May 2017


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

Wow, what a day we had for our plant sale! We had rain, hail, gale force winds, a few minutes of sunshine, and even a rainbow, along with shoppers for the entire 4 hours of the sale. Gardeners are a hardy lot. Thank you to all who helped make the plant sale a success, from those who divided/grew plants, priced, set up, transported, brought food, worked at the sale, cleaned up, and bought plants. A huge thanks goes to Karen Abbruscato for chairing this annual event. The financials are in and we sold almost $5000.00 worth of plants and garden related items. At the end of the day, I don't really think we had any more unsold plants than we've had other years. I found a few treasures that I didn't already have growing in my garden, and the plants I brought found new appreciative homes. Two of my favorite new plants, native Lupines, got planted the night of the sale, only to be eaten in half by those dastardly snails by morning. They are out in force, so do take care to protect your new plants from snails. All those who remained dormant during the drought, seemed to have had a population explosion.

Happy Planting... Lori Martin, Co-President

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Misc. Items of Interest

...did you find colored plant markers still in the plants you bought at our Plant Sale? We like to use those year to year, so please bring them back to a meeting or get them to Sondra Bierre.

...Customers at Western Garden Nursery in Pleasanton who say they are members of LAVGC will get a 10% discount on their purchase!

...would you like to be on the list of possible GARDEN ANGELS to go out to a workparty in a member's garden if they have had surgery, chemo, or for some reason cannot temporarily keep up their garden? If so, please send your name, email, and phone number to Peggy Despotakis. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Peggy's contact information. We also welcome requests for the 'angels' help!

...congratulations to Terry Roudebush who won the blooming lavender plant of the month from Western Garden Nursery at the April meeting.

...we love to have visitors and guests at our regular monthly evening meeting but work parties, interest groups, tours, and other club activities are only open to members due to insurance constraints.

...if you are getting your newsletter by snail mail and would like to receive it by email (or vice versa), please email Molly Fisher who will make the change. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information. If you do not receive your newsletter near the first of each month, you can inform her of that also and we'll be sure your name is on the list.

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May the garden

...the old saying "Honey, Anyone can do Spring" is sure in full force this year! Plants seem to be making up for the leaner drought years. Unfortunately weeds, snails and slugs are coming out in droves too. Try to keep up with the weeds and get them before they can form seed heads and multiply even more. They are pretty easy to pull while the soil is wet so get out there before our rains stop. Surely they are going to stop before it is actually summer.

...Snails and slugs love the moist ground and are also multiplying like crazy. They love to live in plants like daylilies and other strappy leafed plants. They don't seem to eat them particularly but snuggle down into the base of the leaves. If you have chickens (or a neighbor does) snails are a good food treat for them. An overturned empty grapefruit half or shallow dish will gather the snails also for disposal daily as you see fit. When you find a place they particularly love to hide in your garden, be sure to check that daily to get rid of as many as possible. Or you can do as I do and wear gloves and just smash as many as you can. If you find empty snail shells in your garden you probably have a marauding raccoon in the night that is sucking them out. Just hope they get enough snail snacks they don't start in on your plants.

...when cutting cala lily or alstromeria blooms, remember to pull them out by grasping the lower part of the stem and pulling. Better for the plant and that way you don't end up with ugly stem stubs.

...Spring flowering bulbs are mostly done but you know you need to leave the foliage on so they can gather strength and flower power for next year. Snap off the bloom stems so they don't go to seed. You don't want them to expend any energy on that. The foliage gets very tiresome and tacky after a while so you can braid or fold them to make them tidier or some say after 3 weeks beyond the bloom you can whack them off. If they didn't bloom well this year it may be time to divide them or move them in to a sunnier spot so when the foliage is brown you can dig and divide and either keep them in a cool, dry place until next Fall or else replant but most bulbs prefer a drier summer spot and may rot if they are kept constantly moist.

...if our rains do stop and we revert to our normal dry Mediterranean summer, you can build watering basins around plants and shrubs. Be sure that the base of the plant is raised a bit so that the stem does not sit in water for extended periods as that might cause rot in the warm months. This is especially true of Mediterranean plants that love excellent drainage.

...if you have spring blooming shrubs, the time to prune and shape them is just after they bloom so you are not cutting off the blooms for next year. Take out any dead branches or ones that are crossing in the middle of the plants and try to get some air circulation in the middle of the plant. Cut back to a leaf that is facing the way you want the branch to go. After you are finished pruning, the plant should look like a lovely airy plant, not like it has been hit by a hedge trimmer.

...if you have roses that bloom only once a year, like an old Cecile Brunner, cut it way back after the bloom so it can have all year to store up energy for next year's bloom. Keep climbing roses in toward their trellis or support and nip off any branches that come straight out. This is true for most vines or plants you are training to go up and not out. Take control and don't let them go in the wrong direction.

...don't miss our Member Garden Tour for ideas on what grows around here and where. Be sure to let us know you are coming so there will be plenty of good eats at the Tallon garden. Because we have special insurance riders on the gardens, you can invite a guest, but we need to know that too. It will be a fun time to see local gardens and to meet other members of the garden club. See the LAVGC Members Only section for more details and directions.

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