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                        Gardeners of Somerset Valley
June 2012					From: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, June 20, 7:00 PM
at Marty's Garden

Dear GOSV:

Next week GOSV has two interesting and somewhat contrasting activities. The first on Wednesday (6/20, at 7:00 PM) is a repeat visit to Marty Oostveen’s garden in Hillsborough where unlike last year after weeks and weeks of drought this season’s tour should be much more verdant, and also takes place earlier by several weeks. Driving down Marty’s street, her home has the look of an occupant with an unrelenting passion for gardening. As she mentions in her journal, the lawn grows smaller and smaller every year, and her front yard easily stands out amongst the crowd. After strolling about the numerous paths filled with bulbs, flowers, bushes and grasses, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to sit and relax, meditate, and enjoy snacks with a cool, crisp glass of wine.

On Saturday 6/23, the club meets at 10:00 AM at the Leonard J Buck Garden in Far Hills for a self guided tour. One of the premier rock gardens on the east coast, the alpine and woodland paths come loaded with many unusual specimens. The website claims hundreds of flowers will still be in bloom at this time of year. The design approach was naturalistic, attempting to provide an impression that man did not manipulate the environment. Several years ago, upon meandering down to the Moggy Hollow pond to search for turtles and frogs, I was so distracted by the rock outcroppings and natural beauty that I nearly stepped on a 6’ long water snake. (OK it was more like 4’, and only catching some rays on a cool spring day.) Beware- watch where you step as a stick might not be a stick. Our resident organizer, Dottie Wright plans to bring snacks, so kindly RSVP at 732-968-2000 or So we have two worthwhile events in one week. A private garden tour where the owner purposely and aggressively extends the suburban boundaries between lawn and bed, and a public location with the illusion that man played no hand in the design even though created by a renowned landscape architect.

Marty’s home address is 39 Crowel Road, Hillsborough. Last year was quite hot, yet between the shade, umbrella and cooling effect of the pond; things remained comfortable enough that most stayed well into the evening.

Lastly, those super expensive $7.99 grafted tomatoes under test this season so far are performing splendidly. They are disease free and vigorous. If they continue to thrive and the price comes down, this might become a major horticultural trend.

Hope to see everyone at Marty's and Buck Garden.