How about starting some special black-eyed Susan seeds? The Zone II Gavel challenge requires all garden clubs in the Zone to enter one Rudbeckia hirta ‘Goldilocks’ which is a frilly black-eyed Susan. Evelyn still has some packets of seeds if you want to give it a try. Please contact Evelyn by email: evelynlee53@gmail.com if interested. Also, any remaining seeds will be passed out at our February meeting.

Do you know that the University of Connecticut offers a number of factsheets on various horticultural topics? This website will get you to a nice resource, our UConn Home and Garden Education Center:  http://www.ladybug.uconn.edu/. The homepage offers links to monthly gardening tips, monthly garden events information, invasive plants, and more. In addition… yes, there’s more…  on the left side of the homepage, you can click on HGEC Fact Sheets, and you will be taken to a page with an incredible range of topics from deer-resistant plants to insecticidal soaps to the Connecticut Plant Data base pages.

Among the January gardening tips are these: periodically clean leaves of indoor houseplants, check indoor houseplants for insect infestations, supply extra lights to houseplants looking “leggy”, stay off lawn in the winter to avoid damage, clean bird feeders on a regular basis, consider getting a heater for a bird bath, clean and sharpen pruning tools for the upcoming season, paint the handles of garden tools orange or red for greater visibility, clean crusty pots by soaking them in vinegar for a few hours and maybe even scrubbing with steel wool, if you grow plants under lights, check the light tubes for signs of age and replace if you see dark rings on the ends – a sign of age.

Coming soon: the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show, from February 21 to 24 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. This event includes over 80 hours of seminars and demonstrations plus a convention center filled with a trade show of over 300 booths of fresh flowers, plants, herbs, bulbs, gardening books, garden equipment, and more plus the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut design and horticulture competition plus landscaped exhibits. The CT Horticulture Society also usually holds a book sale with collected gardening and horticulture titles. Here is the link: https://ctflowershow.com/ and this is the link to schedule of all of the seminars and demonstrations: https://ctflowershow.com/seminars-demos/.  A ticket for the day, or for all three days, gets you into the show and all demonstrations. The cost is $16 to $18; less for children between 5 and 12 years old and free for children under the age of 5.