Garden Club takes summer hiatus

Barbara Anderson, Vice-President and Program Chair

The rain delay for the road trip May meeting of the Robson Ranch Garden Club will be a lengthy one…one year! A long-anticipated trip to a lavender farm in Gainesville was canceled due to the excessive rain that has pelted north Texas for the past two months. The owners were worried that we’d need tow trucks to pull our cars out of the parking lot since they’d had 16 inches of rain into mid-May. It was disappointing, but the good news is that the May meeting for the club members in 2016 is already on the books!

In lieu of the physical trip to see the lavender, here are a few legends and myths about the plant. Surprisingly, lavender can mean “distrust,” probably because its earliest uses were to mask body odor in European countries where the quality of the water discouraged the people from bathing. The name “lavender” comes from the Latin lavare, to wash. Also the crudest of soaps was very expensive. “In 1562, four pounds of gray soap cost twice as much as a whole pig, which was sixpence, and six times as much as a dozen eggs.” One Hundred Flowers and How They Got Their Names, by Diana Wells. With your next purchase of a lavender-scented soap or fragrance, keep this in mind, “It takes 2,000 pounds of blossoms to make 10 pounds of distilled lavender essence.” (Diana Wells). Lavender likes chalky dry soil and bright sunshine, hard to come by in north Texas lately, and can die back and regrow in the spring, provided there has been no extreme cold. Herbalists tout its properties as good for the brain, the nose and the heart.

The Garden Club takes a summer hiatus with no meetings in June, July or August. We will see you on the third Monday in September when you can become a member with your $10 per household dues, hear about upcoming events and share summer plant survival stories.

By the way, a lot of north Texas native plants will find it hard to tolerate this excessive moisture, so be prepared for stressed-out plants as the year progresses. Your yard will certainly not be the only one suffering, and our local nurseries will be more than happy to sell you replacement plants! Isn’t gardening fun? Yes!