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Archives for October 17, 2016

Ingleside Garden Club to celebrate 60 years – Corpus Christi Caller

By Julie Garcia of the Caller-Times

INGLESIDE — One February day in 1956, friends gathered at the home of Mrs. Herbert Jones.

They met to talk about gardening in their personal homes, but also the natural beauty of Ingleside. Later that month, 37 women adopted a constitution, set up bylaws and voted that their new group become a member of the Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.

They are the Ingleside Garden Club.

This Thursday, the club will celebrate 60 years with a Diamond Jubilee at the Ingleside Garden Center, a building surrounded by flowers and trees planted by former garden club members.

The numbers may have waned over the years, but the strong group of 14 members continues to meet every month with a common goal: Learning about their own plot of earth.

The group has begun using social media in an effort to attract new members.

“We’re hoping for new members, so we’ve put out fliers and created the Facebook group,” said President Alicia Louis, a three-year member. “Nowadays, women work. Usually our members have been stay-at-home moms or older people who don’t have to work.”

Treasurer Cyndie Baures, a 20-year member, piped up from across the meeting room they share with the Ingleside Rotary Club.

“I want to learn about gardens,” Baures said. “And how to get rid of pests.”

Reaching a new generation hasn’t been easy, but the social media group has garnered more than 100 members since it was started in July. Most posts are pictures and videos taken from members’ individual gardens and questions from newcomers.

“What’s the best way to get rid of grass burrs and that tall ‘Johnson’ grass?” one member asked. It was followed by several comments about herbicides programs, digging up the grass and laying down sod.

Samantha Baumgardner, a floral designer at a local H-E-B, is a Facebook group member, though she wishes she could make the monthly meetings.

“I wanted to join to learn more about plants. I know about flowers, but I wanted more insight on plants, gardening, native plants and the benefits of some plants,” Baumgardner said. “I love to garden because walking outside in the early morning and seeing blooms and growth help me take on the day.”

The full-time college student said she uses gardening to break from the world, which is why she doesn’t rely on bland information from the Internet when she has gardening questions.

“I prefer a setting like a club over Google because not only am I learning about gardening and plants, but I am building connections and friendships,” she said.

The history of Texas Garden Clubs, Inc., goes back to March 1928 when the founding president of the Dallas Garden Club returned to Texas after a trip to New York with the idea to unite all the state as the Texas Federation of Garden Clubs.

State club President Carol Moore has been a member of the Fort Worth-area club for 15 years.

“The garden club has meant so much to me by my friendships and what I have learned along the way — I truly love it,” Moore said in an email. “I am truly dedicated to it and for what it stands for.”

Moore said the state club’s purpose is to promote gardening, floral design, horticulture, civic responsibilities, landscaping, environmental concerns and garden therapy for men, women and children. The club strives for preservation, protection and conservation of the natural resources of the country.

Starting in January, the Ingleside club will revive awarding the “Yard of the Month” honor, something they did in the past.

Every month, a guest addresses the club on different flowers and plant life, and the club takes field trips.

“I’ve spent half my life in the garden. I’m in it every day,” Louis said. “The club is about camaraderie and sharing knowledge with each other.”

The community is invited to Thursday’s jubilee. Club membership is $12 a year.

Twitter: @Caller_Jules


What: Ingleside Garden Club Diamond Jubilee

When: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: Ingleside Garden Center, 2740 Mustang Drive

Information: Call Alicia Louis, 361-775-1122

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Local gardening expert, author offer tips for colder weather plants

Beyond the blooms of autumn, waving ornamental grasses, textures found in tree bark and intriguing features like seed heads are a vibrant addition to a garden.

“Ornamental grasses would be No. 1 for fall,” says Wayne Gruber, Garden Center manager at Niemeyer Landscape Supplies in Crown Point. “I always recommend plants that are more native to this area such as what I call ‘nativars,’ which are cultivated native plants.”

Among Gruber’s recommendations are Cheyenne Sky, a native switch grass with reddish tints that provides color during the fall.

“We’re also into Little Bluestem,” he says. “The ones were carrying are Smoke Signals, which is a bluish grass that gets touches of burgundy in the fall and Blue Paradise, which is very similar to Smoke Signal but has more reddish tints.”

Gruber says he likes the bluestem nativars because they’re less floppy than the natives.

Purple beautyberry is a spreading shrub that in the summer produces small pink to lavender flowers. In September it turns to purple berries that remain on the plant until early winter depending upon the weather.

“Maintenance-wise, you cut it back to 12 inches in the spring and then by fall it’s grown back to 4 or 5 feet,” Gruber says.

Celebrate seed heads, the remains of a plant once the blooms have fallen off. The buttonlike tops of coneflowers and black-eyed Susans not only offer texture but provide food for birds in the winter. Though they’re no longer vibrantly colored, their forms create visual interest against the barrenness of late fall as well as a snowy landscape.

“Let the blooms dry on sedums such as Autumn Joy and Autumn Fire,” Gruber says. “They’ll last through winter.”

The same is true of hydrangeas. The bright blues, whites and pinks will lose their vividness, turning a duskier color edged with brown, but the big showy bouquets will remain intact and continue to draw attention.

In her book, “The Five-Plant Garden: 52 Ways to Grow a Perennial Garden with Just Five Plants” (Storey $18.95), author Nancy J. Ondra recommends yarrows such as Coronation Gold, hellebores like Lenten Rose and Purple Candle astible as having showy seed heads and striking dried stems.

“I have a Seven Son Flower, which is a very large shrub or small tree that gets to be about 15- to 20-feet tall with an 8- to 10-foot spread,” Gruber says. “It’s actually blooming right now. I can’t believe all the bees on it. That’s important because of the importance of pollinators. But what you get from this tree in the fall after the white flowers fall off, the red sepals (outer part of the flower) remain so it looks like its blooming again. It has a very interesting bark, which stands out in the winter. It’s a light tan that is shreddy and peely, exfoliating into long strips exposing the inner bark which is a lighter color.”

Other trees with exfoliating bark — the term refers to trees with bark that naturally peels away from its trunks — are Paper Birch, Paperbark Maple, Shagbark Hickory (whose bark can be seeped for tea or to make syrup) and Chinese Dogwood.

The berries on hollies, hawthorns, beautyberries and pepper berries all add garden pizzazz as flowers fade away and are good for hungry birds as well

“Even as the seasons change, gardens can still be pretty,” Gruber says.

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Designing a functional yet stylish mudroom | Home and Garden …





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White uses chainsaw to sculpt wood art

With a chainsaw in his hands, each movement of the blade sculpts a piece of wood into art.

For the last year and a half, Adam White has carved wooden logs into sculptures.

“I’ve always loved art,” said White.

While White majored in art at the College of the Albemarle, White said he never participated in classes on wood carving.

Self-taught, White said he has tried different techniques and learned what works through trial and error.

As the owner of Adam’s Landscaping and Lawn Care since 2000, White said he works with the natural landscape and often finds materials while landscaping.

White said after cutting down a tree, he will sometimes utilize the wood in his carvings giving it a new life.

Using all types of wood as a medium for his craft, White primarily works with white and red cedar.

White built a structure in his backyard last winter for the purpose of creating his sculptures.

“If it is raining and I am not landscaping, I am carving,” said White.

White puts on his headphones and listens to music while sculpting his pieces in the backyard using chain saws, chisels and grinders.

“It’s therapeutic to clear my thoughts,” said White.

“Sometimes I will sketch things out,” said White, describing the initial steps of his process.

White said he is inspired to create pieces that are a reflection of the landscapes and wildlife of the area. His pastimes include kayaking and camping and spending time with his two sons, Gavin and Collin and his girlfriend, Dana. He also serves as vice-chair of the Urban Forestry Commission.

White’s fondness for the outdoors is evident in his wood carvings.

Originally from Elizabeth City, White said he grew up surfing. His passion for surfing is reflected in his Polynesian style tiki sculptures.

A fan of Star Wars, White said he sculpted the four foot tall Ewok, Wicket. He said this particular sculpture is popular with his two sons.

“They love it,” said White. “My oldest son is always giving me ideas.”

White said he has also sculpted Christmas trees and pumpkins.

White was juried into the Albemarle Craftsman’s Guild this year. He will display his wood carvings at the 58th Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair on Oct. 28-30 at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center in Elizabeth City.

“My mother has been in the fair my entire life,” said White. “I feel like it has been a custom in my family.”

White’s mother, Debbie, who is a doll maker, will also be displaying her enchanting collection of cloth dolls this year at the fair.

“I definitely get the creative gene from my mother,” said White.

White said he is looking forward to demonstrating his craft at the fair. He plans on bringing some chisels and a mallet to showcase his sculpting process for people attending the fair.

“I am excited to be a part of it,” said White.

For more information about the Albemarle Craftsman’s Fair visit

White’s wood carvings can be viewed on his “Coastal Carver” Facebook page.

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