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Making a World of Difference With Educated Choices

July 2014 - Florida Federation of Garden Club members of the Consultants Councils support their Tri-Council project "Make a Difference in the World by Gardening and Landscaping with Environmental Concern". NGC Schools' graduates taught a productive Landscape Maintenance seminar to emphasize efficient watering techniques for 18 new Habitat for Humanity homeowners. As part of the seminar, each homeowner received a 100 foot roll of new hose along with a new hose reel. This generous gift of gardening equipment was made possible and provided by a grant from Ames Tools, NGC's newest corporate partner.

NGC Habitat for Humanity Ames Hoses Watering ProgramDuring the seminar, various aspects of lawn maintenance were discussed including property watering guidelines, and techniques for normal watering depending upon rain amounts, as well as use of a battery-operated timer to allow for early morning watering. Other topics covered included use of time release fertilizer, mulching practices along with recommendations for best types of mulch, trimming, tree and shrub planting and how to safely cope with pests and other lawn, shrub and tree diseases.

Each Habitat for Humanity homeowner in attendance received "Tree Planting: A Quick Guide for Homeowners" and "South Florida Lawn Care Tips", both published by The University of Florida's Extension Service.

The Palm Beach County Habitat for Humanity affiliate staff and the new homeowners expressed their appreciation to the members of the Oleander and Wellington Garden Clubs for sharing their gardening expertise and invited the Clubs to continue the seminars on a regular basis. This program is a successful example of how Garden Clubs are "Making a World of Difference" by helping to providing educated choices and support for new Habitat for Humanity homeowners. Working together with Habitat for Humanity on a program such as this is an opportunity available to garden club members everywhere.

Program Background

In May 1999, a partnership was formed between National Garden Clubs, Inc and Habitat for Humanity.  HFH's mission is to eliminate poverty housing from the face of the earth.  NGC's goal is to encourage garden clus across the nation to participate in the landscaping of HFH homes.  The theme of this project is "Open Your Heart and Hands," and the philosophy is that no commitment - physical or monetary - is too small.  All endeavors and contributions will be gratefully acknowledged.

A direct line of communication has been put in place for one-on-one networking between HFH Affiliates and garden club representatives.  The more than 1,500 HFH Affiliates have been made aware of the NGC and HFH partnership. A list of HFH Affiliates by State is available from the HFH Chairman.

Emphasis is on enhancing the environment by landscaping HFH homes, landscaping with hearty native trees, shrubs and plants that also attract butterflies.  It is the hope of NGC to have the community, both adult and young gardeners, involved in this very worthy project.  NGC's goal is 100% participation, in some manner across the nation.

For more information, contact:
Judy Sheets,
NGC Habitat for Humanity Landscaping Chairman