Monday, October 17, 2016

Sacandaga Garden Club

The Sacandaga Garden Club's 2016 - 2017 has begun what promises to be a very busy and very interesting season.  Activities were launched with a picnic which was hosted by Bette and Ronnie Flynn at their home on September 1st.  

Members enjoyed a wide variety of delicious homemade dishes at the pot-luck lunch.  Club Advisor, Mrs. Doris Guyon, filling in for President Bonnie DesFosse, thanked outgoing officers Gale McGowan, Joyce Callahan, and Ruth Ralston for their service to the club.

Mrs. Guyon then installed Janet Mitchell (Vice President), Carolyn Learch (Secretary), and Diane Knapp (Treasurer) as new officers for the upcoming year.  Booklets outlining all the activities for the coming season were presented to the members.

On Thursday, September 15th, several club members journeyed to the LandisArboretum in Esperance, for a walking tour with Fred Breglia.  Mr. Breglia shared his wealth of knowledge about the tree specimens that adorn the Arboretum.  Information gained on such expeditions allow us to return home and use what we have learned to improve our own gardens and properties.

Our October meeting took place at the Northville Presbyterian Church meeting room.  Janice Winney led members in creating their own individual pumpkin fall centerpieces.  At the meeting which followed, the annual luncheon and auction was discussed.  This year it will be held at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown on November 10th.

Respectfully submitted by:     Bette Flynn (Publicity)


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

2015-2016 season of the Sacandaga Garden Club

The 2015-2016 season of the Sacandaga Garden Club came to conclusion - well sort of anyway - with a meeting held in the Presbyterian Church Hall on Thursday, June 2nd.  You see even though the last formal meeting took place, members still had and will continue to have much to do these coming weeks.

At the last meeting, reports were given and gratitude was expressed to all those who took part in the annual Plant Sale, which took place on May 7th.  

The Garden Club has a long standing tradition of offering home grown plants for sale to visitors at the Northville Village garage sale.  

The event was a big success and many happy customers will surely be seeing their purchases flourishing in their gardens and homes this summer.  

The focus of the meeting then shifted to upcoming events.  Members were asked to contribute ideas for the coming 2016-2017 season.  Suggestions for possible speakers and topics for scheduled meetings, as well as road trips of interest for members, was discussed.  The Club's officers will now sort out all of the proposals and will put together what promises to be an exciting agenda.  

Margreet Monster, one of our Club's Master Gardeners, then fielded a variety of questions from members about gardening and care of plants, shrubs, and flowers during the summer months.  Such question and answer sessions and sharing of ideas always offers such encouragement and support to all those in attendance.  

Margreet and Doris Guyon then offered suggestions to members who were planning to participate in the Club's annual Flower Show.  The theme of this year's show was "Travel Destinations" and it was held at the Northville Library from June 8th to June 11th.  

Hopefully many of you were able to stop by the Library and view the designs that took you around the world in a most unique way.  And if you missed it this year, please make a mental note to be on the lookout for next year's show.  It always takes place early in June.

And last but certainly not least, many members took a road trip on June 16th to Charlton, NY.  They went to see "Shades of Green", a beautiful garden of hostas and other perennials in a woodland setting.  Afterwards they enjoyed lunch on the grounds belonging to Wynne Trowbridge.

Now as the warmer days of summer are upon us the Sacandaga Garden Club members put their formal activities to rest but they will all certainly be busy working on their own home gardens and putting all that they have learned this year to good use.  Formal meetings will resume in September and until then - Happy Gardening To You All!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Sacadanga Garden Club

The latest meeting and workshop of the Sacandaga Garden Club took place  at the Northville Presbyterian Church basement on Thursday, May 5th.  Members were introduced to Ms. Betty Kobernuss, a District 5 National Accredited Flower Show Judge, who offered a brief lecture on creating abstract collages using floral and various other materials.  Betty displayed examples of her work and opened the minds of those gathered to the possibilities of their own creativity.  She then shared with the members a myriad of materials that she brought with her and those gathered eagerly went to work making their own works of art.

The workshop was followed by a business meeting.  Plans for the annual Plant Sale that was held on May 7th were discussed.  One of the club's resident Master Gardeners, Margreet Monster, spoke about a number of gardening concerns facing all of us at this time of year.  Proper soil preparation and the correct use of fertilizers, as well as the need to update tulip bulbs were explained by Margreet.  Club president Bonnie Desfosse asked members for input about possible field trips for the upcoming 2016-2017 season.

The next Garden Club meeting will take place at the Northville Library on Thursday, June 2nd.  That meeting will conclude with a workshop for members who will be participating in the Club's non-juried flower show.  That show entitled, "Travel Destinations", will be held in the Library from June 8th until June 11th.  We hope that many folks will be able to stop in and view the floral displays that will hopefully transport you to many places of beauty and wonder.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Oh my goodness, we had an absolutely riveting presentation from Janice Strevy of Rosewood Gardens on David Austin English roses. She has a unique viewpoint when it comes to growing roses in our area and she went through her processes from start to finish and made us all realize that beautiful rose gardens are in fact a reality for us. Take a trip to West Charlton and check it out, you will not be disappointed.

Perennials are now starting to pop up so take a look and see if you need to divide any. It’s a good time to divide the sedum and they do look lovely with grasses so maybe you have some miscanthus that needs dividing and if so you have a ready-made combination. Come by the plant sale we have opposite the old Stewarts on May 7, we have perennials from our gardens to share with you and we can give you tips on planting, care and plant combinations.

If you didn’t feed your garden in the Fall, now is a good time to spread 5-10-5 fertilizer around. The fertilizer will work its way to the roots right when the plant needs it. Your bulb beds will also benefit as the bulbs need to grow next year’s bulb right after this year’s flower has gone by. That’s why we deadhead the bulbs but leave the foliage on them until they naturally dry out. Do some shallow cultivation to root out the weeds that are starting. If you do this weekly and then mulch when the weather is warmer you will have much less of a weed problem than if you wait until summer to have an afternoon of weeding.

As you wander through your garden keep a close eye out for the lily beetle. It’s about a quarter inch long with a red body and black legs. This pest is unfortunately all around our area and the beetles can decimate lilies and fritillaria quite quickly. The adult beetles stay alive throughout the winter and emerge early in the spring, when they begin looking for food and mates. The adult females lay their eggs, a reddish brown mass, on the underside of lily leaves in April or May and they hatch within eight days. The young larvae are look like small slugs and they feed on the underside and the upper surface of lily leaves and on lily buds. This feeding period, which lasts 16-to-24 days, is the most destructive. From there, the beetles drop to the soil and pupate, emerging as adults about 16-to-22 days later and continue feeding for the rest of the season. As the lilies grow check the underside of the leaves and remove the eggs. You can also wipe or spray neem oil on the plants which has shown to be a deterrent. There are also a couple of pesticides available that work on the beetles.

In your veggie garden you can continue to add organic material all year, remember that you can plant your transplants right through it. Take some time to decide where you are going to put your tomatoes and peppers this year – hopefully some distance away from where they were last year. Dig some holes where the plants are going to go and then cover the area with plastic; garbage bags work well. The idea is to warm up the soil because tomatoes and peppers do not like to go into cold soil, peppers will sulk and I have years when they put on very little growth when I planted them too early. You are looking for night time temps of about 50 degrees so the first week in June is generally a good time to plant out. If your soil is warm and your transplants are hardened off they will get a very good start and you will be surprised how quickly your tomatoes will catch up to those of your neighbor who planted hers mid May!

Just a couple of dates to remind you about: our plant sale that I mentioned earlier is on Saturday, May 7 during the Northville annual garage sale days. We are opposite the old Stewarts. 

Then Wednesday June 8 through Saturday June 11th we have our annual flower show at the Northville Public Library. The theme this year is Travel Destinations so be sure to come by and look at the wonderful arrangements that our members create.

As always, if you have any questions, our address is PO Box 675, Northville and happy gardening to all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


We had a wonderful start to our 2016 garden year with a presentation from Sue Beebe, the Assistant director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ballston Spa.  Many thanks to our President, Bonnie Desfosse, and her team who find these wonderful gems for us all to enjoy.  Any of the presentation we hold at the Northville Public Library are open to the public and gives you a chance to learn something about our gardens and to meet with a great group of people and – refreshments!  So keep an eye out in this magazine for dates and visit our website at for details.

Sue’s presentation was on growing hydrangeas.  We’re all used to the old fashioned (and still great) mop head hydrangeas but she showed us many new varieties and gave us tips on selecting them and taking care of them throughout the year.  She’s very knowledgeable and it was a treat to learn from her experience.  The hand out she gave us all is now part of my go to garden reference material.

March is a great time to prune the summer blooming shrubs.  I say summer blooming because those bloom on new wood so you can prune back quite severely now and it won’t affect the blooms.  When you prune think about the shape of your shrub and how you want it to fit into your landscape through the summer.  Thin it out as more air circulation the better for the health of the shrub and try to work it so that your last cut ends above an outside facing bud so that the new growth will grow outwards not back into the middle.  It is not time to prune lilacs, forsythia, azalea or rhododendrons as these are spring bloomers and pruning now will cut off the flowers.  You can prune these, if you want and nothing says you have to, after bloom.  A good rule of thumb for lilacs and forsythia is to remove one fourth of the oldest wood each year which keeps these plants on the shorter side but doesn’t impact the blooms.

If you didn’t clean up your garden last year then get a start on it now but watch that you don’t trample on the newly emerging bulbs.  If you have a compost pile you need to take the brown gold and use that in your gardens for the spring before adding new material.  If you have the space you can start a second pile or make a bin for this year’s stuff.  An easy way to trim your big grasses is to wrap a string around them and take a serrated knife, or perhaps a chain saw,  and cut below the string which you can then use to transport the grasses to your compost area.  They will compost better if they are cut into small pieces first or you can use them as mulch in the vegie garden or flower garden.  Check the bird houses too, don’t want those new little chickies getting sick because of some old material that got moldy.

Have you started any seeds inside yet?  Towards the end of the month you can start the warm weather crops such as tomato, pepper and eggplant because they won’t go into the garden until the end of May but you can plant the brassicas now, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. Since they can take the colder weather and after they are hardened off you can transplant them outside sometime in late April.

Indoors, all of your plants will enjoy a light feeding of fertilizer.  You can use the granulated or a liquid at half strength.  You may need to start watering a bit more frequently now that our days are staying longer.  If you have some plants that need repotting now is the time to do it.  Look at the bottom of the pot and if roots are coming out then slip the plant out of the pot and if the roots are all over the root ball it needs help.  Cut off the tail of roots coming through the hole in the pot and try to loosen the roots around the root ball before potting it into a larger container filled with the same type of soil you had in the original pot.  If you don’t have room for a larger container you can try to slice off some of the roots from all around the plant.  After you report it you will need to watch the plant carefully, do not fertilize or over water and keep it out of direct sun until it recovers.  It will help to reduce the foliage too.  Check your Christmas Cactus, now is a good time to cut it back, you can break off the ‘leaves’ back as far as you want to go and two new ‘leaves’ will sprout from that point.

Now is the time to pot up the tuberous begonias, geraniums, cannas, dahlias and calla lilies you’d had stored over winter.  Keep them in filtered bright light until new shoots start to arrive and gradually transition them to full sun.

March and April are wonderful times in the garden but we never know when we have 70 degree weather and then a frost so watch the weather, know your micro climes and dream of those wonderful flowers and fresh veggies.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 6 at 1:00 p.m. at the Northville Public Library when Janice Strevey of Rosewood Gardens will talk to us about David Austin fragrant English roses.  You are all invited to come and join us.

As always if you want to know more or want to contact us the address is POBox 675, Northville.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sacandaga Garden Club News

Leaves, leaves, leaves!  Living in the Sacandaga area we are truly blessed in the autumnal season to be surrounded by nature's array of glorious colors.  Dazzling vistas of gold, burnt orange, vibrant reds and various shades of green can take your breath away and even bring "leaf-peepers" from far and wide to view the beauty.  However, the scenic wonder soon fades away and many of us are now faced with the daunting task of raking those leaves, leaves, leaves!

The members of the Sacandaga Garden Club were recently treated to a presentation about leaves but it was not about the leaves I just described.  Rather Liz Gee a Master Gardener and club president of the Schuylerville Garden Club offered a demonstration entitled "Leaf Manipulation in a Floral Design".  Liz shared with members many of her award winning floral designs utilizing the leaves of some common house plants.  She showed those gathered how leaves can be woven into interesting backdrops for arrangements.  By making parallel cuts in large leaves, she made delicate fan-like structures that added a unique appearance  to the design that she created.  Members eyes were opened to the possibilities of what one could do with plant leaves.  And just as the leaves of autumn can be breathtaking, Liz Gee proved that the leaves of the houseplant also have a special beauty of their own.

Following  the presentation members utilized the experience of our very own Master Gardeners, Barbara Henry and Margreet Monster.  Both ladies fielded a wide variety of questions and offered advice as to the care of our gardens.  We are fortunate to have such skilled gardeners in our midst who readily share their expertise.  A brief business was held and plans were announced for the Club's upcoming luncheon and auction at Lanzi's on the Lake.

Respectfully submitted by:

Bette Flynn