Acton Garden Club
Fall Newsletter

November, 2004

Dear Acton Garden Club Friends,

Happy 70th Anniversary! We had a wonderful year celebrating our 70th year of Gardening in Acton. Our planting at the Acton Memorial Library is now thriving and a permanent and beautiful display of our creative efforts. The June luncheon was delicious and the exquisitely decorated cake at the Library was a treat - what a nice way to celebrate 70 years of Growing and Serving the Community.

The rain this summer aided the Civic Beautification plantings and the Historic Gardens which both looked verdantly green and lush while the flowers were carefully tended by our members. The business owners truly appreciate our "Acton's Looking Good" contest and eight deserving winners were presented plaques at the September meeting.

Nature provided a late frost and allowed us to enjoy our gardens well into the fall which enabled us to fill our "Garden Inspirations" Flower Show in September with a wide array of flora. The show demonstrated to the town our various activities in which we serve the community. The Horticulture Specimens, Floral Designs, Youth Gardening Displays, and Educational Exhibits were a tribute to the talents within our club. Please visit the displays as well as other activities on our web site

October was a colorful and busy month starting with Oktoberfest where we sold 'Ice Follies' Daffodils with the profit going to the West Acton Merchants. Then, two of our members participated in the Topsfield Fair. while later in the month, at the Federation Fall Conference, we had a record attendance for our Club with 14 members! We received 3 Awards! Karin Victor submitted a Book of Evidence for our web site and we received The Barbara D. May Website Award. If you have not already, please check out our Award Winning Website. On our Horticulture Programs last year focusing on Landscape Design, Joan Yatteau created a Book of Evidence and we received the Evelyn D. Cronin Horticulture Award. The State then selected this book to go to the Regional Awards and we received the Virginia Thurston Landscape Design Award along with $100.

Fall kicked off a New Year for Garden Therapy and several other activities. Horticulture Study Group is focusing on horticulture "Basics 101" this year. We have had two wonderful programs so far. The underwater arrangements at the flower show inspired us to create an "Autumn at the Beach" arrangement for our October Floral Design Group. In November, the Cub Scouts will be planting bulbs in town center under our guidance.

Now is a great time to jot down some notes on your garden and make a list of what plants could be divided for the Plant Sale. Plans are in place to have another workshop in January for the boutique; however, we will also need other items as well, so keep your creative juices flowing while the gardens are asleep.

For our club's 60th anniversary, plantings were installed at the Issac Davis Monument in our town center. Currently the monument is undergoing an extensive restoration. The town has asked us to help plan the new landscaping once the project is complete and several of our members, interested in this project, formed a team in response to the request. The plantings will be done in the Spring. As we putting our gardens to bed, let us take time to remember our wonderful 70th year of gardening in Acton. Hope you all enjoy the holidays with your families.

Enjoy your Gardening Community,

Jane Olesin

"Garden Inspirations"

contributed by: Thelma Shoneman

"Garden Inspirations" was an extraordinary celebration of our 70th anniversary.

Every member of the Acton Garden Club deserves a blue ribbon for making the show a success. Every member of the Flower Show committee deserves a top award for all of their efforts resulting in the beautiful production enjoyed by everyone. Thank you Jane Olesin for your support as president of the club as well as your organizational efforts resulting in fabulous special exhibits. Thanks to..... Maureen Christmas and Laura Lindop for their help with the schedule and Sydney Storment and her super horticulture team, Judy Dempsey, Joan Yatteau, Phyllis McDonough and Sue Sally Patrick for securing all the designers and help with classification, to Sandy Bonzagni for classification, to Joanne Moss (and husband, Jim) for Judges hospitality and delicious luncheon, to Jean Mohr (and husband ,John) for the show photographs for the book of evidence, to Cathy Fochtman for organizing the young people and for preparing the book of evidence, to Jan Atkins for publicity, to Pat Cumings for securing the ribbons and distributing the ribbons, to Priscilla McGarry for chairing the clerks, to Peggy Garrison for scheduling the hostesses, and a very special thank you to Karin Victor for printing and editing the schedule, the signage and typing the judges comments. Congratulations to all of the award winners! The show has scored high enough to apply for a National Award! Happy 70th Anniversary....

Design, Education, and Youth Division Results

With all the beautiful designs created for the show the Judges had difficult decisions to make. The Tricolor Award was awarded to Jean Mohr, Designer Choice Award was awarded to Jan Burke, Jr. Achievement Awardwas awarded to Nicholas Fochtman, and the Education Award was awarded to Waterwise Gardening. Ribbons were awarded: In Design, Class 1 - *Sue Diguette, Maureen Christmas, Julie Eacott, Joan Yatteau. Class 2 - *Rita DeLollis, Ellen Todd, Nancy Donaldson, Ruth DiBonaventura. Class 3 - *Sandy Bonzagni, Priscilla McGarry, Wendy Tarson, Cathy Fochtman. Class 4 - *Jean Mohr, Laura Lindop, Suzanne Bareham, Ann Shaw. Class 4 - *Maureen Christmas, Sue Nordhausen, Jane Olesin, Pam Rentschler. Class 5 - *Jan Burke, Judy Shuppert, Noreen Rowe, Carol Stewart-Grinkis. In Education, *Waterwise Gardening, Acton Arboretum, Daffodils for Spring Beauty, 70th Anniversary Garden. In Youth, Class 1 - *Erin Kiley, Elisabeth Sirois, Maggie Foley. Class 2 - *Amy Dudizak, Isabel Rodriquez, Erin Vingerhoet, Emily Victor. Class 3 - *Nicholas Fochtman, Blaize Dudizak, Matthew Fochtman

Horticulture Division Results

contributed by: Judy Dembsey

Hats off to all of the 23 ladies who brought plant specimens to the show! The Horticulture Division contained an outstanding display of branches, grasses and flowers.

There were 226 entries. There were specimens on exhibit in 32 of the 40 classes presented in the schedule. Awards of Merit were presented to Jane Olesin for Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus, Sue Whitcomb for Aconitum carmichaelii, Jane Olesin for Brugmansia x candida and Jean Mohr for Annuum 'Jingle Bells'. The Arboreal Award was given to Judy Dembsey for Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Snow' and both an Award of Merit plus the Horticultural Excellence Award to Joan Yatteau for Rosa 'Coral Meidiland'. 197 ribbons were awarded. The following members received ribbons: *Suzanne Bareham, *Maxine Bussell, Sandy Bonzagni, *Lynn Bruce, *Kathy Burke, *Judy Dembsey, *Maureen Christmas, *Susan Diguette, *Julie Eacott, *Nancy Kingman, *Pat Kosicki, *Laura Lindop, *Jean Mohr, *Sue Nordhausen, *Jane Olesin, *Sally Patrick, *Thelma Shoneman, Sydney Storment, *Mike Svoboda, *Trudy Walther, *Susan Whitcomb and *Joan Yatteau. Congratulations! * Blue Ribbon winners

Ways and Means

contributed by: Maureen Christmas and Julie Soberg

The holiday season is approaching. While you are shopping, please consider adding a garden related item or something appropriate for Mother's Day to your shopping cart for us to sell at the boutique at the plant sale. You may be a person who crafts over the winter months, please make an extra item for the boutique. We are trying to minimize expenses by maximizing your donations! Thank you!

"Winter Garden" at the January Floral Design meeting

contributed by: Wendy Tarson

"Winter Garden' is the theme for Floral Design on January 18, 2005. We'll be making a Pot-et-Fleur artistically combining potted plants and fresh. Sign up at the December meeting or call Wendy Tarson, 978-897-8458 or Thelma Shoneman, 978-263-9466.

January 18, 2005

9:15 am See yearbook for location

Cost - $20.00

Bring 6 - 8" container, pruners, scissors, trash bag and box for transporting


contributed by: Julie Eacott

As requested by the President of the National Council of State Garden Clubs, the Acton Garden Club is keeping a tally of the flowering trees that members have planted or plan to plant this year. There is a sign up sheet being passed around at up coming meetings, but if you have missed it, please send, phone or e-mail the types (common as well as botanical name) of flowering trees that you have planted in your yards this planting season. The goal is for each club member to plant at least one flowering tree, I know that this information shold have come earlier to you, but it not too late to plant and there are lots of sales at the nurseries now. Send information to Julie Eacott at

Also, we are still sending in inkjet cartridges from our printers to "Recycle First". For each cartridge recycled the Club receives $1.00, as of today we have received $44.00. Please see me if you would like prepaid mailers to keep on hand for your recycling needs or pass them on to friends and relatives.

Flowering Trees for New England (see for more choices in our area)

Red Bud, Cercis Canadensis, white variety 'Alba", Crimson Purple Foliage 'Forest Pansy'

Flowering Dogwood, variegated leaves 'First Lady'

Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea

Washington Hawthorn Crataegus phaenopyrum

Flowering Crab Malus sp., Pink 'Candied Apple', Rosey Red 'Indian Magic', Natural dwarf, white edged with pink 'Jewelberry crab'

Flowering Cherry Prunis Pink variety 'Rubea', pink p. sargentii 'Sargent Cherry', Pale Pink p. subhirtella

'Higan Cherry', Cinnamon brown bark with white flowers P. maakii 'Amur Chokeberry', White blooming 'p.h.Yedoensis'

Important Notices

Save the Date!

January 12th, 2005 - 9:30am - Plant Sale Craft Workshop - at Maureen Christmas' See you there!

Mayflower Subscriptions for the club will now be handled by Karin Victor. If you would like to begin or renew a subscription to the Mayflower, please contact Karin, 978-264-4573.

Acton Community Outdoor Classroom

contributed by: Cathy Fochtman

There is an exciting project that has been in progress between the Administration Building (formerly Merriam School) and the Parker Damon Center Building. A cooperative venture between the town, schools and community, the Outdoor Classroom is becoming a reality.

A year ago, the Acton Garden Club donated $300 toward the planting of a raised bed, stonewall fronted butterfly garden. Our member, Sue Whitcomb, donated a great number of butterfly perennials, as did the Plant Sale Committee. As a Gardening with Young People project, I helped coordinate the planting of the 80' x 6' bed with school children of many classes from the Merriam and McCarthy-Towne school, who also grew annuals in the classroom with my assistance. I have continued to volunteer as a parent representative to the Outdoor Classroom committee, which includes Eileen Sullivan, Acton Public Schools Curriculum Specialist for Science and Math and Tom Tidman, Town of Acton Natural Resources Director. I have also been maintaining the butterfly garden.

This year, the butterfly garden has matured and has blooming plants from spring through fall. I undertook the planting of the border behind the established bed that abuts the building this month with a variety of student volunteers. After leveling the weeds, I asked Christy Paratore's Brownie Troop #2044 from the Merriam School to cover the 70' x 6' area with layers of black and white newspapers to help smother the weeds. Dan Lennox from Lenox Nursery donated and delivered 5 yards of a loam-compost mix to add to the bed. A group of High School and a Junior High School student volunteered to transport the loam in a two-hour work party we set up on a Friday, earning the students community service credit with their school. The Brownie Troop returned to plant perennials and shrubs in the bed. Now when visitors walk the stone dust path behind the stonewall, they will walk through a border on the right and the left.

A number of hardscape elements have been added to the classroom since last year. The owner of New England Hardscapes donated and constructed a cement walkway to serve as an entrance to the Outdoor Classroom, located nearest the Administration Building. He imprinted the cement with fossil and leaves. Gravel paths around the perimeter have been constructed by Eagle Scout candidates, including Alex Crew, Shawn Kilpatrick and Andrew Myers.

Over the summer, the Acton-Boxborough Rotary Club chose the Outdoor Classroom to be the recipient of its Centennial Community Project. They donated and constructed a new boardwalk and observation platform that was built with Trex lumber. Trex Wood-Polymer® lumber is made from reclaimed plastic and wood waste in approximately equal proportions. Trex decking is made from post-consumer and/or post-industrial reclaimed plastic and waste wood. The reclaimed plastic comes primarily from grocery sacks and stretch film, and the waste wood is from woodworking manufacturers. Trex is free of toxic chemicals, unlike standard pressure treated lumber.

The area cleared around the platform will be replanted with wet loving plant species and some reconfiguration of pond's depth around the platform will take place to allow for direct pond study. Students will have the opportunity to study wetlands closely with this generous gift.

Future developments will include the creation of an amphitheater area with a sloped lawn and built in seating for large group gatherings. The Outdoor Classroom is being developed for the use of the entire community, as well as the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District and Acton Public Schools.

Civic Beautification

contributed by: Cathy Fochtman and Doris Prendiville

Civic Beautification is looking for donations of various types of greens to decorate the troughs and barrels for winter. We are especially looking for decorative greens - Holly, Sumac, Winterberry, Leucothoe and Ornamental grasses. Spruce, Cedar and Balsam are also needed. Please cut the branches long when possible. Greens may be dropped off along the driveway by the bright blue tarp at Cathy Fochtman's house, 184 Nagog Hill Rd., Acton by Tuesday, November 9th. If you require pickup, please call Cathy (978-263-5806).

New Daylily Cultivars Planted at Meeting House Hill - Daffodil Run

contributed by: Joan Yatteau and Sydney Storment

At our Plant Sale in May, Mr. Fred Knippel, a native Actonian who frequently donates plants such as daylilies, rhododendrons, and kalmia (mountain laurel) so generously to our plant sales, offered to donate daylily cultivars to the Daffodil Run garden on Meeting House Hill where he once attended school. A skilled propagator and plantsman who is very active in the Rhododendron Society, Mr. Knippel has also donated many plants to the Town for the Arboretum and NARA.

Co-chairs discussed colors we might want, and in August, Joan visited Mr. Knippel's place and picked out fifteen named daylily cultivars in brilliant reds, coral, gold, creams, and cranberry while Mr. Knippel flagged the ones chosen. Later in August Sydney and I dug several areas on the embankment and amended the soil with compost to receive the first installment of the daylily varieties we had selected. Mr. Knippel gave us generous divisions of each variety that we then planted over a week or so on Daffodil Run. We mulched and watered them in well, and with the benefit of some rain, they soon showed new growth. The remaining varieties we chose will be planted next season when we've prepared additional planting areas. Look for the following new varieties blooming in the garden next summer. See the club web page,, for color pictures of these beautiful plants. Look in "What's new in the Club?" and click on Fall Newsletter.

Daylily cultivar name

Height of scape Diameter of blossom
Hemerocallis 'Chicago Apache' Scarlet 27" 5.00"
H. 'Frank Gladney' Hot coral, cerise throat 26" 6.50"
H. 'Meltdown' Intense gold 26" 6.00"
H. 'Pardon Me' Bright red 18" 2.75"
H. 'Siloam Bo Peep' Orchid-pink, purple eye 18" 4.50"
H. 'Siloam David Kirchoff' Orchid, cerise pencil eye 16" 3.50"
H. 'Todd Monroe' Buff, fuchsia eye 20" 3.25"

Hemerocallis 'Chicago Apache'

H. 'Pardon Me'

H. 'Siloam Bo Peep'

H. 'Siloam David Kirchoff'

H. 'Siloam David Kirchoff'

H. 'Todd Monroe'

Horticulture Study Group

contributed by: Judy Dembsey

Please note in your notebook a change in the March and April programs. The March program will now be "Bulbs: Summer and Fall Flowering Bulbs" with Kathy Burke and Lynn Bruce and the April program will be "Annuals, Part 1 Basics of Care" with Pat Cumings and Nancy Kingman. The locations and refreshments remain as listed, only the programs change.


contributed by: Lyn Fischer

Second year of my being Historian has been busier than the first. Neighbor, Littleton Garden Club, asked to see "books of evidence" the AGC submitted for awards as we have received many and their Club has not. After meeting and showing several books of evidence, it was quickly obvious that our Club does so much mor than their Club and, therefore, has much more to submit, making interesting notebooks.

Items from former member's family, Elinor Miller, were given back to the AGC, among which were 10 cup plates. These were given as memorials to friends of Elinor's.

This being our 70th Anniversary Year, items of relevancy were borrowed from files in the preparation of our program this year.


contributed by: Cathy Fochtman, Wendy Tarson, Sally Patrick

The Nominating Committee will begin in January to create the new slate of committee chairmen, who serve as board members for the next fiscal year, beginning April 5, 2005. Please complete and mail the Membership Interest Survey that is attached to this newsletter. Whenever possible, the nominating committee will match committee assignments to your interests, and would like to introduce newer members to a co-chairing position with an experienced member. One of the joys of serving as a chairman on an Acton Garden Club committee is the fact that our club committees are well organized and documented and we work well together.

Committee chairs have been given copies of their job descriptions to review for updating. Please contact Cathy to indicate if any changes or additions to the job description are necessary, so that she may update our files and keep our information current. Contact her via phone (978-263-5806) or email if no changes are needed; you can return the edited copy of the job description to her by the next board meeting on November 30th at Laura Lindop's home.

Come one Come all to the Williamsburg Holiday Workshop

December 7, 2004 at St. Matthew's Church, 435 Central Street, Acton

Choose to make a mixed-greens tree spiraled with fruit


A table arrangement spiked with heather, cranberries, and Granny Smith apples

The cost for this workshop will be $5.00, and will include the container, oasis and heather. Some fruit and trims will be available for purchase at the meeting. Members should bring their own greens...mixes greens, can be small pieces. If you are interested in the centerpiece project, you should bring a bag of cranberries and 3-5 Granny Smith apples in addition to the greens. If you missed the sign-up at the November meeting, give Thelma a call, 978-263-9466 or e-mail and she will add your name to the list.

Coffee begins at 9:00…Supplies will be available before the meeting.


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