November 2017


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

I do not like these shorter days. I can't get nearly as much done outside as I would like. There is so much to do: gather up leaves for the compost bin, plant the flowering bulbs I bought, put the garlic, shallots and onions in the ground, plant a cover crop to enrich the soil, clean and oil the garden tools and store for the winter. I am sure that you have a long list of things to do as well.

Every morning I check the newspaper to see if there is any rain in the future. I can hardly wait for some of Mother Nature's nourishment. Now is the time to be dividing our plants for the plant sale. A good rain would make that job so much easier. Some of our plants are now going to seed. Consider saving some of the non-hybrid seeds for Seed Share.

November marks the start of the Holiday Season. Will you be looking for some new foods to serve or using some of your own traditional foods'. Whatever, enjoy your time with family and friends.

Lois Barber, Co-President

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Misc. Items of Interest

... ..Don't forget that at the November meeting we have our Fall Boutique so bring fall décor items that are in good condition but no longer useful to you. Just remember you have to take home what doesn't sell.

...Two gardening books recommended by Lois Barber: 'Cut Flower Garden' by Erin Benzakei - This is a book about raising flowers for profit but contains some very interesting information for any gardener who likes flowers. 'Where on Earth' by Nancy Conner, Demi Bowles Lathrop, and Barbara Stevens - this is A Guide to Specialty Nurseries and Gardens in California, updated in April 2017. Lois sent this information to the Tour Committee. She found some gardens listed for the East Bay that she had never heard of. Both of these books are available from the Pleasanton Library and can be ordered at Livermore if they do not have them. (ed. note: They also have the second one at Amazon on Prime.)

...If you need more information about a group's chairman or where a workparty is held, please look in your Yearbook for more detailed information and email and phone numbers of members.

...there will be no Floral Design, Seed Share, Eden Project, or Camp Arroyo workparties until 2018.

...We are looking for a member with graphic capabilities to tweak our Plant Sale flyer to include veggies in the design and perhaps make the flowers more seasonal. If you would like to help out on this, please phone or email Dolores Bengtson. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Dolores's additional contact information.

...Would you be willing to have a committee, interest group, or Board meeting in your home? If so, please phone or email Dolores Bengtson for more information. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Dolores's additional contact information.

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

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November the garden

...fall is definitely here and the trees are beginning to show it. And the trees are beginning to shed. Sort of the good news/bad news about the season. Leaves make great compost, especially if you can send them through a lawn mower or shredder and add them as mulch to your beds. Why chop them up? Because leaves can form sort of a mat as a mulch that can inhibit water from percolating down into the soil and you want the rains to soak deep and encourage the roots to become deep. Under bigger leaves also are a great haven for snails and slugs.

...planting cold season annuals now such as calendulas, Iceland poppies, fairy primroses, pansies, snapdragons and violas will give you floral color over the winter. Buy these in 4 inch pots if the weather gets really cool so they have enough roots already to survive the winter.

...this is sort of a tricky time of year to be watering - days are shorter and nights much cooler so not as much evaporation going on. Rains should come soon, but hard to tell if we will have a wet or dry winter so you need to be mindful of how your watering system is set and adjust often and accordingly.

...if you don't have your garden beds cleaned out, keep at it. And remember top to bottom and back to front or you are re-cleaning areas over and over. While you are clearing, you can divide perennials and either spread them over the garden for a harmonious repetitive effect or pot them up for our plant sale in April. This is the time of year if rains do start to knock down those basins around shrubs or plants, especially Mediterranean types that don't like wet trunks and stems over the winter. If it seems like a dry winter is shaping up you can leave them to help focus what water we do get.

...time to get those spring bulbs in. A rain soaked ground makes it so much easier for daffodils and bulbs to sink in the ground but by the end of the month they need to be put in rain or no rain. If dry ground is just too hard to manage - put them in gallon cans and set them around the garden when they bloom. Be sure to keep an eye on them over the winter so that they don't dry out completely.

...this is the month we celebrate our thankfulness - which really should be a year round habit - and we know in this area we have so much to be thankful for, especially garden-wise!

Lemony Lemon Verbena Bundt Cake

By popular request from the last meeting.

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbls baking powder
  • ˝ tsp soda
  • ˝ tsp salt
  • 1 tbls grated lemon peel
  • 2 tbls finely chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves
  • 4 tbls lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Sift the dry ingredients and add alternately with the sour cream or yogurt. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn into a well buttered Bundt pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Let rest for 10 minutes then invert onto a plate. Poke cooled cake all over then paint with: ˝ cup lemon juice heated with ˝ cup sugar until sugar is dissolved on medium heat. I used all of this lemon syrup on the cake. Enjoy! From the kitchen of Erica Dedon

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