Gardeners of Somerset Valley

January 2008					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 7:30PM
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

Happy New Year everyone! As a means for finding greater joy in 2008 have you made any of the usual self improvement resolutions like losing weight, exercising more or eating healthier? In a recent Start Ledger editorial it was mentioned that Social scientists have found that external factors including quality of government, money and most importantly social interactions impact overall well being just as much as internal ones. How does this relate to the January meeting? Excluding government and money, plenty as it turns out. The program is about us or at least the dozen or more members who sent Nancy Rood pictures of their 2007 gardens. In this video show which Nancy describes as “inspirational” the contributors get a chance to indulge themselves by being in the spotlight for the proverbial ‘minute’ of fame. At the same time, you’ll be sharing these intimate moments with GOSV members who in some instances haven’t been seen for nearly two months. Nancy has matched the photographs with six songs and don’t be surprised if she laces the video with a keen sense of wit and humor. So start the New Year right from both an internal and external standpoint by seeing yourselves and gardens on the big screen, and spend a few hours with friends who can truly appreciate last year’s accomplishments.

For those who have successfully coaxed those massive but somewhat stubborn bulbs to grow and bloom, an Amaryllis contest is also scheduled for the January meeting. If your bulb looks like it won’t be ready until February, bring it in then anyway just for ‘show and tell’ purposes and to help brighten up the room. There is a methodology to get repeat blooms from the same bulb and some of the more experienced growers would probably be very happy to pass these tips along.

The clock keeps ticking with the NJ Flower Show (February 14-17) just around the bend. The recently mailed Garden Club of NJ winter newsletter does a masterful job of describing the show and the club’s ever expanding role. The theme is “The Entertaining Garden…Party among the Petals” and GCNJ will hold among other things a Flower Show entitled “Entertaining All around the World”. Sounds like fun and GOSV members who want to submit entries can learn the rules and come to a practice session at 11:00AM on Martin Luther King’s birthday at the Ferris Brothers nursery in Middlesex. Plan on arriving about fifteen minutes early, bring a container and figure on paying up to $20 for flowers. Dottie Wright is the contact for this activity. The other overriding theme at the show is “Green Gardening” which at first glance doesn’t make much sense but then upon further reflection there appears to be many possibilities for a more eco-friendly approach to everyday gardening pursuits.

If you hadn’t heard already, the Duke Country Manor tour (not the grounds) has been discontinued as of December 2007. Prior to the closing, a group of GOSV designers undertook the challenge of decorating what was known as the Bamboo Room for the enjoyment of the last groups of visitors. The Bamboo Room is one of the smallest in this 67,000 square foot estate serving as a breezeway connecting the main house with the recreation areas. The team’s objective was to create a festive oriental holiday mood. Some of the highlights were crane shaped Origami ornaments symbolizing long life, quilted door hangings, tea table furnishings and a creative use of simple ribbons, red for luck and gold for prosperity. Upon leaving the estate, I heard a Duke Staff member mention that the Bamboo Room appeared to be the favorite of the majority of guests. Congratulations to this talented team of designers.

Odds and Ends

How about one more resolution? If you haven’t attended a meeting in awhile, give one a try. The programs have really been outstanding.