Acton Garden Club
Fall Newsletter

February, 2005

Dear Acton Garden Club Friends,

We have had a wonderful time "Celebrating 70 years of Growing and Serving Acton" and we are now starting our 71st year continuing to make a positive impact on our community. As snow falls upon us, one way of enjoying the very snowy winter landscape is to ponder our gardens for Spring and look forward to our upcoming club activities..

Our Annual Meeting and Luncheon plans are well underway and we look forward to the celebration at the Shaker Hills Golf Club, in Harvard, MA on April 5th.

Now is also the time to sign up for this year's Community Service Committees. As a service organization for our community, we offer many opportunities to participate in civic beautification, historic gardens, or garden therapy. They are all rewarding experiences where, as someone just said to me, you get more than you give.

Our Ways and Means co-chairs started this year with a workshop to create some unique items for our Plant Sale boutique. Only the snow exceeds the flurry of clipboards sign-up sheets for our Annual Plant Sale on May 7th. Everyone's participation is what makes this a successful and a fun event. Please contact our Plant Sale coordinators if you have not had the opportunity to sign up on the clipboards.

Participating and sharing are what make our club a success, where we are all able to learn and grow. I can not even begin to tell you how much I have learned from club members, and hope you have as well. The amazing talent and the willingness to share knowledge is very impressive and one of the reasons Acton Garden Club is one of the best in the state.

The annual dues payment form is also included in this newsletter which should be paid by the Annual Meeting

Enjoy indoor gardening while the snow protects our plants from the cold,,

Jane Olesin

Reserve May 7th for the Acton Garden Club Plant Sale

Dig your plants for the Plant Sale during the week of April 17th. All plants need to be in pots by April 23rd, this will give each plant a minimum of two weeks to recover from transplanting.

Ways and Means

contributed by: Maureen Christmas and Julie Soberg

Count Down to the Plant Sale!!! Saturday, May 7, 2005!!! There are lots of opportunities to help make the Plant Sale a success. Look for the clipboards at any garden club meeting to sign up for a committee (or two or three!). As a special incentive and a thank you, those who sign up to be chairs or co-chairs are eligible to purchase 1-2 plants in advance. An example of a fun committee to chair for all you shoppers out there is the boutique. You get to chose great items and spend some one else's money. If you miss the clipboards, please call Maureen Christmas (978-263-0009) to sign-up. Please remember every Acton Garden Club member has an obligation to work on the Plant Sale.

The Boutique at the Plant Sale needs your hand crafted or purchased items. Garden statuary is always a popular item with our customers. Think about what you would like to contribute toward making the Boutique a success.

The craft workshop got off to a good start despite the weather related date change. Twelve members worked in two shifts to create ruffled flower pins, and beaded eyeglass holders as well as string beads and mirrors on fishing line to hang as a garden decorations. We would really like someone(s) to step forward now to run the craft workshop next year. The yearbook goes to press over the summer and it is advantageous to have the date and location in it.

March Floral Design Study Group

contributed by: Wendy Tarson

"March Madness - A Transparency Design", come joins us to create a creative design including a see-through element. All components will be provided, the cost will be $20.00. Bring your pruners, scissors, and trash bag. March 23rd ,9:15 am, at St. Matthews Church with Thelma Shoneman. There will a sign-up sheet at the February and March General Meetings or call Wendy Tarson (897-8458) .

Mapping project planned for Daffodil Run

contributed by: Sydney Storment and Joan Yatteau

Before leaf out begins this spring on Daffodil Run, if you look closely, you may see a grid of bamboo stakes begin to sprout up on the embankment. This is part of a mapping project planned by the committee co-chairs in an effort to locate, identify, manage, and improve the selection of plantings and woody species on Daffodil Run. To help us in this endeavor, the Town has provided a map of the parcel that shows the boundary lines of adjacent properties. In consultation with Dean Charter, Director of Municipal Properties and Tree Warden, tree pruning and removal of invasive species on the embankment such as euonymus has been discussed and will proceed as time and availability of personnel allow. Planting of additional named species of daylilies from Mr. Fred Knippel is also planned this year. Be of good cheer -- before too long we'll be seeing daffodils and forsythia blooming on Daffodil Run once again..

Another Invasive Pest

contributed by: Judy Dembsey

Historically, exotic insects and diseases have been a far greater threat to our forest resources than native pests. Extinct are the chestnut trees (Chestnut blight) and the American elm (Dutch Elm Disease). The most famous insect is the Gypsy Moth which has had more money spent on it for research and control than any other forest pest in U.S. history. Most recently, we have seen the Asian Longhorn Beetle requiring the removal of thousands of street trees in New York, Chicago, Toronto and this year in New Jersey. Now another new exotic pathogen has emerged that causes Sudden Oak Death. The pathogen Phytophthora ramorum threatens our oak woodlands, urban forests and the nursery industry. In 2000, it was discovered in California and has spread to 13 California counties as well as one county in southwestern Oregon. In the East, the northern red oak and pin oak and certain species of rhododendrons, mountain laurels and viburnums are susceptible. During 2004, Massachusetts' nurseries and homeowners received plants from several California nurseries whose stock has been confirmed to be infested. Early detection and identification of infected plants will be the key to containing this disease. Homeowners and nurseries that purchased plant material, listed in the above paragraph, that originated in California or Oregon are asked to inspect their plants for irregular, necrotic leaf lesions instead of distinct leaf spots. A leaf infection can develop down the petiole into the twigs sometimes causing a blight where stem and associated leaves wilt, become necrotic, and die. Symptoms on oak can be best characterized by cankers on the trunk that have red-brown to black discoloration and seep dark black to red or amber sap (photographs may be seen at If you observe these foliar symptoms on rhododendrons, mountain laurels or viburnums or bleeding cankers on red/pin oaks report their locations to the Mass Department of Conservation, Forest Health Program at 413-256-1601 or the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources at 617-626-1800. Adapted from The Citizen Forester, a newsletter of the Mass Urban Forestry Program.

Civic Beautification

contributed by: Cathy Fochtman and Doris Prendiville

The Civic Beautification committee maintains annual plantings throughout town. They change seasonally: pansies in the spring, summer annuals about Memorial Day, changing over to or supplementing summer annuals with fall bloomers such as chrysanthemums and asters, and evergreen cuttings for the winter. Acton Center plantings include the granite trough on the north corner of the triangular town green, the oval shaped dwarf conifer bed on the lawn of Town Hall, black planters on the steps of Town Hall and two whiskey barrels on the steps of the Acton Memorial Library. West Acton merchants near the intersection of Massachusetts Ave and Central Street have whiskey barrels lining the street. The West Acton trough is on Central St, just before the light at Massachusetts Ave. The Citizens Library on Windsor Ave. received a barrel this year. The police station and our three fire stations in West Acton, Acton Center and South Acton have whiskey barrels, as does each end of Hayward Rd, at Main Street and at Arlington St. The entire club assists our committee by volunteering during the summer to do daily watering and deadheading of the annuals for a week. In the fall, they generously donate evergreen and ornamental branches. It is gratifying whenever a committee member is working on a planting to hear the compliments and appreciation of residents for the work we do to beautify Acton.

Summer annuals planting at the Acton Town Hall oval. The oval planting was dedicated to the Town of Acton by the Acton Garden Club in 1984, to celebrate our club's 50th anniversary. There is a plaque commemorating this event in the center of the bed In fall, mature annuals are supplemented with chrysanthemums</td>

Dues and Annual Luncheon Reservations

contributed by: Mike Svovoda

Remember that Dues must be paid by the Annual Meeting on April 5th. If you are planning on attending the Annual Meeting the last day for reservations is March 14th. Also when you are writing out your checks be sure to write one for the Luncheon and another one for Dues. Each check is deposited into separate accounts.


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, Cathy Fochtman, Wendy Tarson and Sally Patrick, would like to thank Garden Club members who have responded positively to our requests to serve on the Board. The committee looks forward to presenting the slate of officers and committee chairmen to the membership at the Annual Meeting in

Come and socialize with new and old friends at the Annual Meeting

April 5th, 2005 at Shaker Hill Country Club

The business meeting will begin at 10:00 am with a friendship hour to follow then we will be dining on herb grilled chicken breast/marinated breast of chicken stuffed with fresh herbs, grilled and served with a champagne peach sauce, garden salad, assorted roll basket, dessert (apricot pound cake fingers with strawberry buttercream) and coffee, tea or Decaf. The last date to reserve your space for this luncheon will March 14, 2005. If you have any questions please contact: Noreen Rowe (263-0562),


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