In June the Deercreek Daisies ventured to the village of Yellow Springs to discover more about the area.
Many people are aware that it is the home of Antioch College founded in 1853, but few know its first president was eminent scholar, Horse Mann. This liberal arts college re-defined education with entrepreneurial and experiential curriculum by using cooperative work programs.
An important program to this area is Tecumseh Land Trust, a private and non-profit conservation organization founded in the 1990s by Yellow Springs and Miami, Green, and Clark counties and surrounding areas. They are working to protect both agriculture land and water quality, to encourage wise use of natural areas, historic sites, and local water resources forever. They are doing this in cooperation with landowners to educate the public about land preservation, assist landowners in navigating state and federal land easement programs, and accept donated lands. TLT has been able to preserve more than 25,000 acres near Yellow Springs.
The Daisies learned of one such area, Stoney Creek Garden Center on State Route 68, owned and operated by Steve and Karen Reed. These master gardeners rent a total of 20 acres of village-owned land, eight of which were long home to Stutzman’s nursery and are bringing it back to life. The Reeds have steadily reclaimed and refurbished seven of the 12 greenhouses to grow and house their own living inventory.
Meandering through the middle of Stoney Creek Center is a dry creek bed that inspired their business name. Here, Chinese Elm trees dot the creek’s curves and picnic tables with grass now growing, where a few years ago gravel predominated. Striking black and white Muscovy Ducks also wander around this garden sanctuary.
The Reeds practice sustainable gardening using methods of natural fertilizer and pesticides throughout the center and Karen grows vegetables and herbs from seed in organic soil in one of the greenhouses. If this way from May to October, 9 to 5, patrons could enjoy the native perennial house, annual house, or shade plant house of home grown hostas’ and astilbes. The Reeds offer customers “time to tromp thru the grass and weeds” to find unusual plants, responsive service (they often order plants for customers), gardening conversation and expertise.
The Daisies enjoyed a luncheon Ellie’s Restaurant in the Mills Park Hotel where they relaxed and cooled off from the morning walk around the Yellow Springs Street Fair. Built in 2015, the Mills Park Hotel has a large southern style wraparound porch. During lunch, three members won garden gloves and vases for answering garden questions.
During the Yellow Springs Street Fair, the city closes down Xenia Avenue and opens it up to over 200 vendors, civic groups, and organizations. Earlier when they walked around, the Daisies noticed that there were at least eight different vendors who offered plants and flowers. Members were very interested in the AIR PLANTS of one particular booth and even brought some home to Fayette County to raise.
The Yellow Springs area is also home to Glen Helen Nature Preserve. Members toured by its Women’s Garden located by a bike trail north of Grindell Road. It contains human-size metal flower sculptures, a ceramic garden, and heliotrope flowers were in bloom by resting benches. They also discovered the Richard P. Eastman Covered Bridge off of Hyde Road. Their outing was planned by Marty Cook and Barbara Vance. Members will meet again on Aug. 5 after the county fair is over.
As summer heat begins to stress flowers and plants, remember they may need additional water and fertilizer during their peak growing seasons. Some day lilies have experienced small aphid attacks and need attention, check with the local extension service on solutions.