Sept. 8, 2021 meeting was terrific!

We welcomed 2 guest speakers:  Jim Carter, long-time member of the Norwalk River Valley Trail (NRVT), and Louise Washer, President of the Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA). They told us about the sections of the NRVT/NRWA including the area at Broad Street & Deering Pond (Norwalk) which is being cleared. The NRVT mission is to build and maintain a 30 mile multi-use trail from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk up to Rogers Park in Danbury. Meeting: 12-noon, outdoor pavilion at Cranbury Park.  Public welcome – masks optional (outside & socially distanced).

Flowering Quince "Chaenomeles speciose" from Martha's garden (early spring bloomer)

Flowering Quince “Chaenomeles speciose” from Martha’s garden (early spring bloomer)

FGCCT award

Congratulations Rosanne, our past president, who received an award October 2020 from the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut for her work on our Star Program. “It was a total surprise to me.  It has my name on it but actually belongs to all the STAR volunteers who were committed and creative and brought joy to our participants.  Hope we can get this started up again at some point in time.”  For over 3 years the Norwalk Garden Club has worked with STAR participants on gardening, nature and craft projects.

Rosanne working with STAR participants.

Rosanne working with STAR participants.

RScal_FederatedAward

Autumn is here!

fallarrangementAutumn Gardening Chores:  Zone 6     

  • Set out cool-weather vegetable transplants, including salad greens, broccoli, kale and cabbage.  Continue to harvest available vegetable to stretch their season.
  • Sow seeds of fall veggies and annuals
  • Sow seeds of cool-weather herbs (chives, parsley)
  • Plant garlic and leeks
  • Plant winter pansies and fall annuals (calendula, dianthus, ornamental cabbage and kale)
  • Plant tag teams of perennials and spring-blooming bulbs that will complement each other or bloom in sequence next season.  Divide & transplant bearded iris.
  • As tops die back, harvest potatoes, onions and garlic
  • Plant peonies
  • Plant fall-blooming bulbs to brighten up fading window boxes, planters and in drifts among ornamental grasses
  • Continue to harvest herbs, grasses and flowers for drying  NGC2017ASpot
  • Sprinkle compost starter to speed up composting for fall soil building
  • Prune summer-blooming shrubs (hydrangea, clethra, caryopteris) after flowers finish

Source: Backyard Gardener

 

Plan your backyard for the Birds!


Now that Spring is here, let’s plan a backyard for Birds!  Cardinal2

Plan your bird habitat: take stock of the plants you have – what native plants do you have to attract birds?
Consider the space basics in the yard:
• areas of sun and shade (or combination areas)
• wet or dry areas (does your soil retain moisture? How frequently would you water?)
• soil type (light and/or sandy; heavier and/or clay-based)
Create habitat layers:
• Large trees for overhead canopy
• Shrubs or small trees for fruits and nesting sites
• Perennials, annuals and groundcovers for seeds and pollinator habitats
• Decaying leaves & other plant debris as a habitat base and food source (plant debris house caterpillars & other pupae)
Shift from traditional open lawn space surrounded by small garden beds, to smaller lawn with large beds; eventually the lawn becomes a winding path between your planting areas.
Cluster plants of same species in groups of 5 or more. In addition to an appealing mass of color, plant clusters are favored by pollinators as they prefer to feed from a mass of the same flower species.
Consider the height of plants, color and growing times
Birds need water – what do you have that can catch and hold rainfall? How clean is it? To keep your birdbath fresh, just rinse and scrub it with nine parts water, one-part vinegar. Make sure to refill the water every other day to keep it from bugging up. Clean the ground area under the birdbath and bird feeders frequently.
Resources:
https://www.audubon.org/
https://garden.org/plants (National Gardening Association) can search by plant characteristics

 

Pollinator-Friendly Pest Management featured at March meeting!

Bee_flowerJoin us March 11th for this talk by Pollinator Pathway consultant, Emily May, of the Xerces Society. Gardeners and homeowners can make a direct positive impact in supporting pollinators in their landscape. An important part of creating a safe oasis for pollinators is protecting these spaces from harmful pesticides. Currently, suburban yards and gardens receive more pesticides per acre than agricultural areas. Can the home gardener who wants to protect pollinators and have a landscape that looks good have it both ways? In this talk, Emily May (Pollinator Conservation Specialist, Pesticide Program, The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation) will discuss pollinator-friendly pest management and planting recommendations for backyards and gardens that reduce reliance on chemical inputs while maintaining attractive landscapes. (1:30pm, Senior Center, Allen Road in Norwalk)

 

Upcoming February guest speaker: Bryan Quinn

water_sample1Sky, Plants, and Ground: Water in the Landscape  

Water is a fundamental consideration for almost any private garden. Baseline practical concerns like quantity, freezing, and source are all critical in the establishment and care of landscapes. Perhaps more importantly, water is an inspiration for garden designers of all ages. This talk will discuss historic and contemporary precedents from the history of landscape architecture, easily understandable technical considerations (such as rainwater harvest, rainfall requirements, and water-efficient irrigation), and specific examples drawn from Bryan’s two decades of experience in garden design.

Bryan Quinn is the founder of One Nature, a landscape design/build company that has completed numerous projects in the Fairfield County area and beyond. His lifelong dedication to landscapes and the environment is evident in One Nature’s diverse body of work, including gardens, parks of all sizes, campuses, agricultural land, and urban design. Regardless of project size, he strives to bring out the potential for every landscape to inspire people through ecological design. Part scientist and part artist, his design methodology is place-based and relies on a sensitivity to the particular qualities of each location. Bryan is a registered landscape architect in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. To hear Bryan, please join us at 1:15pm at the Senior Center, Allen Road in Norwalk on February 12th.

In case you missed our Christmas Fair…

We had some beautiful crafts, table top arrangements, extra large gift baskets, cookies and other baked goods, planters, wreaths and more!

Beautifully decorated artificial trees to adorn your mantle or table top. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Tauscher, December 2019

Beautifully decorated artificial trees to adorn your mantle or table top. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Tauscher, December 2019

Mini Santas

 

A chic floral centerpiece for any time of the year! Miniature holly plants adorn this vintage cookie stand. Photo credit: Jeffrey A. Tauscher, December 2019

A chic floral centerpiece for any time of the year! Miniature holly plants adorn this vintage cookie stand. Photo credit: Jeffrey A. Tauscher, December 2019