The Petal Pusher

Newsletter of the Landings Garden Club

February 2009


The annual Landings Garden Club dues are collected in February for the 2009 year.  If you have not paid, please bring a check made out to The Landings Garden Club for $30.00 and your completed membership form to the meeting and give it to Jan Kemp.     If you will not be at the meeting, please send your check and information to Jan at 29 Log Landing Rd. by February 24th.

Thank you for your timely payment.

Click Here to Print a Membership Form

Dear Garden Club Friends,

             Hopefully we are on the verge of spring temperatures but who would have guessed that we would still be seeing frosts the way we have over the last couple of weeks.  I understand from the experts that we are about two weeks behind time with our growing cycles.  Out at the Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens those of us helping in the green houses have been transplanting seedlings and putting small plants into containers to be well established for the Spring Plant Sale on April 4th.  It is one of my most favorite things to do.  The plants are happy. They ask no questions, never complain and grow amazingly quickly from one week to the next. 

This is normally a busy time for gardeners but with the freezing temperatures we will all be behind with our clearing and tidying for spring planting.  Mid February is the best time to prune our shrubs except for Azaleas. We are told that now is a good time to apply a lawn herbicide.  Don’t use a feed or feed type material.  Do not fertilize except for emerging bulbs.  Cut perennials back to ground level.  How can we do all these things when it is barely 40 degrees out there?

  I found a great website this evening to help with my letter and so clipped the following:

“ As warmer weather starts to prevail over the southeast, everyone wants to get a jump on spring and start our gardens and flowerbeds. Preparing now is a fine idea, however don't go and buy those plants just yet, or you will be buying more to replace them.  The average frost date for south Georgia is March 10th, and don't think global warming is a factor, as the southeastern United States is one of the few areas of the world showing cooling over the 20th century. There has been no significant change in the numbers of frost days or the frost-free season in the south.
  So before you dive into planting here are a few tips.  If you find that perfect healthy plant for your garden that you can't pass up, keep it in the pot and find a sunny window in your home to keep it healthy until the frost risk passes. If it is root bound, you may want to find a bigger pot.  Keep it watered just enough to sustain it. Over watering can actually be worse to the plant than under watering it as wet roots tend to rot.
  If you feel you must get plants in the ground consider perennials, as many perennials tolerate frost and can be planted in early spring. If you plant your annuals too soon and another frost arrives, you can pretty much expect to lose them.   Another important tip is to plan your garden.  If it is a
flower garden you want, make note of the area you plan to put it. Is it sunny, (around 6 hours of sunlight a day in this area), partly sunny, or shady? Different plants take a different amount of direct light. Shade plants such as hostas or ferns will burn their sensitive leaves in direct sun; the more shade the better for these decorative plants. Asters, Bachelor Buttons, Hollyhocks, Lupines, Marigolds, Geraniums and Snapdragon are just a few sun loving plants that need all day sun to really complement your garden. Again usually, you will find a guide on the
Continued on next page (see Anne)~ 


  February Meeting

The February meeting of The Landings Garden Club will take place on Monday,  February 23rd in Bailey Hall at the Skidaway Island United Methodist Church. The Board Meeting will begin at 9:00 AM, followed by refreshments at 9:30, the General Meeting at 10:00 and the program at 10:45.  The program this month will be given by Dr. Richard Wallace, Professor of Chemistry at AASU. His topic will be “Exotic Fruits and Flowers in Coastal Georgia.”  The public is invited to attend the program at no cost.


Hostesses for the meeting will be Carol Jennings, Nan Higginson, Libbie Cluett and Adriana Fisher.


Causeway Cleanup

Next Cleanup: Monday, March 2nd


The next cleanup date is Monday, March 2nd. All volunteers are asked to meet in the Village parking lot between Smith’s and the Bank of America branch from 8:00 to 8:30 AM. Wear sturdy shoes, bring gloves and bug spray. Vests and pickup pinchers will be supplied. Questions?  Call Nancy Strobel at -4370.


 The Landings Garden Club is grateful to the 18 volunteers who, on February 2nd, filled 27 bags of ugly “stuff” that accumulated on the causeway during the month of January. Many thanks go to the following: Dixie Diffenderfer, Margie Hardesty, Bruce Elder, Leslee Bowler, Dave and Diane Gannon, Kathy Thomas, Lynn O’Neil, Shirley Owen, Anne Howard, Marilyn and Wayne Sheridan, Brigitta Nooney, Jack Tucker, Kay Osborn, Ralph and Peggy Schilly, and Ed Conant.



plant when you go to purchase it. Follow the guide lines and select plants suitable for the area you plan to plant.  The single most important thing you can do for your new plants is soil preparation. Dig and loosen the soil 3 to 6 inches into the ground then add your choice of organic material such as manure, peat moss, or  compost and mix well with the native soil.  When grouping plants together keep in mind their watering needs, some plants love moist soil, others prefer dry. For a trouble free garden, plant in groupings that compliment each other. Once you have planted, be sure to mulch well. Mulch will aid you in keeping those pesky weeds from taking over.  
If you really want long term enjoyment out of your flower garden, heed this advice. Take a half hour a week to weed. Keeping up with the weeding will help make it not seem such a chore. Also, take the time to pinch your wilting blooms by nipping the stem between your thumb and forefinger. This will give your plants a compact, bushy quality. Use this time to really look at your flowers and appreciate their beauty, this way not only are you assisting the plant but recharging your soul.
  A little common sense can go a long way when creating a beautiful flower garden. And with careful planning you can enjoy it for years to come”.

Don’t you love the part about recharging your soul?  That is what gardening does for me.






 The general meeting of the Landings Garden Club was called to order by the President, Anne Gardner, at 10:00 AM.  There were 45 members present.  Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Lisa Hall read the Collect.

Guest Presentation:  Connie Darbyshire, co-chair of the Savannah Garden Expo, spoke about the upcoming April 17th-19th event.  Admission is $10.00 and will be held at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum.  This year all lectures are free, one with Vince Dooley (aka longtime coach of the GA Bulldogs AND a Master Gardener) speaking.  There will be workshops and competitions in several categories -- window boxes, containers and floral arranging.  The Savannah NOGS Tour of Homes will be held in conjunction with the Expo.  Both events ask for volunteer help.  For more information go to or

Treasurer’s Report:  Jan Kemp reported as of January 26th there is a checking account balance of $6,460.32 and a balance of $5,220.01 in the money market account.   A motion was made, voted on and carried to move our money market account to a seven month CD.

Dues should be turned in with the Membership Form filled out, indicating how each member will serve the Club.

Marilyn Sheridan gave a report on cost of membership.  Our $30 per member dues nets each member $39.47 worth of garden club enjoyment.  (Copy attached to Treasurer’s Report.)

Recording Secretary:  Minutes of the November meeting were approved as published.

Committee Reports:

Membership:  Shirley Owen reported we have 75 active members (8 inactive) and a new member today, Jean Wrenn.

Website:  A job well done by Sally Jones who hopes everyone has looked at the site.  She asked for suggestions and any information or photos they would like to be included on the site.

Trip to Ossabaw:  Sandra Wolf encouraged everyone to sign up for the April 27th trip.    

Ways & Means:  Jean Ahrens thanked everyone for their help in the Red Bow Fundraiser.  Revenue was down this year, thus we will be entertaining new ideas to raise more money next year.  We will begin the assembly process earlier so that we have inventory for the sales startup.  We may add wreaths and swags to sell.  The purchase of a bow making machine was suggested.  It could be used at other times of the year for seasonal bow sales (4th of July, Easter, etc.).

Gate Decorations:  Shelby Schavoir reported the holiday decorating of gates went well but the taking down and storing of materials needs to be addressed.  Our storage area at TLA is getting smaller and making it difficult to store our supplies.  Nancy Rosenthal will confer with Shelby on this problem.

Butterfly Garden:  Linda Sue will have information on this at a future meeting.

Library:  Bette Feingold had no report.

Arbor Day:  Debbie Roth has ordered White Oak seedlings which will be part of a program for the four year olds at the Presbyterian Daycare Center.  Free seedlings will be offered to Landings’ residents.  These seedlings are two to three feet tall.

Hospitality:  Peggy Schilly thanked Susan Otter, Patsy Dulles, Maddie Hart, Liz McGough and Marie Scheuermann for bringing today’s refreshments.

Civic Beauty:  A sign up sheet was passed for the causeway cleanup Monday, February 2nd.

Horticulture:  Irene Thornley talked about kalanchoe and orchids.

Design:  The lovely centerpiece was designed by June Palmer. Anne Gardner won the green bag from the Tree Foundation..

Marilyn Sheridan passed a petition asking for individuals to sign regarding the Association’s policy of removing deer.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 AM.

Program:  Our talented club members -  Linda Sue Babcock with Nancy Crawford – gave a presentation on the native Plant Trail.

Leslee Bowler, Recording Secretary


  Community Service

Many thanks for all that you donated to the residents of the Georgia Regional Hospital for Christmas! The staff and residents were thrilled with all that we provided. I am planning on making one last stop over there in the next few week with the miscellaneous toiletries that I have collected. If you have anything you would like to give me at our March meeting I would be glad to take it to the center!  Thank you all again!            Lisa Hall


 To the family of Gay Evans, long time member of the LGC.


The Family of Joseph Szmyd acknowledges with grateful appreciation the expression of your sympathy.


Letters of Thanks


Thank you note and Green shopping bag from the Savannah Tree Foundation for our charitable donation. The bag was raffled at the January meeting.


Thank you for our support of cookies and breads at the Christmas Holiday Open House at the Botanical Garden Center


 Dates to Remember

Feb 21st & 22nd, Friday & Saturday “Southern Charm ……Among the Pines”  Eighth Advanced Standard Flower Show sponsored by the Garden of Georgia.  Pebble Hill Plantation, Thomasville.

Feb 23rd, The Landings Garden Club Meeting

April 27th, Trip to Ossabaw Island

 Helpful Hints from Linda Sue

 · To clean out bird boxes and feeders - use one part bleach and 8 parts water. Be careful when opening the box it may have a secret visitor  (bluebirds are already checking out boxes.)

· Trim rose bushes on Valentines Day.  Last freeze date is St Patrick’s Day.

· Trim bushes in March but azaleas only after they bloom.  Watch for nests - trim around them or not if there is active nesting.

· If you put hardware cloth on the ground  near the beds, the deer do not like to step on it.

· Phone books (from 2008 only!) can now be put in  with newspaper and magazines at the Landings Recycling Center.  It is a new policy. 


3 cups fresh (4 – 6 ears) or frozen sweet white corn kernels

4 slices thick cut bacon, diced

1 large yellow onion, trimmed, split lengthwise, peeled & diced

2 large ribs celery, strung & diced

2 cups chicken broth or 1 cup canned broth mixed with 1 cup of water

2 cups whole milk

salt  & freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp ground cayenne

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup firmly packed soft white breadcrumbs

2 cups cooked chicken small-diced

¼ cup thinly sliced green onion tops

2 tbsp chopped parsley


 Cook bacon in a heavy bottomed 4 quart pot over medium heat until golden brown and fat is rendered. 

Add the onion and celery and cook until translucent & softened but not colored.-5 mins.  Add broth and corn.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender – 10 mins. 

Add the milk and season with salt & pepper, cayenne & nutmeg.  Let it come back to a simmer.

Add cream, breadcrumbs and chicken and simmer, stirring often until the crumbs dissolve completely and the chowder is thick. – 10 mins. 

Taste and adjust seasonings, ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with green onions and parsley.


Variations: - substitute shellfish broth or bottled clam juice for the chicken broth and 8 oz. of picked crab meat, 2 doz. peeled & deveined shrimp for the chicken.  Simmer until the shrimp are cooked through.  Some cooks also add a cup of small but big flavored local oysters.