MGC Dec'15 Newsletter


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December 2015 Vol. 2016, Issue 4 Member of CGCI A Publication of Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Valley Lode District – Pacific Region Christmas Tour of Decorated Homes 2015 December 12, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We still have tickets for this delightful happening! What a way to start the countdown of the last two weeks before Christmas. The sights and scents will put you in the mood to finish your shopping and to get on with your Christmas baking. Tickets are $20.00 and available at the door Addresses: 1220 Grantland Ct., 202 Helen, 5136 Dale Road, 3416 Inverness Ct. You may visit the homes in any order, hope to see you there! Volunteer of the Month, Judy Crisp, with President Dan Yockey.   Elegant holiday luncheon table viewing Are you the One? Communications is looking for a member who has some knowledge of MS Word to edit text for the Newsletter. The job is essential to the Club and is a fun way to keep up with all that is happening. If you have even a minor interest in helping please email or call: Mary Lou Rice, mlour@msn. com or phone 209-869-3584 Come view 31 unique table settings designed by talented and creative hostesses  Wednesday December 2 from 1-7 Del Rio Country Club, 901 Stewart Rd Viewing Tickets $10 Available at the door  Refreshments served   Don’t miss this spectacular event!


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Page 2 Over the Garden Gate President’s Message By Dan Yockey I want to thank everyone who participated in the planting of the downtown pots as well as the Flower Clock. The drought did not affect the pots as much as we thought. They survived the hot weather and minimal watering and still looked outstanding all through the summer. Thank you Cheryl for the selection of plants that just kept giving all summer. Our November meeting featured Bob Bigham our favorite floral designer who always puts on a fantastic show. I hope everyone enjoyed his creations as much as I did. Our Christmas tour on December 12th will be over the top with Christmas magic, Help support the club and the committee who is working so hard to make it a success. Tickets are available at the Luncheon, Online at Modesto Garden, at the Garden Club Office from 9 to noon, and this year at the door at each of the homes. I am still looking for volunteers for the following positions: Vice President of Civic Affairs, Internet coordinator, and Publicity coordinator for the Spring Garden Tour. Please contact me to volunteer or for further information. I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Yours in gardening, Dan Calendar of Upcoming Events • • • December 2: Table Viewing at Del Rio Country Club 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost $10 • December 3: Holiday Luncheon Del Rio Country Club, Viewing - 10:30 a.m. Lunch - Noon • December 5: Out of Town Tour-“I’ll be Home for Christmas” 7:30 a.m. departure from Park & Ride at the Vintage Faire Mall 6:30 p.m. arrive home • December 12, Holiday Home Tour 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tickets $20.00 at the door • • SEE YOU ALL IN 2016 Submit events and articles by the 5th of the month preceding the event. If you have questions call Mary Lou Rice at 209-869-3584, or submit the article directly to Submit photos, fliers, or advertisements to Mary Lou Rice at •


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Over the Garden Gate Page 3 By Jeanne Seeley Garden of the Month: Beautiful and Green at 25 Gallons Per Week Wayne and Traceé Harris purchased their 1962 custom-built home in Strathmore Estates seven years ago. They were aware that with the city’s growth, water usage would become an issue in the future so kept that in mind during the design stage of their front yard. They wanted a clean contemporary look that provided additional outdoor space, security, privacy and was attractive to the neighborhood and still have very low water consumption. So Wayne designed a landscape, a gate, a mailbox, and did most of the work himself.  The enclosed courtyard is secured with a geometric gate that utilizes technology with a camera and doorbell that allows them to see who is at the gate and open at their discretion. The Harris’ have Oriental Shorthair cats that can play outside in the safety of the courtyard by a beautiful Japanese Maple tree while the Harris’ are enjoying their coffee or wine close by with morning sun or afternoon shade. The three “grass” areas of the yard are artificial turf installed to resemble a professional putting green. Framed with steel plates, there are 17 tons of granite fill and one top level of crushed granite used as the base for the turf.  Plant selection was based on design and limited water use. Loropetalum (common name Chinese witch hazel or Chinese fringe) with Agave is in the front planter for greenery and color. At the gate, two Brush Cherry trees for height and Green Beauty Boxwood hedges that after additional growth will create a seamless hedge between the cherry trees. The large planter has two Fruitless Olive trees that are kept well-manicured to continue the contemporary feel of the house and yard.  If you drive by the home after dark, you will see dramatic shadows cast by outdoor lighting. Initially the lighting was low voltage but is being transitioned to LED for greater light at lower cost.  Although sprinklers are installed, everything in the front is watered by hand. During the hottest days of summer, the plants were happy with 25 gallons per week. The water is partially supplied with water captured from shower use. Great job Wayne and Traceé! Wayne and Traceé Harris, 905 Strathmore Drive Published 10 times a year, September-June, by the Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Over the Garden Gate President: Dan Yockey. Contributing Writers this month: Dan Yockey, Sharon Ross, Cheryl Carmichael, Joyce Smith, Linda Pedego, Shirley La Bass, Gerry Yockey Text Editor, Advertisements, Fliers and Photos: Mary Lou Rice (209) 869-3584 Website: Office: 622-14th Street, Email: 529-7360 (Wed., 9 a.m.-Noon) Modesto, CA. 95354-2505


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Page 4 Over the Garden Gate Civic Affairs Update By Cheryl Carmichael The Clock will nourish the hearts and souls of the community this winter with the plantings of lettuce and Swiss chard taking center stage. Harvesting will be encouraged to keep the plants growing and the community fed. Thank you to Leah Meedom for her dedication to this project. Luckily for our drought-beleaguered community, we’ve had some rain. All of the planting areas we maintain that are “in the ground” have had the water turned off. But the Clock and the Pots continue to have regular watering. Volunteers worked hard for two days trimming and fluffing the downtown pots. We added tiny daisies where we could but the ivy geraniums and begonias still are putting on quite a show. We ran into two special problems during our time with the pots. One on M street was filled with tiny filaments of golden thread wound through the plant material. Ann Saalwachter did the research on this parasite. It is called dodder and a true horticultural pest. It is a true parasite with no roots, twining around any and all plant parts and sucking the life out of it. The tiny seedpods are numerous and spread easily. We picked and cut and picked at the thin stems that had entwined whole stems of the nandina (killing them), the geraniums (stunting them) and begonias. I’ll be keeping a watch on this particular pot frequently. I’m sure we didn’t get it all and probably popped many seed heads in our efforts to clean the noxious weed out of the good stuff. Another problem we found was a beautiful full-grown boxwood deader than a doornail. I used my trusty saw to cut it off at soil level. Ann turned detective again and queried our City friend Sean who posited that the poor plant had drowned. He said he has previously dumped pots with dead centers to investigate the problem. The well-established plant roots grow down into the water reservoir of the pots and sit in water full time. Thus, death by drowning is the best explanation. Woe is me!! Looks like I need to make a plan to empty the well-established pots, do some root pruning and repot the material in order to save the mature plant material. After the holidays!!!! With dirt under my fingernails………………………..Cheryl


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Over the Garden Gate Page 5 Modesto Garden Club Volunteers Help Quench Drought- Stricken Plantings Planters and Groomers Because it rained the first Tuesday of November the Planters and Groomers did not plant flowers or fertilize the lawn.  We met on the 10th of November instead.    Everything always turns out well in the end.  The flowers are planted.  The yard is raked and the weeds are gone.  And best of all, the flower boxes are done.  I want to thank again Robert Muse for building the flower boxes for the Garden office.  What a difference it makes to see flowers coming out of the boxes!  I want to thank all the volunteers who came down to help in the yard on the 10th.  I want to thank Mary McNicholas for giving us such a wonderful lunch. We really appreciated all her hard work.  Thank you again, Mary ByGerry Yockey “The Clock will nourish the hearts and souls of the community this winter with the plantings of lettuce and Swiss chard taking center stage.”


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Page 6 Over the Garden Gate School Gardens By Pat Logan Modesto Garden Club encourages youngsters to enjoy a gardening experience by planting, tending, and harvesting fresh vegetables from their school garden. Growing healthy fresh produce helps students develop a healthy lifestyle, reduces childhood obesity, and teaches students team building while working in the garden with their teachers, garden club volunteers, and other students. In addition, special needs students really blossom in the school garden. In order to achieve this task, Modesto Garden Club offers sixteen schools in the Modesto area each a $200.00 grant to fund gardening supplies such as rakes, hoses, shovels, hand tools, gloves, plants, compost, fertilizer and other gardening needs. Many of the schools now have gorgeous gardens. In 2013, eleven Modesto City Schools received a Farm to School grant which funded infrastructures including lling the soil, installing irrigation systems and timers, building raised beds, installing weed barrier around the beds and gopher wire under the beds. In order to meet ADA requirements, beds were built three feet apart and Fibar material was placed between the beds to ensure wheelchair accessibility. This resulted in beautiful sustainable gardens plots at all 11 schools included in the Farm to School grant. Enochs High School Ag students built 31 raised beds from redwood, Gregori High School Ag students built 16 raised beds from steel, the Elliott principal built eight raised beds from fir, and American Lumber built raised beds for Mark Twain Junior High School, Orville Wright Elementary School, and Beyer High School. Existing beds at Muir, Davis, and Downey were enhanced. The goal of the Farm to School grant was to promote an understanding and appreciation of agriculture through experiential garden-based education, establish relationships with local business and organizations (Modesto Garden Club is one of the local organizations), and form partnerships with local Top: Take a look at The Muir School garden: farmers to procure fresh produce for school meals. the steel and aluminum tables were built by Local business have become school garden partners with Modesto Garden Club: Downey High School students in order for True Value Hardware offers vegetable starts and hand tools, Morris Nursery offers Muir students to enjoy an outdoor classroom seeds, Stanislaus County UC Davis Cooperative Extension office offered Trex Like adjacent to their raised garden beds. raised beds for Martone Elementary Bottom: Take a gander at the Orville Wright School, Everett Elementary School, salsa and sunflower garden, beds were built and Downey High School as well by American Lumber Company as seeds for more than 21 local schools in the Modesto area. Orchard Supply Hardware provided a $2,000 gardening grant to Davis High School, Sylvan Club provided $2,500 for five elementary schools, and other local business helped construct school gardens at several schools during “Love Modesto” days. Many nurseries and big box stores offer Top: Glance at the Everett School Garden. discounts for school gardening Trex like raised beds were donated by the supplies for example, Duarte Stanislaus County UC Davis Cooperative Nursery supplied rice hulls compost Extension office. Bottom: Take a peek at for Enochs and Gregori High Enochs High School’s 31 raised beds built of Schools and Home Depot offers vege starts which are delivered to over 21 schools by redwood by Enochs Ag students Modesto Garden Club staff. School garden teachers state that there is nothing better than to see their students taste test tomatoes and peppers grown in the school garden. Teachers stated that many of their students had never eaten Brussels sprouts or experienced the opportunity to plant and harvest their own vegetables. Teachers conduct taste tests and 99% of the students prefer salsa made from vegetables grown in the garden compared to store bought. Studies show that students who plant, tend, and harvest vegetables from their school gardens are more likely to eat healthier foods than their non-gardening counterparts. If you are interested in volunteering at a school garden please contact Pat Logan. Director, School Gardens, Modesto Garden Club.


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Over the Garden Gate Page 7 Getting To Know You My name is Rosanda Amerine and I have been with the Garden Club since 2002. I was born and raised in Farrell, Pennsylvania and moved to California with my husband in 1946. I am a proud mother of two daughters and four grandchildren. Of my many hobbies (ie. tennis, knitting, folk dancing, reading and of course the Garden Club), my main interest is singing in the Old Slavonik Liturgical Choir. I have been an Elementary School Teacher and Speech Pathologist for 37 years and work part time at present. My husband is a Financial Advisor; one daughter is a Clinical Psychologist and the other daughter is the head of the Central Valley Autism Agency here in the valley. So, needless to say, I’m very proud of my family. I enjoy being a member of the Garden Club because of all the new ideas presented and the marvelous people I have met. Hands-On Wreath Building for the Holidays Forget-Me-Not-Spot By Sharon Ross My favorite time of the year is here, Christmas. I love the beautiful decorations, music, and Hallmark movies. Cyn Ott, and Pat Logan had medical procedures, but are now doing well. Dawn Dalyce was hit on the freeway by a semi truck and is in therapy. Thirty-nine birthday cards were sent to members in November. I’m so thankful for your calls to alert me to members who can use some cheer sent to them. Sharon (209) 523-8763


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Page 6 Over the Garden Gate Return Service Requested 622 14th Street Modesto, CA 95354-2505 Hackers and Whackers Things are looking colorful at the Senior Citizen Center as these pictures show. The Hackers and Wackers have been busy planting and weeding. We are counting on the rain to keep things alive and growing. Hopefully this great start to the winter keeps up. Come down and see us on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. Bring your gloves if you would like to join in the fun. By Pixie Kinser October New Members By Shirley LaBass John Hoskins 10/6/1 Heide Allen 10/8/15 Katie Downs 10/8/15 Shirley Imfeld 10/8/15 Jean Philbrook 10/8/15 Melba Yarbrough 10/8/15



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