November may not be the best month to be a turkey, but it turned out to be a very good month to be a member of EAGC. Our participation in the Yuletide Fair, on Nov. 19, was a great success, not only for our bank balance but also for the fun and companionship enjoyed by all the members who participated in workshops and the fair itself. With a profit of around $1,100, we’re in great shape to fund another year of mini-grants, scholarships and speakers. And as evidenced by these pictures, a good time was had by all!
The floral arrangement workshop on the 18th was very well attended – so many arrangers and so much enthusiasm!
Several pinecone wreath workshops resulted in lots of very professional looking wreaths and candle rings.
And at the Fair, we had so much to display – live & dry arrangements, wreaths, tree ornaments, bulbs potted up and ready to sprout – all artfully arranged and attracting lots of interest.
After Thanksgiving, Jan C. organized her Civic Beautification committee to decorate the Exeter Historical Society for the holidays, as well as make a wreath for the door of Exeter’s Folsom Tavern. This year, Jan decided to go all natural with greens, red twigs, winterberry, orange slices and cranberries. The results were a festive change of pace.
Amidst all the holiday fair preparations, was our November general meeting featuring Jana Milbocker, who presented an inspiring slide show on “Artist Gardens in New England.” Everyone attending was impressed with the number of spectacular gardens within a day’s drive of the Seacoast. Our sales table was very popular at the meeting, as were Promise Tree activity sign-ups. In addition, Environment & Conservation addressed the theme of water by asking us to consider what our personal water usage is in a day’s time. Where in our household do we use the most water? (Hint – it’s not the kitchen or the laundry.)
At our next general meeting, on January 19, 2023(!), Herbalist Wendy Snow Fogg will talk to us about “Herbs to Support a Healthy Immune System.”
In the meantime, I wish all my garden club friends a very happy holiday season! LuAnn
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
It’s safe to say that spring is in the air. Even though that air might feel damp and cold today and snow clouds are hovering overhead, most of us are sensing a certain optimism that we’ll soon be poking around in our gardens again. All we have to do is look for the early bulbs popping out of the soil in our sunny beds for evidence.
James Brewer, our February speaker, showed us what can be achieved in our landscapes this summer – if we are amazingly talented or if we have him design our gardens. Attendees enjoyed slides of his spectacular landscape design work, along with his descriptions of the projects and of his transition from novice English gardener to established New England landscape designer.
In addition to an interesting selection of very healthy houseplants and tempting homemade snacks, Linda S. provided servings of Green Goddess soup for members. She has shared the recipe for this delicious (and very green) soup – it can be found in the Recipe Box on the website. (Thanks to Patti S. & Ann H. for the photos.)
As a followup to his appearance at our meeting, James Brewer sent us this note: ‘Dear ladies / members of the Stratham & Exeter Garden Club’.
I wanted to send you all a huge thank you for making Bill and I feel so welcome and staying awake while I talked to you all today. Thank you for the opportunity to share a snippet of my story and discuss some of my gardens both large and small. I wish you well for the coming season and hope you all enjoy your gardens, have good health and bountiful blooms in 2022…
Cheers, James & Mr. Billster…
Club News: Our Budget Committee met on March 3rd to draw up a budget for next year. The membership will be voting on the budget at the May meeting. In the meantime, there are a few vacancies on the board for committee chairs for next year. If you are interested in getting to know more members or becoming more involved, please contact Linda S. to discuss the positions that are available. Current and former board members will tell you that being on the board is the “funnest” part of being a garden club member. And if you’re interested in helping out on the Nominating Committee, there is still time to sign up, by contacting Linda S.
Our club is very excited to announce that, in conjunction with the Exeter Library, we’ll be hosting horticulturalist and garden historian John Forti, on May 24th at 6PM in the library’s Meeting Room. He will be giving a talk on heirloom gardening. John has directed gardens for Plimoth Plantation Museum, Strawberry Banke Museum, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and Bedrock Gardens. He also serves as a regional Slow Food Governor and biodiversity specialist for Slow Food USA. Here is a synopsis of his presentation:
The Heirloom Gardener – Traditional Plants and Skills is John Forti’s newest presentation. It draws from his new book of traditional plants and skills for the modern world. Richly illustrated with period images and contemporary woodcuts, his PowerPoint shares inspiration from our long history of heirloom preservation, garden craft and homestead lifeways. Artisanal gardening lifestyles that are helping us to rebuild vibrant local agricultural economies and celebrate sustainable cottage industries that are contributing to our new, homegrown American arts & crafts movement and backyard environmentalism. At a time when we could all use a little good news, we hope you will join us for a refreshing look at how you can make a difference and build habitat in your own backyard and community.
He also has a book. These days, we all need some good news and a way to participate in meaningful change. The Heirloom Gardener-Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World is a book for gardeners who want to deepen their knowledge and improve life for families, pollinators and wildlife in their own backyards. It’s a love poem to the earth; a map to the art of living intentionally and a guidepost for environmental gardeners and artisans. It unearths old-ways, storied plants and artisanal life-skills; like seed-saving, herbalism, foraging, distillation, ethnobotany and organics which contribute to a new 21st century arts and crafts movement. With woodcuts from Caldecott Medal VT artist Mary Azarian, The Heirloom Garden offers a dose of wild hope for a weary nation. It is available through this link.
“A Garden for Pollinators & Wildlife: Natural Landscaping for a Better Yard” is a program being offered at the Brentwood Library on Tuesday, March 15 from 7 to 8 pm. The talk will be presented by Vicki J. Brown, NH Natural Resources Steward, Pollinator Pathways NH Organizing Founder and Speaking for Wildlife volunteer. She will provide insights on ways to attract butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife to your yard. You can sign up by clicking here.
Members who attended our January General Meeting learned all about herbs from Sarah Marcoux of the UNH Extension office, took advantage of our Sales Table, met a new member, and of course, enjoyed homemade refreshments compliments of our Hospitality Committee.
We also got a close-up look at Karen W.’s impressive landscaping plan for the American Independence Museum in Exeter. As many of you know, an EAGC committee is working with the museum to rejuvenate their landscaping, in particular the beds in front of the building. Our club, as well as the museum, are very fortunate to have Karen’s expertise as a landscape designer in creating a plan for beautiful, historical, and practical garden beds. Although some of our members may choose to volunteer some maintenance, the bulk of the bed installation will be handled by a landscaping company – good news for those of us who no longer relish doing the heavy lifting!
Garden Design will be the topic at our February 17 general meeting. Our speaker, James Brewer, is a landscape designer who has been working within gardens since his boyhood years in England. He came from a sleepy village in Northamptonshire with natural stone thatch collages, an 18th century church ringing its lethargic bell and an abundance of wildlife within its rolling fields. Influenced by his surroundings James started his landscaping business in England in 1995 by lawn mowing and weeding, certainly humble beginnings.
A unique garden project in 2006 led to his enthusiastic personality and work catching the eye of the BBC and various publications in garden magazines. In 2014, James moved to New Hampshire and embarked on a steep learning curve with our climate and vastly different plants. In a short time, James has helped dozens of clients achieve new gardens and several ‘Signature’ projects throughout the state.
These include a small Pocket / Courtyard Garden in Portsmouth; Downton Abbey / Baroque creation in Dover; and a ‘Testimony in Granite’ garden, which is a ‘Wolfe-henge’ style garden in the mountains of Wolfeboro overlooking Lake Wentworth. Each of his designs are highly unique and combine aspects of classical English garden design while embracing the best plants and materials available to us in New Hampshire. We’re certain to see photos of some of James’ lovely gardens.
It’s that time of the club year when a Nominating Committee is formed to look for new officers and committee chairs. Although many will be returning to their positions, there will be some openings. Linda S. is asking members to contact her if they are interested in serving on the board and/or being on the Nominating Committee. On March 3rd, the Budget Committee will be meeting to prepare a budget for next year. If you chair a committee, please submit your budget request to Susan C. before then. And if you’d like to serve on the Budget Committee, contact Susan or Linda.
Although the Environment & Conservation Committee has put their traditional Mini-Grant program on hiatus for the year, they have been busy formulating a Pollinator Corridor grant plan in conjunction with the Exeter Library’s speaker program. The grants of $100 will be available to Exeter residents who will use the funds to plant pollinator-friendly seeds or plants in an effort to create a pollinator corridor in Exeter. More details about the grants will be available soon.
For those of us who are weary of the winter whiteness, here’s something colorful to feast our eyes on. The Amercan Horticultural Society has released its new plant recommendations for 2022. Even if we never plant one of these beauties, it’s uplifting just to look at the pictures. Click onthis link and enjoy.
The holidays are approaching (very quickly, it seems) and the club calendar is filling up with special activities. Some email information has already gone out – decorating the Historical Society, Holiday Luncheon, and Design Workshop – and more plans are in the works.
But let’s backtrack for a moment. Last month’s speaker, Jeanne Davidson, may win a gold medal for most enthusiastic presentation and best props. She also provided us with loads of advice on how to protect our backs as we garden. Jeanne’s demonstrations were spot on (see photos) and she got members up off their seats to practice her techniques.
The meeting room at the Mogera Library was appropriately fall-like, thanks to the Hospitality Committee’s efforts. The creatively decorated centerpiece pumpkin, provided by Pat Navin, was auctioned off at meeting’s end.
A highlight of the meeting was the return of the Hort Table. Many members scoured their fall gardens for anything beautiful and/or interesting and the result was a surprisingly large, colorful, and varied assortment.
Our November meeting promises to be just as colorful, as we’ll be hearing Jillian Arquette-Gallagher speak on “The Importance of Local Flowers.” Jillian is owner of Fruition Flowers in Newmarket, NH. She has been drawn to flowers from a young age and creates memorable arrangements for a range of events. Her education in color and design lends a unique approach to floral arrangements. Like the bees, she gathers inspiration from the seasonal charm of New England. She uses as many foraged and locally cultivated materials as possible.
The meeting will be this Thursday, the 18th, at the Morgera Room at the Stratham Fire Department; doors open at 9, snacks at 9:30, meeting at 10. Don’t forget to bring your own beverage!
Promise Tree News: There will be a signup sheet at the Nov.18 meeting for a Cookie Swap which is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 4pm, at Susan C.’s home. The swap will be limited to 15 members. Participants are asked to bring 60 cookies and an extra container for their take-home cookies. All members of the Ways and Means committee will meet briefly after the Nov, meeting to finalize plans for the Cookie Swap.
Also, club members are asked to “make a promise”. We welcome new leaves on our Promise Tree with “gifts” of your choosing.
The Website Committee is planning an update of the site, with the hopes of making it more streamlined and user-friendly for members. One change you may have already noticed – the “Garden Talk” blog is now named “Happenings”. Everything else about the blog remains the same. In the future, some pages on the site may be eliminated, but advance notice will always be given.
We would love to have more input about how the website should look. If you have suggestions or would like to be involved in this re-vamp, contact LuAnn.
If you are planning to attend the Holiday Luncheon and have not signed up yet, please bring a check for $35 to the Nov. 18th meeting. Jill C. will be collecting them there.
A note from Abbie-Jane about the October meeting:
Enjoyed the program on Thursday. I’ve been practicing on my straight back gardening. A big thank you to the member who brought in the pineapple vase. It graces my mantle.