Thankful for 2015 and Welcoming 2016

Before we speak of a New Year, I want to revisit our December Christmas meeting. The handbell choir, the singing of carols, and the extravagant and delicious lunch—all paved the way for a fun, exiting and rewarding event. With the raffle of beautiful floral designs we raised $766 and with the sale of cards, calendars, etc., we raised $68—for a total of $834.

This would not have been possible without members being in “community”.

Betsy Tilghman readily accepted the responsibility of procuring designers. Those members who knowingly donated their talent, time and money used in the arrangements were Aimee Perez, Anna Louise Fulks, Betsy Tilghman, Derita Downey, Donna Box, Judy Mangasarian, Kay Murff, Kitty Winkler, Rosita Perez, Sallye Jude, Sharon Trbovich, Sherry Jordan, Teresa Zohn and Suzuyo Fox. Olga Lazo did not hesitate to plan and coordinate a beautiful celebratory meal with assistance from Nancy Gray and Ginger Jochem.

Olga Lazlo and Nancy Gray, Coral Gables Garden Club

Olga Lazlo & Nancy Gray (along with Ginger Jochem) made a wonderful celebratory luncheon for our December meeting.

And each one of you who came and purchased raffle tickets, calendars, etc. We shared much this day – gift of joy and friends working together to benefit this garden club. Thank you.

We welcome 2016!

It is a new beginning . . . of thoughts, words, actions, energy strength, ideas, friends, prayers, hope, love and more. Brad Paisley said, “January 1 is the first blank page of a 365 page book.” Let’s write a good one. We look forward to: our January Art Show . . . a beautiful time to bring friends, as we think about new members; wonderful workshops and programs; Annual Field Trip; Election of new officers; Welcoming new members; strengthening garden club friendships. I pray God will prosper our plans for 2016 and Blessings to you and yours in this New Year.

-Jana White, President

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Save the Date 2/28: For February’s Exciting Fundraiser

George Merrick: Son of the South WindOur major fund raiser for the year will be Art Among the Flowers with Arva Moore Parks and her new book, George Merrick Son of the South Wind, at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ 3010 De Soto Boulevard on Sunday February 28, 2016, from 5-7 PM.

All CGGC members will be asked to purchase or sell at least one $40 ticket, and, either:

  • provide a flower arrangement to be paired with one of the works of art,
  • provide an appetizer, or
  • provide a bottle of wine.

More details will follow, but mark your calendars for a joyful experience.

If you have questions: 305-773-0262.

-Teresa Zohn and Mari Arnold, Co-Chairs

Coral Gables Congregational Church


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A wonderful addition to any garden . . . and easy

Begonia Cane Angel Wing

Begonia, Pink Coccinia . . . a wonderful cane, or angel wing begonia. This begonia is best grown in pots as are all cane of begonias in our area.

Their roots are very tasty to nematodes, those nasty critters which abound in our soil. So if planted in the ground, they will eventually poop out.

begoniadeThe good news is, they are very easy to grow in pots and thrive on neglect. Simply take cuttings and stick them in loose soil in your pot. All begonias like loose soil, which is a potting mix with about 1/3 of the total volume in added perlite.

Don’t over water. Begonias like to be on the dry side. You can pinch off the ends at any node for a fuller plant. If left alone, some of mine have reached over 4 feet.

They bloom all year and are a wonderful addition to any garden. There will be cuttings available at the December meeting.

-Susan Thomas

Angel Wing Begonia

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Come Ye Thankful People, Come . . .

As you read this, Thanksgiving Day will have passed, but having an “attitude of gratitude” can be for 365 days a year. Thanksgiving is the antidote for anxiety. In these anxious and unsure days both in our nation and our Garden Club, let us remain thankful. I am thankful for:

  • This Coral Gables Garden Club . . . How this organization has given me many new friends, experiences and broadened my horizons in many areas.
  • The love, support and prayers expressed by you as others experience the loss of a loved one or devastating situations regarding health or life situations.
  • Your patience and support as the Club goes through change, after change (no Home Tour, two officers moving, a cancelled fundraiser.) Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies . . . try to change something.” I keep telling myself that nothing improves without change and being flexible is the best way to keep from being out of shape. So, let us persevere and “Be Calm and Carry On.” . . . knowing that we are strong and committed to this Club. Let us count our blessings, such as the beauty of this earth and the gift of everyday. Let us all live, love and lead in community these days. I heard this the other day and it stayed with me . . . “No one likes changes except a baby and they cry the whole time it is happening.”

After a beautiful November meeting, thanks to Kitty Winkler for the Christmas wreath workshop and Judi Welsh for planning a program not seen before; a great Flower Show and a meal to remember . . .   We look forward to December.

Please put December 14 on your calendar (as it is not in your yearbook) for a beautiful Christmas experience. Come prepared to be “wowed” with beautiful arrangements designed by our own members that will be raffled off for you to take and and come enjoy delicious food plus a Christmas serenade. Coming up: the January Art Show and a February “fun” Fundraiser.

-Jana White, President

Coral Gables Garden Club Christmas wreath

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Edible Ground Cover to Grow and Munch . . . Sisso Spinach

Sisso SpinachIt is Sissoo Spinach, also known as Brazilian Spinach, or Samba Lettuce and is well suited for our hot and humid summers. It makes a wonderful edible ground cover and will tolerate up to 50 percent shade. It works very well as a substitute for regular spinach and does great steamed or sautéed . It has smaller and crisper leaves than spinach. It is easy to propagate , you’ll see small roots on most nodes, just peel off the lower leaves, stick it in the ground, add water and watch it go. It does not set viable seed and is not considered invasive. It prefers 50% or more shade and tolerates a wide range of pH conditions. It can be planted as a living mulch under fruit trees. Brazilians usually eat it raw in salads with oil and or vinegar, tomato and onion. I will have some samples at the meeting. Even if you don’t consume it , it makes a fine ground cover, spreading easily and growing to a height of several inches .

– by Susan Thomas

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