Meeting & Program:
America's Most Spectacular Garden in the 1920s with Stephen Byrns
April 5, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center
Field Trip to Colorblends
April 26, 2017
9:30 am
meet at Waveny Parking Lot across from Mansion entrance for carpooling
Meeting & Program:
Mother's Day Floral Designs with Adam Manjuck
May 3, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center
Hanging Baskets Workshop
May 10, 2017
9:30 am
453 Carter Street
Lee Garden Azalea Festival
May 21, 2017
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Olive and George Lee Memorial Garden, 89 Chichester Road
Meeting & Program: Annual Meeting and Fun Cooking and Healthy Eating with Tracey Medeiros
June 7, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center
A Letter From Our Presidents

March confounded and disappointed us with its wild temperature swings.   One day it teased us with warm spring-like weather; the next day it plunged us into the cold, freezing, snow and wind of winter.   Let us hope that April brings us some milder temperatures, flowers, and much needed spring showers.

We had a terrific March program with Doug Tallamy.  It was a joint program with the Garden Club, and the Lamb room of the Library was totally filled with enthusiastic listeners.   If you missed it, there is a link in this newsletter to a similar talk, it's a must hear!  Sadly, it wasn't taped here.

The Nominating Committee is busy interviewing and making calls.  We have a fantastic organization, and we need your help to keep it running and vital.   Please say yes if you get a call.   It takes your help to accomplish our mission.

We now have two calls to arms.   For the first call, you just need garden gloves and clippers. Lee Garden needs our attention, and it can be as simple as clipping ivy (English, not poison ivy!) that is growing over some large rocks, and away from the base of small trees, or moving some ground covers off the trails to another spot.  If the weather is clear, we will be there Mondays from 12-3 pm and Fridays from 11-3 pm.  Stop by during those times to see what needs to be done.   Once you feel comfortable, you can come on your own when you have an hour or so.  Any time in the garden is well spent, listening to the birds and seeing new and different blooms with every visit!

The second call to arms is help with Traveling Trowels.  For new members, this is our "come if you can" squad to do things in town with Liz Orteig.  Send your email to Liz who will email you when and where Traveling Trowels will be doing a clean-up.  It could be cleaning up the train station, the post office drop off or the town hall wall.  This newsletter has three opportunities to help Traveling Trowels in April.  You'll be amazed at how many people stop to compliment us on the job we are doing.  We encourage you to wear your NCBL t-shirts when working so that everybody knows just who is doing this wonderful work.  We can provide you with one at no charge.   We can also provide NCBL car magnets at our monthly program meetings.

Spring is a busy and exciting time; our triangle volunteers will be cleaning up their triangles. Sign up for one yourself or offer to help someone who has one.  Every one of us can help our wonderful organization in their own special way!

See you at our next speaker program with an exciting talk about nearby Untermyer Garden by Stephen Byrns.  The Untermyer Gardens were so amazing that they were labeled "America's Most Spectacular Garden" in the 1920s.  It is now a municipal park owned by the City of Yonkers and is being restored to its former glory under the stewardship of Stephen Byrns.

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Presenting April's Program:

Stephen Byrns April 2017

Stephen Byrns, President of Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, presents the history, design and current restoration of Samuel Untermyer's timeless gardens in Yonkers.  The program concludes with a spectacular drone video.

April 5, 2017
New Canaan Nature Center
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am presentation

To learn more about Untermyer Park and Gardens, and view some spectacular photos, visit its website HERE.

To download a flier for this program click HERE .

Untermyer summer
Untermyer fall
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Field Trip to Colorblends House & Spring Garden

Colorblends House & Spring Garden Logo

Join us for a field trip to the historic section of Bridgeport to visit the Colorblends Victorian house and spring bulb garden.  The blooming bulbs are labeled so you can make note of what you want to order for your own fall planting!

We picked a date we think will show off the tulips at their peak!  

Visit the Colorblends House & Spring Garden Facebook Page HERE and enjoy the gorgeous photos!

RSVP to Faith Kerchoff so we know you are coming. 
We will be meeting at 9:30 am in the Waveny parking lot across from the entrance to the mansion.

colorblends collage
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Presenting Our May Program:
May Program Header 2017 
Wednesday May 3, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am presentation

Adam Manjuck

Adam Manjuck is the owner of Flowers & Flowers in Darien and has become one of the county's most decorated floral artists.  His arrangements have been described as "creative," "edgy" and "sophisticated."  We are very lucky to have him show us his technique at our May Program!

You can read more about Adam and his surprising career path HERE.

Flowers & Flowers Logo
Click the Flowers & Flowers logo to view the shop's website.

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We could use a little help doing some early season weeding and planting at some of our town gardens.  Please see the clean up dates below for three of our most prominent gardens. No commitment is necessary!  Just let me know when and what times you are able to help out.  An hour here or an hour there is a big help!

Many hands make light work!
Post Office Box Slope                      April 13  9:00 am
( opposite the former Mrs. Green's)                     
Vine Cottage                                      April 20 9:00 am
Railroad Station                               April 27 9:00 am

thank you!
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Spring Is Here!
The Hanging Baskets are Coming Soon!

Please come for coffee at 9:30 am, Wednesday, May 10 at Libby's house, 453 Carter Street.*  We will be assembling the hanging baskets from 9:30 am onward.  No experience required.  Just drop in and stay as long as you can.   Last year, the assembly was finished in TWO HOURS!  Bring scissors, pliers, and clippers.  

This is a great event for our newest members as it is a wonderful opportunity to see what we do and meet other members.  The more people we have, the faster and more fun it will be!

Contact one of the chairs to let us know if you can help!

Hanging Basket Chairs:

* You can park on one side of Carter Street or at the east end of Long Lots Road (part of "Hoyt Farms").

Hanging baskets crew 2016!

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Welcome Our New Members!
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Alex Dickerson
Elisabeth Golden

So happy to have you as members!
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Lee Garden

With the snow and cold weather, it's hard to believe that Lee Garden will be covered in a riot of color come May:
Lee Garden Winter

The ephemerals have started to appear despite the March snow:
eranthis lee garden
Lee Garden has many patches of the very early bloomer, Eranthis (winter aconite).  It is currently blooming and started popping through the snow this month.

A large tulip tree on the rhododendron path was hit by lightning about 6 or 7 years ago, and our tree men said it was compromised; and it sure was.  It was hollow!  The tulip tree was cut down in March:
Lee Garden Tree Cut

ivy covered rock lee garden
Got clippers?  There's a call to arms in our Presidents' letter to clip the English Ivy off the large rocks and away from the base of small trees.  Any time you can give will help and you'll love spending time in the garden.  See the Presidents' letter for more information.
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Memorial Information for Ann Gillerlain

Anyone who wishes to contribute towards a bridge to be placed in Lee Garden and dedicated to Ann can send checks to NCBL / New Canaan Beautification League, P.O. Box 4, New Canaan, CT 06840.  Please write Ann Gillerlain Memorial in the note section.

heart on wood cropped


Learning from the Best! 

Doug Tallamy

Our March program with Doug Tallamy was wonderful!  An engaging speaker, Dr. Tallamy kept us riveted to his presentation as he explained and demonstrated why native plants support our ecosystem and why alien invasives do not.  He explained the importance of supporting insects with native plants and gave us tips on how to create corridors to connect natural areas in our own yard.  Unfortunately, his presentation was not taped, but you can find videos of similar talks he's given on YouTube or Vimeo.  Click  HERE
to watch and listen to a presentation that contains some of the same information he presented to us.

His first book, Bringing Nature Home, sold out at the event.  You can order copies from Elm Street Books, another favorite retailer, or borrow the copy from our own NCBL library by contacting Faith Kerchoff.

native plant finder website
Dr. Tallamy also pointed us to a website based on his research of native plants and their host insects.  This website, shown above, is currently in beta-testing, but he encouraged us to give it a try.  You can find it HERE.

Tallamy at lunch
Members from the NCBL and NCGC take Dr. Tallamy to lunch.
Left front to back: Gerda Smith, Doug Tallamy, Diane Beck, Sara Hunt
Right front to back: Lisa Kaine-Dunn, Susan Bergen, Jane Gamber, Faith Kerchoff

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Flower Arranging 101!

A wonderful time was had by all at the Flower Arranging 101 Workshop!  Organized and instructed by Susan Bergen and Shirley Stancik, the attendees learned tips and tricks of containers to use for arranging and the arranging process itself.

Susan and Shirley
Susan and Shirley, our wonderful instructors.

Margo Sisson
Margo Sisson with our instructors at the start of class (left) and at the end of class with her gorgeous arrangment (right).

Gloria, Barbar and Barbara
Gloria Simon, Barbara Mechanic, and Barbara Dennis getting busy.

Check out our Flickr Photo Album of the workshop and see more photos of the attendees and their beautiful flowers!

You can see our Flickr Photo Album of the workshop HERE.


Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens
Thursday, April 6, 2017
6:30 - 8:15 pm
There is no charge for this event.

Aquarion Water will address water conservation and the state of our reservoirs.
Jay Petrow will share how to take care of plants and lawns during a drought.
Click HERE for more information and to register.

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How lucky we are to be a short drive or train ride from the New York Botanical Garden.  A special event running now through April 19, is The Orchid Show: Thailand.  Click HERE for more info.

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The Garden Conservancy Open Days

The Open Days Directory for 2017 is ready to order and includes many private gardens in our area, including a garden in Westchester County in April.
Visit the Garden Conservancy Website by clicking the logo below.

GardenConservancy Logo