September 2011

News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President’s Letter

Welcome to a new season with the garden club. As we begin the 27th year of LAVGC, my Co-President Sondra Bierre and I look forward to meeting with friends, learning new information, and sharing our enthusiasm for all things growing. Many members have been working throughout our summer break preparing for a fabulous year. Our Program Committee has arranged great speakers for what promises to be an interesting year. Susan Morrison is coming for our first meeting on Thursday, September 1st. A landscape designer, she’ll tell us how to take our gardens to the next level-literally by going vertical! You can learn more about her on Blue Planet Garden Blog.

The Yearbook committee has worked long and hard to update the Yearbook and your copy will be available at the meeting. You will find the current list of our leadership team, the membership roster, interesting historical information, and the Bylaws and Standing Rules. Read it and keep it handy throughout the year. Please pick it up as soon as possible or arrange for a friend to do so to help us save the cost of postage. Inside the front cover we’ve inserted a Survey to complete and return. Three years ago a meeting day change was instituted to facilitate room rental. We know it has worked out for some but has caused others to miss our monthly meetings. If it were feasible to change our meeting to a different day of the month, we’d like to get as much input as possible before we make a change. So please respond to the short questionnaire in a timely manner.

Coming up at the end of the month on Sunday, September 25th, is an opportunity to see seven member gardens at the Alden Lane Nursery’s "Quilts in the Garden" Tour. Tickets will be available at the nursery for $20. Spread the word as this is our second largest fundraiser. If you volunteer to sit in one of the gardens or have your garden on tour you do not have to buy a ticket. > > More

The long list of committee chairs in the yearbook means just one thing-we offer a huge assortment of garden related opportunities for everyone in our club. I hope you will take advantage of the diverse offerings and enjoy as many activities as you have time for. It is a terrific way to get to know more of our 233 members.

Take time to smell the roses and more!

Tina Higashi, Co-President

September the garden is the time to keep at deadheading (removal of spent flowers) so you get that last possible bloom out of annuals and perennials this fall. On plants with single flowers, cut below bloom to a set of leaves. If there are many blooms on the stalk, cut below all blooms to a set of leaves. To fill in empty spots or get fall color, buy plants in larger sizes (4 in. and up) so their roots are already started and they can expand easily in the warm soil. Be sure to keep them watered well and fertilize lightly to encourage growth and blooms. is the time to start thinking about dividing perennials. How do you know if they should be divided? One thing is if they have spread and grown too big for their space, another is if there is sort of a hole or bare spot in the middle, or if they didn’t bloom as much as usual. Be sure to water well before you dig the clump out so it will be a lot easier digging. You can spread out pieces of the plant around the garden to design with ‘repetition’ as most manuals suggest or else pot them up for our Plant Sale next April. Or give them to neighbors or bring a few to the meeting to share.

...if you see chewing caterpillars think twice before you smush them because those are the butterflies in training that you are trying to attract to your garden. Study the types of butterflies in our area and the plants their caterpillar stage thrive on and plant some next year especially for them to eat.

...many plant societies and nurseries will be having plant sales in late Sept. since this is such a good time to plant in our climate. Nurseries do not want to keep inventory over the winter so they would like to clear it out. Just be sure the plants are appropriate to our particular climate and area. The Bay Area has so many different ‘mini-climates’ that what is very happy in Berkeley, S.F. or may not like our summer heat or colder winter weather. I’ve found with succulents especially, it is the cold they will tolerate rather than the heat they can stand that you need to be concerned with. This is especially true with succulents at nurseries now. can start planting some spring bulbs in mid/late Sept. Those that like early planting are anenome, camassia, crocus, daffodil, Dutch iris, freesia, homeria, hyacinth, ixia, leucojum, ranunculus, scilla and watsonia. Look for tulips (and all bulbs) as soon as they appear in the nursery to get the best, firmest bulbs and be sure of their color, but keep the tulips in a cool, dry place until around Thanksgiving for planting. If you use a refrigerator be sure that there aren’t any apples in there at the same time since they give off a gas that inhibits the tulip blooms. I have had great luck with camassia, Dutch iris, hyacinth, and ixia coming back year after year. can give daylilies a strong haircut about now (the Marti cut) and they will re-group to look good all winter. It is amazing how quickly they fill in again after cutting the whole plant back to about 4 inches. So much faster and less tedious that cutting stem by stem! Plus I think it stimulates more blooms on the next go-round.

Livermore Valley Garden Club (LAVGC) serving the Tri-Valley: Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, and San Ramon