MGC Mar'16 Newsletter


Embed or link this publication


Modesto Garden Club Mar'16 newsletter

Popular Pages

p. 1

March 2016 Vol. 2016, Issue 7 Member of CGCI A Publication of Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Valley Lode District – Pacific Region Twigs and Stems Owner Reg Merritt Highlights March Meeting Reg Merrit, owner of Twigs and Stems at 429 McHenry Avenue, brings the business a pedigree that began with the original Merritt family owned, “The Thoughtful Flower,” in Modesto. A fortuitous opportunity arose for him to showcase his innate talent when he opened his new floral design studio with his life partner and wife, Rebecca Merritt. “My goal is to take your vision and create floral expression,” the Twigs and Stems website proclaims. Visit the shop to experience the epicurean feast for the eyes in a class of its own. Reg’s inherent ability to integrate various mediums, textures and color are on full display. Reg has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of floral design, much of it gained through collaboration with his father, renowned AIFD designer, Michael Merritt. The creative Merritt spirit has been the key ingredient in numerous successful events throughout the Central Valley and the Central Coast. Reg has established himself as an innovator in the floral arts - a designer’s designer, whose creativity is unsurpassed. His creativity and vision have been highlighted in leading magazines and trade journals and featured in numeorus floral publications. His work can be found in private collections and Reg was selected to be a designer in the renowned Bouquets to Art at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. Twigs and Stems is one of the best new finds in the Central Valley. Scholarship Applications Due By April 6 Applications for Modesto Garden Club’s six $1500 scholarships are now available.  Eligible high school seniors and college students need to return the applications by April 6. Our annual Spring Garden Tour, this year set for April 16, generates the scholarship funds.  Interested students may email the scholarship chairperson at for complete application information and forms. Applicants must haves: a major related to the club’s goals, be a high school graduating senior or be enrolled or accepted as a full-time student in a community college or four year college or university and have Stanislaus County residency or attend high school or college in Stanislaus County.   Majors might include agronomy, agriculture education, floriculture, horticulture landscape design, botany, biology, forestry, wildlife science, plant pathology/science, urban/rural planning, habitat or forest/systems ecology, environmental concerns, environmental conservation, land management, or allied subjects. Applicants will be scored on how their goals and objectives related to the Modesto Garden Club mission to “educate, impart knowledge and skills of landscape design, flora culture, agriculture, arborvitae, insects, ornamental horticulture and ornithology; to instill the joy of gardening for club members, school children, senior citizens and the community at large.” Spring Garden Tour Ticket sales and Docent sign-ups for the 2016 Spring Garden Tour, Saturday, April 16, will start at the March General Meeting on Thursday, March 10. The committee has selected 7 great homes in the College area for this year’s tour and we need your participation to make our largest and important fundraiser a success.


p. 2

Page 2 Over the Garden Gate President’s Message Frequently I will meet someone who says they have never heard of the Modesto Garden Club. Surprised? I was at first, but I soon realized that even though we are so much bigger than we were 20 years ago the City of Modesto has also grown much larger both in size and population. This brings me to my point. We, as members, must share in the responsibility of promoting the Garden Club not just by paying dues and attending meetings but also by volunteering to help keep the Club viable by sharing our talents and expertise in the many fields you retired from. As with all clubs some members will be very active for a long period of time and we get lulled into a comfort zone and no one thinks they are needed to step up and volunteer. This May I will convene a new nominating committee who will be putting together a slate of officers for the club who will take office in 2017. Think hard about it, step up and be a guiding part of the Modesto Garden Club’s future. Here is one way you can help. Tickets for the Spring Garden Tour go on sale at the March meeting. Packets of five tickets will be available for members to take with them and sell to their friends, neighbors etc. Let’s get behind our Tour Committee and make this year’s tour a rousing success. I challenge you, our membership, to sell 100 packets this year. Yours in gardening, Da By Dan Yockey Celebrating with Food & Flowers in February Calendar of Upcoming Events • March 10, MGCI General Meeting, One Church, 2361 Scenic Drive, Modesto; Hospitality: 10:15– 11:30 a.m. Snack & Learn: 10:30-11:15 a.m. Adria from The Greenery in Turlock.  She will be showing and talking about succulents and cacti.  Meeting and Program: 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Program: Reg Merritt from Twigs and Stems: Floral Design; Admission: $10.00 Guests. March 31, MGCI Board Meeting, Club Office, 622 14th Street, Modesto, 9 a.m. – Noon. • APRIL 16 Spring Garden Tour • May 1, San Joaquin Master Gardener Spring Tour in Stockton. More information to come. 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 President’s Thank You Luncheon This year the President’s Thank You Luncheon will be on Wednesday May 4, 2016 at Seasons Event Center on McHenry Avenue. The luncheon honors members who have donated time and effort throughout the year as volunteers. Sign-up with Deanna at the Club office by mail or phone beginning March 1st. Space is limited to the first 75 members who contact her.


p. 3

Over the Garden Gate Page 3 Welcome to Bedrock MGC Garden of the Month at 2008 El Toro Way By Janice Garcia Doug & Heidi Claussen have lived in their home for 17 years. About a year and a half ago they let their front lawn die deciding to redo the front yard to make it drought resistant. The Basalt rock came from a quarry in Washington, owned by a friend and artist, Laddie Flock. Joe Garnica designed the yard, and his crew did all the work. Lighting was placed to accent the rocks, bushes, and plants. The yard also contains a drip system. The front seating area is made of sandstone and holds a decorative cement table with two matching benches. The Claussen’s enjoy sitting outside in the summer and relaxing. River rock crosses the yard and passes beneath the front walkway. On the front porch there are pots of succulents. The olive tree has been shaped for the future and will provide filtered shade in the summer months. The Japanese maple is trained to curve over a pillar of Basalt rock while two camellia bushes flank the front entry door. Several variations of grasses and ferns are spaced throughout the front yard, including a foxtail fern. There is a miniature Blue Spruce and mini daffodil bulbs. Black Bark is scattered all around the plants for water retention. Interested in getting ideas for your own garden?  The Modesto Garden Club will feature seven home gardens and our club office garden on April 16, at the Spring Garden Tour.  The gardens showcase plants, hardscape and other touches that you can use in your own garden.   This year there will be several water-wise gardens to inspire you.  Tour tickets are $20 and proceeds benefit the club’s community beautification projects and scholarships.  Information on where to purchase tickets and tour details are available at www. It was time to learn how to paint decorative rocks for your garden at a Modesto Garden Club workshop. Published 10 times a year, September-June, by the Modesto Garden Club, Inc. Over the Garden Gate President: Dan Yockey. Copy Editors: Mary Lou Rice; Contributing Writers: Maree Hawkins, Linda Pedego, Dan Yockey, and Gerry Yockey; Advertisements: Mary Lou Rice Website: Office: 622-14th Street, 529-7360 (Wed., 9 a.m.-Noon) Modesto, CA. 95354-2505 Email:


p. 4

Page 4 Over the Garden Gate We just put Christmas stuff away and it’s now Spring. In anticipation, we are already working on the Summer Luncheon and Table Viewing that will be held on Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday June 2 at Del Rio Country Club. Wednesday will be VIEWING ONLY and Thursday will be the LUNCHEON AND A SHORT VIEWING time prior to the luncheon. If you are interested in setting a table for the Summer Luncheon, please call Linda Pedego at 523-1420 or Joyce Smith at 527-8179. If you previously said you wanted TO SET A TABLE for the June luncheon, PLEASE RECONFIRM YOUR INTENT.   Please help us once again to make this a spectacular event by volunteering to be a docent, sell tickets, be a cart jockey or help in any number of ways. These very important tasks will only take a couple of hours of your time. We always have super creative and talented table hostesses, a wonderful menu and a lovely venue to look forward to. Stay tuned for more information in next month’s newsletter!  Call Linda Pedego at 523-1420 or Joyce Smith at 527-8179 to volunteer or for more information. By Joyce Smith and Linda Pedego Summer Luncheon


p. 5

Over the Garden Gate Page 5 February Meeting Brings Out St. Valentine’s Day Apparel With a Flourish of Stylish Headwear Back by Popular Demand: Zing For Your Roses Every year I get requests to reprint this recipe for rose bush “steroids”. No doping agencies have questioned its ethics. No one has been shamed for using its simple ingredients for terrific results. If you saw this on an infomercial on TV some newscaster might try it at home to see if it really works. Well, it does! Try it. You might like it. The measurements below are to be mixed together and spread around a single rose. Use in March and August. Do not use on roses planted less than six months ago. ½ cup 10/10/10 all purpose granular fertilizer (or 12/12/12 or 16/16/16 – the specific numbers are not important. They just all need to be the same.) ½ cup Bone Meal or Superphosphate ½ cup Ironite, Iron Plus, or Soil Sulfur 2 T Epsom Salts Mix together. Spread around the base of a rose. Scratch it in if you can. Spread a shovel of chicken manure (aged or bought in bags) around the base. Water well. Do not combine this recipe with systemic rose food, Animals seem to love to dig in it because of the Bone Meal. The systemic food is toxic. By Cheryl Carmichael


p. 6

Page 6 Over the Garden Gate Planters and Groomers By Gerri Yockey The Planters and Groomers met at the office at 9:00 AM in the morning.  We trimmed the roses and thinned out the roses along the fence in the front.  Raked the yard front and back.  After the wind calmed down and the sky cleared up it was really nice working in the yard.  The pansies are starting to show their faces and the snapdragons are starting to bloom.  It almost feels like Spring.  There is still so much to do at the Garden Club.  We need to replace the grass that died in front.  It is not a big area, but it looks like a sore thumb!  I did not fertilize the yard and it is starting to show.  The foxgloves are coming up and we are really looking forward to seeing them bloom. Jean Seeley baked chocolate cupcakes and Mary Helen Alonzo also brought cupcakes.  Thank you both. I hope you two know how much we appreciate your fine baking.  I want to thank the volunteers who come and help me out. Pat Williams who helped with trimming the roses.  Doris Giomi and April Ford who also trimmed roses and raked leaves.  Beverly Schlegel and Josephine Parra who like to work in the backyard.  Mary McNicholas who does not stand still for a moment.  She is the last one to leave besides Sharon Searls. Joanne Meinhardt in her garden boots is ready for anything. I have to give Dan Yockey credit.  The lawn mower did not start after six weeks of not being used.  He worked on it for 20 min. and it started.  One of the reasons I like having a man around, we are not mechanical and really appreciate his help.    And I want to thank Judy Crisp for helping me out in the kitchen and making the best coffee! Hackers and Whackers By Pixie Kinser We have lucked out with dry weather when it was time to do a little Hacking and Wacking at the Senior Citizen Center this winter. Things are looking good.  The pansies and thyme are just what we needed to brighten up the front.  The next door neighbor came out the last time we worked and helped clean up the back wall. He even brought out his green cans for us to use. He could really stuff a lot into one can. We did not have to use even one trash bag.  Now if we can slow down the growth of the weeds, especially BIND WEED. Stop by and say ‘Hi’ when we are out there on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. We would love to have you joins us. . . .Pixie 10th Street Tree Planting Complete By Dan Yockey Since 2012 the Downtown Modesto Partnership has been working to find ways to improve the Modesto downtown core area. One of the first projects approved was to improve the entire block of 10st. between I and J streets with tree plantings and areas for public art. Since trees in this area could not be planted in the ground it was proposed to purchase large trees planted in planter boxes that would be placed along both sides of the street in raised concrete planter boxes. The Modesto Garden Club has participated in several civic projects in the downtown area in the past and the Club was approached to donate funds to purchase 10 Chinese Pistache trees to be planted in the planters. The Modesto Garden Club was pleased to provide $6588.20 from our Tree Fund to purchase the trees. These trees are now planted, stop by 10th Street between I and J streets to see the results.


p. 7

Over the Garden Gate By Joanie Campbell, Linda Masuda, Irene Morimoto and Mabel Sugiura Page 7 Lavender Library Are you getting ready to revise your present backyard.  In March we will be featuring books on how to build garden paths, patios and bridges to bring renewed interest to your home garden. • • • • Making Paths and Walkways, Stone, Brick, Bark, Grass, and Pebbles - Paige Blomgren Hardscaping, How to Use Structures, Pathways, Patios and Ornaments in Your Garden -  Keith Davitt Front Yard Idea Book, Entries, Driveways, Pathways, Gardens - Sandra Soria The Lavender Library Ladies are MGC Volunteers of the Month. How to Build Paths, Steps and Footbridges, The Fundamentals of Planning, Designing, and Constructing Creative Walkways in Your Home Garden - Peter Jeswald. Paul Spencer It is with great sadness that I tell you of the passing of Paul Spencer. Paul died Friday, February 12th at his home. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer late in January and was in hospice care. Paul was the husband of Judy Spencer. He was chairman of Garden of the Month Committee and helped with many other Club functions. He was quick witted and a great all around guy who will be missed by the many people he touched. Forget-Me-Not-Spot This New Year of 2016 has begun with some changes. After many years of service to the Modesto Garden Club, our beloved member Sharon Ross passed away in December. Sharon was Corresponding Secretary and was kept busy sending acknowledgements, get well, sympathy and birthday cards. She also wrote this column. The title of this column could not be more fitting…Forget Me Not. Sharon you will be greatly missed and not forgotten. With this New Year underway, I volunteered to try and fill Sharon’s shoes. As a new member I look forward to becoming more involved in the club and I look forward to serving on the board as Corresponding Secretary. In January, 34 birthday cards were sent out to members as well as sympathy and thinking of you/get well cards. In February, 37 birthday cards were sent out to members. Please call or text me (Edie) at (209) 204-8053 to let me know of members who may need cards sent to them. You are also welcome to email me at ediejw@hotmail. Please note in the subject line “Modesto Garden Club” so I won’t miss your email. By Edie Westerman The Forget-Me-Not Budding Gardeners Group


p. 8

Page 6 Over the Garden Gate Return Service Requested 622 14th Street Modesto, CA 95354-2505



no comments yet