Gardeners of Somerset Valley
November 2008					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum
Garden Winterization
Flower Show Training 

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, November 19, 7:30 PM
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

To no surprise, a new age of frugality has infiltrated most homes in America. With this lifestyle shift in mind, the gardening season does not abruptly end after the first frost which occurred in central NJ around the third week of October. Steps taken in late fall and early winter help determine the success of spring plantings as well as significantly reduce next year’s gardening expenditures. In this tough economic climate, GOSV has invited local horticulturist Jeffrey van Pelt to present a program on “putting the garden to bed”. Mr. Van Pelt already indirectly has a relationship with the club. He graduated from Cook College with a degree in plant science which is where GOSV sponsors two scholarships. As the supervisor of horticulture for the Somerset County Park Commission the past 25 years, he manages the area’s gem, the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden, containing over 3000 roses. Rudolf, who spent eight years designing this fabulous garden, was a GOSV original member and one of the Cook scholarships still bears his name. In a recent 2008 article about the annual Franklin Rose Day, Jeff was quoted thusly. “I like plants”. Gardening is in my blood. My house looks like this place. (Colonial Gardens) I’m slowly removing the lawn and planting beds. It’s in my wife’s blood too. On our vacations, we go to out of-the way nurseries to see what they have”. Jeff sounds like a man who truly loves his work and someone who would appeal to our members. Getting back to the program, none of the information should be unfamiliar and much of it routine, but Mr. Van Pelt will review those perennials and herbs that need cutting back and others including shrubs requiring cold weather protection. He may even touch on how to extend the life of tools, equipment and decorative ornaments. Add in that several of our members experienced the Great Depression, and without trying to sound overly gloomy, they can also be an outstanding resource on ways to make do with less instead of cutting back on your gardening pleasures. Even though the hope is that the worst will be over by spring or sooner, in the meantime, proper winterization really means saving money.

As GOSV continues to prepare for the June flower show, if you can come to the meeting early, there will be a training program from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. The topic is staging an exhibit for first time participants. Staging accounts for 25 out of the 100 possible score points. This knowledge can also come in handy for displaying everyday favorites around the house.

With the growing season mostly over now and the holidays fast approaching, news tends to be light. Don’t be shy about sending me club or just general gardening information that you consider worthy of passing along.