Volunteers Making New Canaan Beautiful

Annual Meeting
Landscaping for Birds, Bees, & Other Critters with Patrick Comins, Executive Director of the CT Audubon Society
June 6, 2018
9:30 am - 11:30 am
NC Nature Center
NCBL @ Farmers Market
June 9, 2018
Autumn Luncheon
All the Presidents'
Gardens with Marta McDowell
October 4, 2018
Dear Members,

All 224 hanging baskets are up, the Town Hall planters have been planted under Ty Tan's guidance, our triangles are looking good and Lee Garden is at its spring best - our members have been busy!

On May 18 a large group of our members gathered at the barn in Irwin Park to assemble our hanging baskets under the guidance of Eileen Boehme and Ann Brookshire.   Many hands made light work, and the project was finished in less than two hours.  Public Works had them all hung by the end of the day.  Great team work!

Our rescheduled annual Victorian Tea occurred during "royal" week -- if only we had known.  Many thanks to 'true to form' Gloria Simon, who organized a spectacular banquet with many members attending and providing all the delicious goodies.

Thanks to Robin Bates-Mason our appearance in the Memorial Day Parade was a big hit.  The spectators should remember us after seeing the flowered rake brigade.  Hopefully this is the first of many parades!

On Wednesday, June 6 we will hold our annual meeting, where we vote on the slate for next year's executive board and enjoy a program by Patrick Comins, Executive Director of the CT Audubon Society.  He will talk about "Landscaping For Birds, Bees and Other Critters."  We hope you plan to attend.
Our volunteers will be busy this summer taking care of our triangles, Lee Garden and small projects around town.  Please contact Kathy Lapolla or Brian Hollstein to help with a triangle and Liz Orteig if you are interested in being a member of Traveling Trowels.  Faith Kerchoff, Kathy Lapolla and Yvonne Hunkler welcome help in Lee Garden.

Have a wonderful summer.
Barbara and Karen
Patrick Comins
June Annual Meeting
and Members' Program

June 6, 2018
9:30 am coffee
10:00 meeting & program
New Canaan Nature Center
Patrick Comins with Owl

Landscaping for Birds, Bees & Other Critters
with Patrick Comins
Executive Director of CT Audubon Society

Patrick will speak to us at our Annual Meeting on June 6 at 10 am on improving your backyard habitat for birds and other wildlife.  Patrick has two decades of experience in habitat restoration and design of habitats with birds and pollinators in mind.  Adding native plants to your landscape design can bring your yard to life with colorful native birds, butterflies and other wildlife.   Many of our butterflies, moths and other insects have adapted to specific native plants for larval food and nectar sources.  Including native shrubs, trees and other plants in your yard can attract the beneficial insects and serve to provide seeds and fruit that our birds have become accustomed to seeking out throughout their annual life cycles.  Native plants in your yard can make even the most suburban of neighborhoods a much more friendly place for nesting and migrating birds alike. 

Certain trees, such as flowering dogwood, time their production of fruit to when bird species such as Scarlet Tanager and Wood Thrush are passing through in migration.  Their bright red berries catch the bird's eye and provide the fat and other nutrients need for their long migratory journeys.   Others, including American holly and winterberry, produce berries that are less palatable and linger through the winter to provide food in late winter when other food sources are lean.  

Come learn how native trees, shrubs and other plants can help bring your yard to life!
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Announcing our Slate for the NCBL Executive Board!

We will be voting on the nominated slate for the executive board at our June Annual Meeting.

Please download and read the nominations HERE.

Thank you to our Nominating Committee: Sara Hunt, Libby Butterworth, Jill Ernst, Faith Kerchoff, Robin Bates-Mason, and Eva Wingate.
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Renew Your Membership Quick and Easy!

We are making our membership renewal easier this year!  Simply download the membership form below and mail it, along with your check, to Sara Hunt, 152 Butler Lane, New Canaan, 06840.  You may also bring the form and check to our June program!

Let us know of any additions or corrections you may have to your contact information.   Members who have joined since January 1, 2018 do not need to pay dues again until spring 2019.

If you have any questions about membership or know someone who might like to receive Beautification League information, please contact us.

Your membership chairs,
Sara Hunt, skhminky@optonline.net or 203-966-3313
Libby Butterworth, eabutter@gmail.com or 203-801-0862
Joan Hayenga, joanhayenga@gmail.com or 203-722-7137
Margit Mills, margitmills@gmail.com or 312-925-3861
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Welcome Our Newest Members!
NCBL Banner

Juliet Howe
Sally Kaltman
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Farmers Market Help Needed Saturday, June 9
Farmers Market Graphic

NCBL will be at the Farmers Market on Saturday, June 9.  If you are interested in helping staff our table, please contact Robin Bates-Mason at rbatesmason@gmail.com.

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NCBL Hats for Sale

We are selling NCBL hats!  They are $22.00 each and are available with blue or green embroidery.

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Marta McDowell
Coming This Fall!

We know that our members were very disappointed when our March meeting and program had to be canceled this year.   With three Nor'easters in as many weeks, many activities just could not happen.

Programs is pleased to announce that Marta McDowell, author of All the Presidents' Gardens, will be our featured luncheon speaker for the Autumn Luncheon on Thursday, October 4 at Woodway Country Club.

Mark your calendars now and we will look forward to seeing you there!  Please note that we needed to schedule this for a Thursday this year.

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Annual Appeal is Looking Ahead for Volunteers
post vintage mail
Annual Appeal is recruiting volunteers to help with addressing envelopes next fall.  If you already volunteer, thank you, no need to contact me.  We are looking to recruit another 20+ volunteers.  The more volunteers, the less work for all.  We honestly couldn't do it without you.

Email me at rbauersfeld@yahoo.com.

Rose Bauersfeld

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Waveny Care Center Arranging

Thank you to the following members for volunteering to make the flower arrangements for the Waveny Care Center dining hall in June. This certainly brightens the residents' days!

June 4:  Betsy Sammarco
June 11: Liz Orteig
June 18: Betsy Bilus
June 25: Faith Kerchoff

Thank you Bianca Romano for organizing this activity throughout the year!

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Our May Program with Nancy King

Our May program started out with a wonderful coffee, thanks to our Hospitality chairs Barbara Dennis, Jill Ernst, and Barbara Mechanic.  Thank you to all who baked for the coffee.  Bianca Romano created a wonderful centerpiece using blooming rhododendron branches and scattered blooms across the table.

May coffee

Landscape architect Nancy King gave a lecture in great detail on how to go about redesigning your landscape either by yourself or with the help of a landscape design company.  

She explained the importance of planting in layers to give an aesthetically pleasing landscape and one in that wildlife would flourish.

Nancy gave us a list of some of her favorite references which we are sharing here:

Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West
The American Woodland Garden by Rick Darke
The New England Gardener's Book of Lists by Karan Davis Cutler
Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs by Michael A. Dirr

These are some of her favorite websites she uses as references:

Missouri Botanical Garden: www.Missouribotanicalgarden.org
New England Wetland Plants: www.newp.com
Prairie Moon Nursery: www.prairiemoon.com
Ernst Seeds: www.ernstseed.com
Natureworks: www.naturework.com

We thank our program chairs Jolley Frank, Carol Seldin, and Gerda Smith for this wonderful program.

Jolley Frank and Nancy King
Jolley Frank and speaker, Nancy King.

Read more about Nancy King and her landscape design firm, 
Seventy Acres HERE.

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After the Program ... Carol Seldin's Garden

Carol Seldin sent out an impromptu invitation to her garden, Dogwood Hill, following the May program.  It was a beautiful day, and despite some recent storm damage, the garden looked lovely!

Visitors at Carol's Garden
Visitors to Carol's garden started at the top of the hill.

Carol pink tulips
A grouping of pink tulips.

Carol garden
Tulips with beautiful centers.

Carol Seldin pastel tulips with white birch
Pastel tulips flanked by white birch were a lovely pair.

Carol and Margie Fryer
Carol and Margie Fryer

To see more photos from Carol's garden that day, see our
Flickr album HERE.

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Train Station Magnolia

Early spring, our Traveling Trowels crew did a train station clean up.  It's just what the area needed in order for the gorgeous yellow magnolia that grows there to shine.

Train Station yellow magnolia

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Post Office Drop Off Area Planted & Quince Siting

In early May, Rob Carpenter, Faith Kerchoff, and Kathy Lapolla, planted the Post Office drop off area with mixed zinnias and dahlias.  Annuals were chosen because the town is going to put new granite curbs in that area which will make the driveway look much better.  Other plantings are on hold until this work is done.

Did you know there is a quince growing in this area?  It's on the north side of the driveway.  Faith Kerchoff was able to get this photo and capture its beautiful color.


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Victorian Tea Header

The following note is from our Hospitality Special Events Chair, Gloria Simon: 

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the Victorian Tea such a wonderful event.

First, to my amazing set-up team:  Barbara Mechanic, Barbara Dennis, Jill Ernst, Kathy DeMarco, Barbara Beall, Ann McCulloch and Cindy Bamatter.  Sadly, those who helped with the clean-up are just too numerous to mention (and I don't want to forget anyone); you pitched in without being asked and made quick work of it.  That's the NCBL spirit!

To veteran flower arranger Shirley Stancik (who created the gorgeous centerpiece on the buffet table) and the talented ladies who graced our tables with their extraordinary centerpieces:  Bianca Romano, Barbara Mechanic, Barbara Dennis, Liz Orteig, Kathy Lapolla, Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, and Betsy Sammarco.

An event like the Tea can only be successful with the loving hands of our members.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  
-- Gloria Simon

A wonderful time it was!  The event was postponed due to bad weather in February and it just so happened to take place just days before the "Royal Wedding".

Shirley Stancik's buffet table centerpiece was built around a beautiful copper tea service.  The varying colors of pink in the flowers was stunning against the copper.

Shirley Stancik 

The centerpieces on the dining tables were made by eight different NCBL members.  They were arranged in teapots, but that's where the similarity ended as each was unique in style, color, and flower choice:

And let's not forget about the food!  Not only was each dish delicious, each was beautifully presented too!

Deviled eggs

tea sandwiches with lilac


Our Presidents, Barbara and Karen, encouraged us to join the "Rake Brigade" on Memorial Day.

Karen and Barbara
Karen Sneirson on left and Barbara Beall on right holding their decorated rakes.

It was great talking with friends, meeting new people, and 
 being together.

Joan and
Joan Hayenga and Kathy DeMarco
Victorian Tea
Guest Farideh Coady and Barbara Mechanic

Victorian Tea
Sharon Johnson, guest Joanne Santulli, and chairperson Gloria Simon

Victorian Tea
Liz Orteig, Meryl Vallar, and guest Barbara Johansen

buffet line
Waveny Dining Hall

To see more photos from the Victorian Tea, click on our Flickr album HERE.

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Hanging Baskets and Planters

A note from Hanging Basket Chairs Eileen Boehme and Ann Brookshire:

We would like to thank everyone who assisted with the Hanging Baskets and Planters workshop. We assembled 224 baskets and planted 4 large and 2 small planters. Thanks to each of you for making it a fun and productive event.

Many commented that the Petunia and Calibrachoa mix in the baskets is a lovely new color scheme for us.

Hanging Basket Colors
Member Lisa Ferrente commented that the colors remind her of sorbet!

Sharon Johnson and Angie Brenninkmeyer.
Kare n Sneirson, Anka Jones, Eileen Boehme's grandson, and Norma von Jena

Due to an inclement weather forecast we changed our venue to the Irwin Park barn.  Many park visitors stopped by to thank us.

Working at Irwin
Assembling the baskets at the Irwin Park barn.

row of baskets
As the morning went on, the row of assembled baskets grew.  

Later that same day, four large planters were planted on Elm Street and two small planters were planted in front of the Mobil Station flanking our new bench.  The large planters already had a tree hydrangea which was underplanted with a mix of Petunia, C alibrachoa, ivy, potato vine, and Begonia.

Ann and Eileen at Mobil Bench
Ann Brookshire and Eileen Boehme stand behind our new bench and planters.

G erda Smith, Betsy Sammarco, and Betsy Bilus at one of the Elm Street Planters.

Many residents stopped to thank us both at Irwin Park and on Elm Street for the work we do.  A note of thanks was sent by a resident for fixing up the area in front of the Mobil station as it has been an eyesore for some time.

Many thanks to our Hanging Baskets Chairs, Eileen Boehme and Ann Brookshire for a successful Hanging Baskets and Planters event!

It's been nearly two weeks since assembling and planting.  Here's how the baskets and planters are looking now:

hanging baskets 2018
large planters 2018

To see more photos from Hanging Baskets and Planters day, see our Flickr album HERE.

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Town Hall Plantings

Landscape designer and NCBL member Ty Tan has selected  "Tropical Color" as the planting scheme for the Town Hall planters this year!  Rob Carpenter, Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, and Kathy Lapolla planted one day in May and helped Ty bring her vision to life.

There are fragrant selections as well as eye catching textures and colors to enjoy for the summer.  The following plants were used:
pineapple mint, Lantana 'Pink Caprice', Coleus 'Red Kong' and 'Big Blonde', Fuchsia 'Blacky' and 'Winston Chruchill', variegated oregano, Sutera cordata / bacopa 'Snowstorm Blue', Diascia 'Piccadilly Dark Orange', Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost", snapdragon 'Red Rocket', and in the center, a dappled willow shrub  Salix 'Hakure Nishiki.

Town Hall 2018
Kathy Lapolla, Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, and Ty Tan next to a large planter at Town Hall entrance.  Not pictured, Rob Carpenter, as he was the photographer!

The front facade of Town Hall has four rectangular planters that received similar plantings.

Town Hall 2018

Here's how the planters look now.  As you can see, the plants are full of "Tropical Color" and doing beautifully:

Town Hall new planters
The large round planters already have a lot of color.

Town Hall old planters
The planters by the front entrance are filling in.

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The Memorial Day Parade

NCBL was present and accounted for this Memorial Day.  We marched in the parade for the first time!  Many thanks to Robin Bates-Mason for brainstorming the idea and getting us organized.  A big thanks to her husband Carl, for driving his truck, decorated with flowers, for us as we  joined other organizations in town remembering those who died for our country.

Here are just a few of the many photos from that morning.

Memorial Day parade
Memorial Day parade
Memorial Day parade
Memorial Day parade
Lisa Ferrente parade

You can find many more photos in our Flickr album HERE.
Azalea Festival Recap, the Bridge, the Shed, and More

Although the weather was a bit threatening, the clouds parted and rain stopped from noon to almost 4 pm during the Azalea Festival.  There was a steady stream of visitors Friday through Sunday.

Kathy Lapolla Lee Garden
Kathy Lapolla relaxes before the next group of visitors arrive.

Many asked if the garden was in peak bloom and it was hard to tell.  The difficult temperatures of this spring confused even the plants!  Some azaleas were blooming only sparsely, but the Exbury azaleas in their hot colors of red, orange, and yellow had their best bloom in years.

yellow azalea
Lee Garden
The paths were lined with color.

It's not just azaleas blooming during the Azalea Festival.

The mayapple's flower is found underneath the large palm-like leaves.

Yvonne Hunkeler spotted this surprise visitor that day.

Baby snapper
A baby snapper crawling in high ground near the entrance bench.

The Lee Garden crew has been busy adding plant material from the gardens of Ann Gillerlain and a friend of Joan Sargent's, Lois Himes from Westport.  

Ann Gillerlain's Bridge is now properly dedicated and a statue from her garden lies close by.  Ann  transitioned the garden from George Lee to the NCBL many years ago.  Her years of caring for the garden are obvious.  Last December we were allowed to dig up plants from her yard and we transplanted four azaleas, many perennials, and some statuary from her garden.

Ann Gillerlain's dedication
Ann's Bridge now has its sign.

Ann Gillerlain's statue
This is one of the statues from Ann's garden and lies near her bridge.

What's blooming now?  The garden is ever changing, and ever growing.  Here are a couple of plants in bloom this past week.

An azalea that boasts three colors on one flower.

From this view, you can see four colors of rhododendron.

A beautiful pink columbine.

The new shed is coming along quickly and beautifully.  Take a peek at the transformation from house to shed that occurred this winter into spring.

Lee House transformation
The Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens

Bartlett Arboretum logo

Many garden related programs are scheduled for the summer.
Click HERE to see the offerings.

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The Garden Conservancy Open Days Program

GardenConservancy Logo

There are many local area gardens open for viewing through 
The Garden Conservancy Open Days Program.
Click HERE for more information.

"It is the month of June,
The month of leaves and roses,
When pleasant sights salute the eyes
And pleasant scents the noses."
-  Nathaniel Parker Willis,  The Month of June