August, 2016

It's Back To School season and we are back to business: CAES's Plant Science Day, Gardening Study School, Environmental Studies School, CIPWG's Invasive Plant Symposium, and Beyond Beginning Floral Design classes are all on tap! Take advantage of these wonderful opportunities to learn and grow.

We welcome a new affiliate, the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association, and congratulate the Long Hill Garden Club on 75 productive years.

Learn the latest about our vital State and National Projects and take some tips from Liz Rinaldi, our knowledgeable Horticulture Chair. Finally, think about how you and your garden club can collaborate with your local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

For the Club Calendar, click here.


* Lynn Hyson
News Editor

President's Message
Fireflies glowing, cicadas singing and, hopefully, lots of buzzing bees and flitting butterflies are enjoying our Connecticut gardens as much as we are this summer. It often pays to take the close-up view of our surroundings to enjoy their magnificent complexity and diversity. Quietly watch the small movements in the garden, or put the macro lens on your camera to explore and record the natural wonders around you.

You might think this wouldn't apply to trees. After all, it's rather difficult to capture the magnificence of a mature tree in the frame of a single photo or by gazing at it from below. So take the macro view to enjoy the various patterns and textures of bark and berries, leaves and lenticels. And just a hint, but this could turn into the perfect entry for one class in the photography division of our CT Flower Show next February.

Note the gorgeous camouflage bark of the American sycamore ( Platanus occidentalis), or the flaky, papery bark of the river birch ( Betula nigra), or the vertical shred-like pattern of a mature eastern red cedar ( Juniperus virginiana). Regardless of their ecological merit, who doesn't love the fan shape of a gingko ( Ginkgo biloba) leaf or the huge variety of Japanese maple ( Acer palmatum) leaf shapes! Lenticels, those lens-shaped pores on tree bark, are what make a cherry ( Prunus) easy to identify and distinguish a white birch ( Betula papyrifera).
Fruits, nuts, seeds, buds and berries--in addition to feeding the world--have their own beauty. Smooth or spiky or fuzzy, the patterns are innumerable and the Chinese chestnut or the gumball of a sweetgum or a giant, lumpy Osage orange. And of course, there are those "tiny acorns" I'm always talking about. They, too, include fascinating varieties.  Some of them, like those of the saw tooth oak ( Quercus acutissima) have caps that nearly encompass the base like a coarse, hairy wig. Other tropical varieties are the size of a small fist, such as the rare Mexican oak ( Quercus insignis), which produces the largest of all acorns.

I'm sure if you look closely, on your own you will find much better examples of the patterns of nature than any that I could describe. As the late Mary Newcomb, a 20th century British painter whose inspiration was the rhythm of nature, once said, "it seems to me that the pleasure is in the finding out, not in being told the facts."

So go out and find your own beauty this summer. Try seeing, trees especially, from a different we continue GROWING TOGETHER.

* Jane

You might enjoy the beautiful photography in the book Seeing Trees by Nancy Ross Hugo and photographed by Robert Llewellyn, which inspired my message this month.

Plant Science Day - An Event Not To Be Missed

Save Wednesday, August 3rd, for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station's (CAES) 106th Annual Plant Science Day at Lockwood Farm in Hamden, 10:00-4:00.  Lockwood Farm is located at 890 Evergreen Avenue off Route 10.

The schedule is jam packed with lectures, presentations, displays and demonstrations throughout the day.  You'll come away from the day better informed.  

There will be main speakers at the new pavilion, scientists presenting their research on Mosquitoes and Zika Virus, Growing Hops in CT and Climate Change and Invasive Pests and Pathogens.  There are many displays by scientists and environmental groups, Field Plots, demonstrations, an ID tent for plant/insect identification - all to provide insight and counsel on horticultural and environmental issues that affect all of us in our gardening pursuits.  

Information is available on line: for more details and the program, as well as on our FGCCT website.  This is your Experiment Station in action.   

You can help support the efforts of the Station.  Seek out the Experiment Station Associates in the Information Barn.  Learn how you can help.  The Associates sponsor workshops and tours given by the CAES staff coordinated by Director Dr. Theodore Andreadis.  Join and get a CAES cap.

A must-stop destination is The Federation table.

* Arlene Field, Second Vice President/Membership Chair
and Ellie Tessmer, CAES Liaison


Our trip to Chelsea Flower Show and the Gardens of Kent, England, was a fantastic experience!

We visited Hole Garden, where we had a private tour by the Head Gardener, Quentin Stark. A fantastic garden with many different plantings, Hole Park is a 15-acre privately owned estate.

At Kew Gardens, in the hothouse, a  breathtaking array of water lily plants and more greeted us. The scent was intoxicating.

Another highlight were the gardens at Hever Castle (Anne Boleyn's childhood home). For photos of our trip, visit

* Kathy Kobishyn
Past Tours Coordiator

On a rainy Tuesday, May 24, about 25 members of The Glastonbury Council of Garden Clubs--which includes five clubs: Country Gardeners of Glastonbury; Evergreen Garden Club; Hill and Dale Garden Club; Woodside Garden Club; and Glastonbury Garden Club-- attended a planting of five native Oak trees [two Pin Oaks ( Quercus palustris), two Red Oaks ( Quercus rubra) and one White ( Quercus alba)] and two Maple trees at Slocum Park, Glastonbury's newest park, also known as the Matson Hill Recreational Area.

The inspiration to plant the Oak trees came from The Federated Garden Clubs of CT, Inc. (The Federation), President, Jane Waugh. Waugh was inspired to have a two-pronged Presidential Project: "Growing Together: Tiny Acorns to Mighty Oaks." The first part is related to planting oak trees. The Federation invited clubs to select a public location in their community to plant an Oak tree. While the state tree is the white oak, there are many other oaks native to Connecticut. The Federation wants clubs to choose a native oak to plant that will thrive in the chosen location. For Clubs that find the location and come up with a planting and maintenance plan, The Federation will pay for the tree, up to $200.
Glastonbury's Town and Parks Departments provided equipment for digging the holes for the trees.

The trees transported by the Town's Beautification Committee have arrived.

The second part is a commitment on the part of The Federation to work more closely with clubs, to develop ideas together at symposiums among regional clubs and to share the ideas to the benefit of all.  The first Symposium was held in Glastonbury in September, 2015.
Dr. Douglas Tallamy, University of Delaware author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, recently spoke at the April Annual Meeting of The Federation. According to Tallamy, the oak is the greatest provider of food, that is insects, for native birds. Our native white oak, the Charter Oak, supports over 500 species of native caterpillars, which birds feed to their young who need the insects for protein in order to develop. Red oaks and other native trees, shrubs and perennials, which Tallamy identifies as "keystone species," also sustain birds, butterflies and other life in our gardens and provide habitat if we choose to plant themrather than alien ornamentals. Taking Dr.
Tallamy's lecture to heart, the five members of the Glastonbury Council of Garden Clubs applied jointly for a grant from The Federation to install the five oaks.

The "synergy" came from the support given by the Town and Parks Department's Greg
On their hands and knees to position the tree.

Some of the 25 Glastonbury Council members from its five garden clubs pose next to the oak trees about to be planted at Slocum Park.

Moran, who provided town staff and equipment to excavate the large holes needed for the trees; Mark Sellew, owner of Pride's Corner Farms in Lebanon, CT, who provided exceptional specimens for the project; and Bob Shipman of the Town's Beautification Committee and Glastonbury Partners in Planting (GPIP).  Mr. Shipman helped select and bring trees to the site.  Shipman explained that he planted two Maples with the Oaks in order to mimic the woods next to the stream. Picnic tables will be added in the future to give fishermen and others a place to rest.

Thanks are due all contributors: the Town of Glastonbury; Glastonbury Partners in Planting; and  Glastonbury Council of Garden Clubs and club Presidents, Carol Beyerly (Country Gardeners); Kate Loomis (Evergreen); Susan Lionberger (Hill and Dale); Jeannette Urban (Woodside); and Becky McRoberts (Glastonbury Garden Club). Special thanks to the town employee who dipped water from Roaring Brook to give the newly planted trees their first drink of water.

The grant and planting were a Master Gardener intern project of Janet Spaulding, who thanks The Federation for its support. 

* Donna Nowak
Honorary Board Member

Photos are by club members Trish Manfredi and Suzi Fisher.

The Long Hill Garden Club of Trumbull planted a white oak ( Quercus alba) on May 2, 2016,
at the Abraham Nichols Park, Trumbull (Huntington Tpk.). The tree is located on town-owned park land in an open field across from an apple orchard. The town Parks Department will maintain the tree.

* Kathy Downs
Conservation Co-Chair, Long Hill Garden Club


The Green Farms Garden Club has donated a Quercus bicolor (Swamp White Oak) to the town of Westport. On May 2, 2016, the tree was planted at Machamux Park (Greens Farm Road and Morningside Drive South) by Chris Palmer of Outdoor Design. The tree will be maintained and watered by the town of Westport.


The Bristol Garden Club planted a northern red oak ( Quercus rubra) on Memorial Boulevard near the Civil War Memorial in Bristol.

The Kensington Garden Club planted a Northern Red Oak ( Quercus rubra) on May 20, 2016.  It is at the Kensington Orchards, a park owned by the town and used for passive recreation.  The town of Berlin's Parks Department planted it for us and mulched around it.  They have put a water bag on it to help keep it moist during this dry season we are experiencing.  They will continue to maintain it for us, but one of our members who lives nearby also stops to water it. The tree is visible from the Chamberlain Hwy and should be very nice in the fall.  The picture from left to right, is of: Nancy Drain, Evelyn Anderson, co-chairs of this project, and Elva Stregowski, club president.

We are grateful to the Federation for giving us this opportunity to enhance our community.

* Evelyn Anderson
Kensington Garden Club

The Garden Club of Orange planted a  Red Oak ( Quercus rubra) at The High Plains Community Center in Orange, CT. They did it  through our Town's Tribute Tree program and held a dedication ceremony on June 13, 2016.

*Pat Dray
President, Garden Club of Orange

Barbara Deysson is the State Project Chair.


NGC's Gardening Study School, Course III, Series 7, will be offered on September 13-15, 2016 at the Jones Auditorium, CAES, New Haven. Registration Deadline is September 2. For complete details, find the brochure by clicking below.

CALENDAR  Alert!!!

Environmental Studies School (ESS) has met in November in 2012 and 2013 for Courses II and III and more recently in October in 2014 and 2015 for Courses IV and I.

We're offering Course II,  "The Living Earth- Land and Related Issues," this year in SEPTEMBER:   Wed.- Fri., September 28-30, 2016, at Derby's Kellogg Environmental Center
Yes, this is early for us.  We also offer a field trip of at least two hours and we have a good one- as usual.
We offer eight, yes, EIGHT, extraordinarily qualified presenters over two days.
Among them is Dr. Os Schmitz (Yale), last year's Bronze Medal Recipient, who delivers an entire semester in an hour, seamlessly, and who has done so since this school began.

John Alexopoulos is familiar to those of you who've attended Landscape Design Study School.
Some are ace presenters of reprising topics.  Others are new (to us). This means that whether you're new to the school or are considering Refreshing, this is a new course.

Please join us.  Our school is, of course, open to the public as well as to members of garden clubs.
The text we're required to use is pricey. For anyone new to the school who wishes to take the course for credit, we have a number of texts available on loan.  Polly Brooks is available to answer your questions either via [email protected] or 860-567-4292.

* Polly Brooks
Environmental Studies School Chair

You're invited!  CT Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) is having a symposium at UCONN in Storrs on Tuesday, October11 titled: "INVASIVE PLANTS IN OUR CHANGING WORLD: LEARN FROM THE PAST, PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE."

Jil Swearingen, nationally known co-author of Plant Invasives of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, will speak: "We're Moving On Up: Invasive Plants Heading North."

Karl Wagener, Executive Director of the CT Council on Environmental Quality, is speaking on "CT's Future: Rooted in Choice."

Afternoon sessions include natives to replace the invasives; positive and negative aspects of biological control; potential and current aquatic invasives, and much more.

Tuesday, October 11 - 8:00 am to 4:30 pm at the Student Union, UCONN, Storrs.
Register on-line at Tickets are $50.00 before September 11, $60.00 after.

* Helen Pritchard
Federation Board Member

SERIES 3: September-December 2016

A Participant's Review

It always amazes me how some individuals can just take a few flowers and greens, arranging
Class members at work. 
them so the result is breathtaking.  Aspiring to develop such a talent, I registered for the Series 1 & 2 sessions of Beyond Beginning Floral Design workshops. Now I see how it's done!

First we were presented with the principles and elements of design that are the same for both traditional and creative designs. The workshops concentrate on creative designs.  This is great because it forces you to stretch your thinking. My preference is to mirror the design that is presented with the materials provided.   At this point, I don't feel as if I am that creative.

Then we review the principles and elements of design related to the morning's design before we begin our own.  This helps to understand the judge's viewpoint and also define why one appreciates the arrangement.   At the end of the workshop, we usually walk around to review all participants' designs. The results show that it is truly possible to do variations of the presented design. Then it's the question of , "Why do I like one more than another? What path does the eye take?  Is there sufficient spacing to allow the eye to rest?  Is it balanced? Do the textures blend well?"  Wow!  Learning the principles and elements of design definitely helped.

As one might surmise, at this junction I find that I know more as to why I like one design better than another, and, yes, it relates to the principles and elements of design. I also find that it is getting easier for me to mimic the presented designs.  Someday soon, I think I might even be able to create my own design from scratch!  As they say, practice, practice, practice. The only way to learn something is to do it. Plus for a creative design, the sky is the limit. Any materials can be used, not just flowers. What is unbelievable are the number of different creative design types. The possibilities are endless, so there will always be something new to learn.

* Laurie Sulger
Lyme Garden Club

Here are the details about Series 3 of Beyond Beginning Workshops to build on the floral design skills that you already have...

Classes are held at CAES Jones Auditorium in New Haven.  The dates for Series 3 (10 am-12:30 pm) are:        
September 9 (Creative Containers 101 & Secrets of Easy Floral Mechanics), September 30 ( Leaf Manipulation), 
October 14 (Weathered wood),
November 4 (Create your own/design interpretation), and
December 9 (a Creative Holiday design, suitable for home use).  The December 9 workshop is suitable for beginning designers.  

The cost per session of $30 covers materials; $5 cost for 'Create your own' session on November 4.

If you have any questions, email Cathy Ritch at [email protected].  To register send a check made out to FGCCT ($30 per class you wish to take, $5 for November 4) to Cathy Ritch, 11 Old Fire Rd, Trumbull, CT 06611.  Include your name/email/garden club/phone number/class dates desired.  Space is limited.  E-mail confirmations will be provided.  Overflow enrollments will be placed on a wait list with an option to audit/observe for no charge.  You will learn something even if you audit/observe.

* Cathy Ritch
Flower Show Chair
Share your garden
If you have a particularly nice photo of your garden, we'd love to share it. Email a .jpg file of your picture to [email protected] and we will try to include it in an upcoming issue of the CF News.

In full bloom! The front yard of Cheshire Garden Club member Vicky Brady.



I am Duane Luster, the FGCCT Board of Directors' Habitat for Humanity liaison. I coordinate contacts between CT Garden clubs and CT Habitat affiliates.
Habitat for Humanity is a ongoing Project of the National Garden Clubs.
Connecticut Garden Clubs need to reach out to local Habitat Affiliates in their area to offer help such as landscaping and gardening education for these first-time homeowners, or some other gardening needs they might have.

The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., has raised money to reimburse clubs for their expenses in this work.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CONTACT YOUR LOCAL HABITAT AFFILIATE TO SEE HOW YOUR CLUB CAN HELP. Click below for a list of the Connecticut Habitat Affiliates and their addresses. Or contact me, at [email protected] or 860-633-9098.

* Duane Luster
Habitat for Humanity Liaison

Learn More

The August Garden

Here we go again. As of this writing, it looks as if parts of our state are headed for drought conditions for a second summer in a row. The poor Astilbes that took a hit last year were already stressed by the end of June, as were several other water-loving plants.

One Connecticut native that is naturally found in swampy woodlands, wet marshes, stream
banks and seashores but showed no signs of stress during the hot dry spells in my garden is Clethra alnifolia. Commonly called Sweet Pepperbush or Summersweet, Clethra is a great native shrub that can withstand a wide range of growing conditions, from dry to wet soils and from full sun to part shade. It is a rounded, suckering, densely branched shrub, which can grow to 8 feet tall. It has attractive glossy dark green serrate oval leaves that are 3-4 inches long that turn a glowing yellow in the fall. It is the flowers, however, that are the star attraction. Unlike most other shrubs, this pretty native blooms in late summer. The sweetly fragrant white flowers (hence one of the common names) appear in upright panicles 2-6 inches long. Bees and butterflies love this shrub.

I have had mine for many years now and it is virtually pest free. One spring after a particularly harsh winter, it was looking a little ragged so I cut it back hard and it filled in beautifully.
It is easily propagated by division,  best done in the fall, or by soft wood cuttings taken in mid-summer.

Several varieties have been developed with pink flowers and some have been developed to have a more compact shape. 'Ruby Spice' and 'Hummingbird' are two good examples of these traits, respectively. If you are looking to incorporate more native plants into your garden, why not give Clethra a try?

P.S. Just an observation.... I have a perennial Hibiscus commonly known as Rose Mallow. It has enormous pink flowers that also bloom in late summer. Every year around bloom time the leaves are eaten by sawfly larvae. They look like little green caterpillars found on the undersides of the leaves. They have voracious appetites and rapidly skeletonize the leaves. When I see the damage starting, I will go out on a daily basis and squish the larvae until I see that no more leaves have been skeletonized. Well, this year at the end of June, the shrub had nary a bud on it and they were already chomping on the leaves. I don't know what caused this. I suspect the mild winter or early drought conditions may have played a part. So if you have one of these beauties and you have had sawfly damage in the past, you may want to keep an eye on it a little earlier this year.
Hibiscus in 2015.

Hibiscus this summer.

* Liz Rinaldi
Horticulture Chair

Editor's Note: In the listing of clubs that participated in the Southwest Idea Exchange Symposium in the June edition of the newsletter, the Wilton Garden Club was omitted.  They have four members who participated in the event.  We regret the omission.
Monarch chrysalis.
For Monarchs, It's About More Than Milkweed!

You may have heard NPR's recent reporting about a Cornell research study on monarchs and the dramatic decline of these iconic butterflies. The study authors sought to identify the point in the annual round-trip migration at which losses were greatest. They concluded that, while some of the blame for the nearly 90% decline in the eastern North American monarch population in recent years can be attributed to loss of milkweed habitat due to increases in both herbicide use and land development, there may be a lot more to the story than that. In fact, the Cornell team suggests that declining milkweed may not even be the biggest threat to the monarchs.
The Cornell team found that most of the decline in numbers occurred not on the northern migration, when the butterflies are reproducing and are totally dependent on milkweed, but on the southern-bound migration, when the adult butterflies are no longer reliant on milkweed for survival but, instead, on abundant nectar sources to fuel their arduous flight to Mexico. This lends credence to the theory that it may be loss of NECTAR sources along the southern migration route that poses the greater threat.
Once adults, monarchs feed on a wide variety of nectar-rich plants. The study finds that a "lack of milkweed, the only host plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars, is unlikely to be driving the monarch's population decline, as the problem appears to occur after they take flight in the fall." Given the "intense interest in monarch conservation, the blame being put on herbicide use and the national dialogue about potentially listing monarchs under the endangered species act, we have to get the science right," said lead author Anurag Agrawal, Cornell University professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.
In addition to the Cornell study, a report by the National Academy of Sciences on genetically engineered crops released in May found "no consensus among researchers that increased glyphosate use is not at all associated with decreased monarch populations."  
So the verdict is still out on WHY the monarch population is dropping so precipitously. What is not in doubt is that the decline is real, and may at some point, perhaps not so far in the future, be irreversible.  
What can you do in light of shifting and sometimes contradictory scientific evidence? Keep planting milkweed! It remains the sole larval source for the summer generation(s) born in our area. But add as many and as varied an array of summer and fall nectar plants ( for the period August 30 through September 12) as your garden will hold; they are essential sources of energy for the monarchs as they begin their arduous journey south in the fall and are critical to a successful migration.

Some suggested nectar plants include:

Vernonia fasciculata (Ironweed)
Asters (any - fall blooming especially)
Eupatorium (Joe Pye Weed)
Solidago (Goldenrod)
Salvia(s) (any)
Monarda fistulosa (Bee Balm)

For more nectar plants, go to

* Marty Sherman
National Project Chair

The Federation Welcomes a New Affiliate Member

After approval at the May Board meeting, The Federation welcomes a new affiliate member, the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association.  They are the leading horticultural, agricultural and landscape business association in the state.  Their members are professionals who uphold the highest standards in horticulture, environmental practices, agriculture and the landscape business.  They are validated to confirm that they are state registered, licensed (if applicable), certified, insured and continue to advance their knowledge through safety, business development and licensing workshops.  Check out their website at

* Arlene Field
Second Vice President Membership Chair

Long Hill Garden Club Celebrates 75 Years

The Long Hill Garden Club (LHGC), began 75 years ago with a group of talented and dedicated people to encourage Victory Gardens. Initially, they used their funds to buy items for several war relief groups as well as the Trumbull Air Warden. The Club's purpose was to serve the area and enrich the lives of those who live here.
This year, "Branching Out, Growing Generations" was the theme for the club to highlight the way members have extended themselves to residents in various stages of life. Our members have educated others, shared kindness and encouragement and helped to beautify the local community.

LHGC purchased native trees for each of the six elementary schools and created a program for the children in honor of their class trees. This involved more than 2,000 students over five years and sparked an interest and love of nature.

At the Madison Middle School Courtyard Project, club members provide advice to students in an after-school club as they work to restore and replant the main courtyard with native plants. Trumbull Early Childhood Education Center, a dedicated group, leads 15 weeks of classes at the preschool to introduce the children to gardening and the world of nature with hands-on, fun programs.

Using garden-related activities to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation of individuals with various challenges, a group of club members meets with Stern Village senior residents monthly. A Stern Village program will continue in conjunction with Agri-Science High School students and club volunteers who help clean up and mulch individual gardens in the senior housing complex. New this year, Random Acts of Kindness Bouquets were distributed to brighten the day of 33 unsuspecting recipients.

First Selectmen Timothy Herbst proclaimed May 26, 2016 as Long Hill Garden Club Day. Jane Waugh, FGCCT President, presented a Certificate of Merit from the National Garden Clubs, Inc.
Long Hill Garden Club co-presidents Suzan Sarris (l) and Jamie Stadler (r) with FGCCT President Jane Waugh (center), who presented them with an NGC Certificate of Merit.

* Lois Pfrommer
Long Hill Garden Club Member

Westport's Plant Sale

The Westport Garden Club held its annual plant sale on Friday, May 6. Although a rainy day, the stalwarts showed up to find the best selections for their gardens. We feature native perennials, known to thrive in our environment. We call these plants "perkies," so named by a former garden club chair who instructed members to contribute 20 perky plants to the sale.

There's also a Fancy Bake Shop, Mother's Day booth (our sale is traditionally held the Friday before Mother's Day), Grandmother's Attic and a silent auction.

Patrons are helped with their purchases by Pivot Ministry volunteers. (Pivot Ministry, based in Bridgeport, supports men who are trying to get their lives back in order.)

The Westport Garden Club dates to 1924. There's been a plant sale of some variety since 1928.

Photos by Kristin McKinney.

* Topsy Siderowf
Westport Garden Club

The following clubs have donated to our FGCCT Scholarship Fund since the last issue of the newsletter. We thank them for their generous support.

Suburban Garden Club of Cheshire     $100
Branford Garden Club, additional    $30 contribution
Greenwich Woman's Club Gardeners      $400
Middletown Garden Club     $50

Each year the Guilford Garden Club awards a scholarship to a Guilford High School graduating senior who plans to pursue a program of study in an environmental related field.  This June, from monies received from our holiday boutique held the first Friday of December, we were able to award two scholarships-- each in the amount of $2,000.   This year's recipients were Victoria Giovanniello and Cassidy Bell, who will attend Northeastern University and Stony Brook University, respectively.
* Carolyn Stephan
Scholarship Chair
Guilford Garden Club

The Shippan Point Garden Club (Stamford, CT) recently awarded two $2,000 Scholarships to Jacob Appel and Christopher Taylor. Jacob will attend the University of Colorado, Boulder, and major in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology. Chris Taylor will attend Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, and major in Environmental Engineering. Scholarship funds are raised through the Club's Annual May Market.

* Maryann Greene
Scholarship Chair
Shippan Point Garden Club

Judy Joly is the FGCCT Scholarship Chair.

Meet Gerri Giordano

The new FGCCT Legislative Chair is Gerri Giordano. A native of Hamden, she learned to garden from her father and grandfather. "I just fell into it, " she says. Gerri married her childhood sweetheart and they moved to North Haven in 1968, where they still live.

After raising a son and daughter, Gerri has also cared for her grandchildren since they were born. "They are what's important to me, and they keep me young," she says.
Meanwhile, Gerri has been a member of the North Haven Garden Club for 40 years! "I have served on every committee in the club," says Gerri, " I've done everything that can be done in the garden club. I love it; I love the people. North Haven is a wonderful, small club with great workers. You can count on them for anything." She has served as the club President twice, for a total of eight years.

She also appreciates that "the people in the town government are right there to help the club-they dig holes, or whatever we need," says Gerri. "I have a great rapport with them."
In addition to the garden club, Gerri has been active in the community she loves. In 1986, she served as Treasurer for the North Haven Bicentennial Committee and worked on the Beautification of the Green Committee. Her contribution is commemorated by a plaque on the Green. And the float her garden club entered in the parade won the Selectman's Trophy.
In 1988, Gerri received the Key to the City for her work with the North Haven High School football team. She organized a year-end program book for the team by selling ads to the local businesses. "I'm very proud of that," she says.

As Legislation/Government Action Chair for FGCCT, Giordano keeps track of any legislation pertaining to the environment. She follows the bills and reports to us on whether they pass or not-and why. Knowing her First Selectman, Len Fasano, and Representative Dave Yaccarino, is helpful.

Gerri says she is "very impressed with what people do for The Federation. These people are extraordinary! I thought garden club members worked hard," says Gerri.
When she's not working for us, she grows perennials and enjoys container gardening, changing the plantings for each season. She also decorates with flowers and does arrangements for her home. Gerri enjoys crafts, especially making fairy dolls and fairy settings out of found materials. When her husband suggested she sell them, her granddaughter objected, "No, they're mine!"

* Lynn Hyson
News Editor


Put Wednesday, October 26th, on your calendar now.  That is the 87th FGCCT Award Meeting and Luncheon at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville.  Come to receive your club's awards and hear about the wonderful projects that other clubs have worked on during the past year.
A highlight of the day will be "The Colors of Connecticut" flower show presented by the Connecticut Judges Council.  Designs and Horticulture will fill the hall with wonderful sights to behold.  Our best vendors will return to offer their lovely gift items. Hope to see you there.

* Margaret Hopkins
Meetings Chair

Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc.
[email protected]