With so much going on in October, your webmaster omitted from the last Happening post the cleanup of the Exeter Bandstand, one of our important community activities. Thank you to those of you who helped out on October 6, 2016. It was a beautiful productive day! Nance Jordan, although missing from the photo was the photographer, ringleader, worker and supervisor.
Exeter Area Garden Club members welcomed fall at an October Design Workshop where they were challenged with the task of creating an arrangement in an unusual container. Members supplied a variety of containers that had interesting stories behind them. We had a luminary fish, an antique metal teapot dug from a backyard, a bathroom plunger topiary, a box turtle shell, an antique leather lace up shoe, teapots, pitchers and more, all requiring a variety of arranging styles.
Ann and Connie thank all who attended and created fabulous floral arrangements, some of which are pictured below.
Our General Meeting for October was a feast for garden lovers, starting with our annual Commercial and Residential Award recipients presented by Anne Campbell and Sue Bowman.
We were fortunate enough to have two residential winners, Judy & David Walter of Stratham and Carol & Jack Fermery of Hampton Falls:
Our Commercial Award went to the Provident Bank, 95 Portsmouth Ave., Exeter, NH for it’s beautifully landscaped parking area, perimeter and window boxes.
All Winners accepting their Awards
Next on our meeting agenda was Terri Donsker with a”Hort Moment”.
Terri’s topic was Callicarpa Dichotoma, Purple Beautyberry Shrub. She passed around a branch from her garden, loaded with purple berry clusters. This deciduous shrub attracts bees, birds and butterflies and grows 3 to 4 feet in Zones 5a to 8b. It grows in full sun to partial shade.
The speaker for our October meeting was Shirley Wigglesworth whose topic was “All About Bulbs”. At the end of her presentation, Shirley gave out bags of bulbs.
The last event for October was a fun-filled promise tree Trick or Treat party held at Max’s in Newburyport on October 27th:
It was a busy month!
Ikebana Lessons for Our Gardens
Even if you do not aspire to make arrangements like the ones that Merle Schlesinger created before our eyes there is much to take away from her program. Whether you draw out a design for your garden or (as is too often the case with me) wander around with pots of new plants in your arms trying to figure out where to put them, your garden will make you happier if you follow some of the ikebana principles. Here are some I jotted down as Merle spoke:
Place your plants to encourage the eye to travel. This is true whether you are planting a bowl of succulents or an acre.
Pay attention to negative space. The space between your plants is part of the design.
Plant in odd numbers and slightly off kilter. Merle demonstrated this by creating a triangle with unequal sides. To use another example, if you are planting a bunch of daylily divisions place them in teardrop shape rather than a perfect circle.
Place plants with attention to mass, line, color (remember green counts as many colors), shape, and texture.
Keep in mind that a pleasing design has elements that advance and recede. This effect can be created quite literally or more playfully with color and forced or false perspective.
With each of her designs Merle was careful to disguise her pin holder. Similarly in the landscape it is usually a good idea to anchor specimen plants with underplantings.
Merle did not mention this but I noticed that she used repetition.
Finally, be sure to walk around and look at your garden from lots of angles, preferably with a glass of your favorite beverage.