November 2019


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

It was great to see a large turnout at our October meeting, including many new members and several visitors who saw the great publicity prepared by Dolores Bengston in both The Independent and the Pleasanton Weekly. I don't know if you have seen it, but the Pleasanton Weekly also sends out electronic posts from their paper and new pieces have been featured there as well. I am told that the Independent does something similar, but I do not receive those posts and will need to check it out.

Not only did we have a large group at the meeting in October, the number of members signing up to participate in work parties and group gatherings was especially robust. I hope that you enjoyed your participation in those activities as I am sure the chairs that organized the events were pleased with your response.

Dana Boyd has submitted a grant to the National Garden Club via the Plant America Community Project Grants. The grant is to get help in planting new roses at the Hansen Rose Garden in Livermore. She was able to round up additional support from the City of Livermore and others and so we are keeping our fingers crossed that the grant will be funded. Thanks to members of the club that gave ideas and help with editing. We won't know until January 2020. Keep your fingers crossed.

This grant recalled something that I had been noticing in my review of the California and National newsletters and that is that there are many awards and recognitions available to our organization. We should be ensuring that our members and groups are honored for their efforts. So, I would like to start a Grant & Award Committee that could first look at the possibilities available to us and if we determine that there are indeed some areas we should pursue and identifying what needs to be done to make that happen. I expect with just a couple of short meetings we should be able to identify those awards and put a process in place to pursue the awards. If this sounds like something you would like to help with, please send me a note and we will set up a meeting in November to take a look and mean while I will gather information from the websites of both the National and California garden clubs.

Well the sun is shining, and I have a few minutes in a very busy week to spend some time in my garden, I hope you have the same chance to at least visit your garden in this nice weather.

See you in November. Jeri Stark, President 2019/2020

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Misc. Items of Interest

...Sadly, Wes Schilling's family notified Lori Martin that Wes has died. Wes was to be our December speaker on bromeliads. We have asked Sharon Howard, our planned June speaker, to move from June to December. Sharon will present a program on Salvias - varieties, selection considering local gardening conditions, and care.

...Don't forget to save your seeds and get them to Sondra Bierre. Next seed share meeting on Jan. 15, 2020.

...Ann Ralph who is the author of Grow A Little Fruit Tree will be speaking on this subject at the Hayward Library, Saturday, 11/2 from 2-4 PM. If you are interested in hearing her speak, sign up at Grow A Little Fruit Tree.

...Member Alert: Please contact Molly Fisher if you have changes to your contact information. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Molly's contact information.

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November the garden

...the weather lately is certainly confirming that this time of year is our "second spring". The soil is still warm enough to plant new plants and have their roots develop before the soil cools down for the winter.

... this month is the time to plant your bulbs for the spring. Maybe you've had them in your refrigerator or out in the garage. Many articles - particularly from older books and magazines - suggest that you add bone meal to the holes or pots when you plant particularly tulips, it is not a great idea because it is just a magnet for raccoons and other animals saying "yummy stuff to eat here, please dig me up". We often use tulip bulbs for a one year show so the flower is already in bulb for this year, fertilize them when the blooms have faded and they are making the bloom for the following year. Daffodils have a natural toxin in them so animals don't usually bother them.

...this can be a great time to buy plants at the nursery because they don't want to have to keep them over the winter and you still have time to plant them. It is really OK to lift the plant gently out of the pot to see if the roots are circling and too crowded in the pot. If they are, try to find another one where the roots are less congested as many plants have a hard time overcoming the circling roots to grow to their full potential. It is usually a good idea to rough up the roots and get them pointed outwards when you plant. is the time to prune and shape evergreens - and use them in the house or on the porch for seasonal decorations.

...twist off extra or crowded camellia buds to have bigger blooms. Camellias can bloom over a long period. My susanqua 'Yuletide' camellia is already blooming. It never quite gets the memo of when Yuletide is! But most japonica camellias will bloom in the New Year and their buds are forming now. the spirit of the Stop Waste movement, you can make a great 'tea' for watering plants out of leftover liquid coffee or tea and the moisture left from steaming vegetables or the tiny bit of water left in a bottle. This is especially good for plants that love an acid setting. Just keep an attractive pitcher on your counter near the sink and you can add bits and small amounts to the pitcher and end up with a great fertilizer when it is full.

...after mums bloom you can cut them to about three inches above the ground to get started on making blooms for next year. You can very carefully snap off extra mum buds to get bigger blooms but you can also easily snap off all the buds at one juncture so be very careful.

...let's hope the rains start soon. Plants just love their moisture from the sky. If perhaps they don't start this month, remember that many native and Mediterranean plants are 'drought tolerant' but really do appreciate moisture and do better if they are watered now and then.

...planting cold season annuals such as calendulas, Iceland poppies, fairy primroses, pansies, snapdragons, and violas will give you color through the winter and early spring. Get them in the ground soon so that they will get started growing before the cold weather sets in. you cut back lily stems or other plants that will disappear over the winter and come up again next spring, place a rock next to the stem so you will remember that something is already there and not inadvertently dig up half the bulb while planting a new plant.

...this is the month of Thanksgiving and, as gardeners, we should all be thankful for the wonderful climate we live in and that we can work in our garden year round if we want. And thanks to all the garden club members who plan and execute all the great activities that our club does.

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