Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Plants of a (U.S.) Tropical Island: March Program

The US Virgin Islands are a favorite cruise ship destination and vacation get-away. The island of St. Croix is the most remote of these and, as a non-volcanic island, has a different vegetation from most of the other West Indies. Also it has a high mountainous central ridge and wind that almost always comes from the same direction. As a result, the vegetation varies from rain forest to desert over a very short distance.

Mango Flowers
Formerly the home of the Taino people, the island was "discovered" by Columbus and then successively occupied by seven different nations, among whom the Danish left the greatest impact, before finally being sold to the US.

Historically, sugar cane was the main agricultural crop. Much of the island‘s agricultural history remains as ruins now buried deep in forest. As it is the most isolated, rugged and least visited of the islands it also still has large areas undeveloped and in some cases unexplored. For three years, our presenter, Brinsley Burbidge worked on St. Croix and explored the island intensively, often cutting trails into the least accessible mountainous areas. Along with his wife Julie, he also worked with local plant experts (including the island‘s "Weed Woman") and the Department of Agriculture.

On March 6, Brinsley will give an illustrated talk about the island, its dramatic and very scenic topography, and the way that plants (both native and introduced) have been important (and continue to be) in the islands history.

Join us from 6:00-8:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 216 South 3rd Street. Please enter through the garden area, to the left as you face the front doors. Our meeting begins at 6pm, social time and refreshments follow, with the presentation beginning at 7pm. All guests welcome.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Community Events

Members of the Cottage Grove Garden Club are participating in two upcoming community events. Please join us.

Turtle. Row River Nature Park.
On Saturday, February 25, the Coast Fork Watershed Council is hosting a tree planting at the Row River Nature Park (previously known as East Regional Park). Meet at the weigh station on Row River Road at 9am. We'll be helping the Watershed Council plant big leaf maple trees, among other plants. Wear winter clothes, boots, and bring a water bottle. The Watershed Council will provide work gloves, snacks, and refreshments. Please call the Watershed Council to RSVP: (541) 767-9717.

Heather Garden at the Hospital
On Saturday, March 10, the Oregon Heather Society is sponsoring a pruning event at the Heather Garden at the Cottage Grove Community Hospital. Learn how to identify heathers and when to prune them. Oregon Heather Society members will demonstrate correct pruning techniques during the semi-annual pruning of the hospital's heather garden.

The Heather Garden is located to the left as you face the front of the Hospital. Bring pruners, a kneeling pad, gloves and a lunch. 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Contact Ella May at (541) 929-6272  for more information.

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Events

Can you feel the excitement about spring growing? To help satisfy that garden-itch, here's a listing of gardening related events happening this month in the Cottage Grove area.

February 1: registration has opened for the "Hardy Plant Weekend" being held in Eugene from June 7-10.  The theme is "Into the Woods/Out of the Woods," focusing on shady and near-shady gardens. Visit The Hardy Plant Group for more information.

February 7 (Tuesday): Cottage Grove Garden Club will be making "Seed Bombs" in a workshop led by Andrea Mull.

February 9 (Thursday): American Rhododendron Society Eugene Chapter Presents "Plant Hunting in China" with Mike Stewart, owner of Dover Nursery. 7pm.

February 13 (Monday): Native Plant Society of Oregon - Emerald Chapter. Dave Predeek talks on “Flora of the Wallowa Mountains in Northeastern Oregon.” 

February 14 (Tuesday): Hardy Plant Group welcomes Jack Olson speaking on "Rhododendrons as Perennials."

February 17 (Friday): Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council leads the Garden Club along the Row River Nature Trail to showcase local restoration efforts. 2pm.

February 20 (Monday): Avid Gardeners Presents FAVORITES—Tried and True and New! Learn from Avid Gardeners board members (Mark Bloom, Alice Doyle, Ernie and Marietta O’Byrne ) about their top picks in both ornamentals and edibles, from great (but often unsung) reliables to the newest offerings.

February 21 (Tuesday): Cottage Grove Garden Club Board Meeting at the Community Center from 6:30-8:00 pm.

February 25 (Saturday): Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council hosts a tree planting at the Row River Nature Park. All interested community members are encouraged to help. 9am-noon. Please RSVP with the Watershed Council.