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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
May 2018					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT "MEETING": Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 North Branch Reformed Church

Dear GOSV:

Without fail year after year the plant swap in May is typically one of the best meetings. Though in times past when the club was much larger the amount of plants available was way greater, now instead of sheer volume, one can hope to uncover an occasional surprise or two. Most everyone either empties the vehicle or decides to reload and come home with new items. Itís also the time of year when the hard work of cleaning up the winter debris and tilling the soil has mostly been completed, and now comes the fun part, planting and growing, and hopefully not too much watering. With these chores out of the way members are generally in a happy mood and also excited about picking up the scholarship geraniums and flowers, supporting the clubs main public service mission. So bring in those extra seedlings, bulbs, ornamental grasses, divided plants, flower pots, decorative items, remember, whatever is lying around and perhaps considered junk can become someone elseís prized possession. I still and will always treasure this one-of- a- kind rusty old hand cultivator donated by the late George Osterman.

Though Duke Farms closed for a bit and underwent a major change in strategy around 2012 (and it obviously worked as on most weekends one can barely find a parking space), many of us remember the old days when the highlight of a visit was walking through the old estate and particularly the greenhouses. The program next week given by Dorothy Smullen can be considered a stroll down memory lane as she goes back in time and shows off all those magnificent themed gardens. Without giving away too much, Doris Duke used to travel the world visiting the most beautiful places and then had the best ideas recreated on her estate for everyone to enjoy without ever leaving Hillsborough, NJ. At the time, it was the best $5 (or whatever the nominal cost) one could spend on horticultural recreation.

I canít urge you enough to come next week, the plant swap is always fun, the more traders the better, and the slide show should be extraordinary.