Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Seed picking': Great progress!

From Susanne Lipari:

Thanks to the 31 members who have come in over the last two weeks to pick seed for the seed exchange. This afternoons, we completed the last few order we had in hand. There will be more coming in over the coming week, and at the end we will have a big push to pack and mail out the remaining seeds to the chapters and to mail back the supplies. But for today and the next few days – no need to come in and pick. BZ will let us know when enough stragglers have come in to make another seesion worth it.

Thanks you all!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chapter Summer Trip June 5-7

From Susanne Lipari, membership coordinator (sel3@cornell.edu):

On Saturday, June 5, we will be heading down to Stonecrop to visit that lovely Cabot garden in its early summer glory. People wishing to also visit the sculpture garden at Storm King can do that afterwards and then join the rest of the group at the lodging (TBA).

On Sunday, June 6, we will be given a tour of the rock garden at NY Botanic Garden by garden’s curator, Jody Payne. After the tour, we can explore the rest of the garden or visit Wave Hill, not far away. We will meet at the East Norwich Inn in Oyster Bay on Long Island. There will be a cocktail hour in the courtyard of the lovely Chelsea Mansion, one of the Gold Coast mansions, followed by dinner in a local restaurant (TBA).

On Monday, June 7, we will visit Planting Fields Arboretum, with its synoptic garden, newly established Daphne collection, the rose garden, heather garden, late flowering rhododendrons…. Leaving Planting Fields, we can stop in at Martin Viette Nursery and – most importantly - stock up on goodies at Trader Joe’s. Return to Ithaca whenever you have had enough of Long Island.

Please let me or BZ know if you will join us for the trip, and if you will need us to make lodging arrangements for you and for which nights (the individual events – except Planting Fields - can be done as day trips for those who cannot spare more than one day).

May 8 deadline for NARGS awards nominations

From Lee Curtis, Chair NARGS Awards Committee (buzz.curtis@netscape.com):

The North American Rock Garden Society is seeking nominations for six prestigious awards, the Award of Merit, the Marcel le Piniec Award, the Edgar T. Wherry Award, the Carleton R. Worth Award, the Marvin E. Black Award, and the Linc and Timmy Foster Millstream Garden Award. For information about the awards and nomination details, see the Rock Garden Quarterly, Winter 2010, page 52-53. Or check the NARGS website, http://www.nargs.org/ Click on Board and Committees at the bottom of the page, and under Committees you will find Nomination procedure and lists of past recipients.

Please review the various awards. I’m sure you and members of your chapter know of individuals who meet the criteria and richly deserve recognition. As the Chairman of the Awards Committee, I invite you to consider submitting a nomination. The deadline for submitting the necessary letters and documentation for consideration is May 8, 2010, but the sooner you submit nominations, the more time you (and I) will have to garden when the weather warms up.

NARGS Board nominees

From Alice Nicolson, Chair, Nominating Committee (taxonomy@verizon.net):

On behalf of the NARGS Nominating Committee, I present the list of nominees for the three upcoming positions on the Board of Directors for 2010-2013. They will be voted on at the NARGS annual meeting in Colorado in July 2010.

Jane Grushow--Pennsylvania
Philip MacDougall--British Columbia
Anne Spiegel--New York

Brief Biographies:

Jane Grushow has been a member of the Delaware Valley Chapter of NARGS since 1980 and the Mason-Dixon Chapter since its creation in 1999, and she has been chair of both. She has a large garden and grows plants large and small, but dearest to her heart is a small rock garden, tufa, and sand beds. Jane is a retired photographer specializing in garden photography. Now most of her photography is underwater as her new addiction is scuba diving.

Philip MacDougall is an RN working at the BC Cancer Agency. He's also studied plant biochemistry and has a lifelong commitment to gardening. On one-half acre in Surrey, British Columbia, it's always sad to discover a plant has been pushed beyond its climactic tolerances. Program chair and Vice President of the Alpine Garden Society of Vancouver and program chair of the Rhododendron Society of Vancouver, he occasionally lectures on botanizing in many of the
world's diverse habitats.

Anne Spiegel has been a member of NARGS over 25 years and is a charter member and past President of Berkshire Chapter. She's spent many years botanizing in the Northeast, the Rockies, the Southwest, the Northwest, and more recently in the Alps. A dedicated rock gardener, she has spent almost 30 years building a rock garden on a very challenging site. Her plant interests are too numerous to list but any such list would be headed by the "glorious peas" (Fabaceae). She has numerous degrees from the University of Trial and Error and
is the owner of a large plant cemetery.

Exotic Plant Order Anyone?

From John Gilrein, Plant of the Month coordinator (basecamp@alum.syracuse.edu)

Two years ago a small group of Adirondack Chapter members placed a collective order to Janis Ruksans’ Bulb Nursery in Latvia. Ruksans was a speaker at one of our chapter meetings and is also a well-renown author of a book on bulbs. He has had access for years to areas formerly behind the iron curtain (the USSR) and other areas of Central and Eastern Asia (inaccessible to Americans in the past), and has collected seeds from many exotic areas.

His nursery has available many bulbs available either exclusively from him, or at least not widely available in the trade. Bulbs available vary from $2 Alliums to $80 Trilliums, and from easy to grow bulbs to some requiring very special conditions. The catalog includes a large selection of Alliums, Corydalis, Crocus, Iris, and Tulips.

Is anyone interested in working on a group order to Ruksans’ Nursery? I’m volunteering to help, but not to be in charge of the order.

Mr. Janis Ruksans
Bulb Nursery
LV-4151 Cesis distr.
Telephone: ++371-29-41-84-40, 641-00-326
Fax: ++371-641-64-003
E-mail: janis.bulb@hawk.lv
Catalog: US$5.00

More seed starting resources

Member Lynn Purdon Yenkey (visit her blog, Sin City to Slaterville) passes along two helpful seed starting sites:
Also, a great article in the WSJ on seed exchanges, including NARGS.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

'Seed picking' update: We need your help!

From Susanne Lipari:

We have decided to do the seed picking for the NARGS Seed Exchange Part 2 in the basement of KPL (outside BZ’s former office). This allows us to leave everything set up rather than having to move all the trays at the end of the workday when we are exhausted.

To get there, go down the stairs at the end of the central greenhouse isle. At the foot of the stairs, turn right and you will see us.

We really need help from you all. There were 6-7 of us yesterday, and it wouldn’t work well to have too many more at any one time. But it’s pretty hard work, and if people were willing to coordinate with BZ when they want to come in, we could do 2 hour shifts, making it much more tolerable.

We will be working today from 10 AM on until some time in the afternoon. Check with BZ (mmm10@cornell.edu) for work times tomorrow (Sunday). Next week, we will be working about 5 PM, but people who have been trained can really come in any time to work for some hours during the day.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NARGS Seed exchange - Time to pick!

From Susanne Lipari:

Our Chapter will be in charge of the 2nd round of the NARGS seed exchange. You are all encouraged to help, you do not need to be a member in NARGS National.

Why would you do that?
  • Because those working on this project have the right to pick up to 100 seed packets ( $5 per 20 packets) right at the start with a good chance of getting the seeds we want.
  • Because you get to hang out with a fun bunch of people and get fed and pampered to keep you in a good mood.
  • Because it‘s something that needs to be done.
The first seed picking session will start this coming Friday (3/12/2010) at 5 PM. There will be other sessions on the weekends and in the evenings until all orders have been picked. We will be in the seminar room working at KPL. (Parking on the Cornell campus is free after 5 PM and on weekends.)

Please send BZ (mmm10@cornell.edu) an email to let her know that and when you can help.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Plant of the Month: Cyclamen

From John Gilrein, Plant of the Month Coordinator:

Our March 2010 Plant of the Month is Cyclamen. Our plants will be from Ellen Hornig, one of our members, who has a nursery, Seneca Hill Perennials, in Oswego County, NY. We will have Cyclamen hederifolium and Cyclamen purpurascens, which are both hardy in our area.

C. hederifolium is a fall blooming Cyclamen, and is summer dormant. C. purpurascens is an evergreen, summer blooming Cyclamen. Leaf shape and silver markings on leaves are variable. The leaves can be extremely attractive, even without flowers. A mature C. hederifolium can have a dinner plate sized tuber and hundreds of flowers. The flowers are smaller than florist’s Cyclamen (non-hardy C. persicum), but make up for their smaller size with sheer abundance.

These Cyclamen will perform best in part shade in a humus rich, well drained soil, with a near neutral or alkaline pH. They are tolerant of lower pH conditions, evidenced by growing under Rhododendrons shown in the Cyclamen article (see March newsletter). Cyclamen are tolerant of root competition but intolerant of poor drainage. C. hederifolium should be planted where it will not be disturbed during its summer dormancy. Cyclamen tubers should be planted near the soil surface and mulched. C. purpurascens prefers to stay moist during the summer. Our Plant of the Month will be from a cold greenhouse, so it will need to be acclimatized before planting outside.

Additional cultivation information can be obtained from the Cyclamen Society’s website:

Next month’s Plant of the Month will be dwarf conifers.

Camille Doucet to speak on Botanical Illustration & Painting

From Rosemarie Parker Gardener.Parker@gmail.com:

The Finger Lakes Native Plant Society Present a slide show & talk by Camille Doucet, Painter, Botanical Illustrator, Watercolor Teacher, & President of the local chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators:

Botanical Illustration & Painting

In conjunction with the Living Light art show at the Tompkins County Public Library, Camille Doucet, one of the invited guest jurors, will present a different side of botany than we usually hear at FLNPS meetings. Camille will speak about the business of being an artist and art teacher, using slides of her work to discuss painting from photos and from live specimens. Her love of nature, of science, and of gardening is evident in her detailed images. Be ready for a visual treat!

Thursday, March 18, 2010
7:00 to 8:30 PM
at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County
615 Willow Ave., Ithaca

All are welcome!