Members of the Hammond Garden Club have just witnessed one of the most informative, captive holding talks by a guest speaker we have ever invited to our meetings!

Her name is Yvette Gautreaux Cutrer of, as her business card reads, “Succulent Fanatic Farm Living Wreaths.” She is a native of LaRose, LA and a resident of Tylertown, Mississippi.

Yvette is a LSU Master Gardener graduate-Amite. She’s been a guest speaker at many different garden clubs and organizations and has been a speaker at The New Orleans Home and Garden Show in the Louisiana Super Dome.

There isn’t enough space in the paper to write about all her accomplishments!

Yvette is a dynamic speaker about not only living wreaths but of a substance called polymers that promote root development, that aerate the soil, that grow healthier, greener, fuller plants and work for years in the soil. You use less water, less work, less fertilizer. It stores the water and nutrients at the roots beneath the soil.

These polymers are tiny granules that absorb water and can then be mixed with the soil making them water reservoirs that hold 400 times their weight in water. They reduce watering by 30 percent to 50 percent. Polymers remain effective through thousands of shrink and swell cycles. It takes only a tablespoon of polymers to make a gallon of swollen globules. They can be used in pots, on wreaths or planting in the ground.

As she spoke at the meeting she made one of the living wreaths by covering a metal frame with moss, then layering it with soil then the swollen polymers with tiny cuttings of plants, sometimes just a leaf attached to one of the polymers that had rooted, covered the polymers and roots of the plants with soil and again with the moss. Beautiful, actually awesome since it is a wreath that you would hang that you might have to spritz with water occasionally.

If you would like to buy some of the polymers or would like her to speak at your organization message her at ycutrer@bellsouth.net or call or text 601-395-1047. You will not be disappointed!

Member Mona Crapanzano reported the Garden of the Month for October was given to the Alton Washington family at 307 Phoenix Square and the November award went to Buck and Kay Maurin at 506 N. General Pershing. Mona said finding such beauty after having gone through hurricane Ida was unbelievable! Congratulations to the winners.

President Sue Parrill then called on Linda Ryan for awarding the “Member of the Year” which was given to Phyllis diBenedetto for “keeping our checkbook to the penny at all times”!

Carolyn Todd reported on the LGCF meeting coming up in April. More about that in the New Year.

Other new business items brought to our attention was the date for decorating the tree for North Oaks Rehab Hospital that will be on Monday at 10 a.m. Christmas is upon us! As I type this we have only 34 more days to shop!!!

Linda Ryan was to ask the spokesperson for the City when we could decorate the Gazebo in Cate Square.

Sue also announced that we have been asked to judge the trees decorated by the school children in Cate Square on Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. The members of the Hammond Garden Club are going to be busy bees this holiday season!

At our December meeting we will bring non-perishable food items to give to Kiwanis to be given to needy families, and there is a family Linda Ryan is collecting funds for that was extremely in need because of the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

Please pray for the families who have lost lives because of COVID and then Hurricane Ida on top of all the illness and even deaths. There are the needy who were suffering even before COVID and Ida that hardly ever have a good meal or clothes on their backs; please pray for them at your Thanksgiving table.

And I’d like to leave you with my hopes for you and yours at this time when we have so many tangible things to be grateful for, but what we always will need more than things is this:

“May you always have LOVE to share, HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care.” God always blesses a grateful heart!

The Hammond Garden Club is a proud member of District VI, Louisiana Garden Club Federation, Inc. and the Deep South Garden Clubs, Inc. doing our best to unify and beautify our homes, gardens, our city and our nation every day to the best of our ability. God bless America and God bless the City of Hammond!

Broussard lives in Hammond.

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