The Flower Press - - a newsletter of the Lincolnshire Garden Club
February 2010

General Meeting and Program

Thursday, February 18, 2010

“Easy Care Native Plants”

Kim Isaacson, Master Gardener, U of I Extension


Utilizing native plants in our gardens is one of the latest trends to help the environment and for their low maintenance.  The program will highlight how to incorporate the best plants, from grasses to perennials, wildflowers, shrubs and trees.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time:  9:30 a.m. – Continental Breakfast

 9:45 a.m. – Business Meeting

10:00 a.m. – Program

Place:  Vernon Area Public Library

Hospitality Committee:

Ellen Strauss – Lead Hostess

Dawn Anderson

Mary Ellen Andrulis

Marj Lundy

From the President’s Desk

Jan Stefans, President

What a great turn out for a January meeting!  It was wonderful to start the new year with all of you.

At this time of year, you need a “pop” of color.  I want to thank Elaine for the “pop” of primrose color so many of us won at the meeting.  Tangerine, periwinkle, turquoise and citron are just a few of the “pops” of color the color board is offering up this year.  Yes, there is a color board that deems what retailers will be showing for their spring collections in houseware and fashion design so that everything is coordinated.

I am looking forward to Kim Isaacson’s “Easy Care Native Plants” presentation at our February meeting.  Kim is a Master Gardener from the of I Extension and Merle Lynch’s niece.


§  Use plain old white flour to draw lines and outline plant placement when outlining a planting plan on your newly-prepared ground. (Think zip-lock plastic sack with a corner snipped out…)

§  If you like fuchsias, but find they fail in the heat of summer, try ‘Gartenmeister’. This cultivar actually grows in the heat.

§  Mites and iron toxicity both look the same on a sick plant. To tell the difference, shake the plant over a piece of white paper. If the little brown dots smear red, you have mites.

    §  To trap earwigs in your garden, simply roll up a few pages of newspaper. Put that in the garden and simply throw it     out in the next morning, since the earwigs will have sought shelter in the paper during the day.

§  Never, but never, spray rugosa roses with fungicide. They will drop leaves. (Other roses do not seem to have this problem.)

§  How do you know if your tall rose is a rambling rose or a climbing rose? If it blooms all at once and then is done, it’s a rambler. (So-called “climbing roses” are repeat bloomers.)

    §  If you’ve been in a drought and heavy rains are forecast, lightly water your gardens and/or lawn just before it’s to         rain. Heavy rains on bone-dry soil initially puddle and run off, but pre-watering avoids that problem.


All-American Selection (AAS) plants have been evaluated by 10 different gardens in the U.S.  Results of those trials have resulted in seven introductions for 2010:

1.   Zinnia ‘Zahara Starlight Rose’ – Needs full sun. Flower color intensifies in cooler weather.

2.   Snapdragon F1 ‘Twinny Peach’ – A double-flowered plant, 10-12” tall.

3.   Gaillardia F1 ‘Mesa Yellow’ – Blooms in year one from seed; may be considered a perennial.

4.   Echinacea ‘Pow Wow Wild Berry’ – Plant by Jan. 25th indoors to start this plant, as it’s a Zone 3 cultivar, with basil branching.

5.   Marigold ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ – Fairly short, (12”); good for pots and containers. New foliage tends to grow over spent flower heads.

6.   Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ – Mildew resistant. Flowers are about 2” in diameter.

7.   Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’ – Same as ‘Cherry’ (above).

Now, which of our Lincolnshire gardeners can find these locally?



By Elaine Petersen

The Old Rose Gardener hasn’t been hibernating for the past two months.  Au contraire…she’s been busier than the proverbial one-arm paperhanger.  However it is time to get back to garden business.  Did Puxatawney Phil see his shadow on Tuesday?  I don’t remember but I feel spring in my bones!  Soon it will be time to start your seeds, if you do, and make plans for a better than ever  garden.  I am so excited.  I am looking forward to seeing the emergence of grasses that Janet and Rick so generously donated to my garden last fall. As soon as the soil has warmed up and is workable I’m going to plant the primroses I’ve been nurturing since mid-January. I’m thinking of planting some rhododendron  under the old spruce tree.  And I’m going to plant morning glories and clematis at the base of the new rustic trellis in the back yard.  My list of garden “to-dos” is endless.  How about you?  Are you ready for spring?

Winter, the season of quiet reflection.  Serenity and tranquility.  A blanket of silver white snow covers nature’s landscape.  Inside.  Warm and protected.  Outside. Crisp and clear.  Bare branches cast beautifully sculpted silhouettes.  Fragrances of pine and wood smoke linger.  On warm kitchen windows, icy patterns come and go.  Jack Frost.  Flickering light from fireplaces and candles illuminates garlands of greens, baskets of oranges and lemons.  Snowflakes fall silently.


The snow, in bitter cold,

Fell all the night;

And we awoke to see

The garden white.

And still the silvery flakes

Go whirling by,

White feathers fluttering

From a grey sky.

Beyond the gate, soft feet

In silence go.

       Beyond the frosted pane,

     White shines the snow.

-F. Ann Elliott,  “The Snow"


Gary and I have raised four boys--now grown men--in Lincolnshire.  We have three grandsons, with two of them being 3-year old twins, and a granddaughter who is 2.  We cannot get enough time with them, they are such a joy!

I have been working at Condell Medical Center for the last 27 years.  Gary is a working union carpenter for all of his life.  His claim to fame is working on Michael Jordan's house on Route 22 in Highland Park!  That is how good a carpenter he is!  We love traveling, and take off any chance we get!

I started gardening with the help of my best friend and the great advice of Lydia at the Village Hall.  It was slow going with all the clay and shade, but I think I have made inroads!  I am sure the Garden Club will inspire me to try even more new things!  Hopefully, this will be the summer that my trumpet vine will bloom on the fence along the bike path---everyone can keep an eye out for that!


TRAVEL IDEA - Sharon Chamberlain just returned from a great trip to Nashville, TN.  She stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.  The entire resort is enclosed in four glass domes.  Each dome is an atrium with plants, waterfalls, fountains, topiaries, etc. The website has a photo gallery that showcases these atriums.  Absolutely beautiful!

SCHOOL PROJECT - Laura B. Sprague School will be creating Bottle Cap Garden Sculptures in their new garden courtyard.

Michelle Stitzlein, an Ohio artist, is going to be the artist/author in residence on April 8th and 9th.  She will be facilitating workshops for the Sprague first and second grade students emphasizing the importance of recycling.  The children will be creating sculptures utilizing colorful plastic bottle caps and lids for the new school garden.

Sprague is in need of plastic lids and bottle caps (please no metal caps or lids) ASAP.  During March, students will sort the bottle caps and lids by color, sketch ideas, and paint plywood shapes in preparation for the artist’s visit. There will be a drop off box by the front office door through March.

Check out Michelle Stitzlein's website at to see examples of the bottle cap artwork that the students will be creating.  If you have any further questions, please contact Mrs. Feld, Sprague Art Teacher.



This is the recipe for the very yummy berry strata served at the January general meeting.  Dimitra Alexakos adapted it from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis

1/2 stick butter

6 tbsp honey

8 eggs

12-15 oz container whole milk ricotta

6 tbsp sugar

2 cups whole milk or 2% or half and half

rind and juice of one large orange

1 loaf Challah bread, or brioche or panettone (without icing)

1 10 oz (approx) bag frozen mixed berries, thawed and well drained

maple syrup

fresh berry mix

Cinnamon (optional)

Melt butter, and then add the honey off the heat- stir to combine.

Combine eggs, sugar, rind and juice of orange – whisk well, then add the butter honey mixture and whole milk, stir to combine. Add the ricotta and break up with a fork – but leave it a little chunky.

Meanwhile, slice the Challah into roughly 1 inch cubes – does not have to be exact, add to egg mixture, and gently incorporate the egg into the bread. When the bread has been well combined with the egg adds the berries and gently tosses to incorporate.

Place in a 9x13 (approx) Pyrex dish, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of strata. Place dish in oven and bake for approximately 40 mins or until golden brown on top. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with the fresh berry mix – or berries of your choice and a drizzle of maple syrup.