November Happenings

I think most would agree that the highlight of our month was the General Meeting held jointly with the Hampton Garden Club. It was very well-attended by members of both clubs, the speaker was engaging, and we were able to enjoy a number of presentations set up by both clubs.

Speaker Jana Milbocker spoke about inspiring slides from her book “The Garden Tourist.”

From Ann H. and Connie, co-chairs of the Design Committee:

With Thanksgiving around the corner, our arrangers at the November Design Workshop created seasonal fall arrangements using fresh and artificial flora and locally sourced dried and fresh materials from plants and tree foliage.  Participants mixed and matched flowers in a variety of colors and styles using our provided baskets as containers or their own personal containers. All these lovely arrangement were displayed the following morning at our November general meeting.

Arrangers hard at work.

Here are the beautiful results:

What would the holiday season be without holly? Learn all about this seasonal favorite in this month’s Horticulture Tips, provided by Pat N. of the Horticultural Committee. Click here.

Coming up at our January General Meeting …

Thursday, January 16, “Backyard Birds” will be the topic of speaker, Dr. Stephen Hale.

October Happenings

Before we plunge into the upcoming Holiday activities, let’s take a minute to review some October club happenings. Remember October? Warm sun, lingering blooms, shirt-sleeve weather, sunset at 6:30? Let’s take one last look:

Our October General Meeting was packed with so many special events and exhibits that we had no time for a formal speaker. First and foremost, our Awards Committee, led by Mary Jo, announced the very deserving recipients of this year’s Civic Beautification Awards. In a detailed and enthusiastic presentation, Mary Jo and Jann B described the winning gardens and introduced their dedicated gardeners to the audience. The Residential Award was presented to John and Doreen Andriola, 14 Breakfast Hill Rd., Greenland.

The Commercial Award was presented to Squamscott View Apartments, 277 Water Street, Exeter.  These people were recognized for their contribution: CJ Harding Smith, maintenance supervisor; Matt Berube, manager for the Town of Exeter Water and Sewer; Mary Dupre, former Apartments resident and founder of the flower gardens; Sally McRae, resident and current coordinator of the flower gardens; and Margaret Niland, resident and coordinator of the vegetable gardens.

Carol C. added an interesting and delicious aspect to the meeting with her in-depth presentation on sage. Not only did she provide us with valuable information, she also prepared delicious examples of how sage can be used in various types of food. Her Butternut Squash Soup with Sage was a big hit.

A new meeting feature, sponsored by the Horticulture Committee, is a Hort Specimen table. Many members chose blooms and other foliage from their October gardens, popped them in small containers, and displayed them for all to enjoy. I think we were all surprised at the color and interest that could be plucked from our fall gardens. This will be an ongoing effort, so be on the lookout for your contribution to the November meeting

The Environment & Conservation Committee had their usual detailed display table – this month dealing with the maple tree. Handouts, posters, leaf specimens, and more were available.

Dismantling the Exeter Bandstand flower boxes and cleaning up for the Fall are annual tasks handled ably by the Civic Beautification Committee. This year’s cleanup was organized by Donna W, who with her crew, whipped the bandstand into shape for the coming winter snow and slush. As usual, the committee did a wonderful job this spring and summer of beautifying the heart of downtown Exeter.

For the November 21st General Meeting we’ll be hosting the Hampton Garden Club. Our guest speakers, Jana Milbocker and Joan Butler, will be presenting “The Garden Tourist.” Vicki has provided us with some information about the speakers and their topic.

Do you enjoy touring beautiful gardens? Jana Milbocker and Joan Butler will take us to the best public gardens, nursery display gardens, and private gardens in the Northeast.  Learn about each garden’s highlights, ideal times to visit, and enjoy a visual tour of each amazing destination.  Jana’s book, “The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast,” will be for sale.

Jana Milbocker and Joan Butler are avid gardeners, plant collectors, garden designers and writers. They jointly lecture on a variety of gardening topics to garden clubs and community education classes. They have presented programs at the Boston Flower & Garden Show, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Blithewold and at the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts (GCFM).

Jana and Joan are past presidents of the Holliston Garden Club and are active in the GCFM and other horticultural societies. Currently, they both serve on the board of the Massachusetts Landscape Design Council.

Jana is a garden designer and owner of Enchanted Gardens, a landscape design and installation firm in Holliston. She is the author of The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast, published in 2018. She has authored gardening articles which have been published nationally and writes a website blog at

Joan is a Horticulturist at Weston Nurseries and a Master Gardener. She is a former Chairman of the Massachusetts Landscape Design Council, is a member of Garden Consultants Council and is an accredited Flower Show Judge. Currently, Joan serves on the GCFM Board as Awards Chairman.

Thank you to Ann H and Donna R for the terrific photos found in this post.

September Happenings

The fall months here in New Hampshire bring us so much beauty — by way of both fall colors and perfect weather. They also bring us some creepy-crawly roommates. For more about these invaders, check out Linda V’s October Hort Tips.

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At our September General Meeting, Betsy, Linda V. and their Environment & Conservation committee gave a short presentation about the 2019 Beautification Mini-Grant award recipients. Seven grants, for a total of $1800, were awarded. The recipients were:

  • Portsmouth – Greengard Center for Autism, entrance planters
  • North Hampton – Rye Beach Little Boar’s Head Garden Club, North Hampton Beach parking lot restoration part 2
  • Exeter – Folsom Acres Condo Association, planting to screen compost area
  • Exeter – Yoga Life Institute, plant herbs and edibles
  • Exeter – Intersection of Drinkwater and Hampton Rd., add stone perimeter to garden begun last year
  • Exeter – Tenant’s Council of the Exeter Housing Authority, add a perennial cutting garden for residents
  • Isle of Shoals – Star Island Flagpole Garden Sustainability Project

Star Island Flagpole garden
Star Islamd
Star Island
EHA Tenant’s Cutting Garden

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Speaking of General Meetings, Susan has in introduced an interesting new project for our meetings:

What will we see at the October meeting?

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How does sipping wine & tasting cheese on a chilly fall evening in a lovely home, surrounded by happy friends, sound? If you’re curious, go the the Promise Tree Page to have your questions answered.

Lee C. has shared some shots of her late season gardens…

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And finally, mysterious aliens were spotted admiring our flower boxes at the Exeter Bandstand. Probably snipped some cuttings to take back home with them.

Intrepid photographer: Jill C

July Happenings

Too hot to garden? Find a shady spot and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Members found some beautiful shady spots for the July 18th get-together at Prescott Park in Portsmouth. The volunteer-maintained beds were well worth the visit, as you can see by these photos taken by Jill.

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Lee sent some pictures of her garden for all to enjoy…

Thanks, Lee! Your gardens are so diverse & interesting.

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If anyone is looking for a spectacular garden and home to tour this summer, I recommend the Beauport Estate in Gloucester, MA. Here are a few images of the garden – they don’t begin to do justice to this lovely setting on the ocean. The home is equally interesting – full of quirky and unusual designs and furnishings.

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This very weird-looking plant was spotted in the shady leaf-litter next to a driveway in Georgetown, MA. I guessed it was some kind of fungus, but I’m sure the more knowledgeable gardeners in our club know that is incorrect.

Can you name this? Click on the “Leave a comment” link at the bottom of this post and respond with your answer. I’ll send out the correct identification in an email.