In Memoriam: Sandra Robinson

It is with a heavy heart that we must inform you that former National Garden Clubs President, Sandra H. Robinson passed away on March 22, 2021.

Sandy Robinson was one of our very own, a founding member of the Lady’s Slipper Garden Club in London, KY, in the Mountain Laurel District. She was a former GCKY President, active at the state, regional, and national levels. Sandy was a four-star member, which means she was a Landscape, Gardening, and Environmental Consultant, and an Accredited Flower Show Judge.

Sandy served as President of National Garden Clubs, Inc. from 2015-2017 with a theme of “Leap Into Action”. Sandy may have been small in stature but had a heart as big as the outdoors. She was quick to share a smile from ear to ear and a story. She lived and loved the garden clubs, and never met a garden club member she did not like or miss an opportunity to promote NGC to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. She was the best traveling companion throughout the United States and abroad. Sandy held a special place in her heart for the IAs and never could believe the lavish attention and admiration they showered on her.

She truly did “Leap into Action” before, during and after her administration. Give her a job, ask her to enter a flower, or travel less than 24 hours after returning from an International WAFA show to judge a flower show, hoping she could get someone else to drive so she could catnap, but look totally refreshed and engaging when arriving at her destination. Sandy was game for any experience, as long as it didn’t involve chicken or shellfish. She was a mentor to many people, helping solve problems of all sorts. Truly, she was a “rock” to her friends and family, someone you could always count on.

She was a longtime and dedicated member of NGC and many lives have been enriched by her friendship. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
Her obituary can be viewed on the Bowling Funeral Home, London, KY, website and Facebook page. Visitation is at 5PM on Friday, March 26, and service at 11AM on Saturday, March 27. It will be livestreamed and archived for later viewing as well.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations.

GCKY SCHOLARSHIPS
att: Jan Worth
2305 Shannon Road
Paris, KY 40361-2451
Memo line: Sandy Robinson

BAPTIST HEALTH FOUNDATION CORBIN
Online: supportbaptisthealth.org/corbin
Designate Oncology Dept.
or
Check: Baptist Health Foundation Corbin
1 Trillium Way
Corbin, KY 40701
Memo Line: Oncology Dept.

2020 KNPS Botanical Symposium

On Dec. 11, 2020, Kentucky Native Plant Society held their first virtual membership meeting and botanical symposium. For several years, KNPS has organized a botanical symposium in the fall with a goal of bringing together professionals, citizen scientists, academics, gardeners and students in order to learn about what’s going on in the world of Kentucky Botany. Despite the pandemic year, they thought it was important to continue this event.

More than 120 people gathered online for several hours of informative presentations and interesting discussions. To share the information more widely, all of the presentations are now available online:

The Kentucky Botanical Symposium 2020

William Beau Weston Awarded GCKY Enrichment Award For 2020 

This award is given annually to a non-garden club member or organization that exemplifies the goals of The Garden Club of Kentucky.                 

Thanks to the vision and dedication of one man, Danville’s tree canopy will be increased by at least 500 trees in the space of 10 years, most of them lining the city’s main streets. William Beau Weston, Professor of Sociology at Centre College, has been working for years to shade the city’s sidewalks. 

Weston walks daily from his home on St. Mildreds Court near Centre’s campus, down Main Street, to his unofficial “office” at a local coffee shop downtown.  After the ice storm of 2009 took down so many old trees, his walk lost most of its shade. His first project was to organize the householders of St. Mildreds Court to plant 26 trees on their street. This led to a more ambitious plan to shade the sidewalks of Danville, which became the Danville Tree Fund.

In 2014 Weston learned about Kentucky Utility’s “Plant for the Planet” program. The program is modeled after the United Nations Environment Program’s “Billion Tree Campaign.” The purpose of this international effort is to bring individuals, communities, and businesses together to collectively plant over one billion trees worldwide each year. 

KU’s program is designed to encourage nonprofit organizations and local government agencies to plant more trees. A grant application must be submitted each year. For 5 out of the past 6 years, Kentucky Utilities has given the Danville program a grant to match what is raised locally, up to $5,000 a year. Grant winners have not yet been announced for 2019, but there is every hope that funds collected this year will be matched for next year’s tree planting. So far approximately $35,000 raised locally has been matched by KU. This wouldn’t have happened without the dedication of Beau Weston. 

He began by asking the Danville City Commission for its blessing in applying for the grants. The commissioners enthusiastically gave him the go-ahead. This became a joint effort of many individuals and organizations. Weston worked tirelessly in the beginning to connect the people who collectively run the program and to set up a secure system for collecting and disbursing the funds raised. 

By networking with many organizations, he came up with a winning combination: The county extension agent chooses the species of trees; the Danville Beautification Committee, which is made up of local citizens, picks the spots to plant the trees; the city of Danville provides the labor to plant and maintain the trees; and the Wilderness Trace Community Foundation handles the money. This is a perfect example of different constituencies working together for the common good – the city, the state (through the extension service), volunteer civic agencies, community betterment groups, KU’s corporate foundation, and many private citizens

Weston aims to collect at least $5,000 each year and is persistent in soliciting contributions from individuals and organizations before the grant application is due in November. One hundred dollars, matched by an equal amount from KU will buy one tree, but donations of any size are accepted. The goal is 50 trees a year and, depending on tree prices, it has been up to 75 trees planted in one year.  

Every year he sends out emails to anyone who might be remotely interested and arranges for publicity in the newspaper and on social media. Local organizations have contributed since the program began, along with many individuals, families, and businesses. Each year since 2017 Weston has applied for and been awarded a $500 grant from the Garden Club of Danville, which uses profits from its garden tours to support gardening and environmental projects.          

The trees are a mixture of species, especially native ones, that are suitable for high-traffic streets. They are sizable trees three inches in diameter and about 10-feet high. The KU grant requires that the trees be watered and maintained for at least three years, which is done by the city. Each tree gets a water bag for the first year and is watered as necessary for two more years. The city of Danville picks up the trees from the seller, stores them until planting time, plants them, supplies and fills the “gator” water bags, and maintains the trees. Weston says that these larger trees have a much better survival rate than the seedlings planted by some other organizations.

In the past six years over 300 trees have been planted along Danville streets, thanks to Beau Weston’s initiative and organizational skills. He has noted that the purpose of the project is to enhance the beauty and livability of Danville by providing all the things that trees are good for – shade, beauty, oxygen, animal and insect habitat, heat control, and civic pride. The Danville Tree Fund furthers all the objectives of the Garden Club of Kentucky by promoting interest in and knowledge of trees, beautifying our community, and cooperating with other agencies to promote conservation of native plants. 

Nominated by The Garden Club of Danville  


News articles

KY Nature Preserves – News for 2020

Kentucky Nature Preserves manages four distinct programs to conserve Kentucky’s natural areas. While these programs all share common goals—rare species habitat, environmental education opportunities, and conserving natural areas through a combination of land acquisition, conservation easements, and public-private partnerships– they have some differences. Find out what’s happening in our commonwealth’s national areas by reading the 2020 Report.

 

Add to the Bird Book!

Though this has been an unusual year, it does not have to be a disappointing year. You and I can help to make it rewarding by participating in a project for our Garden Club of Kentucky president, Donna Smith!
Because we care for the environment, we love and care for our wild birds, our song birds, and a few other birds. In doing so, we collect personal experiences which we now have an opportunity to share.

Please take a few minutes to jot down a paragraph or two, recounting one of your personal avian experiences. Pictures of the bird are welcome! Email to me by March 15, 2021, and I will put your experiences in a small book form, honoring Donna, and we will dispense these at our state Convention in Berea come spring.

Here’s an example:


    A few days ago, I ran an errand in downtown Bowling Green. I pulled into a parking space across the street from a couple of large trees. As I pulled in, I looked up into these trees just in time to see three big, black crows take off in pursuit of another large bird. I was amazed to recognize this bird as a Red Tailed Hawk – in downtown Bowling Green!
  He flew into another nearby tree, followed by the crows and all settled on different branches. The crows said to each other:

“Go get him!”

“No! You go get him!”

“You two go get him, and I will keep this branch warm for you!”

While this decision was being discussed, the Hawk took wing and flew off into a bright blue, a burning blue, the wild blue yonder!


I will need at least twelve experiences from twelve members in order to go to print. So, please, take a few minutes and from your book of memories, write a paragraph or two or three about your special song bird experience for the “Bird Songs” first edition!

Jo Jean Scott, GCKY Bird Chairman
Jojogarden.34@gmail.com

Let’s Grow! How clubs increase their membership

‘Let’s Grow!’ is the theme for this administration, and we have grown!  GCKY has 15 clubs that have grown in membership over the previous year and we have gained a new club!

Some of the clubs have shared why their club has increased in membership.

  • A few new members have come from inquiries on our GCKY website and then local clubs reaching out to them.
  • No doubt word of mouth about the programs and activities is one of the best ways to gain members.
  • Invite potential members and then follow up repeatedly with invitations to meetings by e-mails or calls.
  • Club meeting attendance has even improved when current members have been contacted as well.
  • By placing information in local papers about meetings, activities, and emphasizing that the meetings are open to everyone is another good way to get potential members.
  • Having a flower show in the district brought in two new members who were interested in entering the flower show with their designs…they loved floral arranging.
  • Another new member wants to help their club with a webpage.

Our federated clubs have so much to offer!  There is a ‘hook’ for many potential members.  We need to keep letting everyone know about us and how we can impact our communities in such positive ways!

Congratulations to these clubs who increased their membership!

  • Audubon District
    • Gateway GC
  • Blue Grass District
    • Boone Co. GC
    • Gardenside Green Thumb GC
  • Dogwood District
    • Audubon Park GC
    • Beechmont GC
    • GC of Elizabethtown
    • Rambler GC
    • Warren East GC
  • Limestone District
    • Fleming Co GC
    • Four Seasons GC
    • Millersburg GC
    • Paintsville GC
  • Mountain Laurel District
    • Green Thumbs GC
    • Middlesborough GC
    • Rockcastle GC
    • Appalachian Roots GC (new club!)

Native Plants for Pollinators and Wildlife


click this link below to download a printable chart

POLLINATOR PLANTS FOR GCKY

(from The Garden Club of Kentucky), gardenclubky.org

KEY:  s = sunny, ps = part sun, wd = well drained, d = dry, m = moist

Common Name Botanical Name Sun Water Ht Attracts Bloom Color
SPRING TO EARLY SUMMER BLOOMING
Beardtongue Penstemon sp. s, ps d 2-3 ft hummingbird, butterflies, bees purple, red, white
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis shade wd 6 in. Bees (important early) White,ephemeral
Coneflowers Echinacea sp. s d 2-3 ft butterflies (host), bees pink, yellow
Golden Alexander Zizia aurea ps d, m 2 ft butterflies (host), flies, wasps, bees yellow
Purple Poppy Mallow Callirhoe involucrata s m, wd 1–2 ft bees, hummers, rodents, beetles bright pink
Red Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens s, d d 8 ft vine Hummingbirds, bees bright red
Serviceberry (shrub) Amelanchier sp. s, ps m 5-10 ft bees, wasps, flies white – blooms very early
Spicebush (shrub) Lindera benzoin ps, d, wd 6ft butterflies (host) yellow
Sweetspire (shrub) Itea virginica ps m 3-7ft bees, butterflies/ moths, flies, wasps white
Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis s, ps wd 2ft hummingbirds, bees red and yellow
SUMMER BLOOMING
Anise Hyssop Agastache sp. and cultivars s d 2-3 ft. hummingbird, bees, butterflies purple to pink, herb
Bee balm, Bergamot, etc. Monarda sp s  wd 2-3 ft hummingbird, bees, moths, butterflies, purple, white, red
Buttonbush (shrub) Cephalanthus occidentalis s  m 8 ft. bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies white
Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata s, ps  d 2- 4 ft butterflies, bees, moths pink, white, purple
Gayfeather, Blazingstar Liatris sp. s  wd 2-4 ft. butterflies, bees, moths, wasps, flies purple
Milkweed Asclepias sp s  d 1 to 6 ft. butterflies (host), bees white, orange, purple, yellow
Rose Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos s  d, m 3-8 ft hummingbirds, bees, beetles white, pink with red throat
Royal Catchfly Silene regia s  wd 3 ft hummingbirds bright red
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia sp s  wd 2-5 ft bees, butterflies (esp. laciniata) yellow
St. John’s Wort Hypericum sp. s, ps  wd 1-3 ft bees yellow
Sunflowers Helianthus sp. s  d, wd 3-8 ft butterflies, bees, wasps, beetle yellow, orange
LATE SUMMER AND FALL BLOOMING
Aster Aster, sp. s, ps wd 1-4 ft all pollinators, butterfly host purple, pink white
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis ps m 1-3 ft hummingbirds red
Goldenrod Solidago sp s, ps d 1-3 ft bees, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps yellow
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica ps, m m 1-3 ft bees, hummingbirds purple
Joe Pye Weed

(and cultivars)

Eutrochium purpureum s, ps m 3-5 ft butterflies (host) moths, bees light purple to pink
Mist Plant Conoclinium coelestinum s, ps m 1-3 ft Butterflies, bees purple