Club member Darlene Heflin said this is a perfect time to begin preparing one's yard for spring planting. She said it is a good idea to put pre-emergent out to help keep grass from growing in areas you don't want it. It's also a good time to clear away debris that has gathered in flower beds over the fall and winter.
But, Heflin warned, it's good to leave tender plants covered until April.
“Dead foliage insulates the roots of perennials,” Garden Club president Ann Statton explained.
Statton said that now is a good time to go ahead and put out bigger items like trees and shrubs. Some good ideas for this part of the country include magnolias, redbuds, dogwoods, forsythia, hydrangeas, English and Japanese boxwoods, nandina.
When planting small trees and shrubs, it is important not to put them too close together to allow room for future growth.
“You need to go by what is on the tag,” Heflin advised.
Although it may be tempting to get started planting perennials, plants that will return year after year, Garden Club members say it is better to wait until mid-April. This week has shown that frost is still possible this time of year.
Some shrubs, like forsythia, which features bright-yellow blooms in the spring, can be started by simply breaking off a branch from one plant and putting it in the ground.
Gardeners without much experience looking for good, hearty perennial plants and flowers should consider shasta daisys, monkey grass, hostas, black-eyed susans and spider plants.
Garden club member Donna Beasley said it is a good idea to use plants native to this area in a garden. These plants are usually easier to care for and Saturday in May. Others say wait a bit later, until Mother's Day.
Either way, annuals are a quick and easy way to add color and beauty to a yard. Some easy-to-grow annuals include impatiens, vincas, petunias, geraniums and begonias.
“When shopping for annuals, look for a short plant,” Statton said. “Not ones in full bloom.”
Garden Club members have lots of good advice about gardens and they say they learn a lot from one another. The Logan County Garden Club started about 10 years ago with about seven or eight people.
“We just got together to talk about gardening,” Heflin said. The club has grown since then to 40 members, including men and women, all ages and all levels of gardening knowledge from beginner to master gardener.
Beasley said she joined because her mother had a green thumb but she did not, and she wanted to learn more about landscaping and flowers.
New member Margaret Humble said she was impressed with the diversity of the group.
The club meets the fourth Monday of every month. In the summer, they meet at the homes of members and in the winter they meet at the Bibb House. Each meeting features a program that teaches something about gardening, flowers or landscaping.
Garden Club members also enjoy sharing seeds and plants with one another and learning from each other.
The Garden Club stays active in the community as well. They have done a lot of work on the landscaping at the Bibb House and they have planted flower beds at the nursing home. The group has a plant sale each year which will be in April and their annual tour of gardens will be June 24.
Membership dues are only $12, and Statton said they are always glad to have new members.
“Most of us join just to learn how to make a beautiful garden,” Beasley added.