Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Magnolia's Kick-Off

Stacia Snuggs and Ramona McCormack, Magnolia’s Circle Leaders, welcomed everyone back from their summer and started the year off with a wonderful program on Herbal Skin Care.

Becky Bathen, Master Gardener and Soap Maker, shared her extensive knowledge of soap-making and the benefits of herbal skin care to a crowd of around 50.

Everyone was so thrilled to be back from the summer break and over a lovely brunch had time to catch up.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mandarin Garden Club Plant Exchange

On Saturday, September 6th, the Mandarin Garden Club held a plant exchange.  Members of the club brought plants, gardening accessories, garden art, books, and magazines.  With a crowd of 50 or more ladies and gents, the exchange was quite lively!  Might I even say rowdy???

Watching the members jockey for position, and laying hands on their first choice was quite entertaining.    Some were discreet, and some were bold in marking their territory.

The plant exchange takes me back to a time when guests to our homes always left with a “cutting” in hand for their garden.  Watching our  Exchange plants grow or making use of the garden accessories will be a constant reminder of the friends we have made at the Mandarin Garden Club.

Many thanks to Becky Bathen and Mary Forester for their organization of this fun event and the memories we made.

This post was written by Karen Rowe, a member of the Mandarin Garden Club's Dogwood Circle.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Master Gardener Tip: Planting Fall Annuals

All of the “Big Box” stores now have gorgeous displays of fall annuals – Don’t fall for it (pun intended). It’s way too hot to plant Marigolds, Chrysanthemums, etc. These past few summers have had extended hot weather, so the “traditional” planting times in September are better put off until October. Of course, we do have the occasional early frost in November, but it’s usually not so severe that the October transplants won’t survive even though they may get a little burnt around the edges. When you do start to plant, pay particular attention to the new varieties of chrysanthemums – all colors and shapes, big ones and small – you may not even recognize them for the plants they are, but they will perform spectacularly!

This post is written by Martha Dysart for the Mandarin Garden Club member's September newsletter.

Friday, September 5, 2014


This poem and photos are written and provided by Tess Hart-Ross of the Dogwood Circle.  Enjoy!

And now as I grow old and gray I shall gather 'round me--CATS, for keeping a smile on my weathered face and mirth in my tired heart...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Secret Garden

Diane Frisco's Secret Garden

On the hottest day in July, I went to visit Diane Frisco's Secret Garden. Diane is a member of the Dogwood Circle, and has created a beautiful garden in honor of her dog Abby. She told me this story.

After losing their beloved black lab, Daisy, the Frisco family went looking to rescue another black lab. Their granddaughter, Rachel, was with them the day they visited the shelter, and fell in love with a white American Bull dog. So Abby came home with the family instead of a black lab. Abby had been abused and was found roaming the streets so the family knew it would take a lot of work to gain Abby's trust.

It took about a year of Diane talking to Abby for that trust to be gained. Abby is now a quite, gentle dog that welcomes visitors to the Frisco home. Since Joe and Diane are "gardening people", they decided to create a place in their backyard for Diane to sit with Abby and to talk to her.  Diane told me she tells Abby all of her secrets, and that's the story of how the "Secret Garden" came about. Oh, Yes, Diane says, "Abby understands me when I tell her my secrets".

There is a fence around the garden and a mailbox at the entrance. Inside the garden you will see an old fashioned water pump, a table with a tea set and two chairs, a water garden in a tub, birdhouses, and mirrors. Diane's favorite item in the garden is an old chandelier that was found at a yard sale. Her husband turned it into a solar chandelier and it now hangs in a tree in the garden. You will see a yellow bird cage with a miniature rose bush growing through it, gingers, caladiums, rudbeckias, yellow lilies, and a red drift shrub rose hibiscus. Diane is a succulent lover and planted desert plants in a framed window on the side of the shed next to the garden.

It is a lovely place for a lady and her precious dog, Abby,  to relax and share secrets together early in the morning or late afternoon.

This post was written by Mandarin Garden Club member, Betty Waldrep.