PHGSC Recent Events (2005)

link to some 2006 and 2004 and earlier events...

December 6: Members Holiday Potluck
Bring yourself; Bring a guest; Bring a dish to share; Bring a plant to give
            .... excerpts from the December 2005 "Flower Press" 
 Our December membership get-together is special because there's no program and more time to socialize.          Food... Entrees, salads, desserts and side dishes contributed by members. Coffee and tea provided.
Entertainment... While we congregate and ate, we enjoyed pleasant holiday background music.
Afterward, "Spinning Wheel" a bluegrass group, treated us to a good time.
House plants were also dontated by members for several hospice

November 1: Monthly Membership meeting
Speaker: Steve Andrews
"The Real Scoop on Dirt" ....originally paraphrased from the PHGSC's November 2005 "Flower Press"
    Soils in Contra Costa County and how to deal with them was our focus at November's membership meeting.
    Steve Andrews, a soil scientist at UC Berkeley, returned to remind us about Contra Costa dirt with examples of  soil samples from this area, how to identify types of soil by "hand texturing," and, how to use a soil test kit. He also provided handouts.... and it seemed that the universal answer to soil "problems" was the addition of  "compost".
    He knows his dirt well enough to serve as the soils instructor for the Master Gardening training program and lives in Martinez, so he has first hand experience with Contra Costa County soils.
    Steve is director of the Environmental Sciences Teaching Program at Cal, and a professor as well. 
.... more on Steve's background...  and some pictures from the meeting....and some links about soil that may be of interest on the particulars discussed by Steve Andrews at the meeting:
soil texture... how to determine soil texture from an article in Fine Gardening;
soil pH: what it is and how to adjust it
soil testing service: Using the University of Massachusetts (by mail) soil testing service recommended by our speakder, Steve Andrews (a UMass alum)... looks like the price list is a little higher than he cited.. and don't forget the mailing costs.

October 27, 2005 -- Diablo Foothills District Meeting... from Nancy Bergman, Club Secretary
    Jan Egan, Susan Pratt, Jane Scollard, Carol Nelson, Gail Sutherland, Carol Giolitti, and Nancy Bergman attended the Diablo Foothills District Meeting held the morning of October 27th at Scott’s Restaurant in Walnut Creek.  (Editor's note: The Diablo Foothills District is part of the California Garden Clubs Inc. of which PHGSC is a long-time member. The CGCI provides a state-wide voice for Garden Clubs as well as providing services to individual Garden Clubs such as insurance, etc.)
    A business meeting preceded the feature speaker.   The speaker was Najat Nicola, who teaches the Creative Floral Design Class at Heather Farms.  She created four beautiful arrangements, which included fresh and dried flowers and the addition of pearl beads on the dried reeds.  Najat stated that when entertaining you should concentrate on the flowers and people.  The arrangements were auctioned off after a delicious lunch of salmon or chicken salad.
    PHGSC will be hosting the February 2006 meeting of the Diablo Foothills District at the PH Community Center. All are welcome to attend. Contact Jan Egan or Susan Pratt for further information.  ... some pictures from the meeting

October 15: Propagation workshop: Divisions ... unfortunately had to be cancelled due to health reasons
For some internet informtion ... try this link
 for a long list of possible techniques for propagation by division for many types of plants...

October 8: Members car pool to Morningsun Herb Farm & the Phillip Glashoff  Sculpture Garden
      Excerpted from October "Flower Press" ....
....A great day with fellow members on a trip to Morningsun Herb Farm in Vacaville and the Phillip Glashoff Sculpture Garden in Suisun Valley.The Morningsun Herb Farm's nursery operations and gardens meander through 1½ acres of an established English walnut orchard. Some of the herb farm offerings thatmorning included:        500+ varieties of herbs and perennials
       Ornamental grasses
       Water plants
       Beautiful  demonstration  gardens
       Gifts, supplies and garden accessories
       AND, our trip caught Morningsun’s giant fall sale.

        For a change of pace.... herds of cattle and horses – real and sculpted in steel – live together on the ranch where Phillip Glashoff farms and fabricates  the whimsical sculptures that have brought him worldwide attention.
      Before our afternoon visit to the ranch, there was a chance to see and purchase some of Glashoff’s smaller pieces at his gallery, just across the street from our luncheon location at the Vintage Caffe in Mankas Corner. We then headed out to see Glashoff's sculpture ranch.  His larger pieces are displayed there.
      Thanks to Mary Lu and Bob Burchard for arranging this interesting and delightful tour.
       ...some pictures of the event...

October 4:  Membership meeting . 
"Orchids 101: The Basics of Orchid Growing"
   Speaker: Susan Fordyce 
dub_darlin.jpg     For 25 years, Fordyce Orchids in Livermore has grown and sold hybridized orchids, providing a wealth of background experience to our October speaker, Susan Forcyce.
   She called her presentation "Orchids 101" -- a practical review of indoor and outdoor orchids. It also covered basic information on watering, light, humidity, fertilizing, and other tips on how to grow orchids successfully.
   As part of her hands-on talk, Susan demonstrated and showed a variety of orchids fresh from the nursery as well as covering pointers pointers on repotting.    She's also brought some delightful potted orchids to sell - cattleyas, which is the specialty of Fordyce Orchids and several species. (paraphrased from October's Flower Press)
...... some pictures in our Gallery... of the meeting and Susan's presentation.

Sept 18:  Members' Workshop:
                "Propagation by Cuttings" (some pictures from the workshop)
                Workshop Leader: Kathy Mendenhall

Sept. 6: Membership meeting.
         Speaker: Patricia Winters
Wings in the Night:  A Celebration of Bats"...
..paraphrased from the PHGSC's September 2005 "Flower Press" newsletter....
     Known in these parts as the Bat Lady. Pat brought along three tame and
no-longer-able-to-fly bats that cooperated in a friendly way to help her teach
about these environmentally important creatures.
    She described efforts in California to minimize the use of pesticides by relying in part on
bats. She also talked about the ecology and natural history of bats and discussed several
bat species, both locally and around-the-world.
    Using slides, she also showed workable and unworkable examples of backyard bat houses.
You can learn more at     some pictures of the Bat Lady and her "friends" visit

Aug 23: Board meeting 

Aug 2: Members' Summer Potluck
           Speaker: Michael Feely
         "Gardens of Asia"
    ...paraphrased from the PHGSC's September 2005 "Flower Press" newsletter...
    A great distinction between East and West was drawn by Michael Feeley in his 
'Gardens of Asia' presentation to the Club in August.
    Historically, formal Western gardens were a "tribute to the king" as they attempted to
conquer nature and achieve an ideal display. Eastern gardens, on the other hand, evolved as an
homage to nature b using natural elements to their best advantage.
    "Early on, the Asian influence spread west," said Feeley, as he showed slides of gardens in China, Japan, India and elsewhere, as well as some in Euroope that have borrowed from Asian themes.
    Elements found in Asian gardens include walls and wall holes, pathways, extensive use of stones and rocks, and borrowing a majestic background to frame a garden.
    Chines gardens often create scenes and tell stories, while Japanese gardens frequently feature soothing environments for contemplation, Feeley said. 

July:   No Membership Evening Meeting
          This year the Members' Gardens Tour was moved to May 22d.

June 7: Membership meeting.
              Speaker: Bobby Gendron, Butterfly Encounters
              (click below; and see page 2)
            "Plants that Attract Butterflies"

May 22: Members'Garden Tour
Pictures:   Robert Pound's Garden
                Renata Muller's Garden 

May 7:  Annual Plant Sale
             some pictures for you....

May 3 -Membership meeting
            Speaker: Gwen McIntosh:
           "Plants of Africa"

May 2-31 PH Central Library display

April 9 - Member trip
            Marin County's Geraniaceae Nursery & Green Gulch Zen Garden
            some pictures from the trip