January 2017


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

Happy New Year is in order for all of us Garden Groupies! Hooray that the rain is finally here. As I write this message we are in a really cold snap. I'm hoping my Thermo Cube purchased online through Amazon works its magic on turning the old fashioned Christmas lights surrounding the base of my citrus trees on, when the temperature dips below 35 and off again when the temp rises to 45 degrees. It seemed to be working fine last night, on its first night of installation. I only wished I'd originally ordered more than one so I could protect the citrus out front as well. Hopefully the other two I ordered will arrive before our next really cold night. Several of our club members used this electrical socket last year with good results. It's never too early to be thinking of our April plant sale so if the weather warms up a bit and you're puttering in the garden, divide and pot up some of your plants that seem a little crowded for their space, or if you're starting seeds, plant a few extras to grow for the sale. If the weather doesn't warm up, set aside some time for dreaming of the coming season's garden. Hope to see many of you at the Pleasanton Gardens rose pruning work party. It's a good way to kick start your own rose pruning because you'll be so skilled when you finish the work party - plus it's a lot of fun with all the camaraderie.

Lori Martin - co-president

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Misc. Items of Interest

...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.

...Barbara Will at the Senior Support Program based at the Senior Center in Pleasanton is seeking some help/knowledge in setting up a herb and veggie garden in the planters behind their offices. She hopes to be able to harvest produce from the garden for the lunches they arrange in the Senior Support Offices several times throughout the year. Anyone interested in becoming involved in the project can contact Barbara directly at: bwill@ssptv.org or phone: 925-931-5389

...new members, who have joined since the Yearbook was printed, are listed on the Members Only page of our website LAVGC.org. Members may email the Co-Presidents to obtain the Id and password. Each month we will post names and information about new members at that location. Lots of wonderful information on the website, including an amazing Resource page and pictures from garden club events.

...we received our membership cards from the state garden club organization and if you didn't get yours yet, please eamail or call Dean Burnett. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Dean's phone number. The cards will entitle you to discounts at many nurseries and public gardens.

...Sue Farr was the winner of the planting our speaker Lita Gates put together and Michelle Tallon won the holiday cactus donated by Western Garden Nursery.

...We will have a representative from Pacific Horticulture magazine, with sample copies and forms, available at the break to answer any questions.

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January Jubilations.................in the garden

...Fun to have the rain but the cold is cold! And of course I can always do without it but some of the plants love it and it is now officially winter and certainly not as cold as most places. I tend to be a fair weather gardener so don't get out much until the temp goes over 50 so my plants need to fend for themselves - no moving them around for me so that is one of the things I especially look for when purchasing plants - how cold can they go without turning to mush. One thing I did learn if you put lights on your tender plants to protect them and give them some warmth they need to be the old fashioned kind and not LED lights as that is their good points inside is that they don't get hot! Also if you have a tall citrus or tender plant and don't want to risk getting up on the ladder to attach the lights, you can curl the old lights around the base and the heat will rise to help warm the plant.

...this is the month to prune your roses. If you're not sure about how to do it, going to one of our work parties or participating in one of the classes at local nurseries will show you what to do. Roses are pretty accommodating though and love our climate so you can't really go too wrong. Prune really hard or barely shape but you'll have gorgeous blooms next spring.

...sow sweet peas now and protect any tender shoots that emerge so that the birds don't snack on them. Old fashioned sweet peas look and smell so great cascading down over a wall. And the more you pick next spring, the more blooms they'll put out!

...if you still have camellia plants, note how many buds they have on them and possibly snap off a few if they are in clusters so you'll have bigger blooms next month. They love this rain so are getting ready to really put on a show.

...you can divide crowded clumps of day lilies, Shasta daisy, chrysanthemums, and agapanthus and spread them around your garden or pot up a few for our plant sale. You can dig up the whole clump and cut or break off a portion with several growing tips on it. Try to get a good root portion too. Discard parts that look wrinkled and dry.

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