Leapin' Leap Year - All About Lee Garden
February 29th
9:30 am coffee
10:00 presentation
Lapham Center
read more ...
March Meeting & Program
with Page Dickey 
March 2nd
9:30 am coffee
10:00 presentation
New Canaan Nature Center
read more ...
Friendship Through Flowers Ikebana Class
March 10th
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
139 Hoyt Farm Road
read more ...
April Meeting & Program with Quill Teal-Sullivan 
April 6th
9:30 am coffee
10:00 presentation
New Canaan Nature Center
read more ...
Tip Toe Through the Tulips on a Sunday Afternoon
tentative date:
April 24th
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Carol Seldin's home
read more ...
Hanging Basket Workshop
May 11th
9:00 am
Libby Butterworth's house: 453 Carter Street
Open Garden Day at Lee Memorial

May 15th
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Lee Memorial Garden on Chichester Road
Planting Elm
& Pine Street Planters

May 19th
9:00 am
Flower Power 
May 22nd
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Pop Up Park
more info coming
A Letter From Our Presidents

In February, about seventy NCBL members and guests came in out of the rain to enjoy a lovely Victorian Tea at Waveny.  Thank you to Gloria Simon for organizing the beautiful Victorian Tea and to Amy Reid for arranging the program.  Jane Gamber, President of the New Canaan Garden Club and NCBL member, introduced our speaker Laura Case.  Laura gave a wonderful presentation and slide show about the Sun House, her New Canaan home and garden, and detailed its colorful history.  Bianca Romano worked her magic, transforming "ugly" vases into lovely vases filled with Victorian inspired flowers such as lisianthus. Members brought quite an array of delicious food, that was beautifully displayed with two magnificent rose pyramids.  Amy Reid called the Tea "the perfect antidote to a rainy day!"
We will celebrate Leap Year Monday, February 29th with Faith Kerchoff's program "Leapin' Lee Garden - What I Can Learn from Lee Garden."  Lee Garden on Chichester Road is one of New Canaan's best kept secrets with its gorgeous azaleas, rhododendrons and spectacular shade plants.  Faith will present a slide show of Lee Garden as well as live plant samples and will talk about what will work in the shady spots of your own home garden. 
The NCBL is marching forward with many upcoming plans.  Page Dickey, a noted garden designer and author, will speak to the NCBL on Wednesday, March 2nd at the Nature Center.  In her presentation entitled "Some of My Favorite Gardens and Why," she plans to showcase a variety of spectacular private gardens in the U.S. and Europe that appeal to her because of their particularly strong sense of design, atmosphere, or spirit of originality.  She will also share the delights and challenges of creating her garden at her former home, Duck Hill, in North Salem, New York.  Elm Street Books will conduct a signing and sale of the newly released book Outstanding American Gardens:  A Celebration of 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy which Page edited.

On Wednesday, April 20th our own Keith Simpson, Vice President of Civic Beautification, will be roasted at the Gridiron Club's Ladies' Night.  NCBL will have set aside tables for our members who want to join in the fun.   You can sign up at THIS LINK and then let Sara know you're coming in order to save a seat at the NCBL table.
Nothing says spring like tulips.  On Sunday, April 24th from 1 to 4 pm, we have been invited to walk through a private New Canaan Garden planted with thousands of tulips.  For this event, Tip Toe Through the Tulips on a Sunday Afternoon, we are currently looking for volunteers to coordinate helpers, and helpers to take shifts by the patio, pool, walk, refreshments, and to help clean up.  All donations will benefit the NCBL.  Contact Sara or Faith if you'd like to volunteer at this event.

Don't forget to sign up for the Hanging Basket Workshop on Wednesday, May 11th.  It is a great opportunity for new members to come and meet other members and for the rest of us to get better acquainted.  The workshop always generates a feel-good community spirit that will brighten our downtown with about 200 baskets of flowers!  The next week, on Thursday, May 19th, Traveling Trowels under Liz Orteig will plant the eight planters that line Elm and Pine Street.  Join in and make our town beautiful again this spring!
President signature

"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822


snow drops
Snowdrops currently blooming at Lee Memorial Garden. 
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Page Dickey portrait
PageDickey2  We are pleased to present the NCBL


Founder of the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program
"Some of My Favorite Gardens
and Why"

Wednesday, March 2nd
9:30 am coffee
10:00 meeting and program
We are thrilled to present celebrated author, garden designer and lecturer, Page Dickey at our March Program. She currently serves on the Board of the Garden Conservancy and is one of the founders of its wildly popular Open Days Program.   In her presentation entitled "Some of My Favorite Gardens and Why," she will showcase a variety of spectacular private gardens in the U.S. and Europe that appeal to her because of their particularly strong sense of design, atmosphere, or spirit of originality.  She will also share the delights and challenges of creating her own garden, Duck Hill, over a period of thirty-plus years.

Page Dickey Duck Hill Garden
Ms. Dickey's personal garden, Duck Hill. 
 Ms. Dickey has written numerous articles on garden design and has been published in House and Garden, House Beautiful, Horticulture, Elle D├ęcor, Fine Gardening and Garden Design.   She also serves on the boards of Stonecrop and the North Salem Open Land Foundation, a preservation and environmental group in her town of residence.    
Books by Page Dickey will be available for signing and sale.
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LeapinLeeLeapin' Leap Year at Lee Garden
LEAPIN' LEE GARDEN, Feb. 29, 9:30am 
  at Lapham Community Center, Waveny Park, New Canaan

Lee Garden is New Canaan's Best Kept Secret Garden AND it's lovingly maintained by US - the NCBL!   As gardeners,  and nature lovers, this magical woodland garden has much to show and teach us.  Come listen to Faith Kerchoff talk about Lee Garden, what it can teach us, and the magic it holds.

Download a full description of the program HERE:

RSVP to the talk would be appreciated so that there will be enough seating for attendees.  Please contact: or 203-972-0895

Hope to see you there!
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IkebanaFriendship Through Flowers
Thursday, March 10th
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
139 Hoyt  Farm Road

A theme of Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging is "Friendship through flowers."  This also applies to the NCBL! Our members have the opportunity to learn Ikebana in a private class with Judith Hata, master teacher of the Sogetsu School.  Mrs. Hata holds numerous awards and is a nationally recognized artist.  She has taught, exhibited and demonstrated Ikebana throughout the U.S. and abroad for over 50 years. 

In this introductory session, students will learn about line, mass, dimension, and asymmetry design principles and practice the techniques in creating this art.  You will make two arrangements during the class.  You may bring pin holder "frogs" from home (kenzen in Japanese) and shallow (3"), straight-sided containers (a quiche dish can work) if you wish, or Mrs. Hata has materials you may borrow during the class.  Come build "friendships through flowers" with Ikebana.

Equipment needed for class: Ikebana scissors, "kenzan" pin holders/aka "frogs", and containers.  Equipment is available for purchase or to borrow during class and then you can improvise with what you have at home to recreate your arrangements.
Cost: $50.  Includes instruction and flower materials for two arrangements and use of equipment to borrow during class.
Max participants: 6
Optional: Bring a brown bag lunch.  Tea/coffee provided.
If you are interested or have questions, please contact Peggy Dannemann, or 203-966-7575 by March 7th.

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Let's make TULIP DAY a special day to share
with plant lovers.

We are looking for help in any of the following ways:

  • An overall chairperson to make sure things run smoothly.
  • Contact police about parking requirements for the day.

  • Fill in and work a shift or two in this glorious garden:
  • First shift: 12:30 - 2:00 pm - about 5 people needed
  • Second Shift: 2:00 - 4:00 pm - about 5 people needed
  • Refreshments needed for back patio.
  • Sit at entrance, collect donations: first shift / second shift.
This is a one-day event and a great way to get involved!
Contact Sara or Faith to volunteer!

tulip border cropped  
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trowel horizontal

It will soon be time to begin thinking about spring ... and traffic triangles.  All triangles will be receiving a fresh layer of mulch in April and May.  Please let us know if you have noticed any damage to your triangle over the winter so we can schedule repairs.  Last season, some of you requested help with pruning, adding plant material or a hand with weeding.  Tracy and I are always available to help.  Below is a list of caregivers. 

Please notice underlined areas indicating that a volunteer is needed to share that triangle.  Contact Kathy or Tracy if you are interested! 
The success of our recent Annual Appeal is certainly an indication that our residents appreciate all NCBL's efforts to keep New Canaan beautiful.  And the number of people who stop to say thank you while we are working on our triangles is most gratifying.
Thanks for your continued care and hard work, Ladies and Gentlemen!
Kathy and Tracy
Triangles and Their Guardians
Buttery Road & Carter St _______________
Canoe Hill Road & Laurel Rd:  Linda Foscato
Center School Bell:  Susan Weatherly, Betsy Bilus, Yvonne Hunkler
Country Club Rd & Smith Ridge:  Carolin Buttrick
Gerdes Road & South Ave:  Joan Hayenga, Jayne Meythaler
God's Acre:  Tracy Phillps
Huckleberry Rd & Valley Rd:  Nell Smith
Lambert & Oenoke:  Kathy Lapolla
Little Brook Rd & Silvermine Rd:  Lisa Ferrante _________________
N. Wilton & N. Bald Hill Rd:  Anka Jones
Oenoke Ridge & Lukes Woods Rd:  Tracy Phillips
Oenoke Ridge & West Rd:  Claude & Angela Colabella
Old Norwalk Rd & Marvin Ridge:  Karen Hanson _________________
Parade Hill & Rte 123:  Shirley Stancik & Val Monaghan
Ponus & Cascade Rd:  Carol Seldin
Ponus & Greenly Rd:  Margie & Rob Fryer
Ponus & Davenport Ridge:  Steve Orteig
Post Office drop area:  Traveling Trowels
Rosebrook & Brushy Ridge:  Peggy Dannemann
Route 123 & Carter St:  Faith Kerchoff & Bianca Romano
Route 123 & Rt 106 (East Ave):  Eva Wingate
Seminary & Park St:  Liz Orteig
So Bald Hill & No Wilton Rd:  Linda DeMayo and daughter
Talmadge Hill & Lapham Rd:  Marianne Zarnick
Train Station:  Traveling Trowels
Vine Cottage/Town Hall wall:  Traveling Trowels
Weed St & West Rd:  Becky Barlow & Val Monaghan
Weed St & Old Stamford Rd:  Effie Trahanas
White Oak Shade & Brookside:  Dave & Sara Hunt
White Oak shade & Nursery Rd:  Kathy Demarco
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Victorian Tea Memories header

Thanks to everyone who made the beautiful and delicious food for our Victorian Tea.  Also, I want to give my appreciation to all the members who helped with the set-up and clean-up.  But a special "shout-out" to Barbara Mechanic,  Eva Wingate, Yvonne Hunkeler, Sharon Johnson and Eileen Boehme whose help on the day of the Tea made it look "so effortless."

Gloria Simon,
    Chair of the Victorian Tea
To see photos from the Victorian Tea
click HERE .

Victorian Tea1
Victorian Tea2  
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Special thanks to those who brought guests to our Victorian Tea!  It is always fun to see new faces.  If you have a neighbor or friend who might be interested in joining, please contact one of us and we will invite them to the March meeting.

Becky Barlow, Valerie Monaghan and Susan Smith

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Annual Appeal with gloves
"Many hands make light work!"

Thanks to everyone who helped write and stuff envelopes for our appeal this year!  A special thank you to those who took extra bags and those who volunteered to write personal notes for the first class mailing.  Let's hope we raise enough funds to keep New Canaan beautiful!  That's our goal after all!
Karen Hanson     203-966-5140
Angie Brenninkmeyer  203-972-0722
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Lee Garden Photo Cards
New Canaan Beautification League CARDS!
Calling all photographers and nature lovers with cameras!  Submit your favorite plant and nature photos taken in New Canaan, for our next batch of note cards!

Submit photos via email to Betsy Sammarco at
They will be placed in a Flickr gallery for all to view.

Submit by Wednesday, March 30th, 2016.
Ten different photos will be selected
by Betsy, Yvonne Hunkeler, and Kathy Lapolla.
Open to members and non-members.
Photographer's name will be printed on the back of the card.

Our cards will be sold at the Open Garden at Lee Memorial Garden on Sunday, May 15th, and at the Flower Power event in town on Sunday, May 22nd.
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Mark Your Calendars For Our April Program
Wednesday, April 6th
9:30 am coffee | 10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center 

Quill Teal-Sullivan
"The Legacy of Historic Meadowburn Farm"

Quill Teal-Sullivan

While we wait for April to come around, you can read a bit about Quill on this post from the blog 
This is sure to be an inspirational program!
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witch hazel
Witch hazel blooming at Lee Memorial Garden this January.
My heart found its home long ago
in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder
of the flowering earth.

Lady Bird Johnson