Gardeners of Somerset Valley
November 2009					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, November 18, 7:30 PM
North Branch Reformed Church

Ponds 101
Drumthwacket Holiday Project
January Christmas Party

Silently still or melodically tumbling, few can dispute that water tends to soothe and refresh body and mind. Right about now with shortened days and holiday overload looming, a pleasant aqua experience would be a desirable diversion. Several GOSV members have already taken the plunge relishing the four season interest and the meditative attributes of ponds filled with fish and flora, or the harmony of cascading falls imitating bubbling brooks. Next week aided by a fertile imagination on our part, guest speaker Jay Philip Eriv will help us escape into a delightful world of ponds, waterfalls and other unique landscape settings. President of a company called Grounds Keeper, Mr. Eriv since 1973 has been designing and constructing what he refers to as Ďlandscape artistryí specializing in water works, and emphasizing a natural ecosystem with all its colors, aromas and wildlife attractions. Instead of the usual slide show, Jay prefers an informal open setting more akin to a town hall meeting and at one time quite common and very popular during the early days of GOSV. Though the program is called Ponds 101 and describes the step by step process involved, Mr. Erivís portfolio will depict many other types of diverse outdoor living gardens. All attendees go home with an Aquascape, Inc. Micropond Owners Manual and to ease into an aqueous frame of mind, check out this website and Grounds Keeper too.

While on the topic of websites, Marty Oostveen recently sent an e-mail introducing her new site to club members. ( Besides being a passionate gardener as witnessed during last summerís party at her home, she also displays the iron will discipline to take notes and maintain a detailed journal throughout the garden season. To see how this is done you can view journals from 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009, and aptly she has a lengthy section about her experiences designing and installing a pond. Generally this website would be a fine place to visit on a cold winter day and could be the start of a new club trend.

The past several holiday seasons, the creative wing of GOSV has undertaken the challenges and surpassed all expectations decorating sites like the historic Van Horne House and the Duke Estate. During the October meeting the club decided to continue this tradition and tackle the sun room of the Drumthwacket Governorís mansion in Princeton with a theme based on Evergreens. Those participating receive an early preview on December 9 at 10:15AM. Public tours start 45 minutes later with reservations required. Contact Bev or Pat at 609-683-0057 or go on line at A $5.00 donation is suggested but may be waived for participating clubs.

Good news, the holiday season will be extended into January as Marilou and Paul Howe have agreed to host the annual party in their Green Brook home. The two dates under consideration are Saturday January 10 or 17. Initial details will be provided at the meeting followed by a reminder later in December.

Though the fall has been wetter than any in recent memory, at least central NJ up until now has avoided any hard frosts. The lettuce and squash beds continue to produce, and those hardy GOSV geraniums keep on blooming, and likely to continue so until December in some cases. Sooner or later a prolonged freeze will drop down from Canada sadly putting an end to the 2009 season. Until then, eke out a few more weeks of gardening pleasure and get an early start on 2010 by coming out next week to see if adding a water feature is in the cards for next year.