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
Our club is enjoying a busy spring – and we have the photos to prove it! Let’s begin with the May General meeting, which featured Carol C’s comprehensive (and delicious) herb presentation. Along with three assistants, Carol used posters, books, plants, soup, dip, bread, and jelly to educate her audience. She shared recipes for Herb Butter, Potato Soup, Wendy’s May Jelly, Smoked Salmon and Chervil Pate; A Refined Little Salad (made with Bibb lettuce), and Cheese Dilly Bread. Carol also recommended a number of cookbooks.
The Design Committee displayed the charming results of their Tussie Mussie Workshop:
And here are the tussie mussies in the making:
Other business at the May meeting included the election of Officers and the approval of the budget for our 2022-2023 season. Announcements were made about the success of the yard sale, the Veterans Garden clean up, Veterans Garden water and maintenance schedule, and American Independence Museum gardens progress. Planning for our table at the Yuletide Fair in November was also undertaken, with sign-up sheets available for those projects as well as for a Mad Hatters party being hosted by Jill C and Jan C. All in all, a very busy meeting!
Lest you think that May was all fun and good food, we also have been putting substantial effort into our commnnity service projects. A team of members took on the Veterans Garden at Stratham Hill Park, doing a spring clean-up and preparing it for the summer season. As always, it remains a peaceful and beautiful spot for contemplation.
Plantings are continuing to be installed at the American Independence Museum in Exeter. More perennials were added and Karen W. and her husband are still working to perfect the drip watering system. More shrubs and perennials are still to be added, but the improvement in the gardens so far is dramatic.
Another EAGC community service is the awarding of a scholarship to a deserving Seacoast School of Technology student who will be pursuing a degree in a field related to horticulture. This spring we awarded a $1000 scholarship to Zachary Hodgman. He is an honors graduating senior from SST/Epping HS. Zachary will be attending Great Bay Community College this fall majoring in Environmental Science as a stepping stone to further his education. SST filmed the awards ceremony. You can see the presentation of our scholarship at the 1:04 point in the filming. Ann DeMarco of SST read our presentation comments: Seacoast School of Technology Scholarship Night – YouTube
The West Newbury (MA) Garden Club is sponsoring an Art in the Garden Tour, featuring gardens, artists, and musicians. Nine beautiful and inspired gardens located in West Newbury and Groveland will be on display with an art connection. Saturday, June 18th, 10 am – 4 pm. https://www.wngc.org/
EAGC’s big news is the success of our April 30 Yard Sale. Despite a short window for organization and advertising, Johann and her team of volunteers added $1082.91 to our treasury. That includes $210 for table rental, with the rest coming from the sale of our members’ famous baked goods and their donated garden items. Thanks to Johann and all our members who donated baked goods, sale items, and time!
Renovation of Exeter’s American Independence Museum gardens was begun on May 6. This is a new project for EAGC and an important improvement for the museum’s summer season. A small crew of our gardeners was joined by hard-working and strong volunteers from Liberty Mutual Insurance, and a lot was accomplished in four hours. Every plant was removed from the existing beds at the front of the museum, the soil was amended, new plants installed, and a layer of mulch spread. The change was impressive.
Our own member Karen W., a landscape architect, designed a plan and chose the plants, while Keith Whitehouse, owner of Yeti Landscaping, donated time, tools, and labor. Most of the shrubs are planted, with perennials to be added later. Be sure to stop by the museum to see the results of this transformation. It’s at 1 Govenor’s Lane in downtown Exeter.
Our April general meeting featured speaker Neil Sanders who bills himself as author and gardener, but should also add stand-up comedian to that resume. Attendees found themselves chuckling non-stop as he related his experiences as his wife’s designated hole-digger/gardening assistant. Neil also brought a supply of the mystery books he writes when not digging holes.
Our hospitality was table was tempting, as usual, and a number of interesting items were contributed to the sales table.
Our May general meeting, on May 19, will be a special one – we’ll be enjoying a presentation on “Spring Herbs” by members of our own Horticulture committee. It’s safe to say that the discussion will include some tastings, possibly even some recipes. We’ll also be voting on the budget for next year and on our slate of officers for 2022-23. They are: Pat N, President; Vicki B., Vice President; Lee C., Recording Secretary; Ginny T., Treasurer; and LuAnn, Communications Coordinator.
Two of our Designing Women, Ann H. and Lee C. are participating in the Art in Bloom program at the Ogunquit Museum, which will be held Friday June 24th through Sunday, June 26th. Ann and Lee are in the process of choosing an artwork at the museum which Lee will use as inspiration for an arrangement to be displayed with the art. The arrangement will be dedicated to the memory of Connie G. For more info about the program, go to Art in Bloom.
Members who are planning to attend the June 15 Spring Luncheon and Plant Auction have hopefully signed up by now. (If you haven’t, contact Jill C.) Each year we send out a link to Becky M.’s wonderful instructions for potting up the best-looking and healthiest plants for the auction. You can find them here. UNH Extension also has information on sharing plants, including info on Jumping Worms. Find the articlehere. Details about the luncheon and auction will be sent out soon.
Local Gardening Events
The Hampton Historical Society will present a talk about “New England’s Native Flowers and Trade – from the 1600’s – the Present” Wednesday, May 18 at 7 PM at the Tuck Museum in Hampton. Info here.
The Portsmouth Garden Club will present their annual Literature in Bloom program at NOON on May 18 at the Urban Forestry Center. Arrangements will then be on display at Portsmouth Public Library until May 20. Free and open to the public.
John Forti will speak on “The Heirloom Gardener – Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World” on Tuesday, May 24, at 6 PM at the Exeter Library.
The Great Island Garden Club is having their annual Plant Sale – rain or shine – on Saturday, May 21, 12 – 3 PM, at the New Castle Recreation Center, 301 Wentworth Rd., New Castle, NH 03854. In addition to plants, gently used garden tools will be included.
The Rye Beach-Little Boar’s Head Garden Club is hosting John Forti discussing Heirloom Gardens at their June meeting and would like to extend an invitation to any members of the Exeter Area Garden Club to attend. The meeting is June 14 at 1:30 pm at the North Hampton Public Library.
We’re still patiently waiting for warmer spring weather, but rumor has it that we will, indeed, experience sun and warmth sometime before the heat of summer kicks in. Fortunately our spring-blooming bulbs have ignored the chill and treated us to cheerful blooms to pull us out of post-winter doldrums. I don’t know about you, but they make me smile!
EAGC’s big news is our upcoming Indoor Yard Sale – on Saturday, April 30th. This will be our first opportunity in two years to raise funds for the club. We’ve missed out on the revenue from two yard sales and at least one election day bake sale. This is the revenue we’ve used in the past to fund our speakers, mini-grants and scholarships. Thanks to our Promise Tree and the Plant Auction, we’ve been able to sustain our club functions, but now it’s time to raise some money from non-members!
This is our third Yard Sale and it will be similar to the previous two – we’ll be renting tables to vendors and managing several tables of our own. The main difference this year is that our members won’t be donating household goods, as in the past. This year we’re asking for baked goods and garden-related items (including plants) from members.
Johann, our Ways & Means chair, has worked out all the details for the sale and members should have received an informational email. The sale will be advertised online and in the local papers. Now is the time to sign up for a time slot to help on the day of the sale, to think about what you’ll be baking, and to sort through your gardening stash for any unwanted items you can donate. Please contact Johann to sign up or if you have any questions.
March’s general meeting featured Brian Burris, who owns Two Bees Produce, where he grows fresh, local hydroponic greens. He provided an interesting overview of growing hydroponically, using 90% less water and no pesticides or GMO’s. As a bonus, Brian passed out free sample products to attendees.
Our April 21st speaker is humorist and mystery novelist Neal Sanders and his topic is “Gardening Will Kill You”. To assure us that he won’t be talking about man-eating plants swallowing hapless gardeners whole, he’s provided us with a little background about his topic:
Why should you never give a gardener a flower show ticket? Why is your perfect squirrel deterrent that animal’s dream-come-true amusement park ride? Why do rock walls keep growing long after they’re supposedly finished? These are the questions that keep Neal Sanders awake at night while downing Costco-size quantities of ibuprofen. As the spouse of an avid gardener with no ‘real’ responsibilities other than to dig holes and move rocks, Neal has lots of time to observe gardeners and their foibles. Neal is the author of 13 mysteries, seven of which involve horticulture and several of those which use garden club settings. He writes the popular ‘The Principal Undergardener’ blog, which addresses gardening as a non-gardener who loves gardens. His talk is adapted from thoseessays. He and his wife, Betty, live in Medfield where, for the past three years, they have been creating a new garden from scratch.
Dates to Note:
The Portsmouth Garden Club has extended an invitation for our members to join them for a mini-conference on Star Island from Monday, Sept 12, through Wednesday, Sept. 14. The stay includes interesting activities, plus free time to enjoy the island. Also on the schedule – a Social Hour before dinner each night. All-inclusive rates range from $290 to $506. Registration is open now. For more info, click here.
A sure sign of spring: Wellington Gardens in Brentwood is holding their Spring Perennial Sale from Saturday, April 30 – May 5 (4″ perennials: $2.50) and their Annual 6-Pack Sale on Friday, May 6, until sold out (annual 6 Packs: $2.50).
April 19 – Julie Scaramella will speak about “Lavender – The History & Magic”. Rye Driftwood Garden Club, Rye Congregational Church, 580 Washington Road, Rye. 9:30-11:30 a.m. https://www.ryenhgardenclub.org/
April 20 – “Jaw Dropping, Traffic Stopping, Get Your Neighbors Talking Garden Containers” presented by Deborah Trickett, The Captured Garden. Portsmouth Garden Club, Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. https://www.portsmouthnhgardenclub.com/
May18 – Portsmouth Garden Club’s Literature In Bloom. Members discuss what inspired them to interpret a particular book cover they selected. Their Literature in Bloom arrangements will be on display at the Portsmouth Public Library for about two days following the meeting. Urban Forestry Center, Portsmouth. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. https://www.portsmouthnhgardenclub.com/
A Comment on Comments: At the bottom of this post, you’ll see the phrase Leave a comment. When you click on that phrase, a box will appear under the words Leave a Reply. This is where you can tell us all your thoughts about the Happenings you’ve just read. How are your spring bulbs doing? What did you think about the March speaker? Are you interested in the Star Island trip? Curious minds want to know! Make your Happenings editor a happy camper – leave a reply! Thanks, LuAnn