January Program
Our Amazing Stone Walls: What They are and Where They are Going with Sylvia Reiss
January 10, 2018
9:30 - 11:30 am
NC Nature Center
Victorian Tea
February 7,  2018
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Waveny House
March Program
All the Presidents' Gardens with Marta McDowell
March 7, 2018
9:30 - 11:30 am
NC Nature Center

A Letter From Our Presidents

Dear Members, one and all,

Busy, busy -- it's a hectic, fun and frivolous, intense and beautiful time of year for us all, including our New Canaan Beautification League volunteers.

Ty Tan and her helpers worked with the Garden Club on Nov 29 at our annual Greens Workshop to create holiday decorations for the town buildings. When you read this her elves will have finished their chores and we will be enjoying them.

Faith Kerchoff already has bulbs in position for spring blossoms.

Our Annual Appeal Committee is hard at work and you will be hearing from them soon.

We are exploring new avenues to let our residents know about the things we do -- if you can help with a table at the Farmers Market and/or sidewalk sale please contact any of our membership team: Sara Hunt, Libby Butterworth, Joan Hayenga, or Margit Mills.  They are looking for new ways to attract new members.  The publicity team of Robin Bates-Mason and Nancy Geller, along with our webmaster Lisa Ferrante, are working diligently on this as well to increase our exposure.

Kudos to our new treasurer, Rob Carpenter, who has already saved us money by moving funds around and implementing new procedures.

Lee Garden has been put to bed for the winter but plans are proceeding for spring.  Don't hesitate to take a peaceful winter stroll there with your out-of-town visitors -- or just with yourself for some well deserved serenity.
In the future we're trying to plan some tours for our members.  If you have any interest in exploring Central Park contact Carolin Buttrick at  This is a follow up from our marvelous speaker Sara Cedar Miller who inspired us this fall.  We are also looking for someone to coordinate other trips -- local, nearby, even overseas. Just let either Barbara or Karen know if this intrigues you and if you have any ideas to explore.  Our emails are or

Finally, if you need a gift idea this month:  THINK NCBL with a membership gift for a friend, neighbor, relative or colleague.  Just call, email, or go online.  Easy, fast, and unique!

Happy Holidays to one and all,
Karen and Barbara
NCBL Banner

Welcome New Member!

Jackie Alexander

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Our January Program: 


Stone Wall

January 10, 2018
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am presentation
New Canaan Nature Center

Sylvia Reiss lives in Connecticut and is a former teacher, retired antiques dealer and past president of the Antiques Council. She is also active in the Darien Historical Society. 

Stone walls define New England and certainly Connecticut, with its hundreds and hundreds of miles of dry stone walls: very old and very new; well-built or shoddy; some treasured, some threatened; the good, the bad and the ugly. Fairfield  and Westchester counties are the epicenter of America's historic stone walls, and we are their custodians. Come listen to
Sylvia Reiss discuss their history and future. 

stone wall illustration

To download a program flier, click HERE.
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Available in our NCBL Library

books and vase Exploring Stone Walls

In preparation for our January program, the NCBL library has the book Exploring Stone Walls, A Field Guide to New England's Stone Walls by Robert M. Thorson available for borrowing.  Contact Faith Kerchoff to borrow this copy.

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Victorian Tea STD 2018
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Waveny Care Center Arranging: 

The following is our upcoming flower arranging schedule for December: 
  • December 4: Judy Gilroy
  • December 11: Faith Kerchoff
  • December 26: help needed
Thank you to all who have volunteered for this worthwhile cause!
Download the Waveny Care Flower Arranging instructions HERE.

Sarina Vetterli created arrangements in November with a gorgeous color palette and flowers from Earth Garden.

Sarina Vetterli flowers
Arrangements by Sarina Vetterli.

Sarina Vetterli collage

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Flower Arrangements Wanted for 
Program Dates!

We are looking for volunteers to make arrangements for our refreshment table for our program meetings this year.  Contact Bianca Romano if interested.  You will be able to use budgeted money for this activity.

Future Program Dates arrangements are needed:
  • January 10, 2018 : Joan Hayenga
  • March 7, 2018 : arrangement needed
  • April 4, 2018 : arrangement needed
  • May 2, 2018 : arrangement needed
  • June 6, 2018 : arrangement needed
Help make our program meetings beautiful and fun, as our arrangements are raffled off in our "Members' Raffle" following each program.

November Program table 2017
Bianca's creative arrangement for the November program, surrounded by refreshments.

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Annual Appeal 2018
Many thanks to everyone who helped us make the 2017 Annual Appeal so successful!

On January 10 we will start working on the 2018 appeal, for mailing on March 1.

We are encouraging everyone to address envelopes again this January.  You will be able to pick them up at the Wednesday, January 10 NCBL Program at the Nature Center. The "appeal bags" contain a list of addresses, cover letters, bookmarks, remittance envelopes, and envelopes to address.  Handwriting the envelope makes a difference in personalizing the mailing.  Again, we are NOT allowed to write a personal note of any kind on the letter this year (per post office bulk mail requirements).  

Thanks for your support of this important fund raising campaign.
 "Many hands make light work".

Looking forward to seeing you in January!  

Enjoy the season!

Rose Bauersfeld
Tonya Gwynn
Dody Whitehurst

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Meet our Presidents!

Last month we heard a bit from new co-president Barbara Beall.  This month, let's hear from co-president Karen Sneirson.

1.  Where are you from and where have you lived before New Canaan? I n 1980 I moved to New Canaan from Orinda, California.  Quite ironically, Barbara Beall had also lived there before I did.  Prior to California I had lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, Manhattan, Lake Forest, Illinois, Arizona, and New Jersey.

2.  Have you been involved with any other volunteer organizations? Currently I am on the board of the New Canaan League of Women Voters.  I was a founding member of Encore and formerly on the board of AAUW.

3.  Were you previously employed or do you currently work? Although my background is journalism and public relations, I have been a realtor in town for 25 years and am still at it!

4.  Do you garden?   Believe it or not I love to weed!  I find it relaxing with an instant reward.  No longer can I physically put in those long hours but my late husband used to call me in from the garden for meals and would joke that he was going to buy me a night lamp.

5.  What do you enjoy most about being a member of the NCBL?  I love our members' appreciation for all types of gardening and eagerness to explore and learn.  And the paramount spirit of volunteering, pitching in and helping wherever needed that permeates our group is very special.

Thank you Karen!  It's been a pleasure getting to know a little more about you!


Naturescaping with Karen Bussolini

Our November Program was packed with information!  Karen Bussolini is passionate about gardening for our environment and passed on tons of knowledge.  Did you miss the program?   NCTV Channel 79 taped it and you can view it HERE.

Karen gave us a handout with the plant names she mentions in the presentation.   You can download the handout HERE.

Karen Bussolini signing books
Karen signs books after her presentation.

lunch with Karen Bussolini
A group from NCBL took Karen for lunch before she grabbed her ride home.

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Deck the Halls ... and the streets ... and the buildings!

The first step in decking out our town in holiday finery was to create the bows that would adorn our wreaths and greenery.  Ty Tan organized the get together at Waveny House.  Seven mega-sized bows were made along with 51 regular bows, and all was accomplished in about one hour.  Yes, many hands do make light work!

Bow workshop 2017

Our hospitality committee, headed by Barbara Dennis, Jill Ernst, and Barbara Mechanic brought a beautiful feast for our volunteers.
Feast for Bows 2017
Busy as elves, the NCBL and NCGC joined forces to create many wreaths.

Carolin and Liz
Carolin Buttrick and Liz Orteig hold a masterpiece!

Town Hall container
After the wreaths were made, leftover greens were used to decorate the planters at Town Hall.

The NewCanaanite has a wonderful story about our wreath making efforts.  You can read it HERE.

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Autumn at Lee Memorial Garden

Much was done at Lee Memorial Garden in November to prepare the the upcoming spring.   Ty Tan helped plant more  Ilex verticillata  "Winter Gold" just before a cold front headed our way.  Bulbs, such as Camassia, Pagoda Lilly, and daffodils were also planted.

Yvonne and Faith at Lee 2017
Yvonne Hunkler and Faith Kerchoff stand next to two new additions to the garden.

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More Bulbs and Clean Ups throughout Town

Many hands planted bulbs this fall.  About 400 bulbs were planted at the Town Hall and as mentioned above, another few hundred at Lee Garden.  

Our new Thrift Shop Triangle, headed by Judy Gilroy was planted with grape hyacinth and daffodils.  We thank Judy, Tom Gilroy, Kathy Lapolla, and Faith Kerchoff for their efforts in this area.  After cleanup, a garlic chive was found happily blooming in the corner!

Garlic Chive

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The Town Hall Tulips

The Town Hall tulips planted this fall are an homage to New Canaan "Moderns" as they are called "Red Yellow Cubed" from Colorblends Wholesale Flower Bulbs.  The Cubed Series are blends of three different tulip varieties that bloom in succession of several weeks in the spring.  They will provide three overlapping shows in the same space in your garden or container.  It's a three-act circus in one ring!  Introduced in 2008.

We are grateful for Colorblends' Chris Schipper for his donation of the Town Hall planter bulbs to beautify New Canaan.

Here's a sneak of what you have to look forward to this coming spring!

Red Yellow Cubed Series Tulips
Red Yellow Cubed from Colorblends will be blooming at Town Hall this spring.
Gift Ideas!  For you or the gardener in your life!

Want some ideas for the gardener or plant lover in your life?  Here are a few ideas we've gathered:

Original Garden Broom
The Original Garden Broom

Carol Seldin swears by this broom for for sweeping up outdoor messes and keeping her mulch looking good.

Carol got hers at the CT Garden Show, but it can be found online HERE.
Green Pan
The Original Green Pan

Another suggestion from Carol, this is the pan that our June 2017 speaker, Tracey Medeiros cooked with.  Claiming to be non-toxic, healthy, and non-stick, you can find this pan HERE.

The Tile
The Tile Device and App

Faith Kerchoff uses The Tile Device and App to keep track of her precious gardening tools.  Use it to keep track of just about anything!

Bussolini books
Karen Bussolini's Books

Our November speaker is the photographer of three books that are widely available. You can order them from Elm Street Books.
Spear Head Spade
The Spear Head Spade
Members say this spade is uniquely designed to make your digging projects easier.  You can find it in local nurseries and read about it HERE.  Now available in cool colors:  pink, yellow, green, purple.
NCBL notecards
NCBL Notecards

Give a personal and local gift.  Give a set or two of our own NCBL notecards.  Contact Faith Kerchoff or find them at Goldenberry at 149 Cherry Street New Canaan.


The New Canaan Historical Society presents an art show and sale celebrating the 50th anniversary of the town's purchase of the Lapham Lloyd estate.
Waveny now and then

Click HERE for more information.
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Take NYBG classes right here in the comfort of your home town!
Click HERE and visit often to find NYBG classes offered at the New Canaan Nature Center.
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This adorable note of appreciation was left for the NCBL after our crew decorated some outdoor pots at the Nature Center with evergreens leftover from the Greens Workshop.

Thank you note