March 2020 Newsletter

Volunteers Making New Canaan Beautiful

Presidents' Letter

As we start checking our gardens for those little green shoots that assure us that spring isn’t too far away, we can begin to think about how we can participate in Beautification League projects.  Our Lee Garden volunteers have been working all winter and can always use more hands. Do come see what is sprouting.  Informal tours take place on Friday mornings.

Please contact Barbara Wilson if you would like to help with a Triangle or contact Liz Orteig, whose Traveling Trowels will begin their work soon.  Also, our Hospitality chairs can always use help with their job of providing refreshments for our programs.

Once again we want to thank Gloria Simon and Barbara Mechanic and their teams for the Midwinter Tea, which received many compliments.  It was a wonderful break from grey winter days.  NCBL is sponsoring three events this month: the March 3 event featuring Doug Tallamy, our March 4 program featuring Karen Bussolini who will speak about “Jazzing Up The Garden With Color”, and a flower arranging workshop with Jacqueline Harmody and Ty Tan on March 25.  

Our Nominating Committee is working to fill the slate of officers for 2020-21.  If you would be interested in taking a board position, please contact Sara Hunt.
Many thanks to each of you who addressed envelopes for our Annual Appeal.  It was definitely a case of “many hands make light work”.  They will be mailed in early March – please remind your friends and neighbors to look for their letters.

Think spring!
Barbara and Karen  
New Canaan Pollinator Pathway Presents:
An Evening with Doug Tallamy

Nature's Best Hope
Conservation That Starts in Your Yard

March 3, 2020
7:30 - 9:00 pm
New Canaan Country School
Recent headlines about global insect declines, the impending extinction of one million species worldwide, and three billion fewer birds in North America are a bleak reality check about how ineffective our current landscape designs have been at sustaining the plants and animals that sustain  us.  Such losses are not an option if we wish to continue our current standard of living on Planet Earth. The good news is that none of this is inevitable. Tallamy will discuss simple steps that each of us can- and must- take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, ourselves, are nature’s best hope.
Tickets are $15. Register by clicking the photo above or by clicking THIS LINK.

This program is cosponsored by NC Pollinator Pathway partners. Want to learn more about the Pollinator Pathway? Click the logo below:
March Program:
March 4, 2020
9:30 coffee
10:00 program
New Canaan Nature Center

Jazzing Up the Garden with Color, Contrast, and Movement
with Karen Bussolini
Karen Bussolini 2020
K Bussolini fence
K Bussolini greens
Karen has packed this talk with dozens of exciting plant combinations photographed in gardens across the country. Starting with simple combinations, and an explanation of how the gardener used color or texture, gesture, light-reflecting qualities, repetition, color echoes and other qualities, her talk will progress to more complex schemes. Plants with distinctive character and plants that move – or appear to – enliven the mix.

Jazzing Up the Garden with Color, Contrast and Movement  gives gardeners simple intuitive ways of thinking about combining plants that anyone can use easily – without angst or color wheel.

Books by Karen will be available for purchase and signing.
Join Us for Lunch After the Program!

Our speaker will be joining us for lunch at Ching's Table after the program.
We would love to have you join us. Our informal lunches are an opportunity for members, especially new members, to get to know one another. It is purely social, and as usual, we will split the bill by paying for our own meal.
Please let Sara Hunt
(   ) know if you can come. 

Y’all come!
Flower Arranging Workshop
Flower Arranging 101
Hands-on Workshop

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Waveny House

Join NCBL members Ty Tan and Jacqueline Harmody for a hands-on workshop to create your own flower arrangement.
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 greenery will be provided.
Limit: 20 people

Please RSVP by March 22nd to Jacqueline Harmody,  or

Flower Arranging 2017
The Flower Arranging Workshop in 2017 was a huge success and so much fun!
Join us this year!
April Program

The Cocktail Hour Garden
Featuring author, gardener, and podcaster C.L. Fornari

Wednesday April 1, 2020
New Canaan Library
Adrian Lamb Room
6:00 - 8:00pm
Social get-together before the program at 6:00 pm
Registration is necessary to attend this event at the Library:
At the end of the day, what better place is there to kick back, chill out, and make the world go away than in your own backyard? C. L. Fornari shows how easy it is to create a garden atmosphere that sets the mood for private relaxation or festive occasions with friends. Discover the ways that you can create a garden for the senses where you can reconnect with friends, family, and the natural world.

This talk explores how to maximize the enjoyment of light from the morning or evening sun, and which plants to use to surround your outdoor living spaces with fragrance. Learn the simple secrets for creating an evening pleasure garden where the birds, butterflies and bees put on a show. Hear about garden-based cocktails and snacks. Discover creative ways to use flowers in beverages, and toast to relaxation in your garden and landscape.

Books will be available for purchase.
NCGC Program: Limited Seats Available

Barbara Paul Robinson
Heroes of Horticulture
April 8, 2020
10:00 am
Waveny House
Attendance limited to 20 members

This is a New Canaan Garden Club program.
Registration is limited to 20 NCBL members and will be honored on a first come, first serve basis.
Please register using the button below and type "Heroes" in the email subject line.

I n her latest book,  Heroes of Horticulture , Barbara Paul Robinson tells the vibrant stories of 18 contemporary heroes of horticulture―institution-builders, restorers of public parks and public spaces, adventurous plant explorers and garden creators―who have each had a significant public impact on the American landscape. A hands-in-the-dirt gardener, Robinson and her husband have created their own gardens at Brush Hill in Connecticut. A frequent speaker, she has written a biography of Rosemary Verey, as well as articles in  The New York Times Horticulture ,  Fine Gardening  and  Hortus . 
NCBL Banner
Please welcome our newest member!

Aoife Maynard
Micaela Porta

What Does Civic Beautification Do, You Ask?
You may wonder what our Civic Beautification and Triangle committees do. Here's one great example. The Laurel Road and Canoe Hill triangle had to be redesigned after the town did work on the triangle, improving driving visibility and safety.
We had a plan developed by a Licensed Landscape Architect. In this case, our own member and Triangle chair, Barbara Wilson.
Barbara included a plant list, that our Civic Beautification team will shop at wholesalers to get the best prices. Using this plan, the town may help us dig some of the larger holes, and NCBL volunteers will be able to plant most of it, similar to what we did at the mailbox drop off area on Pine Street. The funding comes from our Annual Appeal dollars and is a good example of our our Annual Appeal dollars at work beautifying our town.
The plant selections Barbara made include many native, and deer resistant varieties, as well as plants beneficial to pollinators. Bloom times are spread out over the seasons and we even have winter interest, with berries and evergreens. Plants were also chosen for their low maintenance characteristics.
We look forward to welcoming this newest triangle! After planting, this new, beautiful triangle will need caretaking! If you would like to help maintain this triangle, contact one of our Triangle Committee chairs.
The Canoe Hill / Laurel Road triangle plan developed by our own member, Triangle chair, and Landscape Architect Barbara Wilson.
Examples of some of the plants in the new Canoe Hill / Laurel Road triangle are shown above. Top row left to right: Coreopsis 'Moonbeam', Sedum 'Autumn Joy', Butterfly weed, Amsonia (Blue Star). Bottom row left to right: Deutzia gracilis 'Duncan', American Holly 'Miss Helen', Viburnum trilobum (Highbush Cranberry), Cornus kousa .
Speaking of Triangles ...
We have two triangles in need of care, including the Canoe Hill/Laurel Road triangle described above. Grab a friend or two and please consider being a caretaker for one of these triangles below.

Canoe Hill Road & Laurel Road
This is a newly redesigned triangle which will be planted this spring by the Town. This is a medium size triangle. See article above for more information of this triangle's plantings!

North Wilton Road & South Bald Hill Road
This is a well-established triangle with mature kousa dogwoods, shrubs, and shade loving perennials. This triangle is a small-medium size triangle.

If you can help out with this or want more information, please contact one of our Triangles Chairs:
Barbara Wilson :
Brian Hollstein :
Claude Colabella :

Hospitality Needs Refreshments
Hospitality still needs help providing refreshments for the upcoming March 4th program “Jazzing Up Your Garden” at the New Canaan Nature Center. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. If you would like to help, please bring your contribution on a serving platter about 10 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

Please contact Anne Tropeano at 203-536-0349 or email to let her know if you would like to bring a sweet or savory item. Thank you.  
Midwinter Tea Thank You Note
Tea pot and flowers
Dear members,
Tip of our chapeaux to all who made the Victorian Tea such a success!
The exquisite Heritage Table place settings and centerpieces compiled by Barbara Mechanic and Carol Seldin were truly extraordinary! Thank you to the fourteen ladies who contributed their family china and histories. They were inspiring to all of us. The accompanying booklets were put together expertly by our own Betsy Sammarco.
Many of you commented on the wonderful teapot centerpieces arranged by Jacqueline Harmody, Fanny Moran, Bianca Romano, Liz Orteig, Peggy Dannemann and Faith Kerchoff.  They certainly set the tone for our entire event.
My personal thanks to Sara Hunt who assisted me with numerous tasks in preparing for the Tea.
Also, a huge nod of appreciation to all who helped with set-up and clean-up. You certainly made for an efficient event. Eva Wingate and Eileen Boehme lightened the load by washing all the tablecloths afterwards.
And finally, the Tea wouldn’t have been such a success without the delicious contributions of our members. What a tempting array of salads, tea sandwiches, deviled eggs, fruit salads and sweets. It rivaled the Plaza’s buffet.
— Gloria Simon,
Chairman - MIdwinter Tea & Luncheon
Here are just a few of the many photos from our very successful Midwinter Tea!
Midwinter Tea Collage
Lee Garden
Walks take place every Friday at 10 am during the winter, weather permitting.
Meet in the parking lot.

Interested members should send Faith Kerchoff their email for Lee Garden updates, photos, and news.
Early bulbs are starting to appear throughout the garden, including the snowdrops ( Galanthus nivalis ) at the entrance of our recently named Secret Garden.
Signs of Spring
Claude Colabella sent us photos of emerging flowers from his garden in February. He said he cuts the hellebores back and feeds them in March to "make them explode"!
Karen Sneirson forced her Forsythia this February and brought a hint of spring inside!
Essays from Joan Sargent

We are building her collection each month, and you can access Joan's essays on our website or by clicking the following button:
Our very own NCBL member and treasurer, Dave Hunt, will be honored as the
'Fall Guy' at the annual Gridiron show on April 24 at 6 p.m.
If you would like to join us for this fun event at an NCBL reserved table, be sure to register using the link below and indicate in the box provided that you would like to sit at the NCBL Table. Register by April 17 to ensure seating requests.
Dinner & Show - April 24th
Country Club of New Canaan
6:00 pm - Cocktails (Cash Bar)
7:00 pm - Dinner
8:00 pm - Show
$160  ($75 tax-deductible)  per person - register by April 15th
$175 per person after April 15th
$300   ($150 tax-deductible)  per couple - register by April 15th
$325 per couple after April 15th
Local Events of Interest
Click on the picture or icon for more information about the following local events:
Starting Natives from Seed
Friday, March 6
Copia Home & Garden
475 Smith Ridge Road
South Salem, NY
Free of charge
Jennifer Jewell
Author & Radio Host
The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants
March 10
7:00 - 9:00 pm
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Members: $25
Non-Members: $35
Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring: Getting Back to Garden Basics
Daryl Beyers, Gardener, Writer, and NYBG Instructor
March 21
10:00 am
Copia Home & Garden
475 Smith Ridge Road
South Salem, NY
Free, but registration needed
Beyond the Native/Exotic Plant Debate: How to Choose Woody Plants for Your Landscape
Dr. Nina Bassuk, Professor of Horticulture, Cornell University
March 29
5:00 pm
Lewisboro Library
15 Main Street
South Salem, NY
Suggested donation $10
Sponsored by the Lewisboro Garden Club and Copia Home & Garden
FIVE SEASONS: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf
Wednesday April 8, 2020
7 p.m.
Darien Library
New Canaan Nature Center
serves as a satellite site for New York Botanical Garden classes.
Click the logo to the right to see the lineup for spring.
Bartlett Arboretum Events
A variety of events are on the calendar for the Bartlett Arboretum
Our NCBL Newsletter is used to distribute information regarding NCBL activities and announcements that pertain directly to our stated mission. The newsletter shall not be used for political issues, or for the promotion of merchandise or services unless such merchandise or services are part of a joint venture with NCBL.