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You’re Invited! Webinar: Encouraging Wildlife Diversity in Designed Landscapes

Presented by Matt Tarr

Join the Amherst Garden Club on Thursday, May 7 at 10:30 AM for this webinar.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Click to join:
https://unh.zoom.us/j/92173654172

Meeting ID: 921 7365 4172

To join by phone:
+1 312 626 6799 (US Toll)

A recorded version of the webinar will hopefully be available.

Matt Tarr, Wildlife State Specialist
Matt Tarr, Wildlife State Specialist

An abundance of wildlife is one of the best indicators of an ecologically well-designed landscape. By understanding how pollinators, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians select their habitats during each season of the year, we can design landscapes that effectively attract and support a diversity of wildlife.

Matt will provide practical methods for designing ecologically complete landscapes that invite human interaction and transcend simple aesthetics through their functioning interconnected elements.

Join us for this webinar and learn how to encourage wildlife diversity in your own landscape.

About Matt

Matt is a professional wildlife biologist and NH Licensed forester and he works throughout NH in close partnership with the NH Fish and Game Department to assist private landowners and communities improve habitat for wildlife. His specialties include improving forested wildlife habitat through commercial timber harvesting, field management to benefit vertebrate and invertebrate wildlife, shrubland and young forest habitat management, wildlife food plot design and maintenance, wetlands wildlife ecology and management, and methods for improving hunting opportunities on private land. Matt and his students are currently studying the factors that influence habitat selection and dispersal of shrubland-dependent songbirds and how non-native shrubs influence habitat quality for declining songbird species.

Door Prizes!

Two books will be awarded as door prizes: “Nature’s Best Hope” and “Bringing Nature Home,” both by Doug Tallamy.

These books are highly recommended by the speaker, even if you are unable to attend the presentation.

Uncategorized

The Courage and Tenacity of Trees

Perhaps you forgot, with all that is going on, but today is Arbor Day (April 24).

In honor of the holiday, and fitting for the times, a garden club member wanted to share these images of trees that have persisted in spite of great challenges.

(Disclaimer: This set of photos has been making the rounds on the Internet; we can’t be certain that none were Photoshopped!)

1 of 28: A place of enchantment

2 of 28: This palm tree fell over and curved right back up


3 of 28: This tree fell over and cloned four more trees


4 of 28: The only tree that survived the Tsunami in Japan, now protected and restored


5 of 28: Tree of Life – Olympic National Park, Washington


6 of 28: A tree’s roots spill over the sidewalk

7 of 28: An amazing tree grows out of a rock


8 of 28: This tree is growing through a speed limit sign


9 of 28: This tree refused to die


10 of 28: This tree still has its leaves because of the light shining on it

11 of 28: Life finds a way


12 of 28: Tree roots extend to the mainland for nutrients


13 of 28: Life finds a way


14 of 28: Ta Promh Temple in Cambodia


15 of 28: Never give up

16 of 28: Someone left skates hanging on a small tree, and the tree grew around them


17 of 28: A tree growing on another tree


18 of 28: A tree grew out of the stump of a dead tree; then the stump rotted away


19 of 28: A tree grows from third-floor window


20 of 28: A lone tree found a way to live surrounded by rock


21 of 28: A tree grows out of a rock


22 of 28: A floating island grew at the end of a sunken tree


23 of 28: A wooden chair sprouted leaves


24 of 28: This tree grew through a piano

25 of 28: This tree refused to accept winter


26 of 28: This tree is eating a fence

27 of 28: This tree grew through a fence


28 of 28: Trees will find a way

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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.

Opportunities Nearby, Uncategorized

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)

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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.

Opportunities Nearby, Uncategorized

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)

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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!

Monthly Meeting, Uncategorized

Garden Club Tomorrow Morning (Sept. 7)

Come learn how to create your own miniature garden! The Amherst Garden Club’s first meeting of the season is Thurs., Sept 7 at the Messiah Lutheran Church (9:00-11:30 am). Artist/educator Celeste Wasilewska of Bedford Fields will show us how to create our own miniature landscape to keep indoors or out, including the design process, planting, and maintaining the garden for year-round enjoyment. Open to the public at no fee.

Celeste Wasilewska