Art of Gardening Club member Sue Kelley opened the meeting Feb. 5 with a program on “Pressed Flowers.” Jim Brewer, Times-Gazette correspondent, and his wife, Sharon, were special guests. New Art of Gardening Club member Kathy Bargar along with Mohican Community Garden Club members Sandi Rowsey, Debbie Becker and Unie Kettering also attended the presentation on different ways to press flowers. Eighteen others answered roll call about what they like best about Valentine’s Day.
Kelley said pressing flowers is “as easy or as complicated as you choose to make it” and related various ways to preserve flowers via book, iron and microwave pressing. Flowers that do well for preservation include poppies, delphiniums, cosmos, coreopsis, zinnias, pansies, larkspur and marigolds.
Prepare your flowers by picking in the morning after the dew and pick right before their peak. Another tip Kelley suggested is to remove stamens so pollen doesn’t stain.
Ferns and leaves press nicely. “Don’t be afraid to modify your bloom,” Kelley said. “Don’t be afraid to layer your flowers, to make a design, to use grass, to experiment with leaves. Think about background choices, your placement/layout, your border.”
Try pressed flowers on book pages, music pages and as wedding invitation keepsakes. Kelley also showed slides of pressed pine cones, dried nuts and pistachio nuts. Even more to ooh about was the use of raffia grass, twigs and boxwood in making bookmarks, gift tags and paperweights. Pressed flowers, etc. can be incorporated in candles, tealights and on vases. Kelley displayed pictures created using special blooms: people, words and letters, butterflies, things that fly. It’s just cutting the bloom to fit the picture you want to create.
On the subject of entering pressed flowers at the county fair, Beverly Stetson placed first and second previously and Sue Kelley earned first place.
Faith McKinley and Lee Heckman provided Valentine refreshments. McKinley delivered the inspiration “A Few Things You Might Have Not Known About Valentine’s Day” and read a sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Members chose this year’s fair theme “When We Were Young” overwhelmingly. A motion to serve a pasta dinner again to pilots and sponsors at the BalloonFest was made by Lee Heckman and seconded by Ruth Ann Linder. The club also will decorate the library for Christmas at Kingwood Center to look like the Groovy ’70s. On Vegetable Garden Notes, Faith McKinley noted that garlic was up. She and Beverly Stetson will provide monthly reports, Stetson more on the line of climate control. Lee Heckman pointed out that the club’s booklets used to have a theme featured on the front. Pat Edwards, president, said that maybe a theme could again be incorporated at end of year into new books for next year, water conservation being a real trendy topic.
Regarding inclement weather, it was proposed that if city schools closed there would be no meeting. In case of a school delay members decided to push the time to a later start. “We’ve lost another garden club,” Edwards noted. Stetson was sentimental in stating that “It kind of kills the camaraderie if you don’t participate in this altogether.” It was emphasized that the Art of Gardening Club is the largest and is a coed club.
On the topic of a Junior Gardeners’ Program Kelley said she is not opposed to leading a group of youth to become members even if something is done on a quarterly basis perhaps partnering with 4-H.
Val Smith is on tap to present a “Flowers for the Fair” program at the next club meeting March 4.