GARDEN LIKE A LADYBUG

“This lucky little lady bug
Has landed here to stay
To make the garden pretty
And keep the weeds away!”
– Author Unknown

 

We are lucky enough to have our very own group of “ladybugs” who work all season to create beauty wherever they go. We had the opportunity to talk to the President of the Ladybug Garden Club, Joan Henry, to get the dirt on this gang of gardeners.

Joan and her husband moved to the Noble’s Pond community three and a half years ago. Relocating from New Jersey, Joan had been a member of garden clubs before and wanted a similar experience in Delaware. With the help of likeminded members, the Ladybug Garden Club was initiated two years ago. Today, the group is about twenty strong, complete with elected officials and appointees who organize special guest speakers, programs, trips and tours.

Meeting on the first Friday of each month, The Ladybugs either discuss business or enjoy presentations on a variety of garden-related topics. “We’ve discussed native plants, which are good for our local environment and good for our pollinators, we’ve had presentations on flower arranging and bird watching…there is always so much to learn,” Joan recounts. And learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom as they say; field trips to places like Longwood Gardens, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the Mt Cuba Center are how enthusiasts acquire inspiration and hands on experience.

The Ladybugs are most recognized for what they do for Noble’s Pond. On all sides of our community garden – where residents can grow veggies and herbs – there is a perimeter of lovely annuals and perennials growing. That’s all thanks to our Ladybugs who have taken responsibility for planting and maintaining the bed throughout the season. To further beautify our community, they asked members here to take ownership of containers placed along walkways and in our pool area. Every pot was “adopted” and planted up beautifully!

The group also took to task honoring veterans. Because we are blessed to have many residents who have served our country, the Ladybugs wanted to echo the nationwide event, “Wreaths Across America.” In December our entranceway displayed upright wreaths representing each branch of the military, decorated with ribbons and flags. This was a wonderful way to remember our veterans – especially around the holidays.

As ladybugs fly from garden to garden, the Ladybug Club has an impact beyond our front gates. “Gardening is therapeutic,” says Joan, “which is why we go to nearby assisted living facilities with crafts for residents to assemble.” A favorite project is to recycle a

small can by decorating it with seasonally appropriate ribbons, adding floral foam, and letting residents fill it with fresh flower cuttings. Everyone looks forward to crafts like this – they are simple, fun and always spread smiles.

So how can you get in on this good-vibe garden group? It’s quite simple! “A few times a year we tell residents about our club at a “Coffee with Colleen,” event, but mostly people hear about us by word of mouth,” says Joan. And if it sparks an interest, you can sign up – all that is required is a yearly membership due of $15. “The name can be a bit deceiving,” she admits. “The group is named after Delaware’s state insect, which is the ladybug, but all residents are welcome to join – men, women, even novices! “When people tell me they know nothing about gardening, I say that’s a perfect reason to join the club – we are all learning.”

As the garden season begins to slow down, the group focuses on the horizon. The club is entertaining the possibility of becoming federated with Delaware’s State Garden Club. This would allow access to more activities, speakers, trips, seminars and help gain statewide recognition. Just as the good gardener knows how to foster growth, so too do the Ladybugs. They are always coming up with ways to keep things new, fresh and fun (just like their gardens) and are looking forward to whatever may be around the bend!