Ferns were the featured subject of the Gonzales Garden Club’s Oct. 4 meeting at the Gonzales Public Safety Center.

Luncheon hostesses were Ellen Richmond, Beth Beall, Gwen Heck, Janis Poche, Donna Reynaud and Cathy Venable.

Invited guests at the meeting were Louisiana Garden Club Federation District VI Director Nancy Delahaye and Riverside Garden Club President Jeanne Bourgeois.

Guest speaker Dr. Terry Rehn, a retired cardiologist and master gardener with a special interest in ferns, gave a presentation on the requirements of growing ferns and associated plants in South Louisiana. All audience members received a resource guide, and Rehn gave away 15 of his demonstration plants as door prizes.

Club member Dana Teepell displayed an exhibit detailing the life cycle of a fern, and other members brought various fern specimens from their personal collections for a plant exchange.

Delahaye talked briefly about her service theme, “Deep Roots … Strong Growth,” and urged club members to choose projects that improve community landscapes and inspire local youth to take an interest in gardening with civic involvement. She also read a poem, “Advice from a Tree.”

Marilyn Rice, Janis D’Benedetto and Weezie Cashat displayed floral design niches for critique, talked about the creation of their arrangements and answered questions.

The horticultural hint of the month is to use a half-strength fertilizer solution when watering newly planted cool-season bedding plants for a good start. Barbara McCormick’s gardening tip of the month was about sun exposure. She reminded gardeners to be mindful of sunlight intensity and time length of exposure when plants are placed indoors near windows during the winter months.