October Programs at Neighboring Garden Clubs

Neighboring garden clubs often invite the Amherst Garden Club to attend their programs. Below is a summary of what’s happening in October.  Make a note of anything that looks interesting and get the details on the particular club’s web site. Let the Programs committee know if you see a  great speaker!

Tuesday, October 1 @ 9:00 AM
Wednesday, October 2 @ 7:00 PM
Wednesday, October 9 @ 6:45 PM
Monday, October 14 @ 10:30 AM
Monday, October 21 @ 10:00 AM
Tuesday, October 22 @ 7:00 PM
  • Designing the Winter Garden — Fred Rice
    Francestown Garden Club (Meets at Town Hall)Fred will share suggestions, explain techniques, and answer questions about designing a garden that will bring you joy outside of the traditional growing season.  Fred is the former long-time president of the North Shore Horticultural Society (Mass.)  Fred’s garden in Manchester-by-the-Sea was legendary.

Monarch butterfly release!

This morning Donna Miller taught the Amherst Garden Club all about the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and migration in her talk, Where Have All the Monarchs Gone? As a citizen scientist for Monarch Watch, Donna helps tag and track the butterflies during their fall migration.

Donna showed us how to tag a butterfly by placing a small, harmless sticker on its wing, and then she released it behind the Messiah Lutheran Church to begin its journey south.

¡Adiós, amigo!

Donna Miller releasing a monarch

Want to learn more about monarch butterflies? Check out Donna’s Monarch Butterfly Resource List.

Invitation to Pollinator Symposium (Oct. 28)

An invitation from the New England Wild Flower Society:

New England Wild Flower Society and New Hampshire Audubon invite you to a day-long symposium to discuss interactions between native plants and pollinators and how to combat the pollinator crisis. The symposium will feature panels and workshops led by specialists in the field.

The symposium addresses such topics as: researching and tracking different types of native pollinators, creating and growing gardens that support the region’s native pollinators, and selecting the most effective pollinator-friendly native plants for particular habitats and ecoregions. With an engaging keynote by Dr. Robert Gegear, creator of The Beecology Project, this symposium offers a fitting culmination to a summer of pollinator programs and a vision for next steps.

The symposium will be held on Sunday, October 28th from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. at the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center in Concord, New Hampshire. We would love for you and your organization members to attend our event and learn more about pollinators directly from field specialists.

Register and be part of the solution! For more information, please visit our website at: http://www.newenglandwild.org/learn/our-programs/pollinator-symposium. We hope you join us for this event, and look forward to hearing back from you soon.


Monarch Butterfly Talk — Sept. 10 (Milford Garden Club)

Invitation from the Milford Garden Club:

The next meeting of the Milford Garden Club will be Sept. 10th, at the First Congregational Parish House, 10 Union St. The meeting is free and open to the public. Doors open at 9:00, business meeting at 9:30, speaker at 10:30. For information about our club visit www.milfordnhgardenclub.org.

Donna Miller of Petals in the Pines, Canterbury, NH will be speaking on Monarch Butterflies. Learn about the life-cycle of the monarch, their amazing migration, the reason for their decline and what we can do about it. Donna will also show how she tags monarchs for research and explain how to start your own milkweed patch and butterfly habitat.

Moulton’s Oval Garden Gets a Sundial

If you’ve passed Moulton’s Oval lately, you may have noticed the new armillary sundial. The arrival of this sundial ends a long wait to find an ornament that would add balance and interest to this garden. The Moulton’s Oval garden team considered many ideas —including a boulder,  birdbath, or sculpture. Then garden club member Peter Sevier offered to make a sundial, and that sounded perfect.

Armillary Sundial in Moulton’s Oval Garden (July 2018)


Creating an accurate sundial takes skill and precision. What a surprise to learn that Peter knew how to bend steel and engrave brass. He even contacted the North American Sundial Society for guidance.

While Peter worked on the sundial, the search began to find a suitable base. The Department of Public Works invited the club to look through their piles of leftover boulders and blocks, and the team selected a couple good-sized pieces of granite. Perry Day and his DPW crew then kindly delivered them to the oval. After the garden team relocated a few perennials to make space, a thoughtful and capable passerby “muscled’ the rocks into place.

Peter was on site and already had a plan for how to mount the sundial to the granite. It had to be positioned precisely to be an accurate timepiece. The fixed brass rod in the center points north and is parallel to the earth’s axis. As the sun appears to move across the sky, the rod casts a shadow on the “equatorial ring” of Roman numerals, one for each hour from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

You are welcome to approach the sundial as a path has been cleared. For best results, check it out on a sunny day.

Do You Know Where This Garden Is?

This beautiful little garden — which many residents don’t even know exists — is nestled behind Town Hall alongside the wheelchair ramp. This “pocket garden” was planted around 2005 and is lovingly tended by Mary Salmon. Stop by and take a look while the blue delphiniums are in top form.

While you’re there, be sure to admire the container gardens on the front steps and in the horse trough. This year’s color theme is purple, yellow, and green.  The careful observer will notice eggplant and celery growing among the flowers!

Spring Cleanups in Our Civic Gardens

Although work in our civic gardens doesn’t begin in earnest until after the plant sale, many of our gardens benefit from a spring clean-up in April to look their best for spring-flowering bulbs.

Today at the North Triangle, Dawn Burke, Renée D’Agati, Jane McOsker, Joan O’Brien, and Mary Snaith worked together to pick up debris, rake, sweep, and mulch.

At MaryAnne’s Triangle last week, Susan Batchelder, Dawn Burke, Pat Legere, Marge McAdams, Joan O’Brien, Dee Pringle, Mary Thomson, and Barbara Warman did the same (sorry, no photo!).

Over at the Library, seven helpful members cut back some aggressive growers. Marti’s crew included Christy Belvin, Marge McAdams (who did double-duty that day!), and Debi McGivern, who brought her truck and took all the cuttings to the dump.

“Seed: The Untold Story” at Wilton Town Hall Theater on April 15

The Souhegan Valley Food Co-Op will host a showing of Seed: The Untold Story on Sunday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m. at the Wilton Town Hall Theater.

As many irreplaceable seeds near extinction, SEED reveals the harrowing and heartening story of passionate seed keepers as they wage a David and Goliath battle against chemical seed companies, defending a 12,000 year food legacy. Winner of 13 awards hailed by the Village Voice as “A rare documentary – a wonder” and by the LA Times “a gorgeously made film.”