CFN Masthead

Volume 78, Number 2 *  MARCH 2015    

In This Issue
Contact Links
Information Links
Join Our Mailing List
Support Our Advertisers!

Adv. Manager
for guidelines.


5.5"W x 4"H      
 $ 120.

3"W x 4"H  
$ 60.

3"W x 2"H  
$ 30.

is the deadline for the APRIL    

Mt Laurel

We have the first photos, straight from the just completed 2015 CT Flower Show. From there we move on to Course I of Landscape Design Study School, to the Annual Meeting in April and the FGCCT trip to Charleston. Along the way, learn how to get involved
in Garden Therapy, how to do winter pruning, and find native perennials to plant next month.

On a sad note, we must say farewell to a highly regarded photographer to Judges Council members and Creative Arrangers here in Connecticut, Cheryl Collins.

For the Calendar of Events, click here.


Lynn Hyson, Editor
President's Message

The Harbor Lights Were Shining Brightly at  
Greetings Fellow Gardeners!

It might have been frigid outside, but it was warm and wonderful at The Federation's State Flower Show, "Ports of Call," Feb 19-22 at the CT Convention Center in Hartford.  Inspired by exotic ports around the world, the Floral Designs were stunning, the Horticulture shimmered and the Photography and Special Exhibits were fascinating.  Many, many thanks to Show Chair, Barbara Bruce, and her legions of Exhibitors, Judges, Hostesses and Volunteers.  It took much more than a village to put on this visual and fragrant extravaganza.  Visitors were transported in their imaginations to dreamy climes around the globe.  Congratulations on its grand success to everyone who helped with the show and to all who entered designs, plants, photography and special exhibits-we thank you for the superb adventure.

Becky Paul passing the legacy on to "Ports of Call" Chair, Barbara Bruce.

Opening ceremony with Roger Swain; North East Expos President Kristie Gonsalves; FGCCT President Jacqueline Connell and FS Chair Barbara Bruce.

Award of Horticultural Excellence and Grower's Choice Award for Clivia by Ginni Donovan, Cheshire GC and Suburban GC of Cheshire.

Club Competition Award: Vignette "Adventures in Africa" by Evergreen GC; President Susan Fisher. Designers Susan Jackson, Sally Whipple. Missing from photo: Joan Merman and Rita Patrello.

Section A, Class 3 "Coral Fringed Barbados" by Alice Luster. Designer's Choice Award; Terry Stoleson Creative Design Award; and Award of Design Excellence.

Educational Top Exhibitor Award for "The Plight of the Magnificent Monarchs" by Pomperaug Valley GC; Designer Marty Sherman.

CT Photography Award to Susan Berensen for "Vacation Memories."

Landscape Design Council Award presented to Creative Contours for Landscape #15.

Artistic Crafts Award to Mary Pura, Danbury GC, for "Lei."
Photos by Becky Paul, Leslie Martino and Inge Venus.

Show Committee - The Crew

President - Jacqueline Connell
General Chairman, Schedule & Treasurer -
    Barbara Bruce
Northeast Expos Liaison - Jane Waugh
Design Coordinator - Barbara Bosco
Horticulture Coordinator - Ronnie Schoelzel
Special Exhibits - Maureen Carson
Photography -  Leslie Martino & Jacqueline Connell
Floor Plan - Alice & Duane Luster
Design Classification - Terry Stoleson & Maria Nahom
Horticulture Classification - Rodney Hayes & Felise Cressman
Staging - Pat Dray & MaryEllen Unger
Design Entries Facilitator - Jan Hickcox
Horticulture Entries - Cindy Marien
Painting - Kathrine Neville
Design Quality Control - Ellen Clarke
Horticulture Entries Facilitator - Cordalie Benoit
Horticulture Placement - Kathrine Neville
Signs & Entry Cards - MaryEllen Unger
Administration/Formatting - Donna Nowak
Judges - Trish Manfredi
Awards - Alison Feaster & Kathie Skinner
Walk-in Horticulture Entries - Ellie Tessmer
Judges Clerks - Margareta Kotch
Publicity - Rebecca Paul
Comment Cards - Kris Urbanik
Hospitality - Sophie Kelley
Hostesses - Cathy Ritch
Membership - Leslie Martino
Books - Nancy Cebik & Sally Kuslis


Connecticut Landscape Design School March 24-26

March in The Federation means another Landscape Design Study School is coming.  Landscape Chair, Susan Laursen, and her committee will present Course I March 24-26.  While the courses may be taken in any order, Course I is the perfect place to start.  It covers such varied topics as the development of design, principles and elements of landscape design, including space and color, the site plan, the role of designers and available resources.  We are delighted to be back in our "home away from home" at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven.   Join us and learn how to integrate effective design into your home landscape or a club or town project.  

SAVE THE DATE:  April 15
for FGCCT's Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf

Please attend the State Annual Meeting at Aqua Turf in Plantsville on April 15 to inaugurate our new State President, Jane Waugh, and her in-coming Administration.

We are most fortunate to have Candace Morgenstern as our featured program speaker.  Candace brings both a wealth of experience and a fresh approach to Floral Design.  For years a Judge and National Board Member, former State President of RI, a leader of the American delegation of the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA), Candace is sure to dazzle us with her innovative arrangements.  Don't miss this very special opportunity to experience one of the East Coast's most accomplished designers.

Share the Best of Yourself:  Be a Mentor

    Many of our clubs will be changing officers and committee chairs this spring.  If you hold one of these key positions, please help create a smooth transition and a nurturing environment by serving as a Mentor to your successor.  You have spent the last couple of years or more learning the "tricks of the trade," the intricacies of your particular office--these are rich and vital commodities.  When you take your successor under your wing, you, your successor, and your club will all be winners.

Happy Vernal Equinox, Happy Spring!

* Jacqueline Connell


Our Annual Report forms are currently posted in the Login page of our website and afford you the opportunity to type directly into them with your computer and save them.

Please be sure you fill out and return your Club's Annual Reports to our FGCCT Office at P. O. Box 854, Branford, CT 06405, by April 1st. Our Office Secretary, Barbara Romblad, will then forward them to the respective FGCCT Committee Chairs.

If you prefer, you may also send your completed report directly to the respective FGCCT Committee Chair, with a copy to Awards Chair, Janet Spaulding, 9 Applewood Lane, Glastonbury, CT 06033. Please know that it is the individual FGCCT Committee Chair who reviews your reports first for consideration of an award.



Are you interested in good landscape design?  This course teaches good landscape architectural practices and helps us to serve as mindful stewards of the land.

Course I of IV - Jones Auditorium, The CT Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT

Dates : 
March 24 and 25 - Lectures from Landscape Architects and other professionals. 

March 26 - Optional exam to pass 1 of 4 required courses to earn a Landscape Design Consultant Certificate.  Full course $120.

For LDSS brochure,  click here, or contact Susan Laursen at 203-415-2077 or [email protected].

*Susan Laursen
Landscape Design Study School Chair


Flower Show Judge's Silent Oath

As an NGC Accredited Flower Show judge, I will always evaluate the work of others fairly, based on knowledge and integrity. When asked, I will share my knowledge with those who feel less informed and serve as an educator to the exhibitor by making clear and meaningful comments to improve the exhibitor's skills in growing, designing and exhibiting. I will show compassion to the other judges on the panel, remain humble, refrain from anger, raising my voice or refusing to agree with others on my panel when a majority has been achieved. I will never make fun of an exhibit or exhibitor, but be fair and honest with all of my decisions. Finally, I will be appreciative of the honor and opportunity given me as a judge to evaluate the efforts of others.

* Jessica Fischer
Flower Show School Chair
Join Us at The Annual Meeting, April 2015

A wonderful experience awaits you at our Federation's April 15, 2015, Annual Meeting at  Aqua Turf.  Jacqueline Connell finishes her successful two-year term, and Jane Waugh will be installed as our new President along with new officers and committee chairs. 

To add to the enjoyment of the day, Candace Morgenstern will be creating "Big and Bold" floral designs to delight our imaginations.  Candace is an NGC Accredited Master Judge, the former President of the Rhode Island FGC and has been a designer for 25 years. She has recently retired as co-chair of the Newport Flower Show, a position held for 5 years. A Newport Flower Show award was established in 2013 in her honor to be given to an exhibitor "showing exceptional quality using innovative techniques involving the manipulation of fresh plant material."

Important to note is the fact Candace was instrumental in bringing the World Association of Floral Arrangers (WAFA) to the USA. 

We will also recognize the winning clubs in the Backyard Habitats contest registered with the National Wildlife Federation by April 1st. And new vendors will be offering their wares.

Join us for a wonderful day.  Mail your registration forms early so you will not be left out. Find the form posted in the marquee at See you then.

* Margaret Hopkins
Meetings Chair


In a previous article I discussed bumblebees in broad terms. This large group of native pollinators deserves a second look.

There are four species that we can expect to encounter here in the
Bombus impatiens.
North East.  The Common Eastern bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, can be found in open fields and woods as well as in urban areas. B. fervidus and B. pennsylvanicus, unlike most gentle, non-aggressive bumblebees, will aggressively defend their nests. B. ternarius is found in the North East, visiting milkweed, golden rod, blueberries and raspberries.  Not of this area, but interesting nonetheless, is B. polaris.  This is a bee of the far North, working 24-hour days during the short summers.
Bumblebees form colonies usually much less extensive than the permanent colonies of the honeybee.  Because a single female is responsible for the initial construction of the nest and its population, it is understandable that the finished product is smaller and simpler than a permanent hive.  This is also a short-term enterprise, lasting a single season.  Unlike the honeybee hive with its tightly packed hexagonal cells, the bumblebee nest seems quite messy and disorganized.
B. impatiens nest.

Inside the nest is a queen bee who lays the eggs.  Workers are the first adults to emerge.  They take over the care of the nest, collecting food and raising new offspring.  The colony will get progressively larger and eventually males and new queens will be produced.  Resource availability and environmental factors play a role on the timing of this transition. 

After leaving the nest, the new queens will mate, and then search for a suitable location for overwintering in small cavities, such as those found in wood piles and rock walls. In the spring the queens break dormancy and search for a hole or crevice on or near the ground to start a new colony.  "Eau d' Mouse" seems to be a strong attractant for inhabiting old mouse nests.
Bumblebees are well known for their ability to "buzz pollinate" certain crops.  Greenhouse tomatoes in particular require this service.   The anthers have a small pore at the end with the pollen grains inside.  The bee grasps the flower and vibrates its wing muscles rapidly, shaking out the pollen.
It would be nice to suggest that we put out nesting material for bumblebees, but statistics for the success of artificial nests are discouraging.   Probably the best approach is to leave corners or other areas of your garden "natural."  In other words, don't be too vigorous about tidying  up at the end of the season.  And don't forget to include native plants in your landscaping.

* Lois Nichols
State Project Chair


Perk Up Your Backyard Habitat with Native Perennials

When perusing garden catalogues this winter, please consider planting native perennials.   Along with native trees and shrubs, perennials and annuals all contribute to a well-planned backyard benefitting the widest diversity of wildlife. 96% of birds need insects to feed their young and 90% of insects eat only native plants!  According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 7.5 times as much insect food is provided by native plants.
Some perennials you might plant include:
Amsonia tabernaemontana

Amsonia tabernaemontana  Bluestar
Native to  moist woods, this shade tolerant plant will grow in drier soil once established.  Medium blue flowers attract Mourning Cloaks and other early spring butterflies.

Angelica atropurpurea  Purple Angelica - Happy in sun to part shade, in sandy
Angelica atropurpurea
clay soils, Angelica serves as an
important host plant for various
Swallowtail Butterfly species.  Tall
round flower umbels rise on purple  stems and emit a strong honey scent.  This short-lived perennial can be prolonged by cutting back the flower stalk before it sets seed, or a new crop can be started from seeds allowed to set.

Aquilegia canadensis  Columbine - prefers moist, well-drained soils in sun or shade.  Cut back flowers for a second bloom.  Columbine attracts hummingbirds and is larval host to the Columbine Dusky Wing butterfly.
Aquilegia canadensis

The Asclepias are crucial to the survival of Monarch butterflies as they use them to pollinate and as breeding grounds.  These include:  Asclepias incarnata Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed, and Asclepias tuberosa Orange ButterflyweedAsclepias nectar attracts swarms of
butterflies while the leaves are the
primary host plant to Monarch butterflies. 
Asclepias tuberosa

Dicentra cucullaria Dutchman's Breeches is named for the shape of
its white flowers. It forms spreading colonies in its native moist woodland habitat.  Ants spread its seeds and it is especially preferred by bumblebees.

Echinacea purpurea Purple
is a butterfly magnet and grows in most soils and is drought tolerant.  In Germany, over 140
different medicinesare made
from Purple Coneflower.

The statuesque Eupatorium fistulosum Joe Pye Weed makes a grand statement in the back of the border
Dicentra cucullaria
growing 4 to 8 feet tall.  Eupatorium perfoliatum Boneset has white, sweet smelling flowers that attract butterflies.  Joe Pye and Boneset are beautiful
when pairedtogether, ideally in moist soil, and will naturalize around lakes and ponds.
Solidago speciosa Showy Goldenrod prefers well-drained average garden soil.  It is an essential source of late season nectar.  For a rich display
Eupatorium perfoliatum
of deep-hued, informal fall color, plant with Symphyotrichum novi-belgii New York
, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
New England Aster,Veronia
noveboracensis New York Ironweed
and Heliopsis helianthoides Ox-eye
which attracts butterflies
to its flowers and birds to its seeds. 

Solidago speciosa
* Jacqueline Connell


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow....

I love snow because the weather is cold, the skiing is good and most of all because of the benefits of snow in the garden.

The obvious benefit of snow cover is that it's an excellent insulator.  Without snow, cold temperatures can freeze the ground deeply, which damages the root systems of shrubs and trees.  Without insulation, the water contained in plant cells can freeze, damaging the cell walls.  

Melting snow provides needed moisture to many plants.  Even dormant plants continue to lose moisture as water evaporates through their branches.  Evergreens, which keep their foliage throughout the winter, are at even greater risk of injury from lack of moisture.

In Taylor's Encyclopedia of Gardening, snow is called "the poor man's fertilizer" because as it falls through the atmosphere, nitrogen and sulfur attach to the flakes.  When the snow melts, these elements are released into the soil and absorbed by plants.  As you know, nitrogen is essential to plant growth.   

Snow cover also protects plants from harsh, drying winter winds.  Snow protects plants from the freeze/thaw cycles that heave them out of the ground.  Snow helps preserve moisture in the soil during winter and provides water to the soil as it melts in the spring.  Snow slowly waters the emerging perennials.

You can't deny the beauty of a snow-covered garden.  Structures like benches, arbors and paths are highlighted.  Evergreens look brighter and trees with ornamental bark show off.  Bird sounds are clearer and the sight of all those birds at the feeders is breathtaking.

Other than moving to a warmer climate there isn't anything we can do about the snow.  So take some time to enjoy the changes in the seasons and appreciate all the benefits that snow can provide.

I know that snow can also cause many problems, but I'm going to leave that subject for another time.  Right now I'm going to sit in front of the fire, look out at the garden and check out the large pile of garden catalogs that have arrived.

Get your gardens certified - spring will be here before you know it.

* Anne Harrigan
Backyard Habitat Chair


In March, I like to fertilize and prune. In March of 2014, I wrote about fertilizing. To recap the highlights: use an organic fertilizer (I use Holly Tone� for acid-loving plants, Plant Tone� for everything else) and scratch it into the soil so that a heavy rain won't wash it away. The fertilizer will work its way down to the roots, and when the soil warms up and the roots start growing, the fertilizer will be there for the roots to pick up.

Pruning is something I love to do in March when the weather permits. Pruning is a lot of fun and very beneficial to plants. Just have at it. If you make a mistake, the worst that could happen is that you may have cut off flower buds and the plant won't bloom this season, but it won't die.

Remember that many plants, including roses, bloom on new wood. So by cutting off the old wood and encouraging new shoots you will end up with more flowers.

You will need basic pruning tools: a hand pruner, a lopper and a pruning saw. Spend the money to buy good quality tools, which will do the job in less time and with greater precision.

The best time to prune is just before bud-break, or when you see the new growth along the stems of the plant. When you see the new growth, you can easily see which stems have died: cut these down to the ground. Also begin by cutting back or down stems that rub against each other.

There are three basic ways to prune, depending on your goal.

Renewal pruning: The one-time chop 
This is the most drastic action and hardest for the plant to survive. Only do this on specific plants (see list) that are overgrown but healthy.

Cut all of the branches down to the base or within 6 to 10 inches of the ground. Full rejuvenation will take from 2 to 4 years, and you will have to sacrifice some flowers.

The one-time chop can be performed on the following shrubs: Abelia, Boxwood, Butterfly Bush, Cherry Laurel, Cinquefoil, Dogwood (species with brightly colored stems), Forsythia, Heather, Honeysuckle (shrub), Hydrangea 'Annabelle', Lilac, Mountain Laurel, Privet, Rose of Sharon, Snowberry, Spirea (S. bumalda and S. Billiardii), St. John's Wort, Virburnum (multi-stemmed shrubs), Willow, and Yew.

Renewal Pruning: The modified chop
This is a safer method than the one-time chop.
Cut all of the branches down, but not to the ground. Cut the branches at uneven lengths and just above new growth (above a bud that is facing out).

This is the preferred method to reshape overgrown rhodies. An added advantage is that the shrub will look more natural as it grows back.

Renewal pruning: The gradual or moderate approach.
This is the least drastic method, done over a 3 or 4-year period (depending on how many stems you plan to cut down).

The first year, remove one-third or one-fourth of the oldest, unproductive stems. Cut them down as low as possible. Do the same thing for the next 3 or 4 years.

You should also cut back some of the top growth. If the shrub blooms on new wood, cut it back now. If the shrub blooms on old wood, wait until after it has flowered. Then cut it back.

If you don't know if it blooms on old or new wood, you can look it up in a pruning book. If you cut it back without knowing, the shrub won't die; the worst that would happen is that it won't bloom this year.

Pruning shrub roses
Don't prune newly planted roses - wait 2 or 3 years.

Begin by cutting to the ground one or two of the oldest stems. Then cut the remaining stems about 15-18 inches high. At this time I like to apply a few shovelfuls of composted cow manure (buy it at your local garden center) to the ground around the roots and watering deeply.

Your rose will look a little sad but it will bloom better than ever. As the buds start to grow, you can continue to shape the bush by encouraging buds that point outward and removing inward-growing buds. Let light and air into the bush.

Remember that pruning gives the plant a bit of a shock, so provide some TLC with organic fertilizer and deep watering. Continue the TLC until you see new growth on the plant.

*  Pamela Weil
Horticulture Chair


It is not too late to register your backyard with the National Wildlife Federation.  Your backyard habitat just needs to supply wildlife with food, water, and shelter (cover).  Previously registered yards that still fulfill these requirements may also be counted. 

Submit your registration number to your club presidents.  Club Presidents, submit one tally of all your members' numbers by April 1 to the Federation Office Secretary Barbara Romblad at [email protected].  Small, medium, large and extra large winning clubs will be announced at the Annual Meeting April 15.


I would like to thank the garden clubs below for their generous donations to the Garden Therapy program in 2014.  This program has its own individual account and is not considered to be part of the general fund of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc.  Therefore requests for funds do not have to go through the Finance Committee of our Federation. Garden clubs can petition the Garden Therapy committee for future funding. If our committee approves the dissemination of funds for the project, then I will bring it before the FGCCT Board for approval at the next meeting.  We are creating a new application form for you to use in the near future and this will be published in the next issue of the CF News.  Our goal is to use a certain amount yearly towards garden therapy programs.

Garden therapy is one of many types of support that act therapeutically to promote physical, mental, and emotional health.  Projects can provide active participation for the population that you are trying to assist.  Your club may work with persons who are not only in senior centers or convalescent centers, but can be found in rehabilitation centers, prisons, homeless shelters, etc.  The possibilities are endless--use your imagination!  They can be of any age and the individuals can possess more than one disability.

Just remember that you are helping the person to improve their quality of life through horticulture: the use of plant and other natural materials; the study of birds and plants; artistic and educational programs.  Much pleasure is derived from the person-to-person sharing of the activity and the individual's personal achievement, where perfection is not necessarily the goal.  So think of which hospitals, schools, special education facilities, correctional programs, convalescent/retirement/assisted living facilities, or rehabilitation centers can benefit from your garden club's knowledge, talents and wonderful camaraderie and create a plan for a future garden therapy program.

Your club can also conduct a service project to benefit individuals who are not able to participate in a given activity; these are greatly appreciated as well.  The beauty and scents of flowers, plants, wildlife near facilities/parks can also provide a therapeutic atmosphere and aid in healing and recovery. However, be sure to aim for excellence in service since you are displaying your skill and training.  Your creation can assist individuals through new experiences, rekindling of old hobbies and interests and can make difficult life transitions more bearable.  

An example of this was the creation of a perennial garden near the Comstock Bridge on the Salmon River by the Belltown Garden Club of East Hampton.  The DEEP assisted by rejuvenating the bridge, making it more accessible for the handicapped.  The parking lot is close by and a "brick-work" pathway makes an easy walk to the bridge.  Lovely new benches will be installed into this picturesque setting, allowing individuals to relax and enjoy this "therapeutic" scene, thanks to a garden therapy grant applied for by the Belltown Garden Club of East Hampton and recommended by our Garden Therapy Committee to the FGCCT Board, which approved it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued generosity in 2015.  If I can be of any assistance to discuss garden therapy with your clubs or answer any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via my email - [email protected], or by my cell at 203-592-9980.  

* Dottie Fox
Garden Therapy and World Gardening Chair

In the next issue of our CF NEWS I will focus on World Gardening.

Garden Therapy Contributors for 2014

           Cheshire Garden Club
           Garden Club of Orange
           Wallingford Garden Club
           Haddam Garden Club
           Greens Farm Garden Club
           Guilford Garden Club
           Lyme Garden Club
           Mountain Valley Garden Club
           North Stonington Garden Club
           Westport Garden Club


Do you want to know where the FGCCT Scholarship money goes? Here is the second in a series of articles by the 2014 scholarship winners.

Maggie Sackrider 

Margaret Sackrider graduated from the University of Connecticut's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.  She has worked as a Zookeeper at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo where she has provided care for many critically endangered species including Amur tigers, red wolves and Andean bears. This work is complemented by her conservation field work studying predator-prey relationships in Chile's rugged, Torres del Paine National Park. 

Maggie has published and presented papers on North American River Otter development to national audiences including the American Association of Zookeepers.  As an environmental educator, she has served as a guest lecturer for several universities throughout Connecticut, speaking on topics such as Zoo Nutrition and Exotic Pet Ethics.  In 2012 she received the Connecticut Outdoor Educator of the Year award for her work developing a nationally recognized program serving at-risk youth.  

She is currently entering her second year of Yale University's Master of Environmental Science degree program for which she is focusing on human dimensions of conservation and conservation psychology.  Her graduate research examines Connecticut residents' relationship with naturally returning large carnivores.  She has presented her preliminary findings at the American Society of Mammalogists Annual Conference as well as the Conservation Psychology Institute.  After completing her master's degree, Maggie is hoping to pursue a PhD in cognitive psychology and examine people's innate responses to nature.


The Federation thanks the following garden clubs for their recent contributions to the FGCCT Scholarship Fund:

Glastonbury Garden Club - $100
Guilford Garden Club - $100.00
West Hartford Garden Club - $1500,    
plus the $200 speaker fee donated by Ronnie Schoelzel.

* Judy Joly
Scholarship Chair

Meet Shirley Hall

FGCCT's Assistant Treasurer has years of experience working in retail management, where she "got thrown into the world of computers," and keeping the books for her husband's construction business.  She also serves as Treasurer for the Wallingford Garden Club, where our Treasurer, Barbara Bruce, knew her and submitted her name for the FGCCT Board.

As Assistant Treasurer, Shirley says, "I help Barbara in any way she needs it. I'm responsible for making the deposits from the schools and such." Then she sends a spreadsheet to Barbara to save her the time and paperwork. "I also make sure that member clubs are complying with the 501c3 regulations. In the past it was more of an afterthought, helping clubs after they lost their non-profit status. When I took over the job, I decided we needed to make sure they don't lose their status."

So Shirley keeps track of when member clubs need to file with the IRS and reminds them. And she checks on the IRS website to make sure the filings are done. "It's time-consuming  but I've got good feedback. They appreciate the help."

"There's quite a need for Treasurer training. I don't know that clubs are doing a good job with their finances." I get a lot of phone calls; I do some research and try to give good information. I'm not a CPA; I can't give legal advice, but I can answer questions about fundraising and more."

Unfortunately, Shirley finds, "So many don't have a good feeling about the Federation. They don't feel they are a part of it. I try to let them know that there is help here."

At home in Wallingford, Shirley works with her husband on their shaded, wooded property. "My husband is good with the hardscaping and heavy lifting. We have worked together and totally transformed parts of the yard. He can execute any idea I come up with. We have a lot of fun--that's what we do in good weather."

She and her husband are also stewards of the nearby Tyler Mill Preserve where they help maintain trails. They are proud of their two daughters who now live in Texas and Chicago.

"I really enjoy being part of the Federation. I was not aware prior to getting on the board of how much the Federation does. These are hardworking women who could run a corporation," finishes Shirley.

* Lynn Hyson
News Editor

Spring Beckons in Charleston

Hurry, there are just a few spots left for the FGCCT Spring Trip
April 6-10, 2015

ENJOY  "Glorious Gardens" at the annual Festival...EXPLORE behind garden walls for a private look at  beautiful local residences and gardens...EXPERIENCE the beauty of 2 nearby barrier islands on a day trip to Kiawah and  Wadmalaw Island...VISIT Middleton Place, the oldest landscaped gardens in America, and other landmarks. Outstanding food and shopping are sure to please.

Spots are limited so complete the registration form attached to guarantee a place. Click here for the brochure.

In Memoriam

On January 14, Cheryl Collins lost her battle with cancer.  On that day we and Connecticut lost a wonderful talent and friend. 

Cheryl touched so many lives here with her program for Judges Council, her Photo Shoots for Creative Arrangers and her creative gift of photography to our New England Region.

Cheryl was always so good to come to CT for the yearly Photo Shoots.  Because of her, many of our members had their work published in the Vision of Beauty Calendar, The National Gardener [TNG] and Designing the American Way (a book published by the World Association of Flower Arrangers). She was such an inspiration to us and so patient while getting just the right shot of our designs. 

She may not have seen this last tribute to her and her work as it just came out.  That's what I was emailing her about - to congratulate her for her photograph on the back cover of TNG. She always loved to be a "Cover Girl!" Her small corner of heaven is certainly lined with all her wonderful work and filled with the many good deeds she has done for so many others.

Following are some of the comments from our Creative Arrangers Committee members, a fitting tribute to Cheryl:
"The garden club world has lost a wonderful friend and photographer."..."I am grateful to have met her."..."It breaks my heart that such a wonderful person as Cheryl is gone. " ... ''Cheryl's gone already?  So very, very sad."..."My heart aches for the loss of Cheryl.  She was such a positive, friendly, all-around good person.  The world sure was a better place with her in it.  She will be sorely missed."

And lastly, an email from Mary Ellen Unger, which Cheryl may not have received:
"I don't know if you remember this photo that you took of my design, it's been almost two years.  I just wanted to let you know that this photo went on to win me the New England Regional Award for creativity and is now featured on the back cover of this month's National Gardener.
None of this would be possible without your photograph, your lighting and especially your artist's eye.  I share these accolades with you.  Thank you so much."

A link to Cheryl's obituary:

* Dee Mozzochi

Share Your Garden

Jane Sharpe of the Newtown Town and Country Garden Club sent in this view of her driveway in the snow. From left are a spruce tree, two matching purple sand cherries, a couple rhododendrons, a funny-looking zebra grass, then our flag pole and more rhododendrons. The trees behind are a spruce and a white pine. The foreground is our driveway.

Inge Venus shared this view through her window of icicles that formed on her Chinese Elm tree and those descending from the roof. It affords just a glimpse of the bird feeders, shrubs and trees in her back yard in Cheshire. 
Photo by Inge Venus.





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 APRIL 2015 ISSUE  


Email Articles and Photos to:
[email protected]
Email Advertising to:[email protected]
Email Calendar Items to:[email protected]

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