March 2022
Volume 8, Issue 17
2001 This year is our 85th Anniversary! In celebration of Denver Botanic Garden’s 50th Anniversary, $5,000 was given to the Horticulture Department. A donation of $8,000 was given to Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado as the Garden Club of Denver’s donation to the Mt. Goliath Nature Center building. A successful dinner and auction were held in February at the new Gates Hall, Denver Botanic Gardens, chaired by Susan Sheridan and Baba Brooks Owen, raising almost $21,000.

Colorado wildflower gift cards printed from photographs taken by Angela Overy and note cards printed from the Club’s collection of glass slides representing Denver’s historic gardens and Colorado landscapes were produced for sale. Money from the sales benefited community, education and conservation projects.

The GCA Club Medal of Merit was awarded to Mrs. Theodore B. Washburne for her contributions of exceptional merit in the fields of horticulture, conservation and civic achievement.

The GCA Club Conservation Certificate of Acknowledgment to Non-Members was awarded to Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado for their outstanding contributions to the conservation of Colorado’s public lands.

“A World Within the Gates,” a GCA small flower show was held in September at Denver Botanic Gardens as a tribute to the Gardens celebrating its 50th birthday. The flower, horticulture and photography show was presented by the Garden Club of Denver and the Broadmoor Garden Club and was chaired by Sissy Gibson and Marilyn Wilson. Best in show were: Horticulture, Angela Overy; Photography, Angela Overy and Flower Arranging, Susan Sheridan. Almost $12,000 was raised from the show and was designated to the Mt. Goliath Nature Center for educational materials.

2002  “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?” A dinner with a lecture and slide presentation by world renowned wildlife photographers, David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton was held at the Denver Country Club and open to the community. This successful evening was chaired by Susie Sheridan and Carol Tierney. Approximately $8,500 was raised and designated for our garden project at Four Mile Historic Park.

A copy of David Liittschwager and Susan Middleton’s book “Witness: Endangered Species in North America” was purchased for the Denver Botanic Gardens’ library.

The GCA Zone XII Civic Improvement Certificate of Acknowledgment for Non-Members was presented to Carolyn & Don Etter for their vision, dedication, and on-going contributions to preserve and protect the Denver Park System.

The GCA Club Civic Improvement Certificate of Acknowledgment for Non-Members was presented to Denver Urban Gardens for their outstanding contribution to the improvement of Denver’s neighborhoods and communities. Michael Buchenau and Davis Rieseck, Executive Directors accepted the Certificate.

The GCA Club Flower Arrangement Achievement Certificate was presented to Susan Sheridan for her outstanding talents in all areas of flower arranging and for her generosity for sharing her knowledge and expertise with others.

2003  Co-sponsored with other local garden clubs, a lecture, by Lauren Springer, on drought tolerant gardening at the Denver Botanic Gardens was held. A donation of $3000 was made to Plant Asia at the Gardens.

Participated in the GCA Partners for Plants project in New Mexico, mapping and harvesting the medicinal herb, Osha. Project was chaired by Joanne Sinclaire.

The GCA Club Conservation Certificate of Acknowledgement for Non-Members was awarded to Shirley and Kent Johnson for their outstanding contribution in the promotion of education for conservation and the stewardship of natural places.

The GCA Club Medal of Merit was presented to Lainie Jackson. for her personal dedication and ongoing contribution to Denver Botanic Gardens, the Herb Society and the Garden Club of Denver. Lainie was also awarded the prestigious Denver Botanic Gardens’ Pete Peterson Award by DBG recognizing her 43 years of volunteer service.

The Garden Club of Denver gave $2,000 to Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado for the Mt. Goliath Nature Center Building. The Garden Club of Denver made a donation of $18,505 to Denver Botanic Gardens for Mt. Goliath for interpretation, signage and landscaping. This came from previous fund- raisers and the Founders Fund Award. This brings the dollar amount of the Garden Club of Denver’s donations for Mt. Goliath to $43,786.

“The Fine Art of Flower Arranging” by the Garden Club of America was purchased for Denver Botanic Gardens’ library.

2004  A Photography class was added to the June Annual Meeting schedule.

Phase I of initial planting at Four Mile Historic Park was completed. The major funding for the plans and planting was provided by a $25,000 gift by an anonymous member. Courtney Marsters and Peggy Martin were instrumental in implementing the plans.

Panayoti Kelaidis was accepted by GCA as a Member at Large.

A GCA anniversary bowl that belonged to Mrs. Alonzo Lilly was given to the club by her granddaughter.

The Zone XII Civic Improvement Award was presented to Bea Taplin in recognition of her unwavering encouragement and support of Rocky Mountain horticulture and creative improvement of the community through educational and garden projects.

The GCD Club Conservation Award was given to Joanne Sinclaire for her work on Mt. Goliath and the Partners for Plants project on Osha in Chama, NM.

There were three trips planned by members. Bonnie Grenney led a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show and a trip to Aspen. Lynn Blair and Knobby Brown led a trip to Santa Fe.

2005  A Lecture and workshop “Using the Camera as a Garden Tool” was presented by Charles Mann at DBG as a fundraiser. We realized a profit of $1,081. Landscaping in the amount of $14,095.33 was installed at Four Mile Historic Park.

Mary Schaefer chaired the DBG Plant Preview Party for the DBG May Plant Sale. Mary Fowler and Bonnie Grenney chaired the Fete des Fleurs. This was the last year of the Partner’s for Plants Ligusticum porterii (Osha) project at Chama, N.M.

Lead by Barbie Rumsey and Jennifer Mandelson, thirteen ladies and one son went to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument. This completed the study of eight National Parks, which were visited with follow up articles written by our members. We gave $1,000 to DBG to help defray the cost of new boilers.

Angela Overy designed this beautiful scarf (see below) for the 2006 GCA Annual Meeting, in Denver.
Mark your calendar!

Tuesday, March 1
Presidents Council Meeting, 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 3
Olmsted 200 Hike and
Photography Field Shoot
Evergreen Lake 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 8
March General Meeting
10:45 - 12:45

Wednesday, March 9
Conservation Zoom call on the current state of recycling in Colorado. 1 pm

Monday, March 28
Olmsted 200 Hike and
Photography Field Shoot
Lookout Mountain, 10 a.m.

Thursday, March 31
GCA Virtual Photography Conference
Check GCA website for registration info. Open to all members.

Got Photos? Zoom Photography Meeting
Please Save the Date

The Olmsted Hiking series for March will be to Lookout Mountain in Golden on Monday, March 28th at 10 a.m. More details to come!
March Program

The Garden Club of Denver is excited to present Tony Caligiuri as our March 8 speaker. Tony, President and CEO of Colorado Open Lands (COL), leads a team that works to protect and conserve Colorado's most important working landscapes, rivers, and open spaces. His topic will be "Land Stewardship in Colorado." Prior to COL, he was Senior Vice President for Conservation and Education at the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest member-based conservation organization. He previously served for 18 years as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest of Maryland where he worked extensively on public lands policy and water issues. Tony, who grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, is married with 2 children and lives in the Colorado foothills.
Photo Editing Can Be
Fun and Easy 
by Deborah Foy

If you are looking for an easy tool that will help your photos shine and is fun to use, the Adobe Lightroom app for iPhones may be what you need. This free, powerful photo editor and camera app allows you to capture and edit stunning images. In addition, under the “learn” tab, they have seemingly hundreds of short tutorials on everything from how to boost color to repairing over or under exposed images.

The photography committee was fortunate to join a Lightroom workshop with the Piedmont Garden Club. It was led by Pei Ketron, a professional photographer and educator. Pei walked us through the features of Lightroom, provided a wonderful tutorial on how to use it, and offered several helpful “pro” tips. She is a wonderful instructor, we learned a lot and, lucky for us, it was recorded! To view it for the first (or second!) time, download and watch the video here.

Tip: download the Adobe Lightroom mobile app before watching the video so you can follow along with Pei’s instruction. When you open the app for the first time, allow the app to access your camera when prompted. Have fun!
Screenshot of instructional video in Lightroom
Break Free from Plastic
by Amy Mower

In 2018, 292 million tons of waste was generated in the U.S., which equates to 5 pounds of trash per person daily. Only a very small percentage of this is recycled. A legislative priority for NAL this year is supporting Break Free from Plastic Pollution Act of 2021 (S. 984). This bill addresses plastic pollution at its manufacturing source, so that producers are responsible for collecting and managing/recycling/ composting their products after consumer use.

Concurrently, Colorado is introducing a bill to mandate industry-paid recycling or Producer Responsibility (Extended Producer Responsibility). This bill creates an efficient collection system in Colorado for curbside recycling of aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, cardboard and printed paper. By eliminating county trash and recycling programs, there would be a uniform statewide program for recycling, with clear messaging on what can be recycled. All areas of the state would be serviced. The producer would be designing for the post-consumer life of its product and packaging, incentivizing a more sustainable reusable/recyclable/refillable product, thus eliminating much waste in the first place.

Plastic pollution is a GIGANTIC problem. The petroleum industry realizes that the fossil fuel production will be declining so they are ramping up plastic production. Annually this is $400 Billion industry! As Diane Lewis says, “by the year 2050 there will more plastic in the oceans than fish.” GCA’s proxy is to: reduce our waste, reuse items rather than discarding, recycle, and composting.

Please join the Conservation Committee to hear Danny Katz, Executive Director of Copirg, address our group on recycling in Colorado, and the Producer Responsibility Bill that his organization is sponsoring. Copirg was influential in getting the 2021 Plastic Pollution Reduction Act signed by Governor Polis, which bans single use plastic by 2024 in Colorado. We will meet Danny virtually Wednesday March 9 at 1 PM. Please email Amy Mower at if you would like to join the zoom call.
GCD Amazing Amaryllis
Bulbs Sale 

Our first GCD Amaryllis sale was a wonderful success! Thank you to all who ordered. We plan to open the website for orders in May.

For those who ordered last year, a very quick Survey Monkey poll has been sent to you. Please help us prepare for Year Two by giving us your feedback. We appreciate your help and input.

As a little teaser, here are a few pictures the Amazing Amaryllis Bulbs blooming in homes…
Picotee Amaryllis by Leslie Liedtke
Missy E's holiday grouping of Amaryllis: Alfresco (double white) Carmen (deep red) and Picotee (white with red edging). Photo by Leslie Liedtke.
No Dig Gardening
by Deborah Davis

After many years on the waiting list, I was finally offered a plot in a DUG garden. So excited because I now had a wonderfully sunny patch to grow tomatoes, I set out immediately to dig in compost before I planted, and had the most abundant crop the first year of...cosmos, peas, dill, quack grass, morning glories, bindweed, borage, purslane, amaranthus and sunflowers. All the seeds from crops and weeds of previous gardeners and plots around me had been brought to the top by my copious digging and completely took over the vegetables I had hoped to harvest.

Then along came the Pandemic and with it, increased video viewing and discussion groups. GCD elected to watch Kiss The Ground and spent time talking about how our soil could save the planet. We've had speakers in the past who talked about soil health – the importance of microbes in the earth. I've been using mycorrhizae additives and compost for years when I plant trees and shrubs, but never connected my digging action to the real health of my soil. Turning the soil to add things we believe to be beneficial actually kills beneficial bacteria, nematodes, fungi, and protozoa-all required for nutrient cycling.

Time to rethink my gardening: More videos! How can I have a garden without digging? Charles Dowding in England has been doing it for 40 years. According to Dowding, “there's no need to dig before starting, or to incorporate manure or compost. Placing organic material on top is the best way to bring soil alive, because that is how soil organisms work, searching for and eating organic matter at the surface, then digesting and excreting in the soil, building a permanent structure...”

Dr. Elaine Ingham (microbiologist, PhD, CSU) has been studying plant nutrition for that long, too. She has great videos on Soil Science for the Beginner, also on YouTube. She says everything the plant needs is already in the soil. Soil tests are a waste of time and money. What you really need to do is feed your soil organic matter on top, so the organisms below can go to work providing the food.

I started with Dowding's idea of laying down cardboard (tape removed) on top of all the weeds. Finally, a great use for all those Amazon boxes! Overlap the cardboard so there aren't any cracks where sun goes down and weeds come up. The cardboard stops the photosynthesis and kills the weeds, while decomposing, with the help of the organisms below. Paths can be covered, too. Bricks left by the past gardener hold down the cardboard and mark the paths. Then over all this in the bed area, I spread 4-6 inches of ECOGRO compost from Denver's compost program and A-1 Organics. (Compost can be applied directly to lawn to start a bed, too.) Wood chips or compost can go on the paths. Seedlings get planted right in the compost. Done!

Weeds that eventually begin to show are cut off at the base. The first year this means continuous cutting, until the roots become so weak, they stop producing. (Vigorously digging out weeds disturbs the soil. Only dig out tree and shrub main roots with a sharp spade.) It will take a while to snuff out years of seeds, but now the fruits and veggies have a fighting chance.

Next come the flower beds at home. They are going to get a thick layer of compost directly on the soil, around each plant. My fertilizer, superphosphate, rose food money is going into compost for the next few years to see if I can garden without digging!
Small Gardening Advice/
Charles Dowding 2021
Floral Design Tips
by Nina Sisk

Planting season is around the corner. For most, our interest in floral design began with plucking flowers from our gardens and bringing the beauties inside to enjoy. That love of enjoying our harvest pushes us to try new seeds and plantings each year. Here are some of favorites from the Floral Design Committee

As an additional resource: "In Bloom" by Clare Nolan belongs in your library. It is the best in addressing "growing, harvesting, and arranging homegrown flowers all year round."

-- For forcing blooms: forsythia and quince
-- For leaf color and structure to an arrangement: Ninebark, Black lace elderberry, red twig dogwood.
-- For flower head: Panniculata hydrangea (definitely plant "little lime"!)
-- Pfitzer juniper: I know you are thinking 'no way' and that is so 'old school' but consider adding "Old Gold' or 'Gold Coast'. These are both lower growing and have an incredible citron coloring. They both make an amazing addition to your winter pot designs with their great contrast of chartreuse.

-- For Early Spring: We are obsessed with Hellebores, hellebores, hellebores. The harbinger of spring.
-- Every bulb you can think of! Especially Allium and Foxtail Lily. Foxtail lilies may take 5 years to establish but they are worth the wait!
-- Remember daffodils should be conditioned separately as they ooze a noxious substance harmful to other flowers. Once conditioned separately for 12 hours, they may be arranged with other florals. And just one fritillaria stem is worth the wait, exotic in any arrangement.

For Late Spring
-- Peonies in every color and hue. A favorite is a coral peony including 'Coral Charm' and 'Coral Sunset.'
-- Bleeding heart, clematis is a beauty in floral design.

For Summer
-- Sweet Peas (perennial) will reseed every year but don't like to be moved. Sadly, the Perennial variety is mostly without scent.
-- Roses are a staple, every garden deserves at least a few varieties. David Austin roses are a must. For unusual coloring consider 'Distant Drum'.
-- Scabiosa especially 'Giga Silver' and 'Black Knight'.
-- Dianthus and all lilies.
-- Rudbeckia and echinacea.
-- For their leaves in FD: all coral bells, lambs ear and lady's mantle.
-- Ornamental Grasses: Maiden grass such as 'Morning Light', 'Yaku Jima', 'Variegatus'. Additional grasses to consider are Sea Oates, pampus, papyrus, purple fountain. Make certain that the mature size of the grasses you pick fit the area's space available. Grasses have a huge range in width and height.

-- Annual sweetpeas are a weakness of mine. I just can't resist their smell.
-- Dahlias and more dahlias! The possibilities are endless, start your research now. Dahlias have gained such a huge resurgence of popularity that many online growers are sold out in a matter of hours. Many prepackaged tubers are available at your favorite garden centers. 'Cafe au lait' should be on your list.
-- Zinnias are best directly sown as seed. A favorite of our committee is 'Green Envy'. There is a newer variety called 'Zinderella' that we are anxious to trial.
-- Cosmos, the classic white and pink but the smaller Chocolate Cosmos is a must. Both varieties require little care once planted.
-- Wild carrot or daucus carota, a chocolate colored variety much like Queen Anne's lace.
-- For their leaf in FD: dusty miller, any rex begonia and variegated geraniums.
-- Don't forget the vegetables: Dill is a lovely addition, light and airy. Rosemary for the it's fragrance.

The FD committee suggests a mix of shrubbery, perennials, and annuals to satisfy your desires. It is the dream of the perfect garden with endless blooms for cutting that spur us on.
Olmsted’s Impact on Central Florida -
a Visit to Bok Tower Gardens and Mountain Lake
By Sarah Alijani and Liz Walker
Olmsted’s 200th anniversary celebrations are in full bloom all over the country, and we were fortunate enough to be able to visit, appreciate, and enjoy Olmsted’s work at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida last month. The Olmsted legacy at Bok Tower Gardens tells a beautiful story as quoted throughout this article and begins with Edward Bok. Bok selected Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., the nation’s premier landscape architect to bring his vision of a garden sanctuary to fruition. Their partnership built one of America’s finest public gardens. “The high elevation of the land above the central Florida plateau gives great and peculiar distinction to the landscape, both in its present natural state and in its possibilities,” said Olmsted, Jr, in 1914. 

In all of his work and certainly at Bok Tower Gardens, Olmsted found his inspiration in nature. He used low-care native plants that were already part of the landscape’s character as well as using various other plants to enhance the scenery without being distracting. Olmsted studied a site before beginning a design, trying to use what was existing there and enhancing it. He was captivated by the natural scenery of this area in Florida. He traversed swamps, thickets, flooded marshes, and crumbling hillsides in order to see it all and miss nothing. He would climb trees, abandoned water towers, and roofs to obtain a high vantage point. Olmsted used his design principles to subtly move visitors through the landscape without realizing they were being led. At Bok Tower Gardens, the path seems to meander through the brush quietly strolling along with subtle elevation changes and with peek out points along the way, which is a deliberate prologue to the grand reveal - the final view of the singing Bok Tower and its breathtaking overlook. We lucked out with our timing to Bok Tower Gardens on a Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. to hear the Tower chime and see a video of the organist “dancing” along the keys and foot pedals at the organ inside! The music added to the impact of the grand reveal and the sun shone strongly through the weeping elms. A visit never to be forgotten - thank you Bok and Olmsted for making a powerful impact 100 years later!
The "Grand Reveal" captured by Sarah Alijani.
A hidden gem next to the public Bok Tower Gardens is the golf course community of Mountain Lake. Developed in 1914, the first president of the Mountain Lake hired Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to lay out the residential community and grounds, helping to sell the new development to wealthy northerners seeking a respite from winter climates. Olmsted and his brother, John Charles Olmsted, designed the community’s "Colony House," (National Register listed in 1991) as well as many of the residences for members of the community. Evidence of Olmsted’s work remains in the winding streets that incorporate views of orange groves, native pines and additional tropical plantings which include views of the lake, evoking a natural beauty that proved "exceptionally attractive to the seekers of winter homes in Florida." (quote from Olmstead’s letter in The Formative History and Enduring Nature of the Colony, by Andrew C. Mutch, private publication, Mountain Lake Club, 2016).
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GCD Board and Committees

Executive Committee
President: Meg Nichols
Vice President: Cindy Scott
Corresponding Secretary: Bar Chadwick
Recording Secretary: Alice Hughes
Treasurer: Maureen Barker
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