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Concert

by Naida

ALWAYS A GREAT CONCERT (even though – and probably because – I’m not a band member any more) – AND IT’S FREE!

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Story by Gail K.

First, I’ll ask, did anyone else have any unusual dealings with bees this summer?  I got stung more times this year than I recall in past years-in fact I can’t remember when the last time was that I got stung.

Given the photo above, my editor in chief questioned the word “bee “My response: it flies-it stings I call it a bee-right or wrong?
         SPECIAL EDITION: LEARNING MODULE

With this new information I’m editing my post to read WASPS!!

Encounter #1: helping a friend & noted the blue fescue we transplantedwas uprooted & tossed aside?? Replanting-incited a sudden attack & multiple stings. Given the info above—Wasps had dug up the grass clump while making their nest…The earlier photo: ?? queen left the nest but did not escape multiple “foam” attacks

Encounter #2- prepping a weeping pine for transplanting. under a thin layer of mulch; a shallow nest with honeycomb at least 6-8 inches across. Off to Tru-Value Hardware to get

ammunition. Heavily garbed & under the cover of darkness; despite sentry guards flying about; I applied-POOF POOF the recommended powder to the site (this stuff works!!)

Observed over a couple of days; removed the nest & completed moving the tree.   (See the “wasps”)

While most of us will holler BEE!, when under attack by a flying missile with but one goal–to sting….
The close up below, shows distinct abdomen markings: “Wasps”. Most fuzzy ground bees-we call bumble bees.

Encounter #3: pulling plants during a pre-fall cleaning-under the foliage, a neat little hole to another dimension?!!!  Finally! Proof that gnomes exist??  However, a flurry of small flying “bees” sent me running. That nite-POOF-POOF!!

After a couple of days & seeing no activity & dead “bees” nearby-I took a closer look.  Folks, the neat hole was entry to

a CAVERN!!  13 inches deep-straight down & off on an angle on both sides, I believe was honeycomb!! What in the world did I find……Just how big is it??? Below.?? honeycomb on side of the hole matching one on the opposite side.

To date, I have not dug in that area but monitor for activity: the powder quickly alleviated the problem-despite the label saying “ground bee”…whether it “be a bee” or a ?? wasp issue, I will leave it undisturbed til spring, when I’ll dig up the area to get to the bottom of the issue.

Buzz Buzz g.

ADDEND TO GAIL’S STORY:

FREE RANGE OR FREE RUINS

by Linda W.

As Gail was dealing with insects, I had a pest this summer as well. You could ask: Why did the chickens cross the road? In this case the answer is Ruins….yes ….as in the remains of free-range chickens deliberate destruction.

Oh look, there are chickens across the street. How cute they were! The must have come across Dixie from the farm next to Kroger. Often seeing them in the Kroger Parking lot. Everyone enjoys seeing chickens until they visit you.

When I first saw this, I blamed those DARN SQURRIELS! Then there was more and there she was::

I called Animal Control. Seems like so many other offices, they were lacking help, but would go to the farm and talk with the owners. This happened 3 days in a row. and they were cited 3 times. I soon discovered, I was wrong and called Animal Control again. The four chickens were not from the farm but were from a neighbor one street over. They soon had a Sheriff deputy come to my house (since there was a shortage of animal control officers).

He went over and spoke with the family. They said they’d take care of them when the husband got home from work. Finally. No, wrong again. The next morning, I had this

Calling again, sent a video to the person standing in for the Animal Control. Citation issued to them, and they discussed that the chain link fence will not keep them in their yard. Then it got worse:

On left is my path in the memorial garden….on the right is the way the chickens decided it should be….all the mulch was scratched away from my plants, some roots exposed, All that work!

They scratch away much, exposing my drip irrigation and dug into the soil. Damaged plants. Called again. They again were cited and told that if they did not build proper pen for chickens that they would have to surrender them or put them in garage until they could build a cage. This solved the problem. They did not surrender them, but there were no more chickens after.

So sad to see the damage every day, I’d watch for them, the one was a defiant chick. Refusing to leave. But after hours of repair, there are no more ruins, just in time for the leaves to fall and cover everything.

Pot Luck

Story & Photos by Gail K.

As the colorful leaves fall to the ground, the Monarchs take flight & geese head south; the curtain closes on another year for the Monroe County Horticulture Club.

This is the time when we come together for fellowship and one last educational opportunity.

Calling the meeting to order:
 President Marie gives directions to ensure smooth movement through the food line (or should I say dessert line).

Prayer was offered by our speaker Mr. Vince Ste. Marie-owner of Windy Rock Nursery.

Members went down the line filling their plates with samples of all the various food dishes brought.

many went back for seconds

It was a great time for fellowship & catching up with those we hadn’t seen in awhile.

BELOW: along bottom is a piece of that fantastic

 PAW PAW ice cream made by Jennie.

**Recipe can be found in the minutes of this mtg.

When everyone had completed their meal we
welcomed to the podium our final speaker for 2022:MR VINCE STE. MARIE of WINDY ROCK NURSERY.

It was apparent right from the start, this was going to be a great presentation.

He handed out detailed plant lists to facilitate note taking;
I quickly noted many of the plants listed will certainly be used to revitalize & repurpose the native shrub row into a
friendlier, native pollinator garden.

Members listened intently as he spoke of using native trees, shrubs & plants- needed by a variety of pollinators at

 various times of the year.

some using their phones to take notes or photos from the presentation for future reference 

An excellent speaker-he was passionate about the subject matter and was able to do so in a very informal

manner-allowing questions as he went along…that takes talent, earning 5*****

Most of us,seasoned gardeners; still felt we took away at least one new piece of information from the presentation.

Additionally, he brought a variety of books for purchase….Jennie selected a mushroom book; I chose the one below.

He even had a recipe book which used native berries; maybe next time.

As we prepared to leave……snow had begun to fall.

Jennie shared a garden proverb:

a special thank you to Kay for helping with set up & keeping our coffee cups full!!!!!

We so enjoyed Mr. Ste. Marie’s presentation; we have placed him on our speaker and tour list for 2023…

In closing- we still have the other events from 2022 to post; but at this

time, Linda and I want to wish everyone a blessed & safe

Thanksgiving and Christmas season:

Milan Scarecrow update

By Naida A.

Thanks to ALL who voted for the 2022 Milan Garden Club Scarecrow!  We won!

Article & photos by Gail K.

August tour: Toured club member, Karen’s farm garden & saw her, Monroe County Fair, award winning flowers and veggies…

Unfortunately I missed the date but Karen & her husband Anthony, treated me to a private visit so I could take photos
for the blog………

Now how could I turn down such a warm welcome?

Won’t you come along and let’s see what’s growing down on the farm.

As I approached the driveway to the farm, it appeared as if Karen’s crop of choice is sunflowers….but look closer.

Tall as they may be, they are merely the sentries which watch over all the other plants in the garden.

Farm gardening??  Mixing vegetables & flowers withinan area to take advantage of natural pollinators.

Above, Karen holds up one of her favorite peppers- Mixing it up produces a haphazard kaleidoscope of color

Even the field corn will benefit from the pollinators in the area.

despite the many bees & butterflies the only one that would cooperate with me was this one

from zinnias

to peppers (I won’t try to name) of all kinds: sweet to hot –  all used in Karen’s homemade salsa.

pinks, purples, reds, yellow & orange no shortage of color in these neatly lined & weeded fields..

 grapes & tomatoes; pumpkins; peppers & corn.  

All of this growing down on the farm!!!

About those sentries; Karen has so many varieties & they just kind of draw your attention so here are a few close ups……

gold & pale yellow outer edges and centered with huge massive circles of brown or black seed pods……..

BOLD & Stately, demanding respect, a standout artistic specimen in the garden

 with flames of fire shooting from its center, this one is made almost translucent from the rays of the sun.

Karen also arranged for the group to visit an apple farm just across the road–what luck

it’s open so let’s pop in…..

Historically, this farm was always known as Kreps’ apple farm.

he younger family members have expanded the crops; now they grow-  Peaches  ( these smelled as good as they look)

They offer U-PICK flowers–dual purpose plants- attracting pollinators but are sold for profit….

They had a large variety of different types for any bouquet you may want to put together…….

While out exploring the flowers I came across these cuties.

However they were not for sale & I had to convince the one that my taking their photo would not bring about the apocalypse.

THEY had come to the farm for ICE CREAM!!!!

Well no way I was going to miss out on this treat….

a single scoop of Cherry Chip it is—as you can see it was deemed to be a good choice

After eating my ice cream, I said my goodbyes and hit the road—thank you Karen & Anthony-

Farms are having to change-they call it Agri-Tourism. So the next time you pass by one that says OPEN-

pop in.  You may be surprised at what they have to offer.

Farewell to Fall

by Gail K.

Traveling to a favorite apple orchard (Kapnick’s) for fresh
cider & donuts.  I could not help but notice that some of fall’s bold colors had begun to fade….I hope you took the time to enjoy our Indian summer & leave you with this quote.


AUTUMN IS A SECOND SPRING WHEN EVERY LEAF ISA FLOWER            Albert Camus

By Linda & Gail

Back @ Four Star; for part 2 of our visit; which will focus
more on specifics.

Many discussed if this plant would be a good substitute for dusty miller or even Lamb’s ear.

Remember this one??  Anyone from the Milan group care to share-did you use this plant & how did it perform???

In the mean time, this one fascinated me – I believe it’s Supertunia Daybreak Charm. Linda

And while speaking of these Supertunia, I just have to share this photo from my yard. This one called Latte was a true winner in my yard this year. I didn’t see it in the gardens but thought it performed so well and was used in my columns . The fragrance was delightful. (below) Linda

This caught my eye & Found IT!!!  The name & specifics on the ID board.

Or maybe you would prefer this plant–.

Let’s read about it–hey this one is a perennial!!!

 a closeup–still interested???

I in turn found this board with the Playing the Blues Salvia, Linda

And her it is. A close up view and also in the background

The true blue petunia; seen here planted & also a noteworthy salmon colored flower; which combo do you prefer?

And here is the sample I got from our meeting this past winter when Josh came. I managed to keep it going during the winter inside.

Look how nice these pair together.

read it & see it; a valuable planning tool.This is what makes these gardens so unique!!

We all know we need the right plant in the right place, to enjoy success in our gardens.

Would this beauty work in your garden?  So striking!!

Here it is in a display setting

If purple isn’t your color- here is another one that was getting a lot of attention-

Found it on the list- and in a different display.

What do you think???

Here is a unique color–how could it work in your garden?

Check it out–look- it’s a filler & a spiller.

Linda couldn’t help but take some additional photos of their beautiful landscape of blooms and the stream

What a cleaver way to hang pots.

Very interested in this grass. I thought it maybe purple fountain grass. I asked because it wasn’t on the board, and sure enough it is. However, notice the green in it….I was told it was probably reverting to the original plant.

This should brighten your day!

And last, the stream. The sound of running water to relax. Beyond the flowers, I love the stream.

We have our surveys to complete, but this brings our 2022 tour
@ FOUR STAR DEMO GARDENS to an end. We hopeyou have a better understanding on the workings of these
gardens & by all means– TAKE THE TIME TO VISIT NEXTYEAR–no appt. needed; Thank You Josh. 

Hi all friends of Milan Garden Club.  Not a very straight forward way to

vote for Milan Garden Club’s scarecrow this year and I FINALLY learned

how to do it today so I’m forwarding to many hoping they will vote once

a day for our scarecrow!

 The link below will take you to Milan Area Historical Society Album

where you will see all the scarecrows.  Click on ANY “reaction” for the

Milan Garden Club scarecrow ( like, heart ) will count as a vote. 

Reactions will be counted until October 27.  Let me know if you have any

issues with this site!

Here is the link for the album:

<https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.6122946597735391&type=3>

Thanks to you for voting!

Naida

Four Star

Story & Photos by Gail K

Earlier this year, Josh from Four Star extended an invitation to visit.  We have enjoyed our relationship with Four Star for many, many years; so, we gladly accepted.

Today, Josh would share Four Star’s “product research “techniques & how it impacts our gardens.

Open to the public, FOUR STAR is a research-based garden& they enjoy getting feedback on their products.

When I say product-I mean product.  Rows and rows of PW pots, filled with various plants- recognized for “quality assurance”

Following his talk, he encouraged us to enjoy the gardens & share our opinions by completing a survey.

The Milan gals wasted no time in picking out one of interest; they are active in many projects. NICE choice ladies!!

Hey there Barb, what did you find??

       2022 list: so many,many to choose from & these are just the annuals……..

In smaller groups-we wandered off, looking at the various displays which sparked our interests.  Spoiler alert-I don’t do annuals, but I love to look & will share what we saw.

OK so the underlying “structures” may be but the

plantings & groupings are not–let me show you.
I love this bridge!!!

They even incorporate water ways-they want us to envision these plants & groupings in our own gardens.

Their displays whether hanging or just sitting; are planted using the filler, thriller & spiller technique.

They blend, they contrast & they highlight*
So, so many color combos!!!

Looking around-you experience “a full spectrum” in both: the types of plants & the combo of colors — the only thing left is your imagination & how YOU want to use them.

Such variety & I even spotted some that Josh brought to our meeting earlier in the year.  Hey, do ya have any extra covered bridges???

I like this display– it looks like anyone’s backyard.

Again, look at the colors!!!!

If you can see past the explosion of “IN YOUR FACE” color-

note in the background– pots, lined up in an orderly way-

 compare

to a casual grassy path softened by using just the right plants.

Looking at all these plants can be confusing.

We spotted Joan using the ID board….HEY JOAN,

whatcha’ looking for???   I hope she found it!   

                I have an idea-It’s HOT!

Many of us spent a couple of hours walking around.

Linda & I have more pictures to share; so let’s cool off &

we’ll do this in 2 parts……g & L

Prairie Garden Tour

Photos and story by Gail K.

Spring has morphed into summer, and our garden treasures change.We take opportunity to see & learn; especially when invited by our own members.

Good afternoon, Prairie Pete!!!  He & his wife Jill (I promised not to photo)

invited us to come visit their prairie restoration project. Did you say PRAIRIE?

I guess we’re leaving-won’t you come along as we see what “Prairie” gardening is all about?

Turning onto a long drive, we pass the conifers & to our immediate left (east); the gardens open with a mass planting of native Monarda, in full bloom.  A soft sweet smell fills the air………beckoning us in

Scattered among the pale purple Bee Balm are a native favorite,
Black-Eyed-Susans.

Prairies are favored by Pollinators, hence the logic behind restoring & planting such gardens. Native plantings & Native pollinators = the wellbeing of Mother Earth.

Walking beside the densely planted Monarda; the field softly opens, revealing an entirely different arrangement.

To best describe what we saw–imagine someone taking a shaker of different colors and sprinkling them all about.

Do you see the the various plants?  Look closely, use their color to help pick many of them out.

Look left, right. Face forward, turn backwards-the colors, flowers & grasses all mixed about-the view constantly changing.

Some individual close-ups of the more prominent native plants:

Pete is this a Yellow Coneflower? Little Bluestem – a colorful native Grass

Butterflies love the lowly Butterfly Weed (above); compare to the tall Culver’s Root (below).  It’s vibrant color may help them find it along roadside ditches & fields.

Above: the line where prairie meets the yard. Our hosts graciously allowed us to freely explore all their gardens……

Below: you get a feel for the expanse of the property; the Prairie left of the pond & its gazebo

The veggie garden & a good looking crop of squash–way to go farmer Pete!!!

West of the pond and veggie gardens- under the watchful eye of a wise ole owl-sits the Homestead & its various garden areas.

Various garden areas scattered about like the seeds of the prairie; intermixed with colorful & whimsical yard art.

Jill, where do you find all your yard art-how cute?

In contrast to the sunny prairie, “the yard” is under an umbrella of dappled shade, perfect for a wide variety of plantings.

some noteworthy lilies

After a short respite in the cool shade; I walk back to the sunny areas to finish my exploring.

Gardens of all types, just keep popping up-

two of the many daylily varieties

It’s time for us to let Pete & Jill get back to work.  It’s obvious; they are good stewards of the land.

side note: Pete’s mom, an artist- used canvas. Pete & Jill are artists as well-using the colors of nature as their pallet & the earth as their template.  Thank you……