Well, our wish for rain was certainly heard! Now when the sunny (or at least dry and not freezing) days come we'll have to rush outside to try to stay ahead of all the unwanted plants that have thrived on the extra moisture along with those that we are thrilled are adequately watered this year.
Planning for our major fundraiser, our April 8 Plant Sale, has started. We hope and expect that every member will be involved in some way. Perhaps by contributing at least 6 plants (and hopefully more) to the sale. Now is the time to start planting seed and dividing perennials and suggestions for that are available in another article in this newsletter, plus we will have a Propagation workshop on Feb. 12 to show you how to make cuttings. Another thing that sells very well are birdhouses - any woodworkers or crafters out there that want to make your contribution in that way? Perhaps you have an area that you need to pare down and thin out but physically just can't do that anymore - please contact chairman Karen Abbruscato and we can arrange a group of 3 or 4 members to come out and pot them up for the sale. Not venturing out into your garden much? -visit the nursery for a 6 pack of something interesting, repot into individual 4" pots, nourish them until April and they'll be fabulous additions to the sale. We'll be asking for table and pop-up tent contributions too - we save so much by not having to rent them! Our plant sale is a real service to the Community to show them what will grow in our area and can be a fun time for everyone if we all pitch in and help. (On the other end, do you know of some group that might be able to use our leftover -and we always have some - plants? Let Karen A. know that too.)
While you are pondering what wonderful plants you can donate to the sale, think about your very favorite plant and let Sharon Howard know what it is and what makes it your favorite. If you don't have pictures, she can look it up on the internet for one. This is for our June meeting which will feature a power point presentation on all our favs.
Lots of fun gardening times ahead, Betty Nostrand, co-President
Misc. Items of Interest
...no work party at the Hansen Park Rose Garden in February.
...Board meeting report - at the Board meeting on Jan. 19 we discussed having a purely social event for the club. Michelle Tallon, Shirley Eastman and Jeri Stark will be the committee to plan this event. Contact them if you have ideas or want to help out.
...it is with sadness that we report the passing of Maureen O'Shaughnessy. She was a long time and active member of the club and an employee at Alden Lane. There will be a Memorial for her on St. Patrick's Day - Maureen's favorite day of the year - from 5:30 to 7 at the nursery.
...included with this newsletter is a list of people who have joined since the Yearbook was printed last summer. It can be folded and will fit inside your Yearbook or the same information can be found on the website (LAVGC.org ) on the Member's Only page.
...Inspiration by Invitation, a day of Seminars for gardening enthusiasts, will be held at Alden Lane Nursery on Sat., Feb. 13, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $45 includes morning and afternoon seminars plus lunch. Speakers include Susan Morrison, Dan Lassanske, Annie Joseph, Kathy Echols, Donna Mollenhauer, and Kate Frey. Call 925-447-0280 to make a reservation or see the Alden Lane Nursery web site for details on individual seminars and speaker.
...Drought Tolerant is Irrelevant, a talk to the California Horticultural Society by Saxon Holt on Monday, February 15. California Horticulture meetings are held at the San Francisco County Fair Building, Ninth Avenue at Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park. Free parking is available behind the San Francisco County Fair Building on Lincoln Way. 4:00 pm - Botanical gardens walk with the featured speaker. Meet at the entrance to the San Francisco Botanical Garden. 5:30 pm - No-host dinner will take place at Park Chow Restaurant, located at 1240 Ninth Avenue in San Francisco 7:15 pm - Announcements, Plant Forum, and Program Meeting will be held at the San Francisco County Fair Building. Non-members-a donation of $5 is requested
February fiddling around.................in the garden
...as I write this we are having a few sunny, if not warm, dry days to survey how the garden has fared with all the rain, cold, and wind. If some plants have gotten frost damage, don't cut them back yet and leave the damaged foliage on the plants to protect them from subsequent cold spells. And, yes, I don't think we're through yet. Our last frost date is usually set at mid-March and we have a few weeks to go until then.
...If you are doing cuttings and have fruit trees, they are a big hit at the plant sale when they get rooted. Also berries and citrus are good sellers if you are getting rid of some of them.
...by mid-month you should have your fuchsias pruned way back so they can bloom on new growth. This might be the year to think about fuchsias again if we keep getting a lot of moisture. They grow well from cuttings rooted in water and then moved on to small pots in soil.
...notice areas of your garden that don't drain quickly and either plant on raised mounds there or use plants that like more water. Most Mediterranean plants don't like to sit in moist soil, particularly in these cold and only slightly warm months. Tends to rot their stems and roots right off. That can go for native plants too.
...you can cut most decorative grasses clear down to the nub. That way you eliminate all the old scraggly leaves and they will be gorgeous with new growth in the spring. In fact, if you get in there early enough with perennials that like to be cut way back each year before new growth begins it is so much easier than to have to pick and choose between the old and new shoots.
...my early camellias bloomed despite all the rain - I know this because the flowers are all on the ground and I need to get them picked up so they don't spread petal blight.