November Meeting & Program:
The Inspired Landscape with Susan Cohen
November 2, 2016
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center
Flower Arranging 101 Workshop
November 8, 2016
10:00 - noon
Waveny House
Annual Holiday Wreaths and Greens Workshop
December 1, 2016
8:30 am - noon
NC Nature Center
Meeting & Program:
Waveny Park Conservancy: For New Canaan Forever
January 4, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center

A Letter From Our Presidents

What a challenging and crazy fall it has been.  It is surprising how good New Canaan looks despite the lack of rain.  The hanging baskets (all 207) were taken down October 11 and none too soon with the area ban on watering.   We don't like to wish for rain and snow, but we need it.

The Welcome Back Luncheon and Program Heaven is a Garden with author Jan Johnsen was a resounding success!  Jan was a terrific speaker with great analytical command of her subject.  Her slides were lovely, and she gave a new perspective on gardens.  Her approach was inspiring and totally engaged the audience.  Jan generously donated a copy of her book Heaven is a Garden to our lending library.

Thanks to Gloria Simon for arranging Woodway to have the black-out curtains made, and for organizing and selecting the delicious food for our luncheon.   Thank you also to Karen Mactas and Gloria for coordinating the reservations. We had about 78 people attend.

Our next program, The Inspired Garden by author Susan Cohen, is on Wednesday, November 2 at the Nature Center.   Susan is an award-winning landscape architect, teacher, and author who will feature the creative work of 21 landscape architects from around the world, highlighting their creativity and tracing it through the stunning landscapes they have created. The Inspired Garden won't be televised so this is your only chance to see this program.   Thank you to our wonderful program team of Margit Mills, Carol Seldin, and Gerda Smith for bringing us such excellent programs.  A special thank you to Lisa Ferrante, Betsy Sammarco, and Carol Seldin for their help with publicity.

Flower Arranging 101 is being offered again on November 8.   Some people may call it Election Day, but we'll just call it Flower Arranging 101 Day!   It was so popular and so much fun last year that we convinced Susan Bergen and Shirley Stancik to lead it again.  It will help give you the floral tips and confidence to make your own flower arrangements for your home or to make arrangements for Waveny Care Center. Give yourself something to look forward to and sign up for Flower Arranging 101!
Angie Brenninkmeyer and Karen Hanson reported that last year's Annual Appeal had raised $50,300, an eight percent increase from the previous year.  Bravo!

We now have a membership of 149!  Terrific work by our membership team - Becky Barlow, Valerie Monaghan, and Susan Smith.  Hope you all have received your wonderful new directory that Valerie meticulously created.  Faith Kerchoff has designed a green and white NCBL car magnet with our emblem as a gift for every member.  They will be available at the November 2 meeting.  Wear it proudly on your car!

We have a lot to be thankful for, including any rain we get.  Let's all concentrate on the positives in our lives and be grateful for the bounty of nature that surrounds us.

Sara and Faith signature  
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Susan Cohen
SusanCohenFinding Design:
Landscape Architects and the Creative Process

November 2, 2016
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am presentation
NC Nature Center

Our November program features acclaimed Greenwich-based landscape architect, Susan Cohen.  Susan is known for her award-winning simple and elegant designs in harmony with the character of each landscaped site.  She  will present how some of the world's most successful landscape architects find inspiration for their designs in art, nature, culture, myth and personal history.

In addition to her private practice, Susan has taught courses in the MLA program of the City College of New York and at the New York Botanical Garden, where she is the coordinator of the Landscape Design Program.  She is also the founding coordinator of NYBG's celebrated Landscape Design Portfolio Lecture Series.  A graduate of Smith College, she earned her landscape architecture degree from CCNY.  She is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Susan Cohen book

Susan will sign copies of her book The Inspired Landscape (Timber Press), which features the work of twenty-one leading landscape architects from around the world and traces each project from the initial spark of creativity through its stunning completion.

We hope to see you there!

You can download a program flier HERE.
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Shirley and Susan
Susan and Shirley from last year's workshop.
November 8, 2016
10 am - noon
Waveny House

Forget about politics for a couple of hours this day and join NCBL members  Susan Bergen  and  Shirley Stancik  for another hands-on workshop to create your own flower arrangement.
Our first class was so well received that we had to do it again! Come and learn the basics of floral design.  Get tips on where to buy flowers and floral supplies, and how to precondition your blossoms.  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 November 4 to Shirley Stancik: or 203-966-5377 
Hurry, as space is limited !

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Welcome New Member!

NCBL Banner

Join us in giving a big hello to our newest member!

Robin Bates-Mason 

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Wreaths and Greens Workshop
8:30 am
Thursday,  December 1, 2016
New Canaan Nature Center

Come and join us on Thursday, December 1, at 8:30 am at the NC Nature Center to make the wreaths that decorate many of our public buildings in town.  We will be working in partnership with the Garden Club, an annual tradition and great opportunity to mingle with our friends in New Canaan's other garden group.  No experience is necessary as we will show you what to do.  It involves attaching fresh cut greenery to wooden frames with staples. Bring hand pruners if you have them. 

Please let Liz Orteig know if you will be coming!

Liz Orteig

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Waveny Care Center
Flower Arranging
New Dates Available!

This is a wonderful opportunity to brighten the day for Waveny Care residents.  Do it alone or with a friend.  You are asked to make nine arrangements for the dining room tables and once signed up, the instructions and the reimbursement form will be sent to you.  This is a rewarding experience, and you will be using the floral room at the center to create your arrangements.

We need volunteers for the following blank dates in November and December:

November   7
November 14 : Joan Hayenga and Eva Wingate
November 21
November 28
December   5 : Karen Mactas and Robin Miner
December 12 : Cindy Bamatter and Betsy Sammarco

Call or email Bianca Romano if you have questions or want to volunteer for any of these open dates.

You can read our Flower Arranging at Waveny Care Center guidelines by clicking  HERE.

ball jar arrangement ball jar arrangement ball jar arrangement

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Lee Garden   

A lot of clean up, weed pulling, pruning, stick gathering, and plant moving has been happening at our favorite peaceful place.  Come for a visit!  If you'd like to help out in this beautiful woodland, give one of our chairs a call or email.  There are all sorts of jobs (large and small) to be done.  This garden can teach you so much about native plants and gardening in our area.  And, as we often say ... "Lee Garden grows on you!"

Autumn is a wonderful time to see berries forming in the garden.  Currently showing off its pretty red berries is the common winterberry in the wetland by the bridge.  This shrub becomes even more striking when the leaves fall, as the berries remain on the branches through most of the winter.  The berries provide food for birds, but is poisonous to humans.
Winterberry Lee Garden
Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)

Another plant noted for its berries, and found at Lee Garden, is white baneberry.  This native plant is inconspicuous in spring or summer when its airy white flowers are in bloom.  In the fall, its berries ripen from green to white with a black dot in the center, giving it its common name "doll's eyes".  These berries are also eaten by birds, but are poisonous to humans.

Doll's Eyes Lee Garden
Actaea pachypoda (white baneberry or doll's eyes)

Lee Garden chairs:  Yvonne Hunkeler , Faith Kerchoff , Kathy Lapolla

Photo Album of October Luncheon

We had about 80 members to our luncheon this year.  The food was wonderful and Jan Johnsen was so informative.  Thanks to Michele Sloan we have some wonderful photos of our Autumn Luncheon.

 Click the image below to see our Flickr Scrapbook!


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We've been reading and hearing in the news and hearing from Aquarion Water Company that we are in very serious drought conditions in New Canaan.  You can read Aquarion's statements and reports on the issue HERE.

We have collected our own hints on water conservation.  Here's what we've come up with:

  • Collect rain water in buckets and use the water for your indoor or outdoor plants.
  • When showering, turn the water off while you soap up.
  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
  • Many newer dishwashers do not require pre-rinsing.
  • Fix leaky faucets.

Aquarion ducks


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 .

Basic Pruning : Saturday, November 12, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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

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