September Newsletter 2019
Volunteers Making New Canaan Beautiful
Presidents' Letter
Dear Members,

Another summer has flown by! We hope you enjoyed time in your gardens, time with your family, traveling and relaxing.

New Canaan looked especially lovely this summer. The hanging baskets, the triangles and the Post Office drop-off garden are beautiful, and we continue to receive compliments on them, thanks to the efforts of many of you. A big ‘thank you’ to the Triangles, Traveling Trowels and Lee Garden volunteers for all their hours of work.

Thanks to the Program Committee we have another year of informative and entertaining meetings coming up. We will start with our October luncheon on Thursday, October 3 at Woodway Country Club. Jane Hurwitz will speak to us about the basics of butterfly gardening. Thank you, Gloria Simon, for your work on the luncheon.

We look forward to our 81st year of programs and projects. See you at the luncheon.

Barbara and Karen
Hanging baskets in August
NCBL hanging baskets looked wonderful, even in the heat of August. photo: Peter Hanson
NCBL Banner
Welcome our new members!

Laura Ault
Grace Duffield
Jessica Havens

The Membership Committee has been donating the beautiful arrangements made by Jackie Harmody from our meetings to members who have been sick or who have lost a loved one. Please consider donating any large vases you may have to Jackie Harmody ( or 203-246-6771) to use for NCBL flower arrangements.
If you know of any member who is ill, hospitalized or has lost a loved one, please let Libby Butterworth or any of the membership chairs know.

Rose Bauersfeld, 203-966-9527,
Libby Butterworth, 203-801-0862,

Sara Hunt, 203-966-3313,

Margit Mills, 312-925-3861,

Autumn Luncheon
Jane Hurwitz program header
Jane is the editor of Butterfly Gardener magazine and former director of the Butterfly Garden and Habitat Program for the North American Butterfly Association. She has recently authored the book, Butterfly Gardening: The North American Butterfly Association Guide . Jane's own garden is an oasis for butterflies and other creatures and she will give attendees ideas on how to create their own butterfly habitats. Books will be available for purchase.
RSVP by sending check for $40 with entrée choice (chicken, fish, or vegetarian),
payable to NCBL to:
Gloria Simon, 143 Butler Lane, New Canaan, CT 06840

Check MUST be received by September 24.
Checks received after 9/24 will be placed on our wait list.
You can learn more about Jane by visiting her website at this link:
You can view Jane's inspiring Instagram page by visiting this link:
Volunteers Needed
Flower Arranging Help Needed for Luncheon

October 2, 2019
22 Brinckerhoff Avenue
time to be determined

We are looking for 3-4 volunteers to help with the flower arranging for our Autumn Luncheon. Please let Jacqueline Harmody know if you can help:
Volunteers Needed
Flower Arranging at Waveny Care Center
Volunteers are needed for October dining room arrangements . This fun volunteer activity is so appreciated by the residents of Waveny Care. Come be a part of it!

Please contact Betsy Sammarco @ to help.

2nd: Betsy Sammarco and Jill Ernst
9th: Betsy Sammarco
16th: (simple refreshing of the vases needed this day) Betsy Sammarco
23rd: Faith Kerchoff
30th: Joan Hayenga and Eva Wingate

October volunteers needed for:
21st: (simple refreshing of the vases needed this day)
LobsterFest is Coming!
Buy tickets from NCBL and support a good cause:
LobsterFest 2019
Tally those Hours
Public Works has requested that we keep a log of “hands-on” hours that we incur on behalf of the town. Note that “hands-on” should include all time spent, including your planning sessions, not just “hands in the dirt” time. This will apply to the following committees:

Civic Beautification
Traveling Trowels
Hanging Baskets
Holiday Decorations 
Lee Garden

Karen Mactas will summarize hours and report them to the town periodically throughout the year. To streamline things, one person from each committee (or the person who organized the event), can estimate the hours worked and report them to Karen.

For example, if we have 6 people at the Post Office drop-off work for 2 hours, the person that coordinated that event would email Karen with the following:

Date: September 2
Event: Civic Beautification @ PO drop
Number of People: 6
Total Hours worked:12

Committee chairs can either email Karen the hours after each “event", or give the information to Karen at a board meeting. 

Please let Karen know if you have any questions, and thanks for your assistance with this new procedure. 

Karen Mactas
Civic Beautification at Saxe Middle School
There was no rest for our volunteers who weeded, pruned, and cleaned up this summer.
On a hot day in July, Cindy Bamatter, Gay Clarke, Faith Kerchoff, Kathy Lapolla, and Sandy Siegel cleaned up the train station. The right side of the driveway was cleaned up, daylilies deadheaded, the walkway grasses trimmed, and weeds pulled.
Saxe Cleanup
Saxe Middle School was in desperate need of a cleanup in mid August. On a hot day, six volunteers gathered and got the work done in ONE hour! Pictured above are Ruth Laird, Jill Ernst, Fanny Moran, Faith Kerchoff, Betsy Bilus, and Greg Brown. The new Saxe principal, Dave Gusitsch sent this note of thanks:

It is with sincere thanks that I send this message from Saxe Middle School. This morning (Monday), there was a team of NCBL volunteers working diligently to tidy up our planting area in the front of our building. And, wow! It looks terrific ... Thank you so much for keeping our grounds (and town) looking amazing ...

With tremendous gratitude,
Dave Gusitsch
Principal, Saxe Middle School
A Note From Civic Beautification
"Planting" Ahead for Fall

Fall is a perfect time for planting in our civic areas as well as your own yards. We will be letting people know when we are having bulb planting sessions around town.

We will be replanting the large daffodil display at the Saxe/South Ave/Farm Road corner as that area was dug up by Eversource last year a couple of times.

We will be planting bulbs in the planters at Town Hall as well as various triangles around town.

Stay tuned for email blasts regarding our planting activities!

Dividing Perennials - your input needed:

If there is enough interest, we thought that we might have a  Perennial Swap .
Your interest and suggestions of what you might divide are welcome.

Contact Rob Carpenter, Kathy Lapolla or Faith Kerchoff with your thoughts.
Lee Garden Report
We certainly associate azaleas with springtime bloom, but did you know that Lee Garden has a striking orange azalea that peaks in August? Take a look at Azalea narcissiflora :
Azalea narcissiflora
Azalea narcissiflora closeup
The color orange was also found at the garden in August in the form of these insects:
Eastern Comma
( Polygonia comma)
Zabulon Skipper
( Poanes zabulon)
Some plants that bloomed in the garden in late August include:
Cardinal flower
cardinal flower
( Lobelia cardinalis)
Rose of Sharon
rose of Sharon
( Hibiscus sp. )
Hosta sp.
Annual Appeal Update & Save the Date
2019 Annual Appeal: Thanks so our generous volunteers and donors, we have brought in slightly more than $50,000. We will be sending out follow up letters on November 1, to those who normally give and have yet to do so.

2020 Annual Appeal:  SAVE THE DATE: Wed, Nov 13, 2019 . We had so much fun last year, please plan to join us once again for this year’s Envelope “Stuffing” Party at Lapham Community Center, Waveny Park. Time: 10am until we’re done!
Stuffing Party graphic
In the News
Did you know we celebrated our 80th anniversary with two other town organizations? You can read the NewCanaanite report on the three nonprofit organizations in town that celebrated 80 years by clicking the box.
Members Spotted: Mill River Park
Mill River Park
A few of our members met in July to take a tour of Mill River Park in Stamford.

The park's design, construction, and operations are led by the Mill River Park Collaborative, the nonprofit group dedicated to sustaining the park.

Betsy Sammarco, Carol Seldin, Keith Simpson, and Gerda Smith were led by Director of Development Alicia Wettenstein, and garden volunteer Laura Godown.
Mill River Park group
Mill River Part coneflowers
Mill River Park was a recipient of the Great Places in America Award in 2018. Our touring members quickly knew why, as they saw first hand how city officials, businesses, and volunteers banded together to turn an urban, swampy, polluted river and adjoining land into an oasis. Mill River Park holds fairs and celebrations, camps for children, outdoor classrooms, concerts, and so much more.

Mill River Park view
The 12 acre park hosts a variety of native plants and wildlife. Y ou can read more about this beautiful park and get on their mailing list to see future events by visiting their website by clicking HERE .
To see more photos of that day at Mill River Park, click on the Flickr album button.
Essays from Joan Sargent
In honor of our 80 years of service it seemed fitting to republish essays written by Joan Sargent. Joan was a longtime member of our league and master gardener. She passed away in August of 2012. While a New Canaan Garden Center / NCBL member, she wrote essays on gardening and plants for our newsletter. Faith Kerchoff has carefully compiled them, reformatted them, and enhanced the essays with photos she found online. We will be republishing them this year, giving links to them in our newsletter and publishing them on our website to be accessed forever.

Thank you Joan for sharing your passion with us and thank you Faith for your tireless effort in bringing Joan's essays back to life for us. To read Joan's essays from past Septembers, click on the links below:

Joan Sargent and group
Photo taken in Joan's garden. In photo from left to right: Tracy Phillips, Susan Bergen, Chris Falco, Yvonne Hunkeler, Ann McCulloch, and Joan Sargent.
Wise Words
"Though the word 'beautification' makes the concept sound merely cosmetic, it involves much more: clean water, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal, and preservation of valued old landmarks, as well as great parks and wilderness areas. To me in sum, beautification means our total concern for the physical and human quality we pass on to our children and the future."

Lady Bird Johnson
Wildflowers of America
Our NCBL Newsletter is used to distribute information regarding NCBL activities and announcements that pertain directly to our stated mission. The newsletter shall not be used for political issues, or for the promotion of merchandise or services unless such merchandise or services are part of a joint venture with NCBL.