March 2017 Meeting: Kicking Off the New Gardening Season

We’re on the cusp of a new gardening season, and the warm weather can’t arrive fast enough.  For our first meeting of the year, we took a break from the brisk March weather to rally garden enthusiasm with topics on pruning and forcing forsythia — and to take a virtual tour of the Gardens of Williamsburg.

With the first flush of flowers on spring-blooming shrubs right around the corner, Horticulture Chair Joyce Fedorko gave tips on forcing forsythia branches.  This is a delightful way to bring this early spring bloomer to indoor spaces.  She also spoke to one of the most anxiety-producing activities for even the most experienced gardeners:  pruning.  It’s critical to go into a gardening season with an appropriate understanding of thinning, heading, and rejuvenation practices.  While these aren’t difficult, being equipped with the right tools, knowledge of seasonal timing, and confidence in cutting and trimming approaches are essential for good plant performance.

President Renee Protomastro discussed the fundraising efforts by Eric Wolf of Shelton Intermediate School for the 2017 installation of a butterfly garden.  The school’s horticultural accomplishments are well known within Shelton and throughout the valley, and this is an important next step in the students’ expansion of their gardening projects.

The highlight of the meeting was a slideshow presentation and discussion of the Gardens of Williamsburg by long-time Club member Sandy Nesteriak.  Sandy’s virtual tour was a photographic journey of the Gardens as they appear today from the Governor’s Palace to private homes and gardens.  She discussed the history of the restoration in 1926 with financing from millionaire John D. Rockefeller.

We never host a meeting without a horticultural theme and spread of member-designed arrangements.  This month, we featured miniature arrangements using spring bloomers such as mini daffodils and crocus.  Forty-year Charter Member Claire Norris spoke to most of the specimens used throughout the arrangements.  The happy pansy faces and cheery crocus heads were a sunny refreshment after the winter months!


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