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Dec. 14 Holiday Dinner

Holiday Greetings! 

 We will celebrate the Season and enjoy traditional Garden Club hospitality, on Dec.14 at United Methodist Church.  We will meet a little early to enjoy a pot luck supper. So try to come around 6 p.m. Thank you to Pat Whiting, Shelly Redmond and Nancy Ollinger-Thiess for hosting our December meeting.  See Pat’s notes in this newsletter for details. 

We will spend a little time as possible to attention to routine business: 

* Approve Minutes for the November meeting 
* Receive and approve the Treasurer's Year-End Report 
* Old Business:  Club Officers for 2010 

Sincerely, 

Nancy G.
  



December Meeting

Come join us!

Christmas potluck dinner Monday, Dec 14, 6 p.m.
Spouse or friend is welcome
Please bring a side dish or dessert to share
Meat, beverages & dinnerware will be provided

Need more info? Call Pat Whiting at 724-475-4301

Gardening and Sharing our experiences

Presidents Message:
Thank you! to everyone who participated in the Fall Clean-up.  So much has happened since our October meeting that it is hard for me to express what I am feeling.   I hope all of you will make an effort to come to our November meeting.  I am planning an interactive program.  Come prepared to participate. We will be sharing our experiences and getting to know each other a little better.
    The November meeting will be on Monday Nov. 9 at 7:00 at the United Methodist Church
     Arlene Peters is our November hostess.  
    
    AGENDA
   *  Approve Minutes for October meeting
   *  Receive and approve Treasurer's Report
   *  Old Business:
        1.  Review fall Clean-up
        2.  Prepare for Election of Officers in December
        3.  Plan our December meeting
        4. Review the results of our Garden Club Survey.
  Read some of the suggestions made by members including the suggestions from Everett.
We will miss Everett.  Thank you to everyone who attended the Memorial Service.  

PROGRAM:  Why is gardening important in our lives?
 
Thank you for all of your encouragement and helpful comments on the garden club survey. 
 
 Sincerely,
 Nancy 


Happy Birthday to…

Monica Ondrusko 15
Alice Haskell 19
Dorothy Swingle 30

October 2009 Minutes

The October meeting was called to order with sixteen members present.
Motion to approve the August and September minutes as printed in the newsletter made by Alice Haskell and seconded by Arlene Peters.
 Alan Haskell gave the Treasurer’s Report.  Noting the only change was we received a donation of $100.00 from Stevens Barbershop. Our treasury balance is $2,663.29.
The weather being a big part of the Uptown Clean-up, it appears the best days to work will be October 18 and 19.  Noted that you may leave your bags from clean up on the Courthouse lawn and maintenance will pick them up for us.  Please be sure not to overload the bags.  Mary Ellen will get high school students to help clean up the Conservancy Flower Beds.  
Jack Hausser spoke of his high regard for the Garden Club and Breast Cancer Survivor Group.  He gave a special Thank you to Chris Hunter-Hall, Marilyn Isoldi and Nancy Griffin for volunteering time and cleaning up his garden. 
Door prizes of a blue-eyed glass were won by Alan Haskell and flower arrangement by Eydie Swingle.
Nancy Connelly introduced the evening’s speaker, Paul Skuda, a botanist from New Castle, who spoke about native plant gardening.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
Minutes taken by Eydie Swingle
Due do the absence of Mary Ellen Russell

Club Members

Mary Ellen Russell had heart surgery recently. She will be at home for a month recovering and is doing very well, although on light duty, including no driving. We wish Mary Ellen a speedy recovery and continued good health!

Although Everett Bostrom recently had “retired” from some of the offices and general chores he had participated in over the years as a founding member of the Mercer Garden Club, his death last week was unexpected. The obituary in the paper and remembrances shared at his memorial service all added something new about Everett, even to those who knew him well it seemed. Everett’s strong educational background, military service, Sleep Hollow bookstore in New York, Card Shoppe in Mercer, loving relationship with family and friends, work with the literacy program, and gardening made for a rich, full life. Everett helped with the literacy portion of home-schooling Rick and Patricia McClelland’s children. Patricia recalled Everett reading a book about bears to her son. Near the end of the book, one of the bears dies. Patricia could hear Everett’s voice getting softer and softer. She peeked into the room where the two were reading and she saw Everett’s eyes full of tears, as were her son’s as Everett reached the conclusion of the book. She and the officiating minister, also a long-time friend, both shared examples of the wonderfully thoughtful and appropriate gifts Everett would give to them and their children as they celebrated birthdays and Christmas together. As Nancy said in her president’s message, Everett will be missed.


November Gardening Plant paper whites late this month to have blooms for Christmas and pot and force tulip bulbs for winter bloom.


Calendar for November


5-8 Weingartner’s Merry Christmas Traditional Open House Weingartner’s Flowers
and Gifts, 2701 Wilmington Rd., New Castle, PA, 724.658.6628. Greenhouse
location: 1816 Old Butler Rd, New Castle, 724.654.8251. Refreshments, entertainment and special hours. “Don’t miss it!”


9 Mercer Garden Club Monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church,
Mercer.


14 & 15    9th Annual Christmas at the Log Cabin   Plant’s Herb Farm Bed & Breakfast,
104 South Foster Rd, Mercer, PA, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., 724.301.3273,
HYPERLINK "mailto:plantsherbfarm@myepath.com" plantsherbfarm@myepath.com. Come to the country for a Log Cabin Christmas.
Local artist’s unique gifts for everyone and herbal refreshments.


21 Gathering of the Greens Plant’s Herb Farm, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Make a wreath and enjoy an
herbal lunch. Fee: $25. 724.301.3273 for more information.


26 Thanksgiving




The Gardener

Each garden is unique,
Varying from year to year.
Even the same garden bed -
Reaching into our hearts,
Etching itself upon our memory.
Tender sprouts the Trillium,
Teaching afresh each spring.
Bright summer lilies and Echinacea
Open with vibrant cheer and
Slowly give way to autumn -
Too with a dignity its own.
Rests the garden then as winter
Offers quiet promise that life
Must spring anew.

- ALH

Gardening with Native Plants

Buds & Blossoms Mercer Garden Club Newsletter October 2009

Message from the President

  October is one of my favorite months.  The leaves are turning and the few warm sunny days we have left will be put to good use planting bulbs for next spring and cleaning up the garden to get everything ready for another cold, snowy winter.  I even love collecting leaves for my compost pile.   

Our meeting will be at The United Methodist Church on Butler Street at 6:30, Oct. 12.  Diana Jackel and Nancy Connelly will be hosting the meeting this month and have planned the program.

Meeting Agenda:
     6:30 p.m.: Short business meeting
     Finalize plans for fall clean up of Uptown Beds
Collect the survey passed out at the last meeting and sent with the newsletter.  Please
bring yours to the meeting.
     7:15: Program and refreshments
 
I hope to see more of you at our October meeting!

Nancy

October Meeting

Our program will be “Gardening with Native Plants” presented by Paul Skuta, a botanist from New Castle. Paul works for Garden of Egan in New Castle and has turned his own two acre yard into a native plant landscape. The business meeting begins at 6:30, with the program to follow at approximately 7:15.

Picnic in DJ's Garden


There were only 15 of us at the Garden Club Picnic at DJs Greenhouse and Gardens last night. The threat of rain must have kept a lot of folks at home. The rain stopped about a half hour before the picnic. The temperature cooled off and the sun was breaking thru the clouds. The garden were wet and the fresh smell was intoxicating. It was a magical evening in a beautiful garden. The food was really good too. Just enough of everything. Potluck worked out perfect. Just several different main dishes, two salads, two fruit salads and three deserts. I have heard that sometimes the pot luck can go bad and you end up with everyone bringing the same type of dish. I have never had this happen.

We had a short meeting and went on to tour the gardens and shop at the greenhouse. I bought a lovely little yellow leafed Hosta American Dream, a fancy leaf begonia Evelyn Weidner and Daphne Transatlantica Summer Ice.
Some how I just cannot visit a green house with out bringing home something. Now I have to figure out where to put these plants. I will bring the begonia inside to add some color to my plants in the bathroom. So when the orchids finish blooming I will still have some color there while I wait for the orchids to bloom again. My orchids have been blooming since January and the blossoms are beginning to fall off. The Daphne has a very fragrant flower and looks like a small tree. I will have to research this plant. I was hoping to grow it in a pot and bring it inside in the winter. It looks like something that can be used for bonsai. I will experiment.


July 13 Mercer Garden Club Tour

Yesterday I went with Emmie to see the gardens in Neshannock Twp that will be out July 13 Garden Tour. I took a few pictures of the first two properties.
1. Carol Sheen 584 E. Maitland Lane
2.Janet Hassen and Jeff Gonzales 330 Old Pulaski Road
3. Barbara Nichols 122 Valhalla
Barbara will have a tent at her home and refreshments for us. We will have a short meeting.
We will be meeting at the United Methodist Church to car pool. Please try to arrive at 6:15 so we can leave by 6:30. We have planned to be at the first house by 7:00, the second at 7:30 and at Barbara's at 8:00.
We will be traveling thru Amish Country down Old Mercer Road to the first property. Turning left off Highland Rd on to Maitland. These houses are just a few minutes from each other. The first is an award winning garden, The second is whimsical with alot of fun accessories. The last is a classic beauty with lots of interesting plants. All the gardens were created by the owners who are Master Gardeners.




The Second Garden on our July 13 2009 Tour

May 11 meeting Mercer Garden Club

Buds & Blossoms Mercer Garden Club Newsletter May 2009

Message from the President

What a beautiful spring we are having.  My strawberries are blooming. I am picking lettuce that seeded itself in the containers in my garden.   I just got back from walking around the courthouse square. I took some pictures of the lovely tulips and daffodils blooming in our beds. 

   Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our raffles by donating items and buying tickets.  Thank you, Emmie and Chris, for putting together the April program on Daffodils.  Thank you to Pam and Alice for being hostesses and to Nancy Connelly and Monica for helping and bringing cookies. 

      I have been working in my garden every day dividing plants and potting some up for our annual spring plant exchange. I hope you are potting some up too.  Some of my favorite garden plants have come from our plant exchanges.  Thank you for sharing your gardens with all of us. 

  I am looking forward to our field trip on May 16 to Fellowship Riverside Gardens.  We will meet at 9 am at the United Methodist Church to car pool. 

    Our May meeting will be at Brandy Springs Community Building. Please bring your garden gloves and tools to help clean up the beds.  With everyone working last year we were able to do this job in less than an hour. 


    May Meeting Agenda 
 Short Business meeting. Treasurer & Committee reports 
 Review plans for the uptown planting the week of May 18-22. 
 Raffle 
 Arbor Day Trees will be distributed to members. 
 Spring plant exchange. 
 Work Session to clean up the beds at the community building.





  
April 2009 Minutes

A brief business meeting was held after the Program on Daffodils by Steve and Sarah Zolock. A correction was made to the March Minutes, correcting Nancy Griffith to Nancy Griffin.  Also the omission of the dates for the Uptown planting and the planting of the Gateway Gardens.  Minutes approved by motion of Natalie Shipton, seconded by Pam Rodemoyer.

Diana Jackal announced that the trees would be available for Arbor Day later this month.  She will have them available for distribution to the members at the May meeting.
The committee meeting will be held at the Mexican Restaurant in Greenville on Monday 4/13/2009.
More information of our next Field Trip will be next month.
Our next meeting will be our annual Plant Exchange and planning session for the Uptown Planting.
Happy May Birthday t.... 5 Arlene Peter Nancy Connelly
21 Shirley Koegler
On the Web: Vegetable Gardening
Thanks to Nancy Connelly submitting the following information on companion planting, found on the Park Seed website.
In May or June when soil has warmed, plant 5 or 6 corn seeds in a flat-topped mound 1 foot tall and 2 feet across. Space mounds 3 or 4 feet apart.
About two weeks later after corn reaches about 5 or 6 inches high, plant 6 to 8 pole bean seeds around the edges of the mound with a bit of Nature’s Aid to help them fix nitrogen.
One week or so after planting the beans, plant 6 to 8 squash seeds around the base of the mound, on flat ground.
After everything begins growing, thin the plantings to 2 or 3 corn stalks, each with no more than 2 bean plants winding around it.

Club News
Jack Hauser will have heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on May 21. We all wish Jack complete success and a quick recovery!

April’s Daffodil Program

Steve and Sarah Zolock presentation, “Daffodils in the Landscape” was enjoyed by Mercer Garden Club members as well as many guests, including Master Gardeners and visitors from Edinboro, Meadville, Greenville and more.

The Zolocks covered the parts of the daffodil, the system of classifications and daffodil divisions and cultivars. The technical aspects were interesting on their own and kept even more so by the excellent 20 page hand out, slides, daffodil blooms from their own gardens and warm, lively anecdotes. The program concluded with additional daffodil slides and a question and answer period.

• Bury your bulbs in plastic strawberry cartons and add sand, which will help prevent voles from
reaching the bulbs.

• Fan vases are great for displaying daffodils

• Feed your bulbs every year

• Oak leaves make a good mulch

• To divide a clump of daffodils, use a garden fork and lift the clump in late July. Let dry. Divide,
discarding any soft bulbs, bag and mark, keep in a cool dry place and finally, plant in the fall.

• Among the many “must have” daffodils the Zolocks mentioned:
Sir Winston Churchill (very fragrant)
Decoy (white and pink)
Mission Bells (a white Triandrus daffodil…Triandrus daffodils have blooms that hang like bells and
there are usually two or more blooms per stem.)
Silver Charms (a white Tazetta…Tazettas usually have more than three florets on a stem and are very
fragrant.)

• Galanthamine, a tertiary alkaloid extracted for snowdrops, is approved in over forty countries for the
symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. A company in Wales is working on supplying this
product from Narcissus, which will make Galanthamine more affordable.


The Zolocks also have 2,000 daylilies! They welcomed us to come visit in July. The Zolock Gardens website is HYPERLINK "http://zolockgardens.com/" http://zolockgardens.com/


Steve and Sarah Zolock, with just a sample of “Pittsburgh Someplace Special”, bred in Oregon
the daffodil blossoms they brought from their and among the sample blooms.
collection, to show and give away after the program.


Recipe… Thanks to Jack Hauser for submitting this recipe!

Jill’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup Butter-flavored Crisco 1/2 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Brown sugar, packed 1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs 1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder 3 cups Flour (pref. low gluten or cake flour)
6 oz. Semi-sweet chocolate chips 6 oz. Milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Blend the Crisco, butter and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder and add to the butter mixture in thirds. Stir in chips. Refrigerate the dough overnight or at least for four hours.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop 3/4 full ice cream scoopfuls of the dough on to the parchment paper, pressing the dough down slightly. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Makes two dozen cookies. The dough can be mixed up and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
Calendar for May


May 9 Master Gardener Plant Sale 9:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. 4 H Park Exhibit Bldg. Route 19,
Mercer.

May 11 Mercer Garden Club meeting at Brandy Springs 7:00 p.m. Business meeting and
spring clean up at Brandy Springs. Bring your tools and gloves.

May 16 Mercer Garden Club Field Trip Fellowship Riverside Gardens. Meet at 9 a.m. at the
church to car pool to the Gardens.
 
May 16 Garden Mart in the Park 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.  Plants, Crafts, Master Gardeners, Food. 
Grove City Memorial Park.
 
May 16 Garden Party 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Outdoor gardening exhibits. Main Street, Volant

May 19 A Spring Double Feature: “Native Plants in the Landscape”, “Bird Feeding 101”
Munnell Run Farm 7:00 pm Phone 724.662.2242 for more information.

May 21 Herb Container Gardening 101 7-9 p.m. Plant’s Herb Farm, 104 S. Foster Rd, Mercer.
$15. Pre-registration required. Phone 724.301.3273.

May 23 Wildflower Walk McConnells Mill State Park, Portersville, 10a.m.-12p.m. A botanist
Carnagie Museum will lead the walk. Meet at Hell’s Hollow parking lot (no facilities),
which is about a 15 min. drive from the old mill. The half-mile hike is easy walking.
You are welcome to bring a sack lunch to enjoy after the hike. See HYPERLINK "http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/view_event.asp?CalendarID=8954&Location=List" http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/Calendar/view_event.asp?CalendarID=8954&Location=List
for more information.

May 27 & 28 Moss Basket Workshop Cottage Gardens, 6 p.m.; $45. Phone 724.981.2911
for reservations.
 
May 31 Container Class DJ’s Greenhouse 1:00. 1004 East Lake Rd. Transfer. $25 Phone
724.962.1230 for reservations (Limited to 20)

Cottage Gardens offers a Nursery Walk at 9 a.m. every Saturday in May.




The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind.
But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.
Chanankya

April Buds and Blossoms News

Message from the President

  With the beautiful weather last week I am sure many of you were out working in your gardens.  I have spring mini-daffodils blooming and crocus.

       Soon it will be time for us to clean up and plan our beds for our Up-Town Planting.  We will assign beds and set budgets for buying plants at our May meeting.  I am hoping that the folks who took care of our flower beds last year will continue to do the same bed this season.  Please email me if you are not going to work on a bed this year or if you would like to change beds.  We need folks to plant around the bandstand, as well as the beds on South Diamond and some of the squares on North Diamond Street.  Please let me know if you are willing to work on any of these beds.  

     We will meet informally for lunch Monday, April 20 at 1:00 in Greenville at Compadres Restaurant, 14 South Mercer Street, Greenville, PA 16125. Meet in Mercer to car pool at 12:00; email me.

      At our April 13th meeting, we will have a short business meeting to approve the minutes and treasurer’s report after the the program on Daffodils.

Nancy
 HYPERLINK "http://www.yarnottercreek.blogspot.com/" http://www.yarnottercreek.blogspot.com/


Don’t miss out… and don’t make us miss you…

Garden Club membership dues were due on February 28. There are a few members who have indicated they plan to continue their membership for 2009, but have not yet submitted their dues. Please send your check to the treasurer, Alan Haskell, 17 Tanner Rd, Greenville, PA 16125. If you have questions, you may phone Alan at 724.588.1744.



April  Meeting  

    We will meet at the United Methodist Church, April 13 at 7:00 p.m.  Due to the distance our speakers have come to present this program, we will begin with refreshments and have our speakers at 7:15.  

     Our guests, Steve and Sarah Zolock, will present a program on Daffodils.   This is the 54th year of the “Zolock Gardens”.   The “Zolock Gardens” have over sixty smaller gardens that now contain over 1,500 different varieties of daylilies and over 1,200 different varieties of hostas. The “Zolock Gardens” began hybridizing daylilies and hosta in 1996. They have registered 100 new daylilies and 25 new hosta. You can see pictures of their gardens and learn more about the plants they offer on their web site:   HYPERLINK "https://zolockgardens.net/Home.html" https://zolockgardens.net/Home.html   The Zolocks are driving up from Bell Vernon (over 200 miles round trip) to present this program for our club.  

       This will be a professional program on Daffodils.  We are inviting other area garden clubs to come and enjoying this event with us.  I will be making a flyer to send to other garden clubs inviting them to our program.  I will email this invitation to our members and ask that you forward the invitation to gardeners that are not club members. If you belong to another garden club or group, please forward the invitation to your members and list this program in garden newsletters.  

              

March 2009 Minutes

President Nancy Griffith called the meeting to order at Mercer United Methodist Church with 27 members present. 
By motion of Monica Ondursko, seconded by Eydie Swingle the Minutes were approved.
The Treasurer’s Report as presented, were approved by motion of Arlene Peters, and seconded by Betty Graham.
Upon recommendation of the budget committee the Uptown Planting budget for the 2009 will be $1200.00, which is a reduction of $200.00.  This amount will not include the WWII memorial, which will be kept separate as the Veterans Office gives a donation to cover the costs of that planting. The number of pots will be reduced from 27 to 20 for this year.  Members will again choose the flowers for their respective squares. But it is requested that members choose from flats of flowers rather that using individually potted plants.  A dollar amount will be assigned for each of the squares, depending on each squares size.
Our dues will cover our expenses, such as the insurance, newsletter etc. At our April meeting stamp donations will be accepted to help cover the cost of mailing the newsletter. At our next meeting we will entertain a motion to raise the dues from $12.00 to $15.00 per year.  
Upon motion of Cheryl Reis, seconded by Vera Filer, to approve the Budget.  Vote carried.
Note that not all members have paid their dues for this year.
Tabled until next month is a discussion on posting the newsletter on line.
On Saturday morning, February 28, 2009 ten members and guests car-pooled for a trip to Pittsburgh to visit Phipps Conservatory.  Following lunch, a side trip was also taken to visit Whole Foods 



March Minutes, continued…
 

Diana Jackal announced that to celebrate Arbor Day this year she has ordered trees from the Mercer County Conservation District.  We will have 40 trees, 10 White Pine, 10 Colorado Blue Spruce, 10 Concolor Fir and 10 Canadian Hemlock. These will be distributed to the members for them to plant at a location of their choice.
For the monthly raffle the items donated were a Stepping Stone, Garden gloves, potted crocuses, garden markers, T-shirts and Sweatshirt.
Meeting adjourned and Sheila Craig gave an enjoyable program on African Violets.
Respectfully submitted
Mary Ellen Russell, Recording Secretary


April Meeting Hosts

Hosting our April meeting are Alan and Alice Haskell, Pam Rodemoyer, and Monica Ondrusko.

Thank you from everyone to Rachelle Patterson-Greggs and Natalie Shipton for the cheery table and tasty treats at the March meeting.


CSA News
Community supported Agriculture groups have mushroomed around the country, including western PA.

Nu-Way Farm CSA food deliveries begin April 6. Another CSA is Northwest PA Growers Co-op, based in Harrisville, PA. This is a multi-county, multi-farm co-op. You may find out more about this group on-line at HYPERLINK "http://nwpa.growers@gmail.com" http://nwpa.growers@gmail.com
Calendar for April


13 Mercer Garden Club April Meeting 7:00 p.m., United Methodist Church, Mercer.
Program: Daffodils, presented by Steve and Sarah Zolock of Zolock Gardens.

15 Opening Day D.J.’s Greenhouse, 1004 East Lake Rd., Transfer. 9-5. Phone: 724.962.1230.

18 Spring Garden Walk D.J.’s Greenhouse, , 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. See thousands of spring
bulbs in bloom. Free.

19 Munnell Run Farm Earth Day Celebration 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. See
HYPERLINK "http://munnellrunfarm.org/EarthDay2009Registration.html" http://munnellrunfarm.org/EarthDay2009Registration.html for more information and online
preregistration, due by April 10.

20 Mercer Garden Club Informal Meeting Lunch at 1:00 in Greenville at Compadres
Restaurant, 14 South Mercer Street, Greenville, PA 16125.  Meet in Mercer to car pool at
12:00; email Nancy Griffin at HYPERLINK "mailto:spinningotter@gmail.com" spinningotter@gmail.com.

25 Workshop: New Plants for 2008 D.J.’s Greenhouse (see above). 11:00 a.m. New annuals
and perennials. Free.


Save the date:

Sat. May 16: Next  Mercer Garden Field Trip  will be  Youngstown Fellowship Riverside Gardens  
 … SPRING PLANT SALE  Plus Exhibit

Floral Quilts
The garden comes to life with fabric in this display of floral quilts featuring the workmanship of members of That Quilt Group I Belong To.     April 3 – May 17, Weller Gallery
 
Meet at the church at 9:00 am to car pool for this Field Trip.  We will tour the gardens, check out the plant sale and quilt show, and have lunch at the Garden Cafe.
    Fellows Riverside Gardens
    Davis Education & Visitor Center      123 McKinley Avenue
    Youngstown, OH 44509



O! How this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day!
William Shakespeare

Buds & Blossoms March 2009

Mercer Garden Club Newsletter March 2009
Message from President Nancy Griffin

It has been a long snowy cold winter, and I am ready for spring. I walk through my garden looking for signs new life. Some of my irises are up and I have seen a few daffodils starting to come up.  
  
Thank you to all the folks that contributed to our raffle last month.  We took in $19.00.  Every little bit helps to buy flowers for the uptown planting. We will have another raffle this month.  I will bring some more t-shirts.  If you have something to add, please bring it along. 

Our March program will be a good one. Sheila Craig will share her knowledge of African violets with us. Sheila asks that everyone who wishes to start a violet from a cutting bring a small pot for planting. Bring your favorite violet for show and tell and any books or information you have to share.
      
           March Meeting Agenda:

           Budget for up town planting report.
 
           Report from folks working on future programs.

          Clean up the uptown gardens and a work session at Brandy Springs in April.
      
          Field Trip plans for March??   Lunch meeting March??

          Program:   African Violets, presented by Sheila Craig 
I have posted some slides of our uptown planting on my blog.  HYPERLINK "http://www.yarnottercreek.blogspot.com/" http://www.yarnottercreek.blogspot.com/   I am working on getting photos from last summer posted on line also. 
Nancy Griffin 
 HYPERLINK "mailto:ottercreek@mac.com" ottercreek@mac.com HYPERLINK "mailto:ottercreek@mac.com" Reminder…2009 dues, $12.00...were due 28 February. If you forgot, send your check with name and address to Alan Haskell, Treasurer, 17 Tanner Rd., Greenville, PA 16125 OR bring your 2009 payment to the March meeting.

March 2009 Minutes

Monday February 9, 2009 meeting was called to order by President Nancy Griffin at 7:10 pm. 
Monica Ondrusko motioned to accept the minutes as presented in our newsletter. Rita Ryburn seconded the motion. Motion was accepted.
Treasurer’s Report was presented by Alan Haskell. Alan reported that the uptown planting costs for 2007 and 2008 were very similar.  Alan suggested that the club further our uptown planning to include a newspaper article to increase our donation totals.
Cheryl Reis motioned that the Treasurer’s Report be approved.  Rita Ryburn seconded the Motion.  Alan added that the check for the church would be mailed soon for 2008 for the use of the Meeting Room. 
It was reported that the budget committee would meet soon to discuss 2009 budget as soon as everyone on the committee is available.
Nancy Griffin announced that raffle tickets are available for our door prizes.  The tickets are $1.00 each and will go to the general fund.  There will be 3 tickets drawn tonight.  Jack Theiss and Nancy Griffin furnished the prizes for this meeting.
Nancy also announced that the club members interested in going to Phipps Conservatory Orchid Show field trip will meet February 28, at the church.  The cost of the show is $10.00.  We will meet at 9:00 am for departure.  Call Nancy Griffin for more details.
Arbor Day report will be presented in March.
Raffle prizes include T-shirts, Burt’s Bee products and a mystery book. Winners were Monica Ondrusko, Alice Haskell and Diana Jackal. The mystery book was a garden book that discussed plants sorted by their bloom color. It was donated by Jack Theiss.
Jack Theiss motioned for the meeting to be adjourned.  Alice Haskell seconded. Meeting adjourned.
Alice Haskell introduced our speaker for the evening, David Yoder from New Day Farms. He explained he is a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture, farmer.  His farm is in the Greenville/Fredonia area.  He takes payment in spring for harvest from April 1 to November 1. He explained his organic methods of farming.  He recommended that members read “Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan.  Alice will put information about his farm and subscription to veggie co-op in next month’s newsletter.
 
Diana Jackal, Acting Secretary
Book Review, by Alice Haskell

Tottering in My Garden, a garden memoir by Midge Ellis Keeble, is one woman’s gardening journey through three successive homes and gardens in and around Toronto. Keeble’s style is personal and quite humorous. She discusses her successes, helpful neighbors and talented professionals, as well as
her gardening failures, unhelpful neighbors and not so talented professionals, with delightful charm. Soil preparation is well-covered and in addition to various plants, grafting and more, she also talked about the importance of being mindful of your house and surrounding property when planning your garden. While there were times during reading I wished Keeble would talk more about gardening and a bit less about the building of their house when they moved to the country, her stories were so hilarious that I forgave her.
This paperback book is mine, so anyone who would like an enjoyable, quick read about Midge Keeble’s forty years of gardening is welcome to borrow it.


Phipps Conservatory Trip

Whether admiring the orchids or Chihuly glass sculptures, the group of eight or so club members had a lovely and educational day at Phipps. After touring, everyone enjoyed a tasty lunch together in the cafeteria. A quick stop at a nearby Whole Foods grocery store, where folks shopped for delicacies not easily found at home, concluded this informal Mercer Garden Club trip.
Calendar for March
9 Mercer Garden Club March Meeting 7:00 p.m., United Methodist Church, Mercer.
Following the business meeting, a program on African violets will be presented by Sheila Craig. Bring a small flower pot if you wish to start a violet from a cutting.

17 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another.
The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.

Henry Van Dyke

For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Algernon Charles Swinburne



There’s a dear little plant
That grows in our isle,
‘Twas St. Patrick himself
Sure that set it;
And the sun on his labour
With pleasure did smile,
And with dew from his eye
Often wet it.
It thrives through the bog,
through the brake,
through the mireland;
And he called it the dear
little shamrock of Ireland---
The sweet little shamrock,
the dear little shamrock,
The sweet little, green little,
shamrock of Ireland!

Andrew Cherry