December 2015


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

As I am writing this, I am cooped up inside because it is really cold outside (anything under 65 is cold to me) and I am smelling my dehydrator full of orange slices - the aroma is beautiful. Earlier this morning I had sweet peppers filling the house. I don't mind cabin fever if I have a lot of creative things to do. Next is drying apples and making applesauce with my sister's apple crop. Yes, Harvest Time is a very creative part of the year. I attended a great workshop yesterday with the Edible Gardening Group on Food Preservation and got inspired to do all of this. The freezer is crammed full of persimmon puree from Doris Ryon's tree and butternut squash from this year's crop. Last year I made persimmon bread with Jim O'Laughlins persimmons. The point of all this I guess is that I have a community to share my passion for gardens and food with. Way more satisfying that doing it alone.

Last Saturday a bunch of us hardy souls got together all day to hash out some difficult decisions about the future of the club and its finances. It took a long time, but we did come up with good consensus on how to move forward. Thanks to Marcella Rodgers and her management consulting experience, the process was facilitated skillfully and everyone participated. The most important thing I came away with was that people agreed that they participated in our club for education and fellowship. I couldn't agree more.

We talked before the November meeting with new members of the club and answered their questions. Two visitors signed up that night and we are looking forward to working with them in the future. These are difficult times but we get together to share our passion and solve our problems - together.

Just a reminder that one of our annual feasts is coming up at the December meeting - starting at 6:30 we will eat and gab and then have the Business Meeting and our speaker. I am really looking forward to it and will see you there. Wow I need to call Sacramento and order almonds for making toffee and then get the Christmas stuff out and ... Got to cut back on the caffeine.

Tia Kay

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Misc. Items of Interest

...We will have our usual Potluck supper at our December meeting and it will start at 6:30. All meetings this garden club year are at Alisal School. meetings of the Floral Design, Edible Gardening Group, or 4 Mon. Lunch Bunch in Dec.

...did you get your Yearbook yet? So much great information in it! If you haven't, please notify Dean burnett and he will see that you get one.

...Mount Diablo Rose Society on Wednesday, January 13,7:30 Dublin Civic Center Regional Room - 100 Civic Plaza, Dublin. The special January program speaker is Stephen Scanniello. Stephen is a self-described gardener, rosarian, historian, and raconteur and is currently the curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and president of the Heritage Rose Foundation. He will talk about his most recent book called "A Rose By Any Name", which reveals the stories behind rose names. He will be selling and autographing books. Come and enjoy what will be a fantastic talk.

See Mt Diablo Rose Society for more information.

...Sacramento Historic Rose Garden Clinic on Pruning Climbing Roses, Saturday, January 16, 9 AM and 1 PM, 1000 Broadway, Sacramento. Come learn how to prune climbing roses from an expert - Stephen Scanniello. Stephen is the curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and author of a book called "Climbing Roses". He will hold two clinics on Saturday at 9 AM and 1 PM, both free of charge. No reservations required.

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December the garden

...with holiday celebrations and family gatherings it is often hard to get out in the garden in December but that is usually just fine. Let's hope our sporadic rain keeps up so you don't even have to worry about watering and I do hope you have turned down or completely off your sprinklers and automatic system. With shorter days and cooler weather plants don't dry out as fast and need less water.

...but if you do need a break you can go out and deadhead and groom a bit and maybe start cleaning up your garden beds but my trees have not really started to defoliate yet so cleaning out beds is sort of a waste of time. Good time to go around the garden and start planning changes you want to make for next spring and summer.

...if you haven't planted your bulbs yet it is time to start feeling guilty. They really do better next spring if they have a longer time in the soil. But planting them even in Jan. is better than not planting at all..that definitely guarantees they won't bloom.. If you are planting in pots be sure that you don't let them dry out. I plant tulips in pots and squirrels and little wildlife just seem to need to dig them up so I put a piece of chicken wire or wire mesh over the top of the cans that I group together on my patio where they are easy to watch and keep moist.

...if you are a birder, you can find out about joining the national bird count that goes on from Dec. 14 to Jan. 5 at Nature Ali Bird Counts.

...lots of gardeners on your gift list? Here are some easy suggestions - subscribe to a gardening magazine in their name. My favorites are Fine Gardening, Horticulture, English Gardens (particularly if you plan to travel there anytime soon), Pacific Horticulture. Many 2 for 1 bargains now on magazines so get yourself a subscription and also one for your friend/family.

...or join a gardening organization or Botanical Garden in their name. Some local possibilities are: UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley (make it a combined gift and take them there and visit all the great nurseries and produce markets while you are in Berkeley), Markham Arboretum in Pleasant Hill, Filoli in Woodside, SF Botanical Garden (formerly Strybing Arboretum), Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek. Memberships usually include free tours or special events. These can be items on your gift list too. If you 'google' in the name you can get details on how to join.

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