Horticulture events last month found garden club members busy at varied horticulture venues.

Gonzales Garden Club members have affinities for all types of plants. Besides community service activities in the city, several members are active participants in other local, state, and national plant societies. Of the club's twenty-eight members, twelve are Louisiana Master Gardeners. Three belong to the Burden Horticultural Society, and three are Friends of Hilltop Arboretum at LSU. Two others hold membership in the Pelican Point Garden Club while two more have joined the Sundowner's African Violet Society with one also belonging to the African Violet Society of America. The club is additionally represented in the National Audubon Society, Louisiana Ornithological Society, Baton Rouge Daylily Society, Baton Rouge Bromeliad Society, Baton Rouge Orchids for Seniors, and Baton Rouge Cactus and Succulent Society. Each time a new horticulture specialist presents to the club, a new affiliation develops.

Horticulture events last month found garden club members busy at varied horticulture venues. On October 17, Gail Lonibos and Janis D'Benedetto accompanied Club President Jamie Trisler to the Louisiana District VI Fall meeting of the Louisiana Garden Club Federation at Nottoway Plantation. The event theme was "Remembering Our Original Treasured Seeds." Meeting highlights included a message from the LGCF President Linda Finley and a program titled "Seasonal Decorating with Native Plants and All the Wonderful Things it Has to Offer," which was presented by Ramona Perrin of the Plaquemine Garden Club. Participants also enjoyed networking at a buffet luncheon.

One of the garden club's trips this year was a visit to Longue Vue House and Gardens in conjunction with the Louisiana Iris Rhizome Sale. Members traveled to Metairie on October 19 to tour the historic mansion and walk the eight-acre site, which has been beautifully restored since the 2005 ravage of Hurricane Katrina. Although original owners had taken inspiration from European landscapes, native plants are a predominant aspect of Longue Vue today. Pollinators flit among the flowers, and squirrels scamper through the trees. Gardens feature oaks, azaleas, camellias, irises, and wildflowers. Hardscape highlights include statues, fountains, a terrace, a goldfish pond, and the Spanish Court of mosaic tile. The property exploration was a magnificent outing arranged by Tour Chairman Janis D'Benedetto.

As a member of the Sundowner's African Violet Society, GGC Vice President Mary Jo Pohlig entered many of her propagations into the society's annual show held at the Baton Rouge Garden Center on October 19 and 20. She won 15 awards at the show and sold 25 of her plants to the visiting public. Mary Jo is a dedicated gardener.

The last "extra curricular" activity of a few garden club members was a trip to Lula Sugar Mill in Belle Rose with the Ascension Master Gardeners. Organized by County Agent Mariah Simoneaux, the group watched a video of sugar cane production, observed the harvest of a sugar cane field, toured the mill yard during round-the-clock unloading and storage of the cut cane, and visited a storage warehouse with an enormous mound of refined sugar. Afterward, the Assumption Parish Farm Bureau hosted a luncheon of chicken and sausage gumbo, potato salad, french bread and cake. C'est si bon! That meal was the best part of the trip.

In November, the garden club will hear from the Society of Louisiana Irises about incorporating those plants into their gardens, spruce up the Jambalaya Park Butterfly Garden, and provide a garden therapy workshop at Charlie's Place.

Contributed by the Gonzales Garden Club, federated by the National Garden Clubs, Inc.