September 2019


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

Welcome to our new garden year. I hope you have had a great summer and are looking forward to helping us celebrate 35 years as a club at our September meeting. We will be starting at 6:30 p.m. at Alisal to allow us a great buffet and social hour before we enjoy the great program planned to hi-lite the last 35 years.

You should find a copy of our proposed budget for the 2019/2020 year on the LAVGC web site in the members Only section. Review so that we can answer any questions before we ask for approval. Contact Jeri Stark, President or Norma Foss, Treasurer if you have questions. See the LAVGC Yearbook for their additional contact information.

Many members have been busy updating our web site and I hope you are taking advantage of all the great information contained there. We are making it a little easier for you to access the Member Only section by placing a sticker on the back of your name tag with the information on how to access the site. Many have had trouble remembering the password and so now you can review at each meeting and/or make a note on your new Yearbook you should be receiving at our meeting.

Our Penny Pines activity is alive and well. Since the inception of LAVGC we have participated in donating 180 plantations for a total of $12,240. We currently have $552.22 in funds available to make further donations. We recently made a donation in the club's name in memory of Rebecca Walker who passed recently.

Once again, our club was honored with an award from the California Garden Clubs, Inc. for first place in number of plantations donated. This was the second year we have received this award and the $125 award sum helps in our purchases of more plantations. Another reason we are so successful in such an active participation is the generosity of our members when the box is passed at each meeting and the many private plantations given through the club as gifts for Christmas, graduation, and birthdays. Forms are always available at our meetings and at our LAVGC web site Members Only section if you wish to nominate someone to receive a plantation who is a member of our club and for you to use if you would like to make your own gift. If you have questions, contact me Jeri Stark, President. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

This is my first newsletter as president, and I have big shadows to follow with such a great list of former presidents and co-presidents through the years. I hope you will contact me if you have ideas or suggestions that will help make our club a great service to our members and the community.

Jeri Stark, President.

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Misc. Items of Interest

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

...we lost one of our founding members on August 16 when Bernice Oakley passed away. She and her husband David Oakley were very active in the club for many years and she headed up our Tours group when we went to Virginia and to the Northwest, not to mention lots of other tours. She was our Historian for many years.

...Newsletter questions or changes? Please contact Molly Fisher, Publisher. See the LAVGC Yearbook for additional contact information.

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September the garden

...this month is our "second spring" and time to think about some fall planting. If the prediction is for more really hot weather, it is best to time any planting or moving plants for cooler spells. And we usually do have some really, really hot weather in Sept. You can plant fast growing flowers from 4 inch pots like impatiens, marigolds, and zinnias to give you bloom through the fall. Calendulas. Coneflowers, primroses, pansies, and Iceland poppies from six packs should give you color long into the winter.

...feed roses for their last round of blooms before you prune them in January.

...this is a good time to feed camellias and azaleas with an acid fertilizer or compost to help them set their blooms. can prune many garden shrubs for shape and to control size now so that any new growth will get set before our winter. As usual, cut out any dead stems and any branches going in a direction you don't want. If the shrub is getting way too big or is in general a shape you don't like, maybe it is time to admit it is the wrong plant in the wrong place and find a new home for it and replace it with something more appropriate to the space. If the shrub blooms in the early spring, wait to do any pruning until right after it blooms because now you will probably be pruning off the developing buds for next spring.

...this is the time that fall starts falling and a good time to begin a compost pile if you don't already have one. You can break down leaves by running over them with a lawn mower. The green trimmings off the shrubs (see above) will add green matter to the brown leaves to start the decomposing. As you prune, cut the stems into six inch or less pieces and then you can toss them on the compost pile and not have to worry about a shredder. You can bury kitchen compost in the pile and worms will come out of nowhere to feast and break down the moist kitchen debris.

...There was an interesting article in the Sept./October issue of Garden Gate magazine about whether you should clean up your garden beds or not titled "The Lowdown on the Big Cleanup" where 6 professional gardeners gave their thoughts on whether it was necessary to clean our garden beds or leave the debris where it falls. You have to remember that these gardeners are working in many different climates than ours, but their points can be well taken. As usual with almost any gardening practice, there are different views on how to handle it and part of it depends on exactly where and what kind of bed it is. Are you preventing possibility of pests? (David Tinlein) Nurturing beneficial pollinators? (Sarah Foltz Jordan) Preventing Diseases? (Barbara Pleasant) Clean up the garden over Time (Alan Branhagen) Leaving the spent plants so you can enjoy them over the winter (Bobbie Schwartz)- although this last probably works better when they are covered with snow but she likes the golden grasses.

...start thinking about any bulbs you want to plant for spring color. Maybe you've already ordered them and they will be arriving soon and the tulips will expect to be refrigerated for a period before planting for best results. Catalogs will have last minute sales but this is sort of the last minute so if you haven't ordered yet, get on it. Try some new and lesser known bulbs. Very successful and repeating for years for me have been camassia, freesia, galanthus/snowdrops (I have some that are over 50 years old and still coming up faithfully), hyacinth, ipheion (this can be almost too successful but its small and dies back quickly), and wood hyacinth. Remember apples and tulips don't do well together in the frig because of ethylene gases. If somehow you don't get your tulips in the frig - plant them anyway whenever you can get to it because they may not be quite as fabulous but they will grow and bloom and they won't do well at all if you never get them planted.