A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2007 Master Gardener Reunion

The Steering Committee of the Middlesex County Master Gardeners sponsors a "reunion" every January. All of the MG's are invited to meet, mingle, network, and exchange ideas. There is always a great speaker whose talk is worth one education hour. Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish or dessert for the buffet and a plant or other garden-related item for the Tricky Tray (Chinese Auction for those of us who are "politically incorrect"). I baked my fool head off for two days and brought seeds and a couple of the African violets that I had propogated. The whole idea was to eventually get rid of all but a couple of the African violets so that I could use that windowsill extender on another window to relieve over-crowding in another, brighter room. That plan got sabotaged when I "won" this in the Tricky Tray:

I know. It's my own fault. I shouldn't have put any of my tickets in the cup. There were so many tickets that I was sure mine would never get pulled. The picture doesn't do it justice. The flowers are a deep violet fading to white centers. I've never seen one so beautiful and I have the perfect window for it!

Oh, and I won this too:

The plant, not the cat. I am not allowed to bring anything into the house without his approval first. Does anyone know what kind of plant it is? I haven't a clue, but I have a great place for it. The stick is a black pussywillow. One of the Master Gardeners does gorgeous flower arrangements. She used black pussywillows from her backyard in one of the arrangements she brought and then handed them out at the end of the evening to anyone who wanted to take one home to root.

The food was delicious and I had a great time catching up with my classmates that I haven't seen in months. Definitely worth all the work I did baking, helping with setup, photographing the event for the newsletter and then helping with cleanup.


At 8:06 AM, Blogger Colleen said...

That sounds like it was a lot of fun. I have no idea what the houseplant is, but I'm glad you have some black pussywillow to root. I have one and I absolutely love it. It's something a little different. Everyone expects to see the usual gray/white catkins, and I have two of those, but I like my black one the best. And I can definitely see using it in flower arranging..the bark is very pretty.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Colleen, I have the perfect spot for the pussywillow in a wildflower garden I am trying to establish.

At 3:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other plant is Dieffenbachia, also called "Dumb Cane". Don't let the cat eat any of it!

It was your lucky day!

At 6:24 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Thanks, Carol! My cat "talks" so much maybe I'll slip him a leaf in his food so I can get some peace and quiet.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"The other plant is Dieffenbachia, also called "Dumb Cane". Don't let the cat eat any of it!"

Causes the respiratory system to close up, and can result in death to sensitive individuals. Your cat may put his teeth through a leaf, but I'm pretty sure he won't go farther than that.

Do you have some cat grass? You can grow him a patch in a pot if he wants to nibble houseplants.

At 8:00 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Jenn, neither one of my cats chews on my houseplants, thank goodness. Tuvok, the one in the picture, has to sniff everything that is either new, or has been washed or has been moved. That's a terrible picture of him. He's a purebred Maine Coon. They are very much like dogs and have to involved in everything. He loves to "help".

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Naturegirl said...

Oh I m so enjoying the photo of your little black kitty...just like my two girls!!African violets..I love this time of year always blooming!

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've haven't seen a black pussy willow. Sounds interesting. Does it get very large? African violets are beautiful. We even joined a club once but were never successful in growing them. Never could get the light requirement right for some reason. Good luck with your plant though.

At 6:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! I feel better now.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Ki, I don't know anything about black pussy willows. I didn't even know they existed until this week! I have one window in my house where african violets grow great. It gets very little light.

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have changed the blog after the trouble with beta.



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