For herb gardens, it’s what’s ‘inside’ that counts

Dec. 10, 2012 @ 07:56 PM


Tricia Kleczek (second from left), hostess for the November meeting of the Colonial Garden Club, demonstrates techniques for creating an inside herb garden as club members (from left) Judy Parish, Gail Houle, Catherine Frazier, Virginia Paynter, Joyce Odom, Lou Reavis, Carol Ann Franklin and Marilyn Wells observe.

Colonial Garden Club members recently learned that growing inside herb gardens during its November meeting, hosted by Tricia Kleczek at her home on Burning Tree Road.
The program presenter, Virginia Paynter, described an herb as any plant with leaves, seed or flowers used for flavoring food; or for medicine or perfume. In addition, a part of such a plant may be used in cooking.
Since 1995, according to her, the International Herb Association has recognized a specific herb for its outstanding qualities in at least two of the three categories: medical, culinary and decorative, such as fennel, lavender, sage and garlic.
Herbs she noted for their miscellaneous qualities and “suggestive properties” were chamomile, which is said to promote patience; chives, usefulness; cumin, fidelity; dill, power against evil; edelweiss, flattery; heliotrope, eternal love; horehound, health; marjoram, joy and happiness; sage, wisdom and immortality — and others listed with numerous “given powers.”
Members later reconvened to the kitchen area of the home where Kleczek demonstrated the selection, arrangement and planting of various popular herbs, such as thyme, sage and mint. Using a colander for the container, she added fertilized soil, plants and other accessories.
She cautioned members to provide adequate sunlight for their inside gardens during winter (ideally about eight hours a day). Signs of insufficient sunlight may be long stems and leaves (referred to as leggy), fading leaves, or those that fall off for no particular reason.
“Growlights,” which can also be added, differ from regular light bulbs in that they provide the full spectrum of light that plants require. Members learned about the complete overhead setups or alternatives, and they were cautioned about the proper strength of illumination required.
She mentioned that proper moisture and pest control could be maintained through proper inspection, followed by careful usage and provision of adequate moisture and organic sprays.
The meeting opened with the members praying in unison (“The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi”), followed by the secretary’s report, read by Catherine Frazier.
Next, Carol Ann Franklin, president, reported on special club projects. She announced that Hazel Peck, charter member of the club, expressed appreciation for the $200 scholarship given recently in her honor to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund.
Other future projects mentioned by Franklin included:
• Beautification and garden therapy — Supervisory care of special areas at Perry Memorial Library, and making and providing floral arrangements for convalescent centers and the Senior Center in Downtown Henderson. Co-chairpersons — Lou Reavis and Alice Watkins.
• Scrapbook — Maintain records and photos of club activities — Joyce Odom, chairperson.
• Yard of the Month — To be announced.
• Calling committee — Lou Reavis and Judy Parrish
Members will meet again on Wednesday at the Lotus Blossom Restaurant on Garnett Street. Jane Baker and Lou Reavis will be hostesses.