Gardeners of Somerset Valley

February 2005					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, February 16, 7:30 PM, At the North Branch Reformed Church
This month we are extremely fortunate to have Master Gardener Charles Hildebrant present a first in a series of lectures he has developed for gardening audiences throughout central New Jersey titled “Landscape Care and Problems”. Mr. Hildebrant, proprietor of Hildebrant Nurseries that was established in 1923, has traced his family’s New Jersey agricultural roots as far back as 1740. He belongs to the International Propagators Society, and all the plants sold at this Oldwick nursery are grown on the site. Though not the main theme of his talk, with any luck we might be able to conspire and get Mr. Hildebrant to sprinkle his lecture with local historical lore along with some professional seed starting tips. On October 19, 2005, he has tentatively been invited back to talk about “Winterizing your Landscape”, but thankfully between now and then we have a lot of gardening ahead of us.

On the business side, VP Catherine Mazauskas has been tasked with heading the important search committee that will be presenting a slate of nominations for officers and trustees. As of this writing, all the board members and trustees have agreed to continue in their current capacities, but if you are interested in or know of someone who would like to play a more active role in the organization, requests for additional nominees can be made from the floor. A vote will then be taken at the March meeting, after which the planting season will soon be in full swing and our elected officers can concentrate on preparing for another exciting year of horticultural activities.

Because of the poor timing of a fast moving snow squall, we had an intimate meeting last month when only about a dozen hardy souls braved the nasty weather to learn about landscape lighting. Mr. Chris Paul of After Dark Nightscapes was a terrific, enthusiastic speaker and the literature he left behind will be available for all those who were interested in this topic but were unable to attend. We also plan to have the postponed seed exchange next week where in one case because of a shipping error by Park Seeds, Fred Yarnell has some fabulous flower seeds to share, and even with the small turnout there looked to be some fine offerings donated by other members too.

Just a reminder, to date Christine Feorino has only received (16) membership renewals. At $25 for a single and $35 for a family, joining the club still remains one of the area’s best bargains, so let’s close out this time consuming administrative duty and bring a check to the meeting or mail one directly to Christine. Also, as the temperature on the thermometer continues to creep up the scale, it’s time to begin digging around for last year’s customer lists while thinking about strategies for selling the geraniums that support two of the student scholarships. Retired copier sales pro Larry Haas will provide a pricing update and if given an opportunity, might sling a motivational tip or two as the club strives for record sales this year.

February is like a switch when all of a sudden the extra few minutes of daylight seem to awaken those long dormant planting instincts. To further get in the mood, below are some upcoming GOSV and community events.

Happy Valentine’s Day and don’t forget to bring seeds on Wednesday.