Wednesday, April 30, 2008

From the Chair

From Carol Eichler, chair:

Our April19th meeting day dawned as one of the first of the spring that was both warm enough and dry enough to work out in the garden – the sort of day this rock garden chair dreads. Why? I feared your garden and its alluring demands would be far more attractive than attending our talk.

So it was with great surprise (a good thing) that I saw so many people turn up for Hitch Lyman’s presentation on snowdrops. It was a near record crowd with many unfamiliar faces, attributed in part to the current snowdrop “craze” that Hitch mentioned. Of course, the great publicity provided by both the Ithaca Journal and Elmira Star Gazette and other informal word-of-mouth avenues helped to quickly spread the word that we were offering a program by a foremost galanthus grower.

My day proceeded to get even better. Our seedling exchange – and somewhat impromptu ephemerals sale (because technically, they weren’t seedling and besides they wouldn’t hold until our May sale) offered plants, plants, and more plants galore. Had I realized beforehand the extent of what had been brought in, I probably would have had difficulty focusing on the talk. Thanks to the generosity of our members there were many precious “finds” that will now become part of our envisioned gardens. Yes! It was a great way to kick off the growing season.

Coming soon is the May 17th Garden Fair and Plant Sale at the Ithaca High School. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year and provides the critical funding for speakers. Look for our booth, always situated indoors against the far wall. Set-up begins Friday afternoon and we welcome your plant donations, help with set-up and day-of-sale assistance, and of course, your purchases. Please encourage your garden friends to stop by . . . and to become a member. Remember members receive a 25% discount.

Need I remind you that we will not hold another speaker meeting until September 18th, followed by speaker programs in October and November? Besides tending to our own gardens during this apparent hiatus we have scheduled a June 21 day trip to tour gardens in the Syracuse area. Donna Kraft, whose own garden is on the roster, is coordinating this event and this issue contains more information about this fabulous inspirational trip. (See above if you're reading the blog.)

Another activity that the Chapter will be engaged in throughout the summer is the on-going tending of the Wurster Garden. As of this writing there is no scheduled work date so I expect we’ll be sending out an email alert when we do. Tom Myers is this year’s coordinator. The garden, located at Cooperative Extension’s offices at 615 Willow Avenue, should be nearing peak bloom about the time you receive this newsletter so do make a point of stopping by (pulling a few weeds while you’re there would be welcomed too).

This will also be your last newsletter until our July-August issue, arriving in time to remind you of our annual picnic and member-only sale on August 16th. Mark your calendar now to save the date because, thanks to you, our members bring such special and unique plants to share. It’s a not-to-be-missed event. More information is contained in this newsletter. (Or see above if you're reading the blog.)

So, despite the fact we won’t meet for awhile, there’s still lots going on. Enjoy the gardening season everyone.


Carol, John and Billie Jean at hypertufa workshop.

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