Gardeners of Somerset Valley

September 2006					Editor: Mitch Greenbaum


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 20, 2006
at the North Branch Reformed Church.

Season to season and year after year the typical home vegetable grower often abides by the simple motto, ‘more is better’. After filling the cupboards of friends, neighbors and relatives, and then dragging the balance to the workplace, a good portion of this bounty disappointedly often ends up as waste. GOSV now has a solution. Next week, Carole Iuso will teach the art of vegetable arranging. A flower or two might be used for accenting purposes but participants are asked to bring in a variety of vegetables. This type of arranging though much rarer than the more common flower type, offers arrangers a chance to concentrate their creative energy to come up with a unique blend of color, form, balance, texture and contrast. Common sense dictates that solid or thicker skinned items would work best, but there are no rules and plenty of paper towels will be on-hand for cleaning up potential messes. Cathy Mazauskas has volunteered to provide the clay pots, foam and attaching/finishing supplies, while at this time it has not been determined if there will be a fee. Cathy has asked that you contact her (908-753-9648) if you plan on sharing in the fun and all the vegetable growers are encouraged to bring extra (leftovers can always be eaten or taken home by others). As an added bonus, later in the evening Ralph Maiwaldt has agreed to conduct a brief demonstration on dividing daylilies and other perennials, many of which he will give away. With an abundance of flowers and vegetables, we’ve got a major portion of the gardening universe on tap for next week.

The moment of truth has arrived again, and we will learn if Fred Swan can repeat as the champion of the sunflower contest. It’s doubtful that weather conditions this summer could produce a nearly 15” head like last year, so submit your entry no matter the size- you might be pleasantly surprised and pick up a ribbon.

President Dottie Wright has been staying busy during the summer break. She did a great job planning the summer picnic at George Osterman’s and the cedar plank salmon was a delicious and healthy addition to the menu. Along with a friend from Ireland and Ralph Maiwaldt, Dottie visited the Chanticleer Gardens in Pennsylvania and reports that it well deserved the distinction as a top-ten inspirational garden. The large beds of tobacco with their huge red flowers and the water features were of particular interest and Dottie was so impressed she’s decided to plan a GOSV trip next spring. On the other hand, she found the Oriental Gardens at the Duke Foundation a huge disappointment and this was also independently confirmed by Nancy Rood during her recent visit too. Dottie wanted everyone to be aware that the Garden Club of New Jersey 2007 Flower Show will be having an amaryllis and a begonia challenge. The begonia is Sophie Cecile and costs $5 each and the amaryllis bulb has not yet been chosen but will be priced at $8 or two for $15. Bulbs can be purchased by sending a check by October 20 made out to GCNJ to the attention of Anna Goodwin, 1076 Culpepper Drive, Toms River, NJ 08753, and Dottie will pick up the bulbs for everyone at the Fall Conference. Lastly, our GCNJ district #4 has a luncheon meeting planned at the Bridgewater Library on October 20, 2006 starting at 12:30 PM. More details about the flower challenges and the luncheon will be made available at next week’s meeting.

Many thanks for the following contributions:

Fred Swan has informed me that he plans to bring a bushel of daffodil bulbs, 50-100 grape hyacinth bulbs and a hellebore (Lenton Rose) for distribution at the meeting. He also would be willing to dig up upon request a 48” tall leather leaf viburnum, a two-year old 72” high catalba tree, a 36” American holly and red, yellow and double orange daylilies. Between Fred, Ralph and others, we could be heading home with a pocket full of vegetables, bulbs and flowers.

Welcome back from the summer break!