Saturday, April 29, 2017:
The Friends of the Tree Warden and the Groton Garden Club celebrated Arbor Day by planting two Copper, or European, Beeches at the Groton Fire Station. Groton Ukulele played four songs as the crowd joined them in song. American Sweetgum saplings were given to attendees.
The Groton Garden Club has co-funded the Arbor Day tree purchases for 30 years. The first Arbor Day tree planted by the Friends of the Tree Warden was a Sycamore, planted in 1983 in front of Prescott School. For 21 years, Groton has had the honor of being a “Tree City USA,” along with 84 other towns in Massachusetts.
The winner of the Smokey Bear/Woodsy Owl poster contest was announced, and his poster was displayed.
On Saturday, April 29, at 1:00 p.m. the Friends of the Tree Warden will present Groton’s 2017 Arbor Day celebration at the Fire Station on Farmers’ Row. The celebration will feature the planting of two European or common beech trees (Fagus sylvatica) on both sides of the driveway, as one enters the main parking lot. Also featured will be ukulele music from Groton Ukulele.
Enjoy the mid-spring day with the Friends of the Tree Warden, our friends at the fire station, and the Groton Garden Club, who co-funds the purchase of the trees. Take home a free American Sweetgum seedling, which is a fast-growing native tree with vibrant, glossy, star-shaped leaves, and brilliant fall color.
On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, club members Camilla B, Penny H, Linda L, and Ellen T shared slides and stories of interesting gardens around the world that they had visited, from the Canary Islands; from Madrid; from Victoria, British Columbia; from Dingle and Connemara in Ireland, and from Brittany, France, among others. Here is a sampling of the gardens:
It’s lovely outside with all of the new snow from Tuesday’s Winter Storm Stella. In mid-March many of us are longing for spring. It will come soon – we’ve had tastes of it throughout the winter – from early-blooming hellebores or Christmas rose in a member’s yard, to witch hazel in another, and snow-drops in many gardens.
Mother Nature has played a cruel trick on us, with magnolias’ fat buds swelling, crocuses about to bloom, daffodil leaves spiking through the garden dirt, spring-blooming hellebores almost ready to open in full flower, and many other promises of the start to a new garden season. Now, the hellebores, along with everything else, are covered in many inches of snow.
Soon, the snow will melt, and we will enjoy seeing the spring flowers put on their yearly show.
On Sunday, February 26, 2017, The Nashua River Watershed Association’s meeting room was filled for the public lecture “Ants in Your Plants,” co-sponsored by the Groton Garden Club. This slide show and lively presentation by Elizabeth Farnsworth, Senior Research Ecologist at New England Wildflower Society, brought new and interesting information, on ecosystems and how ants and other insects benefit plants, to the community.
Elizabeth focused on three areas:
The associations between insects and other organisms
Insects as indicators and shapers
Using insects to foster an appreciation of nature
The importance of insects in our ecosystem becomes apparent when we consider that they pollinate 85% of our crops. Also, certain insects can control invasives; some types of beetles can control the invasive purple loosestrife. We learned that plants communicate through chemicals. Their hormones send out signals to other plants, not necessarily of the same variety, that they have been wounded. The nearby plants then create their own defensive compound. This is done through the air, and also in the ground as a fungal transmission in the root system. Some plants send out signals to parasitic wasps, who lay eggs that grow up and eat invading insects.