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Archives for December 29, 2017

Garden Club of the Eastern Shore accepting scholarship applications

EASTON — Graduating seniors attending high school in Talbot County and expecting to major in horticulture, landscape architecture or design, botany, environmental science, agriculture or a related field may be eligible for a scholarship of up to $4,500 from the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore.

Scholarship applications are available from guidance counselors in all Talbot County high schools. They also may be obtained by calling Dorothy Whitcomb at 443-385-0486. Applications are due back to the guidance counselors’ offices by the close of school on April 3.

The GCES Scholarship is merit-based. Outstanding academic achievement, along with volunteer or work experience, which shows a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence, will be considered when evaluating applications.

GCES President Jill Meyerhoff said, “The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore has awarded 15 scholarships to Talbot County students since 1999. We are committed to helping talented young people achieve their educational goals and are proud of previous recipients who have gone on to become teachers, researchers, landscape architects and designers, and environmental educators. They are all making important contributions both here on the Shore and in other parts of the country.”

The GCES is focused on promoting environmentally sound landscape practices and providing educational programs for the community that explore conservation practices and environmental issues. In addition to awarding its scholarship for the past 15 years, GCES spearheaded the restoration of Easton’s Thompson Park, which along with the garden at the Academy Art Museum, it maintains.

For information about GCES programs or to make a contribution to the scholarship fund, call Whitcomb at 443-385-0486.

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Belle Isle garden by renowned designer Piet Oudolf is a go | Crain’s …


  • Garden designed by internationally known designer Piet Odolf approved for Belle Isle
  • He is said to be open to additional Detroit commissions, as well
  • Will be present at Detroit Film Theatre screening of film on his work


Internationally renowned designer Piet Oudolf has agreed to design a garden for Belle Isle and is open to additional commissions in Detroit.

The island garden will be planted on a 1.5-acre, grassy site near the Nancy Brown Peace Memorial Carillon and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, a site chosen by Oudolf himself during a visit to Detroit earlier this year.

The Dutch-born Oudolf is considered by many to be a modern-day Frederick Law Olmsted, the 19th-century designer credited with much of the original design for Belle Isle, as well as New York City’s Central Park. He worked on design of the High Line park in New York City — which transformed an old elevated rail line into a public space — and the Lurie Garden in Chicago.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which manages Belle Isle, approved the Detroit project early in December.

The Garden Club of Michigan, which led the effort to bring an Oudolf garden to Belle Isle, has raised $150,000 to cover his commission and travel expenses from his home in the Netherlands.

Additional fundraising for the $2.7 million project — which would include an endowment for maintenance and operation — will be led by Oudolf Garden Detroit. Among the group’s members are Maura Campbell, immediate past president of the Garden Club and fellow board member Jean Hudson, who’ve co-chaired the effort to bring Oudolf to Detroit, along with other members of the club and other local supporters.

The Belle Isle Conservancy has agreed to serve as fiduciary for the fundraising effort.

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Club Notes: Landscape company owner to speak to garden club

Landscape company owner to speak to garden club

AMHERST — Paul Koehler, owner of Koehler Landscape Construction Services in Amherst, will give a presentation on “Sustainable Landscape Design” during the Amherst Garden Club’s meeting Thursday, Jan. 4.

Koehler’s program will cover conservation of natural resources, environmental impact awareness, sustainability audits, design functionality, sustainable design with emphasis on minimal maintenance, combining hardscapes and executing the perfect design plan.

The club says Koehler and his company are known for giving back to the community in their work with New Hampshire Breast Coalition and by painting their snow plows pink is support of breast cancer awareness.

The meeting will take place at 9 a.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 303 Route 101. After the business meeting and refreshments, the program will begin at 10:30 a.m. The public is welcome to attend with no fee.

More than 100 attend Interfaith Women’s event

MANCHESTER — More than 100 women attended Interfaith Women of New Hampshire’s “Welcoming Winter with Joy” event this month at Temple Israel.

The program offered a variety of performers, including Karishma Manchanda, a Manchester High School Central student who performed the Madhubanmein Radhika, an Indian dance designed to portray a connection with the divine, and Aksara, a four-women a cappella group, who sang a mix of music from a global perspective. 

Sarra Allegra Spierer Reisman, a cantor and pastoral associate serving Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton, Mass., shared songs of Hanukkah and other music in the Jewish tradition. She closed her performance by asking those present to join her in singing “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. The group says Spierer Reisman, a Manchester native, is a longtime participant in interfaith learning.

Riman “Rimi” Dwiadari, a graduate student from Syria, offered a reading from the Quran about the birth of Jesus, in Arabic and the translation in English.

Rachel Spiererwhich, a member of the Steering Committee and Temple Israel, concluded the program with a holiday sing-along.

The evening’s free will offering was donated to the Toys for Tots at the request of Temple Israel.

Windham club to award scholarships to 2 students

WINDHAM — The Woman’s Service Club of Windham’s next meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 3, will be its scholarship recipients’ luncheon.

The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. at Windham Town Hall. 

College students Christopher Houde and Jake Parker of Windham will receive their awards after successfully completing their first semester. The meeting will follow the awards presentation.

Guests are welcome at the club’s meetings, especially those who would like to learn more about the club and meet the members. For more information, contact membership chairman Sue Violi at 889-0578, visit or “like” the club on Facebook.

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Welcome Mat: Film on garden designer Piet Oudolf

Film on acclaimed garden designer Piet Oudolf at the DIA

The Garden Club of Michigan and the Detroit Institute of Arts auxiliary Friends of Detroit Film Theatre will co-host a program at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 that includes the documentary “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf” and a conversation with Oudolf and filmmaker Thomas Piper. Oudolf’s garden in the Netherlands has become renowned for its radical approach and ideas about planting design. In his 35-year career, Oudolf has achieved international acclaim and was given the Netherlands’ Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Award in 2013. Along with being the co-founder of Future Plants, a company specializing in selecting, growing, breeding and protecting plants for landscaping and public areas, Oudolf has also co-written many books. His projects include No. 5 Culture Chanel in Paris, the High Line in New York City, Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Serpentine Gallery in London, England, and Italy’s Venice Biennale. At the invitation of the Garden Club of Michigan, Oudolf has committed to design a garden in Detroit and proposed a site on Belle Isle. Oudolf and Piper will be present at the screening to discuss the Belle Isle proposal with audience members. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors and FDFT members and are available at

Winter Sale at IKEA

Check out the post-holiday deals during the IKEA Winter Sale featuring up to 50 percent off select items throughout IKEA stores and online through Jan. 10. Find everything from furniture to decorative accessories, kitchen goods and more at discounted pricing during this seasonal event. For information, go to

Ring in 2018 with party bling

Whether you plan to ring in the new year by spending a quiet night at home or hosting a more traditional celebration, you can always find the right decor to mark the occasion. From celebratory banners to streamers and everything in between, look for colorful accoutrements from sources like Party City to get your rooms ready to welcome 2018. For information, go to

Make It Take It Workshop at English Gardens

English Gardens presents free seminars, a Make It Take It Workshop and the introduction of a Kid’s Club in January starting with the free seminar: Improve Air Quality with House Plants from 1-2 p.m. on Jan. 6. Other free seminars later in the month include Fairy Mini Gardens, Arranging Fresh Flowers and Healthy Eating with Herbs. Advanced registration and fees are required for the Kid’s Club: Plant an Enchanted Fairy Garden and the Make It Take It Workshop: Fresh Floral Arrangement. For information, go to

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Master gardener volunteer training

Learn about horticulture and share your knowledge through community volunteering.

Would you like to learn more about gardening and landscaping? It is not too late! Consider registering for the Master Gardener Volunteer Level 1 Training Program offered through UW-Extension, Jefferson County.

The 14-week Level 1 Master Gardener Volunteer Training will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Monday evenings beginning January 15, 2018 and concluding in late June. Training will be held at the UW-Extension, Jefferson County Office located at 864 Collins Road in Jefferson. The program cost is $175. $40 will be refunded upon successful completion of volunteer hours. The course fee includes training materials and a comprehensive set of UW-Extension horticulture publications. The training is open to the general public although participants must be at least 18 years of age. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis and class size is limited to 25 participants.

The Training Program will include presentations, labs and activities on a wide range of topics such as: lawn care, house plants, plant pathology, botany review, backyard wildlife, fruits, vegetables, landscape design, soils, perennials, annuals, weeds and composting among others. Interactive classes will include presentations by UW specialists, local experts and other guest speakers.

Successful completion of the training program is the first step to becoming a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer and a member of the Jefferson County and Wisconsin Master Gardener Associations. In exchange for training, participants share their time and knowledge in their local communities by completing 24 hours of approved garden related volunteer service before October 1, 2018. This can be easily accomplished through on-going activities such as local community projects, providing educational assistance and training or answering horticultural questions referred to you. Jefferson County Certified Master Gardener Volunteers work at local public gardens, nursing homes, community beautification projects, local foods education, home show exhibits, county fair and much more!

For more information, attend the Introduction meeting on Thursday, January 4 where a broad overview of the program will be delivered, questions will be answered and registrations will be accepted. If you are unable to attend the introductory session, please feel free to contact the Jefferson County UW-Extension office at (920) 674-7297, or visit with any questions. Registration information may be obtained by calling the UWEX Office, emailing the office or visiting the website Registrations may be turned in at any time to the UW-Extension Office.

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Gardening calendar

INTRODUCTION TO FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPING: 10 a.m. Jan. 4, Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve, 945 Mackay Blvd., Lake Alfred, free, for required registration call Parks and Recreation Department at 863-291-5272 or Presented by Patsy Glasscock. The nine principles that make up Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program in Polk County.

GROWING AND COOKING WITH COOL SEASON VEGETABLES: 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 5, Lakeland Electric, 501 E. Lemon St., Lakeland, free, Learn how to grow cool season vegetables as well as how to harvest, preserve and prepare foods with them, register for all workshops at For questions, contact


Barefoot Gardener Organic Garden Club

Members share knowledge on how to grow or where to obtain local, organic fruits and vegetables through the Yahoo group, the website, Facebook, classes or field trips.

When: Visit for events

Contact: 863-904-8620,

Plant City Garden Club

Jan. 8: Speaker James Reed, owner of Three Pines Tree Farm on Bugg Road. Flower therapy after meeting. Bud vases.

When: 10:15 a.m. coffee; 10:30 a.m. meeting, second Mondays

Location: The Walden Lake East Community Center, 1304 Teakwood Drive, Plant City

Contact: Lisa Firm at 813-404-4922,

To be included in the Garden Notes calendar, notices must be sent prior to each meeting. Include information about where and when the meeting or event will be and what the meeting topic will be by noon Wednesday to publish Friday. Must be open to the public. Send to The Ledger, P.O. Box 408, Lakeland, FL 33802, email


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Micro-greens in the winter

The most memorable weather event of 2017 was the devastating May 8 hail storm, which caused more than $1 billion in insurance claims and buckets of tears from gardeners.

The hardest-hit areas were north and west Denver, north Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Golden and Commerce City. The rest of the Front Range had little damage, and residents there were plain lucky.

What seemed like rocks of ice, sized from cherry to large beefsteak tomatoes, pounded the area, damaging car windshields, house siding, shopping malls and many living plants.

Gardeners started posting photos and sharing their landscape damage reports later that afternoon and in the days that followed. Leafless trees looked sad and helpless. Plants from hardy roses to very tough manzanita shrubs were reduced to sticks.

Thankfully, in time, trees leafed out again, plants recovered or were replaced. Shakespeare couldn’t have said it better: “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.”


With a little aftercare, seasonal plants provide continuous enjoyment. Water Christmas cactus, Norfolk pine and poinsettias as needed (when the top inch of soil medium dries); drain any excess water from the tray. Keep plants from cold drafts but near bright light, not direct sun. Fertilize poinsettias every two weeks, the Norfolk pine every few months, and Christmas cactus between April and October.

Consider holding on to holiday poinsettias, since they grow year-round. They will need particular care in spring to get them to re-bloom next fall. In May, the plant can be trimmed and cut way back to stimulate new growth and side branching. It will look puny after pruning, but care for it like a houseplant until late fall when it will need complete darkness (13 hours) and light each day (11  hours) from mid-September to Thanksgiving.  More on year-round poinsettia care here.

Cut off amaryllis blooms when they fade, but wait to cut down the green stalk until it has turned yellow, forcing energy back into the bulb. Water when the top 2 inches are dry and fertilize every few weeks. It can be moved outdoors after the last frost or kept indoors and treated like a house plant until next fall, when it needs several weeks of low-light rest before coaxing it back to growth with water and light.

Recycle dried-out Christmas greenery or use them along with cut branches from Christmas trees to place over new plantings, including fall planted bulbs, for extra protection from winter freeze thaw cycles.

Denver County treecycling home pickup runs from Jan. 5 through January 12, 2018. Set out non-flocked natural trees near your trash pick-up area between these dates. Drop off spent trees and greenery through the 31st at the Havana Nursery or Cherry Creek Recycling Drop Off. For location addresses and information, click here.

Free mulch for Denver residents from recycled trees can be picked up at the annual May Mulch Giveaway Compost Sale.

Christmas tree lights can be recycled at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop Off until Jan. 13. For additional information, click here.

Micro Punch of Nutrients

Got the winter can’t-plant-outside blues? Grow micro-greens inside. They take 10 minutes to plant, 10 days to grow and much less than 10 minutes to harvest. The flavors are wonderfully intense and fresh. They are a miniature essence of spring but with more crispness and kick.
The antioxidants are off-the-charts healthy. Grow them for juicing or add these tasty little greens to salads, soup toppings or sandwiches. Growing micro-greens just may become your new favorite, beneficial habit in the New Year.

Micro-greens are the first seedlings of plants that are normally seeded outside and harvested when fully grown like lettuce, broccoli, basil, sunflowers, peas or custom seeds of mustards, cress and chard (and more). Purchase specific micro-green seeds in packets from garden centers or mail order. One caution: Parsnip seeds are poisonous, so only use them for seeding outside.

Anyone can grow micro-greens. No need to buy lighting equipment or heat pads, either, just use a container that drains, even a rinsed-out plastic lettuce carton works (poke holes in the bottom to drain).

Put sterile potting soil in the container, then  sprinkle several seeds on top. Cover with a bit more soil, water, and then place near a sunny window or under grow lights. Check them often to make sure the soil doesn’t dry out; do not over water. Use scissors and cut them down to the top of the soil at the 1- to 2-inch height stage in roughly seven to 10 days. Rinse and enjoy.

Repeat the process for a continuous supply all winter. (You’ll need to use fresh seeds each time, but it is OK to re-use the soil unless disease sets in.)

Betty Cahill speaks and writes about gardening in Colorado. Visit her at for more gardening tips.

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Southern Arizona gardening enthusiasts find opportunities for friendships to bloom

Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at

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