Bud ‘n’ Bloom Garden Club members learn about fall gardens

The October meeting of the Bud ‘n’ Bloom Garden Club was held at the home of Al and Judy Kawski. Club members were impressed by the Kawski’s gardens, flower beds and autumn-themed planters, and they also loved Judy’s creative indoor decor.

Master gardener and former Bud ‘n’ Bloom member Janet Centner gave a slide show presentation, sharing her personal experiences and answering questions. The Chautauqua Master Gardener Program was formed to educate and serve the community, utilizing university and research-based horticultural information. Volunteers in the program are from the community and have successfully completed 50 hours of Cornell-approved training. They volunteer a minimum of 50 hours per year.

Centner got the attention of the group when she said “Some kids have no idea that a carrot comes from the ground.”

Becoming a Master Gardener is not a simple task. Applications need to be filled out, interviews completed, backgrounds checked, core training completed, and finally, an exam must be passed. Hands-on learning is used whenever possible. Natural methods are encouraged. Pesticides and chemicals are discouraged. There are 40 members in the group who meet monthly. They contribute to community education and beautification projects, youth education, library talks and support services. They maintain nine demonstration gardens and three sample gardens. The Mayville Food Pantry helps to distribute foods that are grown. Some public ventures are the Audubon Gardens, the Chautauqua County Fair planters, and four JCC youth workshops.

A handout with “25 Top Tips, Tricks, Techniques and To-dos for Fall Gardens” was shared. Another handout contained eight steps needed to take a proper lawn/garden sample at home. The Master Gardener Helpline can be reached at 664-9502, ex. 224 on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. during the local growing season.

After the presentation, Kawski served coffee, tea and homemade apple cheesecake topped with spiced whipped cream. The table was creatively decorated with fall accents.

At the brief business meeting conducted by President Sue Drag, it was decided that a January greenhouse workshop would be held to plant succulents for the spring plant sale. Kawski will email members photos of succulent examples. As an example of her succulent artistry, Kawski shared a foot-square, footed wooden planter filled with a wide variety of succulents. Hand-knitted Halloween characters sent to Kawski by her daughter Pam Craig added whimsy to the arrangement.

The next meeting will be a workshop at the Laona Methodist Meeting Room on Nov. 13. Karen Ryder, a local accomplished floral designer and Bud ‘n’ Bloom member, will be the presenter. Bev Barnes and Judy Wilcox will chair the event.