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
more info coming soon
Annual Holiday Wreaths and Greens Workshop
December 1, 2016
more info coming soon
Meeting & Program:
Waveny park Conservancy: For New Canaan Forever
January 4, 2017
9:30 am coffee
10:00 am program
New Canaan Nature Center

watermelon cucumbers
watermelon cucumber from Tina Duncan's garden
A Letter From Our Presidents

Most folks probably think that gardens only get tended when they are blooming. 

But most folks would be wrong.                                      
Shannon Wiersbitzky                          

The colors of fall are an amazement and inspiration for us all. It is a perfect time to take a walk in your garden and look back at the past season.   Planning the garden is more important than tending the blooms.  The blooms are the reward for good planning. Take some notes for yourself.  How did certain plants do?   With increasing dryness, some plants fold up their tents and disappear or turn black.  Perhaps that is not a suitable spot for this plant.  Some gardeners place markers in the ground with messages like MOVE, DIVIDE, REMOVE.   It is also time to think about where you may want to add some bulbs for spring.  If you took pictures of the spring flowers this year, these pictures can remind you where they were planted.

If you are lucky enough to care for a triangle in town, you may want to make the same notes for them.   Let Kathy and Tracy know if you want bulbs this year to plant.  The triangles are already getting some mum plants.  You are always rewarded with a shout out of thanks from a passerby as you tend your triangle.  You feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you see your work enjoyed by many.  We do have a couple of triangles that need caregivers.   Both Old Norwalk Road /Nursery Road, and Little Brook/ Silvermine Road could use a second caregiver.

Getting involved in NCBL is easy.  You can start by responding to a Traveling Trowels call for helpers or attend any of our garden walks.   It's a good way to get to enjoy our activities and get better acquainted with your fellow NCBL members. Last month we took a trip to Tina Duncan's home in Wilton and enjoyed a wonderful meadow walk.   Her enchanting meadow was designed by Larry Weaner who spoke to us last year. Tina Duncan showed us a tiny watermelon cucumber plant she had planted.   These one-inch cucumbers were so cute, fresh and delicious!  Three days later we took a day trip to Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, New Jersey which is a beautiful farm filled with dahlias and delightful walks.  We were greeted by Quill Teal-Sullivan who presented a program on Meadowburn Farm last year.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Rotary Club's Lobsterfest. NCBL received over $800 this year for all the tickets NCBL sold ($15 for every ticket we sold).
Betsy Bilus, Ann Brookshire, and Yvonne Hunkeler created lovely mum centerpieces for the outdoor tables, and Faith Kerchoff baked desserts, created graphics, and sold many tickets for the Lobsterfest.  The lobster, chicken, and corn were outstanding.  If you missed it, you missed out on some really good food and great company.  You get to see lots of NCBL members as well as everyone else you know.

Whatever the seeds of our discontent, frustration or troubles, our gardens have always been a source of comfort and refuge for many of us - our little heaven on earth.  On October 5 at our annual luncheon, we were treated to a wonderful program, Heaven is a Garden with Jan Johnsen.  This was a wonderful respite and discussion of how our gardens uplift us.  

This newsletter is chock full of activities ... if something interests you, join in.  May we get some much needed rains in October and November.  Enjoy the season full of apples, pumpkins, mums, hay rides and fall walks.

faith and sara 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!
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Town Hall Decorated for Fall

The Town Hall planters have been decorated for fall with mums (from the Lobsterfest), grasses, cabbages, and celosia argentea (plumed cockscomb), and gourds.  Don't forget to take a look as you travel through town.
Town Hall Fall 2016
Bianca Romano, Tracy Phillips, Faith Kerchoff, and Kathy Lapolla pose next to one of the planters.

town hall planter fall 2016

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Waveny Care Center
Flower Arranging

This is a wonderful opportunity to brighten the day or 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 dates in November and December:

November 7
November 14
November 21
November 28
December 5
December 12

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.

   Waveny Judy Gilroy  
Recent Waveny arrangements by Agneta Aspinwall and Anka Jones (left) 
 and Judy Gilroy (right).

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Quite a Trifecta!

Master Gardeners Meadow Walk

We happened to have a trifecta at our Meadow Walk field trip in September.  Three NCBL members were on the field trip that are also Master Gardeners.  Pictured above are Master Gardeners Betsy Bilus, Bianca Romano, and Carol Seldin.  

If you are interested in the Master Gardener program or want to learn more, click the Master Gardener icon below.

Master Gardener Program
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Lee Garden     

Surprises can be found at Lee Garden, even in the fall.   Autumn crocus was spotted in the pachysandra by the Lee House and bird nests, previously hidden by foliage are now exposed.

Come by for a walk and see the autumn surprises for yourself.

If you want to help at the garden, here's what can be done this fall:
  • pick up fallen branches and branch piles that pruners have left and bring them to the brush pile in the parking lot.
  • pick out fall leaves that get stuck in azaleas.  This is best done with garden gloves.
  • cut away the English ivy at the base of azalea plants, to give them breathing room, then add some of the mulch from our pile in the parking lot.
  • and take some time to listen to the birds.  You'll hear some new sounds from migrating birds in the area.           
autumn crocus lee garden
colchicum autumnale (autumn crocus) 

nest at Lee Garden
A bird nest among the near bare azalea branches.

Lee Garden chairs:  Yvonne Hunkeler , Faith Kerchoff , Kathy Lapolla
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Jan Johnsen headshot
We loved lunch with   JAN JOHNSEN!

Our opening luncheon was wonderful!  The food was yummy and our speaker was so very informative.  Jan gave us specific ideas to create a serene garden. It was easy to see why she is an award winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden. 

Thank you Gloria Simon for organizing the luncheon and planning the wonderful menu. Thank you to our program chairs, Carol Seldin, Margit Mills, and Gerda Smith, who along with Amy Weber Reid, procured such an amazing speaker.  Thank you to our membership crew, Becky Barlow, Valerie Monaghan, and Susan Smith for welcoming our members and guests, and getting our membership directories ready for distribution.

luncheon 2016
Faith Kerchoff, Jan Johnsen, Carol Seldin, and Sara Hunt pose for a photo with Jan's current book:  Heaven is a Garden

luncheon 2016
It was wonderful catching up with friends before the presentation.  Pictured above are Judy Gilroy, Shirley Stancik, and Louisa Goldschmidt.

Luncheon 2016
Members Margit Mills and Gerda Smith talk to Jan Johnsen and her assistant, Laura McKillop, before the presentation.

luncheon table arrangements
One of the table arrangements made for the luncheon by Bianca Romano.

Luncheon welcome table arrangement
Bianca creatively wrapped a vase for our welcome table arrangement.

You can find out more about Jan Johnsen at her website HERE .

Wild for Tina Duncan's Meadow and Garden

Tina Duncan generously hosted NCBL members to a private garden tour at her Wilton home in September.  Our members went wild for her beautiful, expansive meadow and the gardens on her grounds. Tina's marvelous meadow garden was designed by landscape architect Larry Weaner (our luncheon speaker in 2015) and detailed in Jane Garmey's impressive book  Private Gardens of Connecticut

Meadow Walk View
What a view!

Meadow Walk 2016
Eleven members attended this inspiring field trip.

Meadow Walk
A meadow of pretty spires of color.

Meadow Walk Gardens
We were also treated to a tour of the natural perennial gardens surrounding the house.

There are FIFTY inspiring photos from our field trip.  You can see them all HERE.
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Dazzled by Dahlias at Meadowburn Farm!
One of our field trip experiences in September was a trip to
 Meadowburn Farm.  Our members had a dazzling time!

Meadowburn Farm Field Trip
Yvonne Hunkeler, Liz Orteig, Sara Hunt, and Bianca Romano at 
Meadowburn Farm (not pictured: Carol Seldin)

Meadowburn Farm Dahlia collage
Just some of the dahlias seen at Meadowburn Farm.  photos by Carol Seldin.

You can see the field trip photos HERE.
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Mum's the Word at the Lobsterfest
The Lobsterfest was a success and part of the success came from the tabletop mums donated and decorated by the NCBL.  We are making great use of the mums by recycling them in various parts of town, such as the Town Hall, our town triangles, and God's Acre.

Ann Brookshire Betsy Bilus Yvonne Hunkeler
Ann Brookshire, Betsy Bilus, and Yvonne Hunkeler get the mums ready for display.

lobsterfest mums
Tied with a bow and ready to go.

mums at God's Acre
Lobsterfest mums have found a new home on God's Acre.

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Colorblends has New Canaan Ties

Fall is the time to plant our spring blooming bulbs.  Did you know that the bulb company Colorblends is owned by New Canaan's own Chris Schipper?  Did you know that Chris donated the tulip bulbs we planted at the town hall last year?  Did you also know that the Colorblends website has a wealth of information on "all things bulb"?  And finally, did you know that although the company's tagline is "wholesale flowerbulbs", they sell to the general public?

Colorblends Logo

Just one of the things I've learned from the Colorblends website is how to plant 100 tulip bulbs in 30 seconds.  That's my kind of gardening!

The New Canaan Nature Center is Looking for Help
"Tackle" Our Invasive Species Day
Wednesday October 12
10 am - 12 pm

Tackle Invasives NCNC

The New Canaan Nature Center needs you!  The Nature Center is seeking helping hands at its upcoming invasive species cleanup day and they are hopeful you can spread the word to increase turnout and make this event successful.  As you know, invasive plants are a persistent problem, marring our landscapes and threatening our habitats - this event is part of a comprehensive effort to clean up the NC grounds and begin to rid the property of invasives.
Take a moment to register your participation for this Wednesday, October 12 from 10-12.  Please spread the word to your friends, neighbors and volunteer groups - hope to see you there!

Call 203-966-9577 extension 10 to help!
Please bring suitable work gloves!

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!

The first class is Basic Pruning and takes place Saturday, November 12.  To register and to see the other class offerings click HERE.