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March 2015 Vol. 2015, Issue 7 Member of CGCI A Publication of Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Valley Lode District – Pacific Region ‘Fairy Houses, Fairy Gardens and Miniature Gardening’ By Penny Binney, Program Director The art of miniature gardening is the art of imagination says Anne Schellman, our program speaker for Thursday, March 12, 2015. We are very lucky to have Anne as our featured speaker. Many of you have probably heard Anne speak before at numerous garden shows or garden clubs. Anne will tell you if you’re a lover of fairy tales and of beautiful adventures, and if you love to dream of mystical landscapes populated with fairies and fairy houses, you have found the right place. Your miniature garden can be placed anywhere, from a tabletop garden in a container, to one under a tree or special place in your yard. Story telling and imaginary fairy garden scenery bring the playful kid out in all of us. Filled with intrigue and mystique, each little miniature garden scene you create is a snap shot of such a dream. By taking up this form of gardening, you transport yourself into another world, and experience the enviable feeling of having dreams come true. Anne will also be bringing copies of her current book Miniature Gardening. See you on the 12th. Garden Tour Tickets Available At March Meeting By Maree Hawkins Tickets for the April 18 Spring Garden Tour will be available at the March general meeting. Buy tickets for yourself (only $20 per person) and pick up a ticket packet to sell. Public ticket sales begin mid-March at retail locations. Seven homes are on this year’s tour. Six homes are in Riverbank and the last home is just five minutes away. The club office and demonstration gardens are also open that day. Tour goers will find an eclectic mix from country to modern. Tour tidbits: the oldest house was built in 1893, one garden has a river view, and another had great bones when purchased but required four tons of yard material removed before the new owners could replant. All the homeowners want their gardens to be places for celebrating family and friends. Tour tickets are easy to sell. Just mention the tour and the date to family and friends through personal contact, phone calls, email, text messages, or Facebook. They might like to know: The tour is our major fundraiser, benefitting our community gardening projects, therapeutic gardening, and scholarships. Community projects include the Virginia Corridor Memorial Rose Garden, the Modesto Flower Clock, and the over 200 pots and hanging baskets in downtown Modesto—all with the goal of beautifying Modesto. Tour attendees always leave with at least one idea they can easily implement; some even take home a new vision for their own garden. Docent chair Patté Williams still needs docents for two-hour shifts. See her at the March meeting or give her a call at 521-5889.


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Page 2 Over the Garden Gate President’s Message By Dan Yockey I hope everyone has been enjoying the Spring weather we have been having and getting out into the yard and doing those necessary things that make our gardens so beautiful in April and May. In January we pruned the Rose Gardens at Virginia Corridor and at College and Briggsmore. I can’t believe the size of the piles of trimmings that were left for the city to remove. All of the volunteers who braved the wicked thorns deserve a huge thank you. At the March meeting tickets will go on sale for this year’s Spring Garden Tour. Please pick up a packet of tickets and help us have a great Tour this year by selling at least five tickets. I will not go into the specifics of the tour here in this message as the Tour committee will unveil it at the March meeting. Look for the signs advertising the tour posted at the nurseries and in locations around the city. You won’t be able to miss them because of the great job our sign guru Marylou Rice did this year with the graphics and colors. Hope to see you on the bus for the San Francisco Flower Show. Gerry and I will be there. Yours in Gardening Dan Calendar of Upcoming Events • March 3: Tuesday 9 a.m. Planters and Groomers. All are invited to help with the Club Office Gardens. Bring gloves. March 10: Tuesday 8:30- 10:30 a.m. Hackers and Wackers. Members wanted to do gardening chores at the Senior Citizens Center. Bring gloves if you like to use them, and a sense of fun. March 12: Thursday 10:45 a.m. Snack and Learn. Speaker: Bambi Porter from Gypsy Cowgirl Kitchen Co. She will be showing us how to do Herb Infusion Olive Oil. 12:00 General Meeting. Speaker: “The Art of Miniature Gardening is the Art of Imagination” Anne Schellman. Location. Bethel Church, 2361 Scenic Dr., Modesto, CA 95355. March 17: Tuesday 9 a.m. Planters and Groomers. All are invited to help with the Club Office Gardens. Bring gloves. March 24th: 10 a.m. to noon. Hands on Workshop Easter-Spring Planting. At Westurf Nursery, 1612 Claus Road; Modesto, CA. • March 24: Tuesday, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Hackers and Wackers. Members wanted to do gardening chores at the Senior Citizens Center. Bring gloves if you like to use them, and a sense of fun. March 26: Thursday, 8:30 a.m. Light Breakfast before 9 a.m. Board Meeting. Members are welcome to come to the MGC Office if they want to see how the Board works. • • • • * Snack and Learn speaker usually doesn’t start until 10:45 but if you arrive earlier you have time to snack, chat, borrow books from the library, check out the raffle, shop for plants or white elephants, at our New- To-You Table. General Meeting starts at 12:00 noon, please be in your seats. Please bring donations for plant share table, and New –To-You table (garden type items). Need to include an article in the Garden Gate Newsletter? Please contact Dawn Dalyce, text editor, with events, and articles by the 5th of each month. 209-596-3330 dawndalyce@yahoo.com; Mary Lou Rice with photos, fliers or advertisements. mlour@msn.com 209 869-3584. • Published 10 times a year, September-June, by the Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Over the Garden Gate President: Dan Yockey Copy Editor: Dawn Dalyce Contributing Writers this month: Dan Yockey, Sharon Ross, Gerry Yockey, Penny Binney, Maree Hawkins, Sharon Searls, Pixie Kinser, Beverly Schlegel, Mable Suguira, Dawn Dalyce, Shirley La Bass, Lela Harrington Advertisements: Mary Lou Rice Website: www.modestogardenclub.org Office: 622-14th Street, Email: email@modestogardenclub.org 529-7360 (Wed., 9 a.m.-Noon) Modesto, CA. 95354-2505


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Over the Garden Gate Page 3 Garden of the Month March 2015 “Artificial Turf is the Answer to Conserve Water” By Janice Garcia Bruce & Lori Norris 313 Northgate Drive Modesto Area: Northgate Development Have lived at this address for 3 years • Bruce & Lori’s favorite motto is “We think low maintenance, and as a result turf was the answer.” Homeowners were forward thinking when last October 2014 they re-landscaped their front & backyard with artificial turf. Bruce is in sales with Industrial Automation Design Group. Lori is a registered nurse at Central Valley Specialty Hospital.They also have two teenagers and there is no time for yard work. • Low maintenance yard in Northgate helps conserve time and water. • The home was built in 1963, with an Asian motif. Bruce & Lori remodeled inside and out from Asian geometric to contemporary freeform. The couple has lived on the street 14 years and had the opportunity to purchase the house across from them and began remodeling three years ago. They removed two city trees in front and replaced them with Chinese Pistache trees. Ken Westfall was the landscape architect. • Plants are allowed proper growth areas in assorted colors in purple, pink, white, and yellow with random but with repeating patterns. • Name of plants are, Razzleberry, Pink Muhly, New Zealand Flax, Indian Hawthorn, Yeddo Haw thorn, Iceburg Rose, and Star Jasmine. • Charlie Malone landscaping did the work and suggested artificial turf. He has his own website. • The turf looks real due to weaving of yellow and brown and has a huge drainage system underneath. • The benefits of turf: no watering, no mowing, no weeds, no sprinkler heads, no raking leaves, no patches of dead grass, and it’s pet friendly because it just rinses off and it lasts 20-25 years. • It was $3,000 to $5,000 dollars more for artificial turf for this yard than sod. • Yard is also on a micro spray and drip water system, and watering is once a week. Twenty-one lights go on at night all around the yard. • Fifteen tons of boulder accents with dry cobble pond and different size river rock are all from Westurf Nursery. • •


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Page 4 Over the Garden Gate Planters and Groomers Prepare Club Office Gardens For Spring Garden Tour By Gerry Yockey I have a “to-do” list of the things we want to achieve before the Spring Garden Tour. I am late fertilizing the lawn and the grass is so brown. Jean Seeley, Jerry Frad, Sharon Searls, and Judy Silber picked so many weeds! The weather has been so damp that we have weeds all over the place. Pat Williams was busy pruning roses, and Mary Mc Nicholas was working in the front yard pruning roses too. Mary Helen Alonzo, and Beverly Schlegel (with her famous red hat) were busy working at picking up leaves, pulling weeds, and general clean up. Don Binney and Dan Yockey were trimming bushes and helping the girls lift weeds, etc. into the trash barrels. Jerry Frad did an important job. He put new address numbers on the front gate. Now, people can see the numbers very clearly to find the office. The other job that is so important is Judy Crisp making coffee for all of us when we first arrive. One more note, “Thank you Judy Silber for the wonderful coffee cake”. Wonderful! Lavender Library By Joanie Campbell, Linda Masuda, Irene Morimoto and Mabel Sugiura Visit the Lavender Library to see our new book: • AIR PLANTS by Zenaida Sengo Gardeners who have visited the Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco are fascinated by the array of tillandsias, “air plants, and the design possibilities for these plants. “Ms Sengo is the interior coordinator at Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco and is an integral part of the creativity in new products; she gives store talks on tillandsias and offers DIY workshops at the nursery.” Flora Grubb says, “Zenaida Sengo has provided inspiration for designing and living with tillandsias.”


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Over the Garden Gate Page 5 February’s Modesto Garden Club Monthly Meeting Was a Dress-Up Affair! F rom new members to longtime participants, the February meeting was the place to be. The color red was on prominent display, and everyone got in the spirit with attractive hats and Valentine’s attire. Left, a group of long-time Modesto Garden Club members enjoy the festivities.


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Page 6 Over the Garden Gate Garden Club Members Learn to Create a Mosaic Pot A Hands-On Workshop Led by Patté Williams Participants were offered an opportunity to get their creative juices flowing during the process of creating pots that were truly a work of art. Plus, the workshop offered its share of fun, as well. Hands on Workshop:Easter-Spring Planting By Lela Harrington & Shirley LaBass • • • • • What: Easter-Spring Planting Who: 15 Garden Club Members When: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to noon Where: Westurf Nursery, 1612 Claus Road; Modesto, CA; 209-576-1111 Cost: $30.00 – Non-refundable if unable to attend. Please call 209-529-7360 for availability before sending check to: Modesto Garden Club, 622-14th Street, Modesto, CA 95354-2505. Your check confirms your reservation in the class. Reservations/Questions: Lela Harrington (209) 380-8050 or Shirley LaBass (209) 485-0332.


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Over the Garden Gate Page 7 Gardening Tips and Tidbits Water Saving Plants By Dawn Dalyce This month of March, I am sure that the gardeners among us are excited as I am to buy and plant things that are pretty, and that flower. The question is, with our current drought, what else can we add to our yards without raising our water consumption much? Bearded Irises are an idea. They typically do their growing in the fall to spring time, when we typically get rain and they are dormant in the hottest summer months of July and August, when we really need to conserve water. While dormant they only require minimal water. They do come in a rainbow of colors. I’ve bought them from many catalogs and online sources, and always have divisions to sell, because they do multiply readily here in our climate. They like full to mostly sunny locations. I’ve been very disappointed in ones from the box stores that are tiny, dried up and about to die. My favorite supplier is http://www.schreinersgardens. com. I found their rhizomes to be several times the size of other suppliers, fat, lush, healthy, and ready to grow and bloom. The variety they offer is delicious! I used to love Woodland Iris Farms in Modesto before the local government forced them out of business. That was a sad day for me. Another idea for bright vibrant green foliage and bright red flowers, that is a succulent and thrives in our climate year around is Aptenia cordifolia, also known as Aptenia Red Apple, or Baby Sun Rose. Ever green , low water using, safe and said to be edible by pets and people, and easy to propagate. Also great in hanging baskets and pots. What’s not to love? I’m thinking of a bed of MGC February Volunteer of the Month Denniz Wistow Aptenia with Iris growing up through it. Forget-Me-Not Spot By Sharon Ross Dues: Friendly Reminder By Shirley LaBass Our area was so lucky to finally receive some much needed rain. Everything is so green, and my daughter and I got to see it on our trips to Vacaville and Palo Alto. We lost one of our long time members, Maureen Hall. Our condolences go to her family. Joyce Smith has been ill. In February I sent 40 birthday cards to club members. As always, thanks for your calls to alert me to members who can use some cheer sent to them. Sharon 209-253-8763. January New Members By Shirley LaBass Elizabeth Bone Julie Coffman 1/7/15 1/2/15 Judy Emerson Linda Graves Jan Leffingwell Clifford Parker Roberta Tway 1/8/15 1/8/15 1/29/15 1/14/15 1/7/15 Membership Fees are due by July 31, 2015 for the fiscal year 2015 – 2016. $40 We will be taking renewal checks at the May 14th meeting or you can mail checks May 1st or later directly to the office at 622 – 14th Street, Modesto, CA 95354-2505 We need your check by July in order to get your name in the new Yearbook. You will receive your newYearbook at the September meeting.


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Page 8 Over the Garden Gate Return Service Requested 622 14th Street Modesto, CA 95354-2505 Hackers & Wackers By Pixie Kinser The Hackers and Wackers have been busy with general clean up at the Senior Citizen Center. With the lack of rain some of the plants are struggling and we are looking for more drought resistant ground cover to plant. Any suggestions? As always we can use more helpers. Please stop by and check us out any second or fourth Tuesday of the month from 8:30-10:30 a.m.We are a group of busy bees as we move from one area to another, chatting, while Time to Plant Your Daffodils - a Display we weed, plant, and rake leaves. at the February Meeting Watch as you drive by. You may see a Leprechaun. Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Budding Gardener Groups Available to All Members By Sharon Searls Want to join a Budding Gardener group, which is a group of members who get together for projects, outings, or just go to lunch? Call Sharon Searls for more information 209-529-0406.



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