November Meeting & Program
November 4th
9:30 am - 11:30 am
Maureen Laning:
Home for the Holidays
read more ... 
Goldenberry Shopping Night
November 5th
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
at Goldenberry
read more ...
Flower Arranging 101 Workshop
November 9th
10:00 am - noon
Waveny House
read more ...
November Board Meeting 
November 18th
9:30 am
Waveny House 
Holiday Greens Workshop
December 3rd
8:30 am - noon
read more ...

A Letter From Our Presidents

It is the season when the leaves are falling, squirrels and chipmunks forage for nuts, the hanging baskets come down, birds and monarch butterflies (and some New Canaanites) head south for warmer weather.  We shiver and hunker down for the holidays ahead and look forward to spending time with family and friends.

We kicked off our fall season with a marvelous luncheon with Larry Weaner who gave a presentation on native meadows.   Our thanks go to our program chairs Carol Seldin and Amy Weber Reid for providing us with such an interesting program.  We also thank Gloria Simon for organizing the luncheon and Joan Dionne for hosting us at Woodway.  Membership chairs Becky Barlow, Valerie Monaghan, and Susan Smith did a fabulous job of organizing the members, guests and food choices.   Publicity chairs Karen Mactas and Michele Sloan, along with newsletter chair Betsy Sammarco and webmaster Lisa Ferrante, have done a wonderful job of keeping everybody well informed.

Congratulations to Bianca Romano who passed her Master Gardener exam.  Even though she was very busy studying and a wee bit harried, Bianca managed to make lovely festive arrangements for the tables at the luncheon.  Then, under Bianca's guidance,  NCBL members made floral arrangements for Waveny Care Center in October. 

Bianca and the Lee Garden trio, Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, and Kathy Lapolla, refurbished the planters at Town Hall for fall with gourds (grown in Bianca's own garden) and mums.

Last month, by supporting the Rotary lobster dinner, our members contributed to the NCBL.  This month, we are holding an event at Goldenberry for shopping, seeing friends, enjoying a bit of wine, and sampling some of Goldenberry's collection of cheeses while we raise funds for our league! 

November will be a busy month for us as we have our regular meeting and program with Bedford Village Florist Maureen Laning on November 4, the Goldenberry party on November 5, and the Flower Arranging Workshop at Waveny on November 9.  Be sure to put these events on your calendar.

The best part of being so busy in November is that there will be many opportunities to see one another.  We are a group that definitely enjoys working together as well as socializing together.

Faith and Sara
Vine Spacer
Wednesday, November 4th
at the New Canaan Nature Center
Coffee Social: 9:30 am
Presentation: 10:00 am

Come spend time with Maureen Laning, a celebrated flower arranger and long-time owner of Bedford Village Florist.  Maureen has worked in the floral industry for over 20 years and teaches Floral Design at the New York Botanical Garden.  She is well known for her exquisite artistry with flowers and her innovative designs.

Perfectly timed before the holidays, Maureen will demonstrate how to create arrangements that will work beautifully on your Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.
To download and print this program flier  CLICK HERE .

Vine Spacer
ball jar arrangement
Monday, November 9th 
Waveny House 10:00 am - noon

Join NCBL members Susan Bergen and  Shirley Stancik 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 (measuring approximately 4" x 4" x 4") will be provided.

Please R.S.V.P. by November 5th to Shirley Stancik: or 203-966-5377 
Hurry, as space is limited to 20 people!
flower arranging.jpg  

Vine Spacer

Waveny Flower Arranging 
Volunteers Needed for December

December 7th 
December 14th 
December 21st : no volunteers needed 
December 28th 
Grab a friend and bring cheer to the dining room tables of Waveny Care Center.

Contact Bianca Romano to volunteer.

Waveny Flower Arrangement Guidelines 
can be found HERE
An October arrangement by "new" member Judy Gilroy.

Vine Spacer

Thursday, December 3rd
NC Nature Center 8:30 am

Come and join us on Thursday, December 3rd, 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!


Vine Spacer
A warm welcome is extended to our newest member:

Babette Lubben!

Directory copies not picked up at the luncheon have been mailed out.  Please let us know if you have not received your copy.
If you know of anyone interested in joining NCBL, please share this newsletter with them.  They can download a membership form from our website or click HERE to download a form.

Becky Barlow, Valerie Monaghan, and Susan Smith   
Vine Spacer
Happy Birthday Goldenberry!
Celebrate at the NCBL Members & Friends Exclusive Shopping Night 
Thursday, November 5th from 5:30 - 8:00 pm
A portion of proceeds will go to NCBL! 
G oldenberry is celebrating its 25th birthday!  Come for an evening of shopping on November 5th from 5:30 - 8:00pm.  For a suggested donation of $10.00, each shopper will receive a Thymes Fraser Fir candle.   The donation and a portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to NCBL.  There will be wine, tasting of Goldenberry's cheese selections, and more.
Fraser Fir Candle from Goldenberry
A Thymes Fraser Fir Candle will be given to shoppers with a $10.00 donation.
Members and friends of NCBL are invited!   
Goldenberry is located at:
149 Cherry Street
New Canaan 
       cupcake and candle cupcake and candle cupcake and candle
Goldenberry Planning
Sara Hunt, Deb Hecht (Goldenberry owner), Faith Kerchoff, and Libby Butterworth plan the celebratory event.

Goldenberry Store
There is plenty of parking at Goldenberry!
Vine Spacer

Visitors to the Town Hall are sure to be wowed by the new look the planters are sporting this autumn.  A big round of applause goes out to Bianca Romano, Kathy Lapolla, Faith Kerchoff, and Yvonne Hunkeker for putting together such a beautiful arrangement of flowers and vegetables.  The gourds were grown by Bianca in her own home garden!

Vine Spacer
Congratulations to new Master Gardener Bianca Romano!

We congratulate you on this wonderful accomplishment!

Have you thought about becoming a Master Gardener?  Have you wondered what a Master Gardener is?  You can find more about the UCONN Extension program on the official website HERE.   
Vine Spacer
Luncheon Memories

autumn luncheon group
Carol Seldin, Chris Schipper of NC Land Trust, Sara Hunt, Larry Weaner, Faith Kerchoff, Amy Weber Reid.

Click HERE  to see more photos in our 
Autumn Luncheon Scrapbook!
Vine Spacer
Lee Garden 
Autumn is a beautiful time to visit Lee Garden.  The sun casts shadows and patterns through the trees and the leaves put on a colorful show.  If you look carefully, you might even find tiny visitors getting ready for hibernation.

The delicate yellow leaves of Rhododendron vaseyi.
This spring peeper is most likely looking for a place to hibernate.

The Lee Garden crew is hard at work getting the garden ready for its winter rest.  In this peaceful place paths are widened, seeds are spread, dead branches are snipped, and sticks are gathered.  The Lee Garden had help this year from many NCBL members:  Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, Kathy Lapolla, Robin Bates Mason, Sandy Siegel, Betsy Sammarco, and Eva Wingate.  Peggy Dannemann has been hard at work helping to secure an exciting future for the garden.  Come visit this wooded New Canaan jewel and contact our chairs to lend a helping hand.

Robin Bates Mason donated her extra astilbe to the garden and spread black mulch this summer. Thanks Robin!
Yvonne Hunkeler, Faith Kerchoff, Kathy Lapolla 
Vine Spacer
From Pine Street Planter to Table 
You never know what's growing in a planter on the streets of New Canaan!  The planter shown below sits outside Mrs. Greens Market and was planted and maintained by the Traveling Trowels and Hanging Baskets committees with plants from Valley View nursery.  Our volunteers had no idea the potato vine in the planter was anything other than decorative.  Imagine their surprise when the plants were dug up after the first frost and large, red, edible tubers were found in the soil!


  Faith Kerchoff and Sara Hunt cooked meals with the bounty of tubers.  They described the flavor as a cross between a white potato and a sweet potato with a hint of chestnut.

Sara's mashed potato vine tubers with sprigs of home-grown Italian parsley.
Vine Spacer
Around Town 
Creative landscape designer Heather O'Neill, was inspired by grapevine horns of plenty she found at Copia, to create Thanksgiving entrance urns for Carol Seldin.  These are on display at the entrance to Carol's 1000 Ponus Ridge home.

Vine Spacer
Did You Know That image
                                          (a new monthly NCBL newsletter column)

A monarch butterfly on butterfly weed in Greenwich Hospital gardens.

Did you know that the monarch butterfly is the only butterfly known to make a southern migration in the fall similar to the migration of birds?  They use updrafts of warm air ("thermals") and glide as they migrate, on the 3000-mile voyage from the Northeastern United States and Canada to the warm Central Mexican oyamel fir forests high in the Michoacan hills.  They travel about 12 to 25 miles an hour and have been known to log in over 250 miles in one day.

"Monarchs know when it is time to migrate south for the winter based on the environmental cues associated with seasonal changes.  They then get naturally high using air currents and thermals to travel such incredible distances.  In fact, the highest monarch was recorded at 11,000 ft by a glider pilot - that's over two miles up in the air!  Just to put this into perspective, most birds fly below 500 ft, hot air balloons only go up about 200 ft, and even songbird migrations occur in the 2000-4000 ft high range.  There's not really much else going on above 11,000 feet other than Mt. Everest (29,028 ft) and passenger jets (36,000 ft)."   On a Wing and a Prayer: 5 Fascinating Facts about the Monarch Butterfly by Peter Davis Krahenbuhl

Once the butterflies arrive in Mexico in October, they go through four generations of butterflies before they return north.  Each monarch butterfly undergoes four stages of life:  the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and finally the adult butterfly.   In February and March, the fourth or final generation of Monarch butterflies raised in Mexico comes out of hibernation to find a mate.   Most generations of adult butterflies live two to six weeks, but this extraordinary fourth generation will live 4 to 5 months. They must make the long migration out of Mexico and find milkweed plants in the north on which to lay their eggs.  By March and April, these exhausted travelers will on milkweed plants and lay their eggs.  The eggs hatch into baby caterpillars (larvae) which voraciously feed on their milkweed hosts. The butterflies then undergo the same four stages of evolution until another fourth generation of special long-lived butterflies returns to Mexico. 
The adult monarch feeds on nectar and water, sipping it with a sucking tube called a proboscis that lies coiled under its head when it is not eating.  The butterfly itself is poisonous to vertebrate predators like lizards, birds and frogs.  Cardiac glycosides, the poison used by the butterfly, is obtained from the leaves of the milkweed plant when the monarch was in its larval stage. The orange color of the monarch butterfly wings is actually a warning to potential predators that it tastes terrible or might be poisonous.   The male monarch has a black spot on the inside surface of their hind wings which the female does not have. 
Monarchs are often thought to be the most beautiful of all butterflies, and with their phenomenal migration, they can rightly be called the "king", or monarch of all the butterflies.   Conservationists are trying to protect the habitat of the monarch.  The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 2008.  This protected area covers over 200 square miles. The number of monarch butterflies is diminishing as people expand and cut down areas where milkweed grows.  Even in our own yards, we weed out milkweed that we think of as a weed, never realizing that it is essential for our beloved monarch butterfly to survive.
Vine Spacer