April 2022
Volume 8, Issue 18
2006     This is the 90th year of the Garden Club of Denver.

Angela Overy did botanical illustrations for the educational material to be displayed at the Dos Chappell Nature Center on Mt. Goliath.

Judy Elliott of Denver Urban Gardens was presented with the GCA Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award of $1,000 for her educational work with inner city youth. She organized a youth run Farmer’s Market at Fairview Elementary School.

Lindsay Dodge will be the Zone XII Public Relations Rep for 2006-2008.

The 2006 GCA Annual Meeting was held in Denver. Two of the four co-chairs were from our club, Jane Davis and Sheilagh Hudon. It was a fabulous success with club members participating in many roles. The Zone XII Civic Improvement Award was presented to Joanne Sinclaire in honor of her three years of dedicated service and leadership for the GCA Partnership for Plants Osha research project in Chama, N.M. The club received the GCA Zone Conservation Award, a collaborative project of the Broadmoor GC, Carmel-by-the-sea GC, GC of Denver, Santa Fe GC and Woodside Atherton GC, “In recognition of a significant project in the Rio Grande National Forest to benefit a rare medicinal herb ‘Ligusticum, porteri’, Osha.”

The Garden Club of America presented Sydney Macy the Cynthia Pratt Laughlin Award for outstanding achievement in environmental protection and maintenance of quality of life. The award was presented at the GCA Annual Meeting. The GCA Zone XII Annual Meeting made donations totaling $50,866.84.

2007        In February, GCD held an Auction, “Hidden Talents, Hidden Treasures” in Gates Hall at DBG. We raised $19,800. We pledged $14,000 to DBG Green Roof for plant material. An additional anonymous, unrestricted gift of $3,000 is also pledged to the Green Roof.

The GCA Club Conservation Commendation Acknowledgement for Non-members was awarded to Mr. Mark Fusco in recognition and appreciation of his conservation of alpine flora a creation of high-altitude gardens that enhance the Nature Center at Mt. Goliath.

The Garden Design Committee designed and installed decorations for the 2007 Denver Antique Show, In an English Garden.

The Conservation Committee hosted a “Tea and Toxic Trash” event.

Four Mile Historic Park – The gift tree from GCA, Bur Oak was planted. Angela Overy did the illustration for the memorial plaque. The remaining $6,071 was donated to future maintenance and the Children’s Heritage Garden. Bonnie Grenney organized garden trips to Philadelphia and Charleston.

Establishment of the “Little Bouquet Fund” to enable GCD to send flowers to members and/or a member’s family for any reason.

The GCA Club Conservation Award was presented to Knobby Brown in recognition of her dedication and long-standing commitment to completing the interpretive exhibit at Mt. Goliath which provides conservation education.

2008        Denver Botanic Gardens remained our top priority this year. Mark Fusco installed the xeric plant material funded by GCD for the Green Roof. We also pledged $5,000 to DBG Capital Campaign for the new cutting garden.

The Conservation Committee organized a field trip to the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins.

Courtney Marsters will be the Zone XII Horticulture Committee Representative for 2008-2010.

The GCA Zone XII Conservation Award was presented to Knobby Brown in recognition of her dedication and long-standing commitment to completing the interpretive exhibit at Mt. Goliath, providing conservation education to the public.

The GCA Club Appreciation Award was presented to Bonnie Grenney in recognition of her dedicated and sustained participation in activities within the Garden Club of Denver and other related groups.

Jane Davis and Sheilagh Hudon were both awarded the GCA Club Medal of Merit for having co-chaired the 2006 GCA Annual Meeting.

2009        The Bylaws, Policies and Articles of Incorporation were revised and updated.
The quarterly newsletter was redesigned and sent out electronically and printed for those without email.

Meg Nichols and Ann Crammond designed a very professional website.

The GCA Centennial Tree Project, commemorating the Centennial Anniversary of GCA in 2013, was developed. GCD’s project is 3 Trees and a River. Study of three Colorado native trees and the Platte River will produce a project benefiting Chatfield Arboretum.

Our members raised over $100,000 for naming rights for the new cutting garden at Denver Botanic Gardens to be named Lainie’s Cutting Garden after our own, Lainie Jackson.

Kelly Grummond was presented with a GCA Club Award for his excellence in the field of Horticulture and Garden Design.

2010        Garden Club of Denver website was introduced and utilized by all committees for information to club members.

GCD held a club Flower Show at DBG in September 2009 with GCA judges. A total of $2500 was donated to Denver Botanic Gardens from monies raised at the Flower Show.

Plans for the 2011 Flower Show in June 2011, chaired by Bonnie Grenney and Lindsay Dodge, commenced.

Continued with GCA Centennial Tree Project – 3 Trees and a River at DBG at Chatfield. Planting of cottonwood whips with students of Gilpin School through the Cottonwood Institute, an environmental education program.
Mark your calendar!

Tuesday, April 5
Presidents Council Meeting
1 p.m. Zoom

Wednesday, April 6
"Underwater Floral Design" Video Presentation, 11 a.m., 576 Circle Drive. RSVP required. Contact Nina at nsisk@comcast.net

Tuesday, April 12
GCD General Meeting,
Denver Country Club, 10:45 a.m.
followed by lunch

Thursday, April 14
"Creating an Easter Tablescape" floral design workshop, 11 a.m.
Location TBD

Thursday, April 21
Seed starting Horticulture workshop, 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Saturday, April 23
Earth Day event, Rothmans Children Playground at Speer and Wynkoop, 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 27
Frederick Law Olmsted talk, Chief Hosa Lodge, 4 - 6 p.m.
RSVP required.

April 29 - 30
GCA Annual Meeting
April Program

The GCA recently split Botanic Arts from the Flower Design Division, making it a Division of its own. Although Botanic Arts is not a required Division for GCA Flower Shows, it is worth the efforts to include it in shows. Botanic Arts is fun, creative and interesting.

Dodie Jackson will present a program in Botanic Arts at our April General Meeting. Dodie is a GCA Approved Horticulture Judge and a GCA Approved Botanic Arts Judge.
Capturing Nature’s Beauty
By Suellen White

The 2022 GCA Photography Conference, Imagine the Possibilities! delighted and amazed many of us on March 31st. If you missed it, please go to the GCA website, and click on the photography conference link. The lectures will be there for your enjoyment for a year. You won’t want to miss the beautiful garden, flower, and nature images.

GCA announced its National Medalists and Honorary Members. Two photographers are among the honorees. Honorary Member Carlton Ward Jr., a passionate conservationist and award-winning photographer and filmmaker uses his photos to tell the stories of endangered species and the need for a sustainable environment. Check out his photography. 

The J. Sherwood Chalmers Medal was awarded to Robert Glenn Ketchum. His photography captures not just nature’s beauty, but also addresses critical national environmental issues.

Several members of the GCD Photography Committee joined in the “celebrating Olmsted 200 walk” late March with the Garden History and Design Committee. Thank you, Holley Sanford and Sarah Alijini, for organizing it. Evergreen Lake, still frozen, filled with skating rinks, was the perfect backdrop for experiencing the view corridors north and west envisioned by the Olmsted planners.

We invite anyone and everyone who has walked this past year the Denver Mountain Parks with Kate Fritz, our amazing guide, to identify your favorite photo. A couple weeks before our GCD annual meeting we will collect the photos, print and mount them for an informal exhibit at the meeting. 
Photo: Suellen White
Conservation Updates
by Lisë Woodard

Recording of our conversation with CoPIRG about recycling efforts in Colorado

About a dozen of us joined Danny Katz, Executive Director of CoPIRG, on a Zoom call. He is the co-author of the annual “State of Recycling” report for Colorado. Danny lobbies federal, state and local officials on zero waste and is currently very active in the Producer Responsibility bill being written during this year’s Colorado legislative session. Colorado only recycles 15% of what could be recycled.

Danny spent an hour with us, first giving us a summary of Colorado’s recycling efforts, then answering our many questions about current recycling do’s and don’ts, and finally describing CoPIRG’s efforts in passing the Producer Responsibility bill for Colorado. Oregon and Maine have already passed regulations that make companies responsible for the recycling of their products. It will take several years to implement the infrastructure but the effort is very exciting. A recording of the meeting can be found here. Passcode: Zsn#FJ2f

2022 Earth Day Cleanup event

Last year a group of us meet at the Rothmans Children’s Playground at Speer and Wynkoop to clean the native plant beds. We are back at the playground for this year’s Earth Day on April 23rd. The effort begins at 9:00 a.m. and will last for several hours. Feel free to participate: bring gloves, trowels, and clippers. Last year’s organizers were not gardeners. They only brought shovels.

Digital access to Gardens Illustrated magazine

Gardens Illustrated from England is considered the Vogue magazine for gardeners. The photographs of gardens and articles are such a treat. I recently learned that I can check out digital copies of the magazine through the Denver Public Library. You just install the app called Libby, identify yourself as a cardholder at the Denver Public Library, and search for the magazine. (I also like to read the outrageous World of Interiors magazine, also from England). This month there is an excellent article, titled What Lies Beneath, about how to use compost, which reinforces what we learned in Debbie Davis’ article last month.
GCD Amazing Amaryllis
Bulbs Sale 

Thank you to all who filled out the Survey Monkey poll. Your feedback and input is most appreciated and will help us in planning our next Amaryllis Bulb Sale. 

Rilona is fast becoming one of my favorites. This one currently has two stalks with ten 6” blooms and an overall width of 16”. It was slow to get going but I now know my cold-but-sunniest window sill has kept my bulbs in a slower wake up. But no complaints with constant blooming from four different varieties, the first starting to bloom in November and now this one in March!

With one final bulb to send up its blooms, I’m sure to have flowers thru April...just in time to get thinking about which varieties I want to order when the GCD Amazing Amaryllis Bulb Sale starts near the end of May.
Rilona Amaryllis  Botanical Name: Hippeastrum 'Rilona' photo by Leslie Liedtke
Susan Amaryllis  Botanical Name: Hippeastrum 'Susan' in background, Carmen (Queen of the Night) Amaryllis Botanical Name: Hippeastrum ‘Carmen' in front . Photo by Debbie Davis
One growing tip for next year will be to use a seed starting mat under your potted Amaryllis to help the wake up process on some. These Seed Propagating Seedling Heat Mats are readily available and are already starting to come in stock at Home Depot and most plant nurseries.
How Do We Replace Peat Moss?
by Nancy Schotters

There have been numerous horticulture experts in recent years calling for alternatives to the ever-present and unsustainable peat moss in soil mixes. Recently Margaret Roach, New York Times contributor and horticulture expert teamed up with Dr. Brian Jackson, professor at North Carolina State, to discuss the many environmental challenges to continued use of peat and what we can use instead. 
Ms. Roach likens the experiment to find substitutes as “making your first cake without gluten.” Farming peat not only releases vast amounts of CO2, but also destroys native fauna and flora habitats and alters the ability to absorb flood water in periods of heavy precipitation. The United Kingdom has done more research and preparation for eliminating peat in soilless mixes, but their plan to complete that by 2020 has slipped a few years. Peat bogs in the UK have been farmed more extensively than in Canada, home to 27% of the world’s peat, whose bogs are less than 1% disturbed. Demand has skyrocketed for soilless media with the growth in cannabis production as well as growth of many fruits in controlled environments rather than fields.
So how can we wean ourselves from over dependence on peat in our own gardens? It will be a gradual approach, trying other media like coir, wood fiber/chips, compost, vermiculite, and perlite. Individual peat products are not identical, and the many substitutes are even more varied in their moisture-holding, Ph, and compaction properties. Each of the substrates have their own environmental impacts, but US researchers are looking at wood by-products as the most sustainable source for the future. For now, Dr. Jackson suggests you keep your typical mix for seedlings that are most finicky in how they are sown, and look for mixes that don’t list peat as the first ingredient. You can also extend a mix with screened compost. You can experiment with other mixes for larger pots and note what ingredients perform best. Most importantly, don’t use peat mixes when planting shrubs and trees in the yard. Best practices call for use of existing area soils, amended with compost, so that the roots develop in native soil. For more information, see the NYTimes article and Margaret Roach’s interview with Dr. Jackson. If you enjoy listening to podcasts, Margaret Roach has a weekly episode on a variety of subjects available here.
Floral Design Tips
by Nina Sisk and Cora Wheeler

As the snow begins to melt and the spring blooms begin to show their sweet colors, we become inspired and excited for spring! This April, Floral Design will be offering a few events enthused by spring blooms.

April 6th, 11 a.m. – “Underwater Floral Design” – Garden Club of Honolulu has shared a video with us via Lindsay Dodge. Thank you, Lindsay, for the opportunity! This is an “intimate” workshop as the video only allows access for a small group. There are 6 - 8 spots, no fee, and please rsvp to Nina or Cora.

April 14th, 11am – “Easter Tablescape” – Utilizing assorted bud vases, small blooms and personal touches, we will create a lovely tablescape to be incorporated into your Easter décor. The cost will be $33 for blooms or $43 for blooms plus assorted small bottles. Please rsvp to Nina or Cora. Whether you are hosting an intimate Easter brunch, a family dinner, or even a playful egg hunt, we are excited to put together a class to encourage new design ideas! Decorating for Easter is a perfect opportunity to shake off those last few reminders of winter, welcoming in the beginning of spring. The concept of the tablescape will be to provide spring blooms to be designed in bottle collections. Attendees can then take these home and incorporate their personal collections of bunnies, chinoiserie, patterned napkins, milk glass, dyed eggs, festive plates…really whatever the designers heart desires! Once the holiday has passed, the décor can be refreshed and used through spring.

"Where can we purchase cut flowers?"

Whole Foods was a great source of cut flowers prior to them being acquired by Amazon. Trader Joe's is hit-and-miss, and the wholesalers require a trade license and the quantities are just too large for a single arrangement. We have the perfect solution, and the answer is within our club: Veldkamp's! They have gorgeous product and it is well worth the extra time in the car to get our hands on beautiful flowers, conditioned and ready to go.

Flower Happy Hour is 50% off single stem flowers every afternoon (except holiday weeks) from noon to close 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Happy Hour runs every weekend all day except holiday weekends. If there is a certain color or flower not seen in the cooler, just ask and we can see if we have it in the downstairs cooler. Store hours are Mon-Sat 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Address 9501 West Colfax, Lakewood 80215. (Holiday weeks are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, and Mother's Day.)
Sorry to announce that we have two resignations from two wonderful women.
Heidi Hammell has sent a note addressing her difficult decision to resign. She said “it was a true blessing to have been part of such a special group of women who do so much for DBG and the entire community.” We will miss her and wish her well.

Tish Szurek is headed back to Asheville, NC. Her husband’s company was sold in December and they will be moving back to Asheville full-time this spring. Tish has “loved her time in the Garden Club of Denver and count myself very lucky to have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful women. We wish her well back in NC.

We will miss them both.
Don't forget to follow Garden Club of America
GCD Board and Committees

Executive Committee
President: Meg Nichols
Vice President: Cindy Scott
Corresponding Secretary: Bar Chadwick
Recording Secretary: Alice Hughes
Treasurer: Sally Obregon
Director: Missy Eliot

Committee Chairmen

Admissions & Membership-elected:
Jane Davis & Margaret Garbe

Awards & Founders Fund:
Sally Obregon

Bulletin & Communications:
Sarah Young

Conservation National Affairs and Legislation:
Lisë Woodard & Amy Mower

Denver Botanic Gardens Committees:

Cutting Garden:
Genie Waters & Linda Zinn

Fete Liaisons:
Debbie Davis & Nan Procknow

Flower Arranging:
Debbie Davis

Holiday Décor:
Lisa Duke & Ann Ellis

Directory (Roster):
Amy Slothower & Megan Mahncke

Floral Design:
Nina Sisk & Cora Wheeler

Committee Chairmen (Continued)

2021 GCA Flower Show:
Missy Eliot & Nina Sisk

Fund Development:
Liza Grant

Garden History & Design:
Holley Sanford & Sarah Alijani

Muffie Dahlberg

Leslie Liedtke & Nancy Schotters

Nancy Jones & Martha Veldkamp

Hope Connors

Marianne Sulser & Mary Talbot

Missy Eliot

Suellen White & Deborah Foy

Caroline Rassenfoss & Tish Szurek

Ann Crammond

Visiting Gardens:
Lindsay Dodge

Kathleen Woodberry
& Elizabeth Weigand