Kicking-Off 2020 with a Watery Green Thumb: How to Create Table-Top and Floating Gardens
Sue Golden, of Golden Water Ponds in Loomis, brought all of her tricks and greenery to the Placerville Garden Club's first general meeting of 2020 on January 14. Judging by the large crowd, the topic was popular with old and new members alike. Carnivorous Trumpet Plants, winter blossoms, a variety of greens and many more cuttings and plants, were all put to good use, as were various containers, styrofoam, and spray foam! Although we did not make a video of Sue's demonstration, many more ideas (such as these) can be found on YouTube.
PGC Holiday Activities: Bedecking the VFW Hall and Serving the Holiday Meal, Learning to Make a Wreath, Marching in the Placerville Christmas Parade, and Joining In the PGC Holiday Party.
There is no doubt about it! The Placerville Garden Club went full-tilt for the Holidays! Beginning with Christmas Tree Lane, followed by decorating Placerville's VFW Memorial Building for the Vets' Holiday Dinner (with PGC members serving the meal), to a wreath-making workshop, the flurry of activity is without precedent! Members joined Placerville's Annual Christmas Parade, followed by the Club's own Holiday Party a few days later. Happy Holidays to All and for the New Year!
PGC Holiday Party and Gift Exchange
Placerville Christmas Parade 2019
VFW Holiday Dinner
Holiday Wreath-Making Workshop
Decorating the Placerville Garden Club's Tree on U.S. 50's "Christmas Tree Lane"
On November 23, 2019, members of the Placerville Garden Club volunteered to get up early to claim the Club's Christmas tree for Placerville's annual "Christmas Tree Lane" on U.S. 50. Club members festooned the tree with decorations made at a recent Club meeting, amongst other garden-related objects.
The Placerville Garden Club Gets Ready for their Christmas Activities
This Christmas season marks the Placerville Garden Club's many firsts: supporting the VFWs Holiday Dinner; decorating their tree on U.S. 50's Christmas Tree Lane; donating to Toys for Tots, and participating in Placerville's Christmas Parade with a float that celebrates a "Frosty Garden". The PGC meeting on November 12, 2019, was a busy one with making decorations for the tree and the float. Everyone was fueled by the tasty treats donated by our members!
Green Acres Comes to the Placerville Garden Club
The first thing we learned about Green Acres is that it is not a large corporation, but a family business that has been in operation for some forty years! Our meeting on October 8, 2019, featured guest speakers Greg Gayton, who has been with Green Acres since its inception, and Paul Sanders, formerly of Front Yard Nursery (Front Yard Nursery recently announced it is closing, which will leave behind some dedicated gardeners).
The two speakers reminded our members of the value of creating good soil. Much as we feed ourselves, our soil needs appropriate feedings, especially if we are growing food for our table. Fall is the time to prepare the soil for spring plantings. Various organic amendments, oils and particularly, worm casings, were discussed. Placerville Garden Club members had the opportunity to ask the duo many, many questions. Green Acres generously donated plants and a gift certificate for our monthly "opportunity table." No doubt everyone is busy in their gardens now, thanks to Green Acres' Greg and Paul!
Second Annual PGC Garden Party at Don and Carol LaGrand's Somerset Gardens
Following a wonderful event in 2018, Placerville Garden Club members were anxious to see the changes in the gardens that Don LaGrand had put on display. This year's visit to Somerset on Sept. 21, 2019, did not disappoint! Roses were in full bloom, the vineyard was ready for harvest (all grapes had been sold to a winery that morning) and flowers were on display everywhere. After an incredible lunch, which included Don's home-style smoked ribs, tri-tip, salmon AND chicken, along with an enormous variety of side dishes and desserts brought by the guests. After lunch, Don took the guests on a tour of his incredible property. Once again, thank you, Don and Carolyn, for sharing your beautiful home and garden!
Dancing Beetle Flower Farm's Kate Lockwood Gives the Down and Dirty Aspects of Flower Farming
On Sept. 10, 2019, Kate Lockwood, of the Dancing Beetle Flower Farm in El Dorado, California, gave an informative, rousing talk on the joys and pitfalls of growing flowers for the florist trade. Fortunately, PGC members were just hoping to learn how to grow enough flowers to fill a vase or two, not the thousands of stems Kate and her husband-to-be nurse from seed to sale. Her presentation elicited an abundance of questions on everything from sharpening your pruners, to where to purchase the most reliable materials. To learn more, see Kate's PowerPoint.
A new feature of the monthly meetings is "Tips and Tricks," organized by PGC Vice President Susie King. This month's "Tip" was basically about how to determine what kind and how many plants you will need for a particular space. According to King, one must first identify the location and which types of plants will thrive. Once you have the size of the space nailed down, she recommends getting a wagon (or two) at your favorite nursery and filling it with appropriate plants just to get an idea. Be prepared! The "Trick" is getting out of the nursery without buying all of the plants you have chosen!
After the exciting monthly raffle/drawing, Placerville Garden Club President, Diane Hernandez, then focused the group on choosing a community project(s) from the various ideas Club members had submitted at the August meeting. Members were enthusiastic about a project for veterans, possibly working towards a Blue Star Memorial. And finally, a wooden house was passed around for contributions to Penny Pines, a reforestation program supported by National Garden Clubs.
The meeting ended with a vote by show of hands for the official flower and bird of the Placerville Garden Club.
The Winners: The California Golden Poppy and Goldfinch.
Placerville Garden Club Meeting Welcomes Guest Speaker John de Graaf
On August 13, 2019, PGC members, along with other garden club members and master gardeners from within our region, paid rapt attention to the environmentalist. filmmaker and proponent of beauty in one's life, John de Graaf. He stressed that beauty, not only in art and literature but most importantly in nature, gives us a sense of well-being. When he asked the packed crowd how many people live in our area because of the natural beauty around us, most everyone raised their hands. To learn more about de Graff's philosophy, see www.johndegraaf.com.
After the break, PGC Vice President Susie King presented the first of what is hoped to be a regular event at meetings, "Tips and Tricks." Susie offered some simple pointers on establishing roses, among other ideas. PGC members are invited to present their own ideas at future meetings by emailing a request to placervillegardenclub.com.
The meeting then broke up into groups to discuss suggestions on how the club can move forward and what would our members like to see the club accomplish.
Tour to PGC's Member Don LaGrand's Somerset Gardens
On June 7, PGC members were invited to Don and Carolyn La Grand's for a barbecue and tour of their gardens. Over the past three years, PGC member Don LaGrand has transformed their large property into a series of unique gardens, each with its own theme of plants: vineyard; wildflowers; plants that attract hummingbirds; shade plants; native plants; roses everywhere; and even one in honor of the Placerville Garden Club! A huge accomplishment from this dedicated gardener!
Thank You Don and Carolyn! From the PGC
Tour to Crystal Vista Iris Garden
Placerville Garden Club members had the pleasure to visit Susan Wallior's Crystal Vista Iris Garden on May 4. Susan has been a California Iris grower since 1992. She is a member of the American Iris Society and has a passion for these lovely plants. Her backyard garden is beautifully landscaped with more than 550 varieties and offers an exquisite view of the Sierras.
PGC's Community Beautification Project
On March 30, Placerville Garden Club members worked on the Club's first beautification project at the VFW Memorial Building in Placerville. A large planter was constructed for the front of the building, while two planters were filled with flowers and positioned at the entrances.
PGC's First Anniversary Celebration on March 2019
The Placerville Garden Club began in March 2018 when Diane Hernandez posted a flyer at various garden outlets around town. Some 22 people attended the first meeting at the Placerville Library. The Club now boasts more than 90 members and has taken up residence at the VFW Memorial Building.
Flower Arranging Workshop
PGC Board Member, Susie King, opened her lovely garden for Placerville Garden Club's first workshop on the ins and outs of arranging flowers.
Placerville Garden Club's Kick-Off Event at Boeger Winery
Our first event was held in March 2018, at Placerville's Boeger Winery, established in 1972. Winemaker, Byron Elmendorf, took our members on a tour of the winery, followed by an informative talk on the trials and tribulations of establishing a vineyard and the joys of the finished product.