BY DONNA WESTFALL
Did you know there’s a gardening club in town that’s been around for three years? On Wednesday, August 14th, they held a bbq lunch before delving into the presentation. But, first, about that lunch. Bob and MaryAnne Buckles prepared mini-burgers with all the fixing’s, along with salads, baked beans, ambrosia salad and more. Every morsel was delicious. MaryAnne’s sister, Monica Gross came up from Downey (LA County in Southern California) to lecture on how to deduce which weeds are growing in your garden. Along with identifying the weeds the flip side was to learn how to get rid of them. Monica also brought a box of home grown tomatoes from her garden to share. Those were the first good tasting tomatoes I’ve had all summer I might add.
This is a fun-loving group. There is no leader, no dues, no rules except to have fun and enjoy gardening. Mary Anne sends out a newsletter via email and snail mail and would be very happy to hand the job over to anyone wanting to volunteer. No takers on the volunteering so far. They meet 10 months out of the year and are dark November and December except for a planning session in December.
The ice breaker question to get things rolling; “If you could wish for any plant what would that plant be?” My answer, “Avocadoes.” I miss our avocado trees. Another woman wanted to grow papayas. The one thing I learned from this group is that there are cold weather tomatoes. Wonderful because most of the tomatoes served in the restaurants around town are tasteless.
About Monica Gross. She took a 16 week course as part of being a Master Gardener, and got certified as an LA County Master Gardener. Along with certification comes the responsibility to go out and teach the public about gardening. Weeds are bad because they compete for nutrients, water and light. Up until the time I moved to Crescent City, I always thought of blackberries as a wonderful berry for drinks and pies. These days I can’t wait to dig out those berry starters and kill the plant before it can take over.
Monica started her presentation with the use of her laptop computer. Since 1920, the University of California Cooperative Extension has been a resource for anyone who wants to grow anything.
Each of us was asked to bring a weed from our garden. Then through a series of questions and pictures, we were trying to identify our weeds. After identifying them, we discussed eradication. Digging out the weed versus the use of herbicides.
It’s nice to know there’s a group interested in sharing plants and tips with each other keeping in mind that the first rule is to have fun. Thank you’s to the Buckles for hosting this event in their beautiful home. Their landscaping is shaping up so beautifully that I predict they will be on the garden tour if they haven’t already. And thanks to Monica Gross from coming up and spending time educating us.