Friday, April 18, 2014
The Orchid BugI can remember it very clearly---over a decade ago- my dad walking out of a craft tent at a Chicago art fair (of all places) holding one of the ugliest plants I had ever seen, an orchid. He spent $65 dollars on a plant that looked absolutely ridiculous and I thought he was crazy...........
Now 10 years and 100's of orchids later, I look back fondly at that memory and wonder what I would have told someone if they would have told me that later in my life, this plant (aside from my wife and kids) would be my passion.
|Spotted-Tathiopedilum "Winston Churchill"|
Orchids have been here long before us and will be here long after us. If a plant is well taken care of and given exactly what it needs, it will last through multiple generations. There are orchids in the Smithsonian's collection that have been there since the 1800's It is neat to think that my kids also catch the "orchid bug" so that they might inherit some of my most prized plants.
These little (sometimes not so little) plants have long been sought after and held with much wonder and amazement. The first orchid was brought to England sometime in the 1700's and was truly by mistake. A well to do plant lover had sent men to the jungles to find a different species of plant. When the ship arrived back in England, the gentleman found the plants he desired and they were packed inside another tough, rubbery looking plant. Curiosity kills the cat they say, however in this instance- this one man's curiosity started something in the plant world that could challenge the tulip craze in the Netherlands. Figuring, why not? He planted the odd specimen in a pot and put it in his greenhouse. Roughly a year later it bloomed and to the worlds amazement it was unlike anything they had ever seen. We now know this plant to be the corsage orchid. Our friend the Cattelya. Now....hunting orchids was dangerous, many died in pursuit of that one unobtainable plant.....me?? I prefer to walk into my local grocer or plant society, thank you very much..... not one to live life on the edge all of the time.
Grab an orchid, get a book about them. Read up, educate yourself and you will be amazed at what these little plants will do... but be careful- much like a potato chip- one is never enough......
|Ian and Lisette|
|Christmas at the Kitson's|
Louise and Sue
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Coffee, Tea, and Me
"At my table, sit with me ~ I'll pour coffee or some tea~ Perhaps we'll share our tears and laughter ~ and be friends for ever after" ~ D. Morgan. Every time I read this I am reminded of sad and happy times. Thank you so much Krista.
|Iberis sempervirens 'Purity'|
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Franklin Park Conservatory
Last weekend a friend invited me to accompany him to the Orchid Show and Competition at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio. Now I am not very knowledgeable about orchids. This young man is a walking, breathing, expert on the subject. He stated he became interested in orchids while in college. Instead of doing the wild thing on Spring Break, he visited his aunt and uncle in Flordia that grew numerous orchids. They planted the seed in him that grew into a passion.
|Epc. Rene Marque "Tyler"|
My day with him was impressive. It was so interesting for me to listen and watch him talk to Orchid Society members on the subject with equal knowledge. They quickly recognized his knowledge of the plants. Now I know a little more about orchids than I did, but for me, it will take more than a one day short course.
|Phrag - Eric Young|
|Braassolaeliocattleya - riosgr|
|Odc dm. Catatante' Pacific Sun Spots'|
I heard terms like; Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, Oncidium and Cymbidium. Now Louise, try to remember this.
The conservatory was also featuring 75 Amarphophallus Konjac, also known as Voodoo Lily, displayed in the Rain Forest and Desert biomes. This plant emits a strong scent of decaying meat. The scent attracts corrion-eating insects, flies and beetles, that aid in pollination. In spite of the smell the plant is quite attractive.
Also being featured at the conservatory was British Artist, Bruce Munro: Light.
Again Dale Chihuly has a permanent display that has been a draw to the conservatory.
We picked up our plants and made the decision to visit Oakland Nursery and Garden Center before returning home. After a quick over look of the nursery we stepped out the door to a snow covered car. The trip home was cautious and not easy. We saw several cars that slid off the highway. Thank heaven for a careful driver. This winter just won't go away.
I had a great day with this young family. It was so nice of them to include me on this, special day.
Thank you Ian and Lisette
Friday, April 4, 2014
Meet Our Guest Blogger
Let us introduce you to Heather Gottke from the village of Paulding, Ohio. She was born in Scotland, went to Ohio State University for her under graduate and masters degree. She majored in Agriculture and Extension.
She loves teaching because of her love of children. Heather was in 4H and FFA. She loved showing horses and other animals.
Heather has held her present position at OSU Extension in Van Wert, Ohio for the last five years. Heather is the coordinator, manager of 4H clubs, teen programing, 4H camp and volunteers. She has had much success acquiring volunteers. She must have a secret weapon.
Heather is very enthusiastic about her job, and when asked to do a guest post, she was more than willing. To be good at your profession, you first have to like what you do. Way to go Heather.
Youth Development with a Purpose
By Heather Gottke
The program formed in 1902 in Clark County, Ohio. The foundation of 4-H is credited to A.B. Graham. Many of these clubs focused on agriculture, and appropriately linked up with agricultural fairs to show their skill set to those in their community. In 1914 the Smith-Lever act created the Cooperative Extension System through the USDA and nationalized the 4-H program. This linked the 4-H youth with knowledge of 109 land-grant universities and over 3,000 county offices nationwide.
The history of the 4 H’s gives deeper meaning to the program’s objectives. Head, heart, hands and health are the four h’s. Through those h’s, members are encouraged to build their skills in managing and thinking (head), relating and caring (heart), giving and working (hands), and being and living (health).
Today, 4-H has grown from its roots, to accommodate that same purpose focused on community and families. In Ohio, youth complete and learn through over 200 projects ranging from the tradition livestock, crops, cooking, and sewing to science-based technology projects such as robotics, healthy living, nutrition, and career developing projects. These projects help our nation to compete in key scientific fields to help take on the challenges of the 21st century.
Taking a project through a club gives members the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with their peers, and adults. Aside from the project members are given the opportunity to practice public speaking through demonstrations, learn how to conduct a business meeting with parliamentary procedure, and build relationships with others through respectful and thoughtful discussion and decision making.
One of the highlights and signature programs in 4-H is the Quality Assurance (QA) program. QA trains members on 10 good production practices that all livestock producers (both commercial and person) must focus on. Good practices produce good market animals in which the public can feel confident and safe about consuming.
4-H gives purpose to youth searching for skill development (whether they realize it at the time or not). It gives the structure for purposeful socialization of youth, as well as purposeful healthy decision making. Soft skills are often sought for in the professional world, and 4-H gives youth those skills as they mature and develop into young adults. As a 4-H professional, my goal is to develop skills, while working hard, and having a whole lot of fun. That goal is my own professional purpose, and Extension and 4-H give me the ability to do that in the community.
This is Heather Gottke Signing off.
Thank you Heather for another fine job.
Louise and Sue
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Lunch with the Ladies
We are fortunate enough in our little town to have a small Gathering Room where they serve lunches in a cute style. It is a place where you can relax and share conversation with a friend. It makes you feel like you are doing the lady like thing.
She, Karen Miller, has a very nice gift shop, boutique, and at Christmas becomes the place to buy Christmas magic . She has home decor and for a small shop, it is quite complete.
One day when I was in the shop, Karen asked me if I would do a program on gardening. I have a power point presentation of how you can incorporate art in any garden, no matter how big or small the space. The subject was agreed upon . So last week I did the presentation to a lovely group of ladies.We had a very nice lunch followed by " ART IN THE GARDEN". They all were very kind and stated that they were inspired to begin work in their own gardens.
We are still getting snow and it is getting to be a four letter word. We are so anxious to get into our gardens
Karen is planning more events, a book signing and a miniature garden workshop. She did this last year and it was very popular. She has all the fittings and supplies. She will have an expert there to assist you with your creation.
It was a fun day for me and I think the ladies enjoyed their day also.
See you in the garden.