November 2021


News Archive

Betty Nostrand, Editor
Molly Fisher, Publisher

President's Letter

Greeting LAVGC members

I hope this finds you in good health and enjoying this nice fall weather.  A little breezy some days but all in all some nice days and time to get out the flannel shirts and vests.

We had a great October speaker and I enjoyed seeing the garden at the university in Berkeley. Our program team has done some great work without speakers and stepping up to having great zoom meeting. Our program team has done some great work obtaining speakers for great zoom meetings. Remember that this presentation and others have been recorded and are available at our website in the members only section in case you missed it or want to re-visit some parts for the information shared. If you need the access codes for the web site, send me an email or give me a call.

We were pleased to see the presentation by Gayle Pawloski of the plaque given to us by the city of Livermore. They were showing appreciation for the work the club had contributed to Livermore with the work at Hansen Rose Garden, Daffodil Hill, and the Downtown pots. Great work by past and present team leaders.

In the next month you should receive your copy of the brand-new 2021-2022 LAVGC Yearbook with information on members, work parties, etc. We want to extend a big thank you to the membership team, Wanda Finn and Lea Smith and to the yearbook team, Molly and Dennis Fisher who put the book together and will be mailing it out when it returns from printing. A lot of work and much appreciated.

Be sure and read through the newsletter with all the great information contained there and don’t forget the newsletters put out by the district, the state, and the country. They are available on our website as well as going to the group’s websites.

I hope to see you at our next meeting. Jeri Stark, President 2021/2022

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Misc. Items of Interest

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

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November the garden

…the first real rain of the Fall is supposed to have happened so it is time to get your bulbs in the ground.  Easy to say, hard to find time to do.  Sometimes it is good to have a deadline – like I’ll get them planted by the day after Thanksgiving (my Black Friday activity), or Dec. 1, or surely by Jan.1!  But the most important thing is to get them in the ground sometime – they cannot bloom in the bag!  Keep them in a cool dark place until planted and be sure there are air holes in the bag so they don’t mildew.  I still see recommendations for adding bone meal when planting but really these are just invitations for little (or big) animals to dig them up and enjoy the bone meal.  Clam chips (get them where they have chicken feed) in the hole are a better deterrent since they are hard and sharp to chew.  Plus they give off calcium in the soil which is usually a good thing.  Tulip bulbs are very attractive to animals but daffodil bulbs are poisonous, and they seem to know that, so they leave them alone.

…this is a good time to find plants on sale.  Nurseries do not want to have to take care of them over the winter when shoppers are scarcer.  (Perhaps not us, but true of the general public)  If the plant seems a bit skimpy you might want to coddle it still in the pot over the winter and plant it out in the ground next spring.

…be sure to break down  any wells or bowls around plants that kept water in during the summer so that the roots don’t die off if water stays on them all winter and does not drain away.  Let’s hope we have lots of water from the sky this winter to soak our dry, dry landscapes!

gardening is not static so if a plant didn’t work in one place, try it in another.  If there is too much root competition, try putting it in a large pot sunk a bit in the ground.  That way when you water it the water will go directly to the plant and any excess will go through the bottom to the surrounding plants like trees or shrubs.

Large decorative pots are a good investment in these dry times.  You can have them to savor visually and not add more plants to water and then fill them with plants when we get more rain.  You can also fill them with water when  empty and  know the water is filtering down to the surrounding shrubs or plants and not just running off.

…if perennials have been in the ground for a few years and are blooming less and less, it is time to divide them.  Do this after a good rain (don’t we hope) or water the area well before you dig up the clump.  Cut the plant way back before you dig it up and then refresh the soil underneath.  Water the area where you are going to plant the divisions also.  Pot up extras for our next plant sale or garage sale.

…if you are cutting back lily stalks or other plants that disappear for the winter, place a rock over the spot so you don’t dig into that area and chop into the bulbs.  This is safer that a stake or marker because you can work around it easier and not trip while you are working in that bed.

…Amaryllis bulbs are appearing in stores and catalogs now.  They make great Christmas/hostess gifts and are fun for children to watch them grow and bloom, and the blooms are dynamite!  If the bulbs are in bins at the store be sure they are firm and have a bit of green growing at the top.

…if you like fragrance with your bulbs, try freesia bulbs.   They come in a variety of beautiful colors although I think the white ones are the most fragrant.  Mine come up year after year and multiply slowly. There are very fragrant hyacinth and daffodil bulbs too.

…if we do get some good rainfalls this fall and winter, not only our plants will be happy but so will the weeds!  Especially in areas that have been dry all summer.  Try to get at the new shoots quickly while the soil is damp so they don’t have a chance to set seed or spread with underground roots.

…this is the month of Thanksgiving and we all have a lot to be thankful for ------ that we garden in this climate and an area where nurseries are open year round to get plants if you want to.  And that we belong to a garden club with so many wonderful members.

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