'A Way We Grow'
Martha's Vineyard Garden Club
February 2024
From our President...
January was cold and stormy, but hopefully you all were not stuck inside all this time! As I sit here on a chilly late January afternoon, at least the sun is shining and the Vineyard is beautiful. Without the leaves it seems I get more sun than ever onto my desk – hopefully a harbinger of things to come.

The Garden Club, in all its components, has been busy this month. Despite a small outbreak of COVID among the board members, we managed to get our planning meeting in, followed by a well attended and enthusiastic members' meeting. The fact that “Nancy's Challenge” took place that day was exciting, as we all examined the interpretation of the same piece of art by a local artist by several Garden Club members. These were followed by a lively discussion organized by Kathie Skinner, our new program chairperson on our club's history, contributions to the Island Community, Horticulture, Conservation and Preservation. We ended with “our vision for the future.” All wonderful ideas were generated.

Several committees are also hard at work. Blooming Art is starting, if you can believe it. Committee members are busy with the Greenhouse, and the plants are profuse! The 100th Anniversary Committee is meeting to plan special remembrances of our amazing history. The committee for the Old Mill is engaged in raising money for improvements. These are just a few of the committees we have in the club – keep posted here in the newsletter for more activities as they unfold.  -Ty Johnston, President
A BIG Welcome to the NEW (and a few returning members) for 2024! We are thrilled that you have joined the
MV Garden Club in our Centennial Year!

Lynn Bryant Marquedant
Edward Painter
Adrianne Ryan

Kate Burnside
Iris Gold
Terry Goplerud
Sarah Jane Hughes
Lorraine Hughes
Anthony Mignanelli

Oak Bluffs
Ken Arold
Basil Brown
Tracie Clark
Susan Desmaris
Franklin Redd
Sharon Redd

Vineyard Haven
Kathleen Burns
Sara Dario
Jennifer Jordan
Chyrisse McElroy
Mac McElroy

West Tisbury
Nancy Antik
Martha Flanders
Elliott Rebhun
Ellen Weinberg
Our January meeting was quite well attended for a wintertime gathering!
There were twenty-six members who braved the snowy/rainy weather for the Club's first meeting of the year, and Nancy's Challenge (hosted by the Floral Design Committee) added to the feeling of camaraderie in the room. (Some pics to follow below)
New Program Chair, Kathie Skinner facilitated a discussion which focused on the Club's Centennial and the views/questions membership had about what we want to share with our Island Community about the Club, what we want to accomplish and what's to come in 2024. Ty Johnston, our new MVGC President fielded questions with contributions from those involved in the topics that were raised and the information compiled through suggestions and members questions were shared with the Board and Committee heads. Here are a handful of topics that came up at the meeting. Thanks, Kathie for compiling them for us.

How are we celebrating the MV Garden Club's Centennial Year?
Share more about the Club's overall history with the public.
What were our Contributions to Island Conservation, Horticulture and Preservation over the years and what is our Commitment to the Island Community now?
How the Club has contributed to Island beautification regarding Gardens, Beaches, and Public Spaces over the years?
What is the MV Garden Club's vision for the Future?
Below are some pics from the afternoon...(Thanks to Susie Wallo for taking these photos!) In addition to the open forum and informative meeting, we were thrilled to have hosted Heidi Lang, the artist responsible for creating 'Lucy's Tangles'...the art piece that was the muse for the floral interpretation for 'Nancy's January Challenge'! CLICK HERE to go to our website and see our members floral interpretations of the art!
The group discussion is session at the Wakeman Center.
Susan (new membership co-chair) and Trudy Williams greet attendees!
Nancy Cabot greeting artist, Heidi Lang.
Members enjoy time at the meeting with the artist! Thanks, Heidi for attending!
OB VP, Sarah Lolley and VH VP, Gay Smith.
More camaraderie for Nancy Cabot as Past President Susan Hobart smiles for the camera.
Thanks to the Oak Bluffs VP, Sarah Lolley and OB members for providing the refreshments.
Thanks too to these ladies pictured at right for facilitating 'Nancy's Challenge'. Nancy Cabot created the Challenge with her vision...Jayne Isford is heading and brought a Floral Design Committee to life once again for our Club and thanks to Heidi Lang for her inspirational art piece that our floral designers interpreted for this 'Challenge'!
DO visit the Club's Floral Design page to see all the designers interpretations for January and stay tuned for more challenges and Floral Design events to come. CLICK HERE to see the design interpretations created by our members in January!
On the heels of the January meeting, MVGC President Ty Johnston wanted to explain the Club's structure...so here is her message to membership:

Because we have so many new members in the club, maybe there should be a quick explanation about how we are structured. How does this 100% totally volunteer organization run?

At this point in our history, we have a President (Ty Johnston), a Vice-President (Susie Wallo), and a past-President (Susan Hobart). The president is helped by the past-president who is still an active board member. Terms of office are one year for these three “presidents”, so as you can see it's about a three year commitment. We also have a Secretary (Joan Eville), a Treasurer (Kathy Ploss), and a Communications Officer (Donna Arold), who complete the executive board of the club.

The rest of the board is made up of town Vice-Presidents and Committee Chairpersons. The town vice presidents are active by welcoming new members and organizing refreshments for our monthly meetings. Our town vice presidents are: Irene Ziebarth for Chilmark/Aquinnah, Caroline Taylor for Edgartown, Sarah Lolley for Oak Bluffs, Gay Smith for Vineyard Haven, and Sheila Fane for West Tisbury. Along with their duties as town Vps and executive board members, these wonderful women serve on or head up other committees also.

And then there are the committees. The committee chairpeople are: Linda Shaw and Susan Shea for Membership, Kathie Skinner for Programs, Carol Goldstein for Old Mill, Anne Kushwawa for Greenhouse, Joan Cavazutti for Special Projects, Laurisa Rich for Conservation and Jayne Isford for Floral Design. Other committees that exist but are chaired by people already mentioned are: Walkabouts, Blooming Art, 100th Anniversary, Wakeman, Windemere, Scholarships, and Archives.

So as you can see, there is a lot of work to be done! VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED! There is plenty of room for new blood on committees, and helping hands are always needed and welcomed. We especially need help with the Conservation committee, because several events on the island are coming up that the Club is participating in. Come join the fun! -submitted by Ty Johnston, President
Update from Floral Design for 2024!

Your Floral Design team is off to a busy start for 2024! We are excited to offer these programs and workshops for our members.

Nancy’s Challenge
Our first Nancy’s Challenge of 2024 at the January membership meeting was a huge success. Several members participated and submitted beautiful floral
designs interpreting “Lucy’s Tangles” by artist Heidi Lang.
Off island members who submitted a design were Joan Cavazuti, Ally Doriss
and Fawn Hurwitz. Members on the island who brought their designs to the
meeting were Joan Eville,Susan Hobart,Nancy Cabot, Pat Ingalls, Ty Johnston
and Trudy Williams. We thank all of you for your time and talent! There are photos of all the designers arrangements on our Floral Design page on the Club's website. CLICK HERE to see the images! Stay tuned for Nancy’s next challenge in April!

Valentine’s Day Workshop
On Saturday, February 10 th we are delighted to offer our first
Valentine’s Day Workshop at Wakeman. Doors will open at noon for a light
lunch, followed by our workshop led by Nancy Cabot and Wiet Bacheller.
Each of the 14 enthusiastic participants will be provided with a lovely array of
flowers from Morrice Florists. Each participant will leave with a beautiful
arrangement of their own creating and memories from a fun gathering with
their fellow club members!

It’s Never too Soon to Talk about Blooming Art!
Debbie Barrett, Fern Vaughan and Jayne Isford are co-chairing the
Floral Design component of Blooming Art for 2024. This signature
event of our club showcases the creativity, dedication and thoughtful
interpretations of individual artwork by our talented team of floral designers.
We are planning a wide range of workshops and demonstrations for our floral
designers throughout May and early June. If you would like to be a floral
designer for us this year, please contact Debbie Barrett at

We are in the midst of planning several additional Floral Design events for our
members for 2024! Stay tuned. We thank you for your support!
*submitted by Jayne Isford, Floral Design Committee Chair

The Windemere Commitment...
For over thirty years the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club has facilitated a flower arranging workshop for the residents of Windemere Nursing Home. This program was started by Judy Bryant and is now under the guidance of Joan Eville. Joan visits Windemere once a month with Gay Smith. They help the residents make bouquets for their rooms and also for the nurses’ stations. The participants thoroughly enjoy working with the beautiful flowers. It always brings smiles to their faces and brightens their day. As we end the activity, we design together a thank you card for Donaroma Nursery which generously supplies the flowers each month. * Submitted by Joan Eville, Windemere Chairperson
(To learn more about the Club's Windemere commitment, CLICK HERE)
From Anne Kushwaha, Greenhouse Chair and Chair for the Edgartown Garden Stroll, 2024

Garden Stroll 2024:
Plans are underway for next year's Garden Stroll on July 25, 2024. The Chairs are Anne Kushwaha and Deb Daly. Tickets will be picked up at The Carnegie next year so we are looking for houses with pretty gardens in the North Water, Cottage, Morse St neighbourhood.  We are excited to have The Emily Post garden on the tour and the museum is planning to display MV Garden Club 100th Anniversary historical items in their front display cases as well as a simultaneous display on the 100th year of Emily Post.  Also, Cristen Gaell has agreed to do a 100th Anniversary "Gilded Age" floral display at the Carnegie foyer: see photo below.  Much more to come!

Garden Stroll needs:
1. North Edgartown area garden suggestions
2. "Gilded Age" urn for large floral display (like photo or similar)
3. 4x6', 5x7' or 8x10' table top frames for display cases
4. Old gardening books for display shelves

If anyone has ideas or items above to loan for the week of the Stroll, let Anne or Deb know: annekushwaha@gmail.com or deb@thedaleys.org.

(To see pics and learn about the Edgartown Stroll, 2023, CLICK HERE)
Programs, 2024 Update!
The final touches have been put on the Club's Meetings/Programs for 2024!
Check the website and mark your calendar for all planned programs PLUS A BONUS program scheduled in June @Polly Hill AND a change of meeting/program date in April (the fourth Tuesday in April, not the third!) but still to be held at
The Wakeman Center.

Our March Meeting Program topic is 'CSAs and Their Contribution to the Community'

Speaker is Rusty Gordon, the Farm Manager at Ghost Island Farm in West Tisbury

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Refreshments and Social Time begins @ 12:30; the meeting/program begins @ 1:00pm at The Wakeman Center located in Vineyard Haven in their Program Room.
​FREE to MVGC Members / Open to non-members @ $10.00 pp
Vineyard Haven members and VP to provide snacks & refreshments.
Its the MV Garden Club's Centennial Year!
How exciting is that?
Be sure to renew your membership so you don't miss out on any of our
upcoming Garden Club events!

If you are not already a MV Garden Club member, DO consider joining the Club so you can share in all that we have planned!
DON'T MISS the articles below. If they appear chopped off, just follow the instructions in the lower left hand corner of this email and click on the link that says
"View entire message"
Some correspondences the Club has received...

Our website seems to be attracting lots of outside interest. A few of the emails we have received that reference the Club and our newsletter include requests to share the web links listed below through our outreach. While these links won't be housed on our website, we wanted to share them with you here in the newsletter in case you're interested. Its always great to know that our Club and the information we share are of interest to the public.

Here's an excerpt from one email, with suggested link:
From Helen Garraway, Youth Services Librarian and Educator at Fullers Library. "As a youth services librarian and educator, I would just like to say a quick word of thanks! Your Garden Club's resource links list has been a big help to me while I've been running a fun gardening project for a small group of 8-11 year olds over the last few weeks. We were even able to use some of this information for our most recent group project! Thanks so much for sharing! 
I hope you don't mind, one of our youngest, Anna has also asked me if I could share an article that she and her mother found together on home gardening projects, which covers a great breakdown on gardening for kids and families. I've included it below if you'd like to review!
We noticed you don't have this one listed, but Anna was actually the one to bring up that this could be something you might like to include for other young gardening enthusiasts who could also be coming across your information and have an interest in learning more in their downtime, like our group!"

The second email is from 'Consumer Notice' Outreach Coordinator, Jazmin Regist with Consumer Notice Headquarters located in Tampa, Fla. It relates to Round-Up. Here are the links that were shared with us:
About The Old Mill, From Susan Hobart, MVGC Past President

The Old Mill

Many of you may have seen the January 19 article in the Gazette in which I was
club-seeks-new-owner-mill-house-headquarters#comment-513861). The article itself was accurate, although I was shocked by the title. The print version’s title was less compelling but a more accurate reflection of my conversation with Thomas Humphrey, “Garden Club Headquarters Shows Its Age.”

With Carol Goldstein, who manages the operations and budget for the Old Mill, and Kathy Ploss, Treasurer, we are planning improvements to the Old Mill which will make it more comfortable and safer. The project, entitled “Old Mill Safety Improvements” (how catchy!) entails a first phase of adding dehumidifiers, fans, more lower level lighting, and upgrading the electric panel to support them, then rebuilding the stairs to meet the building code. The budget for this work is $80,000.

We applied for Community Preservation grants from five towns, specifically
requesting $10,000 from each. As of January 26, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury have approved our request and the Old Mill Safety Improvements project will be on their town warrants. We have not yet heard from Chilmark and West Tisbury. So please attend your town’s meeting if you are a voter and support this project!

We still need more funding to undertake the full scope of work. You can make a
donation to the Old Mill Fund on our website (marthasvineyardgardenclub.org).

We hope to begin work on the first phase soon. More to follow! -submitted by Susan Hobart
**For MVGC Members, visit the Members Only section of our MVGC website to follow the Old Mill latest news. (Password protected for members only access)
February 3, 9am - 4pm
A Virtual Event

The Connecticut Horticultural Society is thrilled to announce that its 2024 Virtual Symposium on Saturday, February 3, “Gardening Matters: Our Future is Growing, will feature talks by garden experts Fergus Garrett, John Forti, Jared Rosenbaum and Gary Lewis. The day-long symposium runs from 9am-4pm and is designed to inspire, enlighten, and educate novice and expert.

Here are three Tid-Bits of Feel-Good News from our MV Garden Club treasure, Joan Eville!

The MV Garden Club has received a $500.00 donation from James Anthony, president and CEO of the Martha’s Vineyard Bank. The donation is unrestricted so can be used where it is most needed. I have written a thank you note from our club expressing our appreciation for their generosity.
- Submitted by MVGC Secretary, Joan Eville
In honor of its 100th anniversary, the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club made a commitment to donate 100 items to the Island Food Pantry. This goal was surpassed with over 150 items collected. Several checks were also donated. The generous response of our members has been overwhelming.
-This image and information submitted by Joan Eville, Secretary and coordinator of our outreach program to the Island Food Pantry. This photo is of Merrick, the Food Pantry manager and her son Nolan receiving a package which Joan and Al Eville delivered after having received it at their home via mail from a MV Garden Club member.
The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club has received a second thank you note from our scholarship winner from 2023, Sam Gurney. I would like to share his words of appreciation with you.
- Joan Eville, Scholarship Committee
Valentine’s Day Workshop February 10, 2023
...in case you didn't know!

Your Floral Design team is delighted to offer a Valentine's Day Workshop on Saturday, February 10th at Wakeman from noon to 2:30 pm. Doors will open at noon for light snacks with the workshop starting by 1:00 p.m.

What you will be provided at the Workshop:
Nancy Cabot and Wiet Bacheller will provide instruction at the beginning of the workshop and assist participants once you begin your designs as needed.

Each participant will receive:
A lovely selection of flowers and greenery from Morrice Florist. Floral supplies including tape, foam and wire, plus please bring your own supplies! You will provide your own containers.

This workshop will be limited to 14 participants due to workspace required, and payment will be required in advance of the workshop.
The registration will be on a first come first serve basis to those who are the first 14 to register. Priority is given to Garden Club members. Cost is $25.00 per participant.
Contact Jayne Isford at floraldesign@marthasvineyardgardenclub.org to register!
For the Hydrangea Lovers in the Room... (sent from our Hydrangea Guru, Kathie Skinner!)
Cape Cod Hydrangea Society `Save the Dates! Hydrangea University ’24' & The 2024 Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival

Mark your calendar for Hydrangea University which will be held on Monday July 8, 2024, at Heritage Museums and Gardens. This is always a sold-out event.

We are very excited to have a great lineup of speakers for the 2024 Hydrangea University:
●   Sam Hoadley, Mount Cuba, Hockessin, DE, will discuss studies completed and in the works
●   Joan Harrison will be introducing her newly published book Marvelous Mopheads – Hydrangeas for Home & Garden
●    Natalie Carmolli, Media & Public Relations, Proven Winners Color Choice

Would you like to be a part of the team for Hydrangea University? We are looking for a volunteer to fill the Hydrangea University Sponsorship Chair position. Details of the job description can be found on our website:

Please email: Sampsoncm@aol.com to discuss the specific details. We need this person to get started in early February.

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival will be held July 5 – 14, 2024. This is the 10th anniversary of the festival and CCHS is excited to announce that we currently have nine gardens from Woods Hole to Orleans committed to opening to benefit CCHS. We are hoping to add one more garden making 10 gardens for the 10th Anniversary. If you would like to learn more about opening your garden for a day or two to benefit CCHS, please email Linda Coven at: lmcoven@comcast.net
Cathy Sampson, Chair ~ CCHS Hydrangea University
An Unique Horticultural Workshop Opportunity!

Peter Norris, Ph.D. will lead a workshop for a maximum of 5 people [ Donation to the Garden Club of 50$] in a two part workshop at Blueberry Ridge Garden to create an unique rhododendron of their very own - a one-of-a-kind plant that no one else anywhere in the country has!

Here's how it would work.

The group will meet in late May/Early June to discuss the process, view rhododendron hybrids and species in bloom and choose our pairs - seed parent and pollen parent.

I will instruct each member how to perform the pollination, protection and labelling, and supervise them as they make the cross. This is the end of part 1.
The group will reconvene in late summer after the fertilized pods have ripened, and I will guide each participant through the harvesting of the pods and collecting/cleaning the seeds. I will then show how to sow the seeds [all materials provided] and guide each person through sowing their seeds. I can then place the seed containers under lights in my greenhouse or participants can take them home, if they wish, to do likewise. Seeds normally will sprout in 4-6 weeks. I will provide handouts on transplanting seedlings.

This is an unique experience that I doubt you will find anywhere else on the island. Participants can choose from among hundreds of seed/pollen pairs making duplication of their choices, outside of the program, highly unlikely.

Contact: Peter Norris ~ Blueberry Ridge Garden ~ peternorris1@gmail.com
-submitted by Peter Norris
I was SUPER inspired by our October speaker, Kathie Gariepy and her great instruction on how to force bulbs for winter bloom! I guess I did an okay job cause here is what's blooming in my house in late January! What's looking lovely in your home? Do send me some images of what you're growing this time of year...what's working for you and any words of garden wisdom you want to share with our newsletter subscribers!

Send pics and your info to news@marthasvineyardgardenclub.org and I'll add it to the next newsletter! Lets all keep each other inspired with some colorful bloomers through these dingy winter days!
-submitted by Donna Arold, Communications
Thanks to our Conservation Committee
for sending this information!
MV Land Bank Walk at Pennywise Preserve...
Sunday, February 4th, 1pm - Rain or Shine
Join the Land Bank staff on a guided walk at Pennywise Preserve in Edgartown. The preserve consists of 175 acres of frost bottom and scrub oak. The walk will last approximately 2 hours and is a free event.
For more info about the Land Bank Walk,
Call 508-627-7141
Trustee’s of Reservations, Book Club Hike At Menemsha Hills | Saturday, February 10th, 9:30am to 11:00am  “In nature, nothing exists alone,” wrote Rachel Carson. Join us as we celebrate nature and create community in a Rachel Carson Book Club. Each month we will read a different book by Carson, then meet at a Trustees location for a guided hike and book discussion. Facilitated by a former public librarian we will discuss The Sea Around Us, documents the natural creation of the moon, the earth, and the seas. Published in 1951,Check your local library or bookstore for copies of the book club book. About the hike: 3 miles over rocky/sandy dirt, with steep descent to cobblestone beach. Pre-registration and fee required. Questions? Email cdrogin@thetrustees.org.
West Tisbury Public Library | Vineyard Lawns Presentation | Saturday, February 10th, 3:00pm with Sam Look, executive director of the Vineyard Conservation Society. Learn the basics of having a lawn that’s safe for children, pets, and ponds. A Vineyard Lawn uses no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, and only occasional watering if truly necessary. Mixed grass varieties and native plantings are hardier, better adapted to local conditions, and require less time and attention: no need to check product labels and Google for the latest news on potential health effects.

Polly Hill Arboretum -Winter Walk | Saturday February 17, 10-11am | $5; Free for members | Registration is required. Register at

In every season the Arboretum offers something of beauty and interest to visitors. At this time of year plants display unique foliage colors, textures, cones, and berries. Tours will be led by knowledgeable PHA staff members. Please meet at the Visitor Center and call PHA with any questions.
At Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary...
the Full Moon Owl Prowl |
Friday, February 23 at 6 - 7pm. Hoo's out there? Owls silently fly through our Island woods and fields.
Head to Felix Neck for a bright moon stroll to look, listen, and learn about these nocturnal birds.
Members: $15/pp; Nonmembers: $25/pp
There are additional 'Conservation Related' events listed in the Conservation Resources section of our website.
These images show a bit of what the Greenhouse Committee has been working on!