submitted by Gweneth Collins
At Chipley Garden Club’s monthly meeting at the Washington County Historical Society on Wednesday, February 1st, Club President Debbie Mitchell presented Youth Chairman Linda Pigott with a Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Pillar of Pride Certificate and Pin. The Pillar of Pride Award was established in 2004 to provide special recognition for outstanding garden club work by a club member. Linda has been Chipley Garden Club’s “fearless leader” when it comes to youth projects. For years she has led all the club’s youth fair projects – providing live plants to elementary students, making terrariums, making dish gardens, and teaching floral design (dried and live). Over the years Linda has propagated thousands of plants to share with the students and collected truckloads of dried materials for floral design classes. Due to her diligent efforts Chipley Garden Club has received several awards for working with youth. Chipley Garden Club is proud to recognize Linda’s efforts!
In other business, club members discussed re-starting the Hwy. 77 Wildflower Project, replanting the Tommy McDonald Memorial Tree at Shiver’s Park for Florida Arbor Day, and the annual Garden Walk/English Tea to be held on May 20th. Lillian Pittman announced the February Yard of the Month was awarded to 934 Main Street – Southern Financial Group/R. D. Easterling. Glenda Wilson presented False Shamrock aka Oxalis triangularis as the monthly wildflower. Linda Pigott announced the club will be making dish gardens and dried arrangements with students at Kate Smith Elementary later this month.
Following the business meeting Ornithologist James R. Hill III, Founder and Executive Director Emeritus of the Purple Martin Conservation Association presented a very informative power-point presentation entitled “The Purple Martin: The Bird That Needs Our Help”. Club members learned the Purple Martin aka Progne subis, a type of swallow, is totally dependent on humans for nesting sites. The birds live 7-8 years and catch their food (bugs) in the air. The group was surprised that they do not eat mosquitoes! Both the male and female feed young and build nests. Martins migrate from Brazil to this area around mid-February filling the air with song. They raise their young and then return to South American in the late summer. Hill shared information on correct housing, providing additional food sources in bad weather – meal worms, crickets, scrambled eggs, and crushed eggshells for grit – and some of the ways to protect the birds while they are here visiting.
Chipley Garden Club welcomes new members at any time during the year. If you would like information of club projects and would like to attend a meeting, please call President Debbie Mitchell at 638-0536. The next meeting with be on Wednesday, March 1st at the Washington County Library in Chipley.