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Georgiana Garden Club’s focus on butterflies, bounties of recycling

The Georgiana Garden Club enjoyed the beauty of butterflies while discussing beautification and recycling projects during their March 4 meeting at the Log Cabin. Two guests, Pat Compton and Melissa Chesser, joined the nine members present. Co-hostess Carolyn Thompson provided a wonderful devotion on “Caring for our Elderly Parents.” Thompson and fellow hostess Arlene Bush decorated the cabin with a Saint Patrick’s Day theme. Wonderful refreshments included chicken salad sandwiches, nuts, chips and dip, peach cobbler with ice cream and coffee.

President Suzy Shepherd provided the program, “Butterflies in My Garden.”

She showed a colorful DVD and photos of beautiful butterflies taken in her own flower garden. Contrary to popular belief, the official Alabama State Butterfly is the Eastern Tiger Swallow Tail and the Monarch.

The Swallow Tail was adopted as the State Butterfly in 1989 at Selma’s request.

“Selma is known as Butterfly Capital of Alabama and their mascot is the yellow Tiger Swallow. The Monarch is our State Insect,” Shepherd said.

The Monarch, along with the honeybee, was nominated for National Insect in 1990 but was voted down.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is bright yellow with black markings; the female can be yellow, dark brown or black. Other butterflies shown were the Common Buckeye, Gulf Fritillary, Red-Spotted Purple and the Yellow Sulphurs.

Club members were given handouts on butterflies and their host plants. Arlene Bush, Garden Therapy chair, reminded members to work with children on making pine cone-and-peanut butter feeders, and to take potted daffodils to the shut-ins and the elderly club members for the NGC President’s Project, “Golden Days.”

She was surprised with birthday greetings for turning 82 years young.

Mrs. Bush received a hummingbird feeder with food in honor of the day. Members enjoyed exchanging recycled gifts just for fun. The door prize was won by Jean Dean.

“The stew sales were a big success and all the extra stew has been sold,” Shepherd announced.

“The winner selling the most stew will be announced next month.”

A special thanks was given to the men who volunteered their time to peel potatoes, onions and cook the stew: Rev. Harold Bordages, Charles Shepherd, Bob Taylor, Alen Parker, Carey Thompson, Tracy and Tim Bush.

Wanda Williams was given a GCA State Life Membership and pin by the president. Pat Compton was voted in as a new member by the club.

Members were encouraged to attend the GCA State Convention inn Tuscaloosa on April 5, 6 and 7.

Districts V and VI will be decorating the tables for the Design Banquet on Tuesday night using recycled materials. Floral designer Claudia McKenzie Bates will present the program. Clubs from across the state are taking one shoe box per club to Convention filled with special items for the service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The boxes are called “Seeds and Scents” and will contain a sprig of dried, scented herb or potpourri and a pack of flower seeds.

Shepherd announced the City of Georgiana would like to enlist the GGC’s help in a beautification project for downtown Georgiana. The Club and City will work together on this project for downtown Georgiana. Club members were also encouraged to participate in the City’s “Litter Clean Up” on April 10.

The GGC is collecting the fronts of greeting cards to be recycled by children at St. Jude’s Ranch. They should not be larger than 5 x 7 inches. These are made into new cards sold in their gift shows and online. The kids are paid 15 cents per card and goes into their personal accounts. “Recycling is an important part of life and this worthwhile project is certainly beneficial to our environment,” said Shepherd.

“Anyone can send their greeting card fronts to me – angels and teddy bears are especially welcome.”

The April meeting will feature a program by Mike McQueen, Regional Extension Agent for the Southwest Coastal Region. Hostesses are Ann Quates and Sandra Jones. Members are reminded to bring their decorated and filled Easter baskets for shut-ins and nursing home residents and a plant to exchange that attracts butterflies.