March 2011 Newsletter    

The Lincolnshire Garden Club

“52 Years and Growing”

The Flower Press

Lincolnshire, Illinois                                                                                       March 2011

General Meeting and Program

Thursday, March 17, 2011

“Go Green!  Plant a Rain Garden!”

LGC Member Janice Hand

The Lincolnshire Garden Club is very excited to have one of our very own members, the delightful Janice Hand, show us how to install one of the newest trends in “green” gardening – a rain garden.

Many of us were intrigued by Janice’s impressive rain garden in her side yard as part of the last year’s Garden Walk.   So please come to learn from her personal experience and master gardener knowledge, how we all will benefit by having more rain gardens in our community.  

Date:          Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time:          Business meeting 9:30am – 10:15am, Program 10:30am – 11:30am

Location:    Vernon Area Public Library 300 Olde Half Day, Lincolnshire, IL 60069

Message from our President, Jan Stefans

Any day now, I should be seeing Elaine's snowdrops popping their heads through the snow.  I keep staring at my bushes thinking I should go out and prune.  Believe it or not, the gardening season is just around the corner.

I am looking forward to all three of our March events: The Chicago Flower and Garden Show field trip, the "Rain Garden" General meeting, and our Spring Wreath Workshop.  I hope to see you at one of these happenings to welcome


Finally, be prepared to vote at the March General Meeting:  we are looking to make a minor name change and will need to vote on this at our business part of the meeting.  The Board would like to change the name of the Vice President of Programs to the Vice President of Educational Programs.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee, chaired by Ann Maine, has submitted the following slate for next year's Executive Board.

President - Linda Berryman
Vice President-Ways and Means - Kathleen Young-Perkins (note:  Ways and Means is the official title for the VP in charge of Benefits)
Vice President-Educational Programs - Sharon Chamberlain
Vice President-Allocations - Janice Hand
Recording Secretary - Meg Zimmermann
Corresponding Secretary - Mary Lou Bartlett
Treasurer - Dawn Anderson

The General Membership will vote on this slate at the March General Meeting.

Look Who’s Budding Now, by Karen Kravits

“Look Who’s Budding Now” is a spotlight on our new Garden Club members. This month we talk with Karen Kravits.  Karen is an interior designer working out of her home.  Her husband, D
an, is a stock trader, and their son, Zack, is a senior at Stevenson – destination as yet unknown. Karen’s stepson, Jay, lives in sunny LA.  His biggest dilemma is deciding between golf and skiing on the weekends – poor Jay.

How long have you and your family lived in Lincolnshire?

We have been in Lincolnshire for almost 17 years, all of which have been spent in the same house.

Are you happy in Lincolnshire?

Very.  I enjoy the mix of people – all different age groups, professions, personalities, etc.  And I love the fact that Lincolnshire works hard to preserve its landscape.

What made you decide to join the Garden Club?

I started working in the suburbs and found I had more time.  And I have always loved gardening.

Has it been what you expected it to be?

I didn’t know what to expect, but I have been pleasantly surprised.  The members are so nice, and Linda and Eve do a great job scheduling the programs and field trips.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your own garden?

Keeping a separation between garden and woods.  We live on a wooded lot with garden beds bordering the woods.  If I turn away for just a moment, the wild flora quickly chokes off the perennials in the beds.

Has your experience with the Garden Club changed the way you look at your garden?

Yes, definitely.  I want to think more carefully about what I plant and where.  And, I feel more inspired to make my garden something really special.

Of what help could the Garden Club be to you?

I would love to see some garden designs that work well in this area such as:

  • Shade gardens
  • Small gardens
  • Container gardens
  • Edible gardens
  • Drought tolerant gardens

But beware of suggestions, suggesting leads to volunteering.

Who is your biggest gardening inspiration?

Carolyne Roehm.  She is a designer and author who is passionate about flowers, entertaining, art and decorating.  Gardening to me is not an isolated thing.  To me it is a lifestyle that blends these things together.  And, I love the way she lives – a girl can dream, can’t she?

What is your favorite plant?

It is hard to pick just one because it is always that which surrounds a plant that makes it stand out.  But, if I have to choose just one, I would say lavender.  It positively transports me to far away places.

Is there one tip you can share with us on your gardening techniques?

I like to plant in layers just like I design a room.  I like to use the architectural elements of my garden as a base, like a tall tree or a showy shrub, and build around it using different textures.  If the shrub is very vertical, I’ll plant something soft and bushy.  If the shrub is sprawling, I’ll add elements that are more upright.  And, if the space is lacking an architectural element, I’ll create one using a plant stand filled with potted plants, or a figurine, or a little whimsy that shows some personality.  Then, I fill in around it.

Thank you for spending time with us.  And, stay tuned for more introductions to our new members as we take a peek into how their gardens grow.


Benefit Donations Due

Member donations to the Annual Benefit are due now.  If you haven’t already done so, please give $45 or an item worth $45 to Dawn Anderson.

Help Wanted

Our Annual Benefit, coming up May 6th, is in need of a chairperson for the Bake Shop.  Responsibilities include the following:

  • put out publicity for baked items

  • accept baked items at your home two days leading up to Benefit

  • price items as they come to your home

  • deliver and display items at Jeanne Top’s house on the day of the Benefit

  • arrange to bring leftovers to Riverside

Kathleen Abdo and Kathleen Young-Perkins, have both recently held this position and are more than happy to provide more information about the position.  If interested, please contact Jan Stefans.

Next Field Trip

Eve Jacobs has planned another exciting field trip!  This time we will be visiting The Chicago Flower and Garden Show on Wednesday, March 9th.  Complete details of the event and RSVP instructions are on our website under the banner Our Next Field Trip.

Next Workshop

Jan Stefans and Merle Lynch have another great workshop on tap.  Merle is going to teach us how to make Spring Wreaths!  Here are the details:

Date:     Saturday, March 19th

When:   1:00pm-3:00pm

Where:  Jan Stefans’ House, 18 Lancaster Lane

Bring:     your own wreath base and a glue gun (if you have one), all other supplies will be provided

RSVP to Jan: or 847-945-6575

Going Green
  • Mark your calendars!   On March 12th, from 10 am to 2pm, The Lake County Green Congregations, a consortium of local churches, is hosting its second annual "Green Living Fair." There will be a free raffle, numerous educational experiences, and opportunities to recycle a number of hard-to-recycle items, including computer electronics, cell phones, styrofoam blocks, crayons, tennis shoes, ink jet cartridges, hearing aids, plastic beverage caps, wine corks, to name a few.  The fair will be held at the Libertyville Civic Center, 135 W Church Street, Libertyville (across the street from the Cook Library).

We are always looking for new ideas and suggestions to be ecologically friendly, so please send them to Jeanne at  New ideas will be highlighted in one edition of the Newsletter and then moved our new Recycling section on the Lincolnshire Garden Club website (  This sight will include, among other things, upcoming special recycling events and a list of recycling locations for specific items.

Calendar of Upcoming Events

Thursday, March 3rd            Board Meeting, 9:15 am, Lincolnshire Village Hall

Wednesday, March 9th        Field Trip to Chicago Flower and Garden Show

Thursday, March 17th          General Meeting, 9:30 am, Vernon Area Library

Saturday, March 19
th          Spring Wreath Workshop, 1:00 pm, Jan’s Stefans’ home, 18 Lancaster Lane, Lincolnshire

Thursday, April 7th               Board Meeting, 9:15 am, Jan Stefans' home

Thursday, April 21st             General Meeting, 9:30 am, Vernon Area Library

Thursday, April 28th             Board Meeting, 9:15 am, Jan Stefans home

Friday, May 6
th                    Annual Benefit, 7:00 pm,  Jeanne Top’s home, 14532 River Oaks Dr., Lincolnshire

Growing from Seeds by Kathleen Young Perkins


  • Growing containers: Reusable fiber seed starting flats ( Item #96391; 10 for $4.25)

  • Plastic tray (11 X 22) for soaking flats and transporting flats and transplanted cells ( Item #ZGE306)

  • Plastic dome cover: Can use plastic wrap or a dry cleaning bag; only necessary for germination.  I invested in propagators (; Deluxe Top & Tray (without Drainage Holes), $54.95 each) several years ago and use them every year for seed germination and cuttings from March-June.

  • Plastic Jiffy seed starter inserts (Part No. 5258; nine cells per unit; eight units fit into a 11 X 22 tray)

  • Sterile seed sowing mix (soil-less):  Recommend Mosser Lee's NoDampOff (; I have used many other types but have had the most success with this

  • Labels: Four inch reusable (remove last year writings with rubbing alcohol), white plastic available at garden centers

  • Permanent marking pen

  • Seedling heat mat (Hydrofarm 20 X 20 available at for $34.88): Great investment; soil temperature does matter.  Dramatically improves both germination rates and percentages.  Mine are in constant use for seed germination, cuttings, and bulb sprouting.

  • Vermiculite: Fine grade to cover seeds after sowing (Hoffman Horticultural Vermiculite)

  • Fertilizer: Necessary for vigorous, healthy transplants; not used until after transplanting or after first set of true leaves develop (Peters Professional Houseplant Food 15-30-15)

  • Root stimulator (Bonide Root & Grow 4-10-3)

  • Fungicide spray (Schultz Garden Safe Fungicide 3)

  • Grow lights (from Walmart, 24 inch under cabinet, Model 7020 E GL, $9.99 each)

  • Shelving (, Misco Home and Garden 4-Shelf Greenhouse, $42.99)

  • Spray bottle

  • Tweezers

  • Seed dispenser (Luster Leaf Rapiclip Mini-Seedmaster #805, $2.99), dibble and widger (Luster Leaf Rapiclip Planting Kit, $2.99)(Fig. 1)

Sowing your seeds

  • Sterilize seed sowing contact materials using a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water (only if using recycled items)

  • Cover holes of flat with a single layer of newspaper

  • Pre-moisten sowing mix with warm water and use to fill the starting flats.  Firmly press down so the mix level is almost even with the top of the flat (critical for maximizing light exposure for young seedlings later)

  • Make indentations rows using the long side of a closed marking pen and sow seeds at a minimum ¼” spacing (a seed dispenser is very useful for sowing tiny seeds and improves efficiency with larger seeds)

  • Cover seeds with vermiculite to the depth specified on the seed packet

  • Identify seeds with plant name and date of sowing on four inch labels, and gently insert into the flat mix (helpful also to maintain an annual log with details such as days expected to germinate, actual days to germinate, seed depth, light or dark exposure, etc. for future reference)

  • Soak the entire flat in a bath (soaking tray) of warm water for about a half hour and drain (may

  • need to punch tiny holes in newspaper liner using an ice pick to achieve adequate drainage)

Cover the seed flats with plastic dome, plastic wrap or dry cleaning bag

  • Place the drained, covered flats under grow lights (the closer the better, but have been successful as far away as six to eight inches)

  • To stimulate growth, implement an eighteen hour light - six hour darkness cycle using a plug-in power timer (a variety of options are available at Home Depot)

  • Check daily for emerging sprouts based on expected germination time

  • Additional watering is not necessary until the seeds have germinated

  • Monitor condensation - molds can grow faster than most seeds germinate!

    • If using a dome, remove and wipe down condensation two to three times a day.  At night, position the dome slightly off-center to improve air circulation.

    • If using plastic wrap or a dry cleaning bag, you may need to replace them if the condensation becomes excessive

    • If mold does develop, spray first signs of growth with a fungicide

Remove cover when seeds have germinated

  • When 40-50% of the flats’ seeds have germinated, remove the cover, and position the flat so that the new seedlings are within two to three inches from the grow light.  The balance of the ungerminated seeds will continue to sprout (Fig. 2) under the lights.

  • Use a gentle water spray (bottle) to soften seed coats that have not fallen from some of the seedlings.  This will facilitate their dropping and allow the new seedling to get the light it needs to continue growing.  Tweezers may also be used to assist in removing reluctant seed coats and helping to “right” (leaves up, radicle (forming root) down into growing medium) some of the sprouting seeds.

  • Cooler room temperatures (60-65°) are ideal for growing strong seedlings

  • The first set of leaves are called seed leaves; the second set are true leaves

Monitor moisture more closely - flats will dry out quickly

  • As the surface soil of the flats dry, water the seedlings indirectly (between rows of growth) to minimize damping off fungal diseases

Transplant to wider spacing when seedlings have first set of true leaves

  • Fill the Jiffy seed starter cells with a pre-moisten soil-less mix (using a dilute solution (one capful per gallon water) of Bonide root stimulator) and firm lightly just as in sowing the seeds

  • Using a dibble (tool available at garden centers) or your finger, poke a hole big enough for the root mass of a seedling

  • Remove the seedling from the starter flat with a widger (another handy tool) or fork, being sure to get as much of the roots as possible.  Watering the flat prior to removal eases this process.

  • Lower the seedling into the transplant cell hole holding it by the seed leaves only (not the fragile stem)

  • Firm the mix around the seedling

  • Water lightly to settle soil

  • Put transplants back under the grow lights, maintaining the distance from the top of the seedlings at two to three inches

Fertilize with 1/2 strength water soluble fertilizer every other watering

Begin to harden off seedlings two weeks before the date you want to transplant to the garden

  • Set seedling trays out two to three hours a day, first in a shaded area, and then gradually increasing to brighter light and longer outdoor exposures

  • Store seedling trays in the garage at night to condition them to cooler temperatures