Sad news from our travel partners Friendship Tours:
Dear Friendship Family,
It is with a heavy heart, that we announce the passing of our mother, the founder of Friendship Tours, Lois Isaacson.
Lois founded Friendship Tours in 1977, based on the principle of bringing joy to the people who traveled with her. She had the gift of making people she'd just met feel like family; the name Friendship Tours was chosen with this in mind.
Lois (or Hi-Lo as she was so often called), was an outgoing and adventurous soul with a zest for life and new adventures. Her irrepressible and contagious spirit brightened the lives of all those who knew her.
Our office will be closed on Friday, June 6th so that our staff, family, and friends can be together to celebrate her life.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, June 6, 2014 in the Sanctuary of Beth El Temple, 2626 Albany Ave., West Hartford. Interment will follow in Beth El Temple Cemetery, Jackson St. Ext., Avon. Following the interment, the family will receive relatives and friends at Beth El Temple.
Yours In Friendship,
Amy Isaacson Schoen
FALL 2014 > SPRING 2015
Sept. 18, 2014: Kristin Schleiter, “A Native Plants Garden for the 21st Century”
In 2013, the New York Botanical Garden inaugurated a spectacular, 3.5 acre new Native Plant Garden that dazzles the visitor with plantings of 100,000 native trees, wildflowers, ferns, and grasses. Its four-season drifts of color and texture showcase not only the individual beauty of our North American native plant species, they demonstrate - in expertly composed borders and beds - the leading role these plants can take in the cultivated landscape. Furnished with recycled materials -- even the water that fills 230-foot-long pool and waterfall is collected storm water naturally filtered by aquatic plantings – this garden is a testament to sustainability as well as beauty.
October 23, 2014: Lee Reich, “Pomona’s Secrets: Unusual, Easy-to-grow Fruits for Northeast Gardens”
In a reprise of his most popular program, Lee Reich will offer tastings of cold-hardy, delectable, pest-free fruits harvested from his own garden, while offering his expert insights about how to make your own landscape equally fruitful. Meet the pawpaw, the medlar, Nanking cherry, and persimmon, and a fruitbowl full of other treats easily grown in Connecticut gardens.
November 20, 2014 : Kristine Boys, “Creating a Native, No-Mow Lawn”
Over the last 6 years, Kristine Boys of Cornell University’s Mundy Wildflower Garden has been harvesting seeds from the wild to create a biodiverse, sustainable lawn of native grasses and wildflowers that nurtures pollinators and wildlife while pleasing the eye with bloom. Best of all, it flourishes with only one or two mowings a year. Kristine Boys is making history within the ecologically oriented gardening community with her development of a revolutionary model of flowering, native turf; she brings to us cutting edge research from one of our foremost horticultural institutions.
January 15, 2015: Karen Bussolini, “What Photography Can Teach You About Garden Design: Framing Views, Working with Textures, and More”
We all use our cameras to save memories of others’ gardens – but we can benefit as much or more by turning it on our own horticultural creations. Renowned garden photographer Karen Bussolini explains how the camera’s impartial eye can help us compose and frame views, while teaching us about aesthetic elements such as mass, light, textures and point of view. A commitment to seeing well is essential to creating compelling photographic images, of course, but it can be just as fundamental to creating compelling gardens.
February19, 2015 : Kerry Mendez, “Right-Sizing the Perennial Garden”
As Americans grow ever busier, and all of us grow older, we look for ways to reduce our gardening chores without sacrificing beauty and diversity. Perennials expert Kerry Mendez shares her new guide to tried and true plants she has found to provide the maximum impact for minimal input.
March 19, 2015; Louis Bauer “Edible Ornamentals: Enhance the Garden Using Plants That Taste as Good as They Look”
Louis Bauer is a horticulturist whose work as the head of various public gardens has made him a leader in his field; he is doing things at Wave Hill to enhance its reputation as the country’s best public garden. The 28-acre Bronx beauty, one of the most exciting and innovative public gardens in America, has long been famous for the striking and imaginative ways in which edible crops are integrated into its elegant ornamental displays. Louis Bauer, who began his career as a gardener at Wave Hill and recently returned as its Horticultural Director, will discuss eclectic techniques he helped to pioneer with the legendary Marco Polo Stufano.
April 16, 2015 :Robert Herman, "Garden Design and Plant Selection by Habitat: Making the Most of Your Site"
For generations Americans have looked to England for horticultural inspiration; Robert Herman urges us to broaden our view to include the revolutionary – and ravishing -- style of perennial plant design coming out of continental Europe. Designing and planting by habitat in the continental style combines robust, low maintenance plants ideally suited to each growing situation; the result is enhanced sustainability as well as a more natural aesthetic. Concrete examples of different habitats and specific plant combinations suited to each will be provided.
May 21, 2015:Jan Johnsen, “Serenity by Design: Creating a Relaxing Outdoor Space”
We all crave a serene haven outdoors where we can simply relax and enjoy the moment, asserts landscape designer Jan Johnsen, and in this talk the award winning speaker, writer, television and radio host details how to transform this desire into reality. This lushly illustrated seminar shares intriguing ideas for creating simplicity, sanctuary and delight in a garden, and explores ways you can use the ‘power of place’, the layout of your garden, the cardinal directions, and color to create a landscape that elevates your mood and increases your sense of wellbeing.
June 18, 2015: Robert Adzema – “Designing the Light: Using Sun Dials and a Sense of Place to Understand the Play of Sunlight in Your Garden”
Sculptor and plein air landscape painter Rodert Adzema has spent a lifetime pursuing the beauty of sunlight. For his sun-specific sculptures, he combines astronomical expertise with aesthetic vision to create monumental one-or-a-kind, site specific sundials that serve not only to mark the time but also to connect their place on the earth with the alignment of the sun and stars overhead. For gardeners, he offers a profound understanding of sunlight and exposure far advanced beyond the customary horticultural “sunny” vs. “shade”; learn how to read what the sun will be doing in the different areas of your landscape every hour of every day and throughout the seasons.
Speakers 2013-2014 season gone by:
Already gone by....
Nov. 21: Adam Wheeler, Broken Arrow Nursery ”Fruitful Shrubs for Autumn’s Beauty”
Jan. 16: Dave Daly, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, “Tricks for Getting Kids into the Garden”
Feb. 20: Michael Singer,PhD. Wesleyan University, “Insect Drama in Your Garden”
Mar. 20: Andrew Pighills, English Gardens and Landscaping, “The Stone Walls and Stonework of New England and Old England: an Evolution”
Apr. 17: Christie Higginbottom, Old Sturbridge Village, “The Up-to-Date Advantages of Heirloom Vegetables”
May 15: Michael Ruggiero “All About Containers: From Design to Installation
June 19: Ice Cream Social and Rob Cardillo, Garden Photgrapher: "Looking at Gardens with the Photographer's Eye"
Come join the fun at the CHS FallSpring Auction and Plant Sale, Friday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. at TAC (Tolland County Agriculture Center) in Vernon. The evening will be educational thanks to the commentary of our knowledgeable nursery professional auctioneer including Kevin Wilcox of Silver Spring Nursery, John O’Brien of O’Brien Nurserymen, and special guests. They are as smart as they are entertaining and we 'll laugh as much as we learn. *All proceeds contribute to the fund that provides scholarships to UConn and NVCC horticultural students.
The plant table viewing will be at 6:30 p.m. with the sale beginning promptly at 7 p.m. The auction will begin at 7:15 p.m. considering a plant donation, be selective. The bestselling items are usually hard-to-find and named cultivars, and unusual or one of-a-kind plants.
Donating? Please mark your donations with as much information as possible (name, color, height, width, bloom time and zone). Donations are tax deductible and we can provide a receipt if you give us a list .
*Don’t forget to ask your favorite nursery to donate.List the donated material with the donors name and address.
Bringing donations early is helpful. Someone will be at the TAC by 4:30 p.m. to accept plants and set up. If you need help getting your plants etc. to the auction, call.
Please let us know if you can help ! We need volunteers: Set-up: 4:30-5 pm: 6 people : help set up tables and chairs Taggers: 4:30-6:45; 3 - 4 people : with knowledge in perennials, houseplants, tropicals, shrubs, and/or trees to help tag donations. Runners: 3-4 to deliver plants to bidders. Recorders: 2 : write down ' winning' prices for the items.
To volunteer or for more information please call Leslie at 860-747-8175 You can also email: Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions: TAC is off I -84 in Vernon. Take exit 67 (from 84 eastbound, turn left off the exit; from 84 westbound, turn right). At first traffic light turn right onto Rt. 30 (Hyde Ave.) The center is on the right just past the Rockville Bank.
Come in from the cold –VOLUNTEER and visit a Backyard Paradise at the CT Flower and Garden Show!
February 20-23, 2014 CT Convention Center, Hartford CT
As winter continues to fight its way thru New England giving us some 5o degree days followed by single digit cold, the CT Convention Center will be blooming & bustling: over 300 vendor booths, more than a dozen landscape displays , a Federation of Garden Clubs juried show and most important for us CHS types: 48 seminars to learn –more, better and different garden techniques.
Come Volunteer with us and get into the show for free!
We will continue our role as CHS Ambassadors for the show’s seminars. By introducing yourself as a CHS member , introducing the speaker and facilitating the speakers presentation , you give CHS the opportunity to meet people who are likely to become CHS members. A membership table outside the rooms will help us enroll members as they enter and leave the seminar rooms.
This link shows you where we still need volunteers: ( yellow highlights are open slots)
Volunteers: Membership table
To request a requested volunteer time slot , email your full name, tel.# to : email@example.com
We will confirm your time and give you instructions for the day.
*Save 30+% on Tickets: $ 11 for members (compare to $16 door admission)
We are offering, as a CHS member benefit, discount tickets to the show. Tickets can be purchased at any of our events before Tues. February 18th. OR Visit the Rocky Hill office11-4pm Tues. or Thurs. now thru the 18. OR send a stamped self addressed envelope to the office: CHS 2433 Main St. Rocky Hill CT 06067
2013 FLOWER SHOW : Results
“Breaking Up” Wins Five Awards
After more than 1,100 greenhouse-growing hours, 28 hours of planting 150 varieties of plants and bulbs, 14 hours of building and nine hours of painting, we got the message across: Break up with your Lawn! The message was so clear that the CHS exhibit won five show awards: Most Educational, Most Environmentally Sensitive, Best Urban Garden, Most Creative Design, and WFSB Favorite Landscape.
In frugal CHS gardener fashion, we made 95 percent of the display from recycled materials from previous exhibits of ours. We used bulb crates to build the display to a height of 4 feet so as not to waste wood-chip base material. We borrowed fencing and props. We enlisted the artistic talents of Leslie Shields for key visual elements of the rock cat, the spirals and the echeveria sun face. Bravo and thanks, Les. These efforts helped us come in at 25 percent below our budget.
On behalf of the board and members, I would like to thank all of our volunteers—
more than 80 members and friends—who trucked, toted, planted, painted, planned, hoisted, hosted, watered, and made our educational message clear. (Find a list of volunteers and photos at cthort.org.) The display gave us the opportunity to tell 30,000 show visitors about CHS and enroll 28 new members.
—Nancy Brennick, flower show committee chairman
Editor's note: The following article by Lea Anne Moran, a member of the CHS Education Committee, was published in the March 2011 issue of CHS Newsletter. It is worth rereading following the discovery of the emerald ash borer in Connecticut in July 2012, in New Haven County.
Fact sheet and control strategies>
Know the Pests: Emerald Ash Borer
by Lea Anne Moran
As we near the end of the snowiest winter in recent memory, it’s time to think about the pests that might be waiting to emerge when the timing is right. The emerald ash borer (EAB) is one pest to be concerned about.
It spends the winter in the pre-pupae stage embedded under the bark of the ash tree, a wood that is often used for firewood. The insect can become established in a new area when moved with infested firewood.
The borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) was brought to the United States and Canada from Asia in wooden packing materials. It was first identified as the cause of widespread decline of ash trees in southeastern Michigan and Windsor, Canada, in 2002. Scientists believe that it was brought into the country in the 1990s.
By last summer, infestations had spread to 14 states, including New York and Pennsylvania, the closest states to Connecticut, where ash species (Fraxinus) account for 5 percent of the state’s trees.
As its name implies, the insect is a metallic emerald color. It is less than one half inch long. Its wings overlie a coppery red, bullet-shaped body. It is sometimes confused with other green beetles commonly seen in our trees, such as the six-spotted tiger beetle.
Emerald ash borer larvae are 1 to 1.3 inches long, creamy white in color, and have bell-shaped body segments. The eggs are yellow-brown, laid in crevasses in the bark. The larvae burrow into the bark after hatching, and all stages of the insect feed on the cambium and phloem under the bark, which cuts off the flow of nutrients and water to the tree, ultimately causing it to die.
The insect makes its home in all species of ash tree. Ash trees can be recognized by the compound leaf, which has five or more leaflet pairs opposite each other along the central stem. The double samara or seed is shaped like a canoe paddle.
Know the signs and symptoms
The larvae are found under the tree bark in the serpentine or S-shaped galleries or tunnels. The frass made by the larvae tunneling into the wood looks like sawdust. It is usually seen in the galleries under the bark.
Look for D-shaped holes in the tree bark, made by adult beetles as they exit the tree in May and early June, and for vertical splitting in the bark. This is caused by callous tissue forming over the galleries or tunnels made by the larvae under the bark. The galleries may be exposed when the bark splits.
Watch for thinning in the tree’s canopy and eventual dieback of the tree. Epicormic sprouts, also called water sprouts, grow from the roots and the trunk. The leaves on these sprouts are larger than normal.
Woodpeckers feed on the larvae, so watch for increased woodpecker activity in trees. The birds make large holes in the bark to find the larvae just under the bark.
If you see what you think is an emerald ash borer adult or larva, put it in a jar and freeze it, or take a digital photograph of it, and contact the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 203-974-8474.
Finally, don’t bring in firewood from out of state, or transport it from one home to another or to and from campgrounds or parks. If you buy firewood, get it from a local source. Leave any unused firewood where you bought or store it. The prepackaged bundles at the grocery or hardware store have been kiln dried to kill the EAB and many other pests.
More information: U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Don't Move Firewood
In the June spotlight: mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Kalmia latifolia 'Keepsake' Photos: Adam Wheeler
Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is one of the most attractive native, evergreen shrubs in the eastern United States. It is common throughout much of Connecticut and is the state flower. It requires acid, well-drained soil and some sun and is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. In New England, the shrub can grow up to 15 feet tall, but heights of 5 feet to 8 feet are more commonly found in the landscape.
For years, it was underappreciated as a garden plant but has gained in popularity and is now recommended for the foundation or shrub border or as an understory plant beneath scattered trees. The flowers typically are light pink in bud and near white when open. Only in relatively recent times, through the efforts of nurserymen and plant breeders, has the variability in the species become apparent.
Flower selections from pure white to near red, and even some with rich purple centers, are now available, as are variations in foliage and growth habit. For example, little leaf laurels are notable not only for smaller leaves but also for more compact growth habit, yet with normal-size flowers.
Despite its tolerance for apparently uninhabitable sites in the wild, mountain laurel can be a challenge to grow in the garden. Site requirements are similar to those for rhododendrons and azaleas, but good drainage is an absolute necessity. A raised bed is required on marginal sites. The use of organic mulch is preferred—leaves that accumulate under plants are best left and not raked away. Light annual pruning to keep plants shapely is recommended. Flowering will be heaviest in sunny locations, and to lengthen the viewing period, place some cut flowers in a vase; they’ll last longer than flowers on the plant.
Enjoy the native mountain laurel and check out some of the new cultivars at your local nursery or garden center.
—Richard A. Jaynes, owner, Broken Arrow Nursery, Hamden, which hosts a mountain laurel festival June 2-10, 2012.
K. latifolia 'Elf'
In the May spotlight: redvein enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus)
Flowers of redvein enkianthus (Photos: Kevin Wilcox)
Editor's note: A CHS audience admired this plant at the February program meeting, when Kevin Wilcox described and showed photos of it. The following description comes from Sharon Harris, co-owner of Acer Gardens in Deep River.
Redvein enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus) is an excellent shrub for the landscape, showcasing form, texture, flowers in May and fall color. An upright shrub, it reaches heights of 12 feet to15 feet and becomes more rounded with age. Hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 7, its foliage is finely textured and whorled and creates a layered effect. This large bush could be grown as a specimen near a patio or deck and underplanted with groundcovers or perennials. It also works well in shrub borders and could be combined with azalea, rhododendron, clethra and fothergilla.
Enkianthus grows best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. It prefers a moist, well-drained, acidic soil, rich in organic matter. It is resistant to insects, disease and deer.
Bell-shaped flowers (yellow to light orange with red veins) hang in pendulous clusters and bloom in May. The flowers appear as the leaves emerge, so the blooms are easy to see. Several cultivars are available with red, pink or white flowers.
The shrub retains its seed pods and is a good source of food for northern juncos in winter. Fall color is spectacular, with the leaves turning brilliant reds and oranges. It is definitely our favorite shrub for fall color.
Plant enkianthus where it can be enjoyed and admired throughout all seasons. Plant it near a patio and you will see birds surrounding it through winter and early spring. Hanging hummingbird feeders near it in summer will add to the continuous pleasure this shrub gives.
by Colleen Fitzpatrick Michelson
A virulent fungus that attacks all species of boxwood (Buxus) has been found in Connecticut and is threatening what one expert estimates to be at least a $20 million crop in the state. The fungus that causes boxwood blight (Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum) was identified in Connecticut in October. Infected boxwood plants were detected first in landscapes, nurseries and garden centers in Middlesex County and then in Fairfield, Hartford and New London counties, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES).
Because there is no known effective fungicidal control for the blight, and because infected plants die quickly, CAES instructed nurseries and garden centers to bury or burn clusters of infected plants upon detection. CAES Director Louis A. Magnarelli told the Hartford Courant that widespread compliance by the industry means that the likelihood of homeowners buying infected plants has been reduced. But he cautioned that the blight can be hard to detect early in the infection and that some infected plants may be circulating.
The fungus causes brown spots on leaves and distinctive black cankers on stems. After symptoms appear, leaf drop is rapid. While the blight affects all species, American or common boxwood (B. sempervirens) and English Boxwood (B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) appear to be highly susceptible.
The Courant quoted Bob Heffernan, director of the Connecticut Nursery & Landscape Association, as estimating that the crop of the highly popular landscape plant exceeds $20 million in the state.
Scientists don’t know how the fungus got to Connecticut. It may have arrived with plant shipments from other locations, or fungal spores may have blown in on Hurricane Irene’s winds in August. Unusually high amounts of rain and relatively warm fall temperatures have favored fungal growth, scientists said.
CAES recommends that gardeners do the following: isolate any newly purchased boxwood from other boxwood plants for at least one month and ideally for several months; avoid overhead watering of plants; pull and remove infected plants immediately, putting the entire plant in a plastic bag and then in the garbage (do not compost it); and rake up and similarly dispose of infected leaves.
Boxwood blight has been reported throughout Europe and in New Zealand since it was first identified in the United Kingdom in the mid 1990s. Until October in the United States, only Virginia and North Carolina had reported its presence.
For more information, visit www.ct.gov/caes or call 203-974-8496
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana); Photo: Steve Silk
by Cathy Zbuska
Allan Armitage, who runs the research gardens at the University of Georgia, once wrote that “Shade is to gardening as Oreos are to cookies: too many can give you a stomachache but having none is cruel and unusual punishment.”
I’ve always moaned and groaned about my shade. Being an avid organic gardener, however, I was reluctant to cut down trees just to allow some sun in for a garden. After taking garden classes, touring and photographing gardens and experimenting, my husband and I learned which plants work well in shade.
I try to use perennials, shrubs and trees that have more than one season of interest. Most of the plants I recommend here have foliage whose texture and color can carry the garden along once blooming has finished. Come with me as I describe a few fall plants that work well in the shady garden.
Aster novae-angliae ‘Alma Potschke’. The rose pink flowers of this aster bloom in mid-September through early October. The plant performs well in full sun but will also grow in part shade if it gets two to three hours of sun each day. Soil that is too rich will cause this aster to flop. Consistently moist soil is best, but the plant will tolerate drier soils. To prevent this aster from reaching its full height of 2 to 4 feet, cut it back in early June. I cut the front portion of my stand and leave the back alone. This extends the bloom time and it eliminates the need for staking, as the shorter front portion supports the taller stems in back. Combine this aster with Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’, which has chocolate leaves, purple stems and white blooms in September and October.
Tricyrtis ‘Tojen’ (toad lily). The name may be horrible, but the lovely orchid-like flowers make up for it. The small, 1-inch-round, light lavender blooms with yellow throats grow along arching stems amid dark green leaves. This variety blooms even in deep shade, and its flowers are a sight to behold in mid-September to early October. Plant it in moist, well-drained, humus-rich soil. Reaching heights of 2 to 3 feet and with a weeping habit, this toad lily makes a pretty sight over a bed of ferns. It is a late arrival in spring.
Hamamelis virginiana (common witch hazel). This native small understory tree or shrub grows 10 to 15 feet tall, and sometimes taller, and 15 feet wide. The leaves emerge reddish bronze and turn dark green. Fall foliage is a clear, bright yellow. The last woody plant of the year to bloom, its yellow spider-like, crinkled flowers appear after the foliage has dropped, starting in mid-October. The blooms have a spicy fragrance. This witch hazel performs best in part shade but it tolerates full sun. Plant it in moist, slightly acidic soil. ...
(For more plants and to read the full article become a member of CHS )
CHS opens the door to the gardens of the world through our travel programs. From day-trips to Boston to weeks in Bangkok, CHS members are offered a variety of specially priced group trips that focus on a horticultural theme but always manage to include other areas of interest as well. Travel is arranged by Friendship Tours of Bloomfield, Conn., whose programs for CHS are designed with our members in mind. It would be hard to find such an array of exciting adventures anywhere else. Plus, special prices and packages are publicized to CHS members only.
July 17,2014 : The Fells: Historic Estate and Garden Tour
August 20, 2014: Doris Duke Roughtpoint Estate and Garden Tour plus private tour of a member's garden
November 5, 2014 : Bullets over Broadway: Pre-show Lunch and orchestra seats!
Travelers: Please note that the pick-up and drop-off point for East Hartford has changed. For day trips, the East Hartford staging location is the Commuter Lot, 510 Main St., East Hartford. For overnight trips, travelers will assemble at Emanuel Synagogue, 160 Mohegan Dr., West Hartford.