Volunteers Making New Canaan Beautiful

trowel horizontal
Rotary Club Lobsterfest
Friday & Saturday 
September 21 & 22
NC Historical Society
trowel horizontal
Autumn Luncheon
All the Presidents'
Gardens with Marta McDowell
October 4, 2018
Woodway Country Club
trowel horizontal
November Program
City Green: Public Gardens of New York with Jane Garmey
November 7, 2018
New Canaan Nature Center
more info to come ...
Dear Members,

Another summer has flown by. We hope you have had time to enjoy all that this season offers, including time in your gardens.   All our projects around town, including the hanging baskets, the Triangles, the Town Hall planters, and the Traveling Trowels' work, look great thanks to all our dedicated volunteers.  We continue to receive donations to our Annual Appeal fund, a sign that our efforts are appreciated. 

We will begin our 2018-19 season with the annual luncheon on Thursday, October 4 at Woodway Country Club.  It is a nice way to catch up with friends, and enjoy a tasty meal and an interesting speaker. The Program Committee has been busy, and we have another series of outstanding monthly programs for this year. 

On September 21 and 22 (Friday and Saturday) the Rotary Club will hold its annual Lobster Fest.  The Beautification League has 25 tickets to sell.  We will receive a percentage from the tickets we actually sell. More information follows in this newsletter.  It is an easy way for us to earn some money and to enjoy a lobster dinner. 

We sadly note the passing of one of our long-time members, Nancy Sessions. In her 50 plus years as a member, she spearheaded the development of our Triangles Project and was chair of our Civic Beautification Committee. The Lee Garden Committee is looking for a way to remember her in the garden. 

We have another busy year ahead of us.  We hope to see you on October 4. 

Barbara and Karen
NCBL Banner
Welcome Our Newest Members!

Eileen Adams
Lally Jurcik
Sally Kaltman
Patricia Kekedjian
Elizabeth Ford Kunz
Ruth Lewis
Patricia Spugani and Joel Reynolds

Egad, there are members who have not yet paid their dues!

If you have not already paid your membership dues, please send your check with the membership form you can download HERE.

Members who have joined since January 1, 2018 do not need to pay dues again until spring 2019.


All the Presidents' Gardens header 
NCBL Autumn Luncheon
Thursday, October 4, 2018
11:30 am at Woodway Country Club
540 Hoyt Street, Darien, CT
Marta McDowell
With wit and insight, garden historian Marta McDowell traces the fascinating story of how our presidents and their families have left their imprint upon the eighteen acres surrounding the executive mansion. 
Books by Marta McDowell will be available for purchase.

$40 per person
Write your menu selection on your check (chicken, fish, or vegetarian) and send to:
Gloria Simon, 143 Butler Lane, New Canaan, CT 06840
Checks must be received no later than Thursday, September 27.

To see full menu and download an invitation, click HERE.
To read more about Marta McDowell, click HERE.
Waveny Care Center Flower Arranging
September and October

New to NCBL?  This is a great way to get involved!

Betsy Bilus is looking for volunteers to create dining table arrangements for Waveny Care Center in September!  We need flower arrangers for the following dates:

September 17: Faith Kerchoff
September 24

October 8
October 15: Betsy Sammarco
October 22
October 29

To volunteer, contact Betsy by texting 203-722-5535 or emailing Enbilus@gmail.com

Guidelines for Waveny Flower Arranging are found HERE.

Susan and Betsy Waveny
Arrangements made by Susan Weatherly and Betsy Bilus early this month.

Leaf single divider
Farmers Market
Saturday, September 22

Looking for volunteers to help with the NCBL table at the New Canaan Farmers Market on Saturday, Sept. 22nd.  Please e-mail Robin Bates-Mason at  rbatesmason@gmail.com  for more details and to sign up for a shift.
Shifts run 10am to noon and 11am to 1pm, but even an hour would be appreciated!

Farmers Market Table  

Rotary Club Lobster Festival

Friday, September 21 and Saturday, 22
NCBL sells tickets and receives proceeds from those sales.
Contact Barbara Beall: bbeall34@yahoo.com / 203-966-1658
or Faith Kerchoff: faithkerchoff@hotmail.com / 203-972-0895
for your tickets!

Lobsterfest 2018

Download this flier by clicking HERE.
New Triangle Interactive Map

Our NCBL website now has an interactive map of our triangles.  You can see where our triangles are located, and who their guardians are.  Check it out 

Triangle map on web

Leaf single divider
A Triangle Transformation

Our triangles in town are cared for and tended to, even in the summer months when the weeds take over in the heat and rain.  Take a look at this transformation, from weeds to wonderful, with the Marvin Ridge triangle below:

Marvin Ridge clean up

Many thanks to Karen Hanson, Kathy Lapolla, and Tracy Phillips for working on this triangle in early July.

Leaf single divider
Train Station

After doing volunteer weeding days several times and many hours at the Train Station and P.O. Box area,  we hired JMD Landscaping to
do a more thorough removal of weeds - bindweed in particular, and to trim the shrubs and trees at the Train Station.
Summer volunteer thanks for work done at these two important spots go to:

Liz O., Judy J., Karen S., Faith K., Kathy L., Frankie S., Yvonne H., Ty T., 
Rob C., and Barbara W.
(hope we haven't missed anyone!) 

Train Station 2018


Much work has been done in Lee Garden this summer.  New plants were planted and weeds were pulled.  Even the birds were busy, building homes and raising families:

A female cardinal sits on her nest built in an azalea bush near the little shed.  Two of her eggs are shown, right.

Leaf single divider
Lee Garden Signs

You need not worry about getting lost in Lee Garden.  A dding signage to the garden became Aiden Blair's Eagle Scout project this spring!

Eagle Project Lee Garden

Part two of the Aiden's project was shoring up the retaining wall at the hill at the garden and removing ivy that was overgrowing the hillside.

Eagle Scout Project

Eagle Scout hillside

Eagle Scout project
Aiden recruited and organized a large group of family and friends to help with the work for his Eagle Scout project.  Thank you Aiden!

Leaf single divider
Clearing the Way

Yvonne Hunkeler and Faith Kerchoff dug up an Andromeda blocking the passage to George's staircase.  They replanted it near the barn's driveway.   Great job ladies!

Andromeda moved

Leaf single divider
Susan Bergen Includes Lee Garden in her Exhibit

NCBL and NCGC member Susan Bergen participated in the Garden Club's flower show in June.  Susan had an extensive educational exhibit entitled, Iconic Landscapes and Iconic Habitats of New Canaan.  She chose six former estates and gardens that were once privately held and are now preserved as open space and Lee Memorial Garden was one of them!  Susan also highlighted the main habitats of New Canaan: meadows, woodlands, ponds, vernal pools, streams, and wetlands.  Thank you Susan, for making Lee Garden part of your exhibit.

Susan Bergen flower show exhibit

Annual Meeting with Patrick Comins, Executive Director CT Audubon Society   

It was a pleasure meeting Patrick Comins at our June Annual Meeting.  The meeting started with a wonderful coffee put together by our hospitality crew.  One of the goodies served, rhubarb coffee cake, was made by Faith Kerchoff from the rhubarb in Rob Carpenter's garden.  Talk about team work!

Rhubarb coffee cake

The gorgeous floral center piece was designed by Bianca Romano and included flowers from her own garden!

Bianca centerpiece annual meeting

The Annual Meeting started with presidents Barbara Beall and Karen Sneirson thanking many of our members for their recent service to our League and town.

Barbara and Karen annual meeting

Sara Hunt, Chairman of the Nominating Committee, then announced the slate for our new Executive Board.  The board was approved!  

Sara annual meeting

Patrick Comins gave a wonderful and well received lecture on how to Landscape for Wildlife.  His lecture was packed with information and presented wonderfully.  Here are some bits of information from his talk:

  • Breaks in the forest (ie lower grassland) is important for nesting birds so they can forage on insects.
  • The entire coast of CT is an important bird migration area.
  • CT has the highest percentage of urban to wildlife interface.
  • There is a lot we can do on our own property to encourage and help our wildlife survive including planting native conifers and grasses, planting with plants that produce food for our wildlife throughout the seasons, planting nut and acorn trees, leaving snags on our property, and adding water to our landscape.
Patrick reviewed many native plants that are beneficial to wildlife.  He also gave us a few "exceptions to the native rule"; non-native plants that wildlife can use as nectar or food:   sweet bay magnolia, star magnolia, crabapples, butterfly bush, sunflowers, and cosmos.

If you want to learn more about the CT Audubon Society or join, click HERE.

Leaf single divider
4th Annual NCBL Brunch in the Park
The Fourth Annual "NCBL Brunch in the Park" was held on June 12.

This event is a thank you to the Beautification volunteers who tend over 30 town traffic triangles, the train station, the post office box drop off area on Pine Street and more.
Besides the NCBL, the town Public Works and Park and Recreation departments are also honored guests for all they do to help beautification efforts.

Brunch in the Park
Shown in photo are: L to R.
Kathy Demarco, John Howe, Liz Orteig, Mose Saccary, Kristy Ready,  Faith Kerchoff, Josiah Jones, Tiger Mann, Steve Orteig, Peggy Dannemann, Tracy Phillips, Ty Tan, Kathy Lapolla and First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. Taking the photo was Joe Zagarenski.

Leaf single divider
Hanging Baskets

Our beautiful hanging baskets made the Advertiser this summer with this photo of Sean Halloran of the New Canaan Department of Public Works watering them one Friday morning in August.  The orange ribbon was a reminder of the 2nd Annual Overdose Awareness Vigil held in town late that month. 

Halloran watering 2018
Photo by Greg Reilly.

Leaf single divider
Jenn and Pete Cipriano Made Honorary Members

Jenn and Pete Cipriano were made Honorary Members of NCBL this summer.  Jenn and Pete have given their expertise and guidance to NCBL, and have made plant donations to our group over the years.  We were very happy to honor this wonderful couple, and owners of Copia Home and Garden, in this way.

Cipriano family
The Cipriano family.  Photo source: www.copiahomeandgarden.com

Leaf single divider
Remembering Nancy Sessions

It is with a heavy heart that we must report on the passing of Nancy Sessions.  Nancy, a Garden Center/Beautification League member for more than 50 years, died in August.  She and her husband, Bill, were active in many organizations and served on several town committees, but Nancy's love of nature and gardening were her passions.  She gave many contributions to the Beautification League, including being chair of the Civic Beautification Committee for several years, organizing the planting of the trees along the Cherry Street extension, and along with her committee, she developed our town triangles.  Nancy  also served on the Environmental Commission for over 20 years, and worked to preserve our open space and wetlands.  She attended our meetings regularly until a few years ago when her failing health kept her home.  It was always a pleasure to be greeted by her ready smile.  She will be fondly remembered by many.


Garden Talk header  

Hanging Baskets Live On!

Sara begonia

What happens to the Hanging Baskets after the summer season?  Well, at least
three of them from a past season are alive and well and reside at the home of former Hanging Basket  Chair, Sara Hunt.  The Hanging Basket chairs keep at least one basket at  home in case one is needed for display.  Sara winters these baskets in  front of a basement window.  The petunias in the hanging baskets quickly die  out, but the begonias hang on.  By spring the begonias are struggling, but  they come back over the summer.  Dave Hunt placed a hummingbird feeder near  the begonias and the Hunts have been rewarded with hummingbirds all summer  long.

Leaf single divider
Arranging with Dahlias

Carol's dahlia

Carol Seldin's glorious homegrown dahlias live on in her floral arrangements.  Even a single dahlia can be the star of a centerpiece!

Leaf single divider
Contribute to our Newsletter!

Email newsletter editor Betsy Sammarco @ esammarco@optonline.net with a tip, trick, or tale from your own garden! 


The Dazzling Dahlia Show at the Greenwich Botanical Center
130 Bible Street, Cos Cob, CT 06807

Click the image below for more information.

Dazzling Dahlia show 

Leaf single divider
Bartlett Arboretum logo

Bartlett's Honeybees
Sunday, September 23, 2018
11:00 am - 11:45 am

Champion Trees Tour
Sunday, October 21, 2018
3:30 pm - 4: 40 pm

for more information and to see more events, click HERE

Leaf single divider
Grace Farms Logo

Exploring Nature | Restoring Native Meadows
Saturday, September 22, 2018
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

For more information and more events, click HERE.

Leaf single divider
GardenConservancy Logo

Local Gardens open through the Garden Conservancy Program on Sunday September 16
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

For more information , click HERE.