June 2014

News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President's Letter

Hello LAVGC,

This is my last month as your co-president as I hand off the baton to Bill MacFarland to co-chair with Tom Jefferson. It's been my pleasure to serve you these last 2 years. I have been so blessed to have the LAVGC in my life and have you for my friends. It's a remarkable club, as evidenced by all the tears at the May meeting when Jacquie Williams-Courtright and Bernice Oakley received commendations for our 30th anniversary.

The June meeting will be the last one for our 2013 - 2014 year, and we invite you to join us for the annual potluck. Please bring a dish to share with others, finger food is preferred. Our speaker, Stan Morgan, will be presenting everything we want to know about growing Irises, one of my favorite flowers. I look forward to seeing you on the 12th!

Karen Abbruscato - Co President

Misc. Items of Interest

At our last meeting on 8 May 2014, we elected the slate of officers for the 2014-2015 year. Co-Presidents will be Tom Jefferson and Bill MacFarland, VP for Meetings and Organization is Tia Kay Allman, VP for Community Service is Debra Howell, VP for Special Interests is Gayle Pawloski, Recording Secretary is Judy Person, Corresponding Secretary is Sue Farr, and Treasurer is Marti Silva

...the Master Gardeners of Alameda County are presenting a free workshop on Edible Landscaping Techniques for Form and Function on Sunday, June 22, from 1:30 to 3:30, at the Livermore Library Storytime Room.

...Alden Lane Workshop Alden Lane will be hosting a free program on June 28th at 11a.m., "UC Davis Water wise All Star Plant Collection". It will be led by Karrie Reid, a UC Cooperative Extension Environmental Horticultural Advisor.

...SOIL KNIVES AND NITRILE GLOVES: For sale at the meeting will be Deluxe soil knives at $18.00, regular knives with sheath are $18.00 sold as a set. Knife blades are the highest quality of stainless steel from Italy. Nitrile gloves are $6.25 each, in all sizes. Those who do not plan to attend the meeting can contact Connie Darocha.

...Here is information on the Herb Society Conference taking place here in Concord in June. The Herb Society of America (HSA) has their annual Educational Conference in Concord June 19-22. This is the first time the HSA has had the annual meeting in California for 30 years, and during the two day general meeting June 20-21 there will be two days of talks focusing on growing herbs in California and the 'California experience' (think wine, food and olive oil!). HSA is opening up registration for the general meeting to all, so even if you are not a member you have an opportunity to attend the conference. Become a member of HSA for even more enjoyment of the conference, including some terrific tours. Our local unit of HSA meets once a month in Pleasant Hill, and it is always a good chance to learn more about herbs, gardening and of course, food! Membership includes many other benefits, including the Reciprocal Admissions Program at many arboretums, conservatories and gardens around the US. Click here for the Herb Society Conference flyer.

June's Judicial Judgements........in the garden

...it's official, all the cities in the Tri Valley are under mandatory water restrictions so we all should be thinking about how we are watering our gardens. By and large on a normal year most of us water more than necessary anyway so cutting back won't really hurt the plants. But can they survive on 25% less? That is the question.

...If you have been careful with your water (say bordering on stingy) you might want to prioritize your plants and decide which will definitely get watered and which you will skip if your original cutback isn't enough. Those who have been thoughtful in their water usage in previous years will be punished the most by the current across the board 25% cut.

...I'm not sure where I read it but I like the spirit of "if necessary, I'll water them with my tears!"

...less drastic things you can do are to remove weeds and suckers promptly so they don't take up any of the precious water. Also prune back shrubs and plants so they don't have as much foliage to maintain. If you have been thinking that you're not in love with a certain shrub or perennial, maybe this is the time to remove it and you have a perfect excuse!

...every plant person I've heard speak lately or read in articles say "Mulch, mulch, mulch!! So if you have not followed that advice yet, maybe it is time to spend your gardening budget on some kind of compost, chips, leaf mold or something to mound up between plants (or cover up newly created bare spots when you removed an out of favor plant) hopefully to a depth of 4 inches. Just be sure the mulch is not right up against stems, trunks, or the base of a plant so it won't rot if it is continually moist.

...if you are going to be spot or hand watering shrubs, trees, and plants, be sure they have a basin around them that will hold the water right in the root area.

...enjoy your garden this summer - still lots of deadheading of spent blooms, harvesting of edible plants, trimming stems to keep the plant in a good shape, and other maintenance projects to be done.


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