CFN Masthead

Volume 77, Number 9 *  NOVEMBER 2014   

In This Issue
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In this season of gratitude, we celebrate the hard work and talents of our members in their many endeavors. This issue reveals our 2014 Bronze Medal Winner, NGC award winners and NER award winners as presented at our Awards Meeting at Aqua Turf on October 29th. Congratulations to all of you! Continuing the theme, FGCCT supports other achievements with its Garden Therapy Fund and with scholarships. NGC suggests another way to give through its Sage and Roses program.

See our regular columns for tips on winterizing. As we head indoors, it is a good time to focus on our creativity with floral design.The Judges Council is recommending a new NGC stimulus program to help your club hold a flower show, and there's still time to enter the 2015 CT Flower Show in February.

December will be our last issue until February, so be sure to get your news and information to me by November 10. For Calendar listings of events between December 1 and February 1, please submit them to Ellie Tessmer by November 10. Thank you.

To access the Club Calendar, click here


President's Message


Greetings, Fellow Gardeners,

As we gather together in November, we give thanks for the abundance of blessings we share-our loved ones--family and friends, the many public servants who make our lives comfortable and our service men and women who keep us safe.  We give thanks for our stunning New England countryside, our gardens and the bounty and the beauty that surrounds us.

We give thanks that we are able to help others with our volunteer time and energy as well as financially.  Collectively, through our associations, such as our garden clubs, we are able to accomplish such greater things than we can as individuals.  Our recent FGCCT Awards Meeting surely illustrated this principle.  It was remarkably well attended.  Our Judges Council treated us to a spectacular seasonal flower show.  We met our Scholarship winners who gave us a renewed hope for the future.  And the silver sparkled when we thanked the many individuals and clubs who were honored for their outstanding service and projects across the state.   We also garnered numerous awards at the recent New England Region Annual Meeting in Burlington, Vermont.  Congratulations to all our state, regional and national winners throughout the year.

Our congratulations also go out to the numerous members who attended, passed, or audited our three NGC Study Schools this fall-Flower Show and Gardening Study School in September and Environmental Studies School in October.  Our thanks go to the chairmen and their committees.  These schools will continue to have a multiplier effect as the graduates take back and share with their clubs a new depth of understanding in these three disciplines.

We congratulate all the clubs and individual members who planted native trees.  In aggregate, our participating clubs reported planting hundreds of trees in the Native Tree Contest-surely we are making a big difference in our state for Native Pollinators.   

Our second contest, the Backyard Habitat Contest, continues until April 1, 2015, the deadline for clubs to send to our Office Secretary, Barbara Romblad, the total number of habitats registered with the National Wildlife Federation by club members.   Even previously registered (before this administration) backyards can be counted as long as they are still providing food, water and shelter for wildlife.

Happiest Thanksgiving to All and Our Thanks to You for all that You Do!

* Jacqueline Connell

T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude... our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me.       
                                                                   by Judith  A. Lindberg

Terry Stoleson receiving her bronze medal from president Jacqueline Connell.
Photo by Inge Venus.

This year The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut, Inc., is pleased to give our highest award, The Bronze Medal, to Terry Stoleson.

Terry Stoleson of Trumbull, CT, is a Nationally Accredited Master Flower Show Judge Emeritus and a Life Member of The Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut.  For decades she's been an active member of the Long Hill Garden Club, including serving as President.  Terry is actively involved with Creative Arrangers of Connecticut, the Judges Council and the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society.  In 2008, Terry was recognized and honored for her work and extensive achievements through the establishment of a major flower show award named in her honor - The Terry Stoleson Design Award.

Terry has frequently lectured and instructed throughout the state and on a national level on many different subjects.  She's been the recipient of numerous design awards at the Connecticut Flower and Garden Show, including twice winning her very own award named in her honor - The Terry Stoleson Design Award!  Her work has been featured at both the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum.  Many times her signature designs have appeared in the Vision of Beauty calendars.

A supremely talented floral designer, Terry generously shares her knowledge of floral design in creative and entertaining ways.  She serves as a mentor to many designers and offers constructive and helpful critiques on design and artistic endeavors to anyone who asks.


2014 National Garden Clubs, Inc. Awards
(Received at the National Convention, May, 2014)

Garden Club of Orange
"Let's Celebrate the Arts"

AWARD #12-9-Diii
Connecticut Federation NEWS,
Lynn Hyson, Editor

3RD PLACE - Small Club
North Haven Garden Club

Wallingford Garden Club

  Danbury Garden Club

Shane Michael Feyers

for participating in the NGC Awards Program 2013
 Branford Garden Club
Long Hill Garden Club
Thames River Garden Club

"Protecting and Conserving Our Natural Resources"

(published in 2013 NGC Anthology of Poems by our Youth)

Second Grade - Shane Lemay, Colchester Garden Club
"The Last Flower"
Seventh Grade - Annie Hageman, Colchester Garden Club
"Conserving and Protecting our Rivers"
Eighth Grade - Antonia Jascowski, Colchester Garden Club
"Save Our Planet"
Ninth Grade - Cassandra Bernier, Colchester Garden Club

NER Director Maria Nahom, at center, and NGC President Linda Nelson, present one of six NER awards to FGCCT President Jacqueline Connell. Photo by Ronnie Schoelzel.

(Received at the NER Annual Meeting in October 2014)

For cleaning up an unsightly, highly visible State-owned property on both sides of Rt. 22 connector and beautifying it with plantings of evergreens, flowering shrubs and seasonal flowers.

For educating their community about pollinators and the honey bee collapse disorder through a public showing of a documentary film, distributing homegrown seedlings to children, and arranging events with a beekeeper to foster an appreciation for pollinators.

For their involvement with the design and construction of a new organic garden and refurbishing buildings that make up the Potting Shed Garden Education Center in their community.


For their "Growing a Generation of Gardeners" program involving early childhood education gardening programs and nature classes and the restoration of a middle school courtyard.

For engaging young adults with developmental disorders to plant and harvest fruits and vegetables in vertical gardens and raised beds on the rooftop of the Community Health Center.

  (Small Club)  
Third Place - North Haven Garden Club
  (Large Club)
Honorable Mention - Wallingford Garden Club

Certificate of Participation and $25. Check
Paige Twohill, Wallingford Garden Club
Cally Chrisuk, Wallingford Garden Club

A Standard Flower Show
CT Convention Center
February 19-22, 2015

It's hard to leave the warm, sunny, tropical weather of the Caribbean.  But, we have one more very exciting part of the globe to travel to, the Arctic.

As we leave, the turquoise waters turn to steel grey, and we're heading north, into the Arctic Ocean.  This design section offers the Designer's Choice Award and calls on your imagination to create serene, cool designs.

Our first class is "Northern Lights."  This is a reflective design staged on a 16" square x 42" high black pedestal.  Can't you just see a design with reflective qualities that captures this theme?

The next class is called "Glacier Bay," which is a national park in southeast Alaska known for its 3.3 million acres of rugged mountains, dynamic glaciers, temperate rainforest, wild coastlines, and deep, sheltered fjords.  This title offers limitless ideas for inspiration in a Traditional Line Mass design that will be staged on a 12" square pedestal that is 42" high.

Our final class, in the design division of our flower show, Ports of Call, is entitled "Misty Fiords."  This is a Mass Design (either Traditional or Creative) and will be on an 18" round top x 42" high black column pedestal.

So ends the Design Division of this year's flower show.  But, we're not done yet! We have to discover the "Seven Blue Seas" in our Special Exhibits Division and "Ship Ahoy," our Horticulture Division.  Just like a ship, there would be no trip without our horticulture.  More next month...

Remember "PORTS OF CALL," our state flower show at the CT Convention Center, Hartford from February 19-22, 2014.

* Barbara Bruce
2015 Flower Show Chair
Scholarship News
  • The Caudatowa Garden Club awarded its annual $500 scholarship to Robbie Jones, a senior from Ridgefield High School. He plans to study Forestry at Clemson University.
  • The Guilford Garden Club awarded a graduating Guilford High School senior, Summer Stebbins, a $2,000.00 scholarship in June, 2014. She is attending Boston University majoring in Environmental issues. 
  • In May 2014, Ledyard Garden Club awarded its Annual Student Scholarships to Jenni Agosto and Julie Wolfe - both in the amount of $750.  Jenni and Julie were graduating students of Ledyard High School and are pursuing majors in horticulture.
  • Westport Garden Club gave $100 to the FGCCT Scholarship Fund.

* Judy Joly
Scholarship Chair

Garden Therapy Fund Announcement

Congratulations to the Belltown Garden Club of East Hampton for receiving a financial contribution from the Garden Therapy Fund of The Federated Garden Clubs of CT, Inc., for developing a "healing garden" near the Comstock Bridge on the Salmon River.  As Ann Daniels, the National Garden Club Garden Therapy Chairman, stated, "I believe, without apology, that all gardens may provide therapeutic experiences for the garden visitor."  

The Belltown Garden Club took up the cause and decided to utilize this beautiful New England site to feature a therapeutic garden.  Working with the state, they rebuilt the 80-foot Comstock Bridge, which was built in 1897, so that it is now a safe, beautiful expanse from one side of the river to the other.  

Once only used by hikers and fishermen, this area can now be enjoyed by challenged individuals of every kind.  The level parking lot is located in close proximity to the garden and bridge.  The walkway has been flattened and covered with pavers so that individuals who utilize walkers or wheel chairs, as well as those who can ambulate, can now travel to the bridge, surrounded by newly mulched gardens of perennials, berried shrubs and deer-resistant foliage.  A seating area will soon be placed so everyone can rest and enjoy the beauty of this site.  

Nothing is as wonderful as being able to hear your own footsteps inside the Comstock Bridge, touch the rough boarding, watch the ambling river and hear the laughter of others swimming and wading in the waters below.  We are so glad that this therapeutic garden can now be a "memory-maker" for EVERYONE.

* Dottie Fox
Garden Therapy Chair

From the Judges Council Corner

Encouraging Garden Clubs To Hold Standard Flower Shows
(Reproduced from the National Garden Clubs [NGC] website)

The NGC Flower Show Committee has prepared a stimulus package to encourage clubs to hold Standard Flower Shows. The package will contain a model schedule for a Small Standard Flower show with choices of titles that a club can adapt to suit its needs. Other items in the package will include entry tags with information on where to order them and how to complete them and samples of appropriate awards ribbons.

Any club that has never had a flower show or has not had a Small Standard Flower show in the last five years is eligible to participate. A certificate of achievement will be awarded to the clubs who complete the new venture.

The procedure is as follows:  All information may be e-mailed.The club requests a model schedule from Shirley Tetreault, our regional Schedule Correction Chair. The club members select the schedule with their choices of class title and return it to Shirley. She
approves the choices and sends it back to the club along with the sample package.

More information can be found on the NGC website,, along with Shirley's e-mail, by clicking on Schools, then Flower Show Schools, then Stimulus package.

*Jessica Fischer
Flower Show Chair


Your Congressional Representatives at Work

In recent months I have presented information concerning the effect on pollinators of certain pesticides.  Specifically, a class of systemic insecticides called neonicotinoids.  Besides acting against the desired species, these compounds adversely affect pollinators, disrupting their ability to navigate, and the health of their offspring. Besides disease and environmental factors, these insecticides are adding to the problems our pollinators face.  And remember, without the crops these insects visit, our diets would be vastly reduced.
In June of this year, a Presidential directive was issued to Federal agencies to create a strategy for promoting honeybee and other pollinator health. This directive charges Federal agencies to expand their efforts to reverse the loss of pollinators.  
At this time, new active pesticide ingredients may enter the market with a conditional registration prior to accumulating the safety data required by the EPA. By the EPAs' own analysis, this process is misused in 98% of the cases.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is phasing out the use of neonicotinoids in all Wildlife Refuges by 2016. It is the first U.S. agency to do so.  
A letter from 60 members of Congress, including two from Connecticut (James Himes and Rosa DeLauro), outlines recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for addressing the Presidential directive.
  •     That use of neonicotinoids on bee-attractive crops and ornamental applications be restricted or suspended.
  •     At this time the concentrations of these pesticides for     ornamental use is far greater than that for agriculture.
  •     That ornamental rates be changed to that of agricultural rates.
  •     That pesticides (and seeds treated with them) be labelled with the content of all neonicontinoid products.    
  •     That conditional registration be eliminated.

In addition to what our elected representatives are doing, there is much we can do on the home front.  Continue growing  bee-friendly plants, and carefully reading the labels of all products you purchase for dealing with pests.

* Lois Nichols
State Project Chair


Native Deciduous Shrubs for Autumn Color

Now that the Native Tree Contest is completed, for the next few months this column will focus on using smaller native plants to round out the rest of the landscape of your backyard habitat.  Trees, with their high canopy, form the "ceiling" of the design.  Shrubs help define the "walls" of the space while annuals, perennials and ground covers furnish the "floors." Shrubs, whether grouped as formal or informal hedges or screening, providing a background for the back of the perennial garden, or as a single focal specimen in the lawn, add great interest to the landscape. Depending on the variety chosen, shrubs can provide food and cover to a host of animals, adding usefulness as well as beauty to the home habitat.

Among the very best of the natives for autumn color are Highbush Blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum.  With three-season interest, they bloom with white flowers in May to early June, provide delicious summer berries, and turn yellow, bronze, orange to red in the fall.  
Low or creeping blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium, will grow in crevices in rocks with a minimum of soil.  They are spectacular in the rock garden spring through fall.  Both varieties prefer full sun and acid, well-drained soil. 

Vaccinium corymbosum in fall.

Attracting more than 37 species of birds, blueberries are a favorite food of 24 of these species, especially, thrushes, mockingbirds and catbirds as well as small mammals and box turtles.  Entomologist Doug Tallamy and his students report that Vaccinium support a whopping 294 species of butterflies and moths, the most of any shrub!

Many native Viburnums are also standouts for the home habitat supplying gorgeous autumn color and berries for wildlife.  Viburnum trilobum, American Cranberry Bush, supports 104 species of butterflies and moths and is a nesting shrub for robins and wood thrushes.  It dazzles with white flowers in spring, attractive green leaves in summer, scarlet berries and superior fall color.  Many new compact varieties are available and all prefer moist soils and a cooler climate. 
The fall color of Viburnum trilobum.

Other Viburnums to consider are Viburnum lentago, Nannyberry Viburnum, Viburnum prunifolium, Blackhaw Viburnum, and Viburnum dentatum, Arrowwood Viburnum.  These also have large fragrant white spring flowers that provide nectar for butterflies, native bees and other pollinators; their fruit is a critter favorite and often an important food source in winter.  They excel as screen plants or specimen and their thick foliage serves as nesting cover.

Two native Sumacs, Rhus, deserve to be in the backyard habitat
Rhus typhina
lights up the fall scene.
garden.  Rhus support 58 varieties of butterflies and moths.  Rhus typhina, Staghorn Sumac, with its conical clusters of fruits, is an important plant for bees and attracts bluebirds, robins, thrushes, chickadees and grosbeaks.   The 'Gro-Low' cultivar of Rhus aromatica, Fragrant Sumac, is a knock-out on a sunny slope or part-shade.   It is wide-spreading in form growing 2 to 3 ft. high and 6 to 8 ft. wide.  It has dainty yellow spring flowers, vibrant glossy green foliage, copious amounts of red fruit that persist into winter and glowing yellow-salmon-red fall color--a real winner.

Native Dogwoods support 118 species of butterflies and moths and
Cornus racemosa in its fall red.
can have four-season interest.  Besides tree forms such as the classic Cornus florida, smaller native Dogwoods form shrubs with fascinating winter stem colors.  Cornus racemosa, Gray Dogwood, produces white berries on red pedicels into winter relished by birds.  It forms a thicket providing valuable cover and nesting sites.    Cornus sericea, Red Osier Dogwood, is known for its magnificent flaming red stems in winter especially when surrounded by evergreens.  But it is attractive all year.  Golden-green stems and creamy white flowers in the spring are replaced in summer by blue-white fruit, a
bird magnet.  

Your wildlife and pollinators will thank you for planting native shrubs providing flowers for nectar, host plants for butterfly larvae, nesting cover for birds, and a favorite snack for a host of animals as well as drama to your landscape.

For more detailed information on natives for wildlife please go to the American Beauties Native Plant Library online at

* Jacqueline Connell


Winterizing Your Garden

At this time of year, I'm anxious to go into the garden and clean it up.  However,  it's important to leave the perennials that have seed heads alone to be used as a food source.  Some mammals and many bird species depend on these plant foods for sustenance. Seed heads on flowers can be left to provide food for wildlife as well as visual interest in the winter garden. So don't cut everything back.  Of course, you want to clean out any annuals.

It's important now to provide water for birds who are staying here by placing birdbaths in your garden.  Here in Connecticut, we have to keep our birdbaths ice-free.  I do that by placing a small heater in it.  Place the bath close to the house so you can plug in the element.  To entice small birds, a bath should be no more than 3 inches deep.  To allow birds to get a foothold while bathing, the interior surface should be textured and you can do this by placing pebbles in the bottom.  You can, of course, buy a ready made birdbath, but you can also make them from things you have around the house and garden such as garbage can lids placed on drainage pipe sections or flue pipes.  You can also place large plant saucers or ceramic bowls on tree stumps, logs or on large plant pots (filled with soil for stability).  Now is the time for your creative juices to flow.  When setting up your birdbaths, whether you place them on bases or directly on the ground, select locations where birds can have easy access to cover.

Ah, the falling leaves!  Don't despair.   I use my leaves as mulch for my garden beds and if I'm very industrious, I shred them with my small shredder.  My beds look neat and the leaves are making soil; it's a win-win.  The shredded leaves will insulate tender plants - a six inch blanket of leaves protects tender plants from winter wind and cold.  Carbon rich leaves balance high nitrogen compost ingredients so add them in.  Mix shredded leaves right into your garden.  Next spring, your soil will be teeming with beneficial organisms.

Please certify your backyard by the National Wildlife Federation.  Application available at Then notify your club president so she can pass the information on to Barbara Romblad at [email protected]

I wish you a happy Fall in your Backyard Habitat.

* Anne Harrigan

EYE ON HORTICULTURE: The November Garden

Ornamental grasses and the seed heads of
Sedum 'Matrona' are the stars of my November garden, along with any plant that turns those inimitable shades of orange, red and yellow.

In addition to the fiery show provided by Mother Nature, there are plants that will bloom in November. Most of this list was copied from Succession of Bloom in the Perennial Garden by Nancy DuBrule-Clemente. I added a few more based on experience.
Colchicum autumnale.

Allium virgunculae
Aster novae-angliae 'Fanny'
Camellia sasanqua 'Winters Beauty' and
    other cvs.
Colchicum autumnale (bulb)
Dendranthemum morifolium 'Mei Kyo' & 'Lucie's Pink'
Rosa Carefree series and others (maybe)
Veronica alpinua 'Goodness Grows' (if deadheaded)

Garden sanitation
Continue to cut dead foliage down and remove diseased leaves from the ground. Iris borers can overwinter in iris foliage, and leaves with blackspot and mildew on roses, peony and phlox should be collected and thrown in the trash (along with the iris leaves).

Weed and water
Continue to weed and water. Trees and shrubs that keep their foliage over the winter need at least one inch of water each week. If that doesn't happen, provide supplemental watering until the ground freezes.

Overwintering rosemary
It is very difficult to keep rosemary plants alive in a heated home during the winter because rosemary does not like dry locations where the temperature is always above 60 degrees.

Instead, keep your rosemary in an unheated sun porch or sunroom where the temperature can go down to just above freezing at night and can get quite hot during the day. Rosemary plants need this daily shift in temperature to thrive.

Misting the leaves with water every day is also helpful.

Overwintering potted plants
Many of us have pots of perennials, shrubs and even trees that we never got to plant in the garden. How do we overwinter these orphan plants so they can be planted next spring?

Wait until the soil in the pots has frozen, then put them into some kind of cold frame. You can make a cold frame out of bales of hay one bale deep. A frame out of wire fencing works well, also. Put the pots inside and cover them with salt hay or leaves. The idea is to keep the pots frozen until spring.

After you have covered the pots with leaves or salt hay, cover the top with a frost cover (a light woven fabric). This helps to keep them cool.

It's important to continue to water your potted perennials until the leaves have fallen. Potted woodies should be watered until Thanksgiving.

Wait until spring to cut back these plants:

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Blue Mist Shrub (Caryopteris)
Artemesia 'Powis Castle'
Russian Sage (Perovskia)
Montauk Daisy
Rock Rose (Helianthemum)
Semi-evergreen perennials (Helleborus,
    Bergenia and Liriope)
Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)
Basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis)

* Pamela Weil
Horticulture Chair


Another successful Gardening Study School was held Sept. 23-25 at the Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby, CT.  Co-chairmen Cheryl Basztura and Joanne McKendry worked hard to obtain wonderful speakers and to attract more than 20 students to attend the classes.  Five students became Provisional Members of the Gardening Consultants Council after completing two courses.  Three students attained Gardening Consultant status after completing four courses:  Ellen Clarke, Carole Golitko and Martha Shea. Congratulations to everyone!

Cheryl Basztura is completing her term as co-chairman of the school and we  thank her for all she has done to make the school a success.  Joining Joanne as co-chairman will be Marilynn Klepfer, a new provisional member this year.

The winner of the Gardening Consultants Council Scholarship for 2014 is Lynn Hyson, Editor of the News (CFN).  Lynn also became a provisional member and will receive the scholarship for two more courses.

Lynn Hyson at the Kellogg Center, where she won the GSS Scholarship.
NOTICE: We have changed the dates for next year's Gardening Study School. The new dates for GSS are October 13, 14 and 15, 2015, at Jones Auditorium in New Haven.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
* Cheryl Basztura and Joanne McKendry
Gardening Study School Co-Chairs

FGCCT Tour 2015: Charleston, South Carolina

Think Spring 2015, Members and Friends!! Southern hospitality and gorgeous gardens await us as we journey to Charleston, South Carolina.  Charm is the operative word to describe the cobblestone streets, preserved homes and  historic buildings that simply radiate taste and old world sophistication. Our trip is April 6 through April 10th, 2015.

Exclusive access to a Charleston Garden Club member's personal garden (with a special  tea/luncheon served)  should be a wonderful way to start our four-day journey. We will also see the two projects the Charleston Garden Club maintains: The Phillips Simmons Garden
Our visit coincides with the Festival of Houses and Gardens in Charleston (ticket included)
You will be taken to the only working tea plantation in our United States for a tour.
A private garden on Kiawah Island will enchant us all. In addition, we will visit the  Kiawah Conservancy Group for a garden lunch and discussion on the native plantings there
the oldest landscaped gardens in America that survived the Revolution and the Civil War will also be included.

Free time is also woven in so you can shop, walk and just take in the divine sights and smells of camellias and more that will be blooming when we arrive. Keep in mind there is limited space so if you are interested please reserve early!! Bring your best friend, perhaps this could be a great Christmas/ anniversary gift to you or a loved one....the possibilities are endless!

Daily breakfast, 3 dinners, 3 lunches, tours and transfers, private garden visits, coach transport to airports for all flights as well as 4 nights in a centrally located hotel are included.

The price for all this is $2100 (to share a room) with a Single Supplement of $450.

Please contact Kathy Kobishyn [email protected]
(203-915-6017) for more information. The brochure is online at or one can be mailed to you at your request.
Alicia Carew (Carew Travel)  has carefully created this wonderful trip to the Palmetto State. You may contact her as well with any questions at 800-621-1113 or [email protected]

As you may know, our trip to Longwood Gardens and Winterthur has sold out. We are planning to go again next December, so don't despair!! Just book early!! We anticipate that this trip will also sell out early, so do keep that in mind.

If anyone has thoughts on where our next big trip should be. please do email Kathy and make suggestions. We are always ready to listen!!

Thank you so much! Happy Trails to ya'll.

* Kathy Kobishyn
FGCCT Tours Chair

Meet Kathy Kobishyn

Even though Kathy Kobishyn had a background in travel--she was a flight attendant before her daughter was born--she considers it "serendipity" that Alicia Carew approached her about the Tours Chair position opening while she was on her second FGCCT trip. "This job could not have come at a better time," says Kathy, "I'm having more fun than I should be allowed to have!"

It may be more than serendipity. Following the heartbreak of 9/11, Kobishyn and her family left Long Island for a fresh start. They bought "a little, old house" and redid it. But how to meet people in Milford? A woman on her block was a member of the Milford Garden Club. Kathy joined and has since served as President, Vice President and Field Trips Chair among other posts.

She also loves gardening. She's got raised beds for vegetables and herbs in addition to her perennials and a new shade garden. She says that Katherine Neville supported her in acquiring such native trees as a Franklinia, Shadblow and Redbud.  With her husband, Kathy built a pond where she has "water lilies, lots of frogs and tons of dragonflies. A giant heron has found the pond-he gets the larger fish."

With all the tumult in the world today, Kobishyn says she wants to focus on domestic trips for a while. Following the sold-out visit to Pennsylvania this December, she has helped develop the tour of Charleston for April, 2015. "Alicia Carew has so much energy and knowledge, we have a good partnership," she says of FGCCT's travel agent. In Charleston, members will visit gardens both private and public, a tea plantation, the beautiful Kiawah Island and Middleton Place. The trip will also coincide with Charleston's Festival of Houses and Gardens.

Kathy says that, "before I joined the FGCCT board, I had no idea of the tremendous talent and effort and involvement of the committees on the board. It truly is a privilege to be a member among such accomplished women! I feel blessed."

* Lynn Hyson
News Editor


Theme: "NGC Membership Is..."

The NGC Membership Committee would like to see the essence of NGC Membership portrayed through your photos with captions. What does NGC Membership mean to you and your State or Local Club? Give it some thought and take some pictures that best convey the idea of NGC Membership. Then, join in the photo contest!

The NGC Membership Photography Contest Award may be awarded to the highest scoring photograph with a caption best depicting the theme, "NGC Membership is..."

Entries may originate in any format but must be submitted electronically. All entries must be the original work of a national or international member and free from copyright restrictions. Members are member clubs, groups of member clubs, State Garden Clubs, NGC Regions, and International Affiliates.

The photograph should be a .jpeg or .jpg format with the highest resolution possible. Digital manipulation of the photograph is permitted. A release form for everyone depicted in the photograph, including minors, must be included. Release forms are available on the NGC website. Entries must be received by March 15, 2015.

Click here to download a copy of the NGC Membership Photography Contest rules.



Send your NGC Board Member and other friends an email greeting at Christmas or any Holiday.

Save the time and cost of the card and stamp.  (Grandchildren are wonders at creating email greetings.)


Make a donation to the SAGE AND ROSES BLUE STAR MARKER FUND to NGC Headquarters.

    $10.00 to $25.00 - one chance for your state to win.
    $26.00 to $50.00 - two chances for your state.
    Each additional $25.00 - another chance to win.

The winning ticket holder decides where the Blue Star Marker will be placed in the state.

The Blue Star Memorial Marker program is the premier National project which advertises NGC's name from coast to coast. For more information, visit





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 DECEMBER 2014 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