June 2020 Newsletter

Volunteers Making New Canaan Beautiful

Presidents' Letter
Dear Members,

This is our last letter to you as co-presidents for the last three years, but we are not disappearing. Thank you all for your ongoing support and dedication, which makes NCBL so outstanding. 

We are turning over the gavel to the new Co-Presidents, Carol Seldin and Karen Hanson, and both have a lot of board experience. We are looking forward to working with them and all the new board members (hopefully in person).

We want to thank the following board members who are retiring (for now) – Gerda Smith, Michele Sloan, Betsy Bilus, Karen Mactas, Judy Bentley, and Liz Orteig.  Many thanks for all your contributions.  In turn, we welcome the following new board members -- Nancy Jordan, Greg Brown, Laura Ault, Eniko Szatai, Fanny Moran, Kirsten Gregorio, Aoife Maynard and Richard Duffee.

Sara Hunt, Libby Butterworth, Margit Mills, and Rose Bauersfeld continue to increase our membership. New Members--we want to meet you in person so please join us in any of our projects that appeal to you. We're happy to provide a buddy!

In the meantime we are as busy as ever! Our good deeds and efforts are paying off. The hanging baskets arrived at a very fortunate time as the town started to reopen. So many people have extolled on their appearance and expressed gratitude to us. Thank you Bianca Romano. The maildrop area on Pine Street looks astounding and has been receiving many compliments. Lee Garden is gorgeous this year and has been well attended with visitors of all ages. Photos of its blooming varieties have been circulating. Thank you to each volunteer for your efforts and hard work. Our newest project at the Mead Park bridge and patio on Richmond Hill Road is now underway. Faith Kerchoff and Rob Carpenter have added this to their accomplishments, so please contact them to offer assistance.

The new and old board members will be meeting June 17th on Zoom, and are in the process of relaying information and updates with one another. The board has approved NCBL opening our own Zoom account, and Patricia Spugani has graciously offered to supervise this initiative. 

Our projects are all on track despite these difficult times and our Annual Appeal continues to bear fruit with donations. Thank you to all on the Annual Appeal Committee and of course, to our donors--members, residents, former residents, and businesses for contributing.

Have a glorious, weed-free summer!

Barbara and Karen
Planning for Programs During a Pandemic
Programs for 2020-2021 will most likely be virtual as long as social distancing is the norm. Programs Committee will put together an interesting series of programs on a variety of horticultural and environmental topics for your enjoyment and participation. Faith Kerchoff is already working on a wonderful presentation about the Beautification League and our many exciting projects.  If you haven’t used Zoom yet, you might want to take some time to become familiar with this software, which enables large group communication. Adaptability and creative thinking are skills that come in handy for gardeners and NCBL!

New Canaan Library has a YouTube video that explains Zoom and how to both schedule and watch a meeting. You can view the video here. The video is only 5 minutes long and an explanation of how to join a Zoom meeting occurs around the 3 minute mark.
Keep in Touch with Members Over the Summer
38 members have joined so far!

Do you miss meeting with our NCBL members? We have a solution! Thanks to an idea from Kathy Lapolla and the work of Lisa Ferrante bringing it to life, we now have a Facebook Group where you can chat and post photos. Just click on the link below to navigate to the group and click on the "join" button! After being approved, you will be able to join in on the conversations!
Meet Our New Board!
Our new board has been elected! Congratulations to all who will be serving NCBL during the 2020-2021 year. Thank you members, for your support and votes.
Many thanks to our Nominating Committee: Sara Hunt (chairperson), Libby Butterworth, Jill Ernst, Karen Hanson, and Faith Kerchoff.

Thank you all for working hard to bring us a Board that will serve NCBL and New Canaan well!
Membership renewals and dues are due June 30th !

Anyone who has joined since January 2020
does not have to pay dues for the coming year, 2020 – 2021.

Please send in your membership form with your check for dues to  NCBL Membership, PO Box 1244, New Canaan, CT 06840.

To download the membership form, click  HERE .
Please tell us if you know of any NCBL member who is ill or has lost a loved one.  
Membership (usually Libby) will send them a card from the NCBL.
Libby Butterworth
(203-801-0862) ( eabutter@gmail.com )
NCBL Banner
Please welcome our newest members!

Mary Beirne Rewcastle
Susan Sweitzer
Liz Widas
Flower Pots for Waveny Care
potted yellow flower
potted red flower
potted yellow flower
Individual members of New Canaan Beautification League made donations of flowering pots to Waveny Care Center.  Since the coronavirus, NCBL and other organizations can no longer make flower arrangements for Waveny Care Center. Waveny Care Center asked NCBL if they would donate pots of flowers for the outside patios of the residents to help put a little color in their lives.

If you would like to donate a flowering pot, just leave the flowering pot outside the front entrance with a tag or note denoting the name of the flower/flowers, shade or sun needed, your name and NCBL.  Let Kathy Lapolla know that you have donated a pot of flowers to Waveny Care Center for NCBL .
Standing outside the front entrance of Waveny Care Center are Mary Beirne Rewcastle, Libby Butterworth and Sara Eleanor Rewcastle.
Thank you to our 2019-2020 volunteers, who provided beautiful flower arrangements for the Waveny dining room and lobby throughout the year, until we had to stop due to virus health concerns and regulations:
Peggy Dannemann, Jill Ernst, Jessica Havens, Joan Hayenga, Diane Johnson, Faith Kerchoff, Liz Kunz, Liz Orteig, Bianca Romano, Betsy Sammarco, Eniko Szatai, Anne Tropeano, and Eva Wingate.
Waveny Care sampling
A small sampling of arrangements made for Waveny Care by our volunteers this year.
Revisit the Heirloom Table
The Heirloom Table at our Midwinter Tea in February was a hit! By request, we are providing the Heirloom Table booklet containing the descriptions of the members' settings, along with photos for our members to read. You can access this booklet by clicking the button below. Thank you Michele Sloan for providing most of the photos used in this document.
Karen Bussolini in March
Can you believe it was March when we last gathered together for a program meeting? On March 4, we had Karen Bussolini speak on "Jazzing Up the Garden With Color, Contrast, and Movement".

Karen was trained as a painter, became a photographer, and uses her artistic and technical talents in the gardening world.
Karen Bussolini presentation
Karen showed us how to create interesting gardens by repeating plants, repeating colors, using contrasting textures and forms, and using plants that appear to be moving.
Karen Bussolini and Board
Above: Karen Bussolini, Carol Seldin, Gerda Smith, and Karen Sneirson.
March Flowers
Above: Jacqueline Harmody arranged and brought in flowers that epitomized a "jazzy" bouquet using much of the principals Karen talked about!
Karen is a wonderful, thoughtful garden writer. You can find her last newsletter at this link: May Eco Friendly News

Visit Karen's website for gardening information and to read more on her style of landscaping:
Hanging Baskets
Thank you Bianca Romano, for working with a new vendor, and organizing this year's delightful baskets. NCBL ordered 200 baskets for sunny exposure and for the first time, 20 shade tolerant baskets were ordered for the areas in town that don't get as much sun.
The above baskets for sun contain four different types of Petunia: Supertunia Hot Pink Charm, Supertunia Indigo Charm, Supertunia Silverberry, and Superfinia Patio Yellow.
The 20 shade baskets contain: Impatiens 'New Guinea Dark Pink', Begonia 'Babywing Pink', Lysimachia, Torenia 'Summerwave Blue', Impatiens 'Rockapolka Appleblossom'.
Lee Garden
What a beautiful peak bloom it was at Lee Garden this year! Perhaps it was the cool spring, as many commented that this year was particularly lovely. This letter, by a visitor to the garden in May, describes Lee Garden's beauty well:

Hi Karen and Faith,

After visiting Lee Garden yesterday with my 100 year-old mother and my husband, I just wanted to write and tell you both what a delight it was to be transported into azalea heaven! Thank you to all in the Beautification League who work so hard to make this gem sparkle so beautifully. We loved every minute of our magical tour, as we marveled at the many charming ground covers, as well as hellebores, columbines, rhodys and the mighty trees. One lady, with two other friends, was leaning over the ferns, and she exclaimed, "Oh, do you remember the little girl in Charlotte’s Web was named Fern?!” I just loved hearing that and that others were enjoying the beauty and splendor and thinking of books at the same time. 

Thank you for enhancing every little turn in each trail and for keeping the garden in such wonderful condition.

Caroline Garrity

Faith Kerchoff took this photo when our main path (Wood Road) was covered in pink azaleas.
The photo above was taken by Bruce Van Vleet from his drone! Thank you Bruce for giving us a unique perspective on our piece of paradise. You can see more photos, including more drone photos on our Flickr album by clicking this button:
The new Laurel Road triangle was designed by member, Triangle chair, and landscape architect Barbara Wilson. Planted in concert with our Public Works crew, it contains Cornus Kousa , American Holly 'Miss Helen', Viburnam 'Compactum', Ilex 'Compacta', Deutzia 'Duncan', Amsonia , Liriope , Sedum 'Autumn Joy',  Phlox 'Chattahoochee', Asclepias tuberosa , and Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'. Echinacea and Japanese sedge grass will be placed soon.
The triangle at Routes 123 and 106 was replanted using a design and plan by member Jessica Havens. This is sure to be a welcome sight on this well traveled road.
The White Oak Shade and Nursery Road triangle was stunning in May with its bright red azalea:
Nursery and White Oak Shade triangle
photo: Peter Hanson
Civic Beautification
Spring 2020 Projects

Our Civic Beautification crew and NCBL volunteers were very busy this spring planning and safely planting many areas in town.
Town Hall Containers

Plants for the town hall containers replaced the spring bulbs, and were chosen for a colorful display.
Working on the planters left to right: Richard Duffee, Yvonne Hunkeler, Rob Carpenter, Kathy Lapolla, and Faith Kerchoff.
New Mead Park Patio

The new Mead Park patio on Richmond Hill Road was planted in May. A selection of native and pollinator friendly plants were planted along the patio edges.
Helping to plant the new patio are left to right: Rob Carpenter, Faith Kerchoff, Yvonne Hunkeler, Fanny Moran, Eniko Szatai, Jill Ernst, Greg Brown and Richard Duffee. Not pictured were Lois Himes and Judy Johnson, Robin Bates Mason, and Sandy Siegel who took the photo.
Thanks also to the town crew: Mose, Tony, Luke and Doug who prepped the area by removing stumps, weeds, and adding New Canaan compost. They also mulched the area when planting was done.
The plants used in this project include: a river birch, moonshine yarrow, swamp azalea, white coneflower, shamrock inkberry, catmint, Rhodedendron, Deutzia 'Pride of Rochester', black-eyed Susan, variegated Liriope, Ilex, switchgrass, prairie grass, Monarda, and Montauk daisies.
Gold Star Walk

New trees and new tree markers were funded by NCBL and placed at the Gold Star Walk this year. The Gold Star bridge was also newly planted.
Mailbox Dropoff Area

Have you seen the mailbox dropoff area this year? It's stunning! As this is a fairly new garden, there is a bit more weeding to do until the plants mature and take over. Want to help? Weeding sessions will take place on Friday's from 9am to 11am through much of the summer. Contact our Civic Beautification chairs if you have any questions or want to know if a weeding session is taking place. This is a great opportunity to help keep this popular and beautiful garden looking its best.
Above photos: Yvonne Hunkeler
Above photo: Faith Kerchoff
Thank You

I'd like to thank those who helped me with the newsletter this year. Thank you Michele Sloan and Peter Hanson for providing such wonderful photos to work with. Thanks to the hundreds of photos and submissions from members and committee chairs. Thank you Sara Hunt, for proofreading those months when I just couldn't get it done!

Betsy Sammarco
Lost and Found
This rake was found at the mailbox dropoff area in May. An email was sent to the volunteers that worked there recently, but an owner has not yet been found. Is this yours?

Email or call Betsy Sammarco if this is your rake and she will drop it off at your house.
Lost rake
Essays from Joan Sargent
We are providing links for the final four of Joan's essays. Many thanks go to Faith Kerchoff who found and formatted the essays, and enhanced them with photographs. The collection of Joan's essays are an NCBL treasure and we are very happy to have them documented for future generations.

All of Joan's essays can be found at the below link.
Our NCBL Newsletter is used to distribute information regarding NCBL activities and announcements that pertain directly to our stated mission. The newsletter shall not be used for political issues, or for the promotion of merchandise or services unless such merchandise or services are part of a joint venture with NCBL.