Fern Garden Club

-- Established 1950 --


We have some new rules about paying dues.  Good news is, the dues are only $10/ year if you pay before June 30th.  You can join LATE....but, they will be $15 until July 30th.     After July 30th 2015, you will be joining for the next year: 2016 -2017, and will not receive a yearbook for 2015 - 2016.  

Mail Dues:
Florence Duchenowski
6542 Green Acres Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL  34655


You may hand them to Florence Duchenowski at the Spring luncheon.  If cash, please have exact amount, Florence will not make change; also put it in an envelope with your name and address printed on it.

5/29/2015 11:22:32 AM  

Officers and Committees

Most of the new Officers and Committees have already been filled and installed, except Recording Secretary.  Please speak up at the luncheon if you are interested in filling the vacancy.   

5/29/2015 11:21:44 AM  


There are still openings for hostesses for the 2015 - 2016 season of the Fern Garden season.  You may sign-up via the website, or contact Becky Perry.  If you are a member and your name is not in the list on the website, please send me an email with your information:  email, phone, address, name.

5/29/2015 11:20:21 AM  

Spring Luncheon

This year the Fern Garden Club will meet for their annual Spring Luncheon at Panini's bar and grill.  Located at 3973 Van Dyke Road
Lutz, Florida 33548.  

Our Luncheon will start at 11:00 AM and end around 1:00 PM.  It is the tradition of the club for members to bring a small garden related gift to exchange with other members during our luncheon.

5/29/2015 11:19:32 AM  


If anyone has ideas for programs, topics of interest or field trips for the garden club, please share.  I would like to put a list on the website for all members to think about.


5/29/2015 11:18:24 AM  

Florida Friendly Landscaping


5/7/2015 11:15:14 AM  

Chaya vs. Spinach

According to the National Institute of Nutrition in Mexico City, ingesting chaya will:

  • Improve blood circulation,
  • help digestion,
  • improve vision,
  • disinflame veins and hemorrhoids,
  • help lower cholesterol,
  • help reduce weight,
  • prevent coughs,
  • augment calcium in the bones,
  • decongest and disinfect the lungs,
  • prevent anemia by replacing iron in the blood,
  • improve memory and brain function and
  • combat arthritis and diabetes.

A nutritional analysis (see chart) shows that chaya is richer in iron than spinach, and a powerful source of potassium and calcium.

It's also incredibly easy to grow and an attractive addition to the garden with its maple-like leaves and tidy growth pattern. It limits itself to about six feet in height. Plant a row close together and you'll soon have a hedge. The plants tend to be open toward the bottom, so you can create a border with low- and medium-growing herbs.

Despite the near-miraculous claims for it, I've run into very few Mexicans who are familiar with chaya, and have never seen it in the market. To grow your own, stake branches of about 40 centimeters in sandy soil with good drainage, and water regularly. It grows well in a median annual temperature of 25 C. or higher, and at altitudes of 0 to 1000 meters above sea level.

In some states it is called chaya col or chaya mansa. The botanical name is Cnidoscolus chayamansa.

Start harvesting as soon as you see a couple of new leaves sprouted. Cutting encourages new growth, and the branches are pretty in flower arrangements. There's so much of it around our place that we're rather profligate with it, and it always rewards us with rapid new growth. Except for an occasional raid by cutter ants, we've found it pest-free.

The leaves are pretty bland, so you can add them to soups, casseroles, spaghetti sauces, salsas and salads without affecting the taste. The tiny, tender ones can go in omelets or salads or be used as garnish. The larger ones are best chopped and cooked long and slow. I've tried cooking them quickly, like spinach, and have not been happy with the leathery results.

For a liter of tea, use 3-5 medium size leaves with whatever blend you favor. I like two bags of black tea with two bags of mint and the chaya leaves, "cooked" in a glass bottle in the sun for a couple of hours and then refrigerated. Soak the leaves in water with a disinfectant such as Microdyn, before using, as you do fruits and vegetables.

Warning: In cooking or serving, Do not use aluminum containers, as a toxic reaction can result, causing diarrhea.

Use pottery or glass.

Here's a nutritional comparison, supplied by the Mexican National Institute of Nutrition, and distributed by DIF.

Percentages are based on minimum daily requirements.

% Chaya Alfalafa Spinach
Protein 8.25 3.66 2.00
Crude fibre 1.94 3.12 2.07
Carbohydrates 7.23 4.84 0.19
Calcium 421.00 12.00 49.00

5/7/2015 10:48:10 AM  Julie Badias

Plant Propagation Tips

I always try to propagate some of the live branches of plants that I may be cutting back or trimming in the usual way with the rooting hormone. They may not all or always take, but it is worth a try as they would be composted or recycled anyway. The following is a list (no means complete) of some plants worth considering to propagate for the plant sale and own use. 

   By divisions:
     daylillies, begonias, amaryllis, unusual bromeliads, ixoras, some orchids, natal plum
   By stem cuttings:
     beauty berry, roses, pentas, firebush, firespike, solandra (chalice vine). allamanda, 
     following will need to be hardened off for 2-3 days before placing in soil in pots:
     geraniums, succulents, cactus, euphorbia, some orchids
   By seeds:
   herbs, tacoma stans "yellow bells", datura angel trumpet,
   By air layering: Azealeas, Camelias (after they are finished blooming)
1/14/2015 8:06:08 AM  Barbara Morgan

How does your Garden Grow.....Series on Fox 13 News

11/27/2014 12:45:00 PM  

Eagle Cam

Kay Netscher recommends checking out this website that broadcasts video of a bald eagle family nest.


10/3/2014 7:14:50 AM