The Flower Press - - a newsletter of the Lincolnshire Garden Club
June 2011


Annual Garden Walk and Picnic

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Depke Juvenile Justice Complex (10:00 am)

And Half Day Forest Preserve (11:00 am)


Garden Walk - Our garden walk this year leads us down a different path to a garden project the Club has supported with both volunteers and funds. Please join us at the Robert W. Depke Juvenile Justice Complex, 24647 N. Milwaukee Avenue, between 10:00am and 10:45am to see the wonderful results of the hard work of so many volunteers. We know you will be pleased with the education and beautification efforts in this special community.

Picnic - After our short visit at the Depke Center, please join us just a hop, skip and jump south down Milwaukee Avenue to the Half Day Forest Preserve, Shelter A for a delightful picnic beginning at 11:00am. The presentation of the LGC”s allocations to this year’s lucky recipients are part of the short business meeting we will have before enjoying a delicious lunch and some fun social time.

Both these event are located on the east side of Milwaukee Avenue between Olde Half Day and Townline (Rte 60) roads. The Depke Center is across the road from Smithe Furniture, and the Half Day Forest Preserve is across the road from Lifetime Fitness Club, just turn right at the traffic light at Woodlands Parkway into the preserve.


Message from our Outgoing President, Jan Stefans

How did your new President, Linda Berryman, get her garden sense?  While living in Michigan with her husband, John, and two young boys, TJ and Chad, she replanted her yard's tired landscaping with the help of a master gardener neighbor.  A fast learner, Linda then graduated to her homeowner's association where she designed and planted their four entrances.

Moving to Victoria Lane in Lincolnshire found Linda with a pretty blank canvas.  Not to be deterred, with her cottage style as inspiration, she has hauled rocks for planting borders, created flagstone walk ways, and built an arbor and fence bought on close out from Menards.  As a true gardener, a little of Janice and Rick's and my yards have made their way into Linda's planting beds.  Is she Presidential material or what?

 

A Garden of Thanks from our Incoming President, Linda Berryman

Jan Stefans, our Garden Club President is without a doubt a “proven winner” selection.  Over the past three years, our Club has truly benefited from her high-performing qualities as President.  If we planted a garden of thanks in her honor we would need a very large plot!

Using the language of flowers, we would plant red peonies and heliotrope for her deep devotion.  We’d plant a big patch of white zinnias to try to match the goodness in her heart.  Next to the zinnias we would place a drift of coreopsis reminding us how she is always so cheerful.  We would grow hollyhocks big and tall to represent her constant energy and ambition.  We’d plant bluebells and veronica for her constancy and fidelity in getting things done.  Of course, our garden for Jan would only be complete with lots of sunflowers to symbolize the great amount of admiration and appreciation we have for her as a fellow gardener and friend.

Yes, our garden of thanks would speak in colorful, lovely praise for all Jan has done for our club and community.  May the thought of such a garden inspire us as Jan has inspired us to learn, grow and share with one another.  Thank you, Jan, for all you have done.  You have always said “there’s magic in the dirt…” well… we think that magic is you!

Fieldtrip to Crabtree Farm

On Tuesday, June 7th, Club Members and friends were treated to a fantastic tour of Crabtree farm, the last farm in Illinois on Lake Michigan.  Rick Sanders has provided a detailed review and extensive pictures on the Home page of our website.

Look Who’s Budding Now, by Karen Kravits

This month we talk with Linda Lutz.  Linda is a talented artist who lives with her husband, Steve Meyer, on almost 2 acres of land in a very private area of Lincolnshire off of Elm Street.  Steve does administrative work for the park district in Highland Park.  Linda and Steve have 2 sons, one who recently finished school in Vermont and will spend some time traveling and the other, Christian, is a freshman at Boston University.

How long have you and your family lived in Lincolnshire?

We have lived in Lincolnshire a long time – about 20 years in the same house.

Are you happy in Lincolnshire?

Yes, my husband and I are “outdoorsy.”  You get your fill of the outdoors in Lincolnshire with bike paths and the Des Plaines River.  There’s so much to do.  And the schools are good.

What made you decide to join the Garden Club?

I used to belong to the Evanston Garden Club working as an environmental administrator, which was a lot of work.  Now, I have more time to be a garden club member on a more social level.

Has it been what you expected it to be?

Not at all – everything in Evanston was so political.  This Club is very vibrant, happy and fun with lots of volunteer projects.  It offers good programs, and the food is unbelievable!

What is the biggest challenge you face in your own garden?

With almost 2 acres of land, there is just too much of it.

Has your experience with the Garden Club changed the way you look at your garden?

Not so much.  I consider myself to be a “very lazy gardener.”

Of what help could the Garden Club be to you?

The information is really good.  And field trips like the one to Crabtree Farm give me access to things not available to me on my own.

Who is your biggest gardening inspiration?

My grandmother was a fantastic gardener.  She had formal gardens, grapes and raspberry patches along with lowland gardens in East Lansing, MI.  My grandparents lived in a home in the middle of an apple orchard, so we had fresh cider.  And my grandmother had the most beautiful herb garden.

What is your favorite plant?

I love wild flowers especially the spring flowers.  I don’t know if it’s because they come up first or because they are so pretty, but I love them.

 

Is there one tip you can share with us on your gardening techniques?

Keep non-gardeners out of your garden.  (I’ll let Linda tell you the story about how her husband moved a thriving, happy plant to a new location.)  And, use patience.  Let things develop over time.

Thank you for spending time with us.  And, stay tuned for more introductions to our new members as we take a peek into how their gardens grow.

Club Bylaws

The Bylaws Review Committee, comprised of Linda Berryman, Barb Gilman, Kelly Dupont, Jeanne Top and Meg Zimmermann, held lengthy meeting and made extensive changes to the Club’s Bylaws.  The Club’s Board approved these new Bylaws at it’s June 2nd meeting.  The Bylaws can be found on the Members Only page of our website.  You will need to log into the site in order to access this page. 

A vote by the General Membership to approve these new Bylaws will be held at the Annual Picnic on Thursday, June 19th.   Ahead of this vote, the committee strongly recommends that all members read the document.   One particular change that should be highlighted is Article III, Section 2, Last Two Lines: Donated items that do not sell at the Benefit will be returned to the donors.  In exchange, these members will be responsible for making a $45 cash donation to the Club.

Membership News

We hope you all will join us for our June garden walk and picnic.  Please don't forget to bring you pocketbook and/or checkbook to pay your membership dues for next year.  We will have membership applications ready to be filled out.  You can also take one to your friend or neighbor you have been meaning to ask to join The Lincolnshire Garden Club.  If you want to have the form filled out a head of time, you can print it off the website.

Weed and Wine

Our second Weed and Wine event was postponed due to rain.  It is rescheduled for tomorrow, June 10th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  We will be working in Joan Keyes’ yard at 37 Berkshire. Joan says she has plants to share, so be sure to bring empty containers in addition to your pruners, trowels and any other gardening tools you might want to bring.  If weather gets in our way tomorrow, we will send out an all-club email letting you know that we have postponed again.  If you have any questions, email Jeanne Top (thetops4@comcast.net). 

Going Green

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  Going Green is pleased to announce that the Village of Highland Park has expanded the items accepted at its municipal facility at 1180 Half Day Road on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm.  In addition to accepting electronics, the facility now accepts batteries, florescant and CFL lightbulbs; and Styrofoam.  Batteries can be any type, regular or rechargeable, and any size up to and including car batteries.  The facility takes any type of Styrofoam except packing peanuts.  Styrofoam that has been in contact with food must be rinsed out.

We are always looking for new ideas and suggestions to be ecologically friendly, so please send them to Jeanne at newsletter@lincolnshiregardenclub.com.  New ideas will be highlighted in one edition of the Newsletter and then moved our new Recycling section on the Lincolnshire Garden Club website (www.lincolnshiregardenclub.com/recyling).  This sight will include, among other things, upcoming special recycling events and a list of recycling locations for specific items.


That Thug the Slug

Written by Tom Micheletti, submitted by Barb Gilman

Ah, that perennial question! What's eating holes in the leaves of my Hosta? By midsummer they're all chewed full of holes, and look terrible. But rest assured, it won't kill the Hosta, they're tough plants, it just makes them look ratty for that season.

Well, it's slugs chewing all those holes in the Hosta leaves. These dreadful creatures even have a loathsome name! If there are a lot of holes, then there are probably a lot of slugs! The common culprit in our area, is a grayish tan creature about one half inch long and about as big around as a pencil. It has two antennas on its head and is very slimy. It looks like a snail that lost its shell. In fact, it is related to the snail. Slugs are active at night and on cloudy days, chewing all those holes in the leaves of our favorite plants. Telltale signs are the slime trails: shiny squiggly lines they leave behind as they crawl across the ground.

Slugs reproduce by laying eggs, sometimes up to 50 in a clutch. Slugs are active when nighttime temperatures are above 50° F and there is ample moisture, either from rainfall or watering. It's a good case for watering early in the day! They also like a damp, dark daytime hiding places, beneath leaf litter, mulches, dense ground covers, etc. By cultivating soil around plants the eggs can be destroyed, reducing slug populations. Also a good cleanup in the fall will reduce the amount of eggs over-wintering in plant debris.

CONTROLS

Soapy Water: If you go out at night with a flashlight and a bucket of soapy water, you can hand pick slugs from your Hosta leaves and drown them in the bucket; they aren't good swimmers! Check the undersides of the leaves carefully. This can become a daunting task, as there can be many generations to contend with. It is also not for the squeamish handling those slimy little creatures. You could wear rubber gloves, or use tweezers. Some gardeners just suck the slugs off the leaves of their plants with a 'Dust Buster' hand-held vacuum cleaner, then dispose of their catch by emptying the bag into the soapy water.

Attractive Hiding Places: You can also lay boards, or tightly rolled-up damp newspaper on the ground, check them every morning and scrape the hiding slugs into your bucket of soapy water. Melon and grapefruit rinds, inverted plastic flowerpots, or anything that supplies that damp dark environment will attract slugs to hide during the daytime.

Beer: Another remedy is to get a can of beer (any brand will do, slugs aren't fussy) and pour some into all those little margarine tubs we have gathering around the house. Cut a few holes in the tops, so the slugs can get in, and use the tops to deflect any water from rain or sprinkling. If there’s any beer left in the can, drink it for courage before going into battle. Sink the tubs up to their rim in the garden. Slugs attracted by the yeast will fall in the tubs and drown; they aren't good swimmers, remember. The beer will have to be changed every few days to keep the solution fresh. Also pour the contents onto the ground, because the dead bodies of their own kind attract other slugs. If your slugs aren't old enough to drink yet, you can mix a concoction from two tablespoons of flower, one teaspoon of yeast, one teaspoon of sugar, to two cups of water. It should give similar results, with great taste and is less filling!

Copper: Slugs do not like copper. It gives then an electrical shock. Barriers made of pure copper, or copper flashing at least three inches wide, are effective. It can be expensive to surround large beds with copper, but a few prized specimen plants could be surrounded with copper barriers.

Diatomaceous Earth: Another effective control is “diatomaceous earth.” This is the finely ground shells of ancient sea creatures. It is available at garden centers and is a fine powder that can be sprinkled on the plants and ground. As slugs crawl over the powder, it scratches their soft bodies and the slugs die from dehydration. Care must be used when spreading the fine powder so as not to breathe the dust as this can irritate the mucous membranes in our bodies as well. Eye protection and a dust mask should be worn as a safety precaution. Diatomaceous earth will have to be reapplied after a rainfall or sprinkling.

Ammonia and Water: Another reported remedy in the arsenal is spraying the slugs with a dilute solution (1:4 or even weaker) of household ammonia and water. Experiment with dilution rates and test different plants on only one leaf before broad applications are made. Ammonia is a source of nitrogen that may burn the leaves of plants.

Iron Sulphate: Another remedy is an application of iron sulphate on the soil surface around each plant. It must be reapplied after rain or sprinkling. It is a form of fertilizer available in garden centers, and care must be used so over application is not made. Also application of fertilizers late in the season is not be recommended, as it could cause tender new growth that may be damaged by an early frost.

Natural Predators: Time to call in the reinforcements Toads, ground beetles, lightening bug larvae, garter snakes, moles, shrews, and wrens all prey on slugs. These are natural means of slug control, but will also be affected if you resort to chemicals. Chickens, ducks, and geese are also effective if you have a country location that permits keeping them. It has been reported that a slug eating beneficial nematode (a microscopic worm that doesn't harm plants) is being tested in Great Britain, and is showing some promise. These nematodes aren't available in the U.S. though.

Other Plants: There are some Hostas that are more slug resistant. That is slugs don't find them as palatable! They are the Hosta with thicker, heavier leaves, usually referred to as substance. By intermixing these in our Hosta beds we offer a less tantalizing meal for our enemy.

Chemicals: If all else fails it may be necessary to resort to chemicals. Various slug baits are available from garden centers. The active ingredient in these baits is methaldehyde. It paralyzes slugs after they ingest it. They are unable to crawl for shelter after the sun comes up, and they die from dehydration. If the weather is cool and rainy however, the slugs may not be affected as much and may survive an otherwise lethal dose. It is also toxic to earthworms and other creatures, as well as pets, which sometimes ingest poisons not meant for them. A more recent addition to the slug control arsenal is a product made from iron phosphate. It is a type of fertilizer toxic to slugs. Any chemical-laden slugs should be disposed of so as not to accidentally harm other animals like birds, or our group of reinforcements we called out to help earlier. Overuse of chemicals can be a serious problem, and various populations of slugs can become resistant to them over time. Always use chemicals carefully and follow all directions and safety precautions.

If all this sounds like a lot of work, IT IS! After all, this is a war were talking about here! These beasties are eating our favorite plants.

Slugs eat many types of garden plants, both ornamentals and vegetables, so these same controls can be applied to many of them, except the use of chemicals on food plants. 
The best solution is a natural balance of predator and prey.

It is nice to know, however, that there are solutions to fall back on when the balance gets out offhand. If worse comes to worse, we can hope for a drought. You may have noticed slugs are not as big a problem in years with less rainfall, but then without having to fight our battle with the slug what would we do with all that extra gardening time? Well now! About all those weeds in my Hosta beds!


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