NOVEMBER 2021 NEWSLETTER
THYME TO GARDEN!
UNDER THE GROW LIGHTS!
It’s been a busy fall for GCFM. Bath Garden Club rededicated a Blue Star marker (see photo), St. Mary’s celebrated a ninetieth birthday, Penobscot District held an in person annual meeting postponed for over a year, and Maine hosted the New England regional meeting. We had a meeting for presidents and district directors which taught the presenters about Zoom and hopefully taught the participants about GCFM. We are getting the hang of virtual meetings, including Fall Conference. I encourage any club or district that wants to try a virtual or a hybrid meeting (some members in person and some on Zoom) to set it up with Ellen Jackson on the GCFM account.
We have been getting a lot of help and ideas from National Garden Clubs (NGC). Their virtual team has helped us out and their Membership Committee is holding monthly meetings to inspire state federations across the country. We are hoping to feature several of the NGC volunteers on Zoom lectures this winter. This way, our members from across the state that are interested will be able to delve into topics like leadership and photography.
I think gardening should be the center of our organization and was delighted with the initiative our Horticulture Chairman is taking. She had an idea for a program with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, contacted them, and set up a wonderful day for our members there next May. You will be hearing more about it as details are finalized.
The Stroudwater District started planning their convention before Covid hit and is working on a traditional two day meeting this coming June. The speaker, Joseph Tykonievich, will be terrific (I heard him speak at Tower Hill) and the Art in Bloom will be really special. GCFM members who are artists are encouraged to submit work so that the organizers can choose pieces from our members to inspire our designers. Two of our designers won top prizes at the New England meeting flower show proving that they are as good if not better than any in the other states in the region.
Responses to the recent GCFM survey indicate that some members would like more information on how to garden in Maine. The Horticulture Chairman and I are discussing how to best deliver information. As a start, this is what I am doing in my garden this November: fall clean-up. Because my space is very large, I want to prevent aggressive self-seeding, to eliminate nesting areas for voles, and to have a clean slate for spring bulbs. I have rural land around me so I do not leave my clean-up until spring as some do who are feeding wildlife. I also have reliable snow cover here in western Maine and cutting plants before they flop makes the job easier. I am still harvesting fall crops, but most other vegetable beds are cleared. Asparagus will be the last thing cut down, just before a snowstorm is forecast. Chopped leaf mulch weighted by miscellaneous wire fencing (I need to keep the leaves from blowing off because it is so windy here) is put on as cover mulch for vegetable beds. The mulch on ornamental beds is left in place and any errant weeds are pulled. The ornamentals are cut as they turn brown with a plan to finish around Thanksgiving. Speaking of Thanksgiving, pretty soon we will have a rest from our gardens as we are thankful for the joy they have brought us this past season. Harriet
ITEMS APPROVED AT OCTOBER GCFM BOARD MEETING
* Approved the GCFM Nominating Committee
* Separated investment oversight from the Finance Committee, which will retain budgetary oversight
* Made a donation to Penny Pines https://gardenclub.org/penny-pines in memory of Gloria Burrill and Clee Miller, former GCFM presidents
* Agreed to partner with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for an educational event for our members in May
* Heard preliminary results from the survey to members
* Heard plans for the GCFM 2022 convention including a juried art contest for the Art in Bloom program
MAINE FEDERATION PLAYS HOST TO NATIONAL PRESIDENT AND MEMBERS FROM ACROSS NEW ENGLAND
One of the largest crowds to attend a New England Region event in several years wrapped up a successful meeting in Wells when the GCFM played host to the New England Garden Clubs' 4th Annual Meeting. According to Meeting Chairman Suzanne Bushnell, 85 attendees including NGC President Mary Warshauer, spent two days enjoying great speakers, a wonderful flower show hosted by Maine Judges Council members, and spectacular weather. Of those attending, 32 were from Maine and many had never attended a Region event in the past. (See photo above of part of the Maine contingent with NGC President Mary Warshauer, front row, 3rd from left.) Area travel information was sent to all attendees ahead of time, and many took the opportunity to enjoy area sights along our southern coast. Marilyn Traiser, Chairman of the "County Fair" Flower Show, reported that 61 horticulture entries and 12 design entries made the Show quite a success. Two Maine floral designers -- Sabrina Warner and Alora Carrier -- were singled out for special recognition. Sabrina won the "Maine Designer Award" (photo above) and Alora won the "Ben Kirkland Award" (photo at right). Both designers entered their cascade designs in the class entitled "The Slide".
Suzanne sends her thanks to all who volunteered in any way to put on this event. It was a real group effort! To see photos from the event, go to both the GCFM Facebook Page and the National Garden Clubs Facebook Page. The postings are October 13-15. If you go to either Facebook page, you'll see NGC President Mary Warshauer introduce you to her scarecrow (created by Barbara Longstaff) which she won in the Silent Auction. Mary put together a very funny video segment introducing her Facebook readers to her new scarecrow on October 14th! (Submitted by NEGC Meeting Chairman Suzanne Bushell with design photos from Maine Judges Council Member Carol Smith)
NGC PRESIDENT MARY WARSHAUER ATTENDS OUR FALL CONFERENCE VIRTUAL EVENT
We were pleased to welcome NGC President Mary Warshauer to our virtual Fall Conference on October 26th. She found the lecture as fascinating as many of us did. Judith Sumner talked about her book "When Plants Go to War."
DEADLINE FOR APPLYING FOR NGC AWARDS IS DECEMBER 15TH!
The Awards Committee is encouraging all of the June GCFM award winners to apply for National awards. The list of all of the NGC awards and the application information can be found by going to the Awards section of the NGC website. Scroll down the page to see the classification of awards, and links to both the award application and explanations on how awards are scored. There you can see if one of the awards fits the award you won for the state. Send your questions and ideas to Judy Stallworth, GCFM Awards Chairman at email@example.com. She will assist you in submitting the application to NGC. The deadline for submitting an NGC award application to Judy is DECEMBER 15. She will then forward the application to the NGC Awards Chairman. Please note that the NGC uses electronic award submission! You need to first download the electronic form and then fill it out before forwarding it to Judy. You can find the form as noted by clicking the link above to the NGC Awards page on their website.
GCFM awards -- The award year is JANUARY 1 TO DECEMBER 31. The deadline for each GCFM award application is April 1 unless otherwise noted. There will not be National awards for yearbooks; however, we will continue to recognize clubs for this important publication. We are extending the deadline for submission of yearbooks to November 15. Submit them to Judy Stallworth and Emily Adler. (Click the links to their email addresses to have them send you their mailing address.) We are very interested in the fine work the clubs have done over the last year to try and stay together. We would like to recognize you for your work. Remember to take lots of pictures as you get back into your projects this year. (Submitted by GCFM Awards Chairman Judy Stallworth)
BATH GARDEN CLUB REDEDICATES BLUE STAR MARKER
The Bath Garden Club held a rededication ceremony for the refurbished 1954 Bath Blue Star Highway Marker on Thursday, September 9th. After a two year project to fully refurbish the marker and restore a derelict garden, it was installed at its’ new location at the Bath Regional Information Center on Commercial Street. It had been stored at Bath Public Works for over a decade when highway reconstruction along Route 1, a designated Blue Star Highway, necessitated that the original marker be removed.
Program speakers included military veterans Retired US Air Force Brigadier General Frank Dillon and Retired US Navy Master Chief Roger Dumont, GCFM President Harriet Robinson, Linda Redman of the GCFM’s Blue Star Marker Committee, and Bath Garden Club Immediate Past President and Blue Star Highway Marker Project Coordinator Pam LaJeunesse. A two year timeline of the marker refurbishing and garden restoration which included recognition of all the community partners who contributed to the project was cited by Pam.
On October 19, 1954, the Cosmopolitan Garden Club of Bath, in cooperation with the Garden Club Federation of Maine and the Maine State Highway Department, installed the Blue Star Highway marker at the intersection of Floral Street (near Shaw’s) and Route 1 in Bath. At a later time, the marker was put into storage during road construction.
In 2017, an interested citizen from Woolwich, Fred Kahrl, contacted the Bath Garden Club to try to find the marker and put it back in service. Past President LaJeunesse was able to locate the marker at Bath Public Works and facilitated its refurbishing and reinstallment, which included extensive landscaping of the surrounding garden.
The Bath Blue Star Highway Marker project was awarded the SPIRIT OF BATH AWARD from the City of Bath in October 2020 and a CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION from the Garden Club Federation of Maine in June 2021.
At the rededication ceremony, Ret. USAF Brigadier General Dillon shared his appreciation of the Blue Star Highway Markers as a reminder of the sacrifices made to protect our freedoms, and Ret. USN Master Chief Dumont reflected on the Markers as a deep acknowledgement of thanks to our U.S. service members, families of service members, and veterans. The ceremony concluded with the placement of a ceremonial wreath by Bath Club President Joan Toy and Past President Pam LaJeunesse. In closing, Ret. USN Chief Dumont read the lyrics to Taps, which was then performed by USAF Veteran Jeff McAllister on bugle. The marker has been returned to a place of pride and visibility. It will serve as a lasting tribute to our service men and women. The Bath Garden Club is grateful for the support and assistance of many community partners. (Submitted by Bath Garden Club President Joan Toy)
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR THE 2022 GCFM CONVENTION
ART IN BLOOM TO BE A FEATURE OF 2022 CONVENTION
An “Art in Bloom” program is planned for the next GCFM convention in June 2022 and we need art and floral designers!
ART WORK WANTED: Five works from our garden club members are needed to display at the GCFM Convention, June 15 and 16, 2022 at the Sheraton Sable Oaks Hotel, South Portland, Maine. Do you paint? Sculpt? Work in fiber arts? Select one of your works, then send a photo with details about the size of your piece to Program Chairman Donna Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 1, 2022. By February 15, the final five pieces will be selected and all the artists notified about the finalists.
The artwork will be on display in the Casco Bay Ballroom at the Sable Oaks Sheraton from the afternoon of Wednesday, June 15 through the conclusion of Thursday afternoon’s program. Each work of art must be “exhibition ready” with hanging wires, secure bases, and textile racks, etc. for display in the hotel. Artists are responsible for bringing their work to the hotel and transporting it back home. We will provide easels or tables for sculptures and paintings can be shown on walls using reusable hooks. The room will be secured when not in use. Artists will be asked to share a short paragraph about their work for display and the program.
FLORAL DESIGNERS WANTED: Each of the five works of art will be interpreted by two floral designs—for a total of ten arrangements. If you are interested in providing an arrangement, please email Donna Anderson (email@example.com) for an application, which we will need by January 1, 2022. Once you are selected, a photo of the artwork will be shared with you for interpretation through a floral design. Floral designers will be allotted $25 for supplies and you may bring your own vase or stand (the arrangements will not be sold after the meeting). Pedestal stands as well as tabletops will be available for display of the arrangements. Each designer will be asked to explain their design choices as part of the GCFM presentation (a written paragraph is sufficient).
The “Art in Bloom” Program Committee will share more information later this fall, but in the meantime please reach out to Donna Anderson if you have any other question. (Submitted by GCFM Convention Program Chairman Donna Anderson)
FORMER GCFM PRESIDENT CLEE MILLER PASSES AWAY
(Editor's Note: In just two months time, two former GCFM Presidents have passed away -- Clee Miller and Gloria Burrill.) Clee Miller, avid gardener, talented floral designer, and effective leader, passed away on August 29, 2021, just a few weeks shy of her 97th birthday. She was a long-time resident of Bailey Island, Maine. Active in local activities, Clee served as Harpswell Garden Club President, Trustee and President of the Orr’s Island Library, and was a member of the Mingo Club, an organization dedicated to fostering literacy and preserving historic Library Hall on Bailey Island. Her leadership duties included a term as President of the Garden Club Federation of Maine (1975-1977) and, later, she was President of the Longfellow Garden Club in Portland.
Those who knew her remember her fondly. Priscilla Davis, of Brunswick and also a former President of Harpswell Garden Club, tells us, "In addition to her leadership abilities and her great talent for design, she was an excellent grower and a knowledgeable horticulturalist. Competition was strong in horticulture at the annual Standard Show of the Club and she added to it. She was modest when the recipient of a blue and gracious if it was a red. She also encouraged new members to enter.” Clee’s neighbor and friend, Linda Blanton of Bailey Island, recalls meeting Clee when she walked past Clee’s garden, enjoying all her beautiful flowers. When Linda asked for gardening advice, Clee said “if you want to garden, get rid of the weeds!” She was proud of the Harpswell Garden Club, and Linda took her to see the projects they worked on in her later years.
While serving as GCFM President, Mrs. Miller worked to establish the Longfellow Arboretum in Payson Park in Portland in 1976. One of the speakers at the 1974 GCFM convention was Dr. Richard A. Howard, Director of the Arnold Arboretum, who suggested that communities should launch arboretums as beautification and education projects. Clee was very enthusiastic about doing this and encouraged the club to establish an arboretum. Mrs. Clifford Leys made a $6,000 bequest to pay for the plantings. Portland donated the land in Payson Park and is about three acres. The arboretum was dedicated on September 10, 1976 with 11 trees planted representing 11 different species. The purpose of the arboretum is to highlight trees and shrubs which are not common to the area. Today, the arboretum has over 100 trees and shrubs. It is classified as a Level 1 ArbNet accredited arboretum.
The theme of Clee’s term as GCFM President was, ”Our Goals are Great - PARTICIPATE.” This sentiment is still timely. Volunteering was a great part of Clee’s life, and her GCFM theme reminds us all to say “Yes” when asked to participate! (Tribute submitted by Becky Gallery, Harpswell Garden Club President and Linda Frinsko, Longfellow Garden Club member and former GCFM President)
FORESIDE GARDEN CLUB MEMBER LAUDED FOR HER VOLUNTEER WORK
Congratulations to Mary Berg of the Foreside Garden Club who was recently lauded by the non-profit organization Partners for World Health (PWH) for the work she's done to maintain their entry garden. According to Mary, the Foreside Garden Club contributed most of the plants, used in the entry garden, from member gardens. In the Facebook post put out by PWH they note that many of the plants are from Mary's garden and they thank her for her other volunteer work done "in our PT aisle". (Submitted by Mary Berg of the Foreside Garden Club)
ST. MARY'S GARDEN CLUB CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY
St. Mary's Garden Club celebrated both a Covid delayed 90th birthday as well as its 91st birthday at a casual gathering at the garden at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester.
LATEST NEWS FROM THE PENOBSCOT DISTRICT
The clubs of Penobscot District have not come together since May of 2019 due to Covid. The Hampden Garden Club did a fantastic job of hosting October 6 at the Kiwanis Center, a large room that afforded social distancing. Masks were worn and offered if anyone forgot.
Twenty-eight members from five of our six clubs were in attendance, as well as GCFM President Harriet Robinson. We enjoyed hearing what her visions are for the future of garden clubs. We also remembered fondly members who passed away. Clubs brought a raffle item to round out the meeting.
Lisa Colburn presented a workshop on a new addition to Flower Shows called Botanical Arts and in this instance, the Collage. Lisa created a power point that showed what can be done and she also brought several samples of her work from Florida and Maine. Her Florida club would be asked to grow and dry the plant materials when entering a Botanical Art project in a Flower Show. For this workshop she provided everything (photo is of a sample collage).
We enjoyed a delicious lunch of wraps and salads. We continued with some business as we worked on our projects. Each club was asked to give a verbal highlight of something their club did. Brewer Garden & Bird Club once again donated backpacks filled with school supplies to the Brewer Community School. Hampden Garden Club’s program on Brown Tail moth prompted them to ask a local merchant to have their landscaper eradicate the nests. Unfortunately they didn't do a complete job so a member removed the nests herself! Milo Garden Club's tradition of a summer fair was expanded and a huge success while Sebasticook continued with summer meetings and field trips around the area. Veazie held their first plant sale in years and plan to continue with that instead of their usual auction. And I know that Orrington Garden Club is always involved in their town's Olde Home Week. It's difficult holding a District together when clubs are spread far and wide. Our clubs are small and enjoy the work they do in their own communities. But I am sure we can accomplish anything if we come together as we did this day. (Submitted by Penobscot District Director Carol Smith)
FLORAL DESIGN CLASS SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 10th
After their very successful Flower Show at the New England Garden Clubs event in October, Maine Judges Council members are back to work with the next scheduled class for both advanced design students and beginning designers. The November 10th class is emphasizing the Petite Design. This month both the advanced and the beginning students will be asked to create this particular design. The advanced class is held at 10:00 a.m. and the beginning class at 1:00 p.m. at St. Mary's Church, 43 Foreside Road in Falmouth. If you haven't signed up yet but are interested, you can go to our GCFM website HOME PAGE and click on the REGISTER button found on the Floral Design photo. Cost to attend is $10. There will be no class held in December. (Photo is courtesy of Carol Smith, one of our flower show judges, of some of the beautiful dahlia entries at the recent NEGC Flower Show in Wells.)
TRIBUTE TO GLORIA BURRILL (Part 2)
(Editor's Note: Former GCFM President Gloria Burrill passed away in July. Because of the many tributes that friends and members have sent in, part of her tribute appeared in July.) Each person who sent information for this tribute to Gloria expressed the same sentiments. She was a very special lady. Because of space constraints we have selected portions of two remembrances for print. Thank you to all who offered their stories.
Lisa Colburn wrote: I met Gloria Burrill when I attended my first GCFM-sponsored event almost twenty years ago. She was the state Gardening Study Chair and was rather adamant that I attend her Gardening Study classes. I resisted, indicating that I’d been a botany major in college and had just completed Master Gardener classes. I’d had enough. Then, one day she showed up at my house with a bucket full of tree specimens for me to identify. I think in one way, she was saying, “Okay Miss Fancy Pants! Show your stuff!” Well, I was able to identify all her specimens but more than that, we hit it off and became good friends. Gloria took me under her wing and before I knew it, I was the next Gardening Study Chair. She had her sights set on me and didn’t back down. Gloria had an undeniable zest for life! She was a strong, assertive woman. Her laugh was bold and her smile could light up a room. She was a force to be reckoned with. I’m so glad that I met this remarkable woman…so glad to call her my dear friend.
Lois Stack wrote: Gloria had broad and deep knowledge of plants, gardens and nature. She never stopped learning about gardens, and she never stopped sharing her love of plants. For many years, she organized the GCFM Gardening Study Courses. She personally took care of every detail. To top it off, she made the most delicious lunches for everyone. I loved her pickles. Gloria understood that being part of something bigger is always a good thing. She loved her gardens, and shared her enthusiasm with other gardeners in the Sebasticook Garden Club. She understood that the garden club members were made richer by participating in GCFM projects that connect garden club members throughout the state, to the benefit of their local communities. Gloria was much more than a gardener and mentor. She was the best kind of friend. She would be happy to know that I plan (finally!) to divide some old hostas next spring … she would say “well, it’s about time!”; and then flash that smile that made everyone around her happy. (Thanks to Carleen Harriman, Sebasticook Garden Club member for submitting Part 2 of this Tribute to Gloria.)
DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOUTH GARDEN AWARDS!
The National Garden Club website is a treasure house of information not only regarding Youth Contests, but also support for projects and programs to instill our youth with the wonder of growing things, ecology, conservation and getting out of doors! The National Gardener is now online for all of us to enjoy. This issue contains inspiring stories of Clubs and youth gardening successes.
NGC has many resources for Clubs such as "The Ecology Warrior" workbook which may be downloaded. The continuing Plant America --Play Outdoors for adults and children has grant money up to $1,000. It also has a downloadable "Play Outside" workbook (see photo). There are youth pollinator grants available for gardens with this theme. Clubs can organize or support existing youth gardens affiliated with schools, neighborhoods, day care centers, Scouts, 4H Clubs, Master Gardener Programs or Future Farmers of America.
NGC has a new publication (K-4) entitled "Network With Nature" to add to the previous books "The Frightened Frog" and "The Saved Seed"-- great gifts to give from Clubs to School and Public Libraries. Step by step instructions for Award contests are included on the website and can all be printed out, including local "certificates of participation"/ award ceremonies. The poetry theme for 2022 is "Sing With the Songbirds- Explore the Glory of Nature". It, as well as the Sculpture Contest, Distinguished Service Project (1st place-$100, 2nd place-$50 prize), Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl submissions are due January 7, 2022. Please mail to Dianne McMullan, PO Box 364, Bass Harbor, Maine, 04653. Do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 207-244 4582 with any questions.
GCFM President Harriet Robinson and I have been contacted by Susan Sager from the Maine School Garden Network. This organization can offer support through their website and webinars and newsletter for Clubs working in School gardens and greenhouses. Susan will be at the Gorham School Garden for the 2022 GCFM Convention Garden Tour and is interested in networking with Clubs. She is available as a speaker for Clubs or meetings such as District Annual Meetings to get the word out. I encourage you to visit the NGC Youth Page on their website and Maine School Garden Network website for the many opportunities to "grow Maine gardeners"! (Submitted by Youth Chairman Dianne McMullan, Bar Harbor Garden Club)
HARPSWELL GARDEN CLUB SCHEDULES A FULL SLATE OF VIRTUAL PROGRAMS
The Harpswell Garden Club has a full series of virtual programs to be held by Zoom this fall and winter. They just had Andrea Southworth from the University of Southern Maine, who now oversees the Children's Garden at Ft. Williams Park, located in Cape Elizabeth at Portland Head Light, speak by Zoom about the transformation of a vacant hillside into the beautiful Children's Garden. Their November program will feature Landscape Architect Andrew Capelluti of Ecological Landscape Design talk about his work replacing invasive plants with native plantings. Andrew's work was on display at this summer's Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour (see photo courtesy of Suzanne Bushnell). In this photo he transformed his father's property overlooking Portland Harbor from a mass of invasive plants to a beautiful landscape of native pollinators. Harpswell looks forward to assembling their annual "Mugs of Cheer" for the holidays, to be distributed by Harpswell Aging at Home to seniors in need of holiday cheer. February through April will feature more Zoom presentations -- from ticks to terrariums to a pictorial array of members' gardens through the seasons! (Submitted by Newsletter Editor and Harpswell Garden Club Member Suzanne Bushnell)
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Your Newsletter Editor introduced you to the "crazy worms" in her garden in a previous newsletter. Our Horticulture Chairman Katy Gannon-Janelle is the latest victim of these invasive pests!) The first thing I noticed, was how friable my soil was. Like coffee grounds. Then I wondered if I was crazy, or were my worms moving like snakes?
I had heard of jumping worms, crazy worms, whatever you want to call them, but could that be what I was looking at? A check-in with Gary Fish, State Horticulturalist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, confirmed that yes indeed, these active, glossy dark worms with a pronounced white ring, were jumping worms. Although it was suggested online to drown them in alcohol, I was tempted to pour a stiff drink for myself! Like most of us in GCFM, my garden means the world to me, and I had a proven Infestation of Amynthas. Unlike their European counterparts, the Lumbricus worms we are familiar with, these critters do not aerate the soil, they decimate it. They churn through organic matter and the nutrients too quickly to let our plants absorb any. They also lock those nutrients into castings that make the top layer of soil look like coffee grounds. Check. They don’t tend to travel below that topmost layer, so they are not taking nutrients down to our plants roots, and they are not aerating the soil down there either.
The story gets worse, as the Amynthas worms procreate like, well, crazy. They lay about twenty cocoons a month, hatching out multiple generations in a summer season. Those cocoons are dark in color and the size of mustard seeds, making them excellent hitchhikers on other plants and in purchased soils. Like any invasive they have no known predators or natural controls. They can hide in soil for more than a year before hatching. Amynthas have been in the U.S. since the 1930s, but have only recently become a widespread problem. Some blame this on climate change, some on just a population reaching critical mass that can no longer be controlled.
Have I made you crazy yet? I’m sorry! But as active gardeners with our hands in the dirt, we are the first line of defense. We owe it to our own gardens and the land around us to educate ourselves, and become vigilant. To that end, I recommend visiting https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/horticulture/crazyworms.shtml for the most accurate and up to date info. Reaching out to your extension office is also a good idea.
Be vigilant in knowing where your plants come from, use local and reliable sources. Talk to your local nursery to ask how vigilant they are about sourcing plants and soils. Inspect your garden by scraping an inch or so of soil off the top for spot checks here and there. When you pick up a new plant, inspect the roots, if there is missing soil or a void where roots should be, don’t buy it, and better yet let the salesperson know what you found. Gary Fish suggests we “do not import materials like mulch, compost, leaves, or even plants with soil, instead buying plants as bare root.” Excellent advice. If, heaven forbid, you end up like me and have them in your garden, do not contribute plants to your club sale, or share with other gardeners, or even transplant to a pristine part of your own garden. Wash your tools, gloves, and boots fastidiously in hot soapy water or wipe with alcohol. A mustard and water solution can be made and poured on your garden which will bring the worms to the top without harming your plants. Catch them, and drown them in a can of vinegar, or even just soapy water. Gary Fish suggests that drowning the amynthas in alcohol is “a bit too much and quite flammable.”
Eradication is probably not possible, but control may be. I will stay in touch with the extension office, and follow the best advice. If any of you are in the same boat, feel free to email me at email@example.com. We can share info, and at the very least commiserate. I will end on a bit of hope from Gary Fish. "I don’t see them as a huge threat in most gardens, only in the forest.” He is working on gathering a worm task force, where they will explore management tactics to slow the spread. It is a lot to take in…if it helps, take a sip of that alcohol. And have a bucket of soapy water ready for the worms. (Photos and article submitted by GCFM Horticulture Chairman Katy Gannon-Janelle)
GET YOUR FALL GARDEN CHORES DONE NOW!
* Mow your lawn without a collection bag, which will chop the leaves and deposit a fine mulch on your lawn that will settle into the soil over the winter. You may want to run the mower over a couple of times to really chop.
* Leave any hollow stemmed plants at least a foot tall, to provide a spot for pollinators and native insects to overwinter.
* Freshen up your bed lines with an edger, when the snow melts you will be so glad things look tidy!
* Learn what woody invasives in your area look like without foliage, and identify by the bark. Remove anything like glossy buckthorn or bittersweet now, when there are fewer other chores on the garden.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: If you have news to share about your club for our newsletter, contact Suzanne Bushnell by clicking this link. Our next issue is January, 2022. Since your Newsletter Editor would also like the opportunity to enjoy the holidays, I'm asking you to get your articles to me as soon as possible starting December 1st. The absolute deadline for any articles will be December 20th. If you have photos to share for the GCFM Facebook page, send them to Kathleen Marty by clicking this link and attaching your photos. Please identify your event with any photos sent. Happy Holidays to Everyone!!
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
* November 10 Maine Judges Council Design Class
* December 15 NGC Award Submission Deadline
* January 1 Submit photo of artwork for Convention
* January 1 Submit application for Convention design
* January 7 Deadline for Youth Award applications