something akin to fungus. That is, if you can call slime mold pretty. Fuligo septica is also commonly called scrambled egg slim and also dog vomit. Eeeeewwwwweeeee. I like calling it scrambled egg slime better.

If you are one of the millions upon millions of home gardeners who spread bark mulch in your beds, you’ve probably run into this common fungus-like sight. Without getting too scientific, a bunch of spores grow and form a fast-growing amoeba-like spongy mass while in search of non-living organic nutrients found in mulch.

It doesn’t take long, even a day or so, before it turns brown and crusty. If you don’t like what you see, turn it over and cover with fresh mulch. It turns out that the presence of slime mold is actually a good thing; showing that organic matter is doing what it should be doing.

Calling all ladies

Siebenthaler’s Nursery’s annual Ladies’ Night will be held Thursday, August 4 from 6-8 pm. This event will be held at their Beavercreek location (2074 Beaver Valley Rd., Beavercreek, OH 45434). Join The Cake Chronicles author Jayne B. Robinson as she finds sweet hope in this crazy world. Cake and sparkling wine will be served. Call 937-434-3126,  937-426-4110 or stop in either location to reserve your spot.

Get ready for the county fair flower show

Mark your calendars now for the Montgomery County Fair’s Flower Show! The flower show is sponsored by the Montgomery County Agricultural Society and produced by the Federation of Garden Clubs of Dayton and Vicinity. There are two days of floral-friendly competition: Wednesday, August 31 and Saturday, September 3. Volunteers are needed in many capacities: helping to process entries, getting entries sorted and placed in preparation for judging, hostessing during the hours the fair is open, set-up and more. Don’t forget to enter your own specimens! There is no fee to exhibit. Download the flower show schedule HERE to learn more about entering and contact details. An informational briefing will be held on Monday, August 15 at 10am at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark.

Sales alerts

If you are still in the market for slipping in a few more plants, be sure to visit your local garden center or nursery for some great deals. Examples: Knollwood Garden Center’s trees and shrubs are 20% off, birdbaths are 25% off, quart-sized perennials are 50% off and 10″ plastic hanging baskets are $10 off. Grandma’s Garden Center has 4″ annuals buy-one-get-one-free and wooden raised garden bed kits are 40% off . You’ll find similar savings all over the area this month.