Gardeners of Somerset Valley

March 2005					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 16, 7:30 PM, At the North Branch Reformed Church
At the conclusion of the March meeting, don’t be surprised if your next drive north on Route 287 towards exit 57 in Ringwood takes on whole new horticultural significance. Known as the Skylands region, since 1985 this mountainous terrain of northwest New Jersey has been the home of the New Jersey Botanical Garden. On this special evening, Scott McCabe will present a program called ‘Skylands Past and Present’. Not just a gardening talk, Mr. McCabe plans to cover the rich history, architecture, flora and statuary of this magnificent 96-acre botanical site, which is also listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Billed as a garden for all seasons, a restored 44 room Tudor mansion serves as the centerpiece for five diverse terrace gardens, a reflecting pool, walking paths and a collection of distinctive native and non-native plantings with some considered the largest and oldest in the state. So after next week, a future drive up 287 towards the Catskills or New England may require an extra hour or two for a worthwhile detour to explore this unique botanical location.

Last month, Charles Hildebrant gave what turned out to be a scholarly discussion on the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of landscape care. Using the knowledge acquired from more than forty years in the business, he talked about watering, mulches, pruning, weed and lawn care, and it was nearly impossible not to come away with new ideas or a renewed vigor to make improvements in these key areas. At times, Mr. Hildebrant strayed a little too far into the world of technical jargon, but luckily by the end of the evening, new found favorite student Christine Feorino and others helped steer him back to more pragmatic concerns like how to eradicate ground ivy or the proper time to prune boxwood. All in all this was another fine program confirming again that a small organization such as GOSV can consistently find outstanding speakers.

Though somewhat anticlimactic as the nominated slate of candidates would continue to serve in their current roles, the March meeting is officially election night. Still the board encourages other interested members to get involved, and floor nominations will be accepted right up to the time of the vote. The nominees are as follows:

President: Fred Swan
Vice President: Catherine Mazauskas
Treasurer: Georgette Gawlik
Secretary: Fred Yarnell
Trustees: Dorothy Wright, Mitchell Greenbaum (New two year term.)

Rest assured this group comprises a very well rounded team committed to making GOSV the best garden club in central New Jersey.

Helene Greenbaum reports some exciting news about the April Charter Night Dinner. This year the event will have a new venue, the Royce Brook Golf Club located in one of the few remaining semi-rural areas of Hillsborough. The elegantly decorated room is an ideal size for the gathering and the golf course should be in perfect condition making for a beautiful atmosphere inside and out. Our menu has been upgraded to include delicious and healthy Tuscan style hors d’oeuvres, savory entrees, and unlike the past where a dinner selection needed to be made ahead of time, the wait staff will now take orders that evening. Also for the first time, a decision was made to try a two tier pricing structure, $35 for members and $40 for non-members. The Charter Night is not just about food even though the dressing up and the dining seem to help produce the best presentations, and with the scheduled program on the flora of Australia, this trend of excellence should continue once again. A flyer with directions has been enclosed with the newsletter.

Just a reminder, the 2005 Geranium Order Forms should be available next week. Also if you’re still one of the remaining few who have forgotten to pay membership dues, please bring a check to the meeting or send one in the mail to Christine Feorino. The deadline looms as our parent organization, the Garden Club of New Jersey, requires the final club roster and remittance by May 1.

Spring finally appears just over the horizon, we have another great topic on tap, and the March meeting has always been known for opinion swapping during the refreshment break about the great Philadelphia Flower Show. All are good reasons for coming out next week.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!