For more information, call the phone number or use the email address provided. To submit items, call Melissa Howell at 475-3770 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference “Home and garden calendar.” Please submit items at least 10 days before publication.
Apogon Iris Garden Club, noon, Wednesday, 12621 Cobblestone Parkway. Program is “Walk in My Wildscape Garden,” presented by Cheryl McIntosh, Master Gardener. Call 773-4443.
Oklahoma Hosta Society, 7 p.m. Thursday, Will Rogers Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36. Topic is, “Garden Literature Over Time” presented by Denise Ziegler. Visitors welcome.
Central Oklahoma Beekeepers Association, 7 p.m., Thursday, Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service, 930 N Portland. Visitors welcome.
Community Gardening workshop sponsored by Oklahoma County Master Gardeners 1 to 3 p.m. July 9, Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service, 930 N Portland. Workshop will focus on starting a community garden, choosing a site for a community garden, coordinating and training volunteers and garnering support from local organizations and businesses. Free. For reservations call 713-1125 or go online to oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma and click the “Contact Us” link.
Water-saving landscapes, 9:30 a.m. to noon, July 12, Will Rogers Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36. Save time and money growing a vibrant, low-water landscape. Participants will learn about plant selection, proper watering practices and the difference between drought-stressed and heat-stressed plants. Free. Call 943-0827.
Don't destroy bee swarms
Bees are integral to the environment. To remove a bee swarm, contact an experienced beekeeper or a swarm catcher at www.oda.state.ok.us/forms/cps/swarmcoll.pdf.
A GREENER VIEW
Q: The elm tree in our front yard has a disgusting brown slimy mess running down the trunk. As it dries, it is leaving a white streak on the bark. What can we do to stop this?
A: Your tree has a bacterial infection called slime flux or wet wood. Many tree species can get this infection, but for some reason practically every elm tree is affected to some degree. Trees over 10 years old are more likely to get it than younger trees.
The bacteria enters the tree through exposed wounds such as from pruning cuts, damage from lawn mowers, cut roots, storm damage and where two trunks grow together. As the bacteria consume carbohydrates and cellulose they release gases. The gases create pressure that pushes sap out of the tree trunk. The sap may include some of the bacteria, but on the surface of the trunk, it can become contaminated with yeast and other organisms.
It often becomes a stinky and unsightly mess running down the trunk. It seems to run more during wet weather as the tree has more sap. It will stain the bark white and will not wash off easily. The slime is toxic to the surrounding live tissue in the trunk, but it won't spread and kill the tree by itself.
In the old days we would suggest to install a drainpipe into the tree to relieve the gas pressure, but it doesn't do any good and installing the pipe damages the tree.
Email questions to Jeff Rugg at email@example.com.
Help rooms get cooler
Q: My grandmother still switches her house from winter to summer. She puts on white slipcovers and takes down the heavy draperies. It's a lot of work, but the house does feel refreshed and cooler. My grandmother is from the Old Country. Do people still make seasonal changes? Not my generation.
A: We have Willis Haviland Carrier to thank for that. He who invented air conditioning has lightened the seasonal load for housekeepers ever since.
Actually, Carrier called it his “Apparatus for Treating Air,” when he patented his splendid invention in 1906 (soon after winning a master's in engineering at Cornell University). That “apparatus” not only lets all of us live in year-round comfort today, it has made home life possible at all in extreme areas like Florida, Houston and Arizona.
Still, there's something to be said for decorating cool, too. Even in these days of “all-season” fabrics, doesn't it give us a spiritual lift to switch our personal wardrobes from dark and thick and winter-cozy to whites and pastels, crisp linens and summer-fresh gauzy sheers?
Visual air conditioning works the same magic in our homes. The living room we show here is cool in every sense of the word. And no wonder: It's designed by Mariette Himes Gomez (www.mariettehimesgomez.com, one of the most applauded interior designers in the U.S.
That she is also an architect (who trained with the likes of Edward Durell Stone) is easy to see in her clean lines, calm colors and the classic style of her furniture, which, by the way, is available through Hickory Chair Furniture Co., an American classic since 1911 (hickorychair.com).
Summer-izing ideas to be gained from this room: light colors, uncluttered surfaces and uncomplicated window treatments. Slick and shine, as on the tabletops, effectively lowers the visual temperature, too.
Rose Bennett Gilbert,