CFN Masthead

Volume 77, Number 6 *  AUGUST 2014   

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We have got action on all fronts this month! First, don't miss Trish Manfredi's article about sending packages to one of our own serving in Afghanistan and our new feature, "From the Judges Council Corner"....Take a moment to nominate a fellow garden clubber for a Tribute Award....Lois Nichols gives us a real opportunity to act on behalf of the critical pollinators....Time to put our thinking caps on for CAES Plant Science Day, Flower Show School, Gardening Study School, Environmental Studies School and the NER Meeting....And members are on the move, from our President's NGC visit to Ireland, to the December tour to Pennsylvania, to the imaginative trip that will be our 2015 Flower Show.... Plus, get to know Louise Weber, another impressive board member....and let Pamela Weil introduce you to a special new Hydrangea.

To keep track, visit the Calendar by clicking here.


President's Message

Greetings Fellow Gardeners:

Summer is the time for family picnics, fireflies, dramatic thunderstorms, baseball games, days at the lake or beach, baby birds, butterflies and bees, hikes through the woods, and above all, glorious gardens.  I hope you are all having a most wondrous summer.

My husband Bill and I kicked off our summer in grand fashion by
joining 60 other travelers from around the US on National Garden Clubs' spectacular Irish Discovery Tour.  We attended the gala preview party of WAFA's (World Assn. of Flower Arrangers) 11th World Flower Show where the keynote speaker was the President of Ireland.  The arrangements by top designers from nearly every continent were extraordinary and very inspiring.  New England was represented by several talented Massachusetts women.  

After our days in Dublin, our group continued on a tour around the Republic including the immensely scenic Ring of Kerry.  Even the drivers and tour guides were amazed at the magnificent long views of ocean and countryside because usually they are seen through rain or mist, yet it only rained one day at the end of our trip!  
On the tour, many of us earned tri-refresher credit in Gardening, Landscape Design and Environmental Studies as we studied the built landscapes of Erin from Neo-lithic sites such as Newgrange to peat bogs, a sheepdog demonstration, the National Stud Farm, the National Botanic Garden, picturesque ruins, and numerous castles, grand estates, and private gardens along the way.  The highlights were many, including Helen Dillon's urban oasis in Dublin, the Japanese Garden and grand views at Powers Court and the river garden at Mount Usher.  

Speaking of travels, the Federation's new Tour Coordinator, Kathy Kobishyn, has planned a very festive trip to Winterthur, Longwood Gardens and the Barnes Foundation for early December.  See details in this issue.  What a perfect way to get into the holiday mood by visiting these exquisite sites!  Kathy assures us there will be time and space on the bus for your shopping.

While summer is the time for vacations, the board has been working diligently on your behalf planning fun and informative fall activities.

On Wednesday, August 6th, we will have a booth at CAES's Plant Science Day at Lockwood Farm in Hamden.  Dr. Stoner is one of the featured tent speakers with a talk on honeybees and bumblebees.

Flower Show School I (September 10-12) is the perfect time to learn how to put on a flower show, grow and show horticulture, and assemble a blue ribbon floral design.

Gardening Study School I (September 23-25) promises to educate all gardeners from novice to pro in the basics of botany, plant propagation, soils, and houseplants, with a special lecture on growing orchids.

Environmental Studies School IV (you can take the schools in any order) is scheduled for October 14-16 and is all about water, including a 2-1/2 hour cruise on the Sound!    

Your school chairmen have lined up the very best professors and instructors to give you a first-rate learning experience.  Why not take advantage of this fabulous opportunity--a privilege of  being part of  The Federation.   Go to our Federation's website and click on the information posted in the marquee.
Club Presidents have asked for lists of Native Trees for the State Contest.   As a reminder, the deadline of the Native Tree Contest is October 17th.  A link to this contest as well as a comprehensive list of native trees and sources is also posted on our website and in this issue.  Give a gift to your backyard habitat by planting a native tree.  Winners of this contest will be awarded a native tree at our Fall Awards Luncheon on October 29th.

Wishing you the best rest of your summer and Happy Gardening!

*  Jacqueline Connell

Connecticut Flower Show Judge
Serves in Afghanistan

"Hi Trish, the packages arrived. Thanks so much, especially for the "girly" stuff!  Definitely harder to come by here. There is a small chapel here with heavenly smelling roses. The only bits of color..."

This was the message that I received from Jeanette Barrows via Facebook, writing from Afghanistan this spring. Through the generosity of Judges Council and the Federation Board of Directors, seven boxes of "girly" stuff were sent to Jeanette and her colleagues serving on active duty in Afghanistan.  Jeanette, who is a past President of the New Milford Garden Club, is a corpsman in the U.S. Naval Reserves and is up for promotion to Chief Petty Officer.  

Jeanette is an accredited Flower Show Judge and has chaired her club's Flower Shows numerous times.  She's probably the only NGC Flower Show Judge serving in Afghanistan.  Jeanette graduated from the University of Hartford with a BFA and a teaching certificate.  She also graduated from Norwalk Community College as a paramedic.  She's been a member of New Milford Community Ambulance for over 20 years, serving as Training Officer.  She is on leave from the Regional Girl Scout Council, where she's a program specialist.

Kris Urbanik of Glastonbury Garden Club, a Flower Show Judge, had the idea to send Jeanette  a care package.  I researched what women in the military in Afghanistan need, and shared that with Judges Council.  Members responded enthusiastically, bringing all sorts of things to a Council meeting:  deodorant, soap, shampoo, lotions, lip balm, snacks, games, books, etc.  Then my hubby and I sorted and packed the 'stuff' into seven large boxes, filled out the 6-part customs forms, and sent the boxes, which took several weeks to get there. Individual members of the Board contributed funds toward the postage of $16 per box.

Jeanette sent the following note:

"To Trish and All my friends at Judges Council and the FGCCT! I can't thank you enough for the wonderful care packages.  We have lots of medics, nurses and doctors working at the hospital and they all partook of the goodies.  I especially appreciate the words of encouragement.  I miss you all!   As I look around at the sand and silt here, the sparse trees and the few wildflowers that grow, I truly appreciate the "green" world that New England is!!  I wish you all the best with the upcoming flower shows and plant sales.  I think of you often.  I hope to see you at one of the schools or a meeting soon.  I look at The National Gardener and try my best to see which ones I will be able to attend.  Happy Spring to All!  Fondly, Jeanette."

Hopefully,  Jeanette will be returning to Connecticut and her husband Tom soon, and will again be judging at flower shows.  You can connect with Jeanette via her Facebook page

* Trish Manfredi
Judges Council


There's still time to recognize that special club member who does outstanding work for your club--someone who works hard, has fun, makes a difference and inspires others! Is there an outstanding member of your club or The Federation who deserves special recognition?  Connecticut Tribute Awards may be awarded to FGCCT members who have made notable contributions in any one of the following categories:

*    Civic Development
*    Conservation
*    Design
*    Garden Therapy
*    Horticulture
*    Landscape Design
*    Youth
*    All-around Excellence

Any member of a Federated Garden Club is eligible.  Recommendation letters should include the reason for the nomination and details of the nominee's activities. Awards will be presented to the recipients at the October Awards Luncheon.  Deadline for submission is August 15, 2014.  Please submit all recommendations to Leslie Martino, Second Vice-President and Membership Chair at [email protected] or 70 Penny Lane, Woodbridge, CT 06525

* Leslie Martino
Vice President/Membership


A Call to Action!

If you have been reading my articles on pollinators, you are aware that they are facing many problems: loss of habitat, pesticides and various diseases.  And you may already have changed the way you garden to assist these vital insects.  Now, there is another means of assisting the beleaguered pollinators.  It is through legislation.

That's right, I said legislation.  Two members of the House of Representatives in Washington have sponsored a bill to aid bees, butterflies and their relatives. It is H.R. 4790, written by  A. Hastings of Florida and J. Denham of California, who are co-chairs of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus (CP2C).  Don't you just love acronyms?  

Across the country, there are 17 million acres of highway rights-of-way that are managed by State Departments of Transportation (DOT). This bill supports right-of-way managers in adopting native plants and grasses that provide forage and habitat for Monarch butterflies, native bees and other pollinators.  By reducing the amount of grass that needs mowing, this plan aids states faced with maintenance budgetary issues.  Sounds like a win-win situation.

This bill was assigned on May 30, 2014, to a congressional committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,  where it will be considered for forwarding to the House for a vote. The majority of such bills never make it past this point.  
You can help move this bill into reality.  Contact your congressional representatives.  Go to the website "Pollinator Partnership."  Type in H.R. 4790 in the search box to get to a petition that supports the bill.  
This is your chance to really get involved.

* Lois Nichols
Special Projects Chair


The state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has published a list of sources for buying native trees and shrubs. To encourage our members to plant natives, we have posted that list, "Connecticut Native Tree and Shrub Availability List" on our website. To access the list, click here.
O, O, Opossum

They are America's only babies-in-the-pouch marsupials, and they are a southern species - proper name, Virginia opossum.  They have adapted to our New England winters.

Opossums are found across a variety of habitats but seem to prefer deciduous woodlands.  They move along the ground ceaselessly in search of food, without following any prescribed trails or travel routes to known food reserves.  Be tolerant if you see an opossum in your backyard; it will soon be traveling along.

Opossums are very beneficial to the garden by eating unwanted pests such as snails, slugs, spiders, mice, snakes and ticks.  

Ecologists have now learned that opossums are a sort of magnet when it comes to ridding the world of black-legged ticks, which spread Lyme disease.  They are efficient tick-killing machines.  That's because one opossum trait is that they groom themselves fastidiously, like cats.  If they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it.  It has been estimated that in one season, an opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks.

Although opossums are susceptible to a variety of diseases of significance to humans, their role in the transmission of any is uncertain.  Rabies rarely occurs in opossums since their lower body temperature is believed to inhibit its presence.

You've heard of the phrase, "playing possum."  It comes from the fact that the opossum has an involuntary comatose-like state induced by extreme fear.  An inert opossum does nothing to excite a predator, so, therefore, it is left alone.  When the danger is past, the opossum comes to again.  Because of this phenomenon, do not drive over an inert opossum thinking that it is dead; it might just be "playing possum."

And yes, there is an Opossum Society of the United States, and their website,, has lots of good information.

Don't forget to get your backyard certified and inform the FGCCT Office Secretary, Barbara Romblad, [email protected],  She will need your name and certificate number.  Please cc me on your correspondence to Barbara.

Enjoy your backyard and all the critters it contains.

* Anne Harrigan

FGCCT To Be Represented at
Plant Science Day

If you've never attended the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station's Annual Plant Science Day, put Wednesday, August 6th from 10:00-4:00 on your calendar!  This year will be the 104th Plant Science Day, and it will be held at Lockwood Farm, 890 Evergreen Ave., Hamden, CT  06518.  

There will be special lectures covering such topics as: Climate Change and Agriculture; Managing the Roadside Forest; Nanoparticles in Agriculture; and Honey Bees and Bumble Bees-Their Problems and What You Can Do to Help.  Additionally there are 90 organizations represented to address horticultural and environmental issues of concern to us all.  Stop by Table #66 to visit The Federation display.  For the full brochure and details about an action-packed event, go to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website at and click on the listing for Plant Science Day.  The agenda will pop up.  If you click on the brochure, all program details will be illuminated.  Hope to see you there!

* Leslie Martino
Vice President/Membership    


Flower Show Guidelines

Is your garden club thinking about having a flower show?  You probably have some questions about what's involved, what rules to follow, where to begin?  Your Federation's Judges Council is available to help with your questions and to make sure your club has a show of which it can be proud.

Here are some of the basic steps to help you get started:

Get a copy of the 2007 Handbook for Flower Shows and read Chapters 1-4.

Assign an overall Flower Show Chairman from among your club membership who will be in charge of selecting the various committee chairs for your flower show.

Further steps to follow:

Select a date and clear it with The Federation's Schedule Advisor, Donna Nowak ([email protected]) to make sure another club isn't sponsoring a flower show that same day and to ensure the availability of Judges for your chosen date.
If you want your show evaluated, contact The Federation's Flower Show Evaluations Chairman, June Klopfer ([email protected]).

Select a venue where you plan to stage your flower show.

Write a show Schedule, using the Handbook as a guide.  

When your Schedule is complete, send it to our Federation's Schedule Advisor, Donna  Nowak ([email protected]).    She will review and edit the schedule.  Try to send it to her at least 6 months prior to your show.
Your Judges Chairman can then select a list of Judges (your Club President will have the  entire list).  Send your list to the Federation's  Judges Credentials Chairman, Janet Ward
([email protected]), who will verify that the judges' credentials are up to date. Please be sure to do this BEFORE inviting your  judges.  

Gardening Study School Convenes

Gardening Study School will be held September 23-25, 2014, at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby.  This is also Course I and will cover a wide variety of topics of interest to all gardeners.  These include:  Basic Botany, Soils, Houseplants, a Plant Propagation activity, and a special lecture on growing orchids. To learn more, click here.

* Cheryl Basztura and Joanne McKendry
Gardening Study School Chairs  


In each issue of the
CF News, we publish the most recent donations to our FGCCT Scholarship Fund. Here are the donations received since our June/July issue was published. We thank these clubs for their generosity.

Burlington Garden Club  $25
Evergreen Garden Club  $100
Guilford Garden Club   $100
Mountain Valley Garden Club of West
    Hartford  $50
Riverside Garden Club of Old Greenwich 
Thames River Garden Club  $200

* Judy Joly
Scholarship Chair

The Shippan Point Garden Club of Stamford is pleased to announce its annual Scholarship awards. A $2,000 Scholarship was awarded to Arianne Spaulding who will attend Brown University and major in Environmental and Civil Engineering. Another $2,000 Scholarship was awarded to Jack Houtz who will attend the University of Maine and major in Environmental Science and Forestry. The $1,000 Susan Flynn Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Nicholas Robinson, who will attend the University of Connecticut and major in Horticulture.
* MaryAnn Greene
Scholarship Chairman
Shippan Point Garden Club

Historic/Memorial/Public Gardens:  
Photos Wanted!!

There are so many wonderful Garden Club Projects that have been accomplished in the past few years that involve Historic/Memorial/Public Gardens.  The FGCCT would like to update and add to our collection of photos at this time.  

Please visit these gardens...take a photo.... and send a digital image or photo with a caption naming the Garden, the Garden Club and a contact email or name.   A report form is not necessary, but identification of the photo would be appreciated.  

Please send to [email protected] or Nancy Lenoce, Historic/Memorial/Public Gardens Chair, at 59 Spinning Wheel Road, Trumbull, CT 06611-2674.

Please keep this in mind as a late summer, fall or spring photo would tell a wonderful photo story of your club's projects.  FGCCT would like to share your club's achievements of these garden treasures. Thank you. Snap and send!!

* Nancy Lenoce 
Historic/Memorial/Public Gardens Chair

Judges Council Flower Show at Fall Federation Meeting

Celebrate the bounty of Connecticut as the Judges Council presents "A Bountiful Connecticut," a Standard Flower Show as part of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., 85th Awards Meeting on October 29th at Aqua Turf in Plantsville.  

The exciting schedule includes Division I - Autumn Harvest - which will showcase the fruits (and vegetables) grown by judges as well as flowers and foliage plants.  The Design Division will feature a Progressive Harvest Dinner with 20 unique table designs, ranging from Cocktails to Dessert, just in time for holiday planning. The Special Exhibits will include educational displays on composting and pollinators.  The Show is a special event planned and presented by the nearly 80 Connecticut judges.

* Trish Manfredi
Judges Council Flower Show Chair

The August Garden

When the weather is hot and humid, it's best to take it easy in the garden. But continue to weed, water gardens deeply once a week, and deadhead spent blooms. Don't prune and don't fertilize.

Cut your grass high: 3.5 or 4 inches is about right. This higher growth will help to shade out weeds and cool the soil. And leave the grass clippings on the lawn because they will fertilize the grass plantsas they decompose.

Try not to plant or transplant anything in early August - the hot weather is just too stressful for plants. Around the middle of August, the weather often cools and planting and transplanting can resume.

Late August into early September is an excellent time to reseed your lawn or establish a new lawn. The soil is still warm, which is good for seed germination, and there is less competition from weeds at this time of year. Use a starter fertilizer when you first seed and apply a light dressing of balanced fertilizer (e.g., 10-10-10) about a month after germination.

Around Labor Day, fertilize your lawn for the last time. The soil will remain warm enough for the grass roots to pick up the fertilizer.

Hydrangea Invincibelle� Spirit
(Hydrangea arborescens)

This native hydrangea is a winner in my garden. I planted it last year and it started blooming in June and is still blooming. The literature says it will bloom until frost. Dark pink buds open to hot pink flowers that turn soft pink as they mature.

Invincibelle� Spirit is a winner because it is growing in difficult conditions in my garden, under a Norway maple at the edge of the leaf canopy where it is dry and shady. It gets a few hours of sun in the early morning and late afternoon. Because it competes for water and nutrients with the thuggish Norway maple, I am careful to water it regularly.

Invincibelle� Spirit is the only pink flowering hydrangea in my garden, which has acid soil. My Hydrangea macrophylla shrubs all have blue flowers. I was lured by the stunning pink flowers on the Twist-n-Shout� plant tag, only to find blue flowers on all of my Twist-n-Shout� plants this year.

I have since learned that the flower color on all Hydrangea macrophyllas is determined by the pH of the soil- blue flowers for acid soils and pink flowers for sweeter soils. Don't pay any attention to what color is on the plant tag!

Invincibelle� Spirit will grow from 36-48 inches high and from 48-60 inches wide.

I hope you are enjoying your garden and squeezing out every bit of joy it brings you!

* Pamela Weil
Horticulture Chair





It may not seem the time to think about fall, as we are enjoying summer, but summer is fleeting. Please look at your calendars and plan on attending the Annual Meeting.  The Symposium immediately follows.  State Presidents, please send messages to your clubs and put the pertinent information in your publications.  We can all encourage our club members to attend.

80TH  NEW ENGLAND ANNUAL MEETING:  October 20-21, 2014


PLACE: Sheraton Hotel, 870 Williston Road, South Burlington Vermont

Details may be found on the NER website Under Meetings, click on the word "Registration" and the forms will come up.

You will also find information and forms on Vermont's website

Make the Anniversary of our 80th year a special one with a large attendance.  

My best wishes for a lovely summer.  

* Maria Nahom
21 Summit St.
New Milford, CT 06776
Tel: (860)355-5363
Email: [email protected]


There is a position open on the 2015 Flower Show Committee.  We are in need of a "Painting Coordinator."  This person will be responsible for enlisting a group of willing painters (maybe fellow garden club members) to paint the properties (pedestals, frames, shelving, backgrounds, etc.). This will be done on the Saturday (February 14, 2015) before the state flower show.

Responsibilities will include:
*    Recruiting a painting committee.
*    Purchasing the necessary paint, brushes, rollers, plastic gloves and drop cloths. (All expenses will be reimbursed.)
*    Working with the painting committee until everything is completed.
*    Clean up after the painting is done.

If you're interested in being on the flower show committee and would like this position, please contact:

* Barbara Bruce
2015 Flower Show Chair       
[email protected]


The Living Earth Environmental Studies Schools (ESS) are composed of a minimum of forty hours of study of specific units divided into four Courses of ten hours, each of which includes a two-hour field trip. The Courses investigate AIR, LAND and WATER.  The units are divided into Ecology and Environmental Science, Life on Earth and Earth Stewardship.

These schools are open to everyone, whether or not they are garden club members. Many couples enjoy attending the schools. A member of National Garden Clubs, Inc., may take the exams to become an Environmental Consultant and may become a member of the Environmental Consultants Council in his/her home state.

After passing two Courses, a student may become a Provisional Consultant and join an Environmental Studies Council (or Bi/Tri- Council). These groups provide programs and tours that further the education of members.

Save the Dates:
October 14-16, 2014

"Study marine biodiversity from the water's surface down to the bottom- for a first-hand understanding of Long Island Sound's interdependent marine life. Use sampling techniques such as a plankton tow, biodredge, mud grab and otter trawl to bring up (p'rhaps) fish, crabs, lobsters, sea stars... and more! A video microscope and touch tank onboard will enhance your observations."

Join 59 fellow students for Environmental Studies School Course IV,
"The Living Earth - Water and related Issues" for a 2.5 hour field trip aboard the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium's brand new Research Vessel "Spirit of the Sound" as the capstone for two days of presentations All About Water.  

The four courses in ESS can be taken in any order. This is truth, not advertising.

The particulars regarding Environmental Studies School may be found by clicking here, or by contacting Polly Brooks, Chair, ESS, either through email at  [email protected] or by phone at 860-567-4292.

* Polly Brooks
Environmental Studies School

Share Your Garden

This month we see the beautiful pond in the Branford garden of FGCCT Secretary, Barbara Romblad. She has had to enlarge it to accommodate the growing fish population. Barbara tells us that the fountain keeps a hole open in the ice for the exchange of gases. This helps the fish survive the winter.


Have you ever wondered how judges do their job? Your chance to learn about flower show judging is coming up.

Flower Show School, Course I,  is the place to start.  Learn about how a judge decides which entry will get the blue ribbon and which gets the honorable mention. Discover how a flower show is organized and the requirements to qualify as a recognized flower show by the National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC).    And as you proceed through the four courses, you can have the opportunity to become a judge yourself.  The first class, Course I, is being offered on September 10 to 12, 2014.  Check with your local club president about possible scholarships your own club may offer.

For your convenience we have attached the registration form.  You can find the entire course brochure on The Federation web site by clicking here.

  *Jessica Fischer
Flower Show School Chair


The Pacific Ocean still surrounds us as we leave the orient and travel miles and miles south to the land "Down Under."  This Section of designs will draw on your imagination of the exotic lands of Australia and New Zealand. Our first stop is "Stunning New Zealand," a land of awe-inspiring beauty.  It's a Traditional Mass Design in the Novice Class that's open to a designer who has never won a Blue Ribbon in a State Standard Flower Show.

The next design class is the renowned "Sydney Opera House."   Create a Traditional Line Design that depicts this extraordinary theater with its sail- like curves.

The final destination, in this section of our world cruise, is the "Great Barrier Reef." Interpret this colorful location with a design that either shows some water or uses the illusion of water.

As we set sail, on to our next destination, Africa - are you getting interested in doing a design for this flower show?  I hope so!  We need designers from all over the state to help make this show a success.

Be sure to keep reading the CF NEWS for more about "Ports of Call," a Standard Flower Show presented by The Federated Garden Clubs of CT, Inc., February 19-22, 2015, at the CT Convention Center.  Schedule coming soon!

* Barbara Bruce
2015 CT Flower Show Chairman

Federated Garden Clubs of CT
 Holiday Tour featuring Brandywine Valley, Longwood Gardens and Philadelphia
December 2-3, 2014

Dear FGCCT members and friends,
I invite you to join me on our special holiday trip. No other place evokes charming images of Currier & Ives more than the Brandywine Valley. Our trip will give you inspiration for special holiday ideas, gifts and memories of glorious lights, flower arrangements, and unusual decorations, as we visit Winterthur and Longwood Gardens. The second part of our trip features a tour of the Barnes Foundation, home to the world renowned art collection. Our last stop is Historic Strawberry Mansion in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, beautifully decorated for the holiday season. This promises to be a fun two days.

* Kathy Kobishyn
FGCCT Tour Coordinator

1.  Tuesday, December 2

 Our coach makes 2 stops; 8:00am at the New Haven RR station and 8:30am at the exit 18 I95 Commuter Parking Lot in Westport, where public parking is available.  We arrive at Winterthur, founded by Henry Francis du Pont. This is the premier museum of American decorative arts, reflecting both early America and the du Pont family's life here. Yuletide at Winterthur has been a tradition for 25 years. You'll marvel at the annual displays of holiday trees, greenery and flowers as you stroll through a showcase of exquisite rooms dressed with rural and urban settings from the 18th through the 20th centuries.

An additional treat is in store as we will have the chance to see "Costumes of Downton Abbey," an original exhibition of exquisite designs from the award-winning television series.

Forty costumes from the television show are displayed and supplemented by photographs and vignettes inspired by the fictional program and by real life at Winterthur. Visitors have the chance to step into and experience the world of Downton Abbey� and the contrasting world of Winterthur founder Henry Francis du Pont and his contemporaries.
We will enjoy dinner as a group en-route to our second destination
Next we marvel at  the holiday wonderland at Longwood Gardens. Thousands of poinsettias, towering Christmas trees and fragrant flowers fill the Conservatory's crystal palace. Outdoors becomes a winter wonderland where 400,000 lights glow in the outdoor beds in the shape of anemones, azaleas, hyacinths, lilacs, and roses. Huge snowflakes made of lights appear to fall like stars from the skies, and many-colored lights glow in the trees. We spend the night at the Hilton Garden Inn at Kennett Square, central to all our stops.

2.  Wednesday, December 3

This morning we head to Philadelphia to tour the new home of The Barnes Foundation which was established by Albert C. Barnes in 1922.

The Barnes holds one of the finest collections of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings, with extensive works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul C�zanne, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso as well as American masters Charles Demuth, William Glacken and Maurice Prendergast.  There are also Old Master paintings, important examples of African sculpture, Native American ceramics, jewelry and textiles and decorative arts and antiquities from the Mediterranean region and Asia. We lunch in Philadelphia.

Our last stop is Strawberry Mansion, filled with antiques, fine art, and collectible treasures from the 18th and 19th century.

Part of a cluster of historic homes in the park, Strawberry Mansion will be fully decorated for the season and we will have an up close glimpse at one of the places our Founding Fathers visited during the early years of our country.
We return to Connecticut stops in Westport and New Haven in the early evening.


$399.00 per person double occupancy
$75 single supplement

This Engaging Experience Includes:
  •     Roundtrip motor coach transportation
  •     1 night hotel  
  •     1 breakfast
  •     2 lunches
  •     1 dinner
  • Entrances to the attractions
A minimum of 30 persons is needed by October 1.
Full payment is due with your reservation.
Confirmations will be made via email.
Cancellation penalties: $50.00 October 1-November 1
After November 1, no refund.
If you have questions contact
Kathy Kobishyn, FGCCT Tour Coordinator at 203.915.6017
or email [email protected] .

Meet Louise Weber

A member of the Garden Club of Old Greenwich since 1983, Louise Weber caught the attention of former Federation President Susan Faulkner when she created an exhibit about birdhouses for her club. Faulkner was so impressed she brought the exhibit to the CT Flower Show and asked Weber to join the board.

Louise's first position was Corresponding Secretary. She has gone on to serve as Horticulture Chair for six years, then Conservation Chair for six years, and is now completing her term chairing the combined Environmental Concerns/Conservation committee.

An Art History major, Weber has also been on the board of the Bruce Museum for many years, including chairing it from 1988-92. It was her suggestion that they expand to a new building and she oversaw the groundbreaking in 1992.

Louise's home garden includes an organic vegetable patch, Hydrangeas and a beautiful flowering Quince. The second year it bloomed, someone cut branches off her Quince during the night. "I think it must have been a decorator or flower arranger!" she quips.

But her specialties are dahlias and gourds. In fact, her birdhouse gourd won an Award of Merit two years ago. And she has come to realize that her favorite dahlias are the ones with the largest number of petals. "They were out of favor for a while because they are too 'flashy,' says Louise, " but that's why I like them!" She enjoys bringing them into the house for arrangements.

As Environmental Concerns/Conservation Chair, Weber tries to keep the board and members of The Federation "informed about all the toxins invading our environment."  She has provided a list of environmental programs and websites that can be found under Program Suggestions on our website, . 

Weber is particularly concerned about the genetically modified foods-with genes from other plants and animals inserted in a laboratory--being introduced into our food supply. "I think the Americans are way behind the Europeans in their knowledge about genetically modified food," she says. "Tests done in Europe show that animals fed GMOs get sick. If the modifications kill pests, what do they do to us?" She urges members to ask retailers if the food they sell has been genetically modified.

* Lynn Hyson
News Editor



To maintain your garden club's Tax Exemption status, your club MUST file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) EVERY YEAR. You must file a form 990, 990-EZ, or 990N (the e-postcard).

Clubs that fail to file an annual 990-series return or notice, for three consecutive years, will AUTOMATICALLY lose their tax-exempt status.

or Go To, then click link for "Charities & Non-Profits."



Deadline for SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE  


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CT Federation NEWS

Published monthly except January/July


Direct Articles/Dates/Events to:   Lynn Hyson, Editor    

49 Seventy Acre Rd., Redding, CT  06896     203-431-0613


Direct Advertising Queries to: Diana Abshire, Advertising Manager

26 Diamond Hill Rd., Redding, CT  06896    203-938-1114


Direct Circulation Queries to:  OFFICE SECRETARY, FGCCT

P.O. Box 854, Branford, CT  06405     203-488-5528



Our Mission Statement 

To coordinate, stimulate and encourage higher standards in all aspects of Garden Club work


To protect and conserve our natural resources, preserve our heritage and promote civic beauty.   Federation logo


6,817 Members


131 Clubs


15 Affiliates 

CT Federation NEWS

Published monthly except January/July


Direct Articles/Dates/Events to:   Lynn Hyson, Editor    

49 Seventy Acre Rd., Redding, CT  06896     203-431-0613


Direct Advertising Queries to: Diana Abshire, Advertising Manager

26 Diamond Hill Rd., Redding, CT  06896    203-938-1114


Direct Circulation Queries to:  OFFICE SECRETARY, FGCCT

P.O. Box 854, Branford, CT  06405     203-488-5528



Our Mission Statement 

To coordinate, stimulate and encourage higher standards in all aspects of Garden Club work


To protect and conserve our natural resources, preserve our heritage and promote civic beauty.   Federation logo


6,817 Members


131 Clubs


15 Affiliates 

Mt Laurel