Victorian Tea
February 1, 2017
11:30 - 2:00 pm
Waveny House
Meeting & Program:
The Native Landscape with Doug Tallamy
(joint meeting with NCGC)
March 8, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Library Lamb Room
Flower Arranging 101
March 30, 2017
10:00 am - noon
Waveny House Dining Room
Meeting & Program:
America's Most Spectacular Garden in the 1920's with Stephen Byrns
April 5, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center
A Letter From Our Presidents

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017.

This December downtown New Canaan dazzled us with its lights and holiday greens. It gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling to see the wreaths, planters and the bandstand decorated by our members.   Sharon Johnson and Liz Orteig organized the Holiday Greens and Wreaths Workshop, Eva Wingate and Joan Hayenga provided coffee and goodies, and Public Works and the Mill River Tree Service brought a terrific variety of greens.  Everything went very well, and it was fun to work with the Garden Club once again.   Bianca Romano and her volunteers brightened the holiday spirts of Waveny Care residents with lovely centerpieces.  We received excellent publicity for our endeavors, thanks to the New Canaan Advertiser, the New Canaanite, and Lisa Ferrante and Betsy Sammarco.

Keith Simpson, a Landscape architect and Waveny Park Conservancy and NCBL Board member, was our speaker on January 4 at the Nature Center. In his talk "Waveny Park Conservancy: For New Canaan Forever," Keith traced the history of the Waveny gardens from Frederick Law Olmstead Jr. to the present and outlined the impressive plans for its future restoration by the Waveny Park Conservancy.  All in attendance were amazed at his wealth of knowledge of the history of our town.

Our January meeting is also the official kickoff of our Annual Appeal.   At the January 4 program, Annual Appeal Chairmen Peggy Jay and Judy Johnson handed out bags of Annual Appeal letters and envelopes to take home to address and stuff.  This past year under Angie Brenninkmeyer and Karen Hanson, we raised over $57,000.

We thank all our members who have helped in the past year, whether it is decorating wreaths, making floral arrangements, roping the bandstand, addressing envelopes, weeding or baking.  It takes many different skills to successfully run the NCBL.

It will soon be time for our Nominating Committee to fill positions for next year.   Start thinking about what you might like to do or if you would like to recommend the talents of a fellow member.  If you get a call from the Nominating Committee, please say "yes."

We look forward to meeting the challenges and joys a new year brings. 

Sara and Faith signature

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Victorian Tea Save the Date

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Annual Appeal 2017

We are encouraging everyone to address envelopes again this January.  Many of our members picked up "appeal bags" at our January 4 NCBL Program.   If you did not pick up a bag and would like to help with our Annual Appeal, please contact Peggy Jay or Judy Johnson.

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".

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car magnets
We have car magnets available for every member ... get yours and proudly display your NCBL membership!   The magnets were handed out at our programs.   If you did not receive yours, contact Faith or Sara.
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Shirley and Susan
Susan and Shirley from last year's workshop.
March 30, 2017
10 am - noon
Waveny House Dining Room

Our first class was so well received that we had to do it again!  Join  Susan Bergen  and  Shirley Stancik  as they teach our members the basic steps to creating splendid floral arrangements for all occasions.   
Please bring your own clippers and a selection of flowers you wish to use.   Glass vases and additional flowers and fillers will also be provided.

Please R.S.V.P. by March 27  to:
Susan Bergen  fab16snb@gmail.com  to attend.  
This is a member only event.
Hurry, as space is limited !

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A Wealth of Knowledge Spread at our January Program

January 2017 program

Waveny Park Conservancy: 
For New Canaan Forever
with Keith Simpson
Those in attendance at our January program were wowed by Keith Simpson's knowledge of the history of New England and our town.

Did you know that high ground in New Canaan was used to watch and monitor ships running up and down Long Island Sound around the time of the Revolutionary War?

Did you know that in the 1800's horse manure was brought in from New York to help fertilize our fields?

Did you know that construction of the Merritt Parkway took thirty acres away from Waveny Park?

Keith Simpson presentation

WPC and NCBL board member and landscape architect Keith Simpson offered these, and many other nuggets of information at our January program.  In fact, there was so much information about our town's history that we were very lucky to have Keith's presentation taped by NCTV 79!  We will share the link for the taped video as soon as it becomes available.  In the meantime, you can read this great summary of the program from Kim Devine of the New Canaanite  HERE.   You can view more photos from Michele Sloan at our flickr album HERE.

Waveny Park Conservancy logo

Click or tap the logo above to visit the Waveny Park Conservancy website.


Wreaths and Greens Workshop

Tradition lived on again this year, as the NCBL worked with the NC Garden Club to create wreaths to decorate our town.   The two groups  decorated seven large wooden frames with the greenery provided by members and by the Public Works Department.  Members attached bows to thirty two regular sized wreaths.  Four of these wreaths adorn the new Post Office building on Locust Avenue.  One extra large wreath adorns the new Town Hall entrance, six large size wreaths are on the Nature Center, Police Station, old Town Hall entrance, the Library, and railroad station.

You can read the New Canaanite article of this long tradition HERE.

Greens Workshop 2016
Libby Butterworth, Bianca Romano, Maryjane Markey, and Georgene Frantz are framed by a gorgeous wreath while Liz Orteig looks on.  
 Photo credit: Michael Dinan

Greens Workshop 2016
Faith Kerchoff, Maryjane Markey, Sara Hunt, Liz Orteig, Jane Gamber, and Sharon Johnson

New NCBL member Jill Ernst.

See more photos from that day in our Flickr photo album  HERE.


After the Holiday Greens Workshop, our NCBL decorated the planters in front of the new and old Town Hall entrances, the trees flanking the Town Hall doorway, the planters by Mrs. Greens, the pocket park near the railroad terminus and the bandstand at God's Acre.

Decorating the Bandstand

On December 20, the eve of the winter solstice ... four hardy NCBL volunteers met to decorate the bandstand with roping and bows. The temperature said 32 degrees, but numb fingers inside gloves said it felt more like 13!  Sharon Johnson and Liz Orteig, Holiday Greens chairs, were joined by Libby Butterworth and Faith Kerchoff.   They set a wonderful stage for caroling. 

Bandstand 2016
Sharon, Liz, and Libby (missing from photo: Faith)

Town Hall Planters

Extra greens and miscellaneous holiday embellishments were place in the Town Hall planters by Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, Kathy Lapolla, and Bianca Romano.

The Advertiser ran an article and photo of Faith creating the planters on the Town Hall steps.  You can see the photo and article HERE.

Town Hall planter
One of the planters outside the new Town Hall entrance.

Town Hall planter
One of the planters outside the old Town Hall entrance.

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Waveny Flower Arranging December 2016
New members Robin Miner and Nancy Jordan in the "flower room" at Waveny Care Center.
Waveny Care Center Flower

NCBL created many dining room arrangements this fall and winter for the Waveny Care Center.  Our next opportunity to help out in this area will be in June.  Sign ups will come around again this spring.

Waveny Flower Arranging December 2016 Waveny Flower Arranging December 2016
The Christmas arrangements above were created by Robin, Nancy, and Karen Mactas.

waveny flower arranging 2016
waveny flower arranging 2016
These sweet arrangements adorned the tables one week in December and were made by Cindy Bamatter and Betsy Sammarco. 
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Safe Cracking Caper

The following true story was written by Sara Hunt:

Safe Cracking, it's safe cracking time
You take Melissa and I will take Dave
And we'll crack that safe all night long
Shall we go to Mexico or shall we go to Rome
Dreams abound of the places we will go
And of all the loot we will find!
Lee House sits on a hill overlooking Lee Garden.  Few know that there is a built-in safe inconspicuously lodged in the staircase wall between the garage and first floor.  No one knows what's in it, and no one has the combination.  If we could only get in, what treasures may abound in that safe!  Peggy Dannemann hopes that here will be enough money to redo the driveway.  Faith Kerchoff hopes that there will be some rare gardening books.  Sara Hunt thinks a trip to sunny Spain might be very nice.

Enter Anton, young, energetic, and a friend of Sara's.  Sara claims he is a locksmith by trade.  Anton and his wife Melissa appear for the job; he is wearing a black knit hat pulled low on his head, burglar style, and sporting a couple days' worth of beard.  He does have the proper safe cracking tools, even a crowbar.  He beams when he hears that he does not have to worry about keeping the safe intact as the house is being demolished.  He brandishes his crowbar. 

At the house, Dave Hunt leads Anton to the safe, and they are so eager to get cracking that they leave the basement door shut behind them, thus leaving Sara and Melissa behind in the garage.  They start attacking the safe, and Sara and Melissa start banging on the door, begging to be let in.  Is this a sign of how things are going to happen, are Sara and Melissa to be cut out of a possible fortune?

Sara gives Melissa a house tour while Anton and Dave keep cracking.  Finally, there is a eureka moment. The tumbler falls off. 

Now it is up to you to solve the mystery of what they find in the safe.

a.     Gold bouillon

b.     Al Capone's underwear

c.     Two 1939 gardening catalogues

d.    George and Olive's love letters tied up in a faded red ribbon with a little gold heart

e.     None of the above

Anton and Dave claim that answer "e" is the correct answer - that nothing was found.  However, we are carefully monitoring their bank accounts for any increased income and making sure they are not taking any exotic trips.
Safe Cracking Caper
The Lee House safe needed cracking.

Safe Cracking Caper
Anton works hard on the tumbler.

Safe Cracking Caper
After much work, the tumbler falls off!

Lee House empty safe
The empty safe is revealed.


"Regular folks have made a difference" 

NCBL members are regular folks who want to make a difference. There is a chance for "regular folks" to help save some open space land right here in New Canaan, 6.3 acres in the Silvermine area. The Silvermine Fowler property is adjacent to the 41 acre Hicks Meadow-Kelley Uplands Preserve already owned by the New Canaan Land Trust, that would extend the wildlife corridor. Opportunities to save open space don't usually get a second chance. Thanks to people with vision in New Canaan, we have Waveny Park, The Bristow Bird Sanctuary, Irwin Park and many more.  Let our town officials know that you think this is important for our town to help.

faith and sara signature

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NYBG Classes at the Nature Center


The New York Botanical Garden is holding classes at the New Canaan Nature Center!  How convenient it is to get top notch training from some of the best instructors in the country right in our own backyard!

Upcoming classes are listed below.  To read the class descriptions and to register, click  HERE .

Perennial Plant Combinations : Thursday, February 2, 10:30 am - 3:00 pm

Landscape Design : Thursday, March 9, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm