Tree Pruning at MaryAnne’s Garden

The garden club is grateful to our resident arborist Lee Gilman for all the work he does in our civic gardens. This week Lee continued corrective pruning of the Callery pear tree in MaryAnne’s Garden.

This tree, planted roughly 17 years ago by the Chamberlain family, has sustained severe storm damage at least twice. Major limbs were lost, compromising the tree’s natural, oval shape. Lee has been working gradually to restore the tree’s shape.

Lee Gilman prunes tree at MayAnne’s Triangle while garden lead Dawn Burke picks up the branches

Tip! For all you do-it-yourselfers, we learned from Lee not to remove too much of the tree’s interior. On hot days when the crown is baking in the sun, a tree’s interior can remain a few degrees cooler. The leaves in these shadier pockets help sustain the tree during hot, dry periods.

Upcoming Events at Beaver Brook (Hollis)

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Beaver Brook naturalist Rivka Schwartz writes:

“The spring ephemeral flowers have passed. The summer flowers in the sunny fields are blooming.  Walking between the barn at Maple Hill Farm to the outside of the garden and then to the beginning of the Wildflower Trail there are over 20 kinds of flowers blooming. 

I’ve been harvesting St. John’s Wort buds. I cover these with a golden colored olive oil to make a beautiful, deep, red, medicinal oil. This oil is used topically for nerve pain, be it from shingles or a wound. A tincture, made by soaking buds and flowers in alcohol, has been used for mild depression and seasonal affective disorder. The tincture can interact with some medications.

The staghorn sumac fruit is almost ripe. The beginning of August is usually the best time for harvest. If you wait too long you harvest extra protein in the all the insects that like to live in the fruit. To make a wild lemonade, soak two clusters in a quart of cold water until it turns a light, red-brown color. Use honey or maple syrup to sweeten the drink if you want.”

Upcoming Events

Wildflowers of Beaver Brook
Wed., Aug 16 at 7pm
Nashua Public Library

Naturalist Rivka Schwartz will present a slide program and talk on the diversity of wildflowers at Beaver Brook.

Guided Mushroom Foray
Sat., Aug 19 10am – 12:30pm
Maple Hill Farm, 117 Ridge Rd, Hollis

Teacher and walk leader Stephanie Doyle will be taking a group out on the trails in search of wild mushrooms.

Wildflower Walk: Asters, Berries and Late Summer Flowers
Wed., Aug 23 10am – 12pm
Maple Hill Farm, 117 Ridge Road, Hollis

Enjoy a guided wildflower walk with naturalist Rivka Schwartz. You’ll be finding many species of asters, goldenrod, berries and late summer flowers.

For more information or to register, go to

Invitation from NH Audubon Massabesic Center

Our club has been invited to the following event on Thursday, July 27, at 6:30 pm at the NH Audubon Massabesic Center in Auburn, NH:

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Gardens That Stimulate the Senses: Use Your Sense Of Smell, Touch, Taste, Sight, Even Sound

Are gardens just for looking at?  Can a garden be enjoyed for its smell, or taste, or feel?  What about the sound of a garden?  A “Garden for the Senses” has features that make use of all five of our senses – smell, taste, hearing, sight, and touch.

Anyone interested in gardening for personal pleasure or for wildlife will enjoy this special summer event.  There will be a lecture and garden walk on Thursday, July 27, at 6:30 pm at the NH Audubon Massabesic Center, 26 Audubon Way in Auburn, NH.

Gardens are under development at the NH Audubon Massabesic Center in Auburn that will stimulate the use of all of your senses.  The project is under the direction of NH Audubon Volunteer, Martha Israel, who is herself visually impaired.  After a career in engineering and continued study in landscape design, the disease that has impaired Martha’s vision has led her to a vision of a different kind – that of helping others enjoy the beauty and all the other senses that a garden brings out.

Come see the first garden installment – the Fragrance Garden – and learn of plans for additional Garden for the Senses plans.  Walk the garden path and smell the plants chosen for their scent.  A Sound Garden is under development.

The program is free and open to the public.  Please register by calling 668-2045.  Donations to the Garden for the Senses project are greatly appreciated.  Donations can be made out to NH Audubon and mailed to the Massabesic Center at 26 Audubon Way in Auburn, NH 03032.

Contact: Dawn Genes, Director


AGC Celebrates the 4th of July

Once again, The Amherst Garden Club participated in the 4th of July parade.  The theme of the float was “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Gardening,” and it won “Best in Theme.” Congratulations!

A big thank you to Joan Poltack, Dawn Burke, and Diane Merrithew for creating yet another award-winning float and for organizing our participation. Joan Poltack thanks all who marched, loaned their wagons, or helped with cutting out letters. Special thanks to Sally Hooper for letting the team both assemble and store the float overnight in her garage.