The Palo Alto County Garden Club met Tuesday Sept. 10, at the Lost Island Nature Center near Ruthven. Hostesses were Miriam Patton, Merrylea Clausing and Angie Beem.
Palo Alto County Garden Club will be hosting the district meeting in the spring where Nancy Hunsaker will provide plants. Cindy Berkland's yard was chosen for the next Yard of the Month.
Miriam Patton shared the winning Soil Conservation pictures from the Palo Alto County Fair. Amanda and Ruth Kerber received first prize in the adult division with 'Mistaken Identity' and Coleen Ruddy earned second prize with 'Waiting for Spring.'
Katie Ruiz, the Emmetsburg High School student local winner, will be a part of the three-day Global Youth Institute held in connection with the World Food Prize in Des Moines.
Paul Aschel has irises for the digging and it was suggested they would be welcome in the Lakeside plantings.
Zinnias were chosen as the club plant of the year, so members were asked to bring some specimens to share. Lois Neighbors gave a brief review of the zinnia. Although it is native to Mexico, it was taken to Germany and named for Dr. Zinn, a very talented doctor and botanist who provided the first written description of the zinnia. Lois shared Profusion zinnias.
Other zinnias shared were Giant Cactus, Giant California, State Fair, and Anniversary as well as petite zinnias.
Timely tips included harvesting dried seeds when they were brown and hanging them in a dry place in a paper bag; using a small vase inside a larger vase to hold flowers upright; placing Hosta leaves underwater to line a glass vase and using stones or marbles to hold flowers in place in a vase.
Miriam Patton presented an informative program on items confiscated by Customs due to their illegal killing and trading. Miriam is licensed to have them at the Nature Center for educational purposes.
Some items included were a beautiful mounted butterfly, a bat, cobra belt, alligator boots, stingray clutch, heeled shoe and other skins and pelts as well as a very heavy elephant tusk.
Miriam warned that travelers need to inform themselves about what items can be brought into the United States as it may be legal to sell them in a foreign country but they could be confiscated if brought back to the U.S.
The next meeting will be Oct. 8, at 9 a.m. at the home of Jan Stillman with Sue Brown assisting. The program will be on fall plantings and spring flowers. It is suggested that members bring plants, seeds, bulbs, etc. to share.