February 2015


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Ann Rivenes, Publisher

Co-President's Letter

Tia here - I'm back. I missed you in January - I fell victim to the recent plagues we have been having. Many thanks to my cohort Tom for filling in at the last minute. You had him for December and January and me for the next two meetings. Glad we got that straight.

I'm looking out my window at the fog and my ferns and primroses on the balcony. I love late winter and early spring with the bulbs and winter color. Soon there will be seed starting trays where the Christmas tree was. Gardening in January seems to be views outside the windows and planting inside. I only go to the garden this month to harvest greens and enjoy bulbs poking their heads up. I hope that there is a lot of color in your gardens as well.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about salvias at this month's meeting - and I intend to feed my plant habit with a couple purchases - save the purple and orange for me. We'll see you soon and Happy Gardening.

Tia Kay, Co-President

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Misc. Items of Interest

...Flower Show School. Don't miss this opportunity to attend the last course of the District sponsored Flower Show school on Feb. 11-13 at Alden Lane Nursery. Some of you feel that the cost is too high. We have actually kept the cost as low as possible. We need to have enough money to cover the flights, fee and lodging for the instructors. DFD does not expect any income from the FSS. We hope to break even. Your participation would be very much appreciated and you will be the beneficiary. You can attend even if you have not taken the previous courses.

...Our Co-Chairmen, Victoria Lucido and Dolores Moffat have selected outstanding and highly NGC and CGCI recommended instructors. Please read their credentials in the registration form. Sign up for one day or both days. It is not necessary to take the test unless you wish to become a judge. For more information contact Mona Dunlop.

...The Alameda County Master Gardeners workshops at their Livermore Demonstration Garden, located in front of the county agriculture building in the Martinelli Center, 3575 Greenville Rd., will be held on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00am. The Feb. 14 workshop will be tool sharpening and getting your tools ready for the garden. The speaker will be club member and master gardener, Erica Dedon. Rain will cancel the workshop, but keep praying for it!

Sondra Bierre would like to share with the community an interesting BBC Youtube gardening show series: Great British Garden Revival. Those English are so clever. I have watched most of them and always learn something. What inspiration!

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February Foibles........in the garden

...If you haven't done so already, it is time to get your garden beds cleaned out. Hopefully before the new growth starts on perennials so you can just whack them back without cutting off any new shoots. Artemesia should especially be cut back to new growth now because they don't recover very well if left until later to cut them back. They tend to get very woody in the center if not cut back. Be careful if you have to step in beds to get to the back (remember; always clean top to bottom, back to front) so that you don't step on bulb foliage and buds that are emerging.

...Mulch well after you clean because so far it doesn't look like a rainy winter so beds need all the help they can get to retain whatever moisture they do get. Compost mulch will add needed nutrients but if you are mulching with other materials be sure to add nutrients under the mulch so it will leach down with any moisture into the root section.

...and of course it is time to prune your roses if you have not done it already. There are a number of opportunities to help at work parties if you are not sure how and where to prune and you can see all theories and methods of pruning too. Bless their hearts, roses in our area are quite tolerant of whatever we do to them and bloom away in the spring regardless. But if you look at Hansen Park in Livermore since we took over those roses you can see what some attention and loving care can do to really make rose bushes flourish!

...and don't forget to prune your fuchsia, lantana, hibiscus and winter tender plants. Most can be cut back quite severely because they are not about to bloom and bloom on new growth. Rose of Sharon, buddleia, abutilon, and Verbena hybrida (garden verbena) fall in this category too. If the plants are shrubby, be careful you are not disrupting some nest building. I'd wait until next month to prune back pelargonium geraniums, just in case we have a frost or freeze in Feb. Our "last frost date" is mid-March but with our erratic weather lately who can tell what will happen.

...March 18-22 is the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show in San Mateo. This is about the biggest Plant/Gardening oriented show in the Bay Area so it is always fun to go and see the new plants and demonstration gardens. There are a raft of speakers each day on a variety of topics. This year's theme is "Going Wild". Alden Lane Nursery has discounted tickets and it is always a good idea to get tickets before you go so you don't have to stand in line when you get there. See more details at SF Flower and Garden Show.

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