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Camden Garden Club to meet Monday

Posted: September 6, 2011 1:53 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2011 5:00 a.m.

It is a warm summer day as I sit on my veranda sipping sweet tea with a light breeze blowing through the trees. I gaze out over the sweeping gardens and terraces of lush flowering bushes and shrubs and overstuffed pots and containers. Ahhh, life is good! Then, POOF! I open my eyes and face reality! In the shade it is probably 110 degrees, there is NO breeze, the humidity is hovering around 100 percent. I don’t have a veranda and I am not sipping any tea. I am guzzling water in an attempt to stay hydrated. As for my gardens? We don’t even want to go there!

This spring had started out so well, too. I had eagerly dug, planted, tilled, and experimented with new plants and combinations. I was so happy, and it all looked so lovely. But Mother Nature was not kind to me this year. She tested my dedication and determination. I tried, but alas, I failed. There were just too many days with the temperature over 100, the evenings didn’t cool off and there was no rain. Unfortunately I don’t have a watering system at my home so I stood out in the blazing sun and heat and tried to water but to no avail. Asking my 17-year-old to help out a few times when I was unable to water was a good idea but we all know how that turned out. I look around and try to assess the damage. I see my spindly begonias and leggy petunias (sad looking), the vinca has done well (I’ll plant that next year), oh my, what was that over there in that pot? These are the results of the dog days of summer. I struggled even to keep my azaleas and magnolias alive, but cooler temps are just around the corner. I will recharge and get down on my knees and start digging in the dirt again to get ready for the fall annuals. I will chalk this one up to experience and I know I will do it all again next year!

On Monday, the Camden Garden Club will meet at the home of Kate Denton. This will also help get me motivated. I thoroughly enjoy these monthly meetings. Not only do I see many close and dear friends, but I also learn so much from the programs and workshops. The speaker this month is Liz Gilland, the city of Camden’s urban forester. She will speak about her job and the general care of trees in the Camden area. As I also had trouble with my trees this summer, I will be interested in finding out what I can do to help them over the winter and then prepare them for another hot summer. The board members have been working and planning for the new year since the election of new officers last April. These ladies have done a fabulous job scheduling the programs and speakers, coordinating the hostesses and judging, and getting it all to print by the end of August. Debra Gregory is president; Catherine French, vice president; Cathy Clark, second vice president; Nancy Cheek, treasurer; Mary Elizabeth Boykin, recording secretary; Joy Scully, corresponding secretary; Nancy Campbell, membership chairman; and Linda Culler, Garden Club of South Carolina representative.

Each month, members are asked to bring in specimens and arrangements from their own gardens to be judged. The suggested theme is “In Tune With Nature.” The judges will be Susan Prettyman, chairman, Anne Bell, Nancy Campbell and Linda Culler. The hostess chairman is Barbara Beard, and she will get plenty of help from Catherine French, Fair Airial and Marilyn Kohn to make sure no one goes away hungry. There will be plenty as members discuss the program and catch up on what we’ve all been doing and how we coped with the long hot summer. As for me, I will sit on Kate’s veranda, sip sweet tea, and visualize what my gardens will look like next year!

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