The Flower Press - - a newsletter of the Lincolnshire Garden Club
September 2007

General Meeting and Program

September 20, 2007

Savoring the Autumn Season

Nancy Clifton


Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit

 30 Riverwoods Road, Lincolnshire


Come and join us for fall decorating ideas using nature’s treasurers.  Nancy is a well-loved presenter known for her wonderful arrangements of all varieties.  This month she will share creations from simple single flowers to a fall mix of plants, wreaths and farmer’s market finds.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Time:  9:30 a.m. – Brunch

10:00 a.m. – Business Meeting

10:30 a.m. – Program

Place:  Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit

Hospitality Committee

Kathleen Abdo, Sandra Bowen-Beutel, Tina Carlsson, Linda Johnson, Hope May, Bea Moore, Diane Rycerz and Char Schwan

From the President’s Desk

Elaine Petersen, President

Sweet Summer!  If there was only some way to make summers last forever.  The waning days of summertime remind us that there is so little time and yet so much to be done in our gardens this month.

At our first meeting, Nancy Clifton, horticulture specialist with the Botanic Garden, will demonstrate how we can make colorful fall arrangements to decorate our homes and gardens.  Let the season’s glorious patchwork of colors inspire s to enjoy the rich reds, oranges, golds and browns.  These hues are what make autumn uniquely special.

Sadly, this year we have lost some of our long time faithful members as they have moved on to other paths in their lives, but happily we have gained some new members.  Welcome to Hazel Weaver who has been transplanted from New Zealand, Iris Cosnow, Kelly DuPont and Cathy Rabler-O’Hara.  Please introduce yourselves and make them feel at home with us.  We will be saying goodbye to Maggie Ingalls who is returning to California soon.  Maggie has been an active member of the Garden Club since she joined in 1995, serving as Horticulture columnist, treasurer and Vice President.  We’ll miss your, Maggie.  Thank you for your many years of dedicated service.

I’d like to recognize and thank some ladies who have worked quietly behind the scenes to get the things done that make our club work.  Meg Zimmermann has been our Yearbook editor for four years, making sure that you receive your copy of the yearbook at the first meeting in September.  Jeanne Top has volunteered to produce.  The Flower Press, the informational newsletter that you receive each month.  Connie Conklin volunteered to chair the Quilters by planning work dates, sending innumerable emails and hostess the ladies at her home for those enjoyable stitching sessions.  Barb Gilman, who “officially retired” after her term as 2005-2006 President, has been active in every capacity when someone was needed to do a job.  Jan Stefans, the “Energizer Bunny,” also quietly, quickly and efficiently gets things done.  Thank you Jan, for lugging those heavy thermoses of hot coffee to every General meeting at the Library.  I haven’t mentioned everyone who works to make our club the great organization that it is, but won’t you thank them and won’t you step up too when someone asks you to help?

The Benefit is only sixty days away.  Jan Stefans, Benefit Chair, and her committee have been working all summer and now they need your help to make this another spectacular event.  When Jan calls upon you, please answer with an enthusiastic, “Yes, I can!”  With everyone helping, everyone has fun.

Last May, I asked for volunteers to plan our 50-year anniversary celebration, and a committee was formed.  We have met during the summer and discussed several projects.  If you are interested in being part of the planning (and working) committees, please speak to Barb Gilman or Char Schwan.

So, welcome back, old and new members, to our Fiftieth Anniversary year!

Elaine Petersen


The November Benefit is fast approaching and the committee has been hard at work.  If you are donating an item (valued at $45), you may drop it off at Jan Stefan’s house, 18 Lancaster Lane, Lincolnshire or bring it to the September meeting.  All items need to be well packed and into Jan’s hands no later than September 30th.  If you are providing a $45 check, please give it to Jan by September 30th as well.  Questions?  Call Jan at (847) 945-6575

Help Wanted:  We still need a chairwoman to run the Benefit’s cash-and-carry room from 10:30-1:30.  The job includes arranging the merchandise, consolidating areas as things sell and answering questions.  The chairwoman will, of course, have help so that she can shop and enjoy the luncheon as well.


Our quilters have been busy all spring and summer creating a beautiful children's "Alphabet Quilt".  It's colorful, playful and a great size for displaying on a wall or cuddling up in and what a wonderful way to learn the alphabet.  Imagine winning this quilt for a grandchild, niece or nephew, friend, or child of your own.  Tickets are $5.00@ or 6 for $25.00.  The quilt will be on display at our September meeting.





Thursday, November 1, 2007 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. for our annual benefit at Meri Finocchi’s house.


May 15, 2008 for our Club’s 50th Anniversary celebration.


It’s Not All Garbage

By Mary Spiewak

In the eyes of a gardener, compost is good as gold.  It is a fabulous nutritional amendment for our soil, it helps break up our clay soils, it can be used as mulch, and it’s basically free!   This article will cover some of the basics in composting. 

Composting is the biological decomposition of organic matter.  Said a different way, composting is nature’s way of breaking down organic matter into a soil-like substance that is full of nutrients and benefits. 

Some people don’t compost because they think it is too much work.  I do compost, but I put very little effort into it.  My compost pile (located entirely in the shaded woods) generates beautiful compost, but it takes about a year.  If I were actively working at managing my compost pile, I would get it in a much faster time period.  Either way, the end product is the same.  

There are several key requirements for decomposition. 

First, you need the organic components that are going to be broken down that will become the bulk of the compost.   Composting books refer to nitrogen-based components and carbon based components.  We have these sources all around us.  Good sources of nitrogen for our compost piles are grass clippings, scrap fruit and vegetables, waste from our flower gardens and coffee grounds.  Good sources of carbon are dried leaves, twigs, straw and wood chips. 

Don’t get too hung up on getting just the right ratio of nitrogen to carbon components.  Lots of references will say you need a certain amount of nitrogen and a certain amount of carbon.  Actually, to get the optimal rate of composting to occur, you would be careful to obtain the proper mix.  However, Mother Nature does a really good job without being so analytical.  A rule of thumb is to try to use about equal amounts of each. 

Second, you need the bacterial and fungal microorganisms that do most of the decomposition work.  Easy - these are already present in our soils and on organic matter, so you don’t have to add anything!

Third, you need moisture.  The bacteria and fungus need water to do their thing.  The goal is to keep the pile moist like a rung out sponge.  Too much water promotes the growth of anaerobic microorganisms (microbes that thrive without oxygen), which produce really bad smells and are the culprits for giving compost piles a bad rap.  During very dry summers, you can water your compost pile.  During wet summers, you can turn your pile to help it get some air or add dry waste to help take up the excess moisture.  If you are like me, you just let it go and eventually it will work itself out.   

Fourth, you need volume.  A compost pile needs to be large enough to generate heat (the microbes produce heat as they work) but not so large that you can’t manage turning or working with it.  Think of that big pile of mulch you had delivered and dumped on your driveway.  As it sits for a few days, you begin to see it “steaming” or you can feel the heat.  This is proof that microorganisms are at work decomposing the mulch.  Alternatively, a tiny little pile will not provide enough bulk for allowing the core of the pile to heat up.  A good pile size for generating heat while still being manageable is 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide by 3 feet long. 

What should be treated as garbage and NEVER be put in a compost pile?  Pet waste (cow or horse manure is okay), meat, bones, fat, dairy products, treated lumber and fireplace ashes.  These things are garbage and do not belong in a compost pile.  Throw them in the trash. 

Remember, the faster you want to make compost, the more fastidious you need to be in managing your compost pile.  My pile takes about a year to produce good compost.  If you put more effort into managing your pile and obtain more optimal conditions, your pile could produce compost in as little as 4 to 6 weeks. 

Enjoy the Day!


Calendar Corner


September 6                 Board Meeting – 9:15 a.m. – Village Hall


September 20               General Meeting – 9:30 a.m. – Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit                          


October 4                     Board Meeting – 9:15 a.m. – Village Hall


October 18                   General Meeting – 9:30 a.m. – Pasquesi’s in Lake Forest