November 9, 2017
Our vice president and program chairman, Kathleen Lunman, presented an entertaining program about the history and customs of tea. We learned that all tea leaves are derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, grown on every continent except Antarctica. Details were presented on handheld fans, which Kathleen crafted. In addition, she delighted us with a variety of teas and her home-baked scones! Horticulture chairman, Susan Borge, presented a well-researched tip with regards to growing milkweed, specifically tropical milkweed, and the pros and cons of it’s effect on the monarch butterfly population. We were surprised to learn that our butterflies do not migrate and therefore it is likely that tropical milkweed is safe to grow in our zone. In order to prevent the spread of a protozoa carried by butterflies, Susan recommended we periodically prune back our milkweed throughout the growing season to encourage fresh, uncontaminated foliage for hungry caterpillars. Flower show judge, Mariette Wooden, presented a crash course on the difference between traditional and petite-sized designs. To conclude our meeting, members created a fresh arrangement in the tea cup of their choice. In December we will study Williamsburg designs. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!