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March 2018 Newsletter

MARCH 2018 Newsletter



March is a wonderful transition month.  The sun is warmer, days are longer, and while there is still the threat of winter weather, it's the beginning of a new growing season.  I feel like each morning brings so much opportunity to improve my little garden.  It's just a long patch of soil where lots of plants are hodgepodge and "opportunity plants" join in each year.  I think about what to add and sometimes take out (just as the over-rambunctious Lilies of the Valley).  This year I plan to add some of the beautiful Peony Daylilies I've just ordered from the NGC Plant America Community Projects Grant Program.  As you recall, NGC kicked off this program this year with the intention of making it long term.  This interest among the clubs across America was so great that 418 applications were submitted for the 20 awards that were planned to be given, based on funding that is currently available.  Several clubs in Maine participated.  So now, considering the strong interest it gained, NGC is looking at ways to increase its future funding.  This past spring P. Allen Smith, a well-known author, television host, entrepreneur and conservationist, spoke at the NGC Annual Convention.  He and our NGC President hit it off and he offered ways to help in the Plant America initiative.  He offered to use his business to develop, test and grow plants that would be available to NGC members -- us -- to purchase and add to our gardens and NGC gets a percentage of the sales.  So this comes back to my new plantings this spring.  Please go to the NGC website and look at the wonderful offerings available.  Also, I want to say to those clubs who applied this year, hold on to your applications and reapply and those clubs who haven't yet, this is a wonderful way to gain support for the many projects you're doing in your communities.  You play a very important role in your community!  GCFM is an exhibitor at the Maine Flower Show on March 22-25 at Thompson's Point, South Portland.  I appreciate the volunteers who'll represent GCFM at the show as we present our "best foot forward" to the many guests coming this year.  Also, Kathleen Marty and Barbara Longstaff are doing a presentation on bees and other pollinators as one of he programs.  Please plan to attend and support GCFM and learn about new ideas for our 2018 gardens.  In partnership with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, we're presenting the "Native Plant Forum" on May 15 at the Gardens.  The program covers a wide variety of topics.  The speakers we've selected are among the top experts in the State.  At the close of the meeting, CMBG is providing a guided tour of the gardens, focusing on spring wildflowers.  Registration is on the GCFM website.  Please sign up soon as there is limited seating.  The Annual Convention is quickly coming on June 18-20 at Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg.  Several of you have already registered and many of you are bringing family.  Please book your reservations as early as you can so you can select the accommodations of your choice.  There are a lot of activities and programs!  The Convention Committee is working full out to bring you a great Convention.  Please read the article by Vicky Marr, Convention Chairman, for details.  GCFM is getting into full swing with numerous club programs, District Annual Meetings, and, or course, Convention.  I hope you're able to take full advantage of these opportunities and I look forward to seeing many of you in the next few months.  Together, we make a difference!


We're only three months away from the 2018 GCFM Convention at Sebasco Harbor Resort, June 18-20.  Plans are being finalized by the clubs of the Medomak District and registrations are now coming in.  (To print off a copy of the Registration Form, the Schedule of Events, and the Schedule for the Standard Flower Show, click this link.  Scroll to the Convention photo and click the REGISTER button.)  Here's some of the things you can look forward to!  Uncover ideas and spark inspiration by getting to know your peers through networking.  Take advantage of the opportunities for learning from the Garden Tour, the Standard Flower Show, selected vendors, workshops, dynamic speakers, our special guest NGC President Nancy Hargroves, and most importantly, from each other.  Join in fellowship at a High Tea with flutists around the Gazebo as we recognize those who are State and National Life Members.  Come celebrate club achievements with Awards!  Reconnect and refresh by experiencing natural beauty and endless outdoor recreation surrounded by 450 acres of woodlands, waterfront and gardens.  We hope we've enticed you to join us at this year's Convention!  The early registration period ends May 18th, so get your forms in the mail.  For questions about the Convention itself, contact Convention Chairman Vicky Marr by clicking this link.  For information about entering the Standard Flower Show, contact Show Chairman Linda Frinsko by clicking this link.  For questions on the Registration Form, contact Registrar Fran Moore by clicking this link(EDITOR'S NOTE:  Thanks to Convention Chairman Vicky Marr for her timely updates for our Newsletter.)


The Sebasco Harbor Resort offers a wide variety of accommodations, from single rooms to family size and pet friendly cottages.  You can come early or stay a day after the Convention and bring the family.  Convention group rates are available from Friday, June 15 through Thursday, June 21.  Make your reservations now for the best selection.  Call (207) 389-1161 and mention the GCFM to obtain the special convention rate.  You'll be pleasantly surprised that the Resort is giving us the same rates that we paid for the 2008 Convention with rooms starting at $119.  What kind of amenities will you find at Sebasco Harbor Resort?  You can tee it up on the onsite 9-hole golf course; play tennis; explore the shores in a canoe or paddle boat or on a harbor cruise; set off on a fishing expedition; or dive in the saltwater pool for a refreshing swim.  How about a hiking trip, a lighthouse tour, or sunning on the beach?  Indulge in a host of treatments at the spa or exercise in the state-of-the-art fitness center.  To see photos of accommodations and the Resort, click this link.


As our 2018 Convention theme aptly points out, we'll be "Celebrating the Summer Garden" in style as we venture down country roads on the Phippsburg Peninsula visiting six lovely gardens on this year's tour.  For those of you not familiar with this scenic area, the peninsula is bordered by the Kennebec River to the east, the New Meadows River to the west, and the tip at Small Point looks out at the most eastern end of Casco Bay, opening to the Atlantic Ocean.  Our gardens -- four of which are owned by Bath Garden Club members -- feature everything from water and island views to woodland and shady gardens.  If you love trees, one of our gardens contains twenty types of Japanese maple trees as well as an espaliered pear tree.  You'll see gardens with tree peonies, blue poppies and unusual specialty plants. One of our waterfront gardens features rock walls and a meandering path through apple trees to the shoreline.  Several of the works of the well-known American painter John Marin are based on views from the front yard of this garden.  For those of you who saw the 2017 April/May edition of Down East Magazine, you'll have the chance to visit the garden featured in that issue.  Take the time to stroll down the many stone paths among the raised bed vegetable gardens.  Then picture yourself sitting down to a fabulous lunch in the potting shed, used for entertaining and featured in the magazine article.  Formal gardens and casual shaded areas will be waiting for you at another garden on the tour.  One of our members looks forward to showing off her "moon garden" filled with deer-resistant plants.  As you come up the drive, a large perennial garden draws your eye to the house and the river beyond.  Our final garden has an imaginative landscape where annuals, perennials, vegetables, and shrubs grow in abundance.  Take home ideas on how to improve your own gardens after the tour.  We hope we've piqued your interest in visiting the gardens featured at the 2018 Convention!  Make sure you sign up for the tour when you fill out your Registration Form. 


The GCFM Judges Council encourages all garden club members to consider entering either a design class or horticulture class/classes in the Standard Flower Show, "Maine: Vacationland."  Try your hand at creating a design to illustrate an aspect of Maine's fun activities or enter a specimen from your garden!  Entries for design and horticulture will be accepted on Monday, June 18 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  For more information and help, please contact Linda Frinsko, General Chairman at 839-3878 and Sandy Leonard, Design Entries Chairman at 249-5321.


Thanks to everyone who attended the Native Plant Symposium last August at the McLaughlin Garden and Homestead.  We enjoyed attending it with you and thought we'd give it another try --  this time giving attendees a chance to see spring wildflowers in another part of the State!  When we started looking for another location with excellent spring ephemerals (wildflowers), we hesitantly approached the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) and were amazed when they showed interest in partnering with the Federation on a day-long native plant forum.  Frankly, the only problem CMBG had with our plans was the thought that we weren't charging enough!  We're repeating lectures on identifying native plants and how to propagate native plants.  This is in response to attendees who said they wanted more information on the two subjects.  Lois Berg Stack will talk about identifying native plants (with plans to include phone apps used for identification) and Sean Jalbert will return to talk about propagation.  We'll also have Heather McCargo (who spoke at Fall Conference) about using native plants:  "Why Bother and What are the Benefits?"  Melissa Cullina, research biologist at CMBG and author of the biographical essay on Kate Furbish in the 2016 book "Wildflowers of Maine: The Botanical Art of Kate Furbish," will speak about the book and Furbish's work as a botanist.  Lois Berg Stack will present a second talk on "Using Native Plants in Home Gardens" and CMBG Director of Education Daniel Ungier will speak briefly about the CMBG Native Plants Certificate that they offer to those who complete a formal training series at the Gardens.  Following all the talks, attendees will have two hours in the Gardens including a docent tour before the Gardens close at 5 p.m.  The Registration Form is posted on our website.  Click this link to take you to our HOME PAGE and scroll down to the photo link to the Native Plant Forum Registration Form.  Lunch from the CMBG Cafe ($15/person) is available when registering.  Cost for the Native Plant Forum depends on whether you're also a CMBG member.  GCFM members who are ALSO CMBG members will pay $20.  GCFM members who aren't CMBG members will pay $32.  All others (neither GCFM nor CMBG members) will pay $42.  PLEASE NOTE:  This forum will be included in the CMBG's Catalog of Events sent to its members.  Because of the forum's low cost, we expect heavy registration numbers.  If you want to attend, please register as soon as possible!  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  Thanks to Nancy Atwell, Chairman of the Forum, for writing this article.  Harriet Robinson serves as Co-chairman.)


The clock is ticking to get your GCFM Award Forms submitted by the April 1 deadline!  The award year is January 1 - December 31, 2017.  I know how busy clubs have been with all of your programs/projects, etc. and now is the time to think about applying for GCFM awards.  Electronic forms are on the GCFM website under the AWARDS tab.  Check the list of awards to determine which ones your club will apply for.  I really hope each and every club will submit a CLUB OF DISTINCTION application.  Awards are based on the number of points earned by the Club.  To support the Club of Distinction application, please submit ONE AWARDS SUMMARY PROJECT FORM.  This form supplies extra information needed when taking points for certain items indicated on the Club of Distinction Award form.  You'll need to list the # and a brief sentence or two of what was accomplished which supports the points.  This form can be completed after you complete the Club of Distinction Award form.  Individual awards are listed under the GCFM Awards List.  To apply for those awards, please complete the GCFM APPLICATION FORM.  At the bottom of the page you can attach photo(s).  Please be careful of the size of the photo (keep it small).  If more than one photo is desired, please produce a document (you can put photos on a WORD document) and then attach it when you select the BROWSE key.  Membership Award -- The Norine S. Veal New Members Award is for March 1, 2017 - March 1, 2018.  Please list the member's name and month joined when submitting information.  You cannot save your document on your computer, so please print a copy before you click the SUBMIT key!  Once you click the SUBMIT key, you'll receive the following message: Thank You for Your Submission.  If you don't receive this message, your application did NOT go through, and you'll need to try again!!  Announcement of all awards, including awards received at the May NGC Convention, will be presented at the GCFM Convention Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 20.  Please be sure your Club is represented for this presentation.  Remember -- If you don't apply you can't be recognized for your achievements.  If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen by clicking this link or by phone at 207-633-7439.  I'd be very happy to answer any questions and help as you apply.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  This article was submitted by Kathleen Marty, GCFM Awards Chairman.)


March 22-25 will see thousands descending on the Maine Flower Show sponsored by the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA).  This year's show will once again be held in Portland at Thompson's Point.  Last year thousands of attendees marveled at the indoor landscape displays and took advantage of shopping for flowers, seeds, and getting a well-needed breath of spring.  Once again the GCFM will have an exhibit booth manned by members primarily from the Stroudwater District.  For those attending, you'll find the booth in one of the heated tents and marked on your map as space T-101.  The GCFM will also be well-represented by speakers Kathleen Marty and Barbara Longstaff who'll be presenting a joint program called "Gardening for Pollinators" on opening day, March 22, at 12:30 p.m.  We hope many will turn out to support our speakers as well as visit our exhibit booth.  Also, we're still looking for a few more volunteers.  If you'd like to help, contact Carmen Weatherbie by clicking this link.  For more information on the show, directions, where to park, and how to buy tickets, click this link.


"Delight for the Senses" is this year's theme of the Stroudwater District's Annual Meeting.  Scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 at the Purpoodock Club, 300 Spurwink Avenue in Cape Elizabeth, members will be treated to a morning and an afternoon program geared to delighting ALL your senses.  Registration the morning of the meeting opens at 9:15 a.m.  The morning program will be presented by Kelly Orzel of Bowery Beach Farm in Cape Elizabeth.  Her program entitled "Gardening for the Five Senses" will also feature scented geranium centerpieces for sale.  The afternoon program will feature GCFM Judges Council member Sandra Leonard who'll be demonstrating some of her floral designs.  The cost is $22 which includes a buffet of sandwiches, salad and cookies.  The Longfellow Garden Club will be the host club for this year's event.  Reservations are due by April 9.  Make checks payable to Stroudwater District and send to Marce Marcoux, 13 Orchard Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107.  Registration forms are available from your Club President.


The Old York Garden Club will host this year's Piscataqua District Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 26 starting with Registration at 9:30 a.m.  The program, featuring Heather McCargo, Executive Director of the Wild Seed Project, and luncheon will be held at the    Parish Hall of the First Parish Church, 180 York Street in York.  Cost to attend is $20.  The deadline for reservations is April 16.  Contact information and how to register will be available on the Old York Garden Club website starting March 10.  Click this link to take you to their website.  District members can also get more information from their Club Presidents.


Saturday, May 5 is the date for the Annual Meeting of the Penobscot District.  The Veazie Garden Club will host members at the Veazie Community School, 1040 School Street, in Veazie.  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. with the business meeting to start at 10:00.  A presentation by a speaker from Birdsacre -- Stanwood Wildlife Sanctuary of Ellsworth will start at 11:00.  A luncheon with soup, salad, cookies, breadsticks and beverages is also planned.  Cost to attend is $10.  One check from each club is requested and should be sent to the Veazie Club Treasurer, Gail Baillargeon, 48 Drew Lane, Bangor, ME 04401.  The deadline is April 27.


Dr. Anna Fiedler, Director of Land Conservation with the the Mid-coast Conservancy will be the featured speaker at this year's Medomak District Annual Meeting hosted by the Garden Club of Wiscasset.  Her talk entitled "We are All on the Same Trail" will be held on Monday, May 7 at the 1812 Farm, 1297 Bristol Road in Bristol.  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.  The cost to attend is $30 which includes the program as well as a lunch of assorted sandwiches and wraps, New England Clam Chowder, Mulligatawny Soup, assorted cookies, beverages and a cash wine bar.  For more information contact Beth Maxwell at 207-882-6180 or contact her by e-mail by clicking this link.


The Bar Harbor Garden Club will welcome St. Croix District members on Thursday, May 17 to this year's District Annual Meeting.  Dr. David Yarborough, Wild Blueberry Specialist & Professor of Horticulture at the University of Maine, will talk about "A Sweet Story:  Maine's Wild Blueberry Industry."   The location is the Northeast Harbor Neighborhood Houses, 1 Kimball Road, Northeast Harbor.  Doors open at 8:30 a.m. with Registration beginning at 9:00 a.m.  The fee to attend both the Program and luncheon is $25.  Following lunch, attendees can visit a few of the gardens that make up the Mt. Desert Land and Garden Preserve, including Thuya Gardens, Asticou Azalea Garden, and Little Long Pond.  Land stewards will conduct guided tours with a $5 donation requested.  Clubs are asked to send one check for all members attending the District meeting from each club.  Also, the Land Preserve wants to find out the number of attendees that will be participating in each of the garden tours (each tour to last one hour).  The names, number of attendees, which garden tour they're attending, and a check covering the $5 donation for each member also needs to be sent in ahead of time by the club.  Checks should be sent to St. Croix District GCFM, c/o Larry Mobraaten, 11 Lorimer Road, Lamoine, ME 04605Deadline for reservations is April 30.


"Apple Blossom Time" is the theme for this year's Kennebec District Annual Meeting to be held Tuesday, May 22.  The Bloomfield Garden Club will host attendees at the Lakewood Restaurant, 76 Theater Road in Madison.  A luncheon is planned with Jennifer Dimock from North Star Apples providing the program, "A Year in the Orchard."  Afterwards, attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Orchard's Gift Shop.  Members of this District should contact their respective Club Presidents to get more information about the cost to attend, starting time and the reservation deadline.


Celebrity gardener and author P. Allen Smith is partnering with the National Garden Club (NGC) to help raise funds for the Plant America Project Grants.  These grants are part of NGC President Nancy Hargroves's President's Project.  The promotion, entitled "Inspiring Gardens Across America", includes three different collections of plants selected by P. Allen Smith.  The plants were chosen because of a special feature in its hybridization for performance or beauty, or for its limited availability to the general public.  Sales began March 1 through the NGC website and will end on June 15.  The collections include peony-flowering daylilies (see photo above courtesy of the NGC), hybrid impatiens, and succulents.  Quantities are limited!  To find out more information and how to order, click this link to the NGC website which will take you to the Plant America page.


Another Blue Star Marker will be making its appearance in the St. Croix District -- this time as a result of the valiant efforts of the Franklin Garden Club.  The Club plans to dedicate their new marker on Flag Day, June 14.  Originally the Club wanted to have Route 182, which runs through the town of Franklin, designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway.  But after talking to their local State Representative, the Club was told that no new designations would be made until at least 2019.  Undaunted by this, the Club then approached the local historical society who eventually agreed to let the Club put the marker in Galamander Park where several local celebrations are held each year.  The Club already had enough funds in their small treasury to pay for a marker but knew they needed to try to raise $2000 to replenish their funds.  One of their newest members, Susan Levy, stepped up to help spearhead this effort.  She developed a letter about the Club and what the Marker would mean to the community and proceeded to try to solicit funds by contacting 57 businesses.  To date, businesses such as the Ellsworth Rotary, the Franklin Trading Post, and the No Frills Oil Company in Hancock (who donated 100 gallons of fuel oil for a raffle) have stepped forward to support the Club's fundraising.  For a small town such as Franklin, and a small club like the Franklin Garden Club, the efforts expended to make the Blue Star Memorial Marker a reality is nothing short of amazing.  To read an article that was recently written by a reporter from The Ellsworth American on the project, click this link.


The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) recently celebrated National Invasive Species Awareness Week (February 26-March 2) by warning residents of the latest threats to Maine forests!  Heading the list was an announcement that the first confirmed sighting of the Emerald Ash Borer has now been verified in Vermont.  This means that only Maine and Rhode Island (of the New England States) have not detected an infestation as yet.  The Vermont discovery was made by a private consulting forester who noticed tell-tale woodpecker activity called "blonding" on ash trees in a private forest.  The DACF is asking Maine residents to familiarize themselves with the warning signs that this invasive pest might be in their woods.  Click this link to learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer (photo provided by DACF).  The Brown Tail Moth is also on the rebound this spring with nests being spotted at the tips of trees in a wide area .  The Maine Forest Service reports this invasive pest, which primarily affects fruit and oak trees, is now stretching from the New Hampshire border north to Deer Isle, and inland to Raymond, Turner, Rome, Smithfield, Burnham and Eddington.  It's imperative that if you see their nests, clip them now and destroy them before they hatch.  For more information on this pest and what to do if you see it, click this link.  And while you're at either of these pages on the DACF website, why not sign up for their alerts on invasive threats!  You'll see a link at the top right corner of their website to sign up for e-mail and text alerts (SMS updates). 


If your club is planning a garden tour or a plant sale and it is not yet on our website CALENDAR please contact us by clicking this link.  You'll need to furnish BRIEF details so we can place your event on our CALENDAR.  If you plan to change your e-mail address, also click the above link to send this information to the GCFM Newsletter Editor.  If you know members who aren't getting the newsletter, encourage them to sign up!  You can also tell them it's posted on the NEWS side of our website after it's sent to subscribers.  We also need those club members who take care of their CLUB PAGE on our website to update them as soon as possible!  The public is using our website on a regular basis and it's imperative that the information we provide is up to date.  If you need help, contact Fran Moore by clicking this link.  Finally, don't forget to check out our FACEBOOK page where we continue to post photos from events (such as photos of our members' floral designs created for the Portland Museum of Art's recent event Art in Bloom.)  Click this link to take you to our HOME PAGE and then click the FACEBOOK symbol (white "F" in the green circle) at the top of the page in the white square near the Member's Log-in.  You'll even find video links to this year's Philadelphia Flower Show!    


March 14
Floral Design Workshop, Viles House, 73 Stone Street,        Augusta, FMI:  Marilyn Traiser
March 22-25
Maine Flower Show, sponsored by Maine Nurserymen and Landscape Association, Thompson's Point, Portland
April 1
Deadline to Submit GCFM Award Applications
April 11
Floral Design Workshop, St. Mary's Church, 43 Foreside Rd., Falmouth     FMI:  Marilyn Traiser
April 23
GCFM Board of Directors Meeting, Viles House, 73 Stone Street, Augusta, 9:00 a.m. Coffee; 9:30 a.m. Board Meeting
May 9
Floral Design Workshop, Viles House, 73 Stone Street, Augusta,      FMI:  Marilyn Traiser
May 15
Native Plant Forum, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay FMI:  Nancy Atwell                                                                 
May 20-24
NGC Convention, Lowe's Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA


Judith Tarbox

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