TAYLORSVILLE, NC — If Autumn means cold weather crops, or if you’re thinking about planting bulbs that will herald the beginning of Spring, you will definitely feel at home with the like-minded people in the Alexander County Garden Club. The Garden Club is open to all interested residents of Alexander County and exists to provide a non-profit, philanthropic, and educational organization for its members. Community members who have an interest in any type of gardening, horticultural, agricultural, and environment activities will find the club warm, welcoming and educational. The club meets once a month, on the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm and unless a field trip is scheduled, meets at the Alexander County Cooperative Extension Office at 376 1st Ave SW, Taylorsville.
The August meeting welcomed speaker, Rick Crowder from Hawksridge Farms. Hawksridge Farms is a wholesaler of ornamental trees and shrubs, and Rick Crowder spoke about his travels to Japan in search of new plants to bring to this area. As customs restrictions have tightened for agriculture imports, Crowder, who spent time in Japan looking at new plants, has found himself buying most of his new plants on buying trips to Oregon. Besides sharing information and experiences in his travel, Crowder shared some plant trends that are being seen in horticulture and gardening.
One of the remarkable trends is the dramatic increase in plant patenting. A patent on a plant protects the producer from illegal propagation of that particular plant. In 1930, the United States began granting patents for plants, and in 1931, the
first plant patent was issued to Henry Bosenberg for his climbing, ever-blooming rose. Some brands with patented plants that might be familiar include: Proven Winners, (the biggest in the country), First Editions, Encore, Monrovia, who started the trend in unique pots, Endless Summer hydrangeas, and Knock Out roses, among others.
Horticulturists are also seeing yard shrinkage as a trend, which is driving the desire for dwarf and/or small trees and plants that are more narrow, more upright, and suitable for container planting.
While not a trend has anyone jumping up and down with glee, horticulturists, gardeners and farmers are talking more about preparing for the nine-banded, long-nosed, armadillo that has already made its way into Tennessee and South Carolina. In their voracious search for insects and grubs to eat, armadillos can dig up and destroy plants in quite a bit of land very quickly. In late 2009, North Carolina began considering the establishment of a hunting season for the armadillo, following reports that the species has been moving into the southern reaches of the state (roughly between the areas of Charlotte and Wilmington).
Crowder ended his presentation with pictures and descriptions of soon-to-be-available plants new to our market. Many of his new trees and shrubs can be found at Bloom’s Garden Center on Route 16, in Conover.
Speaking of Bloom’s, the next general meeting will be held Thursday, September 14th at 6:30 pm at the Cooperative Extension office. The Speaker will be David Huffman, from Carmen’s Greenhouse of Hiddenite as well as Bloom’s Garden Center. David will be speaking about the planting of fall bulbs for spring, and answering any questions about bulb planting. Refreshments are available during the meeting, and there will be a small door-prize awarded. For further information about the club, visit our website at http://alexandercountygardenclub.org/, or Facebook page at Alexander County Garden Club or please contact Susan Lydick Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.638.8513. For directions to the Alexander County Cooperative Extension, you may call Susan or the Cooperative Extension Office at 376 1st Ave SW, Taylorsville, NC 28681, telephone number: 828.632.4451.