There are lots of pictures to share in this Happenings, which means we’ve been getting together again as a club. All the big smiles prove that we’re happy to be making up for lost time. Let’s start with the June Luncheon and Auction. The day was beautiful, the Portsmouth Country Club patio was a perfect venue, the auction was a success – a good time was had by all! Many thanks go to Jill C. and her efficient Hospitality committee.
After several rain cancellations, the Promise Tree Garden Tour finally took place on July 12th. Members endured heat, humidity, and the occasional raindrop to take in the beautiful gardens of Pat S., Pat N., and Linda S. Those small inconveniences were well worth it to enjoy and learn from these three very different but well thought-out gardens. Here are some of the floral highlights.
The American Gardener magazine is a wonderful resource for all kinds of gardening know-how. Here are a two articles that I thought were particularly interesting. “Why Wasps Deserve More Praise” discusses how these often hated insects offer many ecosystem and garden benefits. And while on the subject of insects, the article “Get to Know Your Insect Friends and Foes”offers some helpful identification information to help us sort the good guys from the bad when caring for our plants. Click on the underlined link to read the articles.
Pat N.’s 11-year-old grandson has a “play it forward” activity. He makes “Kindness Stars”, small paper Moravian stars with an attached saying. Over the past two years he has managed to make a few thousand and get them to all 50 states and many foreign countries. This boy has networked with family, friends, friends of friends, Scouts and classrooms of kids. Someone posted this on his Facebook page. Pat thought it might be worth passing along…
And finally, the Exeter Bandstand stands ready for Independence Day.
Here we are in the “dog days” of early June — it’s too hot to garden, so how about looking at some photos of club activities?
Paula and Jan C., along with their crew of volunteers, set up the flower boxes and planted at the Exeter bandstand last month. The boxes of flowers are already taking off, and their efforts will beautify downtown Exeter once again.
Incidently, these plants don’t maintain themselves, and Jan and Paula have a few weeks available with no maintenance volunteer scheduled.If you’re able to take on one of those weeks, give them a call.
Our May 20 General meeting was one big party! With members excited to meet in person again, five guests eager to participate, and picnic tables loaded with colorful blooms, the morning was a celebration of flower arranging and friendship.Many members went home with more than one arrangement, planning to spread the joy to friends and family.Here’s a sample of the fun…
The May meeting wasn’t all fun and games. We also got down to business and voted to approve our new Board, the new Committee structure, and the budget for 2021-2022. All of this info, along with meeting minutes, can be found on the website under “Members Only.”
EAGC received some positive feedback from the Stratham Select Board last month in their newsletter:MEMORIAL DAY THANK YOU A heartfelt thank you to Geri Denton and Jeff Gallagher for organizing this year’s Memorial Day event as well as all members of our community who attended the ceremony and silent parade in honor of those who have fallen in service to this country. We also thank the Stratham Department of Public Works staff, the Exeter Area Garden Club, and the Heritage Commission for their work in stewarding the Veterans Memorial Garden, not only for Memorial Day, but all year-round. Thank you.
Looking for some light gardening reading while you’re waiting out this heat wave? Check out “35 Clever Gardening Tricks That Don’t Require a Green Thumb” here Although we know that every member of our club has a thoroughly green thumb, you may find a tip or two that you find useful.
Fat, wet snowflakes are falling as I type this — not anyone’s idea of perfect April weather, I suspect. But we certainly need the moisture and my snow shovel is still at the ready in case it’s needed one more time. Snowflakes aside, spring fever has definitely infected our gardening community. Many of us have been outdoors digging in the dirt, checking for winter survivors, and planning for new plant additions to our gardens. The club has been busy too, mostly virtually. But in-person activities are in the planning stages. Here’s what’s happening…
Paula F. has put together an informative article about the Eastern Hemlock, as part of Environment and Conservation’s year of evergreen trees. You can find this by clicking here. And you’ll find comprehensive info on many other native NH trees on the website in the drop-down menu under “Garden Talk”.
Promise Tree chair, Johann S. has worked long and hard on our Savers FunDrive and has reported that over 1000 lbs. of goods were delivered to Savers on April 13, resulting in a $203.81 deposit to our treasury and lots of happy members who were able to clear out their closets and basements. Our donations were delivered by Rose G., Lee & Doug C., and Johann and LuAnn F.
Our Three Sisters Seed Library is rapidly growing in popularity and seeds. Patti E. just shared this message with the club.
The Exeter Area Garden Club is so excited to share that we have received a wonderful donation of seeds to the Seed Library from Stout Oak Farm in Brentwood. Some of the new seed varieties include snap and snow peas, pickling cucumbers, Vates kale, Who Gets Kissed sweet corn, Yukina Savoy (mild mustard greens), orange chard, Lolla Rossa lettuce, High Mowing Blend Mesclun, giant Italian parsley, Gemstone Greens parsley, Fordhook Giant chard, and more! In addition to these, Rolling Green Nursery has also donated additional seeds including marigolds, gaillardia, cockscomb, purple basil, lovage, fennel, tomatoes, lettuces, microgreens and more! The Exeter Area Garden Club cannot thank these businesses enough for helping the Three Sisters Seed Library continue to provide seeds to anyone wanting them. These donations allow the Seed Library to offer free seeds to you until you can grow some of these great varieties and return your own saved seeds back to the library at the end of the growing season. All area residents are invited to stop by to visit and join the Seed Library at the Exeter Public Library!
After you’ve picked up your seeds at the Seed Library, you may need some expert advice about warm weather seed starting. Patti has comprehensive instructions on how to take those seeds from seed-hood to full-fledged plants, ready for moving to your garden bed. You can download her seed starting instructions here.
Exciting News — Our May general meeting will NOT be held via Zoom! Plans are in the works for a hands-on Flower Arranging Party, to be held on May 20 at the Stratham Hill Park Pavilion. The Programs and Design committees are working jointly to organize this meeting. Plan to bring your own vase or container and some pre-soaked oasis. Flowers will be provided. Watch your email or check the website calendar for updates. Masks will be required due to the nature of the program.
The Hospitality committee is currently collecting checks for our June Luncheon and Plant Auction. Don’t forget to send yours in to reserve your place at the luncheon. Checks for $30 made out to Exeter Area Garden Club, should be sent to Jill C. to arrive by April 23rd. Be sure to indicate your meal choice on your check. Questions? Contact Jill.
Wellington Gardens in Brentwood will be holding their yearly Perennial Sale on Saturday, April 24, until sold out. The sale hours are 7am – 5pm. All 4″ Perennials are $2.00 each. Their Annuals Sale will be Saturday, May 1, until sold out. Sale Hours: 7am – 6pm. Assorted Annual 6 Packs are $2.00 each.
Shovel Your Garden Safely: 8 Tips. Gardening can be hard work. Here’s a short video that will provide you with tips you can use when working around the garden. Margaret Martin, from Melio Guide says, “Each spring there is a plant to move or one to add. Be sure you keep yourself safe. Gardening should bring you joy and not pain or grief.” Click here: Safe Shoveling
Yearning for some summer garden visits? Here are a few in Massachussetts:
I am qualifying “Spring Happenings” with the adjective “Early” — lest I call up some bad Karma that brings us a foot of snow! That being said, a crocus was spotted in full bloom this week and my hyacinths are bravely poking up from the mulch to enjoy the sun.
Now it’s our turn to anticipate spring and gardening and, eventually, meeting in person again! Members who watched Kerry Ann Mendez’ video for the March General meeting were definitely in a gardening mood. Viewing and learning about all her gorgeous perennials in bloom was tantalizing enough to cause some serious plant envy and list-making. We had a spirited discussion about the video and perennials in general during our Zoom meeting and everyone in attendance got some new plant and design ideas for their gardens.
If you’d still like to see Kerry Ann’s video, it’s available to club members indefinitely. You’ll need a link and a password to access it, so contact Vicki or LuAnn for that info.
If you missed Wendy Fogg’s February presentation, “Armchair Plant Walk”, here’s your chance to see her great photos from the talk. Wendy is is the founder and Senior Herbalist at Misty Meadows in Lee. Her presentation can be viewed by clicking below:
Plans for our April General meeting, on April 15, are still in the works but info will be posted on our home page as soon as things are finalized. Also in the planning stage for one of our future meetings is a presentation by the Horticulture Committee.
On Wednesday, June 16, we hope to be meeting in person on the patio of the Portsmouth Country Club for our annual June Plant Auction and Luncheon. Since it’s been two long years since our last luncheon, here are some photos to remind us of how much fun these events are.
As you know, our club is in the midst of a FunDrive, organized by Promise Tree chairs Johann and Edie. Since bake sales and yard sales are out of the question right now, we’re collecting unwanted items from our households which will be given to Savers, which will in turn make a contribution to our club. The response has been good, according to Johann, with a lot of members happy to unburden themselves to benefit the club. Our collection will be delivered to Savers on April 13. Details about the FunDrive can be found here.
Environment & Conservation is once again offering Beautification Mini-Grants to local individuals and businesses interested in beautifying a public space. They are available in the amounts of $100 to $400. Applications will be accepted between March 1 and May 1 and funds will be forwarded to recipients by May 15. If you know of anyone who would be interested in one of these grants, please pass on the word. The application can be found here.
Our Seed Library, started by Patti E. in cooperation with the Exeter Library and Rolling Green Nursery, has been enormously popular! The Seed Library, which is housed at the Exeter Library, has been well used, according to coordinator Dianne A., with people taking seeds and contributing their own to the collection. If you haven’t checked it out yet, be sure to stop at the library to look it over. The library is open to visitors – with masks and socially distanced.
Just a reminder that the minutes of each board and general meeting are published on our website each month, under “Members Only”. Our recording secretary, Lee C, does an excellent job of keeping track of our club business, keeping all members well informed at a time when we’re unable to attend meetings in person,
I am closing out this Happenings with a photo from Patti E.’s Facebook page, a stunning Ruby Star amaryllis. Add this beauty to the impressive amaryllis photos Ann H has been sharing in her EAGC Club Connections — blooms we definitely need in unpredictable March!
Despite our inability to meet in person, EAGC members have been connecting in many ways during the past few months. Our November general meeting via Zoom was well attended, especially for our first venture into remote meetings. Necessary business was conducted and members participated in a discussion of a video we were able to view ahead of time. Our Program chair, Vicki, managed to find an interesting replacement program for the meeting and then facilitate a successful meeting, along with help from Linda S. and Pat N.
The job of Programs has been challenging this season. The schedule of speakers Vicki had so carefully arranged has been tentatively cancelled and she is making plans on a month-by-month basis. Vicki’s been working extra hours to keep our meeting schedule on track and deserves a pat on the back (when we finally get close enough to do so!) Plans for the January 21 meeting are already finalized. You should have received an email with the details. Be sure to check with Vicki if you have any questions about using Zoom.
Not all our traditional activities have been put on hiatus. Jan C. and her Civic Beautification committee did a stellar job of decorating the Exeter Historical Society again this year. EAGC has been making the Historical Society building festive for years and also has provided hand-decorated wreaths for the door of Folsom Tavern.
Jan says “Thanks to all for their help to create a lovely Christmas display at the Historical society!”
The Promise Tree has been unseasonably leafy this fall. Lee sponsored a greens sale, sharing cuttings of greens from her enormous garden. Mary Jo offered some of her colorful holly to members for the holidays. And Johann and Edie, from the Promise Tree committee, arranged for a Cookie Swap that even included delivery. All these activities benefited the Promise Tree and everyone’s participation is very much appreciated.
This is a sampling of beautiful (and scrumptious, I’m certain) holiday cookies that were swapped on December 15.
Johann and Edie asked that these messages be sent to everyone who participated in the Cookie Swap:
“Many thanks to all the bakers. What a wonderful assortment we got, and no duplicates. Enjoy the cookies and thank you for the success.” Edie
“A big THANK YOU to the members who baked a great variety of holiday treats for the cookie swap. There were no duplicates! Most assortments were delivered today. And aren’t we lucky to fit this in before the snow comes. Enjoy those treats and Merry Christmas from the committee.” Johann
Vicki B has recommended the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts quarterly publication and their website as an interesting resource, especially their current winter edition. You can find it here: https://www.gcfm.org/mayflower
Just a reminder to members that the minutes of each general and board meeting are posted on the website. The board has had periodic virtual meetings since September. If you’d like to see the minutes, please clickhere.