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.)
Ann Swears in New BoardHospitality Led a Sing-along
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/
It’s safe to say that spring is in the air. Even though that air might feel damp and cold today and snow clouds are hovering overhead, most of us are sensing a certain optimism that we’ll soon be poking around in our gardens again. All we have to do is look for the early bulbs popping out of the soil in our sunny beds for evidence.
James Brewer, our February speaker, showed us what can be achieved in our landscapes this summer – if we are amazingly talented or if we have him design our gardens. Attendees enjoyed slides of his spectacular landscape design work, along with his descriptions of the projects and of his transition from novice English gardener to established New England landscape designer.
James BrewerSlide of a design in progressJames and his trusty assistant, BillHouseplants decorated the refreshment tableThe plants were as pretty as the food was delicious.
In addition to an interesting selection of very healthy houseplants and tempting homemade snacks, Linda S. provided servings of Green Goddess soup for members. She has shared the recipe for this delicious (and very green) soup – it can be found in the Recipe Box on the website. (Thanks to Patti S. & Ann H. for the photos.)
As a followup to his appearance at our meeting, James Brewer sent us this note: ‘Dear ladies / members of the Stratham & Exeter Garden Club’.
I wanted to send you all a huge thank you for making Bill and I feel so welcome and staying awake while I talked to you all today. Thank you for the opportunity to share a snippet of my story and discuss some of my gardens both large and small. I wish you well for the coming season and hope you all enjoy your gardens, have good health and bountiful blooms in 2022…
Cheers, James & Mr. Billster…
Club News: Our Budget Committee met on March 3rd to draw up a budget for next year. The membership will be voting on the budget at the May meeting. In the meantime, there are a few vacancies on the board for committee chairs for next year. If you are interested in getting to know more members or becoming more involved, please contact Linda S. to discuss the positions that are available. Current and former board members will tell you that being on the board is the “funnest” part of being a garden club member. And if you’re interested in helping out on the Nominating Committee, there is still time to sign up, by contacting Linda S.
Our club is very excited to announce that, in conjunction with the Exeter Library, we’ll be hosting horticulturalist and garden historian John Forti, on May 24th at 6PM in the library’s Meeting Room. He will be giving a talk on heirloom gardening. John has directed gardens for Plimoth Plantation Museum, Strawberry Banke Museum, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and Bedrock Gardens. He also serves as a regional Slow Food Governor and biodiversity specialist for Slow Food USA. Here is a synopsis of his presentation:
The Heirloom Gardener – Traditional Plants and Skills is John Forti’s newest presentation. It draws from his new book of traditional plants and skills for the modern world. Richly illustrated with period images and contemporary woodcuts, his PowerPoint shares inspiration from our long history of heirloom preservation, garden craft and homestead lifeways. Artisanal gardening lifestyles that are helping us to rebuild vibrant local agricultural economies and celebrate sustainable cottage industries that are contributing to our new, homegrown American arts & crafts movement and backyard environmentalism. At a time when we could all use a little good news, we hope you will join us for a refreshing look at how you can make a difference and build habitat in your own backyard and community.
He also has a book. These days, we all need some good news and a way to participate in meaningful change. The Heirloom Gardener-Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World is a book for gardeners who want to deepen their knowledge and improve life for families, pollinators and wildlife in their own backyards. It’s a love poem to the earth; a map to the art of living intentionally and a guidepost for environmental gardeners and artisans. It unearths old-ways, storied plants and artisanal life-skills; like seed-saving, herbalism, foraging, distillation, ethnobotany and organics which contribute to a new 21st century arts and crafts movement. With woodcuts from Caldecott Medal VT artist Mary Azarian, The Heirloom Garden offers a dose of wild hope for a weary nation. It is available through this link.
“A Garden for Pollinators & Wildlife: Natural Landscaping for a Better Yard” is a program being offered at the Brentwood Library on Tuesday, March 15 from 7 to 8 pm. The talk will be presented by Vicki J. Brown, NH Natural Resources Steward, Pollinator Pathways NH Organizing Founder and Speaking for Wildlife volunteer. She will provide insights on ways to attract butterflies, bees, birds and other wildlife to your yard. You can sign up by clicking here.
November was the month for EAGC to acknowledge the gardening successes of the past summer and to begin preparations for the upcoming Holidays. Here are some highlights of the November General meeting….
Anne C, Sue B, and Mary Jo presented our annual Beautification Awards:
Winners of the Residential Award — Sherm and Cathy Pridham of 23 High St., Stratham
Representatives from St. Vincent de Paul, 53 Lincoln St., Exeter, who received the
David Donsker accepted an Honorary Award on behalf of his wife, Terri, for the outstanding garden she loved to share with her fellow club members.
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The Design Committee arranged a showing of the beautiful Holiday centerpieces made by members at their November design class. It’s evident that we have some talented floral arrangements amongst us:
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The Beautification Committee met late in the month to decorate the Exeter Historical Society for the Holidays. As always, the results are colorful and festive:
Lynda models the Folsom Tavern door wreath…
Lots of volunteers make for quick work….
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Are you wondering what to buy your gardening friends for the Holidays? Just in time for last minute shopping, E&C Chair Linda has put together a list of Pollinator-oriented books for gifting….
Books to Put on Your Christmas List
Attracting Native Pollinators – The Xerces Society An informative and easily read book about pollinators, pollination, and how to incorporate them into your landscape…no matter what size.
Bringing Nature Home – Douglas W. Tallamy Wonderful discussion of native plants and how to plant so you encourage the pollinators you want. Not all pollinators pollinate everything.
The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener – Tammi Hartung How to attract and encourage pollinators and other insects that are beneficial to your vegetables.
A Book of Bees – Sue Hubbell All you want to know about bees and their lives.
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If you missed the November General Meeting, see what you missed in the Minutes, which can be found on the Website, under “Members Only.”
To brighten our homes for the holiday, EAGC members gathered to make wreaths and create arrangements sharing a variety of evergreens, cones, and berries gathered from our yards. Tables were piled high with fresh boughs of pine, fir, holly, juniper, arborvitae, dried orange slices, and pine cones…and what a very good year this was for winterberry! Under the tutelage of Connie Gilmore and Ann Hohenberger, many beautiful showpieces were created:
Connie & Ann wish to thank to all who participated and contributed flora from their gardens.
We gathered in December at the Wentworth Country Club in Newcastle, where we enjoyed a delicious luncheon of Maple Glazed Salmon or Beef Tenderloin. We heard our fearless leaders, Betsy & Jill, recite their version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” which cleverly included all our members and depicted Santa Claus as a “Hunk”!
We always seem to have great fun when we gather and take a look at some of the wonderful gifts exchanged:
Last, but never least, came Betsy’s Holiday Swap, and it did not disappoint-great food and drink, great friends and great gifts?!?! Here we go:
An M & M Machine, of course!
A noisy chair pad!
Jill needs an extra large beer stein to make it through our meetings!