Recent Happenings

Photo by daven Hsu on Unsplash

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 C.

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.

Johann S.

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:

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 click here.

Happy Holidays!

October Happenings

The club has held two well-attended meetings this fall in the Stratham Hill Park Pavilion, the last being this past Thursday. Members who were able to attend were excited to connect with each other, even though our big smiles were obscured by masks. Much business was attended to and several committees had presentations to share.

The most discussed item on the agenda was how or whether to proceed with the November joint meeting with the Hampton Garden Club. A final decision was not made as there are so many ever-changing variables involved due to pandemic restrictions and everyone’s comfort level for attending an indoor meeting. Most members expressed a desire to hold the meeting if there is a way to do so safely. Updates will be posted on this website and emailed to members.

Photo by Ann H.

Pat N. made this beautiful fall centerpiece for the October meeting. It was won by a lucky member in a drawing.

At the September meeting, our new officers were sworn in by Anne Campbell. L to R are Susan C., Treasurer, Pat N., Vice President, Linda S., President, and Lee C., Recording Secretary. Absent was Florence W., Corresponding Secretary. The club is lucky to have such competent leadership for what will be a difficult year.

The Promise Tree sprouted some new leaves at the October meeting. Among the new offerings were homemade soup, miniature paintings by Lynda, and potted plants. Members happily shopped the tree and many participated in a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Promise Tree. Jean H. was the pleased member who took home the cash prize. Contact Edie W. or Johann S. to add your own leaf!

Environment and Conservation is planning to present info each month on native evergreen trees, following up last year’s displays on native deciduous trees. To kick off the year of the evergreen, Jill put together a quiz (her specialty, as we all know.) For those who missed the meeting, here’s the quiz. Test yourself! (Answers are at the end of this post.)

True or False:

1, Evergreens can be found on every continent.

2. Evergreens keep their leaves year round.

3. Palm trees are evergreens.

4. Most tropical rainforest trees are evergreens.

5. All evergreens are green.

6. All evergreens have pine needles.

7. There are thousands of species of evergreens.

8. In general, evergreens do not thrive in full sun.

How do you get down from an evergreen?

What tree is the tallest evergreen tree in the world?

Name 5 types of evergreen trees native to New Hampshire. (Count 1 point per correct tree.)

How do evergreen trees access the internet?

Ann H., our Horticulture Chair, has come up with a great remote way for us to enjoy a fall Design Workshop. Her virtual workshop will have us all raiding our garden beds for fall blooms and interesting summer remainders to create a fall arrangement. Ann will assemble an online album of the photos we send her, and we can all enjoy each others’ creativity. Leave it to Ann to turn this workshop cancellation lemon into lemonade!

This is Ann’s gorgeous example.

Answers to the Evergreen Quiz:

1.-F (none in Antarctica) 2.-T 3.-T 4.-F 5.-T 6.-F 7.-F 8.-T 9.-F

You don’t get down from an evergreen; you get it from a goose. (Groans were audible.)

The tallest evergreen in the world is the Redwood.

Types of NH evergreens: fir, spruce, pine, hemlock, larch, arborvitae, juniper, cedar.

How do evergreens access the internet? They log in!

(Even more groans.)

How did you do? The winning score at the meeting was 15 out of 17.

Memories of Halloween Past…

September Happenings

It’s been several months since I’ve sent out a Happenings update. Other than cancellations and postponements, there hasn’t been much “happening” to report. Thanks to Ann H. and her EAGC Connections, however, we’ve been able to stay in touch virtually and enjoy the beauty of each other’s gardens. What an inspiration Ann’s emails have been! The photos are proof positive of what a superlative group of gardeners we are!

Interspersed throughout this Happenings you’ll find club photos from Septembers past. Test your memory. Do you remember these people and events?

Although it was technically an August Happening, the Promise Tree Garden Party & Social offered a great photo op for this month’s update. Lee had a perfect day for hosting members and did an outstanding job of potting up plants and marking her beds for plant digging. It wasn’t all work though – members had a long-awaited chance to chat and catch up, socially distanced in Lee’s welcoming gardens. Thanks to Johann and Edie for arranging this fun kick-off to our Promise Tree year. And thanks, especially, to Lee for her hospitality and preparation.

And speaking of the Promise Tree — please consider what you can offer to the Tree this fall. Unfortunately, fundraisers our club had planned for last fall and the upcoming year are impossible to implement right now. So our Promise Tree has become more important than ever for financial reasons. But more importantly, we’ve been isolated from each other for months and small Promise Tree events and offerings will help bring us back together. If you’re looking for ideas for your own leaf on the Tree, check the Promise Tree page of the website here for suggestions.

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Our first General Meeting of the 2020-2021 year will be held as originally planned on Thursday, Sept. 17 at 9:30. But the venue has changed – we’ll be meeting at the Stratham Hill Park Pavillion. As always, members are welcome at 9 a.m. and refreshments will be served. Please bring your own hot beverage. At this meeting we’ll be installing our officers for the year, since we were unable to do that at the June Luncheon. We’ll also be breaking into committees to discuss our plans for the coming year. Don’t miss it!

Seed Exchange – 2014

Last May, EAGC awarded its $1000 Scholarship to Nicole Berry of Newmarket. She graduated from the Seacoast School of Technology Animal and Plant Science Program in May. In addition to being involved in many school and community activities, including being on the leadership team for the National Future Farmers of America (FFA), Nicole also worked part time.

She considers herself a lifelong learner who always strives to do her best. According to her scholarship application letter, she states, “her career goal is to achieve a job as an entry level environmental scientist, in the field that deals with sustainable agriculture. I want to make the world a more productive place for nature, the current population and future generations”. This fall, Nicole is attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she will study environmental science.

Inspecting a mini-grant recipient – Seacoast Family Promise – in 2017.

Our Awards Committee has decided to postpone the process of choosing and awarding the Outstanding Garden Awards until a later time. The presentation of these awards at our October meeting is always highly anticipated, but committee members realized during the summer that coronavirus restrictions made viewing of gardens and the presentation ceremony impossible. This gives members more time to be on the lookout for especially beautiful gardens – and to pass the addresses on to Awards Committee members for the next awards.

EAGC helped Stratham celebrate its Anniversary – 2016

Our new vice president, Pat. N is taking inventory of all things EAGC. If you have any club supplies, notecards, equipment, etc. would you please let Pat know so she can finalize her list?

Cleanup crew at the Bandstand – 2016.

Some members may not be aware that EAGC has an excellent Facebook page, maintained by the very knowledgeble Patti E. In addition to making EAGC’s presence known to the Facebook world, Patti posts links to some fascinating gardening articles and adds interesting garden tidbits. If you’re not a Facebook user, click here for an example of what you can find on EAGC’s Facebook page. Then click “Like” and follow the page on a regular basis. If anyone would like a little help navigating Facebook, contact Patti. She’ll gladly give some guidance.

March Happenings

Maybe this post should be titled “March Non- Happenings” due to the cancellations we’ve announced in the past month. But just because we’re not getting together to discuss gardening doesn’t mean gardening isn’t happening. Now is the ideal time to share your thoughts and images with your garden club friends. Email both to your friendly web manager (, who will be thrilled to pass them on to your gardening friends.

You’ll notice a large blank space in this post, just below the next article. Please ignore it and proceed down the page. Your clueless web manager can’t figure out how to delete it.

One Promise Tree activity took place before the big lock-down. Rosemary S. gave this report:

Since we couldn’t yet dig in our gardens, we met to dig into our family roots!  We met on Wednesday March 5th at the Exeter Family History Center on Hampton Falls Rd. Helpers were ready to assist and members were ready to research.

Becky copied pages from old family albums to a flash drive. 

Meredith started her family tree. 

Mary Ellen and Ann C and their husbands digitized slides.

Johann restored an old photo.

Donna R and Ann H searched records and gathered information about their ancestors. 

We all had fun and everyone left with something special they learned about their family or a keepsake to give to their family. 

Lee’s garden is already abloom. She shared this photo of her irises. “On the far left is a dark bronze, in middle, white, and on the right a yellow and purple variety.  There may also be a yellow one in the group as well.”

And this is what Lee had prepared for our regretfully postponed Indoor Yard Sale…

Looking for some reading (or listening) material now that you have lots of at-home time? Here are a few suggestions, mostly garden-related, that you may find informative and entertaining.

Emma Erler, UNH Extension Education Center Program Coordinator (as seen on WMUR’s Grow it Green) does live discussions about gardening in the Granite State. Click on a link to see her session on:


Vegetable Gardening


Nuisance Wildlife – scheduled for March 9 at 3 pm

Jana Millbocker, one of our recent speakers, has an article on her blog titled “In Defense of Weeds.” Click here to find out why we should be kind to dandelions.

Jumping worms are on the move in New Hampshire and promise to become a serious problem for our forests. UNH has some new information on potting up plants without spreading the wiggly little buggers. Check it out here.

Now that we’re eating at home more, we have more food scraps. Here’s an activity, designed for kids but adult-friendly, that provides an opportunity to “grow your own”. Read here for some indoor veggie gardening ideas.

As you know, our April 16th meeting, which was supposed to feature a Design Surprise by our own members, has been cancelled. At this date, the May 21st meeting is still planned but that could change at any time. You’ll be updated by email of upcoming changes.

Let’s all be grateful that this quarantine is taking place during New Hampshire’s glorious spring season. Enjoy all Mother Nature’s treats and stay safe!

February Happenings

Our recent brief spate of spring weather may have put you in the mood for planning some new plantings. Take a look at Ann H.’s Horticulture Tips here for some helpful information about bringing winter color into your garden.

Members enjoyed February’s general meeting presentation by Sean Radomski on “Garden Water Features”, which included some beautiful examples of how water features can work with plantings to make a glorious garden.

Member Abbie-Jane took time from her winter respite in Florida to share with us photos of the water features in her beautiful Hampton Falls gardens. Thanks for sharing all this color with us during this drab month of March, Abbie-Jane.

Our March general meeting (held jointly with the Rye Driftwood Garden Club) features Kelly Orzel. She is an organic herb farmer, author, and photographer from Bowery Beach Farm in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.  Kelly will speak on container gardening which adds intimacy to your outdoor space and is flexible for fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The title of Kelly’s presentation is “Out of the Box Container Gardening.” Here is her synopsis:

Hit me with your best pot! Whether you have a patio garden or acres of land, container gardens are flexible while adding a bit of intimacy to your outside space. You can grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers in pots and yes, even small trees! New and old container ideas will be showcased. Then I’ll talk about which plants are best suited for this type of life, as well as introduce you to unique plant varieties, topiaries, and planting recipes to try. And I’ll tell you my grooming and other maintenance tips to keep your container garden blooming all season long.

Saturday, April 25th, is the date of our Indoor Yard Sale. We’re already receiving requests for table space, so this should be a fun and successful event. Sign up sheets for volunteers are available. Watch for details, coming out soon.

Now that spring and gardening season are approaching, local events are being scheduled to help us sharpen our gardening skills. Here are a few to consider:

Emerald ash borer (EAB) was first found in NH in 2013. It has since been confirmed in 97 towns and is now found in every county in the state. This exotic insect is widely considered the most destructive forest pest in North America and has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the eastern United States. Join experts from the NH Department of Agriculture, the Division of Forests and Lands, and UNH Cooperative Extension to learn what this means for you. Topics will include how to respond to EAB’s detection in your town, identifying infested trees, and EAB best management practices. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. March 11, 2020 at 7:00 pm, Town of Lee Public Safety Complex, 1st Floor Meeting Room, 20 George Bennett Road, Lee, NH.

Books in Bloom. Area floral designers, both professional and amateur, will display their creations inspired by a component of a book such as its title, the cover artwork, illustrations or general theme. Children and Adult titles will be on display. Come enjoy their beautiful work. Saturday, March 28, 9 am to 3 pm, Kensington Library, 126 Amesbury Road, Kensington, NH.

 “A Garden for Pollinators and Wildlife,” Vicki J. Brown, NH Natural Resources Steward, Pollinator Pathways Organizing Founder and Speaking for Wildlife volunteer, will provide insights on ways to attract butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife to your yard. Presentation includes interactive Q&A and handouts. There is no cost for this program and all are welcome. Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Brentwood Library, 22 Dalton Road, Brentwood, NH.