The Flower Press - - a newsletter of the Lincolnshire Garden Club
General Meeting and Program
September 20, 2007
Savoring the Autumn Season
PLEASE NOTE SPECIAL LOCATION:
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
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
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!
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)
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
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!