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 ZELDA LEACH – REMEMBRANCES   Compiled by Wayne Handlos

                            Zelda's patio full of plants

1.  2.  3.  4. 

                     5.          6.

1. Zelda giving a talk on ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ in 1975.

    She was President of the Central Coast Geranium Club in 1977.

2. First Prize at the Santa Barbara County Fair in 1975 for Old West theme  

                 3. Best of Show 1977    4. Best of Show – 1997;  

            5.  Shook award - 1999     6. Christmas Party - 2003

Geraniums (scientifically Pelargonium) were Zelda’s hobby, passion and therapy. Zelda was a charter

member of the Central Coast Geranium Society which began in 1974. She was growing them before

that date and was always acknowledged as a leading expert on the plants, their cultivation, grooming

and exhibition.

She was recognized as bringing "professionalism" to the group. Her awards were numerous. The ribbons

have been lost to time but the "Geranium"-patterned dishes number 28 and represent awards for Judge’s

Choice and Best of Show awards and were given between the years 1993 and 2007 (the last local show).

She knew and was known by all the active "pelargonistes" from the ‘60s to the present. The list is long.

She was known as a great source of plants as well as for her knowledge and experience. Over the years

she gave many talks and demonstrations on the Pelargoniums she grew and exhibited. A recurring theme

was how to produce the beautiful plants that won so many awards. The last one was given in 2013.

Zelda’s patio was filled with lovely plants right up to the end. Her lathe house was only half full the last

few years but still held many rare and unusual plants. I always felt that she was the only person who

could propagate ‘Vectis Glitter’ until John Schoustra got hold of it a couple of years ago.

She grew all types of geraniums and she grew them well. She felt she could not resist propagating new

plants and her lathe house had many rooted cuttings when she passed. The last few years she was a

source of plants for the Annual Meetings of the remaining geranium clubs. Because of the desirability

and superior appearance of her plants they generally sold out. Victoria Shepard and Bill Lemke helped

distribute her plants when she no longer felt able to attend the meetings.

Zelda stopped attending our monthly meetings the last two years due to increasing frailty and chronic

health issues but she always appreciated receiving the monthly newsletter and a verbal, in-person

report on plants, the club, its members and activities.

We will remember Zelda for her unfailingly positive attitude and genuine interest in people and geraniums.

Unfortunately we could not clone her as she cloned so many beautiful plants. The minister at Zelda’s

memorial service believed she was an "angel on earth". Those who knew her would agree. Zelda will

be deeply missed by all who knew her.

© 2017, Central Coast Geranium Society (CCGS )