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

Scholarship 2019 Awarded

From left, Diane Russell, scholarship program chairperson; Fortuna; Noreen Normand, scholarship committee; Jan Valus, treasurer; Paula Fortuna, Natalia’s mother; and Martha Moore, co-president.

From left, Diane Russell, scholarship program chairperson; Fortuna; Noreen Normand, scholarship committee; Jan Valus, treasurer; Paula Fortuna, Natalia’s mother; and Martha Moore, co-president.

During a ceremony at the Farm Creek Nature Preserve on Monday, June 17, Natalia Fortuna, a graduating senior from Brien Mc Mahon High School, received the annual Norwalk Garden Club Scholarship.  The $1000 scholarship is awarded to a person who is pursuing undergraduate coursework or continuing education in areas related to horticulture and environmental sciences. Natalia is a member of the Honor Society and is among the students in the first class to complete the International Baccalaureate program at McMahon High School.  Her activities include an internship with Harbor Watch, international travel to study diverse cultures and environmental issues, hiking, camping and outdoor leadership, and experiences that expand her artistic talents.  “She more than meets the requirements of the scholarship, she exceeds them at every level,” observes Diane Russell, scholarship program chairperson.  In the fall, Natalia will be attending the University of British Columbia, majoring in environmental studies.

Spring is here!

"Daylilies" by Noreen Normand on display at the Norwalk Public Library - April 2019

Art by Noreen Normand

 

We are proud of our long time member, Noreen Normand, painter, crafter and gardener! Her watercolors will be on display for one month at the Norwalk Public Library beginning with a reception on Sunday, April 14th from 2 to 4pm.

N Normand

 

 

NGC_PolinPaths_Mar2019

The Norwalk Garden Club proudly supports the Pollinator Pathway project!

 

 

April 22: come to the Community Room at City Hall to hear Louise Washer  tell us about the growing Pollinator Pathways throughout the area, and how we can avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers. (6pm refreshments, 7pm talk) The venue is part of the Norwalk Land Trust Annual meeting, and the Garden Club will have a table there!

May 18th: Annual Plant Sale: 9am – 1pm, 1 Park Street (near the Green)

May 23rd: Annual Planting on the Green

2019 is here, the days are getting longer!

Time to start thinking about plants! Are you interested in the Pollinator Pathway Project of Fairfield County? Then join us on January 9th (Room A of the Senior Center, Allen Road) at 1:15 to hear Louise Washer, President of the Norwalk River Watershed Association, provide info and ways we can promote project awareness in our community.    monarch_milkweed

February 13th: Garden designer Deirdra Wallin will discuss Horticultural Therapy:  Harvesting the Benefits of Horticulture.

March 13th:  Bill Kenny, landscape  architect with Native nursery of Fairfield, will tell us how to use native plants in the garden. His presentation will be linked to the Pollinator Pathway Project.

We enjoyed seeing so many of you at our Christmas Fair. Thanks for coming by, and we hope you enjoyed your purchases!  ChFair2018santas