Northtown Garden Society

Chicago, Illinois

Coneflowers

Arthur Lee and NGS Member, Jeffrey Rovner

Abigail Watkins and NGS Member, Bob Radycki

6/13/19

Medical Cannabis

Our two presenters were Abigail Watkins and Arthur Lee who represented Dispensary 33. They were helpful and informative about medical marijuana in Illinois. They answered our questions about qualifying for a medical cannabis card and the safety and quality of the products they offer.

Gardens at Bethany

George Titterson, President of the Illinois Orchid Society, entertained us with his delightful presentation on growing orchids, those wonderful plants that aren't as fussy as some people believe. The Orchid Society meets at the Chicago Botanic Gardens on the 2nd Sunday of the month at noon. Guests are welcome.

Things we learned:

  • Don't plant them in soil. Orchid roots need an airy mixture of pine bark chips and/or spaghnum moss. A little perlite doesn't hurt. Orchids in nature grow on trees.
  • Water your orchids weekly by soaking the  plant roots thoroughly then letting them dry out. Put them in the sink and give them several waterings with the sprayer or let them soak in a pan for awhile so that the rooting medium is thoroughly wet. Do not let them sit in water or use ice cubes - they don't like cold feet.
  • Orchids do not like salt so if you have softened water, don't use it to water your orchids.
  • Fertilize them with a weak orchid fertilizer solution weekly.
  • Repot them when there are signs that the rooting medium is breaking down or there is an abundance of aerial roots and when they are not in bloom. You do not have to repot them every year.
  • When the orchid is finished blooming, cut the stem back to the lowest node. Then keep watering it and wait patiently for it to bloom again.  Just because it doesn't bloom right away doesn't mean it is dead. It's worth the wait. Many orchids only bloom once a year or less frequently.
  • Orchids like bright light but no direct sun. An east window is ideal.
  • Let your orchids have an outdoor vacation in the summer. Hang them in a tree and make sure they are watered weekly. Rain is good for them

George Titterson

Doug Taron and NGS member, Kathy Kirn

4/4/19

More Butterflies

Doug Taron of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Center returned for another fascinating look at butterflies we may find in the midwest in addition to the monarchs. He spoke of those who are endangered and will probably not be seen in this area again and efforts to restore the lost habitats of previously abundant species to bring them back. 

5/2/19

Growing Orchids

The Gardens at Bethany; Veggie Talk

NGS member, Dorothy Bird, spoke about the process (and difficulties) of developing gardens for the Bethany Retirement Home. 

NGS member, Ruth Melulis, spoke about saving seeds, starting seeds indoors and growing healthy and tasty vegetables.

2/7/19

Plant Considerations for the residential Landscape

Urban landscape designer, Kim Kaulas, spoke about horticultural, aesthetic and maintenance issues when designing an urban garden. She provided wonderful slides showing design mistakes as well as the components of good design.

3/7/19

Kim Kaulas

PROGRAM NOTES

Our monthly programs are usually held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM in the Warren Park Field House, 6601 N. Western Ave. Chicago.

 

We usually feature a social get-together with refreshments followed by a guest speaker.

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