We met at Rich and
Austin's beautiful Craftsmen home in Historic Kenwood last month.
The pool was inviting, as were the hosts! Thanks
Our Next Meeting: Our
will be on Sunday, June 17th at 5:00.
We will be heading south in St. Pete to the Maximo home of our good
friend Phil. He promises a quickie, condensed update on Crotons.
Make sure he takes you on a tour of the yard if you haven't
already had that pleasure! Phil's pool is always in terrific
condition for a cool dip, so bring a suit and towel! Bring
enough to share in the potluck, and when you are in line,
remember that everyone behind you in line also wants to sample the same
goodies as you, so moderation. You can always go back for more!
Directions to next meeting: Login to Members page
Don't forget to bring something
good for the plant raffle!
Florida Gardener's Almanac:
monthly timetable of gardening chores:
First Month of Summer (and Hurricane Season!)
begins on the Summer Solstice (around June 22, the longest day of the
year when the sun is furthest north) and ends around September 24 (the
autumnal equinox). But in Florida, summer practically begins in
mid-May and lasts weeks past the autumnal equinox. The reason for
this is our close proximity to the Tropic of Cancer (23° 27'
latitude, the northern border of the tropics)--the point on Earth where
the sun appears the furthest north latitudinally. In our case,
the sun seems to be almost directly overhead at noon.
June is also the
first month of the official Atlantic hurricane
season. If you did not prune your trees and palms in May, now is
when you should do it. Trim back dead or weak branches from trees
and make sure that you have all the limbs and fronds hauled off so that
they do not become dangerous projectiles in the event that a hurricane
approaches. While hurricanes have been rare in the month of June
(the busiest part of the season is August, September, and October), it
is not too early to prepare for one's approach. Before a
hurricane arrives is the best time to prepare your home and yard for
one. If a hurricane does approach, be sure to bring in outdoor
objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor
objects that cannot be brought inside. Secure buildings by
closing and boarding up windows. Be sure to remove outside
antennas and anything else that may have the potential to become a
lethal projectile. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones in which
winds reach constant speeds of 74 miles per hour or more, and blow in a
large spiral around a relatively calm center—the eye of the
hurricane. Stated simply, hurricanes are giant whirlwinds in
which air moves in a large tightening spiral around a center of extreme
low pressure, reaching maximum velocity in a circular band extending
outward 20 or 30 miles from the edge of the eye. Hurricanes are
nothing to fool with—if you have lived here for the last five
years, you already KNOW that. Be prepared!
This month, and all
through summer, continue to fertilize since
Florida's sandy soils do not hold nutrients well and your plants may
begin to show signs of nutritional deficiencies. The heavy rains
and consistent watering help to leach away the foods plants need to do
their best. Pay special attention to plants that are heavy
feeders such as palms and cycads. Insects are still on the prowl
and will be until the cool weather sets in. Be aware and you will
be able to end infestations of bad bugs before they begin. If you
are still hoping to plant a traditional vegetable, herb or annual
garden this month these are your best bets:
Anyone interested in meeting at or
one of our upcoming events?If so, post
Facebook page or announce at our next meeting.
If you are
interested in other group outings,
Joe and Bob were on
their repositioning cruise to Rome, so signing in was not as smoothly
run as it usually is. Still, the stick on badges worked well.
There were about 25 people present and 6 guests. We got to welcome
Scott Hoffman back to the fold, too!
Austin and Rick had
plenty of little sitting areas all over the garden, so there was plenty
of socializing going on before dinner.
Barry announced that we were getting set for Pride and were in need of
volunteers to man the booth. The Pride street festival is on June 30th,
from 9am - 4pm. We want people in 2 hour shifts, and would
like to have 4 people in the booth at all times. In previous years, we
didn't have enough people talking up the club trying to gain
memberships. We are currently at our lowest paid membership level
of the past 7 years, so we need to make a solid effort to grow!
Jim came forward to announce a new hybrid passiflora that he has named
after Michael Kelly. Jim has decided to not offer this variety
for sale, but will give new plants to club member's only. What a
wonderful and generous thing to do! Thank you, Jim. I can't
imagine a sweeter way for us to remember Michael! Don't
forget to be put on the waiting list!
Then Rick introduced Dave Johnston, the bromeliad guy who presented a
wonderful video enhanced talk on the hybridation of bromeliads.
Dave also brought a good number of samples to sell after the
ended with the raffle held in the garage. There was a huge variety of
plants up for raffle, including a huge bag of bromeliads, several
plumeria, hybridized brugmansias and iochroma from Elizabeth Fichtl's
to LIKE us at Facebook and check out all of the photos I couldn't post
If you would like a club tee shirt or polo shirt, be sure to check out
the options available here: Shirts page
Pride is coming up in 2 weeks. What
does that mean to you? For those who don't remember, the first
Pride parade was held on June 28th, 1970 in NYC. It was
created to comemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969 when the patrons of
the Stonewall Inn and its performers stood up to the corrupt
police department in NYC who regualarly raided and arrested people just
for being there. This was the first semi-organized activity of
LGBT community to rise up as a group and demand equal rights.
They were soon joined by the entire gay community of Christopher
Street and then Greenwich Villiage. The parade is a way to show
the fight continues.
St. Pete has held Gay Pride events since 1993. I was very nervous
to attend the first fiew years, afraid that others would see me there
and harass me. I would go to the Tampa events, though now I don't
see the logic in that. By the end of the 90's, I was attending
regularly, though never marching, always just observing and
collecting freebies, afraid to breathe for fear someone might
recognize me. I never even caught a strand of beads hurled from a
In 2005, Brian C. happened across a gay garden club booth, manned
with Jim and Eric, Tom and Vic, Kevin and John, Ann and Budda -
all smiling faces, all determined gardeners - very welcoming!
They planned a new club in St. Pete as a way to swap plants and
meet new people. It was just the thing Brian thought I needed to
expand my horizons - like sewing and needlepoint aren't enough!
He took their information and he attended the first
meeting. He then dragged me to the next meeting, at Jim and
Eric's home. Not only was I not a gardener, I wouldn't even mow!
Somehow, I volunteered at that time to be the Newsletter editor -
nothing like jumping in with both feet - and it's been foreward ho ever
2006 was my awakening. I helped set up our first official Rakes
and Blades booth, and manned it for a few hours. I caught my
first fistful of beads from a bar float, connecting me back to the
outrageous drag-queens who stood up for me that first time. I
became a part of my community that quickly, with that first violet
After these 7 years I am pleased with all I have gained from being a
member of the club. I am thrilled that I can trace it back to a
bunch of queens beating up cops in NYC. I would gladly march in
the parade today, puffing on my inhaler the whole way if necessary.
I gladly sign up to work our booth, setting it up every year
that we have had it, trying to outdo myself in making it more welcoming
than the year before. I am only saddened by the fact that so few
others feel as I do. Most of you attend the festival and drop in
to say hello. Why not help us bring the club to those like me who need
are for the calendar year and now due.Pay
online, or pay at our next meeting.
us with any updates or changes.
Upcoming Group Outings
to help coordinate a group outing?Possible
Kopsick Palm Arboretum (St. Pete)
has asked Rakes and Blades to spend
an afternoon poolside and come up with ideas on how to make it a
tolerant paradise.If you are
interested, emailBud G.
PETE PRIDE:Pride is coming up
in 2 weeks and we still need volunteers to man the booth for 2
blocks from 10am - 4pm.
Upcoming Rakes and
Blades Meeting Locations:
July 17thDonn and Jesse
August 19th John and Norm in
you want to host a
meeting or event, or make a presentation, please contact one of our
board members - email links below
Our monthly board
meeitings are on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm - 7:30pm.
All are welcome to attend and participate. Meetings are at
the St. Pete MetroCenter -www.metrotampabay.org/