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.

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)

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!

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

Thank you note from The Amazing Flower Farm

AFFThankYouThe AGC recently received this sweet note from our friends at The Amazing Flower Farm, thanking us for the recent visit to their nursery, which was, indeed, amazing, with many unusual plants available.  This was just one of several “field trips” to local nurseries coordinated by Meg Clemens and Marti Warren, all of which were well-received by our members.