On January 11, 2019, the Village at Castle Pines Garden Club held their first meeting of the year at Danielle’s in the Village. The new club venue served a delicious lunch, on a very snowy afternoon, and attendees were eager to report what a lovely time they had! Danielle’s even provided a $50 gift certificate for the club’s charity raffle.
Luan Akin’s presentation on cleaning your indoor environment with plants was enjoyed by all. She provided us with informative handouts and brought many different houseplants to illustrate her points. Luan, a former Channel 4 CBS News helicopter reporter for thirty years before becoming a Master Gardener and subsequently taking a position with Tagawa Gardens, taught us a great deal about houseplants. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and her knowledge was much appreciated. Ms. Akin explained that NASA began researching the ability of plants to filter airborne pollutants from enclosed, indoor spaces during the energy crisis of the 1970s. She said they discovered that one medium-sized plant can clean the air in an average-sized room once every 24 hours and can potentially prevent the illness, “sick building syndrome”, from occurring.
Luan taught us that over-watering is the number 1 cause of houseplant death and said to follow the one-third rule: “Water thoroughly, then wait until the top one-third of the soil dries down before watering again.” She emphasized that plants MUST have drainage holes so soil can drain freely and cautioned that plants use more water when they’re actively growing—that means we should water less in the winter. We should also use less fertilizer during the cold months. Ms. Akin said to never use softened water on plants. She suggested grouping individual pots on a pebble-filled tray so that the plants can share humidity.
The presentation concluded with Luan sharing the pros and cons of various Colorado-friendly houseplants, as well as their numerical score, which rates their ability to remove chemical vapors, as well as their ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to insect infestations, and transpiration rate. These ratings are described in How to Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B.C. Wolverton.
Club business was reviewed by Janice Wright and included a discussion of the new website and eblast and how to access it via our new password: blooms. Janice shared her appreciation of Mary Kay’s hard work and asked us to give Kim Watson any suggestions for improvement that we might have. She noted that there are some leadership positions opening up and asked that you let her know if you are interested in any of them.
Wanda Ford noted that we were able to donate $4583 to the Crisis Center, following our holiday luncheon, and mentioned that the center needs artists’ supplies, as well as household items and toiletries. She reminded us that there is an easy drop off at the health and hope site. Jomie Heftye discussed the upcoming trip to Victoria 6/16-21/2019. She encouraged signing up for the wait list as it is likely there will be dropouts in the coming months.
Cheryl Porter, Programs Chair, discussed our upcoming February 1st meeting which will take place at Mountain High Appliance and will include complimentary cocktails and dinner. Chef Andrew Forlines, who is a comedian, as well as a five-star, Broadmoor Hotel trained chef (think Penrose Room) will be teaching us how to prepare winter meals with herbs and spices. This evening “Valentine’s” class (5:30-8PM) will also welcome spouses and guests, so please get your reservations into Jennifer Dengler before January 29!