Another in the series of articles written by our own Joanne Hughes and published in the Norwalk Hour! (March 21, 2014)

Norwalk Garden Club:  A Shovel and a hug    Norwalk Garden Club: A shovel and a hug

In our last Norwalk Garden Club column, we showed a photo from 1975 featuring three earlier members of the garden club. This week, we were delighted to receive an e-mail from Lisa and Leighton Haight which told us that Mrs. Byron Williams was Joan Williams, Leighton’s mother. She has passed away. Lisa wrote that her mother-in-law “loved the garden club and (they) would love to see any other pictures of her or of her award-winning floral works.”

That might be possible because in June we will have a large display in the front hall of the library. We’ll keep our eyes open.

What’s Up with Archives? Barbara Thompson, who keeps our on-going NGC photos and artifacts, is going through all our archives for the library display. Patricia Taylor, former president and board member, brought us a treasure trove of articles and photos at the March meeting at Gallaher Mansion. Everyone clustered around her when we started looking at those pictures. People were saying: “Oh, I knew her!” “Look how young she is!” “She babysat me!” “She helped with my wedding flowers.” It was very moving and quite special. The Circle of Life is very apparent to us as gardeners and observers of nature and here it was about our members.

So look around your home. Any pictures or artifacts from earlier or even recent garden club days will be very appreciated. We will return anything we are given although we might ask permission to reproduce some. Write me at The Hour or contact us at norwalkgardenclub.com. Board Member Jan Broome, who is our website expert, will let us know.

Planting on the Green:  On May 21, you’ll see us at the Norwalk Greenplanting annual flowers around the cannon, the flagpole, and the new gazebo. Come and say hello. If you’re a willing digger, we’ll give you a shovel and a hug!

What should we do with Invasives? The meeting at March 12 gave us the answer. The presentation “Managing Invasive Plants” by Bill Duesing, producer of “Living on the Earth” radio programs, was very different and so interesting. He has lived organically for 19 years, having studied changes in the earth from the use of chemicals on food. Earlier this winter, Nick Mancini, noted gardening expert, had recommended the avoidance of manure on vegetable gardens. He said that bacteria lives on in this medium. If it’s from cows, for example, he listed Mad Cow Disease as a bacterial possibility. Vegetables must be free from any infection. When we asked him about that, Duesing agreed with Mancini’s warning and he too spoke against farmyard fertilizers. There are many organic fertilizers which are acceptable and effective. We cannot advertise or condemn.

Our Adopt-a-Spot Garden:  Gail Stevens, chair of this so-pretty project, will be at the spot with her committee soon to clear away the winter debris at the corner of East Avenue and Wall Street. So many lovely comments were received by our committee members last season as they worked on the watering, weeding, and planting. We all shared in their reaction to the praise. Come join garden club if you’d like to share that praise too.

What’s Happening with Crafts:  We’re very relieved to report that Gaye Seymour, who has done so much for our craft work, is recovering beautifully from the car accident, probably helped by approximatley 300 Get Well cards sent to her by friends and members of her service clubs. Gaye hopes to return to the meeting on April 9 with even more ideas for our Christmas Craft Fair. In the meantime, as usual, many members are volunteering to help out as well. This is important to us since our Craft Fair each December at Cranbury Chapel is the major fund-raiser for our club. It offers really nice handmade and homemade gifts and foods for the holidays to the community.

The Norwalk Library:  Sally D’Amato’s committee are returning to the lovely circle of perennials surrounding the sculpture on the front lawn. The photo shows just how beautiful it looked last year; since they are perennials, we’ll see most of them again. Chris Bradley, the library’s director, has been so gracious in her appreciation of our club’s work on the indoor and outdoor plants. Ralph Bloom, the book sale manager, tells us to be sure to drop by the Library between March 10 and April 23 for their terrific sale of 500 gardening books. I bought some at great prices last year and really enjoyed their contents.

St. Patrick’s Blessing:

I know it’s past St. Patrick’s Day but this blessing is so appropriate for all you gardeners, allow me to include it with a little garden club improvisation:

Wishing you a rainbow for sunlight after showers —

Miles and miles of flowery smiles for gardening happy hours —

Roses at your doorway for luck and laughter too,

A host of friends that never ends each day your whole life thru’.


What’s Growing On with the Norwalk Garden Club — 90 Years of Service!  published January 17, 2014


Joanne Hughes and her fellow Norwalk Garden Club members plant flowers at the Norwalk Green Wednesday.

Hour photo / Erik Trautmann  Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 5:45 pm

By JOANNE HUGHES, Norwalk Garden Club

As we enter our 90th year of service to the Norwalk community, we have realized with thanks that most of our preserved photos and articles from 1924 forward are primarily taken from The Hour under margin-to-margin headlines like this one: “Garden Club Members Admire Lovely Delphinium.”

Featured under this particular headline are two lovelies in their flapper dresses and cloche hats. An artistic rendering of this photo has become the symbol for the anniversary on our poster by 90th Anniversary Chair Noreen Normand. So let’s catch up to the present with some insights into our 2014 Garden Club and its activities.

Let’s Talk: The nicest thing happened during our December 2013 Craft Fair. At the raffle booth a very nice woman was talking to three of us. She said she loved our garden club members and their crafts. I asked if she would be interested in joining our group. She said: “I’d join in a minute except I live in Wilton.” To which, three of us said simultaneously: “That doesn’t matter. You don’t have to live in Norwalk to join.”

She was so happy that she marched over with me to Membership Chair Gaye Seymour (203-847-2715). She’s now a new member! You too? Visit www.norwalkgardenclub.com.

Our Latest Speaker: What a recent speaker told us might be helpful to you. He talked about pruning. We thought he had terrific content and we really loved his visual aides: branches, saws, leaves and diagrams!

He summarized pruning instructions in five steps: 1. Remove dead, diseased, and broken branches. (Cut sprouts from below Graft.) 2. Remove competing leaders. 3. Remove crossing or rubbing branches. 4. Step back and look for balance; thin heavy sections. 5. Shape, removing twiggy branches on the front of the trunk and underside of the lowest limbs or “ladywavers.” We found the talk very useful. Hope you do too. He’s a noted arborist, Lars Cheruchetti.

A pleasant idea has us talking: we are working with Mill Hill Historical Museum in the spring to develop an authentic colonial herb garden. Educational Coordinator Samantha Kulish will meet with us in April to figure out what we may contribute to the wonderful work she does with Norwalk school kids.

Our Master Gardener Jan Broome has suggested a wonderful idea to make the plot more accessible: it will have four containers, one at each corner so that people and children who cannot otherwise reach the plants can pluck, smell, taste or examine them even from wheelchairs or strollers. The Committee and Co-Chairs Jan Broome and I will take direction and advice from the following: Norwalk Historical Commission’s David Westmoreland, Norwalk Historical Society President Suzanne Betts, and Mill Hills Executive Director Diane Jellerette. Please give us your good ideas for this project, too; we’d love to hear from you.

Final Note: As we celebrate our 90th Year of Service, we will have exhibits at the Library in June, at our 1924-2014 Grand Tea at the Norwalk Inn on June 4, and anywhere else we can squeeze in our pictures and artifacts from Norwalk through the years.

Can you help us? If your mother, aunt, mother, grandmother, friend or neighbor kept any mementoes of the Norwalk Club from the past, may we please borrow them for this occasion. Contact us on line, (see above) or if you are a former member, send an e-mail or come to our meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at Gallaher Mansion at Cranbury Park at noon.

All are welcome — especially you.

Members of National Garden Clubs, Inc. and The Federation of Connecticut Garden Clubs, Inc.

[end of article]


There’s no such thing as “lazy days of summer” for the Norwalk Garden Club!  Members keep busy planting and maintaining our city-wide civic projects:  the Norwalk Green, Norwalk Public Library, East Norwalk Cemetery, Senior Center, and our Adopt-a-Spot (corner of East Avenue and Wall Street).Green - cannon

green & clean 2013 (24)






The Hour - June 1, 2013



The Norwalk Hour gave us the first “bouquet” of summer in their June 1 Editorial section!  (please click on article to enlarge)