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Nora Lancaster Garden Club meets

“Cut Flowers From Your Garden” was the Nora Lancaster Garden Club program for October presented by Bob Jones, Extension Agent, Agriculture, Charlotte County.  He has worked for the extension office of Charlotte Courthouse for 31 years. As he learns something new daily, he wants us to discover something new too. Did you know that by planting mint and lavender it helps keep deer away and by spraying Lemon Balm, the essential oil, on plant leaves, it will help keep snakes out of your garden?

Like the cozy English gardens, you can grow great amounts in small spaces- annuals, perennials and foliage. Special gardens for cutting are not required. Select plants for their cutting potential with blooms that are bold, to spiky, to whispy, such as Dahlia and Cockscomb. Use a mix of annuals such as Zinnia, Cosmos, Strawflower, Coleus and Sunflower with perennials such as, Yarrow, Bee Balm, Coneflower and Black-eyed Susan. Festiva Maxima (full sun) is the best type of Peony for cutting and fragrance according to Bob. By focusing on the bloom time, you will have different flowers blooming throughout the seasons. You can also plant according to the fragrance of flowers. Avoid overhead watering; keep water off plant and bloom to prevent disease. Choose garden sites in the sun, at least four hours daily but six is better. Improving the soil is key. For instance, many perennials cannot handle poorly drained soil. When using manure to fertilize, it can contain weeds and seeds so as an alternative you can use compost or mulch- even leaves or pine forest mulch.

When making a bouquet or floral arrangement, use what you find. Gather from the side of the road or your yard whether it’s a Hosta leaf or dried okra.

You can make any size bouquets; allow flowers to be seen all the way around the container. Place cut flowers in a can, old bottles or a Mason jar. Cut stem at an angle and use tepid water for longer flower life except for spring bulbs, Daffodils and Tulips when the water should be cold. Think about how you are going to use what you have gathered for an arrangement. Ask yourself what shapes, colors and sizes of vases can I use?  In just a few minutes you can actually create something beautiful.

“Fruits of Fall” Exhibit Awards were received by Jane Crute- blue, Tricia Crute- blue, Lazelle Jackson- blue, Becky Kelly- blue, Vicky Morris- blue, Judy O’Steen- blue, Brenda Puryear- blue, Barbara Smith- blue, Helen Smith- 1 blue.

The Horticulture Awards were Jane Crute- blue, Tricia Crute- blue, Becky Kelly- 2 blue, Vicki Morris- blue, Judy O’Steen- blue, Brenda Puryear- 2 blue, 1 red, Barbara Smith- 2 blue, 2 red.