“So serene and peaceful” were the words used to describe the Weeders’ field trip in February to the Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence. There are several chapels to admire while meandering along the flagstone paths through a variety of gardens, gift store and property. Respect for the monks and their lifestyle are key here; from proper attire to quiet behavior when you visit. Hours open for self-guided tours are 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. daily (check out their website for more info).
During a recent meeting it was a delight to listen to the knowledgeable and passionate Tom Gatz teaching us how to transform desert plants such as emu bushes, mesquite, cape honeysuckle, palo brea and ficus trees into sculptured Bonsai. We all gasped when he cut the bulk of the roots off from his demonstration three foot Bougainvillea and proceeded to scale it down, snipping selective branch by branch, to a 10 inch specimen. We could be brave and try this process at home, he assured us!
A few of his tips were to look for a nice thick trunk with character on your plant/tree, emphasize the structure as you trim down branches, letting there be spaces to look through and filling your small pot with Cactus soil or a potting soil with 50 percent pumice mix. We all left the presentation determined to get our concave cutters in action and create our own Bonsai!
Coming attractions in the next few months are learning about growing and maintaining orchids, a tour of members’ gardens, Garden Therapy for Archstone Center residents and a field trip to the Phoenix Art Museum for the Arts and Flowers exhibit. Why not join us?
If you enjoy gardening, desire to learn more about it, or just like the company of fun people you should visit a Weeders meeting. They are held the second Thursday of each month in the Navajo Room at Sun Lakes Country Club. Refreshments begin at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting is at 10:00 a.m. For more information feel free to contact Pattie Langston at 734-368-3032.