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Garden club looking for presentation topics for upcoming meetings.

Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2010, at 9:41 PM

Onion seed-head popping open
Sometimes writing headlines can really be challenging. I tried all kind of catchy words but the bottom line is, we want to know what topics you would like to explore in the coming months.

What might be of interest to me might be way off target for the group in general, so we would like to know what subjects YOU would like to hear discussed. The one catch to this is that if you want to explore the hermaphroditic lifestyle of the Eisenia foetida (red wiggler worm) we would like you to attend the meeting.

Attending means to be here with us, but there are no other requirements. We can put together a basic presentation that is filled with interesting facts and pictures and then "we" share our experiences, knowledge and best of all, ask questions. We will try to keep the subject small enough that we can cover it in 1 hour and have some time to socialize if we want, or not.

If you have expertise in some subject and want to lead the discussion, COME ON DOWN! We would love to welcome you to our group. Don't wear anything formal though, we often come straight from our garden, so the dress code (which we don't have) can be very casual.

Here are some ideas to get the creative ideas flowing: (if you don't know what some of these are, what an opportunity!)

Composting in Middle Tennessee

Vermi-culture (worms) Why would you want to do it and how?

Identifying and amending soils of Middle Tennessee

Test soil for type, organic matter, minerals, nutrients, cation exchange capacity (I just love these big terms?)

Best disease resistant flowers, vegetables, fruits, grass, ....?

Making a water feature, goldfish pond, bog garden

Herbs for Middle Tennessee, growing, drying, oils, cooking

Pushing the limits on plants that are not supposed to grow here

Raised beds, sunken beds, xeriscaping, edible landscaping

Handicapped gardening, Horticultural therapy

Tools, antique, practical, strange, enabling, where to get

Selecting garden placement, plant requirements,

Planting for animals, amphibians, butterflies, birds, etc.

Ornamental plants, flowers, rare, unique, heirloom

Plant swaps, seed swaps, seed saving

Garden insects, good, bad, controlling, encouraging, identifying

Weeds, control, identifying, how do they grow, what do they tell you

Garden photo tours, actual tours, garden photography

Indoor gardening, what can we grow in the winter

OK, OK. I will stop, but I am amazed at how easy it was to build this list. I actually tried to stop a few entries before this end, but I just kept adding something else. How about children, schools, public projects, fertilizer, safe chemical use, canning, freezing ...........

If you don't want to express your ideas in public, write to me. If we have hit all the exact things you would like, great, tell me. In other words, vote for which ones come first

I have to STOP going back to the list. That's it! Talk to us!

By the way Mary, thanks for the plug in the paper.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Oh, oh, I thought of some more! How about....nah, I won't bring it up, yet.

Can anyone guess what one of my favorite topics would be?

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 9:43 PM

What about plants that KEEP certain insects and animals away? My dad always planted geraniums around the dog pen to keep the flies away.

-- Posted by MotherMayhem on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:25 AM

Companion planting? Great! Some may know I have a ....oops, I almost gave it away.

Companions plants sometimes keep bugs away, sometimes attract beneficial insects, others add nutrients to the soil that their companions need, etc.

Great topic!!

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 1:22 PM

Companion planting sounds interesting.

I also vote for identifying soil needs and amending.

-- Posted by jbillswms on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 9:16 PM

Good, good. Keep it coming. We have a get together coming up a week from Saturday.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:11 PM

How about showing how to take a soil sample, where to take it (or send it), then we can go back to our own gardens, gather the sample, have it tested and then discuss the results in a following meeting?

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 8:29 AM

By the way, your soil strategy will probably be different if you are doing a lawn, vegetable garden, fruit, ornamental, annual or perennial garden. If you are going to do a lot of testing, maybe it would be valuable to discuss how to do it yourself and what supplies you will need,

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 8:36 AM

Where are the meetings located? What about community gardens to introduce children to the atr and joy of gardens?

-- Posted by KaiteJones on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 5:36 PM

oops art

-- Posted by KaiteJones on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 5:51 PM

I was scrambling to look up the acronym atr. Thanks for saving me.

Creating a child's garden is a great topic! Besides helping them understand that carrots do not grow at the grocery store, it can teach so much about nature, healthy foods and an appreciation of beauty all around them.

There is so much potential here that it probably needs to be several meetings.

We used to meet at local restaurants but when we got the invitation to meet at Celebration Assisted Living at 895 Union Street in Shelbyville, we found an excellent venue for presentations in a relaxed, informal atmosphere, like having it in someone's large living room.

You don't have to be retired to be in the group though. In fact, we are not getting the residents involved as we had hoped but they seem to enjoy us being there anyway.

They put no requirements on us and are extremely hospitable and cordial.

I usually announce the meetings here and send a note to the T-G every other week so they include it in their calendar of events.

Most arrive between 6:00 to 6:30 and we usually wind down by 8:00. Folks come and go as they need to so arriving late is no problem and if you have to leave early, no worries.

Do it both on the same day might make for a short meeting, but.... if that is the way it has to be, we appreciate your visit anyway. One member was at last week's meeting probably less than 10 minutes, but he had plants he wanted to share and he was bushed fro a full day of work.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 8:43 PM

See Katie, it is getting contagious, fro should be from and I often leave the m off.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Jun 11, 2010, at 8:49 PM


If we have some new members show up- I'll pot up some Pyrethrums and bring them to the meeting.

Not only are they a great companion plant and perrenial, you can make 'bug dope' out of them--an all natural bug spray.

The ones I MIGHT bring are the 'James Kelway' variety--red petals and yellow stamen. I haven't checked around, but I'm pretty sure they're hard to find.

They'll be small, but should bloom this year with proper care.

-- Posted by espoontoon on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 7:31 AM

That sounds pretty good espoontoon. Have you ever made any spray? If not, I have to read up on the method.

How about it newbies? If you come, espoontoon will reserve the pyrethrums just for you. That's enough for me to turn in my membership card and start again. Oh, we don't have any cards. Oh well.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jun 12, 2010, at 3:39 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.