Nashua Garden Club: Plant Sale and Dahlias!

An invitation from the Nashua Garden Club

Greetings from the Nashua Club and a couple of brief notices:

Plant Sale, May 18th – Firstly, a reminder that our plant sale will be held this Saturday, May 18th on the grounds of the Nashua Historical Society at 5 Abbott Street, Nashua from 8:00AM – noon.  A variety of annual and perennial plants, houseplants, vegetables, shrubs and trees will be available along with a raffle of a wide variety of themed gift baskets, a garden oriented yard sale and selection of enticing baked goods.  All proceeds support the club’s community educational and beautification projects.

June 5th Program History of Growing and Selling Dahlias – We invite you to join us for our program on the History of Growing and Selling Dahlias to be presented by Thomas Mickey, Professor Emeritus, Master Gardener, columnist and author.  Please join club members Wednesday June 5th at 7 PM at the First Baptist Church, 121 Manchester Street, Nashua, to learn how European plant hunters found the dahlia in Mexico almost 300 years ago, what ‘dahlia mania’ was and how 19th century American nurseries began selling the dahlia as the ideal fall flower. Members:  Free   Nonmembers:  $5.00   Light refreshments will be served. For more information:  www.nashuanhgardenclub.org

Thank you for spreading the word – happy planting season

Terry Robinson
NGC Publicity Chair

Amherst Garden Club at Souhegan Sustainability Fair

It was dreary outside but colorful inside at the Souhegan Sustainability Fair which took place on Sat., May 4. Christy Belvin, Joan O’Brien, Mary Salmon, Nancy Hokinson, Becky Stoughton, and Nancy Head set up an Amherst Garden Club booth featuring rain gardens, complete with live video!

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The fair is an annual event dedicated to promoting socially and environmentally responsible living. There were booths to visit, workshops to attend, new things to learn, and lots of interesting people to talk to.  It was a good day!

The garden club thanks Lisa Loosigian, the SOAK NH Program Coordinator, for providing brochures and other materials.

Photos from Trip to Proven Winners

A handful of garden club members recently made a trip to Pleasant View Gardens — home of Proven Winners® — in Loudon, NH as part of a tour organized by Weston Nurseries. The group had a great time touring the impressive growing facility and walking through the demonstration gardens. The day also included lunch and a presentation by Kerry Ann Mendez.

(Photos courtesy of Joan Poltack)

A Visit to Wells Corner (Epsom, NH)

A group of club members and guests recently enjoyed a special tour of an Epsom, New Hampshire property called Wells Corner.  Homeowner Kyle Landt led the tour of her property that features an 18th century house with a post and beam barn. The landscape design is her own vision, and what a vision it is! The garden has been transformed in the course of thirty years from a simple landscape of vinca and tawny daylilies to one filled with deep mixed borders. The borders are comprised of small trees, shrubs, and perennials interspersed with 250 flats of annuals.

(Photos courtesy of Barbara Williams)

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Deeply influenced by the late Christopher Lloyd’s book, The Adventurous Gardener, and his gardens at Great Dixter in England, where she makes regular trips, Dr. Landt plans her own designs determining color only after considering plant texture, size, and shape. Her advice includes improving the soil before planting and topdressing annually with her own special compost mix. It is vital to give the plants a running start in this short growing climate, she advises.

Walking the natural path around the buildings, one discovers a reward at each destination such as a raised octagonal potager, a woodland walk, and a large koi pond built to look like a natural spring overflowing a horse trough.

The morning ended with the group resting on the shaded porch while Dr. Landt entertained with stories and provided much useful gardening information.

Read more about Wells Corner in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program guide and a recent issue of New Hampshire Home magazine.

Wells Corner Garden Spring Soil Prep

To each wheelbarrow of good quality compost, add:

  • 1½ gallons alfalfa pellets
  • 1 gallon bone meal*
  • ½ gallon of commercial 19-19-19 fertilizer

Mix together and spread evenly to depth of 1 – 1½ inches. Fork in before planting or use as top dressing on established perennials and shrubs.

If applying to acid-loving plants, mix 50/50 with peat.

* For an animal-free alternative, try rock phosphate.

Photos from the Sunflower Festival (Lee, NH)

(Re-posting since photos were not properly linked first time.)

The Sunflower Festival at Coppal House Farm in Lee, NH is an annual event. Barbara Williams visited on July 30 and reports that it was a wonderful show — acres of sunflowers in several varieties — and ponds with cattails, too.

Each year the farm posts the prime time to visit, usually sometime in the last two weeks of July or first two weeks of August. This year’s festival runs July 28 – August 5 (see web site for details). Lee is an easy hour’s drive east of Amherst, and the sunflowers are well worth the trip!

(Photos courtesy of Barbara Williams)

Trip Report: Celia Thaxter’s Island Garden Tour

On July 20, about a dozen garden club members and their guests hopped aboard the Gulf Challenger research vessel in New Castle, NH and pushed off for an enjoyable 45-minute boat ride to Appledore Island, home of Celia Thaxter’s famous island garden.

Posted by Amherst Garden Club on Friday, July 20, 2018

The tour, run by Marine Docent volunteers and the Shoals Marine Laboratory staff — including our own Marie Nickerson, steward of Celia’s garden — included not only the garden but other sites of interest on the island, such as the graveyard where Celia Thaxter is buried.

Purely by chance, our club was there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly completed piazza (wooden porch) that once connected Celia’s cottage to her garden. Standing on this rebuilt piazza, we enjoyed breathtaking island scenery just as Celia did more than over 100 years ago.

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Jennifer Seavey, Kingsbury Executive Director, dedicates the new piazza

View from the new piazza (photo credit: Becky Stoughton)

One unexpected element of the day was that we saw seagull chicks everywhere. Appledore Island is a coastal breeding ground for gulls, and Black-backed and Herring gulls were in full protective-parenting mode, swooping down on anyone perceived to threaten a nesting site.  (For a 3.5-minute video of what we experienced, watch How Nature Works: Gull Territoriality.)

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A Black-backed gull with two chicks

Thank you to Marti Warren for organizing this unforgettable trip (including the stressful task of making sure that no one missed the boat!) and documenting the day in photos.

Marie Nickerson and Marti Warren in Celia’s garden (photo credit: Becky Stoughton)