April 2016


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

Well Spring is finally (?) here. Early spring is probably my favorite season. Tete a Tete Miniature Daffodils, Grape Hyacinth, Primroses, Violets, Flowering trees and shrubs, Rosemary and Ceanothus. I especially enjoy the flowering apple in a vacant lot near the Rose Garden in Livermore. I was in the rain planting the last of my cold weather early tomatoes but when it got to be a downpour I gave up and went home and made labels for my seedlings. I should have plenty of plants left over for the Plant Sale. After three years of so so tomatoes, the Universe owes me enough to can tomato sauce and Salsa. I have paid my dues and am looking forward to a canning party this fall.

Rumors have reached me that we have two new Presidents and a pretty full Board. Now that the sky isn't falling and the doors will be open again in September, we can all rest easy. This past year has probably been perceived as workaholic for some of us but we have accomplished a LOT and many of us have learned a lot that we were vague about before. Like how we apply for our 5013c status. Who knew? Well we do now.

Last but not least, a hearty group of us visited Filoli in the rain this month and I have heard RAVE reviews- both of the magnificent garden AND the fun of doing things together as a club. More FUN is needed and I plan to go again in April and May- and all of you are welcome to come along. Seniors are only $17.00, everyone else is $20.00 so we can pretty much all go.

Tia Kay

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Misc. Items of Interest

...Help Wanted: Our Member Garden Tour homeowners need help greeting visitors to their garden and answering questions. Shifts would be for about 2 hours on Sunday afternoon. April 24. Please sign up at the meeting or email Betty Nostrand or Sandy Yamaoda to volunteer. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Betty's or Sandy's contact information.

...Let's Announce the Garden Club! Kim Billingsley is offering our daffodil logo in full color embroidered on your shirt, jacket, sweatshirt, for cost! Let's wear our garden club logo, at garden club events, around town, anywhere we go. You bring her your choice of clothing article. This 40% discount is for members only! A smaller logo for the chest is just $10 and the larger back logo is $15, for each one she does she will give $1 to the club. She is fitting these in between other jobs so expect a 2 week turn around. Get her your clothing item, and the appropriate payment (exact change please) and you can soon wear our garden club logo Loud and Proud! See the LAVGC Yearbook for Kim's contact information. (ed. Note: I have seen these and they are really colorful and pretty)

...Sacramento Historic Rose Garden Open Garden April 9 from 9:30 to 2:00 , 1000 Broadway, Sacramento, CA There will be tours, over 500 roses for sale, and a chance to enjoy the beautiful garden. The garden is located within the Sacramento Old City Cemetery and is dedicated to the preservation of California's heritage roses. It contains nearly 500 antique and old garden roses grown to their full potential, with particular emphasis on roses found in abandoned sites, homesteads, cemeteries and roadsides throughout northern California.

...16th Annual Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek AAUW Garden Tour, Friday, May 6 and Saturday May 7, 10 AM - 4 PM each day. Details next month.

...don't forget to check the garden club website - lavgc.org for program details and pictures of recent garden club events.

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April anticipation.................in the garden

...well, spring has definitely sprung! I'm already deadheading a few roses - isn't that supposed to be in May? Let's hope our rain, sun, rain weather continues so our plants are happy with that moisture from the sky that is so much better for them (less alkaline and such). Wouldn't it be ideal if the rains came from 12 a.m. to about 4 a.m. and then it was sunny enough to work outside during the day? But we are so lucky gardening weather wise in northern Calif. that I shouldn't complain at all.

...I did get so carried away by our speaker on roses on arbors and walls that I ordered a bare root one from David Austin (they didn't have the one I wanted at any local nursery) and I planted it and it is starting to leaf out! A leap of faith with the sticks of bare roots. So I am carefully popping off any shoots that start out the wrong way so that the plant will be flat against the trellis on the wall. No sense letting them waste any energy on unwanted growth. This is true of any plant you are trying to espalier or train in a certain way.

...have you got your plants ready for the plant sale? Mini blind sections are great for labels. A lead pencil or permanent ink pen will make sure the name, culture, and flower color will remain through the rains and transporting. If some plants you've potted up have outgrown their pots, be sure to pot them up in a bigger pot at least a week before the sale so the roots get adjusted and they look perky for the sale. Please don't bring cuttings you've just potted up to the sale - embarrassing when customers discover they have no roots and pull easily out of the soil. Save them for next year - they'll be luscious by then.

...late this month is a good time to plant dahlias. Dig a hole at least 6 inches deep and put the tuber in it with eyes up. Don't put much soil on top but as it grows, fill in the hole. Good to put a stake in next to the tuber so you don't sever it while trying to add a pole when the plant gets tall and needs staking. Water in the morning and, after buds appear, water on the ground and not on the foliage. Feed with a balanced fertilizer about every 6 weeks. When buds form about July, cut off any nitrogen food. Snails and slugs love the new growth so be vigilent.

...after shrubs finish their spring bloom it is the perfect time to shape and prune them.

...this is the time to feed azaleas and camellias with acid fertilizer after the bloom. It's really a great time to feed anything to encourage new growth now that the threat of frost is past. Put a fresh layer of compost on beds so that the nightly rains (dream on) will water it into the soil.

...I'm going to be around all summer so will be looking for that special tomato plant at our plant sale where they'll be a lot of varieties and someone there to tell you about them - how to grow them, what varieties grow well here, what they taste like, and how to use them in cooking and eating. This is the time to get vegetables going and if you aren't an expert yet join the Edible Gardening Group at the end of the month to see what Jim O'Laughlin is planting in his spring garden.

...keep ahead of those weeds so they aren't stealing water and nutrients from the plants that you want to thrive. Learn to tell what tiny plants are: friend or foe; so you're not taking out plants that you'd love to have filling in your garden. I let Santa Barbara daisies, baby blue eyes, alyssum, forget-me-nots, valerian, and Calif. poppies fill in where they want to. Snails and slugs love spring also, so be sure to deter them however you can.

"But a weed is simply a plant that wants to grow where people want something else. In blaming nature, people mistake the culprit. Weeds are people's idea, not nature's." - Anonymous

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