Gardeners of Somerset Valley

February 2007					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

Jane de la Motte, the March speaker who will be talking about all types of flower gardens, starts her biography thusly. “My very first gardening experience was in England when at the young age of eight I bought seeds from my parents and sold the produce back to them at a great profit.” One might suspect that Ms. de la Motte’s parents allowed her to make a bundle on these transactions, but imagine the passion she might bring to her program when this memory seems to carry the weight of other defining moments like learning to swim, ride a bicycle or perhaps even a first kiss. Jane eventually moved on to working in greenhouses in southern England that were famous for supplying flowers to London’s embassy row. Now many years later having relocated to America, she tends to a half acre yard at her Frenchtown home containing a small pond, and constantly evolving sun, shade and woodland gardens. Jane became a member of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Somerset and Hunterdon Counties in 2001, and works out of this Speaker Bureau. She also volunteers at the Snyder Research Farm and especially enjoys conducting programs for children. Besides growing flowers, like many hobbyists she photographs favorite plants and occasionally creates note cards and prints from the best of the lot. The night of the meeting is the second day of the long awaited start of spring. Let’s hope Ms. de la Motte brings a European flair to her program while launching the gardening season with a bright and colorful presentation.

March is election night but not much has changed since the last meeting. GOSV still needs candidates for Secretary and a trustee. Of the two, the Secretary position requires a bit more work which mainly amounts to taking notes during the various meetings. Though small in size, GOSV has a big impact when it comes to finding interesting and diverse speakers while also organizing outstanding outside activities both from a recreational and public service standpoint. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a club that disdains politics and concentrates on the joy of gardening. Wouldn’t you like to help keep GOSV strong and on the right track by volunteering for one of these positions? It’s not too late. The slate of candidates is as follows:

President:         Dorothy Wright
Vice President:    Barry Weissman
Secretary:         Open
Treasurer:         Georgette Gawlik
Trustee:           Marie Stainken
Trustee:           Open

Thanks to the creative efforts of Pat Matson, enclosed is the flyer for the April Charter Night Dinner. We’re privileged to have David Daehnke the Executive Director of the historic Van Vleck House located in Montclair bring us up to date on the latest information about the increasingly popular ornamental grasses. There won’t be a newsletter next month, so this will be your only reminder for the April meeting. A new restaurant location (Vincent's) with an outstanding reputation, a well known speaker- this could be a good opportunity to invite spouses, relatives and neighbors, and let them share what often turns out to be the best event of the year.

Even though spring hasn’t started yet, the clocks were moved forward already and it’s never too early to begin thinking about the geranium sales for the scholarship program. Some preliminary work has been done about adding hanging baskets and possibly annual flats to the product offering as a way to stimulate new business. More information will be provided next week at the meeting.

Odds and Ends

During the break, a possible topic of discussion could be the defining moment in your life when you decided to become a gardener. See you next week and ‘think spring’.