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Newssept05.doc

Upcoming Events
September 2005
Sept 10th Perennial Plant Exchange
Sept 15th City Garden Tour (see below for details)
Sept 18th Guest Speaker Barbara Kam (see below for details)
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
The Garden Club Executive would once again like to thank Mel and Glenda, our program directors, for the wonderful bus tours
they organized this summer. We also want to thank Terry Bolen for hosting the Annual Club BBQ again this year and a thank
you to all the members that opened their gardens to the members.
The Rose & Lily show, held July 28, was a wonderful success. There were 216 entries from 26 exhibitors. Over 200 peopleattended the show. A thank you goes out to all the club members that donated prizes and to the Golden Circle for hosting theevent.
The 47th Annual Bench Show, held August 20, was another great success. There were 576 entries from 33 exhibitors and 94people attended the tea. Thank you to all the volunteers that helped out and to Parkland Nurseries for use of their facility.
The Mayor, Morris Flewwelling, wishes to convey his apologies to the members for not being able to attend the show and hopesto be included next year. Growing up in Mirror and being an avid gardener at heart, he grew over 12,000 glads.
We would like to thank Rona for their donation of a 200-strand light.
On behalf of the garden club we would like to welcome new members Jennifer Doherty, Jean Holmes, Ruth Leader, NancyMoody, Maxine O'Riordan, and Rita & Jim Spyker.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Perennial Plant Exchange will be held at Kerry Wood Nature Centre on September 10th. From 1:00 to 2:00 will be for those
who bring in plants to exchange (2 for 1) and from 2:00 to 3:30 plants may be purchased (for only $1.00). Please pot your plants
or wrap roots in wet newspaper and bag in a plastic bag. Also, if known, label all plants with name, height, spread and flower
color. For more information contact Judith at 346-xxxx.
There are still tickets available for our September speaker, Barbara Kam. She will be speaking about Prairie Winterscapes in the
Margaret Parsons Theater at the Red Deer College. The tickets are $12. Please note that there have been very few tickets sold.
If you were planning on going, please contact Melody (343-xxxx) or Glenda (342-xxxx,evenings) sooner than later to purchase a
ticket, otherwise it will be cancelled. If the event is cancelled due to lack of sales it will be announced at the plant exchange.
This is your last chance to press some flowers for our November workshop.
Several garden club members volunteered to be on the Flowers and Vegetables Committee of Creative Arts during WesternerDays, and did themselves proud from clean-up day to removal of exhibits on the last night. Many thanks from Creative Arts andthe Westerner to Myron and Brenda Gulka, Ruth Ironside, Ann Kurz and Sheila Roberts for all their hard work, cheerfully done,and to Pat Anderson who came out to help on judging day. Dianne Klein, when she was out of the hospital, was able to do herthree shifts as well.
The Alberta Gardener magazine has published a Centennial Edition "100 Years of Growing in Alberta". Many of the articleshighlight the people and events of the past century in Alberta.
PLANT PROFILE Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) Native to Europe and northern Africa
Autumn crocus is also known as meadow saffron, mysteria, or naked boys. It is not a crocus or saffron at all, but a perennial herbin the lily family. It produces pink to lavender 6 inch crocus-like flowers in the fall. The flowers arise directly from the corm. Thedark green leaves that can reach a height and spread of 12 inches emerge in the spring, remain until summer, then turn yellowand die to the ground. After which, the flowers magically appear in the fall. The foliage must be left to ripen naturally until itwithers and dies, just like other bulb foliage.
Colchicums should be planted in late summer or early fall in well- drained soils in full sun to partial shade. For the best visualdisplay, plant colchicums in clumps. The corms should be planted about 4 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Locate them wherethe ripening foliage won't be intrusive.
Gardeners can choose from several excellent cultivars. Colchicum autumnale 'Album' produces single white flowers, 'Alboplenum'double white, 'Plenum' double pale pink and 'Pleniflorum' double amethyst violet.
It's extreme toxicity has been well known since ancient times. The poisonous compound colchicine affects chromosomes andcell division. It is used to treat several kinds of cancer and to induce mutations and polyploidy (increases in the number ofchromosomes) in plant breeding programs. The recent tetraploid iris cultivars and daylily cultivars exist thanks to colchicine.
Colchicine is also one of the ingredients of ColBENEMID, a prescription medication for gout. The plant's flowers, seeds, andtubers are all-medicinal, but are rarely used due to the danger of poisoning. Colchicum is deer and rodent resistant.
BOOK REVIEW
Water Garden Plants for Canada by Alison Beck, Lone Pine Publishing, 288 pages, softcover, $21.95 The first section of the book, "Plants at a glance", is a helpful pictorial guide if you are looking for a plant with a particular shapeor texture. The next section of the book briefly covers the steps to creating a water garden. It deals with pond basics such asplanning, location, size, liners, pumps and filters, and creating a balanced ecosystem. It also covers the basics of maintenance,problems and pests, and propagating plants. It discusses the various locations in the pond of aquatic plants; submerged,floating, emergent or marginal, bog and pondside. The largest section and main focus of the book, lists the aquatic plants inalphabetical order by their common name. It includes information about the plant size, habit, hardiness, growing conditions alongwith any problems or pests one might encounter. There is over 100 color photographs and like a lot of Lone Pine's books, it givesyou a good visual impression on what the plant looks like. The last section of the book is devoted to a quick reference chart. Thechart lists the features of each plant, the season of interest, the plant type, the location in the pond, light requirements, hardinessrating and page number. This book is a practical reference to a whole new world of plants.
The book reviewed in this month's newsletter will be given away as a door prize at our October meeting.
DID YOU KNOW
Peppers can contain up to six times as much vitamin C as oranges! The highest levels are found when the peppers are in their
"green" stage. Hot peppers contain less vitamin C than the milder bell peppers.
UPCOMING CITY GARDEN TOURS - September 15th
These are the gardens that we have been visiting monthly to watch their progress.
7 pm – Shirley – xx Axxxxx Crescent
8 pm – Anne – 4309-xxth Street
9 pm (tea) – Wayne – x Oxxxx Road
TIPS & TRICKS
In our perpetual search to find a solution to getting rid of slugs I came across this tidbit. It was published under Gerald Filipski's
column in the Edmonton Journal.
In the journal Nature (Vol. 417) scientists report the following, "We have discovered that solutions of caffeine are effective in killing or repelling slugs and snails when applied to foliage or the growing medium of plants." In their tests they "thoroughly wetted the soil with a two per cent caffeine solution. After 3.5 hours, only 25 per cent of the slugs remained in the soil; after 48 hours, all slugs had left the soil and 92 per cent were dead." I have not tried this, but it sounds worth trying. Instead of throwing out your morning coffee, save it for the slugs. Just make sure it's not decaf. I would spray it on the ground in known problem areas. Do a test on plants (just a leaf or two) before spraying the whole plant to ensure the plant is not sensitive to the coffee. According to the study even concentrations of 0.01 per cent reduce the slugs significantly. A cup of instant coffee contains 0.05 per cent and brewed coffee even more.
If anyone decides to try this method, please let us know if you've had any success.
Executive Members:
Judith Colley

Source: http://reddeergardenclub.ca/documents/newssept05.pdf

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