Archive by Author | LuAnn Faber

August Happenings

Photo: Wikipedia Creative Commons

Can we all agree that we’ve had enough of the heat and the drought? This has been a trying summer for gardeners and now that towns are limiting or banning outdoor gardening, it may be time to give up the ghost and start planning for next year’s garden. Fortunately, we’ve had some fun diversions to take our minds off all the brown and withered plants in our gardens.

Jill C. and Jan C. hosted a very fun “Mad Hatter Tea Party”, bringing members together to display some heat-induced silliness. The party featured costumes, finger sandwiches, tea and punch, pretty floral centerpieces, a quiz, and many laughs – all in the air-conditioned comfort of Jill’s home. (Thanks go to Jill’s husband, Bill, who labored in the heat to set up a croquet court, which went unused on that 90+ degree day.)

This week, Lee C. very generously shared her wonderful lake house in Wakefield, NH with garden club members. Lee, her husband Doug, and her son (and super-baker) Ben pulled out all the stops in providing us with a relaxing mini-vacation in a lovely wooded setting.

Later in the day, we were treated to a pontoon boat tour of Pine River Pond, with Captain Doug at the helm. One of the highlights of the cruise was the sighting of two eagles.

For those of you who’ve noticed our garden club’s absence at the Exeter Bandstand, you can now see our sign and our gardening efforts at the Exeter American Independence Museum. Members have been weeding and watering (until Exeter recently banned outdoor watering) and the beds look good. Next year, with some growth, they’ll be even better!

What happens when gardeners take a day off from gardening to gather for some relaxation? They talk about gardening, of course. At Lee’s lake house, a discussion about a particular weed came up – a weed none of us could positively name but were certainly familiar with.

Photo: Gateway Garlic Farm

Lee did some research for us and found some facts that should be useful to all of us. This familiar weed is Spotted Spurge. According to Gateway Garlic Farm, “spotted spurge is undesirable, tenacious and mildly poisonous. Its sap is a skin irritant and it’s been known to attract many garden insect pests. It produces a milky white sap that’s not only an irritant but is considered carcinogenic.

Often found growing in garden beds, lawns, and even sidewalk cracks, it’s extremely drought resistant and would make an awesome groundcover if it didn’t adversely affect nerby plants by causing them to grow diminished fruit. It is sometimes confused with purslane but can easily be distinguished by its milky white sap.” It’s also important to note that one spurge plant produces thousands of seeds, as evidenced by these photos taken by Patti E.

Hot and dry weather obviously haven’t affected Vicki B.’s gorgeous daylily bed. She started this bed three years ago this fall. “I started Daylily fascination at the 2004 July sale at Pinhill Farms Garden in Harvard MA.,” Vicki says. “Mr. Lefkovitz was a daylily hybridizer and his wife kept the logs, organized the summer sale, and coordinated the September digs.  From 2004-2007, I purchased 16 different plants, with 4 being created at Pinhill Farms.  I accumulated another 15 from various places.  I have some favorites that appear in several places for over 55 daylily plants at my home.  It is too many.  Fun story, my Hyperium was from a neighbor that got hers from the head gardener at the Emily Dickinson estate in Western MA.  My double orange Fulva (street daylily) is from my grandmother’s garden in the 1930’s and must be isolated from the hybrids.”  The colors are stunning:

This little white spider was photographed by Linda S. at the Independence Museum.

Thanks to our Happenings photographers, Ann H., Linda S., and Patti S.

Summer Happenings

Designing Women Place Second

We’re excited to report that Lee C,, with design assistance from Ann H., placed second at the Ogunquit Art Museum’s Art in Bloom event last weekend. This is even more of an accomplishment since it was Lee’s first time. Lee was happy to receive welcome comments from judges and exhibitors and said, “though it was sometimes a pain, I do appreciate having been given such an interesting and challenging opportunity.”

Photos of other entries, compliments of Ann H.:

Our June Plant Auction and Luncheon was well-attended and festive. Most wore hats to help celebrate the event and hats were the table centerpieces, decorated with live flowers by members of the Hospitality Committee. Max F. made sure the auction was fun and efficient and members enjoyed a tasty meal topped off by a strawberry dessert. We even managed to take care of business: the new Executive Board was sworn in. Many thanks to Jill C. and her Hospitality crew for another perfect Spring celebration. (Thanks to Patti Smith for the photos.)

Have a hankering to see some gardens? The Candia Garden Club invites you to their first Garden Tour on Saturday, July 16, 9 AM to 1 PM. Cost is $15. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Judy at Judyjs3@comcast.net.

Garden weeding is an ongoing task for all gardeners. How do you weed your garden and be kind to your bones, back and joints? How do you avoid a compression fracture? Here’s a video from Melioguide demonstrating how to safely weed your garden. How to Weed Your Garden

To close this Happenings in style, here are more photos of Exeter, perfectly captured by

Lynda B.

June Happenings

Our club is enjoying a busy spring – and we have the photos to prove it! Let’s begin with the May General meeting, which featured Carol C’s comprehensive (and delicious) herb presentation. Along with three assistants, Carol used posters, books, plants, soup, dip, bread, and jelly to educate her audience. She shared recipes for Herb Butter, Potato Soup, Wendy’s May Jelly, Smoked Salmon and Chervil Pate; A Refined Little Salad (made with Bibb lettuce), and Cheese Dilly Bread. Carol also recommended a number of cookbooks.

The Design Committee displayed the charming results of their Tussie Mussie Workshop:

And here are the tussie mussies in the making:

Other business at the May meeting included the election of Officers and the approval of the budget for our 2022-2023 season. Announcements were made about the success of the yard sale, the Veterans Garden clean up, Veterans Garden water and maintenance schedule, and American Independence Museum gardens progress. Planning for our table at the Yuletide Fair in November was also undertaken, with sign-up sheets available for those projects as well as for a Mad Hatters party being hosted by Jill C and Jan C. All in all, a very busy meeting!

Lest you think that May was all fun and good food, we also have been putting substantial effort into our commnnity service projects. A team of members took on the Veterans Garden at Stratham Hill Park, doing a spring clean-up and preparing it for the summer season. As always, it remains a peaceful and beautiful spot for contemplation.

Plantings are continuing to be installed at the American Independence Museum in Exeter. More perennials were added and Karen W. and her husband are still working to perfect the drip watering system. More shrubs and perennials are still to be added, but the improvement in the gardens so far is dramatic.

Another EAGC community service is the awarding of a scholarship to a deserving Seacoast School of Technology student who will be pursuing a degree in a field related to horticulture. This spring we awarded a $1000 scholarship to Zachary Hodgman. He is an honors graduating senior from SST/Epping HS. Zachary will be attending Great Bay Community College this fall majoring in Environmental Science as a stepping stone to further his education. SST filmed the awards ceremony. You can see the presentation of our scholarship at the 1:04 point in the filming. Ann DeMarco of SST read our presentation comments: Seacoast School of Technology Scholarship Night – YouTube

Diversions:

The West Newbury (MA) Garden Club is sponsoring an Art in the Garden Tour, featuring gardens, artists, and musicians. Nine beautiful and inspired gardens located in West Newbury and Groveland will be on display with an art connection. Saturday, June 18th, 10 am – 4 pm. https://www.wngc.org/

Art in Bloom at the Ogunquit Art Museum. You don’t want to miss the artistic collaboration of our own Lee C. and Ann H. June 24-26 at the museum in Ogunquit. https://ogunquitmuseum.org/about-us/events/events-list/

Our favorite wandering photographer, Lynda B., has provided some photos of the gardens in her own back yard on Chestnut Street. Beautiful – and right in the heart of Exeter!

Thanks to our contributing photographers: Lynda B., Ann H., Linda S., and Patti S. These would be very lifeless Happenings without your photos!

May Happenings

Johann at her table

EAGC’s big news is the success of our April 30 Yard Sale. Despite a short window for organization and advertising, Johann and her team of volunteers added $1082.91 to our treasury. That includes $210 for table rental, with the rest coming from the sale of our members’ famous baked goods and their donated garden items. Thanks to Johann and all our members who donated baked goods, sale items, and time!

Renovation of Exeter’s American Independence Museum gardens was begun on May 6. This is a new project for EAGC and an important improvement for the museum’s summer season. A small crew of our gardeners was joined by hard-working and strong volunteers from Liberty Mutual Insurance, and a lot was accomplished in four hours. Every plant was removed from the existing beds at the front of the museum, the soil was amended, new plants installed, and a layer of mulch spread. The change was impressive.

Our own member Karen W., a landscape architect, designed a plan and chose the plants, while Keith Whitehouse, owner of Yeti Landscaping, donated time, tools, and labor. Most of the shrubs are planted, with perennials to be added later. Be sure to stop by the museum to see the results of this transformation. It’s at 1 Govenor’s Lane in downtown Exeter.

Our April general meeting featured speaker Neil Sanders who bills himself as author and gardener, but should also add stand-up comedian to that resume. Attendees found themselves chuckling non-stop as he related his experiences as his wife’s designated hole-digger/gardening assistant. Neil also brought a supply of the mystery books he writes when not digging holes.

Our hospitality was table was tempting, as usual, and a number of interesting items were contributed to the sales table.

Our May general meeting, on May 19, will be a special one – we’ll be enjoying a presentation on “Spring Herbs” by members of our own Horticulture committee. It’s safe to say that the discussion will include some tastings, possibly even some recipes. We’ll also be voting on the budget for next year and on our slate of officers for 2022-23. They are: Pat N, President; Vicki B., Vice President; Lee C., Recording Secretary; Ginny T., Treasurer; and LuAnn, Communications Coordinator.

Two of our Designing Women, Ann H. and Lee C. are participating in the Art in Bloom program at the Ogunquit Museum, which will be held Friday June 24th through Sunday, June 26th. Ann and Lee are in the process of choosing an artwork at the museum which Lee will use as inspiration for an arrangement to be displayed with the art. The arrangement will be dedicated to the memory of Connie G. For more info about the program, go to Art in Bloom.

Members who are planning to attend the June 15 Spring Luncheon and Plant Auction have hopefully signed up by now. (If you haven’t, contact Jill C.) Each year we send out a link to Becky M.’s wonderful instructions for potting up the best-looking and healthiest plants for the auction. You can find them here. UNH Extension also has information on sharing plants, including info on Jumping Worms. Find the article here. Details about the luncheon and auction will be sent out soon.

Local Gardening Events

The Hampton Historical Society will present a talk about “New England’s Native Flowers and Trade – from the 1600’s – the Present” Wednesday, May 18 at 7 PM at the Tuck Museum in Hampton. Info here.

The Portsmouth Garden Club will present their annual Literature in Bloom program at NOON on May 18 at the Urban Forestry Center. Arrangements will then be on display at Portsmouth Public Library until May 20. Free and open to the public.

John Forti will speak on “The Heirloom Gardener – Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World” on Tuesday, May 24, at 6 PM at the Exeter Library.

The Great Island Garden Club is having their annual Plant Sale – rain or shine – on Saturday, May 21, 12 – 3 PM, at the New Castle Recreation Center, 301 Wentworth Rd., New Castle, NH 03854. In addition to plants, gently used garden tools will be included.

The Rye Beach-Little Boar’s Head Garden Club is hosting John Forti discussing Heirloom Gardens at their June meeting and would like to extend an invitation to any members of the Exeter Area Garden Club to attend. The meeting is June 14 at 1:30 pm at the North Hampton Public Library.


May trial

Tulips

Spring is here! It seems like we’ve been waiting for months. Blah blah ————————-