Minutes from meeting on January 16

The next meeting for Moonlight is Tuesday, February 2 at 6 pm at the Bayshore Market.  The location is just south of Gandy, on the right hand side as you are heading south.  This is a BYOC meeting (bring your own chair).  We will be outside so we are going to try for a 6 pm start.  Also, in case of rain, check your emails for an update.  The theme will be Lifestyle Gardening and Entertaining.

The Garden Club is hosting its annual fundraising event in February – For Love of a Garden.  All of the circles were asked to contribute a basket for sale.  Casie has volunteered to put together the basket for Moonlight and is doing a ‘male’ themed basket.

Gasparilla is coming up at the end of this month – Saturday, January 30.  The Garden Center is sending out requests for assistance to run the beer garden.  This is a very profitable fund raiser for the Center and everyone is encouraged to participate.

As part of the spruce up project Moonlight repaired the flagpole outside the Garden Center and purchased a new flag.  The flag will need to be replaced on approximately a 6 month basis.  Moonlight will be responsible for the flag as an ongoing project.

Lauren reported that we have approximately $767 in our account, prior to accounting for flower sales at the Holiday Fest.  She will update the report for us next month.

Nancy reported on her progress of setting up the new website for Moonlight.  She brought her idea board with suggested logos and branding ideas which she has created for Moonlight.  All members present were in favor of the work and color scheme that she has created with suggestions to use a background for our home page that reflects our evening theme.

Master Gardener Jim Hawk was out speaker and talked about the care and selection of orchids.  I’m not going to be able to do his presentation justice in the minutes – sorry.

Basic mistakes that people make are thinking that the most common orchids, Phalaenopsis and Vandas, are not the easiest orchids to care for.  They are the most sensitive to cold and changes in temperature.  They both make good houseplants in a bright space, out of direct sunlight.

Jim also noted that people plant their orchids in soil.  The only orchids that should be in soil are terrestrial orchids.  Jim pots them with a mixture of potting soil, perlite and orchid bark.

The rest of the orchids are epiphytes and get their nutrients from the air.  Their roots should always be exposed to air.  Jim likes clay pots with side holes the best.  He will put packing peanuts at the bottom of the pot and cover them with orchid bark.  He also uses coconut husk and tree fern.  Orchid moss should only be used when mounting a plant on a vertical surface and then removed when the roots have taken hold.  He uses coated floral wire and/or telephone wire for mounting orchids.

Cinnamon is a natural fungicide and can be sprinkled over the roots of the plant before repotting it.  Jim uses rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to remove white scale from his plants.  His favorite systemic insecticide is made by Bayer.  He also sterilizes his clippers with a blow torch between use on each plant.

Jim has a specialty in fruit trees, also.  A copy of his chart for fruit trees in the Tampa area is attached.  He did this presentation for us a couple of years ago.