February 2018


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

We are entering the time when all members should be focused on the April 7th Plant Sale and deciding in what way they can help that event be successful. Whether you are already caring for the perennials you divided last fall, starting seeds, or propagating cuttings, I hope many of you will be providing plants that are hardy and well established. Our Plant Sale committee also needs many tables and pop-ups, as well as members with pick-up trucks who can help move equipment and plants the day of the sale. Whether you provide plants, equipment, or transportation, your assistance will be appreciated by our most excellent Chairs, Daniel and Bill.

We are also beginning the push for Arbor Day. Arbor Day will take place in early March. During that time our Club will provide presentations to many of the second graders in Pleasanton. In order to make the program successful, members are needed to staff a work party to package poppy seeds and attach them to the Arbor Day brochure as well as needing members to make the school presentations. This is a great program with over 900 children being introduced to the importance of trees. Join Chair Erica Dedon in this endeavor of community service via education.

What a Club! As you review this newsletter, which includes the details on Arbor Day and the Plant Sale, the breadth of activities and programs offered by LAVGC is amazing. Many thanks to all the committee members who keep our Club so vibrant.

Dolores Bengtson, co-President

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Misc. Items of Interest

...Tech Assistance Still Needed - The Club still needs a member or members to step forward to learn about our P.A. system and the set-up for presentations to fill in when our regular tech people must be gone. Please contact Dolores Bengston, if you have an interest. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

...Correspondence Secretary Needs Input. Our Corresponding Secretary Nora Kvale can only send cards to those who may be sick, lost a loved one, or having a significant event in their life if you alert her to the need. Please help us be a supporting Club.

...If you are getting your newsletter by snail mail and would like to receive it by email (or vice versa), please contact Molly Fisher. 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 to be sure your name is on the list.

...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.

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February fun.................in the garden

...we're getting some rain so that is wonderful. The plants love it but so do the weeds. Try to get at them and get rid of them as quickly as possible so they don't form seed heads to multiply and also so they don't take any of the water away from the plants you want to keep.

...this is a good time to cut native grasses way back so that you have all fresh foliage for the spring. You can cut back many perennials too and it is easier to do before they start getting new growth (you might be too late already) so you can just hack the whole thing back to a couple inches and not worry about going around new growth. Daylilies also are refreshed by cutting them way back to about 4 inches.

...finish your rose pruning if you haven't already. It is a good time to feed and mulch them so they can be ready to burst forth pretty soon with lush new growth and lots of blooms. If you have fuchsias this is the time to start pruning them and they should be cut way back because they bloom on new growth.

...if your camellias and azaleas are finishing blooming, be sure to remove the flowers from the ground to reduce subsequent petal blight. You can prune camellias for shape as you cut blooms on branches to enjoy in the house.

...this is a good time to start tuberose begonias in peat pots and then transplant in April. Begonias in pots love a shady corner and bring a lot of color to dark areas.

...we may well get some more frost or very cold nights so wait a bit to prune back or remove previously frost burned foliage. It is a little early to be pruning back frost tender plants like geraniums and lantana but toward the end of the month it would be fine.

...bareroot plants are a good bargain now because nurseries have to plant them in pots soon. For most bareroot plants it is a good idea to soak them in a bucket of water for a few hours/days or at least overnight before planting. Examine the roots and cut out any that are obviously dead. Dig a hole wider than deep to encourage roots to spread out. Fill back holes with a mix of garden soil and compost and not pure compost or bagged soil to encourage the roots to move out into regular soil and grow beyond the hole you dug.

...plant sunflower seeds near plants that are plagued by white flies. The sunflowers will attract the natural enemies of the white fly.

...be sure that your garden has the elements that birds need - a source of water for drinking and bathing, a source of seeds and berries for food, and a thicket of foliage on a shrub or plant where they can build a nest and hide out from predators.

...While you are doing spring planting, be sure you are including plants with lots of flowers for the bees and other small insects to enjoy and encourage them to come to your garden.

...have you started a garden journal yet? I wish I had one from the last year or so because I think plants like my paperwhite narcissus and quince trees are blooming earlier than usual. I can usually tell about the quince because they bloom around Chinese New Year and that isn't for a couple weeks yet.

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