Gardeners of Somerset Valley
May 2010					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, May 19, 6:30 PM
North Branch Reformed Church

Plant Exchange
Pick-up Ace Flats & Baskets
Making Hypertufa Containers

By now, most of us have completed the initial phase of spring planting, previously idle muscles are hopefully not unpleasantly sore, and with a bit of warm weather coupled with some rain, the garden should be shaping up quite nicely. At the upcoming meeting, you can apply the finishing touches to the landscape plan by picking up some additional horticultural niceties free of charge at the ‘GOSV Annual Plant Exchange’. Typically members swap ornamental grasses, bulbs, herbs, pepper/tomato plants, annual and perennial flowers, and the always unpredictable category, gardening paraphernalia. Besides the joy that comes from sharing personal treasures, the best part is that you can never tell what might be available, adding some intrigue to this always popular event.

At some point during your strolling about take a moment to head over to the church to pick-up the orders of Ace flats and hanging baskets. Unless the items are clearly marked, please do not rely on your memory but instead wait for Fred Yarnell or one of his helpers to verify and distribute the goods.

As noted at the Charter Night Dinner, the actual meeting will be held outdoors, weather permitting. The program is a hands-on project called Hypertufa, which entails making pots and other structures using cement, sand or perlite and peat moss. Presented by member Valerie Boyer, most of us should find this a refreshingly new topic. If the weather cooperates, Valerie plans to work one on one or with small groups throughout the evening. Under cold or rainy conditions, only a demonstration will be held in the meeting room. Valerie asks that you bring a mold with the plastic shells used to hold store bought lettuce ideal for this activity. Taking along a folding chair would be a good idea too. Hypertufa is a manmade substitute for Tufa rock found in limestone terrain throughout the world, and known for its porous spongy consistency. Over the centuries Tufa has been used as garden containers particularly for cacti, sedum, succulents and alpine plants. These home-made equivalents attract lichens and moss, look instantly weathered, and seems like a great way to utilize some of the items picked up from the swap.

Thanks go out to the committee that planned the Charter Night Dinner at Maggiano’s. The food and service were excellent and the family style dining let folks dabble at rich entrees and desserts they might not ordinarily eat. What can you say about Ralph, our very own modern adventurer? He seeks out exotic places, shoots thousands of wonderful pictures, and fortunately takes the time to share his experiences with the club. For the thirty minutes or so he talked, you almost felt that you were along for the ride on his journey to South America.

Because of the plant exchange, people start coming to the meeting closer to 6:30 rather than 7:30 PM. Valerie would certainly prefer demonstrating her craft with as much light as possible. This is usually the most attended meeting of the year, so come out early and bring a trunk load of swappable stuff.