Gonzales Garden Club studies ferns

Patti Mouton / Special to Weekly Citizen
Dr. Terry Rehn, EBR Master Gardener and fern enthusiast, gave an interactive lecture on ferns and associated shade-loving plants to the Gonzales Garden Club at the Gonzales Public Safety Center on October 4.

At the October 4 meeting held at the Gonzales Public Safety Center, the Gonzales Garden Club hosted a program on ferns. The program included a PowerPoint presentation, educational exhibits and plant giveaways. Louisiana Garden Club Federation District VI Director Nancy Delahaye and Riverside Garden Club President Jeanne Bourgeois were guests by invitation.

Master Gardener Dr. Terry Rehn served as the event’s guest speaker. He is a retired cardiologist with a special interest in ferns. Dr. Rehn gave a presentation about the requirements of growing ferns and associated plants in south Louisiana. He spoke about the characteristics of more than forty different varieties of the shade-loving plants and provided each audience participant with a colorful resource guide. He ended his talk by giving away fifteen of his demonstration plants as door prizes. GGC Member Dana Teepell displayed an educational exhibit of the “Life Cycle of a Fern” that depicted the plants’ stages of development. GGC members brought specimens of various cultivars from their personal home collections for a plant exchange.

LGCF District VI Director Nancy Delahaye spoke to the group briefly about her service theme of “Deep Roots…Strong Growth”. She asked that GGC members choose projects that not only improve community landscapes but also inspire local youth to cultivate an interest in gardening with civic involvement as future garden club members. She closed with a reading of the poem, “Advice from a Tree.”

Three GGC members displayed floral design niches for critique. Marilyn Rice, Janis D’Benedetto and Weezie Cashat described how they created their arrangements and answered questions about the design style and their decisions to use fewer rather than more blooms to complete the line-mass concept.

The horticultural hint of the month is to use a half-strength fertilizer solution when watering newly planted cool-season bedding plants for a good start. Barbara McCormick provided the gardening tip of the month, which was about sun exposure. She likened human sunburn to plant leaf sunburn to emphasize care for outdoor plants during sudden changes in sun exposure. When bringing plants indoors for the winter months, gardeners should be mindful of the sunlight intensity and time length of exposure when placing plants up against windows.

Luncheon hostesses Ellen Richmond, Beth Beall, Gwen Heck, Janis Poche, Donna Reynaud and Cathy Venable provided a meal for the club and their guests. The entree of Rotel chicken pasta was accompanied by a robust black olive, herb salad and broccoli cornbread muffins followed by bread pudding and coconut cake. President Jamie Trisler adjourned the meeting after general announcements about club activities and projects.