A program by Delores Baker entitled “Planning for Winter Interest in the Garden” was enjoyed by the members of Great Bend Garden Club at their January meeting. With a number of dried plants from her own garden as illustrations, Baker shared ideas for creating attractive landscaping scenes and bouquets of dried plants and shrubs.
A Barton County Extension brochure suggests planting a curb-appealing winter eye-catcher by the front entrance and another one outside a frequently used window in the home. Possible list of plants that retain their beauty when the growing seasons’ colors fade include red-twigged dogwood; Japanese Kerria for its green stems; and barberry, cotoneaster, red chokeberry, viburnum and holly for their red berries. The brown and beige seed-pod silhouettes of coneflowers, sunflowers, yarrow, and plumed grasses also provide winter interest.
Shrubs like ninebark and beautybush with their exfoliating bark and plants with contorted stems like walking stick and corkscrew willow also provide an interesting visual during the winter months. A favorite of Delores is the allium, an unusual globe shaped blossom which grows on a hollow, leafless stem which can range in height from 6 inches with small circular blossoms to 3 feet in height with large globes of tiny star-shaped blossoms which become the seed-pods. Its dried version makes a beautiful indoor winter arrangement when combined with stems of dried grass plumes. The drab winter months are a good time to get out the garden catalogs and start thinking about including some winter interest with next year’s new spring planting.
A guest of the garden club, Dorinda Bussman, a long-time friend of past member Mae Weaver, presented the Garden Club with a check for $2,000 as a memorial to Mae. Members recalled that Mae had been an enthusiastic member of the Garden Club and dearly loved the club’s rose garden. The money is to be used to purchase a yellow rose bush for the Great Bend Cemetery Rose Garden in honor of Mae with the remainder of the funds to be used as the club determines for the upkeep and/or improvement of the rose garden.
A brief discussion followed with suggestions to include a small memorial plaque recognizing the location of the Mae Weaver yellow rosebush and possibly purchase a small form of statuary to replace a central fountain which is not working.
Coffee and delicious brownies were served by hostess, Sharon East.
The next Garden Club meeting will be on Feb. 20 with Fern Thompkins as hostess and Alice Young giving the program.