Central Park: An American Masterpiece with Sara Cedar Miller
October 4, 2017
11:30 - 2:00 pm
Woodway Country Club
November Program
Naturescape Your Yard with Karen Bussolini
November 1, 2017
9:30 - 11:30 am
NC Nature Center
November 29, 2017
8:30 am - noon
NC Nature Center
A Letter From Our Presidents

Welcome back!

We hope that you enjoyed our mild summer weather and that your gardens thrived.  Driving around town, we've noticed how good the hanging baskets and triangles look - many thanks to all our volunteers who've worked diligently to keep them up.

We have no membership requirements, but in order to fulfill our mission we need every member to contribute time or talent to continue to beautify our town.  There are so many opportunities to participate in, from setting up the hanging baskets, tending a triangle, being one of Liz Orteig's "Traveling Trowels", working in Lee Garden, helping with our fundraising campaign, working with the Program Committee, working on the Town Holiday decorations, to arranging flowers for Waveny Care Center.  It is a great way to make a contribution to our community.

We hope you plan to attend our October 4 th Kick-Off Luncheon at Woodway Country Club.  Our speaker will be Sara Cedar Miller, a member of the Central Park Conservancy.  She will talk about her book Central Park:  An American Masterpiece.  Please join us!

You will be receiving our monthly newsletter and email blasts to keep you informed about our activities, thanks to our newsletter editor, Betsy Sammarco.

We live in a special, beautiful town, because so many people like you care about it by volunteering.  Thank you and let's enjoy another year of Beautification League activities!

Barbara and Karen

Autumn Luncheon header
OCTOBER 4, 2017, 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
Woodway Country Club, 540 Hoyt Street, Darien
Sara Cedar Miller
Sara Cedar Miller has been the Central Park Conservancy's historian and photographer for 33 years.  She has authored and photographed three award winning books about Central Park.
Sara will speak on the park's history and design, and reveal "secret" stories and little-known features. Attendees will also hear about the inspirational 35-year transformation of Central Park by the Conservancy with suggestions of how to also help New Canaan's local parks achieve the same results. Books by Sara will be available for purchase and signing.

Betsy Sammarco, 54 Toquam Road, New Canaan, CT 06840
Checks must be received by September 27.

These stunning photos of Central Park were taken by Sara:
Central Park Aerial view autumn
Bow Bridge Central Park Central Park

Click HERE to download our luncheon flier.
Vine Spacer

NCBL Banner

Welcome New Members!

Jane Arestia
Candace Greene
Cindy Still

Vine Spacer
Karen Bussolini
naturescapeCOMING TO NCBL IN 
NATURESCAPE YOUR YARD with Karen Bussolini
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
New Canaan Nature Center
coffee: 9:30 am
meeting & program: 10:00 am

Garden photographer, writer and eco-friendly garden coach Karen Bussolini will present an eastern gardener's take on gardening with nature.   Karen will show how gardeners have learned from the processes of nature to create environment-friendly landscapes that reduce maintenance and costs, while increasing wildlife, beauty, and enjoyment.

Her photographs of sustainable gardens are featured in The Naturescape Workbook: How to Create a Garden with Nature as Your Guide, written by Oregon landscape designer Beth O'Donnell Young, published by Timber Press. 

Karen Bussolini is a lifelong organic gardener and lover of nature.  She had a long career as a garden photographer, speaker and writer before establishing a practice as an eco-friendly garden coach.  Her stories, combining writing and photography, are frequently published in The American Gardener, the magazine of The American Horticultural Society as well as The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's publication, Wildflower.  She has six books to her credit, including The Homeowner's Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook and Elegant Silvers, which she also co-authored. She is a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional; her garden coaching practice is devoted to teaching homeowners to garden more sustainably.  She gardens on a deer-infested mountainside in South Kent, Connecticut. 

Vine Spacer
Our efforts are focused on 
Here are 7 ways you can JOIN IN.  

1.  The following triangles need an extra 1 or 2 volunteers to help the members already tending them.  Having a couple people working together is a lot more fun!  Tending a triangle entails visiting every few weeks to see if anything is weedy, overgrown, or needs debris removed, etc.  We guarantee you will get  thank yous from cars passing by.  We have bright green t-shirts to keep you safe. 

          Old Norwalk Road at Marvin Ridge Road
          Lambert Road at Oenoke Ridge Road
          Little Brook Road at Silvermine Road
          Weed Street at Old Stamford Road
2.  We are looking for "outdoors people", including husbands, teenagers (need volunteer hours?), and gardening ladies for fall jobs at Lee Garden, our "Secret Garden" located at 89 Chichester Road.
Here are some of the jobs we need done:
  • Take a shovel (and crowbar) and remove some of the medium to large rocks that are sticking up in the pathways.
  • Remove some of the ground cover plants from areas where they are creeping into the paths and move them to areas where ground covers are needed.  Learn about various  plants and ground covers, which are hardy and evergreen in dense shade. We share samples!
  • Help plant bulbs and seedling trees.
  • Pick up sticks and branches and bring to the parking lot branch pile.
  • Pull or trim English ivy away from azaleas at the base of the plant.
  • We are in need of some newer, gently used garden furniture.  If anyone is getting rid of wooden/teak chairs or a small table, we can use them!  We are also looking for narrow base garden carts to use along the trails.
  • We are also looking for one or two birdbaths, and birdhouses (pole or hanging style).
Lee Garden is enchanting, and it will grow on you!  There are so many plants to see and learn about.

Once you have oriented to the tasks, you can come on your own time.  Bringing a lunch to the garden is enjoyable.  Group work days are Monday and Friday, others are possible by appointment.

3.  Join Traveling Trowels by sending your email to Liz Orteig. You will be added to her email list, and it's a "come-if-you-can-thing".  She may have a job to do in town, like weeding at the post office drop box area or town hall.  Come for an hour or so and help out.   This is also more fun with a group!

Not a green thumb? Here are opportunities for you:

4.  We need volunteers to bring refreshments for the program meetings. 

5.  In winter, we will need help addressing envelopes for our annual appeal.

6.   We need v olunteers for our Waveny Care Center flower arranging days. (see below)

7.  Do you have ideas for fundraising, speakers, and activities for our group?  We'd love to hear them!


for Triangles email: Kathy Lapolla, or
Tracy Phillips,

for Lee Garden email: Faith Kerchoff, or
Yvonne Hunkeler, or
Kathy Lapolla,

for Traveling Trowels, Liz Orteig,

Questions? Civic Beautification, Faith Kerchoff,

Vine Spacer
Waveny Care Center Flower Arrangers Needed

Volunteers are needed to make arrangements for the Waveny Care Center dining hall tables.  This is a wonderful opportunity to do something for our community while having a blast!

Our fall/winter schedule is as follows and days where help is needed is indicated:

  • September 11: help needed
  • September 25: Faith Kerchoff
  • October 23: help needed
  • October 30: help needed
  • December 4: help needed
  • December 11: Faith Kerchoff
  • December 26: help needed

Contact Bianca Romano to volunteer! Click here for her email or call 203-570-9048.

Download the Waveny Care Flower Arranging instructions HERE.

Vine Spacer
The LobsterFest  is here!
... NCBL gets proceeds from tickets sold by members!

If you are planning to buy tickets to the LobsterFest, consider getting your ticket from a NCBL member as we will get $20 from each ticket our members sell!

LobsterFest Flier photo

Download a copy of the LobsterFest flier HERE.

Lee Garden Gets a New Bridge

The bridge at Lee Garden had seen better days.  Unstable and starting to rot, Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, and Kathy Lapolla, our Lee Garden Chairs, knew it was time to invest in a safer overpass for the wetland area of Lee Garden.  The following members and friends joined together to make the task of building the bridge an easier one:  Rob Carpenter and his son Bobby, Peggy and Eric Danneman, Yvonne Hunkeler, David Hunt, Faith and John Kerchoff, Steve Orteig, and Betsy Sammarco.

Lee Garden Bridge workers

Funds for the bridge were donated from the family and memorial of Ann Gillerlain, and will be known as "Ann's Bridge".  Ann was a longtime friend of George Lee and loved this garden.

Lee Garden New Bridge 2017

How do our gardens grow header

Welcome to How Do Our Gardens Grow?  Photos & stories from our members' gardens.  Each month we hope to bring you a photo or two, or a story from a member's garden.  Have a photo or story to share?  Share it with us at   

We recently met with member Cindy Bamatter and asked her what some of her favorites plants are in her garden. 

Cindy told us that the entrance to the front walk from the driveway is her husband's favorite area.  He loves the bright colors and carefree plantings of lantana, snapdragon, and nepeta.
Bamatter entrance

Bamatter lantana
Closeup of the pink and yellow lantana.

Cindy took us to her backyard to show us a sweeping riot of purple anemone.  This is one of Cindy's favorite plants because it blooms in late summer when other plants don't, and needs little care.
Bamatter anemone
The purple anemone must love where they are planted as they are growing and spreading like crazy!

We loved the giant pink and white hydrangea heads, that were bowing in the drizzle.  They drew our eye to the curve in her backyard bed.
Bamatter hydrangea

Bella's favorite spot is under the shade of the burning bush.
Bella under fire bush

Thank you Cindy Bamatter for sharing a piece of your garden with us and showing us a some of your favorites!

Master Gardener Program

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener?  Information and the application can be found by clicking the Master Gardener logo above.