The Edwardsville Garden Club

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Celebrating 80 years of gardening!

Posted by J Little on May 7, 2019 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Edwardsville Garden Club 80th Anniversary

June 8, 2019, noon to 2:00 pm

Madison County Farm Bureau Building, 900 Hillsboro St., Edwardsville, Il.

Come and help The Edwardsville Garden Club members celebrate 80 years of gardening!

There will be informal stations highlighting each decade of the 80 years of the Edwardsville Garden Club’s existence. Get quick tips on garden issues. You will see photos of ladies in stylish hats and white gloves from the 40's and 50's hosting a tea, to today’s members in blue jeans and flannel shirts planting a tree for Arbor Day celebration. We do so much more than just plant flowers! The club has always sought to improve and to preserve all ecological resources, i.e. land, forests, waters, wildlife along with restoring herbal gardens at the Madison County Historical grounds and just recently the Medicinal Herb gardens at the SIUE School of Pharmacy. We welcome the opportunity to share with you experiences towards these goals via informational displays and will have educational hand-outs at most stations.

The EGC maintains seven unique public gardens and we will display photos and information about each one. The monies raised during our spring and fall plant sales fund these gardens.

Learn how to make a “Seed Bomb”? Or make your own individual natural herbal insect repellent? Or make a bar of herbal soap to take home? We will have “Make and Take” areas so you can do all that fun stuff!

There will be free refreshments and Attendance Prize drawings every 10 minutes. So, please come and join us in reflecting 80 years of land stewardship!

Exercises for Gardeners

Posted by J Little on March 26, 2018 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

***Do a light cardio warm up - Warm up first with a 5-10 minutes of walking, cycling, etc., and then stretch. You can also do stretching exercises at the end of your full cardio workout. Stretching cold muscles (not warmed up) can cause or lead to injuries.


March 13, 2012 by Erica 10 Comments | Affiliate disclosure

Here are the 7 Best Exercises to do before gardening season gets going, so you’ll be ready when it does. You can perform these motions at a gym or at home – all you need are a pair of appropriately heavy weights or kettlebells and a little floor or garden space.

1. Dumbbell Deadlift

Mimics: Bending over to pull a weed, lift a rock or pick up a bag of compost. Really, any time you bend over and pick something up, you are performing a deadlift. Practice dumbbell or barbell deadlifts in the off-season and your lower back and legs will all be stronger when gardening season gets going.

Focus on: letting the dumbbells or the bar slide along your legs through the entire motion, and keep your back and shoulders strong so your spine doesn’t round down. As you add weight in the deadlift, you begin to work your grib strength as well, which is important for keeping hold of sledgehammers and heavy buckets.

2. Front-Loaded Squat

Mimics: Carrying bags of compost, soil amendments, rocks or kids in front of you. Strengthens your butt, thighs, and entire core. The squat and deadlift are, hands-down, the best all-over strength building exercises you can perform.

Focus on: keeping your weight in your heels – if necessary point your toes up toward the ceiling to ensure that you are squatting back rather than down. Keep your low back in neutral alignment through the entire motion; don’t let your back round forward towards the ground. Start with very little weight and work up as you get stronger.

3. Farmer Carry

Mimics: Carrying buckets of water, compost or soil amendments through the garden. If you’ve ever carried a bag of groceries in each hand, you’ve already performed a Farmer Carry. Up the weight you can handle through diligent practice of the farmer carry and you’ll strengthen your grip and forearms substantially and make hauling all those buckets all over the yard a lot easier.

Focus on: keeping your abdominal muscles tight and engaged and keeping the weight under control – no big swings. If you don’t have heavy enough weights to make this simple motion a challenge, grab a few large filled water bottles. I keep these 3 gallon bottles filled with emergency water in the garage. Topped up with water, they weigh about 25 pound each.

4. Diagonal Wood Chop

Mimics: chopping logs, rotating to weed, pull and reach items in the garden, overhead hammering of posts and tree stakes. Wood Chop is a great all-around exercise because it incorporates both strength and stability work. Wood Chop strengthens the entire abdominal girdle, arms, and back stabilizers, which means less fatigue and back pain after a long day in the yard.

Focus on: keeping a strong core as you perform a controlled but forceful diagonal lift of a manageable weight from the outside of one knee up and over to above the opposite shoulder and back down. Your torso should rotate but your feet should stay fixed (though it is ok for the active foot to pivot in place). Wood Chop may be performed with varying degrees of squat – I find the amount I squat in the motion is proportional to the weight I am using, with lighter weights requiring less squat at the beginning of the lift. Performed dynamically, this exercise can quickly become a cardio-conditioner as well. Because of the dynamic torso rotation, be cautious if you are new to the Diagonal Wood Chop.

5. Push-Ups

Mimics: pushing wheelbarrow loads and push-mowers through the garden. Push-ups work your entire upper body, including your chest, arms and core. Strength in pushing is important to gardeners because we always need to push something around the yard: compost, yard waste containers, lawn-mowers, etc. If challenges keep you motivated, take the 100 Push-Up Challenge and learn to rock this important upper-body exercise.

Focus on: keeping your body in a straight line from toe to head. Don’t let your back arch or sway. Keep your elbows tucked in against your torso to more fully engage the triceps muscle. If a full push-up is too challenging, perform a modified push-up. Remember to shift your weight off your knee-cap and up to the very bottom of your quadriceps (thigh) muscle, and to establish the same strong, straight body line in a modified push-up as you would have in a full push-up.


6. Renegade Rows

Mimics: raking, pulling-out well-rooted weeds, starting gas lawnmowers. Rows are sort of like inverse push-ups. Everything a push-up does for your chest and pushing ability, rows do for your back and pulling ability. Most people think of yard work as pulling – pulling weeds! But we gardeners pull recalcitrant rocks, re-bar stakes, tagled vines and brambles and more as well. Renegate Rows have the added advantage of working the core stabilizer muscles.

Focus on: just-like the push-up, you want to keep your body in as straight a line as possible. Pull your abdominal muscles in alternatively pull your weight up, keeping about a 90-degree bend in your elbow. Kick your feet about shoulder-width apart to make balance easier.

7. Lunges

Mimics: weeding. The motion you use to get down on one knee and propose, tie a shoelace or pull a weed is a lunge. Lunges work your butt and thighs like nothing else and are great for balance and stabilizer training. Gardeners who get strong in the lunge will avoid the temptation to constantly bend over with an arched back (which leads to a sore back!) when they need to get close to the ground.

Focus on: a smooth down-up motion of the entire torso in the lunge. Try not to lean down and forward as you lunge. Instead, think of a smooth drop and an engaged lift. Don’t let your knee bang the ground; if you cannot control a full depth lunge right away, just don’t drop as deep until you build up your strength.

Once you master the lunge, you can make things more challenging with the walking lunge, performed with or without additional weight.







Put these exercises together and prepare to get into better gardening shape than ever before. Here’s a quick, 11-minute circuit example work-out to get you started.

Busy Gardeners Strength Circuit

3 Minute Blast – do not rest between the following exercises:

Deadlift – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Farmer Carry – walk around the house or yard with an appropriately challenging weight for one minute

Lunges (Left Leg forward) or Walking Lunges – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Rest One Minute

3 Minute Blast – do not rest between the following exercises:

Push-Up – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Diagonal Wood Chop (right side) – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Diagonal Wood Chop (left side) – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Rest One Minute

3 Minute Blast – do not rest between the following exercises:

Front-loaded Squat – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Renegade Rows – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

Lunges (Right Leg forward) or Walking Lunges – do as many as can be performed with good form in one minute

If you want to make real strength gains, record your “score” for each activity – the number of reps you are able to complete in one minute – and try to beat your previous score each time you perform this circuit. If you are already in great shape, make this circuit harder by upping weights or performing it twice or three-times through.

After a few weeks, no deep-rooted weed will stand a change against you.





Stretch 1: Spine Twist with Gentle Hamstring Stretch

Stand with your feet hip distance apart, let your arms relax at your sides and slowly twist your upper body to the left and then to the right, repeating this motion back and forth. Your feet will lift onto the ball of the foot as you twist in each direction, and your arms, as they wrap round your body, should gently tap against your body. After twisting for a few minutes, slow down the twist until you are at a complete stop. Come to stillness and, closing your eyes, take a few deep breaths and bring your awareness to the sensations you feel in your body: your fingers may be tingling, your body, arms or head may feel warm. This is what energy feels like as it moves through your body.

Now, keep the same stance with your feet hip distance apart. Take a large breath in and, as you exhale, slowly reach down to touch the floor. You want to feel like your head, neck and spine are moving one vertebra at a time as you roll down to your lowest point. Hold this stretch, and gently shift your weight from the left leg to the right, moving mindfully and slowly, feeling the stretch in your hamstrings. After several shifts side to side, come back to center, take another deep breath and start to slowly roll yourself back up one vertebra at a time to a standing position.

Repeat the whole exercise 6-8 times.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the brain meridian passes through the muscles that run down either side of your spine and the backs of your legs. This twist activates this meridian and helps keep those muscles fluid and moving, assuring a healthy back. This meridian also helps improve brain activity for mastering your gardening technique and strategy.

Stretch 2: Child’s Pose with Upper Back Stretch

Sit on your heels, bow down onto the floor as you extend your arms out fully in front of you resting on the floor. Place your forehead gently on the floor naturally where it rests, your body weight evenly distributed between your legs and arms, this is child’s pose. TIP: if this position feels uncomfortable, moving your knees further apart might help. Now, press down on the floor with the palms of your hands and, at the same time, push your upper back up towards the ceiling. Your body should remain still but the action of pressing down with the hands while simultaneously elevating the upper shoulders gives an amazing stretch to your upper back, beneath your shoulder blades, and under the arms all the way up to the armpits.

Repeat 6-8 times. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this exercise will improve the energy flow of your skin meridian. This child’s pose stretch specifically builds strength and flexibility in the muscles of your upper arms and upper back while simultaneously strengthening your immune system. Immune system improvements will help you to repel insects and their bites, heal from sun damaged skin, and improve your ability to fight off infection.

Stretch 3: Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back and grab the back of your right lower thigh (just above the knee), extend your left leg long on the floor as you slowly pull your straight right leg towards your head. As you are pulling your leg in, it will feel as if it is pressing away and doesn’t want to come closer to your head. As your arms pull against the direction your leg wants to go in, you are creating a ‘resistance action’ that will keep you in a safe range as you elongate and strengthen your hamstrings and help you avoid injury. The movement is small, but if you add a lifting motion (gently stretching your leg out of the hip socket) as you hold your right leg, the stretch will intensify. Repeat the exercise on the other side, with your right leg long on the floor and pulling your left leg towards your head.

TIP: If your hamstrings are very tight the resting leg may be bent with the foot flat on the floor, this will relieve some of the tension in the leg you are stretching.

Repeat 6-8 times on each side. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this stretch improves the energy flow in the brain meridian. It will build flexibility and strength in the central hamstrings, encouraging a tension-free lower back. The hamstrings along with the muscle of the spine (see stretch #1) are important muscles to keep limber throughout the gardening season as any back pain will make gardening difficult. Hamstring flexibility and strength will help make your gardening movements effortless.

Stretch 4: Hip Stretch (Figure 4)

Lie on your back, bend both legs and place your feet flat on the floor. Lift your right leg up off the floor and rest the outside of your ankle on the top of your left knee and let your right knee fall to the right.

Now grab ahold of your left leg at the thigh just above your knee, and slowly pull it in towards your head. This action will pull both legs towards your head together and you will feel a big stretch on the outside of your right hip. Repeat on the other side, with your left ankle resting on your right knee.

Repeat 6-8 times on each side. TIP: You may also feel tension on the inside of your right leg, if this sensation feels like it is preventing you from stretching then it will benefit you to work on the inside leg first and then come back to this stretch. The Liver Meridian Stretch, for the inside leg muscles, is a good place to start.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine this exercise improves energy flow in the gallbladder meridian. This exercise will stretch and strengthen your outside hip and leg muscles where more pressure is often placed in our standing and upright postures. Improvement to hip flexibility and to the outside leg muscles will allow fluid movement during gardening as you move from the ground to standing, and in the upright side-to-side movement you make in watering, or just moving around your garden.

Stretch 5: Kneeling Quad Stretch

Place your mat directly against an upright surface such as a sofa (you could also use the wall or an ottoman). Put a folded blanket or towel on top of your mat, touching the sofa, as a bit of extra cushioning. Start by kneeling on your cushion, with your back to the sofa. Bring your right knee about 6 inches away from the sofa, and allow your right lower leg and foot to rest against the seat. The top of your foot will be poised to press against the sofa (use more distance than 6 inches if your thigh muscle is super tight). Place your left foot flat on the floor slightly further away from the sofa than you think it should be and use your hands for balance by resting them on top of your left knee. You should now be in a lunge position with the back leg already starting to stretch as it is bent and resting on the sofa.

To begin the stretch, press your leg and the top of your right foot into the sofa and slowly move your body weight towards your left leg while continuing to press your right foot into the sofa. You should feel a big stretch in your right thigh. Keep your back straight as you lunge forward also remembering to keep your chin down. Keep shifting from a lunge as you move back into an upright position against the sofa. If you are flexible your heel will touch your gluts when you push back from your lunge. Repeat on the other side, with your left leg resting on the sofa.

Repeat 6-8 times on each side. In Traditional Chinese Medicine this exercise improves the energy passing through your stomach meridian. I have been told by my clients that this stretch alone is worth the price of admission – it is an amazing and effective way to stretch and strengthen your thigh muscles. The thighs need to have full range for gardening to allow for all that forward bending, kneeling, squatting and lifting you need to do. Stretching out the quads is a great way to regain balance from the front and back of the body which will allow for ease in forward and backward bending motions from the waist and knees.


Does hummingbird banding hurt the birds?

Posted by Becca on August 11, 2015 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The number of banded hummers is low. Hummingbird banding started long after songbird banding, so researchers don’t have nearly as much information on the tiny fliers as they do on other birds. According to the North American Bird Banding Program operated by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service, about 309,000 ruby-throated hummingbirds have been banded since 1960. By comparison, more than 30 million songbirds have been banded.


Banding is a useful migration research tool. Most of what we do know about hummingbird migration is because of banding. The data scientists have gathered thus far tell us amazing things. For instance, we know that ruby-throated hummingbirds follow the same migration routes every year. They also arrive at and leave from stopover points on almost the same date each year, within a few days.


The process does not harm the birds. Hummingbird feeders equipped with curtains, netting or cages are monitored, and when a bird visits, it flips a switch and the netting comes down or the cage closes. This is a more effective method for capturing hummingbirds than the large mist nets usually used in songbird banding.




Read more:

2018 Calendar of Special Events

Posted by J Little on January 30, 2015 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

March 8 District V Board Meeting

March 19-20 Annual State Convention

March 22 District V Spring Meeting, Edwardsville Garden Club

April 22 Earth Day

April 28 National Arbor Day

May 18-20 N.G.C. Annual Convention, Richmond, VA

June 4-10 National Garden Week

June 17 Master Gardener Tour, Edwardsville

July 25 District V Workshop, Fairview Heights Garden Club

Oct. 11 District V Board Meeting

Oct. 25 District V Presidents Council, Lakeview Garden Club


Additional dates and events can be found at :

2014 Calendar of Special Events

Posted by Becca on March 18, 2013 at 8:25 PM Comments comments (0)


Special events 2014

March 13     District V Board Meeting

March 27     District V Spring Meeting, Trenton

April    22     Earth Day

April   25      National Arbor Day

April 27-28 Annual State Convention

June 1-7      National Garden Week

June 14       Master Gardener Tour, Edwardsville

June 26       District V Workshop, St. Clair Co. GC

Oct.     9       District V Board Meeting

Oct.   23       District V Presidents Council, Edwardsville Garden Club

Additional dates and events can be found at :

EGC Remembers Macie Crow

Posted by Becca on August 14, 2011 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Edwardsville Garden Club Remembers Macie Crow

The Edwardsville Garden Club is very active in the surrounding communities. While preserving the natural beauty of Illinois the club members enhance that beauty by maintaining numerous gardens in the area. Some of those projects are the LeClaire Band Stand, SIUE Pharmacy Garden, Eden and Relais Bonne Eau gardens and the Macie Crow Memorial Garden. August brings added focus to the Macie Elizabeth Crow Memorial Garden. Macie may have spent a brief seven years on earth but she is not forgotten.

On Saturday, August 13, 2011 the Edwardsville Garden Club began their meeting as member, Alison Lamothe introduced member M. A. Smith and the family of Macie Crow. As you can tell from the photo, Ms. Smith, presented the family with her exquisitely, hand-carved memento for the Macie E. Crow Memorial Garden. The presentation was a timely remembrance as Macie would have been ten years old on August 10, 2011. Edwardsville Garden Club is honored to maintain all gardens from the largest projects to the smallest and dearest. Members, men and women alike, continue to astound one another with the hidden talents of their membership. Members take great pleasure in knowing that their love of gardening can become so beneficial to the environment and so many residents of the communities they serve.           (Go To Photo Gallery for Pictures from the Event)

EGC President Wins an Award

Posted by Becca on August 2, 2011 at 7:49 AM Comments comments (0)

Daylilies and waterfalls result in awards for six 

The Edwardsville Intellegencer
Posted on August 1, 2011
by Bill Tucker

The daylilies, the waterfalls and the hanging baskets all played roles in helping six individuals earn G.L.E.N. Awards. Glen Carbon's Gardening, Landscaping and Enhancing Nature (G.L.E.N.) Committee announced the class of 2011 at Tuesday's village board meeting. Committee member Cathy Hicks discussed how the award winners are selected and gave brief descriptions of each property.

"Every year, we ask for nominations from the community so the homeowners are nominated. From these nominations, we plan a day, usually the end of June, and we go around to all of these homes and we take pictures and we judge them with a numerical judging scale and then meet and make our determination," Hicks said.

Wendi Maertz, 126 East Willow Bend, was the first award-winner recognized at the meeting. "If you go by Wendi's house, she has over 200 different kinds of daylilies – absolutely gorgeous," Hicks said. "The other thing that is very special about her property is that she has taken the time to label every one of them."

Rich and Sue Tallerico, 5 Equestrian Court, were also honored. "Their property has hanging baskets, flowering trees, lots of flowers," Hicks said.

Kip and Cindy Goff, of 38 Matterhorn, received kudos for the overall appearance of their property."I would have to say, you really have to take a look at their backyard. They've got a waterfall, a pool, they built a retaining wall along their lake," Hicks said. "They've got it layered, all of that is planted. It's absolutely beautiful."

Donna Brown, 20 Matterhorn, was recognized for her use of color in her landscaping."Donna also has a beautiful property. One of the things that attracted us to her property is that she took color with her flowers and coordinated that to the front and the back," Hicks said.

Don and Lorraine Strauther, of 515 Huntington, have the type of landscaping that's hard to miss, Hicks said."If you go by their property, the thing you're going to note is how well-maintained and how well-groomed all the shrubbery is. It's very unique," she said. "You can't help but notice it as you drive by."

In the outstanding landscaping on a business or commercial property category, the G.L.E.N. Award went to Jamie Wilkinson, owner of Miner Square, which is located at the corner of South Main Street and Collinsville Street."The islands are well done," Hicks said. "He's got a beautiful outside garden."

Glen Carbon Mayor Rob Jackstadt offered his congratulations to this year's award winners and encouragement to next year's entrants.

"I want to congratulate all our award winners tonight and all those other folks who got nominated but did not get the G.L.E.N. Award this year, but will hopefully continue their efforts next year," Jackstadt said. He also thanked the G.L.E.N. Committee for its efforts in maintaining the village's appearance.

"This is as good a time as any to publicly thank those members of the G.L.E.N. Committee who work year-round to keep the village of Glen Carbon looking so great," Jackstadt said.

Editor's note: Photos of the G.L.E.N. Award winners and their properties will appear in the Aug. 6 edition of the Intelligencer.

Hummingbird Facts and Information

Posted by Becca on August 15, 2010 at 2:31 PM Comments comments (0)

Illinois Audubon Society         See 2011-2012 Calendar of events for this year's Banding.

Hummingbird Fact Sheet

Species – Approx. 340 known species, 25 have been seen in U.S. only the Ruby-throated found regularly in eastern North America.

Smallest/Largest - Bee Hummingbird of Cuba, and the largest is the Giant Hummingbird of the high Andes Mountains.

Flight & Speed – Only birds who can hover and fly backwards, wings rotate in a “figure 8” motion, average flight speed is 25-30 mph. Male aerial courtship dives may attain 60mph. wing strokes can be up to 100 times per second.

Life span – After surviving the first year from 3-5 years, tracking some showed 10 years.

Natural foods – red, orange, bright pink nectar-producing flowers. (See list below)

Feeders – 1 cup white cane sugar to four cups boiling water. Never use beet juice, honey, red dye or artificial sweeteners can be harmful even fatal.


Males have ruby-colored throat (gorget), often smaller than females.

Females and young birds less than a year, are green above and white below.

Summer they weigh about 3 grams < a penny; ready to migrate increased weight to nearly 5 grams> a nickel.

Female builds the nest about the size of a half dollar, made from small plant fibers, bud scales and spider webs so it can expand as babies grow. She lays 2 white eggs that require 14-16 days incubation. They spend 2-3 weeks in the nest.

In Spring the birds migrate heading north and fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico, 15-20 hours to make this 500-mile trip. On their return trip they either cross the Gulf or follow the Texas coast to Mexico. Winter months are spent near the Pacific Coast in southern Mexico to western Costa Rica.

NOTE: They do not migrate on the backs of other birds.

OLD WAYS - In times past it was thought that feeders should be taken down in Sept. so birds would not linger here past their departure time.
NEW LEARNING: feeders are not responsible for delayed migration with some birds, so people are encourage to leave feeders out at least 2 weeks beyond the last sighting since this has assisted with the survival of many strays.



1. Clean feed often – everyday in hot weather. Spoiled water is harmful.

2. Mix your own using 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. No color. Bring to a boil. Only fill enough for one days use and refrigerate what isn’t in use. Clean feeders with soap and water and refill daily.

3. Do not use pesticides in your yard. Even a small amount of spray in the air can contaminate food. They also eat insects and spiders.

4. Better to have 2 small feeders than only 1 large feeder. Hummers are very territorial and will fight off even his own mate and young to have the feeder to himself.

5. Bee guards do not keep bees from feeders. Bees are not a problem till late summer. Place a saucer of sugar water away from feeders for them.

B E S T    P L A N T S    F O R    H U M M I N G B I R D S


Flowering crab


Horse Chestnut


Red Buckeye

Tulip Poplar



Beauty Bush

Butterfly Bush


Flowering Quince







Morning Glory

Scarlet Runner-bean

Trumpet Creeper

Annuals & Perennials:




Blazing Star

Bleeding Heart


Cardinal Flower


Coral Bells



Flowering Tobacco


Foxglove, Fuchsia

Gilia, Geranium

Gladiolus, Hollyhock

Impatiens, Lantana

Lily, Lupine

Nasturtium, Paintbrush




Red-Hot Poker

Scarlet Sage

Spider Flower

Sweet William (Dianthus)



Missouri Botanical Garden - Illinois Week

Posted by Becca on June 1, 2010 at 5:47 PM Comments comments (0)

Illinois Appreciation Week
June 6–12
Illinois residents receive half-price Garden admission (a $4 value), a 10 percent discount in the Garden Gate Shop, and a 20 percent discount off new or gift memberships this week.


Gateway Gardener Magazine

Posted by Becca on March 24, 2010 at 2:22 PM Comments comments (0)



Beginning with the April issue we are migrating the garden club information to our website with an announcement in the magazine directing people there. We'll get the revision up on that website. We invite your members to visit at, our sustainable gardening website at, and to join us on Facebook!

Thanks again.


Robert Weaver

The Gateway Gardener Magazine


Upcoming Events

Saturday, Sep 14 at 12:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday, Sep 28 at 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Saturday, Oct 12 at 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Saturday, Oct 26 at 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM