Gary and Gary's home - Always a warm welcome for us!
most recent meeting
just held out November meeting in Tampa at the lovely home and gardens
of Gary Luter and Gary Raush. In spite of the small turn out
it was a great meeting and we thank both of our hosts for being so kind
next Meeting will be on Sunday,
at at the Tampa
home of our fearless leader, Barry Campbell and his lovely spouse Barry
is certainly a busy time of the
year for all of us, but please make
plans to join your fellow Club members for the Meeting and some Holiday cheer! Barry
tells me he loves to do things right for Christmas, so expect a home
decorated for the holidays, with multiple trees, and plenty of
most wonderful time
of the year to garden in the Sunshine state. There are many reasons for
this. First, the weather is much cooler and the humidity
be lower. Most all of the flowers that we loved to grow
now can be grown down here (at least for the next couple of months
before the heat and humidity return). And almost everything seems to be
in bloom (especially orchids)!
you began your
vegetables a couple of months ago you should be now, or shortly will
be, seeing the fruits of your labor. But be careful of garden pests,
such as caterpillars, cutworms, leafhoppers, aphids, thrips and other
critters making plans to harvest
before you do.
season has finally ended. Which is good news. The bad news is that
December is a dry month, so you must be sure to water your plants
regularly. This is especially important if the rare blast of polar air
should make its way down here from north of Canada, as had happened in
1961, 1977, 1983, and 1985.
not your garden is less susceptible to frost damage when the ground is
wet rather than dry. So be sure to water your plants well the night
before a hard freeze is expected.
protection tips include
moving mulch away from young plants since mulch prevents the upward
soil to the plants
and will make your plants freeze faster. Putting sheets over your most
tender plants works well in creating an insulating boundary.
Return-stack heaters can be used to prevent frost damage by raising the
temperature of the surrounding air (this is the most often used
protection by citrus groves during freezes). Some large-scale farms
even go to the extent of hiring helicopters to fly low over their crops
to keep the air stirred-up so the colder air does not settle too long
near the ground and do damage to their tender plants.
starting a traditional garden this month are:
Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots,
Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Collards, Cucumbers, Endive,
Escarole, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leek, Lettuce, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peppers,
Pumpkins, Rhubarb, Romaine, Rutabagas, Spinach, Squash, Strawberries,
Sweet Corn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips and almost any other
vegetable you desire.
Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Chervil, Coriander, Fennel, Garlic,
Lavender, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Sweet
Marjoram, Thyme and most other herbs.
Surprisingly, it was a very
small turnout at Gary and Gary's home for the meeting last month.
Usually we have a tremendous group, but though it was small, it
was still tremendous!
Joe and Bob welcomed us all to the meeting with new badges and warm
smiles and hugs.
Gary told us about the effects of this past winter's freeze, and yet
aside from the visible neighboring homes, everything in the yard was
growing big and healthy with plenty of lovely vignettes to welcome you
to sit a spell!
The gardens and patio provided the perfect spots for friends to relax
and socialize before the meeting and during the potluck!
Barry delivered the tables and coolers the night before the meeting
with the intent of setting up when he arrived, but the Gary's beat him
to it and everything was in place before the first person arrived!
The pot luck this month was varied and delicious! We had
Gary's homemade chili, Joe's fresh homemade pickles, and
some of the most garlicky stringbeans - yummy! The prize went to
Ricardo for his Shrimp and Brussel Sprouts, with Gary's chili coming in
second. The best dessert went to Scott's friend Dorothy who
brought german chocolate brownies.
dinner Barry started the business portion of the meeting. He
again stressed the need for volunteers to help fill in the vacant spots
on the board. He then told about our Social outing, a trip to
American Stage for a staged reading of Love! Valour! Compassion!
by Terrance McNally. Barry stressed that it was for a good
cause, a benefit for people with Aids and other Aids charities.
Barry then turned it over the Rich, our program director who introduced
his guest speaker for the month - Dave Johnston of Bromeliads Galore.
Dave gives some of the monthly workshops at Sunken Gardens and
was fresh off his latest "Everything you ever wanted to know about
Bromeliads", and we benefitted!
He talked about the care of bromeliads, placement, identification and
propagation. He also brought a truckload of beautiful bromeliads
for attendees to purchase.
The meeting ended with the raffle
Michael Kelly. I
was surprised by his plant knowledge - Way to go, Michael!!
Message from our
friends, This has been
an awkward first
couple of months into my Presidency of Rakes and Blades, and but they
been very enjoyable. We have
had two sparsely-attended meetings, yet they have been FABULOUS
ONES!!! To those of you who did not attend
meeting at the Twigs and Leaves or the November meeting at Gary and Gary's beautiful Tampa home and gardens, I must admit that you have
great meetings with tremendous speakers at both. Rich Pollin, our
Director, has gone above and beyond expectations in providing us with a
terrific line-up of guest speakers for the past two and the next few
truthfully, the smaller attendance has
been nice because it has given us a chance to become closer friends
dedicated to attending. As I said, it has been Fabulous, BUT we want
old friends back, too! This month,
December, is our annual
Christmas meeting.Barry and I have
decided to volunteer our home and garden to the club for our Holiday
party.Like last year, we will have the
main dish – sliced turkey and ham – provided by the club,
so the normal Pot
Luck should be complimentary side dishes.Now
is the time to make those old family
recipe green bean casseroles,
sweet potato casseroles, homemade stuffing, and cranberry relishes that
have been dying to show off! In addition, we found that last year’s
exchange was a huge success, so we will exchange cookies! If you would like to participate, just bring two
dozen of your favorite cookies (home-made, please) and copies of the
recipe.After a judging for the best
(tastiest) cookie, each of you involved in the cookie exchange will get
each and every kind of cookie in the exchange and all of the recipes!How great is that! And
lastly, we plan to have a gift exchange.This
is totally voluntary, so if you want to
exchange gifts with others in the club, we recommend maintaining a
range and possibly something that may be garden related! Come
join us for the holiday festivities! As I said
earlier, this has been a
challenging year for us all.Those of us
on the board have been working under extreme conditions since we are so
staffed.We have been trying new ways to
simplify the process of running the club, without killing the few
do have. We managed to keep our
Webmaster, Bryan, by promising to take away all of the extra
did.So, to help him we did away with
the Friday Update and tried to build up a rotating calendar on the web
you always had a list of things to do and places to go.Each listing was attached to the
informational webpage describing the event, exactly the way it was in
Friday Update. We also had complete directions to the meetings listed
places on the web site so you had multiple ways of getting the
needed.We sent emails to explain how
the counters show that very few
of you bothered to look.It was
suggested that most of you don’t know how to log in to get the
is available. I don’t want to
that. At a loss for anything else to do,
we have gone back to the Friday Update. The
problem is that it is just one more job for Bryan, who as you all must
was giving up his position as webmaster after five years. So, while I do appreciate the positive responses
I have gotten regarding the return of the Update, you
must also appreciate that we do not have
the personnel to do all the work that you want to have us do.We keep asking for your help, but no one
comes forward to help out! I do not know
what the solution is. Most of the
positions require very little time, but with no one to do them, it
forces the few
of us on the board to double and triple up in order to do what is
required! This means that a two hour job
for 13 is now a
20 hour job for 4!I ask you AGAIN -
CONSIDER HOW YOU CAN HELP THE RAKES AND BLADES, SO THAT ALL MEMBERS -
THE BOARD - can enjoy what is supposed to be a fun and informative
each month. I am looking
forward to a great
year with the Rakes and Blades for the 2010/2011 year. Contemplate what
you can play in making it a TREMENDOUS year!!!!!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah,
Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year and see you all at my house!! Barry
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