Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for October 20, 2017

NH Club Notes: Bow Garden Club taking poinsettia preorders

BOW — The Bow Garden Club’s eighth annual holiday poinsettia sale offers large red, white or pink poinsettia plants with foil pot covers for gift-giving or display purposes.

The plants, grown by D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, may be preordered through Friday, Nov. 10, and will be available for pickup at the Old Town Hall, 91 Bow Center Road, on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon unless other arrangements are made with the seller.

Eight-inch pots with three poinsettia plants are $23; 10-inch pots with four plants are $33. All proceeds will benefit the club’s scholarship and civic beautification programs.

To print an order form, go to or check the Baker Free Library’s bulletin board or contact Joyce Kimball at 229-1990 or Club members also can take orders.

Conservation district to host annual meeting

The Cheshire County Conservation District will host the N.H. Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting and Working Lands Conference on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 2 and 3, at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Keene.

The conference theme is “Supporting Farms Forests to Ensure a Healthy Environment.”

This gathering will bring together community members and conservation partners from across the state to celebrate the year’s success stories and look ahead to furthering conservation progress in 2018.

On Nov. 2, a session from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. will feature highlights from each of the state’s 10 conservation districts as well as updates from statewide and national conservation partners. Lunch will be provided. From 5 to 9 p.m., a cash-bar cocktail hour of locally sourced wine and beer will be followed by 2017 community awards, a conservation art exhibit, Cheshire County highlights from the year, and keynote address and book signing by author David Montgomery. Monadnock Food Coop will provide a locally sourced three-course banquet dinner.

The Working Lands Conference is Nov. 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering workshops on topics such as water conservation and climate change, wildlife habitat, and farm and forest profitability, as well as an optional cover crop bus tour and military veterans networking session. Breakfast, snack and lunch will be provided.

Tickets are $75 for the two-day event; $50 for Nov. 2 only; and $30 for Nov. 3 only. Cheshire County residents may attend the Nov. 2 evening banquet for $20. Scholarships to cover the cost of the Working Lands Conference are available to Cheshire County farmers (use promo code FARMER) and N.H. military veterans (promo code VETERAN).

For more information and to buy tickets, go to

MMRG’s plans ‘CC Mixer’ next week in Wolfeboro

WOLFEBORO — Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) will host its fifth annual “CC Mixer” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Wolfeboro Town Hall, 86 S. Main St.

Speaker Steve Whitman of Resilience Planning and Design will give an overview of the resources developed for MMRG’s new conservation action plan, “Our Home, Our Land, Our Tomorrow.”

The program also will feature networking, information-sharing and brainstorming by conservation commissioners and municipal officials from MMRG’s seven service towns: Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield and Wolfeboro. Members of the public interested in learning about the conservation planning process are welcome, too.

The evening will begin with networking and light appetizers, followed by a roundtable about existing and proposed town conservation initiatives. After Whitman’s short presentation, break-out groups will look at maps and brainstorm possibilities for implementing the Conservation Action Plan.

This event is free, but preregistration is required. For more details, call MMRG’s education coordinator Kari Lygren at 978-7125 or email

Windham club’s program on NH grand resort hotels

WINDHAM — The Woman’s Service Club of Windham will meet Wednesday, Nov. 1, at Windham Town Hall. A luncheon at 11:30 a.m. will be followed by a program at 12:15 p.m. and then a business meeting.

The NH Humanities program, “The Grand Resort Hotels of the White Mountains: Architecture, History, and the Preservation Record,” will be presented by architectural historian Bryant Tolles Jr. He will discuss the history and architecture of the grand resort hotels from the pre-Civil War era to the present. The primary focus will be the surviving hotels: the Mount Washington, Mountain View Grand and Balsams.

The program is free and open to the public. To attend, RSVP at

For more information, contact membership chairman Sue Violi at 889-0578 or go to

Sandown Garden Club members clean roadsides

SANDOWN — Sandown Garden Club members recently donned bright yellow safety vests and formed teams to clear litter from the sides of a 1.7-mile stretch of Main Street (Route 121A), one of the club’s community service projects.

Club members volunteer to clean the roadsides twice yearly, in spring and fall. This activity has earned the club two signs that mark this stretch of roadway. The signs are provided by the N.H. Department of Transportation Adopt-A-Highway Program.

For more about the nonprofit club, visit

Amoskeag Questers plans Lincoln living history talk

DERRY — Amoskeag Questers will host “A Visit with Abraham Lincoln,” a living history presentation by Steven Wood, at 10 a.m. Wednesday Nov. 1, at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 West Broadway.

The program, which is free and open to the public, tells the story of Lincoln’s visit to New Hampshire in 1860.

Derry club’s program on interior houseplants

DERRY — The Derry Garden Club will meet at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3, at the Derry Boys and Girls Club, 40 Hampstead Road.

Guest speakers Jack Wagoner, a master gardener, perennial manager and garden designer, and Melody Soucy, greenhouse manager at Lake Street Garden Center in Salem, will discuss interior design with houseplants and how to beautify your house. They also will create a multiplant container and will bring sample floor plants and terrariums.

A raffle and a silent auction also are planned. A soup and salad luncheon with dessert and beverages will be provided.

For more about the club, go to

Send submissions for Club News to

NH PeopleLifestyle

Article source:

Want a low-water garden that’s pretty? Brentwood club has answers

ANTIOCH — How to design a yard around drought-tolerant plants is the topic at a Brentwood gardening club meeting next week.

Kelly Marshall, an expert in garden design, will talk at 7:30 p.m. Monday to Delta Informal Gardeners at Brentwood Community Methodist Church, 809 Second St.

Visitors are welcome.

The Clayton resident has turned her own quarter-acre garden into a certified wildlife habitat, studied garden design through UC Berkeley Extension, and for the past 12 years has run a business that specializes in helping clients save water by choosing native and drought-tolerant plants.

Marshall will give a PowerPoint presentation and discuss how she uses her favorite native plants to turn open space into a garden — plants that will be for sale after the meeting.

Delta Informal Gardeners meets the fourth Monday of each month.


Article source:

Waynesville Arboretum Project begins second year

The first project of the town of Waynesville Arboretum has celebrated its first full year of growth and blooming. Those who walk along the gravel path between the skate park and the dog park will pass over a new bridge and come to the Serenity Garden.

The garden was a collaborative effort between the Mountain View Garden Club, and Jonathan Yates, town of Waynesville outside facilities manager, and his assistant, Bill Litty.  

The concept of a creation of an Arboretum was presented to the Waynesville Board of Aldermen and Mayor Gavin Brown in the spring of 2016.

The sole purpose of the project is beautification of the park area and education to the public about botanical life there.

Excavation of the Serenity Garden began in July 2016, and within three months the garden design, purchase, and planting of young trees and shrubs were completed.

The plantings all made it through the winter and are now showing their identities in full bloom. There is a garden bench for sitting next to the sound of running water from the Shelton Branch stream.

The Mountain View Garden Club is now maintaining the garden to keep it looking perfect.

Now that the first garden is completed, the Waynesville Garden Club will start the next project — a pollinator garden.

The garden will be located near the Recreation Center and will serve to attract and support butterfly and insect life, as well as provide information about these essential members of the cycle of plant development life and survival.

The horticulture department students at Haywood Community College are growing the plants for the pollinator garden.

Money for these projects comes from the small garden budgets. In-kind contribution of labor and equipment has been provided by the town of Waynesville.

It is anticipated that the Arboretum project will continue to develop for many years to come. The project ties in with the town of Waynesville’s new long-range plans to extend and enlarge the present greenway between the Hazelwood area of Waynesville through the Waynesville Recreation Park on to Junaluska.

Article source:

Madison’s Canterbury Apartments are sold

By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer

David and Karen Griffith, who own 26 properties throughout Morgan County, purchased the Canterbury Apartments, the first apartments ever to be built in the county, from owner Betty Ervin, 83, a prominent business owner in Madison.

“We appreciate all the contributions the Ervin Family has made to Madison’s business community,” said Fred Perriman, mayor of Madison.

“Betty Ervin is known as a strong, successful business woman.  She led her family through tough economic times.  She couldn’t have picked anyone better than Karen and Dave Griffith to build upon her legacy.  The Griffiths see housing issues in the community and are finding ways to address them.  The city looks forward to a good relationship.”

The Griffiths are looking forward to taking over the Canterbury Apartments. “We want to help bring affordable quality housing to the community. It’s something Madison simply does not have enough of,” said Karen Griffith.

“We are really focused on reaching that mid-income level range, to provide people in that range housing options they can both afford and want to live in.” The Griffiths plan on slowly updating and renovating the apartment complex. The first round of updates will be in the form of landscaping and exterior improvements.

“We have had rental properties in Morgan County since 1995. We have built our business on providing well maintained, safe, quality places for our tenants to call home,” said Karen Griffith. “Through the past 20 years, we have added to our residential holdings every year. We own, manage, and maintain residential, commercial and undeveloped property.

The acquisition of the properties from Mrs. Ervin provides us a new opportunity to add our energy and vision to another segment of rental properties in Madison. There is a need for quality 2 bedroom/1 bath residences in Morgan County, and we look forward to transforming the apartments over time. We will begin work on the landscaping and exterior of the buildings soon.” Canterbury Apartments, located on Sulgrave Road in Madison, is a 16-unit apartment complex that was built in the 1970s by the Ervins. Betty Ervin continued to manage the property after her husband died 22 years ago.

“I have cried over this sale, even though I am glad to sell it. It’s like part of my family—like one of my kids. It’s just sad and I haven’t gotten used to it yet,” said Ervin. But Ervin hopes that as she passes the torch to the Griffiths, that they will revamp the Canterbury Apartments and make them better. “I hope you do twice as well as we did with it,” said Ervin to Karen Griffith. Betty Ervin and her late husband, M.P. Ervin, moved to Madison in the early 1950s as a young married couple from humble beginnings.

They opened a small produce store in town and eventually, two liquor stores, two conveniences stores, a BBQ buffet, a car wash, and rental properties. According to Ervin, she worked relentless to become successful in life.

“My husband never got a good education but he had a brilliant mind and good ideas. The Lord blessed him with the ideas and I ran everything. I worked day and night, seven days a week sometimes, and didn’t take vacations for years,” remembered Ervin. “I have worked sick and right after having a baby. I kept the books and I could cut meat just like a man. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I loved it. I love people and working with them. I have always tried to be faithful and fair to the people working for us or living in our properties,” said Ervin. Now that Ervin has one less commitment, she is hoping to spend her days relaxing and maybe even travelling.

“I don’t care much for travel, but I have always wanted to go to two places, the Grand Canyon and Ireland. I also love my cabin up in the mountains of Blairsville,” said Ervin. Ervin has persevered through some tough years, losing two children in the last couple of years, experiencing two house fires, and a business fire. “You have to be a strong person to get through all that,” said Ervin.

“I’m not gonna give up. I have never given up on anything in my life,” said Ervin. “I tell people all the time, don’t ever say you can’t and don’t ever give up.” She attributes her strength to her faith, which she found in the 1950s during a Billy Graham Crusade. “It changed my entire life,” said Ervin. “God has always answered my prayers, so I know everything will turn out just fine.”

Article source:

Bazaar offers tasty food and holiday ideas [West Friendship]

Fall fairs and festivals are beginning to fill up locals’ weekends. Mark your calendar for Nov. 11, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. when Saint James United Methodist Church presents the 10th Annual Holiday Bazaar and Flea Market. Saint James is at 12470 Old Frederick Road in Marriottsville. Holiday decorations, tasty treats, baked goods, hot breakfast and lunch fare plus craft vendors galore. The Camp Hope Christmas Room is always a favorite with gently-used holiday and household items. Interested craft vendors should contact Janet at 410-442-2020.

Congratulations to West Friendship Elementary music teacher Amy Syversen’s October band musicians of the month. The talented students include Jacob Adams, Serena Venginickal, Arianna Roman, Jaden Adams, Heidi Schwaiger, Avery Saylor, Aadi Doshi, Jaden Song, Calgary Fowler, Morgan Swidersky, Sam Switzer, Arianna Benjamin, Gabriel Summerfield, Hannah Norman, Rushil Patel, Sanah Ahmed, Nathan Ekman, Emma Langner, Tyson Rauscher, Sebastian Alonso and Evan Rayburn.

Eight buildings worth of construction and landscaping equipment are part of the loot during the Fall Machinery Auction on Oct. 21 at 9 a.m. at the Howard County fairgrounds. Roy Gregory and associates promise something for everyone during this huge sale, five acres worth actually, which includes lawn and garden equipment and machinery, cars, boats, golf carts, snow plows, antique woodworking tools and more.

You’ve seen it on HGTV now come check out the marvels of small house construction during the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo at the Howard County fairgrounds in West Friendship. The exhibitors and vendors will be ready to go on Oct. 28 and 29 beginning at 10 a.m. Everything from tiny houses on wheels to yurts.

Private Japanese garden is ‘piece of art and piece of history&rsquo…

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The koi pond is clouded with algae. Invasive cattails obscure the arching bridge between garden and lake.

But a noted Seattle-area landscape architect sees in the neglected, private garden on Bellevue’s Phantom Lake a legacy of the culture and history of Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest, including their internment during World War II and the rebuilding of their lives when they returned home.

Seko Garden, the home and grounds of Joan Seko and her late husband, Roy Seko, could be sold next spring. Joan Seko, 80, can no longer care for the 4-acre property with its hillside Japanese garden sloping down to the lake. She’s purchased a condo about a mile away.

The couple ran Bush Garden restaurant for 44 years, from 1953 to 1997, in Seattle’s Chinatown International District, where it became a center of Japanese-American celebrations, political fundraisers and one of the country’s first, and still beloved, Karaoke bars.

Koichi Kobayashi, a landscape architect who worked on the restoration of the Seattle Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum in the 1970s, is trying to rally support to find a buyer for the garden who would restore it and open it to the public. He said real-estate agents have told him that the 1950s ranch-style house and garden, valued at about $1.3 million, likely would be leveled and a new lakefront home built on the site.

“I don’t have much time,” Kobayashi said. “I’ve seen a lot of gardens wiped out.”

Little-known legacy, Kobayashi had an office for his landscape-design business in the Chinatown International District, near Bush Garden. He ate there often, he said, and was friends with Roy Seko, but never knew about the Bellevue garden.

He learned about it only five months ago, while he was researching gardens built at Japanese internment camps, including Minidoka, in Idaho, where many Seattle-area families were imprisoned during the war.

Among them were several men who would be influential in Seattle-area landscape design and the construction of local Japanese gardens: Fujitaro Kubota, who built the 20-acre garden that is now a Seattle park and historical landmark; Richard Yamasaki, one of the builders of the Seattle Japanese Garden; and Roy Seko.

Roy’s father, Kaichi Seko, was imprisoned at a different camp, suspected of being a spy because of airplane drawings by his then 14-year-old son. He was released after the rest of the family had returned to Seattle. Once he rejoined them, he founded the Bush Garden Restaurant, bought the Phantom Lake property and hired Yamasaki to help him and Roy Seko build the garden.

The garden features many elements common to a Japanese stroll garden,including a cascading waterfall, three ponds, sculpted and pruned trees, stone lanterns and wandering paths.

Yamasaki installed the rockery and bonsai plants that over the years have become overgrown. Kobayashi said he particularly admires the craftsmanship around the waterfall feature, with its tall, craggy rocks. Roy Seko later installed a pump that circulated lake water that spilled over the rocks and flowed through the descending ponds.

Because of its residential setting, Kobayashi said, it illustrates the variety of Japanese gardens in the Pacific Northwest.

Following Kaichi Seko’s death in 1966, Joan and Roy Seko moved into the Phantom Lake home with Roy’s mother, Suye Seko, where they raised five children and continued to make additions to the grounds, including an arching bridge on the lower pond that Roy built in the family garage. In its prime, the garden was featured in Sunset magazine and The Seattle Times Pacific Magazine.

Joan Seko remembers that in the two weeks before her husband’s death in 2004, she set up a hospital bed in the living room so he could look out over the garden and lake. She said hundreds of people visited to pay their last respects.

But she is not sentimental about the garden. She said she remembers her mother-in-law calling in tears while it was being built. The elder Mrs. Seko said her washing machine was broken and her husband wouldn’t buy her a new one. “He’s paying for rocks,” the mother-in-law said.

Joan Seko also remembers plucking pine needles by hand from the sculpted trees to maintain their form, and rushing out with her husband in the middle of a snowstorm with brooms to keep heavy snow off the trees. all part of the garden’s near constant upkeep.

She pointed to grass now growing in the garden’s gravel walks. “There’s no end to the weeding,” she said.

She appreciates the recognition the garden is now getting, and would like to see it saved but said she can’t wait around for a grand plan that may never materialize.

“I’m old. I can’t keep it up. My kids won’t let me get up on a ladder anymore.”


Kobayashi estimates it would cost between $5 million and $10 million to purchase the property and restore and improve the garden. That cost also reflects his ultimate vision — to have a traditional Japanese residence designed and built on the property to replace the existing house.

“The goal is to make the property so unique and precious that no one would want to destroy it,” he said.

Kobayashi said that in the garden he can see the hand of the three men who designed and built it, Yamasaki, Kaichi Seko and Roy Seko, and in that collaboration, their pride in their Japanese heritage and their ability to create landscapes of beauty and tranquility after an experience that he called “the most bitter of their lives.”The garden, he said, is “a piece of art and a piece of history. It would be sad for all of us to lose it.”

Article source:

No drone zone: Duke researchers receive $750000 grant to spot unwanted drones

Are you suspicious that a drone might be watching you at this very moment? Duke researchers are investigating a drone detection and deterrent method to ease your worries.

With a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Duke researchers led by Mary Cummings, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, are teaming up with local areas and other universities to find ways to deter unwanted drones. The project aims to develop affordable devices to detect and report drones to property owners in addition to providing recommendations on how to landscape an area to prevent drone usage.

“Our proposal is that we come up with a solution for you to detect the drones and find out if there are any options that make people less likely to fly drones in your area,” said Rocky Li, a graduate student in the Master of Engineering program who is working on the research.

He explained that there is a lack of inexpensive, user-friendly detection systems on the market. Additionally, the current options available don’t have the technology to notify an owner if drones are being flown on the property in question.

Li is currently working to develop a more affordable detection device that detects the radio waves produced by drones, which are “huge radio emitters.” He plans to test the system in the Duke Gardens—which is a partner in the research—to determine the magnitude of improper drone usage.

He also cautioned property owners against taking any drastic action against drones, no matter how pesky the small aircraft may be.

“The interesting thing is given the [Federal Aviation Administration] statuses on drones—they classify drones as aircraft,” he said. “It’s not legally allowed for you destroy or physically incapacitate or affect the drone’s operation in any way while it’s in flight above your property.”

Although drone use is permitted at certain times on Duke’s campus, requests to fly a drone outdoors must be pre-approved, according to Duke’s drone policy. However, this policy states that there are two sites in the Duke Forest that “have been prescreened as suitable” for drone flying and therefore have a less time-consuming approval process.

William LeFevre, executive director of Duke Gardens, noted that he was excited to collaborate with the researchers.

“We’re part of the University—we like to help other departments and the academic side of the institution with their research if it’s possible,” he said. “It made sense that if [Cummings] was doing research into how to deter unwanted drones from flying in any area, that the Gardens could be a good little outdoor laboratory for that work.”

LeFevre added that drones are spotted flying in the Duke Gardens about “three to four times a year,” but that locating the owner of the drone is often difficult. Sometimes, however, a staff member does find the drone’s operator.

“Generally, it’s innocent and they didn’t realize [the policy],” LeFevre said. “It’s hobbyists, amateurs.”

There are several reasons that drone flying in the Duke Gardens could be dangerous or disturbing, he explained. LifeFlight helicopters heading to Duke Hospital have a landing pad adjacent to the Gardens, so drone flights could pose difficulties for the helicopters’ pilots.

“Just from the standpoint of the safety, privacy and enjoyment of our visitors, it is detrimental to a botanical garden experience to be in the garden and have drones buzzing around your head, and that happens from time to time,” LeFevre said.

A second portion of the project will rely on landscaping experts from Clemson University who will come to the gardens to test their ideas, Li explained. They will examine whether certain landscaping features deter drones more effectively than others.

Hala Nassar, assistant professor of planning and landscape architecture at Clemson, will be involved in this side of the research.

“We will be testing the effectiveness of landscape architecture features, elements and interventions that can make the public safe outdoors,” she wrote in an email.

Li said that the final product of the three-year project will include a paper that advises property owners about possible solutions to unwanted drones. He expected the research would be applicable to public spaces all around the country, especially those that are inundated with uninvited drones.

The Town of Cary government also contacted the researchers to express interest in helping with the project, Li added.

“The better the outreach, the more effective our communications, the more convincing our results will be,” he said.

Article source:

Ellen DeGeneres snaps up an oceanfront spot in Carpinteria for $18.6 million

Ellen DeGeneres, who has history when it comes to fixing up and selling homes, appears to have found her next project.

The daytime talk show host and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, have purchased a home in Carpinteria for $18.6 million, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly about the sale.

Set along roughly 80 feet of sandy beach, the gated estate centers on a shake-sided main house of about 6,000 square feet. A matching guesthouse, lighted clay tennis court and plunge pool share the more than one-acre site.

The main residence, built in 1979, has been extensively remodeled and features light wood floors, vaulted ceilings and walls of windows that bring ocean views inside.

Around Town Briefs: Blogging parents, Yiddish Cabaret and ‘black gold’

Teens and parents lifeline

The Teen Therapy Center of Silicon Valley at 246 Union Ave., has launched its fourth annual blog series to help parents of teenagers.

“How to Build a Better Life with Your Teen,” is a free blog that features more than 20 articles on topics such as identity development, college application anxiety, vaping, suicide risk, healthy boundaries and family dynamics.

While most articles are targeted at parents, some are meant to be shared with teens to help start communication and discussions. Visit

Old-style Yiddish Cabaret

The Yiddish-inspired cultural group KlezCalifornia performs “Caberet by the Bay” onSunday, Oct. 22, 4-6 p.m., at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, 14855 Oka Road. The performance showcases contemporary, traditional and original interpretations of Yiddish culture.

The family-friendly event features klezmer music, dancing, comedy and juggling. Traditional knishes and egg creams  will be for sale.

Tickets are $18-$25 at; the show is free for ages 6-12.

Black Gold in the garden

Retired Los Gatos High School agroecology teacher Les Kishler calls compost black gold and the heart of the garden. He’ll share his compost-making secrets with the community at an Oct. 28 workshop that meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. The workshop will be held at the community gardens at the back of the high school, 20 High School Court. The gardens are adjacent to the tennis courts.

Kishler’s LGS Recreation course costs $32.

To pre-register, visit or call 408-354-8700, ext. 261. Visit Kishler’s website at

Article source:

In Your Garden: We say goodbye

Enjoy fall color in your garden with colorful trees and shrubs.

Enjoy fall color in your garden with colorful trees and shrubs.
Photo by Bob Dass

Editor’s note: This is the last ‘In Your Garden’ column Jenny Watts will have for The Willits News. We want to thank Jenny for all the wonderful columns she has shared with our readers over the years and wish her health and happiness in retirement.

Thirty-six years ago my husband Dave and I moved to Willits from San Jose with our infant son, Michael. We bought a piece of property on Locust Street, moved into the house, and watched the rain pour down all that winter.

But the first of April, the rain magically stopped, and we opened Sanhedrin Nursery with plants in our front yard and a sales counter on our front porch.

Previously, I had owned a small nursery in San Jose for 6 years, where I had learned the nursery business. But Dave and I decided to leave the Bay Area and we came up to Willits when the local nursery, Fallen Leaf Nursery, went out of business.

So we started a little nursery here in Willits. Of course it was a very different climate from San Jose, so the learning curve was pretty steep. With a much shorter growing season and a lot more cold and rain in the winter, we became acquainted with the challenges of being a gardener in Willits.

As the farm advisor told us, “he didn’t know anything about diseases until he moved to Mendocino County.” So we had a lot to learn. Our library grew and grew and so did our knowledge.

Of course we took The Willits News and advertised our fledging business in it. At that time the newspaper ran a garden column by Rosa Rugosa. But two or three years later, she retired. So I contacted Claudia Smith, the editor at the time, and asked her if she would like me to write a garden column for the paper. She agreed, and thus began a new career for me as a garden writer.

I decided to call my column, “This Week in Your Garden.” I posted a few gardening tips each week, which were timely “things to do,” and then wrote an article on some subject that was relevant to the season, like fruit trees in January and rhododendrons in May.

Every Tuesday evening, I sat down — originally at my typewriter — and invited my muse to inspire me to write an interesting article. It was not always easy, but somehow I managed to find a good topic to share each week.

In the late 1980s, my sister, Geri Hulse-Stephens, and I decided to put together a garden calendar using my garden tips and her illustrations. It was the early days of using computers for layout so I had to learn a lot of new skills to create a calendar. The result was four years of beautiful “Gardening in Willits Calendars.”

Over the years I have received many compliments on my articles. Almost every week it seemed like someone would tell me that they enjoyed my garden column. Some even said that they cut out the articles and saved them! But you know how that goes…

So in the last few years I started thinking about compiling them into a book. I decided to use my sister’s lovely illustrations, and began work to create a small book that was informative as well as pleasing. I titled it, A Year in the Garden: Gardening in the Willits Area.

The format that I have chosen for the book is to present a selection of my articles in a month-by-month arrangement. My articles focus on the vegetable garden, the orchard, shade trees, flowering shrubs, perennials and bulbs, as well as insect and disease problems.

I see this book as a gift to the community. For 36 years our goal has been to help our customers become successful gardeners, and this book continues that intention. Copies are available at Sanhedrin Nursery.

As many of you know, Dave and I have decided to retire and close Sanhedrin Nursery. We have really enjoyed being part of this community, and it is bittersweet for us to close and move on. We leave behind a part of ourselves and we are glad that we have been able to serve this community for so long.

Gardening tips

• Spray citrus and other tender plants with Cloud Cover to give them some protection from frosts.

• Empty birdbaths and fountains and cover them for the winter, to prevent water freezing and cracking the bowls.

• Transplant shrubs that need to be moved this month. It’s also a good time to transplant natives.

• Primroses and pansies will add instant color to pots and flower beds. Combine them with bulbs for an extended season of bloom.

• Spray for peach leaf curl with copper spray at Thanksgiving, New Years and Valentine’s Day to help protect trees from this damaging fungus disease.

Jenny Watts is a California Certified Nursery Professional and Co-owner of Sanhedrin Nursery in Willits. Visit

Article source: