Good Day, fellow gardeners…

Here is a recap of our past two Garden Chatter meetings.

Thank-you Kathy Taylor for hosting our July meeting.  The gardens were lovely and the setting for the meeting was beautiful.. Kathy had set lovely tables with umbrellas and offered a wonderful spread of treats.  Tiffani Anderson and MarionA Mich did a presentation on insects and disease.  We all walked away learning a thing or two, for sure.

Thank-you Robyn Pancake for opening your lovely home for our August meeting.  Of course, the table was beautifully set with more delicious eats.  Leenie Hobbie, our very own herbalist did a presentation on weeds…basically of which we have learned are herbs, highly valued for their nutritional and medicinal properties.  We also got an introduction to flavoring oils and vinegars.  Leenie was so gracious in sharing recipes and info.

We’ve been very fortunate to have such gracious hosts and appreciate their willingness to open their homes.  Thank-you, all who have volunteered to bring something to the table as well.  For sure we’ll never go hungry.

September 15th brings us to our harvest gathering at MarionA’s home on Wineberry Hill.  Please do come and bring a sampling of your harvest, or a good story regarding your successes and failures.  I have plenty to say on the topic.

Please call for directions and to RSVP :
MarionA  847-373-7554

Kathy Schmidt  410-279-9271 Feel free to bring a friend or two.

8 01 13 Join the garden party

I am working on plans for the Philadelphia Flower Show is being held March 3-10th.  Please give indicate what your interests are – such as staying in town or out, do you want to share a room, how many days would you like to think about, other things you would like to do while in the area, would you be willing to be a driver, what dates are best, etc.  This will help in the planning-give me feedback ASAP so I can start figuring things out.


2014: “ARTiculture”
Experience the combination of art and horticulture as the 184th PHS Philadelphia Flower Show celebrates everyone from Michelangelo to Monet, Picasso to Pollack, and da Vinci to Dali. ARTiculture will be unveiled March 1, 2014. Tickets will be available in the fall.
March 3nd – 10th

Other ideas:
Welcome to Longwood Gardens the worlds premier horticultural showplace. Longwood Gardens is sure to delight anyone who loves exquisite flowers, majestic trees, and opulent architecture. Here, amid 1,077 acres with 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens, you?ll find beauty at every turn. Longwood’s Conservatory is one of the world’s great greenhouse structures. It shelters 20 indoor gardens and 5,500 types of plants. The Conservatory was built in 1919 At present, there are 4.5 acres of covered display, production, and research greenhouses
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is now among the largest and most important art museums in the United States. Constructed in 1928 of Minnesota dolomite, it’s modeled after ancient Greek temples but on a grander scale. The museum was designed by Julian Francis Abele, the first African-American to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture. Inside, you’ll see Saint-Gaudens’s statue of Diana; she formerly graced New York’s old Madison Square Garden. The museum has several outstanding permanent collections: the John G.
Schmidt            Kathy            410-279-9271  

Jul to dec 2013




Deer Resistant Plants

June 23rd meeting is gathering at Wanda Rogers home, she has asked that we carpool as much as possible as parking is limited.
Please call Kathy Schmidt 410-279-9271 or Marion Mich 304-822-5090 with any questions.
Subject:  Deer Resistant Plants.
Time:  2-4pm

5 6 13 Next garden chat

wheel and flowersThis mix of foliage perennials, pansies and a frilly fern make an elegant combination for early spring planters

We need a name?

Come and enjoy the world of plants!

Change of date due to Rt 50 yard sale the week-end of May 17th.

Next meeting date:  May 26, 2013 ,    2 – 4pm Kathy Schmidt’s house,
Mid-Haines Rd off Hoy Rd in Augusta.

Call Marion (847-373-7554) or Kathy (410-279-9271) if you need detailed directions.

We will be choosing a name for ourselves, discussing container gardening and future plans for the group.

5 1 13 Fiddle Fern – photo by V. Lynn Moore


These appear to be what is called Christmas Fern Fiddleheads, but I am no botanist, just an admirer of the splendors of WV. These were growing down by the river What I have learned (mainly from Wonderful WV magazine) is that fiddleheads occur in the early spring as the ferns we see all over WV begin to grow.  They are not a different kind of fern..  They are just how most ferns begin each spring.  Some other common ones around here are the Marginal Shield which is covered with brown scales, Cinnamon ferns, Rattlesnake and Maidenhair ferns.

V. Lynn Moore: Artist/ Owner of VLynn’s Studio

It’s Time to Think about Your Garden

From – WVU Extension Service County News 2 12 13

Although we aren’t beyond the threat of snow, it isn’t too early to start thinking about gardens. Some planning now can help ensure you’ll have plentiful flowers and vegetables all through the growing season.

If you’ve never gardened, you may wonder where to start. A logical place is deciding where you want to put your garden. Before you move any dirt, you need to observe the area. Make note of how much sun and shade the space gets. Most vegetable plants that produce fruit – like tomatoes and corn – require six to eight hours of full sunlight every day. Leafy and root crops like leaf lettuce, spinach, turnips, and carrots can tolerate some shade.

You also need to consider water.  Does rain run off, or does it collect in the area you’re considering? Neither situation is a deal-breaker, but it affects how you’ll need to plant and maintain your garden. If you don’t have a piece of land where you can put grow crops, you can always explore container gardening, using large pots.

What should you grow? Well that depends. If you’re going to plant vegetables, choose things that you and your family like to eat. You can’t find more local foods than the ones you grow yourself! Think about how you’ll use the things you grow, and plan accordingly.

Seed packets usually include a wealth of information. In addition to the name of the vegetable, there should be a description of the characteristics of that particular variety as well as information about how, when and where to plant the seeds, how long they take to germinate, how long it takes before they’re ready for harvest, and whether they need full sun or can tolerate shade. Seeds are available at local stores, or you can order them from seed catalogs or internet sites.  Row covers or frost blankets will help protect plants from frost or freezing temperatures.

You don’t need a lot of tools to get started with a small garden. At minimum, most gardeners need a shovel or spade, a hoe, a rake, and a trowel. Larger gardens may require a rotary tiller or small garden tractor, but if you’re just beginning to garden, you probably shouldn’t invest in large expensive equipment until you know that gardening’s for you. In the meantime, you can rent or borrow a tiller or hire someone to do that work for you.

Oh, and while you’re busy planting vegetables, don’t forget some flowers to brighten up your home and garden!

The WVU Extension Service has a number of helpful resources about gardening and agriculture. These range from the online Gardening 101 series to specific information about pests, soil, bees, and more. You can find these at You can also download the 2013 WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar, a growing guide, and a varieties guide from the same site. And remember:  if you need help contact Stephen Starcher at the WVU Extension Service Hampshire County office: (304) 822-5013 or

1 23 13 Dealing with Dandelions

Dandelions appear to be everywhere—to the delight of some folks and to the dismay of others. A rite of spring, dandelions can be ignored, consumed or . . . dealt with.
Dr. Mary Beth Bennett, West Virginia University Extension agent in Berkeley County, acknowledged the dandelion dilemma when she shared helpful details about dandelions in a recent newspaper column.

Here is an excerpt from her article:

Remember how you enjoyed dandelions when you were a child? Do you remember blowing the little seed parachutes to see how far they would go?

Do you still enjoy dandelions? Most adults have a love/hate relationship with this perennial weed, which belongs to the Asteraceae (sunflower) family. The dandelion is one of the most common lawn weeds found in yards. But it does have value as a medicinal herb as well as a forage plant for livestock. And it is an early pollen source for pollinators.

Ways to Value the Plant

The entire dandelion plant is edible and has been used as a medicinal plant since Roman times. Several countries actually cultivate this plant for its medicinal properties.

When they are tender in the spring, dandelion leaves—or greens—can be added to salads. Dandelion flowers are used to make dandelion wine, which tastes similar to sherry and supposedly is an excellent tonic. The taproot can be roasted to make dandelion coffee.

Some beekeepers appreciate dandelions because they provide a valuable feed source for honeybees in the spring. To help the honeybees, you may want to reconsider getting rid of those yellow flowers in your yard.

Ways to Say Goodbye

One of the easiest ways to get rid of dandelion weeds in your lawn is to pull them out. But you need to make sure to get the deep taproot. If you don’t, the plants will grow back.

You can find several dandelion tools on the market that will “pop” the plant right out of the ground. These tools seem to work best if the soil is moist, not dry. So, now would be the right time to try this method.

You also can find several herbicides labeled for use for dandelions in landscape, turf and bare ground areas. Apply any herbicide according to label directions.

Here are other options:

Pour boiling water on the plant as a low-tech method of control.
Prevent the yellow blossoms from maturing into seeds by mowing the lawn frequently when dandelions are blooming.
Mulch them by using cardboard or plastic to prevent them from getting sunlight.
Try spraying a 5-percent concentration of vinegar directly on the plant leaves.
Use a weed burner torch.
Apply corn gluten meal, an organic method developed by Iowa State University.

Information from the West Virginia Extension Service

Miniature Gardens by Bonnie Scoop of Sunshine

Ever wished you could have a garden, yet for some reason were unable to? Maybe you live in an apartment, maybe the physically demands are too demanding, or maybe you just don’t have enough time to devote to such an on-going project.  Here’s a solution. Create your very own mini-garden.

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Few things are required to start your miniature garden; 1 planting pot or container, a few small plants, then a few items to give it character.  The foundation can be dirt or sand depending on your preference. Then think small! Even your children’s old doll house pieces can be used for your garden. Left-over fish aquarium decorations make the perfect greenery when living plants don’t suit your need to care for live plants.   Rocks of every kind work perfectly; pretty colored glass stones, marbles, or maybe it’s your favorite rock from a special vacation. What a wonderful way to display it.

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Miniature gardens make wonderful gifts! They last forever, pleasing to the eye, and the receiver will appreciate the labor of love you put into creating it for them. They can be simple or filled with detail. Each is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.


Miniature gardens are perfect for decorating the patio. They add beauty to any existing flower-bed. Depending on the foliage, they can be placed indoors near a window. Wherever they are placed they are sure to be an eye-catching display along with a conversation piece for all to enjoy.

One of the wonderful things about a miniature garden is the ease with which you can change them or add to them. An enthusiastic miniature gardener can even decorate along with the season. Holiday colors can even enhance the holiday mood.

Miniature gardens are as unique as the individual that’s creating it. It can represent your life-style, your character, a favorite place or a fantasy playground for fairies. It can be built to please adults, children or blend into your home’s decoy.

Go ahead, try it! The fun is endless in the creation and the enjoyment is endless after it’s done!