A Sampling of Speakers We Have Had
February 8, 2023
Since Roman times, the foliage of trees and shrubs has been clipped into ornamental shapes. Ian Warnock, Lead Horticulturist for Frederik Meijer Gardens, shared his photos of various styles of topiary – including free and standard form, sphagnum stuffed, and mosaic culture. His personal stories of designing and creating these living sculptures with colleagues around the world were enlightening and entertaining.
November 9, 2022
Four of our members presented a most enjoyable and informative demonstration on how to make holiday decorations. Presenters shared tips on how to preserve fresh greens using Elmer’s Glue and fall leaves using glycerin. Thank you (L to R) to Ann Carter, Mary Block, Bonnie Monhart and Lynn Miller.
October 12, 2022
The October program was entitled “A garden to die for.” Our speaker was Master Gardener Arla McPeek, who gave a most entertaining presentation focused on poisonous plants. Her stories about the villains in our plant kingdom were chilling, alarming, and most appropriate at this spooky time of year.
Jan Brown, our witchy Program Coordinator, with Arla McPeek.
May 11, 2022
Joyce Kebless talked to us about herbal plants, products made from them, recipes using them and more!
April 13, 2022
Eleven frogs and two toads make Michigan their home. Our April speaker, Dr. Raymond Gates of Cornerstone College, taught our members how to identify these frogs by their physical traits and calls.
March 9, 2022
At our March 9th general business meeting our program on bee keeping, presented by Don Snoeyink was both educational and entertaining. His passion about bees and bee keeping peaked our curiosity. We learned three types of honey bees in the hive and their respective roles, as well as the vital role they play in pollination and its importance to our food supply.Don went into great detail explaining bee keeping, tending the hives and ultimately harvesting the honey and wax. We now have a new perspective on the whole process!
February 9, 2022
Diane Carol Burdick, a photography instructor at Kendall College of Art and Design, shared her insights about techniques that will improve the quality of our flower photos. She encouraged us to get up close and capture the rhythm and energy of our subject by viewing it from above and even down on the ground. Our flower should be in focus, whereas the background should be blurred and of a complementary color. Even a simple cell phone will capture beautiful pictures.
January 12, 2022
Mei Ling Clemens, past President of the Grand Valley Orchid Society and Chair of the GVOS Orchid Show at Meijer Gardens, was our January speaker. She shared her vast knowledge and personal experience of growing orchids for the past 25 years. Where you place your plant provides a microclimate for its growth. Pure water, appropriate potting mix, and fertilizer will ensure a happy, thriving orchid.
November 2021 Meeting: Festive Features, holiday flower arrangements by club members Ann Carter, Anne Todd, Eileen Brader, Christine Pfennig, and Patricia Ophoff
At our October 2021 meeting, Brian Keuning, Operations Manager, and Leslie Hammond, Customer Service and Sales Manager, of Everett’s Gardens, introduced us to a variety of unique conifers. These beautiful evergreens provide color and interest to our gardens (especially in cold winter months). We were amazed at the unusual textures, shapes, and color variations. We learned which conifers were shade tolerant and disease resistant.
Michigan Garden Club District IV
Fall 2021 Meeting
Hosted by Kent Garden Club
MSU Extension Educator Christopher Imler talked about Evidence Based Horticulture Therapy. Engaging people and plant or garden activities helps improve their bodies, minds, and spirits.
Deanna Geelhoed, Plaster Creek Stewards Coordinator at Calvin College, spoke about creating creek-friendly yards. We can conserve and help purify our waters, as well as boost aquatic biodiversity, by shrinking the size of a grassy lawns, utilizing rain barrels, and planting trees and native shrubs and flowers.
Rick Vuyst, Flowerland Radio Show host and author, shared his mission to help advance the planting and conservation of trees for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. His humor and heartwarming stories entertained our members.
David Marquard, Director of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation, and Matt Chapman, of Grand Rapids Rapids White Water, were our speakers at the September 2021 meeting. Their mission is to re-create the original wild nature of the Grand River, re-capturing the city’s name sake. This will include removing aging dams (which flattened the river flow), placing giant boulders in the river to create rapids ideal for surfing, kayaking, and fishing, and creating natural reefs for new fish habitats.
Holly Haveman, Kennedy’s Flowers and Gifts Speaking on World Peace Through the Common Language of Flowers
Kathy Rohm from Flowerland, Alpine location, gave a talk about Succulents and their care.
Rick Vuyst, author of “I Just Wet My Plants” and former CEO of Flowerland
Brenda Brown, Wildberry Floral Design, demonstrated creating beautiful and dramatic centerpieces and holiday decor.
Our October speaker, Alana Haley, presented a program on ornamental grasses and their role in the environment. She has presented numerous gardening programs and workshops to Garden Clubs and gardening conferences.
All About Owls
The Art and Practice of Aesthetic Pruning
David Rettig, Horticulturist, Frederik Meijer Gardens
Steve Jetzer, Bonsai
Steve Jetser has studied Bonsai Gardening for 25 years. He began the learning process at the Chicago Botanical Gardens along with spending time studying in Japan with a master. He has pursued this passion by teaching classes at Frederik Meijer Gardens. When not in the classroom, he displays his work in National Bonsai Shows across the country.