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.
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.
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
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.
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.
September: Patricia McNelis demonstrates ikebana arrangements. Member Bench Show: “Flower Pot Power”
April 11th: Linda Fleming, noted herbalist, writer, and delightful storyteller, will be our guest speaker. Topic: Moon Gardening: Planting According to the Phases of the Moon. Please join us at 1:15 at the Norwalk Senior Center (11 Allen Road, Norwalk).
May 26th: Annual Plant Sale! Located in the parking lot at 1 Park Street (near the Norwalk Green), hours 9am to 1pm. Save the date!
The public is invited to hear our selection of informative speakers this winter.
Jan.10: Victor DiMasi, noted lepidopterist, will tell us about our native butterflies and how the environmental changes are affecting them. Lecture at 1:15 at the Senior Center, 11 Allen Road, Norwalk. (Room B of the Senior Center)
Feb. 14: Sarah Graber will talk to us about the Norwalk Land Trust programs. Lecture at 1:15 at the Senior Center, 11 Allen Road, Norwalk.
Mar. 14: Kim Eierman, environmentalist, will discuss gardening to benefit ecosystems. Lecture at 1:15 at the Senior Center, 11 Allen Road, Norwalk.
September kicks off a new year of terrific guest speakers and events for the Norwalk Garden Club. Our meetings are held the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Gallaher Mansion in Cranbury Park at 12:15. Guest speakers start around 1:15; the public is welcome to join us!
September guest speaker: Tovah Martin – horticulturalist and well know garden author will discuss the Indestructible Houseplant. [No guest speaker in October]
November guest speaker: Evelyn Lee from Butternut Gardens in Southport will prepare holiday floral arrangements.
Annual Christmas Fair: Saturday, December 2, Cranbury Chapel in Norwalk
Happy Memorial Day weekend! As you work in your garden this weekend, please consider adding some new plants which you’ll be able to purchase at our annual Plant Sale (Saturday, June 3rd from 9:30am to 2:30pm). This is a one-day-only event featuring backyard plant divisions – which means they are more adaptable to this area and more suited to your yard! Great prices! Stop by and see us at the corner of East Wall and Park Street (adjacent to the Norwalk Green).
April Gardening Chores: Zone 6
Lawns: As ground becomes workable, rake up winter debris (leaving certain areas as natural food source for birds); de-thatch lawn if necessary; fill in low spots with soil, and fertilize established lawns. Crabgrass will begin to germinate when soil temperature reaches 50 degrees (around the time the forsythia blooms). Apply corn gluten (to control weeds) at this time, or a crabgrass pre-emergent. Test lawn soil, and apply lime if necessary.
Beds: Farmers Almanac tip to determine whether your garden soil is ready for seeding – grab a handful of soil. “If it forms a ball, the soil is too wet, but if it crumbles through your fingers like chocolate cake, it is ready for planting!” Have your soil tested (CT Agricultural Experiment Station website http://www.ct.gov/caes/site/default.asp provides a form and instructions for mailing soil samples). Fertilize preferably with a fertilizer containing slow-release nitrogen. Divide and replant crowded bulbs (winter & spring blooming). As you are cleaning up your beds, bear in mind that many unwanted insects and diseases can overwinter in your garden, so you may not want to add this debris to your compost. Cut back any perennial foliage that you didn’t trim back last fall; wait until new growth appears before cutting back the butterfly bush, lavender, sage, Montauk daisy, caryopteris, and other woody shrubs. Cut back ornamental grasses before new growth appears. Prune roses and boxwoods! As our “winter soil” softens and dries out, divide and transplant! Hostas, ornamental grasses and ferns and best divided & transplanted in early spring.
Container plants: Make sure to provide sufficient water to plants that have over-wintered in containers (soil in containers dries out quickly); check the soil for mold and re-pot with fresh soil if necessary.
Set up birdbaths and maintain with fresh water for our migrating, nest-building friends!