President Nancy Baldwin called the June 28 meeting of the Hillsboro Garden Club to order with 18 members standing for the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of “God Bless America.”
Jennifer West then introduced her guest speaker, Chris Dresel, president of the Brown County Beekeepers Association, who then presented a very informative program on “Honeybees, Pollination and Gardening.” He explained how important pollinators are worldwide because nearly all our food depends on them. Although there are many pollinators, honey bees are by far the most important. Recent years have seen a serious decline in numbers of hives and experts are busy trying to learn the reason and how to restore a healthy population.
Meanwhile, gardeners can help in a big way by planting flowers, herbs, trees and shrubs that will provide the important nectar and pollen needed to sustain the local hives. Bees are attracted to colors of blue, purple, violet and white. While birds prefer reds, bees eyes do not detect that color. Planting in large numbers is even more attractive …. the more, the better. Try to use native or old-fashioned varieties of plants. While the hybrids available are lovely and eye-catching, most have had the nectar bred out of them, so they are no help to the pollinators. Also, try to have something blooming during the lull between seasons. This is a hard time to find food, and bees may have to forage further from the hive than the usual one to three miles. Some plants bees love are any in the mint family – sages, lavender, herbs such as basil, white clover, moss rose and sunflowers – and of course a vegetable garden is a buffet to bees. Bees also adore the hardy chaste tree (Vitex), which blooms prolifically in long candles of lavender blossoms. It grows up to 15 feet tall and does well in dry areas.
The final request from the beekeepers is to call them if you have bees that decide to swarm on or near your house. They will be glad to come retrieve the hive and give the bees a good home. Brown County Beekeepers can be reached at 937-618-1332 or online at www.browncountybeekeepersassociation.org.
Refreshments of brownie cake and ice cream, nuts and beverages were served by Diane Baker and Darlene Irwin prior to the club’s business meeting.
Nancy Baldwin showed her educational exhibit prepared for the fair with lots of information on mosquitos and how to eliminate them as well as appropriate repellants. That’s important to know with recent concerns over the Zika Virus.
Ruth Anna Duff explained her horticulture specimen – a lovely pot containing gray/white fuzzy-leafed Dusty Miller (also known as Ragwort), an off-white leaved Licorice vine, and an unusual variety of dark purple striped-leaf Moses In The Cradle. It’s a striking combination that will only be more beautiful as it fills out during the summer.
Baldwin announced that longtime member Kathleen Griffith had passed June 21. Griffith had been the club treasurer for 21 years and was a very active member. She will be missed and continue to be in our thoughts.
Larry Moore reported on the OAGC 2016 Convention. Larry and Judy Moore, Carol Gorby and Nancy Sonner attended. The food was very good, designs in the flower show were beautiful, three educational sessions each day were very interesting, entertaining speakers, and an optional Tour of Gardens. Larry Moore won third place in Creative and third place in Holiday. Carol Gorby placed fourth in Creative in the Faye Collins Designer of the Year Contest. A very busy but entertaining convention.
Flower show chairman Gorby distributed the list of classes for the Highland County Fair Flower Shows. She then explained the new invitational class – Spot Gardens. It’s something new that is hoped the public will enjoy when visiting the shows.
The annual potluck dinner will be held on July 26 at the Floral Hall at 6 p.m. July 27 will find the club touring Adena Mansion & Gardens as a program arranged by Ruth Anna Duff. A real treasure right here in our backyard, the tour should be interesting and fun.
Submitted by Carol Gorby, Garden Club secretary