Submitted by Donna N
The daylily horticulture trip had been planned since Carl Harmon’s program at our May monthly meeting. We did the no-rain dance for 11 weeks, then July 24 arrived with a 40% chance of rain. Sixteen garden club members arrived at Harmon Hill Farm in Hudson NH with umbrellas that we used instead for sun. Carl and Marlene were gracious and patient, since many of us had never been to a daylily farm where the cultivars are still rooted in the earth. Harmon Hill has 4,100 cultivars, so our selection, aided by a multi-page price list and advice from Carl on what would and would not do well in our soil, took a while. Nevertheless, we selected and Carl dug. While we were waiting, 10 of us went out to lunch, and then back to Harmon Hill to pick up our bundles.
There are over 80,000 daylilies registered in the American Hemerocallis Society. Each has a name, many of which are clever. Some of the daylilies that were purchased were “Paranormal Experience,” “Chesapeake Crablegs,” “Heavenly Angel Ice,” “Starman Quest,” and “Big Honking Red Head.”
Click to view Donna N’s
The Groton Garden Club kicked off its 2018-2019 year with a stroll down Main Street, to give members an up-close view of the public gardens we have planted throughout the years. It was September 11, and members observed a moment of silence as they remembered the events of 2001 and the Hanson family of Groton.
Before the stroll garden club members enjoyed a continental breakfast and a talk on the history of the Groton Inn. The inn has been newly rebuilt, and now features reliable and attractive shrubs and perennials within thoughtful landscaping. The stroll began with Michelle Cote from Central Mass Gardens in Lunenberg giving a detailed plant talk, with many specifics on the Limelight Hydrangeas, Paperbark Maple, grasses, and Blue Shadow Fothergillas, among many others.
Club members then proceeded to the Boutwell House, Groton’s History Center, where club member Penny H. spoke on the landscaping the club had done, and their effort to replicate some of the plants that have historically been displayed there. There are two gardens there: the front garden and trellises were installed in 2005 as a gift to the town for its 350th anniversary; they include climbing roses and clematis. The side garden was planted in 2014, and stars Barren Strawberry and Oakleaf Hydrangeas, among other plants.
Next on the stroll was the Hollis Street traffic island, with its grasses, reblooming white iris, and sedum. This was the location of the first town well, and then of a town watering trough. Club member Karen B. told a fascinating story about the cisterns that are now buried under the triangle, and about a house that, while being dragged down Main Street, got stuck in the mud where the island is now. The family that owned it proceeded to live right there in the stuck house, on the Hollis Street island, until the road was again fit for the house to be pulled to its destination.
The Main Street Watering Trough replaced the Hollis Street watering trough in 1899. It is planted with gaura, heuchera, pennisetum, rudbeckia, echinacea, rust lantana, and many others. Shady Firemen’s Common contains an American Beech tree, hostas, and polygonatum, along with a plaque commemorating Groton Firefighters’ dedication to the lives of others.
The last stop was the Town Hall, where long-time club member Lee Burton recounted how her husband had assisted with creating the granite benches. Members had the unique opportunity to see old pictures of the Town Hall, and to mix history and local folklore with plant talk, throughout this seasonal stroll.
submitted by Linda L., who recently visited Kew Gardens
My husband and I had a few hours after disembarking our cruise ship in Southhampton, England before catching our flight back to Boston. We decided to spend our time at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew is only a half hour away from Heathrow. They have lockers and rooms to lock up luggage at no cost, so we had no issues with dealing with our luggage while we walked around.
We entered Kew Garden at the Elizabeth Gate. The road inside the gate was lined with the majestic Ficus carica or edible fig. They were in bloom and took my breath away. I will say this about all of the trees: pictures do not do them justice. Many were very large and can only be experienced in person. It was the trees that I loved most about Kew Gardens. They had so many acres of trees; it isn’t possible to show all of them.
Many of the trees were Heritage Trees such as the black locust tree planted in 1762. They call this the “Old Lion” because it is one of the trees that has survived from the original garden.
I loved the color of the Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Plumosa’. It was a striking blue-green color. The most unusual tree I saw was called the monkey puzzle tree. It is a conifer and its spikes are its leaves. The monkey puzzle tree is the national tree of Chile. In 2009, Kew and Forestry Commission staff collected monkey puzzle tree seeds and grew some trees at Kew and another garden. The seeds cannot be stored in a seed bank so the trees serve as a way to conserve the seeds of this tree. It is called the monkey puzzle tree because when it was first planted in England, someone suggested climbing it would puzzle even a monkey.
Of course Kew has huge flower gardens and it would take days to see everything that is planted in all of the many types of gardens. But for me this UNESCO World Heritage Site left me in awe of the trees.
On July 20, 2018 several members of the club took a tour of members Kim N, Laura S, and Wendy G’s gardens. There were daylilies of many sizes, shapes, and colors on display. The tour began at Kim’s house. She has a mix of sun and shade, with daylilies arranged in beds throughout the yard. With her over 200 varieties, it was difficult to choose just one favorite, but hers is a variety named “Priscilla’s Rainbow,” found in her Memorial Garden. This is a pink lavender lily with a rainbow halo and green throat. “Evergold,” with a deep gold self, was her first plant, coming from White Flower Farm in Kent, Connecticut.
The next stop was Laura’s garden, and “Fashionista,” her favorite, was on full display for members to enjoy. This is a lavender bi-tone with lighter cream lavender sepals, blue lavender band, large lime green center, and green throat. It was quite stylish.
The group also saw the daylilies that came from the Ashburnham plant rescue excursion, which are being tracked for color and variety. They will be a great addition to next year’s Plant Sale. Laura mentioned that members could track their own varieties by labeling them and taking photos while in bloom.
Wendy’s garden was highlighted by a sixty-foot-long river of daylilies along her fence. They were artfully arranged by height, and grouped by complementary colors. Her favorite, “Rebel Cause,” has a bright red self with a yellow to green throat. This was purchased, along with 5 other varieties, over 40 years ago from Wild’s mail order company, and they are still in bloom today.
In addition to the many daylilies in each garden, there were interesting ornamentation features. A statue of Hermione takes center stage in Kim’s garden during the summer months. The focal point in Laura’s garden was a large natural rock, which was a good backdrop for “Fashionista.” Wendy’s “Slingshot,” a motorcycle car, added a touch of brightness, and was the centerpiece in her front yard garden. The peaceful water fountain below was tucked into a corner of her backyard garden. It was amazing to see the layout of these different gardens, and the variety of daylilies and other plants showcased by our talented gardeners.
To see more photos from these artistic gardens, click here:extra photos
Submitted by Lisa M.
On June 5, 2018, the Groton Garden Club held its annual meeting and luncheon at historic Groton School, in the Webb Marshall room, with an inspired menu, and bouquets on the tables created by club members.
Outgoing president Laura S. recited an “ABCs” of the Garden Club, in which she highlighted certain notable events during her four-year tenure as president, listing 26 of them–one for each letter of the alphabet. She was presented with a framed painting of a snowy owl as a parting gift, and was also presented with the federation silver president’s pin. Incoming president Lisa M. spoke also, saying she was excited to be beginning work as the new president.
Club member Donna N. put together a remarkable slideshow, with pictures of events from the 95 years the club has been in existence. Thekla A. and Cindy S. presented a summary of the amazing success of the club’s recent plant sale.
Life members Lois U. and Sandy J. were able to join us for this special occasion, and club members posed for a group photo on the patio.
The new officers for 2018-2020 were officially installed: Lisa M. as president, Cindy S. as vice president, Asha M. as treasurer, Linda L. as secretary, and Laura S. as auditor.