Thank you to all who come to our presentation, “Holiday Magic.” It was a fun night with Bea and Allen of Windfall Market, 77 Scranton Avenue, Falmouth, who made fantastic floral arrangements using unusual containers that are members challenged them with. Precedes from the evening will benefit civic beautification projects and future programs offered to the public by the garden club.
GCN Receives Civic Development Grant
Liz Davey accepted a Civic Development Grant from Suzanne McCance, President of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, at their Annual Fall Conference on October 25, 2017. Grant monies will be used to restore and renovate the Memorial Rose Garden on Town Hill. The plan includes a review of the site’s location, soil, light and watering needs, consultation with a rose gardening expert, removal of invasive plants, and purchase of plant material (roses and perennials) and supporting structures, planting, and installation of all plant material. All work with be performed by Garden Club members and a new system of watering that is amenable to roses will be deployed with the assistance of the Town of Norfolk DPW.
Purpose of project: The purpose of the project is to create a Memorial Rose Garden that fulfills Mary Gould’s original intent for the area and recognizes not only her family members, but also honors the victims of the 9/11 tragedy and those whose commemorative bricks surround the statue.
- Learn what influenced the garden’s failure in the past.
- Learn about sustainable rose gardening.
- Design a new plan for the garden to restore its original intent.
- Remove invasive plants, grasses, spreading perennials and weeds, while keeping plants that fit the new plan.
- Work with town DPW to provide a new way to water the roses.
- Plant sustainable roses and companion plants according to the plan.
- Devise an ongoing monthly schedule of maintenance for the garden.
November Garden Tips by Neal Sanders
Map your Garden. Before you forget where you put new plants this year, map your garden. Do it by sections if your garden is large. Make it easy on yourself by giving parts of the garden names: ‘right of the front door’, or ‘near the Cornus florida’ to designate spaces. Next spring, your map will make it easier to figure out which returning perennial is which. And also do a sketch of your vegetable garden so that next spring you don’t put the tomatoes or peppers, lettuce or beets exactly where they were this year. Rotating planting areas helps to prevent a build-up of disease in the soil.
Clean-up. Our late-October nor’easter left a lot of extra clean-up for many of us. While a maple tree across the power lines is hard to miss, lesser damage can have long-term consequences. Carefully check trees and shrubs for branches broken by the wind or falling debris. Prune them out now; don’t leave them until spring. The clean cut you make now will heal faster and you will protect the plant from further damage by winter storms. Pick up the downed branches and, if you can, have them chipped to use as mulch.
Those leaves are your friends. The late-October nor’easter accelerated the seasonal leaf drop across all of New England. Don’t be discouraged and rake the leaves away. Any leaves not chopped up the first time the lawn is mowed will be taken care of as you continue mowing the lawn until the ground begins to freeze at the end of the month. Remember the leaves will add nutrients and improve the soil with no cost and very little extra work on your part. Leaves that fall on driveways and sidewalks can be raked up for use in compost bins, or chipped with a mower and used under shrubs and around perennials for winter protection. Mow short now. Cool temperatures slow growth so, by Thanksgiving you can usually do your last mowing of the season. Do it short (1 1/2 to 2 inches). Leave the clippings and mowed leaves in place. They will completely break down over winter giving the lawn a booster shot of nutrients in the spring.
Clean and sharpen your tools. Most outdoor work is finished for the season so spend some time winterizing your tools. Tools left in garages or garden sheds over the winter may rust due to high humidity. Cleaning them thoroughly now and then sharpen (pruners, saws, some shovels and so forth) and lightly oil metal surfaces—they will be ready for work in the spring.
Your plants may need water. New England was drenched with water in late October, but soil moisture levels were low from July until mid-month, putting much of the region into a moderate drought as indicated by the Drought Monitor. All woody plants, trees and shrubs, need water now to fill their roots before winter. Once the ground freezes, the plants are in the Sahara as far as access to moisture—no matter how much snow we get over the winter.
Indoor Gardening. Your indoor plants should have somewhat adapted to the loss of light and the dryer air they encountered after being moved in for the winter back in September. The rule now is to use less water and no fertilizer until early February. Houseplants will not begin growing again until they get more light. Keep humidity up by clustering plants and placing them on trays of pebbles to which you regularly add water to just below the bottom of the pots. If you grow cactus, stop all water during through this period because they plants are naturally adapted to a winter drought.
Not All Garden Crops Die with the First Frost. The vegetable garden may still have lettuce, spinach, leeks, Swiss chard, turnips, carrots or Brussels sprouts growing. Enjoy the fresh produce into the winter by keeping a cold frame going. Once you have put the cover over it, you will need to water the vegetables inside for them to continue growing. And, if you have ever considered garlic in the garden, now is the time to plant it. The bulbs will sprout roots now and take off as soon as the soil warms next spring. You’ll harvest garlic in June as long as you remember not to plant supermarket garlic which has been treated not to sprout.
The Not-So-Sweet Vine. The cold weather means you can enjoy a walk in the woods and fields. If you come across bittersweet, look at it carefully. The oriental bittersweet (which is what we usually see) is a highly invasive intruder and should be cut down, bagged and sent to the incinerator. It covers and kills trees in the forest and around the edges of fields. It is illegal to sell items made of oriental bittersweet. The decorative wreath on your front door will be eaten by birds and then many bittersweet plants will bedevil your garden and your neighborhood for years to come. You can tell the difference between the nasty oriental and the friendly native bittersweet by remembering that, on the native plant, the red berries hang in clumps while they are spaced along the vine on the oriental species.