January 2013

News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President's Letter

Happy New Year Fellow Gardeners!

I hope you enjoyed your holidays and the time with your family and friends. I don't typically make New Year Resolutions but this year I relented and made a resolution to get back into good physical shape. Since I spend so much time in the garden I researched how much fitness one can glean from gardening tasks. Of course double digging a garden bed and lifting heavy bags of potting soil are obvious ways to get exercise, but there are other, more subtle ways.

I learned that stretching while reaching for weeds or tall branches, bending to plant, raking the lawn, trimming shrubs and turning the compost are all good exercise for the body. Lifting bags of mulch, pushing wheelbarrows, and shoveling all provide resistance training similar to weight lifting. In fact, the National Institute of Health lists gardening for 30 - 45 minutes in its recommended activities for moderate levels of exercise, along with biking 5 miles in 30 minutes and walking 2 miles in the same time. So if you don't mind, I'll forego the gym membership and get my workout in the garden.

Karen Abbruscato, Co-President

Misc. Items of Interest

....LAV Garden Club T-shirts for Sale - Several garden club members decided a LAV Garden Club T-shirt was needed to identify club members when we're working on one of our projects such as the Sensory Garden, Hansen Park, First Street Pots, Pleasanton Gardens or the Plant Sale. The shirt will be Lime Green (Nice & bright) with the LAVGC logo printed on the left chest in green and gold outlined in black, with "LAV Garden Club" in black under the logo. These will be Hanes T-shirts. Nancy Harrington is handling the orders. The shirts are offered at cost (between $13-$15) and only shirts ordered and paid for will be printed. Order forms and sample shirts will be available at the January meeting. The sale will go on for one month. Final orders will need to be to Nancy at the February meeting. The shirts ordered and paid for will be delivered at the meeting in March.

....the April Plant Sale is in need of a few more committee members to help with the sale. Please call Debra Howell to get involved and find out what positions are still available. Great way to get to know the club and its members!

....LAVGC Bags for Sale! We now have canvas bags for sale. They are available in hunter green and navy blue with striped lining and two outside pockets. See samples at the meeting. They would be a great gift for yourself or a friend. Cost is $15. Checks (LAVGC) or cash will be accepted or call Tina to reserve yours.

January Jobs........in the garden

....I was right! Everything I didn't get done in the garden before the holidays is still out there waiting for me! We've had rain and we've had frost so some of the plants are looking a bit worse for wear but luckily some rain came before the frost so the plants were better able to take the cold. I'm thinking our cold is not done yet so be sure that your plants are well watered when frost is predicted. Of course leaving up the twinkle lights (or moving them to susceptible plants) helps warm the plants just enough to help them survive too. If plant tips get frozen and are blackish, don't prune them yet. Cuts will leave the ends very vulnerable to further freezes.

....it's time to prune the roses! If you need instruction or practice we have several work parties coming up this month that will give you experience for your own beauties and I'm sure local nurseries will have classes too.

....time to trim dormant shrubs and large plants (summer or fall blooming) that could use a little shaping also. Spring blooming shrubs you'll just be cutting off the future blooms.

....most camellias are just coming into their glory now. They are easy to grow here in the shade and if you have a big shady area to fill in they look good all year (handsome green foliage, as they say). There are several types of camellias and they bloom at different times so you can have a pretty long bloom time with different varieties. You can pick off a few buds if there are many on one branch tip to get bigger blooms. Using leftover Christmas tree branches underneath them is a great way to provide a bit of acid mulch. Leftover coffee and tea works too.

Gardening Workout


here are the calories you can burn in your garden

Digging Holes - Men: 197 Women: 150
  Women: 150
Planting - Men: 177 calories
  Women: 135
Weeding - Men: 157 calories
  Women: 156


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