Giant Oaks Garden Club of McMurray Pa celebrated their 50th anniversary in September 2012 and in December installed the 2013 officers - Judie Ball and Karen Thompson as co-presidents, Margie Sullivan 1st Vice President and awards chairperson, Debra Valentino 2nd Vice President and membership chairperson, Barbara Alsip recording secretary, Barbara Kilgariff correspondence secretary, and Judi Quashnock treasurer. The more than 70 members come from McMurray as well as Washington and south to Amity, Finleyville, Houston, Bethel Park, Venetia, McDonald, Canonsburg, Eighty Four, South Park, and various Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Pleasant Hills, Castle Shannon, Mt Oliver and Upper St Clair to name a few.
In November The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society awarded Giant Oaks Garden Club the 2012 PHS Community Greening Award. The project was for design, implementing, planting, maintaining the planting at the entrance to the Peters Township Library and Municipal Building. The evaluators had visited 89 nominated sites and recommended the Peters Township site receive this prestigious award. A reception and awards ceremony was held at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pittsburgh, PA
Before each general membership meeting a group of members will meet and make craft items for the Meals on Wheels or MOW project to be given along with the daily mails for the shutins. In early January several memers got together at a members home and made over 250 cookies for them.
To date members Amy Molinaro, Diane Palmer, Karen Boocks, Linda Schwartz and Lorrie Wolstoncroft are Master Gardeners with a certificate from Penn State/College of Agricultural Cooperative Extension. The Master Gardener training is comprised of seven core sessions (30 hours) plus a variety of additional workshops and online sessions. An exam is given to pass the course and volunteer hours to complete. The Master Gardening program is a fabulous educational process that educates the proper techniques for planting and pruning trees, shrubs and flowers; the responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers; the importance of water conservation and the effects of water run-off into our water supply. You become more aware and a considerate citizen of our planet, Earth. It is so much more than planting pretty posies; it truly is a more integrated and comprehensive way to experience nature. For more information about the master gardener program see http://extension.psu.edu/master-gardener/join
Mark your calendar for Saturday May 18, 2013 which is when the Giant Oaks Garden Club, will sponsor its annual Plant Sale at the Peters Township Public Library, Peters Township, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., rain or shine. The sale, now in its 13th year, features a large variety of quality potted perennial plants selected from members' gardens. Also featured are herbs, annuals, hanging baskets and raffle baskets of gardening items. GOGC members, many of whom are Master Gardeners, also provide assistance and answer individual gardening questions from the public. Mary Stuart is the co chair of this event, Questions? Call 724-941-3081or E Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The program following the Thursday March 7, 2013 Giant Oaks Garden club general membership meeting will be The Art of Tree Pruning presented by Rich Vrboncic of Bartlett Tree Experts who will share his expertise in pruning various trees indigenous to Southwestern PA. Depending on the weather, we may join Rich outdoors for a live demonstration! Also, if time allows, Rich will include valuable information relating to tree and shrub insect and disease issues facing local homeowners. Upcoming months program will include - Shade plants that liven up your garden, indoor gardening container arranging, moss gardening and tea etiquette to name a few. Non member cost to attend the meeting, luncheon and program is $6.00 per person. Advanced reservations are necessary -please call Debra Valentino 724-746-4664 for more information about attending Giant Oaks Garden Club meetings at St David’s Anglican Church 905 McMurray Road Venetia PA.