Gardeners of Somerset Valley

October 2006					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 18, 2006
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

Winterizing the garden or putting it to bed for some can have depressing overtones. But except for shorter days and the occasional artic blast, unlike the spring when mud and muck cling to shoes, and where the summer heat, humidity and bugs make life very irritating, the fall has the potential to be nirvana for end of season activities. To help with the tactical aspects of preparing your garden for winter, GOSV has invited back Charles Hildebrant who most recently conducted a fact filled program in February on ‘Landscape Care and Problems’. Some of the topics for discussion could include lawn renovation, fertilization, plant protection, bulb planting and removal, cutting and dividing perennials and just good old-fashioned housekeeping. Mr. Hildebrant also conducts this same program at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum charging $75 per person and it is often the most heavily attended presentation during that given year. Without reading too much into the meaning of this popularity, perhaps gardeners feel sadness about winterizing the garden, or more likely just cherish the fellowship of others as another season comes to a close.

September’s sunflower contest sported five participants, and as happened several times before, Ray Hawkins smashed the competition showing off an almost unbelievable 14” head. Larry Haas placed second with a not too shabby 11” entry, while Gail Stroh made a grand debut in her first contest exhibiting a very respectable 10-1/2” plant. Early betting indicates that Gail may have the right stuff to move up a notch or two next year. For the upcoming meeting, we will have the always fun pumpkin contest where you never know what to expect as far as size, shape and color goes. A rumor is floating around that Ray lost a 300-pounder to either rot or critters, and with this setback the field could be wide open for an upset.

The room crackled with energy last month during Carole Iuso’s lively demonstration on vegetable arranging. Members came away with a healthy appreciation of this art form and the final creations were an eclectic mix of just about everything found in the garden or supermarket. And for those lucky males who participated, some might secretly admit that this was both an enjoyable and rewarding activity, even for men. It was also a special treat to meet Carole who is the current president of the Garden Club of New Jersey, and based on the enthusiasm and patience she displayed, the organization appears to be in sound hands.

Sometimes we get so involved with the programs, outside events, sharing plants and experiences, we forget about one of the key tenets of the club, scholarship. This year GOSV is again privileged to sponsor three young women. They are Lissa Ross of High Bridge and Priti Patel of Somerset who attend Rutgers, and Laura Pinhas of Perrineville who takes classes at Delaware Valley. Congratulations to our scholarship winners and throughout the next several months more information about their studies and aspirations will become available.

Looking a month ahead, the November meeting has a fine alternative topic on gardening photography. The turnout in September was outstanding, almost approaching the level of a Charter Night Dinner, so let’s keep up the momentum and even try to invite some new guests. And don’t forget the pumpkins!