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Guys Greetings

The calendar says spring, but my garden says summer. What happened, and where
did it go, did I miss April Showers? I dont know about you, but I feel one morning I
could see the daffodils poking out of the ground and the next day they were in full
bloom. I hope your flowers are giving you there best show this spring; mine surely
Mark the Date
Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 7:00 PM, general meeting at the Hagerman Fire
Department, off Montauk Highway on the corner of Dunton Avenue and
Oakdale. Weve rescheduled our speaker, Master Beekeeper Raymond J.
Lackey of Sweet Pines Apiary. He will have honey for sale for $10 per pound.
For more information about him and beekeeping on Long Island, please visit
the Web site at We have invited the
Bellport and Bayport Blue Point Garden Clubs to be our guests for the evening.

Friday, April 30, 2010, 11:00 AM, Tree dedication ceremony for our
Hometown Hero honorees on Baker Street and South Ocean Avenue
sponsored by the Greater Patchogue Foundation Beautification Committee.

All the dirt you need to know . . . and a whole lot more!
2010 Board Members:

Guy R. Vitale
First Vice President:
Diane Riviello-Voland
Second Vice President:
June Petruccelli
Carol Tvelia
Recording Secretary:
Babette Bishop
Corresponding Secretary:
Carolyn Savastano
Mary Ann Tchinnis
Josephine Miller
Immediate Past President:
Carol Tvelia

Garden Gazette Editorial Staff:
Karen Ferb
Jo Miller
Paula Murphy
Mary Ann Tchinnis
Richard Waldman

Please email submissions to
Or mail to:
Garden Gazette
P.O. Box 3030
Patchogue, NY 11772-0887

Submissions must be received
two weeks before the general
meeting in order to appear in
that months edition of the
Garden Gazette.
April 2010

Host(esse)s for
April meeting:

Margaret Atkinson
Paula Murphy
June Petruccelli
Ruth Szuminskyj

Much appreciated!

Zebra Swallowtail

Ruby-Throated Hummy
Garden Gazette Page 2

Tuesday, May 11
, 2010, 7:00 PM, Bellport Garden Club Public Meeting
at the South Country Library. Joan Smith is the guest speaker
demonstrating "Artistic Floral Designs"; we will raffle 6-7 of her
arrangements. Please do come! Praise from the president of the BGC:
First let me congratulate you all on a really wonderful luncheon. It was
beautifully organized and great fun.

Saturday, May 15, 2010, 9:00 AM4 PM, Annual Plant and Yard Sale in
the community garden at South Ocean Avenue and Terry Street. Bring all
your (as well as your friends' and relatives' great, fantastic junk and potted
labeled plants to sell to benefit our scholarship fund. We need workers too,
so please sign up at your earliest convenience.

Sunday, May 16, 9:00 AM4 PM, 2010, Rain date for Annual Plant and
Yard Sale.

Monday, May 17, 2010, 10:00 AM, Sayville Garden Club Luncheon at
Lands End Restaurant, 80 Browns River Road, Sayvillle. The speaker is
Irene Virag. $40.00 check payable to the Sayville Garden Club should be
mailed to 144 Handsome Avenue, Sayville NY, 11782, by May 3. Additional
info: Kay Porter, 567-3567; Pat Osarchuk, 567-2203.

Did You Know?
Butterflies need trace minerals which they can't get from flower nectar, so they
gather in areas where there are puddles of water with dissolved minerals and
drink the water. This is called "puddling". At the muddy or sandy puddle (often
located near animal dung), the butterfly sips water rich in mineral salts and other
essential nutrients (mostly sodium chloride and nitrogen-rich solutions) that have
leached from the surrounding soil and rocks. Male butterflies do more puddling
than females. The dissolved salts and minerals may be used to make
pheromones (that the male uses to attract females) and sperm.
If youre thinking about growing a butterfly garden or just want to know more
about butterflies, check out Explore 12 butterfly
topics with over 125 pages packed full of butterfly information at this family-
friendly site. The butterfly pages contain articles written by entomologist Randi
Jones, MSc, as well as butterfly links to sites all over the web for even more
information on butterflies. All information is updated frequently. has a
wealth of information to get you started if the idea of attracting butterflies, moths,
and hummingbirds to your garden sounds even more appealing. [Ed.: One of my
favorite visitors is the hummingbird moth, below. First time I saw it, it took my breath away.]

One of two new gardening
essentialsthe only two you
need these days!


Fertile Earth Waterstik

Garden Gazette Page 3
Serious Dirt from Richard Waldman

A woman gardening wearing only a yellow thong and pink gloves has brought
neighborhood complaints and new rules. Boulder Housing Partners plans to
amend its rules so that tenants cover up when they're outside. Several passers-by
told Boulder police earlier this week that 52-year-old Catharine Pierce was topless
while tending to her yard. Last year, she was threatened with eviction for
gardening wearing only pasties and a thong. Police responding to Wednesday's
reports decided Pierce wasn't breaking any laws. What do YOU think, innocent or
guilty? Cast your vote to Read the full AP story at

Spring Gardening Gadgets: When Technology Kills Instinct by Eyder Peralta

Spring Gardening Gadgets: When Technology Kills Instinct by Eyder Peralta

I didn't quite get into gardening until I moved to Washington, D.C. The house we
bought came with a luscious garden that felt too precious to ignore. So, I pruned
and fed and watered. I also asked around to see if anyone could figure out what
that plant was with the delicate white flowers that smelled like spring. The more I
got into it, the more little tools I bought. Last spring, I bought a soil tester that told
me my Gardenias were yellowing because my soil wasn't acidic enough. Then, as
I started planning for this spring, the techie in me got rolling. I looked into the
EasyBloom Plant Sensor and the Fertile Earth WaterStiK and the Hydrofarm
Germination Station. One of them you stick in the ground, let sit for 24 hours, then
plug it into your computer and it brings up plants that will love that space. The
Germination Station comes with a heated mat so your seedlings will grow up in
the most hospitable of environments. And WaterStik? There's no more looking at
the leaves to find out if your plant is parched. No, you just press a button and a
light tells you whether to water. At some point, I had every intent to buy all these
things. Then I thought: At what point is reliance on technology cheating? You
know like saying you baked a carrot cake, when you really made it from a box.

Here's the thing: In world that's increasingly virtual, gardening is one of those few
things in life whose basics still remain. Sun. Soil. Water. It's one of the few things
that gives you tangible fruits from manual labor. It's also one of those things that's
driven by experience, because no matter how much you read up on the net, the
conditions in your backyard will inevitably be different. So the more I thought
about those gardening gadgets, the more I was reminded of the lady I buy my
flowers from. She's tall with long, white hair and always wears a straw gardening
hat. She has to be in her '70s and knows with a certainty I've rarely encountered
which plant is best suited for each person and each garden. Last year, just at the
beginning of winter, I saw her at the monastery near my house. She was wearing
a sun hat and no jacket. I saw her deadheading roses, twisting the top of thorny,
dead flowers with her bare hands.
I use gloves; I use garden shears; I was impressed. But more than anything, it
was that scene that made me walk away from those gardening gadgets.
Sometimes, I thought, technology complicates. Sometimes technology takes
instinct out of the equation. Sometimes, it's just better to dig in and get dirty.

An unusual technique: [Thanks, Paula! Ed.]
For the ultimate in quick and easy productive gardening, growing plants in straw bales would have to be the outright
winner. No soil. No garden edging. No digging. Just a bale of hay. When we think of growing plants, we tend to
assume that soil is the only medium that we can plant into. It's just not the case. Most organic materials provide a
great growing medium for plants. So, how do you do it? Here's a 10 day preparation schedule from North Carolina
gardener Kent Rogers:
Days 13 Water the bales thoroughly and keep them wet.
Days 46 Sprinkle the bales with 1/2 cup of ammonium nitrate (32-0-0) per bale per day, and water it well into
the bales. I didnt have any trouble finding ammonium nitrate from my local ag-supply store. They sold it in
40-pound bags. I have heard, however, that some people have had difficulty finding it in more urban settings.
Ask around.
Days 79 Cut back to 1/4 cup of ammonium nitrate per bale per day and continue to water it in well.
Day 10 No more ammonium nitrate, but do add 1 cup of 10-10-10 fertilizer per bale and water it in well.
Day 11 Transplant your plants into the bales. I used a spatula to make a crack in the bale for each plant.
Place the plant down to its first leaf and close the crack back together as best you can.
If you go buying ammonium nitrate in bulk you're probably going to raise some security alarm bells, especially if you
live in the US, UK or Australia. Plus, ammonium nitrate is expensive and hard to find. There are some alternatives
however, with urea being the next best option (46-0-0), and an organic substitute is poultry manure. If you want to
use the chicken manure then you will need to prepare it in a bucket by just covering it with water and leaving for 2-3
days to rot. This will remain as a liquid that can be poured over the straw bales at the same rate as the ammonium
Once your plants are in the straw bale it's just a matter of maintaining them as you would in the soil. The only proviso
to this is that because a straw bale has a greater surface area (the top plus 4 sides) it will have more chance of
drying out. I would advise that you grow two bales together with their long sides butting up against each other and
then continuing a row with more straw bales end to end. This will significantly reduce the surface area and
evaporation won't occur so readily.
This method of growing plants is mainly successful with vegetable crops and predominantly those that grow above
the surface. The only vegetables that won't grow well in straw bales are your umbellifera (potatoes, swedes, carrots
etc) and your alliums (garlic, leeks, onions etc). You will need to continue adding your chosen fertilizer, ammonium
nitrate, urea or poultry manure every 3-4 weeks. Plus, you might want to use a liquid fertilizer as well.
More at,,

Paula also directs us to a fabulous slide show, Spring in Japan, at
Garden Gazette Page 4

With the tragically premature loss of gardening guru Ralph Snodsmith last week, where can people turn
now to have the garden dilemmas solved? One possibility would be The English Lady Landscape & Home,
Organically Improving Our Lives One Project At A Time,

Maureen Haseley-Jones, aka Mo, The English Lady, and her son Ian J. Sveilich are members of a family
of renowned horticultural artisans whose landscaping heritage dates back to the seventeenth century.
She is the founder of the well-known and established company The English Lady Landscape and Home
that works throughout the Northeast. Today Maureen is a much credited and sought after designer and
expert in all matters green and garden. Her cheeky, self-effacing style as the garden guru on WRCH
Lite100.5 FM radio has earned her a wide fan base.
Maureen lectures throughout Connecticut on a broad range of landscape design and environmentally
holistic topics. She also writes timely articles for various newspapers and magazines throughout the state,
in addition to having her own weekly gardening columns in The Shoreline News and The Valley Press
and begins a three part series about vegetable gardens, in the spring of 2009 in Nutmeg Magazine.
Beginning in 1648 their family were tenants at Powys Castle in Wales and worked the landscape for the
Herbert family who were in residence. In 1680 they refined their craft under the auspice of renowned
architect William Winde who designed the terrace gardens in the style of Renaissance Italys landscapes.
Powys Castle is still considered by many landscape experts to be the best example of seventeenth century
gardens in Britain today.
Maureen learned her creative design skills and horticultural acumen from her mother and grandmother
and was speaking garden from the time she could talk. She honed her construction skills while working in
the family business in the U.K. Her formal horticultural training was at the world-renowned Royal Botanic
Gardens at Kew in Surrey.
The New York Sunday Times said of Maureen that one of lifes unexpected experiences was discussing
manure with an English Baroness, and Connecticut magazine found Maureen anything but tweedy.
Baroness Maureen Haseley-Jones, who also has an honors degree from the London Guildhall School of
Music and Drama, once understudied on the English stage the famed actress Angela Lansbury of Murder
She Wrote. She also qualified to race on a Formula One team in Europe, raced a Lotus in the Monte Carlo
rally as well as Mini-Coopers in road rallies in Northwest England.
Visit at Or

WHC-TV Channel 5 West Hartford Cable Television Maureen is the featured guest on "Life and Style with
Sara". You can watch it online:

WRCH Lite100.5FM Maureen is the all things garden and green guru on "In Your Garden With The English
Lady". Call in with questions every third Thursday of the month from 8:00-9:00 AM or you can listen

Garden Gazette Page 5

"Sweet April showers / Do spring May flowers."
Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557

Patchogue Garden Club
P.O. Box 3030
Patchogue NY 11772-0887

Come grow with us
Founded 1996
Timely Tips for May
Apply summer mulch to perennial beds and borders.
Fertilize roses every 2-3 weeks and spray weekly.
All annual flowers can be safely planted out after mid-May.
Prune spring-flowering shrubs immediately after flowering.
Prune halfway back new growth on needle evergreens if desired.
Plant dahlias, cannas, and daylilies til the end of the month. Plant
glads now through late June. Plant tuberous begonias and
caladiums out in shady protected areas.
Fertilize annuals and vegetables and stake tall perennials that could
be damaged by wind or rain.