Area garden club news


Portsmouth Garden Club members, Fran Newman, Wyvetta Hicks and Karolyn Ketter, decorated the Hillview Retirement dining room with Halloween décor, for the October meeting. However, the program centered on Christmas.

Virginia Cook, representing Operation Christmas Child, presented a program about this benevolent organization. OCC volunteers fill shoeboxes with a few health items, a new testament (in the language of that child), and a toy or two. The shoeboxes are shipped worldwide and affect the lives of children around the world. OCC accepts donations of approved items, and monetary donations, to be used either for shoebox items or shipping costs. The garden club donated matchbox cars for the shoeboxes.

President Dolly Cole made announcements concerning future activities, which include a tea in honor of retiring Regional Director Irmalee Gampp, and plans for a pajama party at Shawnee State Lodge. Cole received all pertinent business reports.

Portsmouth Garden Club will continue to award a certificate for beautiful yards within the city limits in the new year. Beautification awards for this year were: Debra Parse @ 3818 Noddin Way; Steve & Alyssa Enz @ 2015 Dorman Drive; Linda Switzer, @ 319 Front Street; Martha Sommer @ 1234 24th Street; Jonathan Skiver @ 2626 Shawnee Rd.; Miles & Patti Ferguson @ 2750 S. Willow Way; Donna Gee @ 1625 Coles Blvd.; Barb Borden Gibson @ 2201 Sunrise; Lisa Allen @ 2710 Grandview; John & Jackie Hensley @ 2206 Dorman Drive; Steven Fitzer @ 3020 Woodridge Way; Ron & Cathy Jones @ 1121 Meadow Lane. Everyone benefits from beautiful yards, the neighborhood, walkers, and passers-by.

Brenda Wooten provided the horticulture moment, with Facts on Pumpkins & Gourds: 1. Pumpkins originated in North America; 2. Colonists originated the pumpkin pie recipe; 3. Pumpkins grow from seed, into a flowering vine in need of pollination aid from bees; 4. Gourds are distant cousins of pumpkins & melons & squash; 5. Gourds are not edible, but are decorative and useful.

In keeping with the Halloween theme, prizes were given for the member wearing the best Witches’ hat. OCC speaker Virginia Cook chose the 1st Place winner, Shana Henson.


October is the beginning of a new year for garden clubs, and Slocum Garden Club began their new year at Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair in Adams County. This is a fall celebration, featuring irresistibly unique handcrafted items. President Diane Reese welcomed three new club members, Kathy Chapman, Julie Hines, and Carol McCain and two guests.

Reese received the business reports and a synopsis of September club activities, which included: the annual Fall Festival at Best Care Retirement where participants fashioned owls from tiny pumpkins; garden clean-ups at the Adult Daily Living site, the James Irwin American Legion Post in Minford, and the native plant gardens at Shawnee State Park. New program books were distributed, and coming events discussed. A workshop is scheduled at the home of Gracie Bates to create items for the Christmas season at Shawnee State Lodge. The club will join two other garden clubs for a Christmas Flower Show, “Silver Bells” at the Glendale Senior Citizens Center, Clarktown on December 3. Public is invited.

The garden tip of the month was a suggestion to color-sort stored bulbs with appropriately colored golf tees to be better prepared for spring planting.

The horticulture report provided interesting information on the sassafras tree, which provides us with purple colored leaves in the fall, in three distinct shapes, (i.e. uni-lobe, bi-lobe, tri-lobe). The leaves and twigs produce a citrus like scent when crushed. All parts of the tree, roots, stems, twigs, bark, flowers & fruit have been used for culinary, medicinal and aromatic purposes. Everyone has enjoyed root beer, and the wood is also, excellent for shipbuilding.

Slocum participated at Fall Regional meeting, as a part of the host team and Beverly Norman, Slocum Garden Club was installed as the new Regional director. 2015 awards were distributed, and Slocum members were well represented.

The November 12 anniversary meeting will be at Moyer’s Winery in Manchester. Contact 740-259-4432 for information about attending and bringing a guest.