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May 2018 Newsletter



June as a time of Dedication to members and families of the Armed Services and of celebration during the 87th Annual Convention.  Franklin Garden Club dedicated a new Blue Star Memorial Marker in the historic Galamander Park.  Susan Levy, A franklin Garden Club member and driving force, met all challenges so she could have her father's service during WW II remembered.  It was held on Flag Day and all of there felt the significance of the ceremony.  The First Gold Star Families Memorial Marker was dedicated at the P-3 Park in Brunswick.  The Harpswell Garden Club sponsored the project and Suzanne Bushnell harnessed them andlocal authorities to make it a reality.  Among others, Patti Smith, President and Founder of America's Gold Star Familes, gave remarks regarding the project.  The National Garden Clubs, Inc. issued a Certificate of Appreciation, given earlier in the week at our Annual Convention to honor the occasion.  Words cannot express the pride I feel.Elizabeth.  The "Five Senses" was the theme of the presentation; what a wonderful way to appreciate nature more fully.  I joined the Piscataqua District at the First Parish Church Fellowship Hall in York where I installed Mary Stewart Dore as the new District Director.  Jean Moulton has done a wonderful job as District Director and will serve as a mentor for Mary.  I attended the Penobscot District's meeting at the High School in Veazie.  Pam Newcomb, with a big grin on her face, announced that Carol Smith and Carol Arnold were going to be installed as District and Assistant Director, respectively. Thanks to Pam for her service to the District as the outgoing Director.  Our speaker from Birdsacre spoke about owls, and I learned several nuances about their behavior.  The Medomak District held its Annual Meeting at the 1812 Farm in Bristol.  We enjoyed the historic setting in a quiet area of Maine, outside of Damariscotta.  Our speaker, Anna Fiedler, gave insight into the Midcoast Conservancy and their plans for the area.  Next up was the St. Croix District who met at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island.  We learned about the wild blueberry industry and the many benefits that 1/2 cup of wild blueberries a day can bring to our lives.  I installed the new District officers, with Lynette Gaslin and Diane McMullan serving as Director and Assistant Director respectively for another year.  The Kennebec District meeting will be held at the end of this month.  I look forward to joining them in Madison to learn about how to find, restore, and grow varieties of grain that will thrive in Maine's climate.  Our second Native Plant Forum was held at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on May 15th with more than 40 attendees.  Thanks to Nancy Atwell and Harriet Robinson for bringing this together.  The National Garden Clubs, Inc. Annual Convention was just held in Philadelphia (see my photo with Woodsy Owl).  I had the honor of leading the assembled delegates in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America to open the general Business Meeting.  The Pledge followed a rousing welcome to the city by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Society of The Sons of the American Revolution who were accompanied by "Betsy Ross"!  It was also an honor to pick up several awards given to GCFM clubs from NGC President Nancy Hargroves.  I'll be presenting these to our clubs at our June Convention.  And finally, I was proud to be part of the announcement at our Region's Breakfast Meeting where Suzanne Bushnell was presented as the next Region Director of the New England Garden Clubs.   Our clubs are dynamic and diverse and play a huge role in our communities.  We may be a little underappreciated for what we do, but we'd be sorely missed if we weren't there.  Thank you for all you do!


Not only was "love in bloom" in Philadelphia (Convention theme was based on the famous Philadelphia sculpture LOVE, by Robert Indiana) but so were several of America's great gardens.  Hundreds of garden club members from the United States, Central and South America enjoyed some of the country's premier gardens, fabulous speakers, and plenty of educational seminars at the 89th Annual NGC Convention.  Sponsored by the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania, attendees had the opportunity to visit gardens in what's known as America's Garden Capital -- Philadelphia.  Tours to Longwood Garden (voted recently as the #1 Garden in America by Trip Advisor), Chanticleer, (photo of massive stone benches are from Chanticleer) and Winterthur were highlights of the Convention.   Closing the Convention was the Design Banquet where world famous floral designer Jane Godshalk, author of "Flower Arranging Secrets - Natural Designs for Everyday Living" showed off her incredible arranging skills.  Jane, who's the lead floral designer at Longwood Gardens, has represented the U.S. at the Chelsea Flower Show in London and was a speaker at the World Flower Show in both Boston and Dublin, Ireland.  Watching her do massive arrangements, that were accompanied to background music to match the theme of the arrangement, you could see why she's considered a world class designer (photo at right represents her interpretation of the new Longwood Garden's nighttime spectacle, Illuminated Fountains). Attendees were even entertained by the famous Mummers who annually put on the Mummers Parade down the streets of Philadelphia every New Year's Day.  Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) speakers Sam Lemheney and Matt Rader outlined some of the many projects of the PHS.  Their organization produces the country's largest indoor flower show -- the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Attendees at the Thursday luncheon were in awe after watching a time-lapsed video which depicted the construction of the massive water-themed entry garden at this year's Flower Show.  It was also announced at the luncheon that the 2019 theme of the Philadelphia Flower Show will be "FLOWER POWER", commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the famous Woodstock Music Festival(EDITOR'S NOTE:  See more photos of the NGC Convention by going to our GCFM Facebook Page.) 


In just a few more weeks we'll be "Celebrating the Summer Garden" at the 87th Annual GCFM Convention.  Early Registration closed on May 18th but you can still make the Late Registration Deadline ($45) if you get your Registration Form in the mail and postmarked by June 4th!  But please be advised that the Sebasco Harbor Resort will NOT let us sell any additional meals after June 4th.  We will only be able to sign you up for a meal after that date if we have a cancellation.  So don't be disappointed -- REGISTER TODAY. For questions on the Registration Form, contact Registrar Fran Moore by clicking this link(To get a copy of the Registration Form, click this link to our HOME PAGE and click on the REGISTER for Convention button.)  If you have questions about the Convention in general, contact Convention Chairman Vicky Marr by clicking this link.  In earlier newsletters we've introduced you to our speakers, our garden tour homes, and our Standard Flower Show.  Today we'd like to give you a look at our vendors!


This year the Convention will have ten vendors -- seven will be inside at Sebasco Harbor Resort and three will be outside in some of the gardens on the garden tour.  Jennifer Bourget (The Magick Garden) has unique and beautiful nature-inspired art for your home and garden.  Janice Wright Designs will have bowls, tiles, mono-prints, and woodcuts that she considers inspired by living in Maine.  Patricia Porell (Timeless Cottage) offers new and vintage furniture, accessories and garden-related items.  Nancy Prisk (Southport Silver) has a Maine Island Studio creating hand-formed one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry in silver and copper.  GCFM member Betsey Ann Golon (Herb and Vine at Common Folk Farm) will once again have a wide variety of herbal products on display for sale.  Charlene Sassi (The Pottery Shed) will have a collection of pottery plant containers for sale.  For those of you who love pressed flowers you won't want to miss the heirloom flower presses and pressed flower art being offered by Lynette Breton and Patty Olds (Holding Patterns).  Three of our vendors will have plants for sale.  Peter and Julie Beckford (Rebel Hill Farm) will be selling native perennials.  If you'd like to contact them to receive a list to preorder something in particular, contact them at  Two vendors will offer succulents.  Hannah Todd (Brick House Succulents) was a vendor at our 2016 Convention in Bar Harbor and is back again to offer a wide variety of succulents (90 different species).  And finally, Mark Brandhorst (Halls Pond Garden), who was with us last year in Freeport, is also returning this year.  His nursery specializes in hardy succulents and rock garden plants.


As clubs get ready to kick off the new year, many decide to honor club Presidents or other hardworking members with a State Life Membership.  These Memberships are the primary means of growing our GCFM scholarship fund. Once again at this Convention our State LIfe and National Life Members are invited to a special gathering.  They'll be honored with an outdoor venue high tea at the Sebasco Harbor Resort Gazebo.  While enjoying tea and other delicious refreshments, they'll be serenaded by the High Winds Flute Choir under the direction of Nan White.  The choir is made up of retired educators and serious amateurs hailing from coastal and inland towns from Yarmouth to Damariscotta.  To find the State Life Membership form click this link to the SCHOLARSHIP tab.  Once you're on the SCHOLARSHIP page, scroll down till you see the PDF form (red icon) for the GCFM State Life Membership Application Form.  You can download the application, fill it out and mail it to the Scholarship Chairman, Harriet Robinson.  Her address is on the form.  Please give her a week or two to process your application.  Emailed questions should be addressed to


The GCFM Judges Council encourages all garden club members to enter an exhibit in the Standard Flower Show, "Maine: Vacationland."  Your entry may be in design or in horticulture.  Each club president has a copy of the Flower Show Schedule.  You can find a copy on the GCFM website by clicking the HOME PAGE and then click on the REGISTER FOR CONVENTION button.  There are six design classes -- all reflecting activities to do in Maine.  Horticulture classes are open to any amateur gardener even if he or she is NOT a garden club member!  There are people to help you in design and horticulture:  Chairman Linda Frinsko (839-3878); Horticulture Consultant Harriet Robinson (743-7236); Design Consultants Martha Hamilton (285-2006); Marilyn Traiser (846-6570); and Nancy Atwell (767-2297).  Entries for both design and horticulture will be accepted on Monday, June 18th from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Sebasco Harbor Resort.


The GCFM Board of Directors is pleased to announce that former GCFM President Suzanne Bushnell (Harpswell Garden Club) will become the next Director of the New England Garden Clubs, Inc.(NEGC).  She was confirmed by the Board at its April State Board Meeting.  Kathleen Marty (Boothbay Region Garden Club), also a former GCFM President, was appointed as the Alternate Region Director and would fill in for Suzanne if she was unable to perform her duties.  Suzanne will succeed Susan Hinkel of the Federated Garden Clubs of Vermont who is currently serving as the Region's Director through May of 2019.  The job of the Region's Director rotates through all six New England state garden club federations.  The last time a member served from Maine was from 2005 to 2007 when former GCFM President Sonia Cianchette held the position.  The Region is made up of the state federations from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.  The Regional Director is the primary link between the National Garden Club (made up of eight Regions) and the Region's member states.  One of her first duties will be to preside over the 2019 NEGC Annual Meeting which was announced at the Region's Breakfast meeting at this year's National Garden Club Convention in Philadelphia.  The venue will be the beautiful Woodstock Inn located in Woodstock, Vermont.


One of our own has been recognized for her many years of dedicated service to her garden club and to the Garden Club Federation of Maine.  Judy Stallworth, a member of the Bath Garden Club, was honored at the recent NGC Convention in Philadelphia with the Member Award of Honor representing the New England Garden Clubs, Inc.  She was given an award certificate and special pin by NGC President Nancy Hargroves at the Awards Banquet in Philadelphia.  Each of the eight Regions, which make up the National Garden Club, put forth a name of one of their distinguished members for consideration to receive this yearly award.  To be eligible for the award, the nominee must have been a member of a garden club for a minimum of five years, never served on the NGC's Board of Directors (which eliminates any former or current GCFM State President) and given extensive volunteer hours to her club, her District, and her State Federation.  Because of Judy's extensive experience in a number of volunteer jobs, she was nominated in the area of "Overall Excellence".  Judy has been a member of the Bath Garden Club since 2003 and held a number of positions with her Club, including 2nd VP, 1st VP, Award Chairman, and Club President.  She is currently the GCFM Treasurer (now serving her second two-year term), and has served as the Chairman of the Nominating Committee for the GCFM on two different occasions.  She was also the GCFM Award Chairman and served as the Recording Secretary for six years.  At the Club level, she collaborated with another Bath Garden Club member in creating the Legacy Garden at the Bath Senior Center.  Judy was also one of the original "garden angels" for her club.  With the Medomak District, Judy now serves as the Assistant Director.  As you can see, Judy was certainly an outstanding candidate to represent our Region in receiving the Member Award of Honor!  Congratulations Judy!


Senator Angus S. King, Jr. has agreed to give the keynote remarks at the Harpswell Garden Club's Gold Star Families Memorial Marker Dedication ceremony on Saturday, June 23rd.  The ceremony will be at the P-3 Park at Brunswick Landing.  Also attending and giving remarks on behalf of Gold Star Families will be Patti Smith, the President of America's Gold Star Families, a non-profit organization, located in Illinois which raises funds to help the families of servicemen and women who've given their lives in service to our country.  Also speaking on behalf of Gold Star Families will be the Director of Communications for Wreaths Across America, Amber Caron.  Patriotic music will be provided by the Harpswell Concert Band, a community group of musicians who come not only from Harpswell but other Mid-coast communities. If you're interested in attending, e-mail Gold Star Marker Project Chairman Suzanne Bushnell by clicking this link.  She's keeping a running tally of attendees for planning purposes not only for chairs, but for the Reception that will follow at the Brunswick Naval Museum.  The Dedication coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Memorial Garden the Harpswell Garden Club created in conjunction with the Navy.  This garden sits within the courtyard walls of the Museum which was formerly the Brunswick Naval Air Station Chapel.  At the time the garden was created in 1968, it was believed the Harpswell Garden Club was the only civilian garden club in the country to have created a garden on an active duty military installation.  The Dedication ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. with the Reception to immediately follow.


June 14th will see the culmination of the hard work put in by the Franklin Garden Club to dedicate its first Blue Star Memorial  Marker.  For a small club, the community has certainly stepped up to support this noble effort!  Project Chairman Susan Levy tells us that many services have been donated, including the work by a construction company to install the post and the Marker, and the donation of services by a local landscaper who has offered to install a butterfly garden surrounding the Marker.  On Dedication Day, Susan reports that she's asked a barbershop quartet from Bangor to meander through the assembled spectators to sing patriotic songs!  Several veterans' groups have also been invited and some of them will bring guitars to provide more background music.  Another nice touch will be the purchase of engraved pavers with supporters' names which will be placed in the butterfly garden.  For more information about the Dedication, you can contact Susan Levy by clicking this link.


Group 4, Session 4 of the Judges' Council series of floral design classes has been announced!  The next series of workshops will be held at the Auditorium of St. Mary's Church, 43 Foreside Road (Rt. 88), Falmouth, Maine, starting at 10:00 a.m.  They'll be held on the FIRST WEDNESDAY of the month unless otherwise noted.  Six classes have been scheduled, each costing $10.  If you'd like to attend all six classes, you pay only $50.  Non garden club members will pay $15 per class.  Checks should be made payable to JUDGES' COUNCIL OF MAINE, and sent to Linda Frinsko, 24 Mountview Road, Gorham, ME  04038.  Complete descriptions of workshops and materials to bring will be e-mailed to attendees prior to each design class date.  Here's the schedule of classes:  July 11 -- Low Profile Design; August 1 -- Tapestry Design; September 5 -- Mono-Botanic Design; October 3 -- Parallel Design; November 7 -- Grouped Mass Design; December 5 -- Creative Mass Holiday Design.  A Registration Form will be posted soon on our GCFM website HOME PAGE, and you'll be able to download a copy of the Form.  In addition, copies of the Registration Form will be available at the Convention, and will be sent to all Club Presidents.


It may only be the end of May but now is the time to think about applying for the New England Garden Clubs (NEGC) Awards for 2018.  The DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS AUGUST 1ST.  Applications are found online at the NEGC website by clicking this link or going to the AWARDS tab at  Applications should be submitted to Kathleen Marty, GCFM State Awards Chairman.  Please DO NOT submit any applications to Suzanne Bushnell who is the Regional Awards Chairman (they must go through the State Award Chairman first).  If you have any questions about awards please contact Kathleen by clicking this link.  There are over 20 awards clubs can apply for, such as Civic Beautification, Conservation, Historic Preservation, Garden Therapy, Flower Show Awards, Landscape Design Awards ($100 awarded), Publicity, Educational Exhibits, Wildlife Gardening, Perennial Garden Award, Youth, Teamwork, National Gardening Award for Youth ($100 awarded), and Container Gardening.  Please review all the awards available and based on your club's accomplishments from June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018 complete an application.  It's only three pages including photos if necessary.  Again, all applications need to submitted to State Awards Chairman Kathleen Marty!  NEGC Awards will be announced during the NEGC Annual Meeting, October 15-16 in Westbrook, CT.  More information and the NEGC Annual Meeting Registration Form will be available this summer.


Do you want to gain a greater appreciation of public landscapes?  Would you like some ideas for your own garden?  Enroll in LDS!  Course 4 will be held at St. Mary's Parish House in Falmouth on September 12-13, 2018.  Other courses are NOT a prerequisite.  Each course stands on its own.  Course 4 is special because it includes a garden visit led by its landscape architect designer.  Garden history and several other topics in the curriculum deal with modern design.  The special topic this year is Asian inspired gardens.  This fits with recent trends in design because of Asian design's reliance on natural materials, suiting a modern aesthetic.  Community gardens will also be discussed.  Tuition of $100 for 10 hours of instruction led by professionals is a bargain!  Registration forms will be available soon.  Please email Harriet Robinson, LDS Director, with any questions by clicking this link.


As an incentive to garden clubs to have an NGC Flower Show, the Maine Judges' Council is offering $100 and all their time and energy to help you produce a flower show!  The purpose of a flower show is to educate club members and the viewing public, to stimulate interest in horticulture and flower design, to provide an outlet for creative expression, and to communicate NGC goals and objectives.  It doesn't have to be a major flower show!  It could be a Small Standard, a Horticulture Specialty, or a Design Specialty Flower Show (see page 7 in the NGC Flower Show Handbook).  It could be staged in a public building, a mall, or even someone's home.  There are many options to chose from!  Call Marilyn Traiser at 846-6570 if you're interested in learning more.  (NOTE:  If your club doesn't have a copy of the NGC Flower Show Handbook to use as reference, let Marilyn know that as well.  You can also learn more about staging a flower show by visiting the show being held at the GCFM Convention in Phippsburg.)


Congratulations to the Ellsworth Garden Club who was recently selected to receive one of the newly established NGC Plant America Community Project Grants!  Over 400 grant applications were received from across the country.  Only 28 club projects were selected (five were from the New England states).  The grant was awarded to the Club for the St. Dunstan's Demonstration Landscaping which is a "small project" of the Ellsworth Green Plan initiative which was launched by the Ellsworth Garden Club in 2017.  In addition to creating a plan that will over time make Ellsworth a model green community, this citizens' initiative is undertaking projects that will educate and engage the community so they can actively participate in the greening of the city.  The demonstration landscaping is a joint project involving the Club, St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church, and master gardener volunteers (who're also members of the Club).  It's being led by two club members, Reeser Manley, who produced the Plant America application, and Dan DeLong.  Both are members of the Club's Conservation, Environment, and Habitat Committee.  The objective of the project is to provide an example of how residential, commercial or public property owners can create more ecologically functional plantings, as well as lower care plantings through the use of native and pollinator friendly plants.  The Church allowed the team to completely re-landscape its whole property.  Work began in 2017 when club members with church volunteers laid down plastic to "solarize" large patches of lawn.  This spring the group is planting, in many cases using native plants they started from seed last year.  The Church is donating over $1000 towards the project and the Ellsworth Garden Club and the City of Ellsworth are contributing significantly more.  The Plant America grant will be used primarily for educational signage on the site.  (EDITOR'S NOTE:  It was just announced at the NGC Convention in Philadelphia that more money has been allocated so that grants will be awarded EVERY year instead of every OTHER year.  More information will be posted soon on the NGC website.  The deadline to apply this year will be NOVEMBER 1st!)


Have you made plans yet to celebrate National Garden Week?  It's just around the corner -- June 3rd to the 9th. The National Garden Club (NGC) encourages clubs to promote its objectives of beautification, education of environmental efforts, gardening, and promoting the involvement of local garden clubs in the community.  The NGC website gives some great ideas to promote National Garden Week.  Click this link to the NGC PROJECTS page to see some of the things you can do.  You can also scroll to the bottom of that same page and you'll see a link to print off the National Garden Week Poster for 2018.  And if you choose the FILLABLE PDF form, you can PERSONALIZE it with you own club's name!  If you do nothing else, why not put the poster in your local library or garden center to promote your club!


With each issue of your GCFM Newsletter, it seems we bring you more and more news of pests invading Maine!  Luckily, our own Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) continues to fight the battle to prevent invasive pests from decimating our forests and gardens.  In early May, the DACF announced that entomologists at the Maine Forest Service released parasitic flies (Cyzenis albicans) to combat the winter moth (Operophtera brumata) last fall.  The flies were buried as cocoons in a cage, and the adults, which are now emerging, were released into the forest on May 9th.  The release is part of a larger effort to control winter moth across New England.  Flies were released in locations along southern coastal Maine starting back in 2013 and are starting to become established in Kittery and Cape Elizabeth.  Harpswell and Cape Elizabeth have been especially hard hit by the moth with many acres of trees lost to the invasion of this destructive pest.  Both the Cape Elizabeth Garden Club and the Harpswell Garden Club have had to discontinue having plant sales because the winter moth -- in the worm stage -- bury themselves in the soil.  If you want to learn more about invasive pests found in Maine, check out the GOT PESTS? webpage which is part of the DACF website by clicking this link.


June 14
Blue Star Marker Dedication, sponsored by the Franklin Garden Club
June 18-20
Garden Club Federation of Maine 87th Annual Convention, Sebasco Harbor Estates, Phippsburg
June 23
Gold Star Families Memorial Marker Dedication, Brunswick, sponsored by the Harpswell Garden Club
July 11
Judges' Council Floral Design Class, St. Mary's Episcopal Church Auditorium, Falmouth
August 1
Deadline to submit New England Garden Clubs, Inc. Award Applications to GCFM Awards Chairman Kathleen Marty
August 1
Judges' Council Floral Design Class, St. Mary's Episcopal Church Auditorium, Falmouth
August 20
GCFM Board of Directors Meeting, Viles House, 73 Stone Street, Augusta, 9:00 a.m. Coffee; 9:30 a.m. Board Meeting
September 5
Judges' Council Floral Design Class, St. Mary's Episcopal Church Auditorium, Falmouth
September 12-13
Landscape Design School, Course 4, St. Mary's Episcopal Church Auditorium, Falmouth
October 15-16
New England Garden Clubs, Inc. Annual Meeting, Waterside Resort and Spa, Westbrook, CT                                                            
October 29
GCFM Fall Conference, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta


Judith Tarbox

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