Garden club ends year, welcomes holidays


President Nancy Baldwin called the final regular meeting of the Hillsboro Garden Club for 2016 to order recently with members standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. Roll call was answered by 10 members, eight absent, and one guest, Anna Robinette.

Prior to the business portion of the meeting, Nancy Baldwin presented an interactive and interesting program about the “Praying Hands” plant (maranta leuconeura). She related the story from which the plant gets its name. Two brothers, both very good artists, needed formal training in order to succeed, but finances were such that only one could continue. The older brother offered to work hard and pay for his younger brother’s training and would then follow him. The younger brother eventually prospered to where he could now pay for his older brother to pursue his art training. Alas, his brother had worked so hard at menial jobs that his hands were no longer able to do fine art. The younger brother, feeling sad and guilty, painted his gnarled and weathered hands folded in prayer to commemorate his sacrifice. The painting of his hands has become very famous.

A fascinating plant, by day the “Prayer Plant” leaves lie horizontally, but at night they become upright like folded hands. It also has a strangely attractive color scheme. The leaves are grayish-green, with lighter veins and big colorful splotches radiating from the center vein. In winter, it requires temperature between 55-60 degrees. Water freely in spring and summer and feed bi-weekly from April to August. It should be repotted every two years. A lovely and colorful indoor plant, “Praying Hands” can be a great focal point in your home.

Andrea Schneider’s horticulture display showed the many types of hypertufa pots she has created. She gave a short explanation of how they were made using cement, potting soil and vermiculite. Many items besides pots are possible, such as hosta leaf stepping stones. Instructions can be found on the Internet if one is feeling creative and not afraid to get dirty.

Business items discussed included decorating of the Highland House Museum, entry in the Holiday Parade on Dec. 10, results from a membership survey, improvements to Floral Hall in 2016 and entries in the OAGC regional contest for the program book and publicity book. Following discussion, the meeting was adjourned and refreshments of mini sandwiches of ham salad and chicken salad, pumpkin cake pie, chips, candies, cider and iced tea were served by Mary Smith and Nancy Baldwin.

Our final social gathering was held Dec. 7 at the Ponderosa Steak House where members enjoyed a delicious meal and lots of good conversation. Gifts were drawn by number and promptly stolen by someone else! Now there will be two months to rest up before starting our 2017 meetings. Lots of great ideas are sure to bubble up and get us off on good footing for the new year.

Submitted by Hillsboro Garden Club.

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