Gardeners of Somerset Valley

January 2005					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, January 19, 7:30 PM, At the North Branch Reformed Church
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” This proverbial wisdom (which could be a New Year’s resolution today) popularized by Ben Franklin in the October 1735 issue of Poor Richard’s Almanac, inexplicably kept coming to mind whenever thinking about the January meeting topic. Admittedly, this is going to be a very long stretch, but there really is an odd kind of connection here. Most fellow gardeners abide by a lifestyle consisting of spending many daylight hours tending and relishing their gardens, and at a minimum this vigorous outdoor activity promotes if not wisdom and prosperity, at least overall good health and well being. However, if you happen to be one of the exceptions having more of a night owl persona, next week’s presentation could be the one topic with the most appeal to you. GOSV has invited Mr. Christopher Paul a civil engineer and owner of After Dark Nightscapes to talk about landscape lighting. Since many members work full time jobs coupled with long commutes, other than weekends, the hours after dusk represent the best opportunity to enjoy gardens, decks, pathways and ponds. No matter the level of lighting you have already, nor whatever your true lifestyle preference, Mr. Paul will provide practical ideas on how to turn your landscape into a nighttime wonderland, with the net benefit being enhanced property value, greater security, and new entertainment possibilities. (Though unlikely to be a problem with this group, one person’s art is another’s pollution, so as a courtesy to neighbors and stargazers remember to eventually turn off the lights.)

Wow! Even though there wasn’t a meeting last month, the December 12th visit to Duke Gardens followed by the get-together at the lovely home of Marie and Dennis Stainken, proved to be a wonderful start to the holiday season. The approximate mile long sixty- minute tour of the greenhouses, besides being a great way to build up an appetite, transferred about thirty of us back to the days when our eccentric neighbor Doris Duke roamed these very same gardens created from design ideas she viewed during her travels around the globe. Many thanks go out to Dottie Wright for planning this event and especially to Dennis and Marie for their hospitality during this busy time of year.

It’s never been a secret, but one of the best reasons for joining GOSV is the plant exchange held ever year as part of the May meeting. Members have always shown great generosity during this event, and anyone would be hard pressed not to accumulate enough plants, bulbs and supplies valued equal to or greater than the membership dues. Now, Alice Swan, an avid seed saver, has come up with another money saving idea and is asking everyone to bring extra seeds to the January meeting. This will not be as formal as the plant swap, but with mail order catalogues arriving every day, and with many packets already stored away for the spring containing larger amounts than any one household could realistically use, this is a great way to conserve resources before placing orders while also sharing some all-time favorites.

This is as good a time as any to remind everyone that the 2005 membership dues need to be paid and that the board of trustees has made a change to the remittance address. Of course the preferred method is to bring your check to the next meeting, but if you can’t attend and decide to use the mail instead, a form with the new address has been enclosed in this newsletter. Christine Feorino, who will now be the new point of contact, has volunteered to record the collection of dues and maintain an up-to-date membership roster.

Odds and Ends

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