Real Scoop on Dirt" ....originally
paraphrased from the PHGSC's November 2005
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
returned to remind us about Contra Costa dirt with examples of
soil samples from this area, how to identify types
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
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...
pictures from the meeting....
some links about soil that may be of interest on the
particulars discussed by Steve Andrews at the meeting:
27, 2005 -- Diablo Foothills
... how to determine soil texture from an article in
what it is and how to adjust it
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
... from Nancy Bergman, Club
Jan Egan, Susan Pratt, Jane Scollard,
Carol Nelson, Gail Sutherland, Carol Giolitti, and Nancy Bergman
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
A business meeting preceded the feature
speaker was Najat Nicola, who teaches the Creative Floral Design Class
Heather Farms. She
beautiful arrangements, which included fresh and dried flowers and the
of pearl beads on the dried reeds.
Najat stated that when entertaining you should concentrate
flowers and people. The
were auctioned off after a delicious lunch of salmon or chicken salad.
will be hosting the February
2006 meeting of the Diablo Foothills District at the PH Community
All are welcome to attend. Contact Jan Egan or Susan Pratt for further
information. ... some
pictures from the meeting
15: Propagation workshop: Divisions
cancelled due to health reasons
For some internet informtion ... try this link http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=plant+propagation+by+division
for a long list of possible techniques for propagation by
division for many types of plants...
Members car pool to Morningsun
& the Phillip
Glashoff Sculpture Garden
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
Gifts, supplies and
AND, our trip caught
Morningsun’s giant fall sale.
For a change of
of cattle and horses – real and sculpted in steel –
together on the
ranch where Phillip Glashoff
whimsical sculptures that
have brought him worldwide
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
sculpture ranch. His
larger pieces are displayed there.
to Mary Lu and Bob Burchard for arranging this
interesting and delightful tour.
...some pictures of the
Membership meeting .
The Basics of Orchid Growing"
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
indoor and outdoor orchids. It also covered basic information on
watering, light, humidity, fertilizing, and other tips on how to grow
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
- cattleyas, which is the specialty of Fordyce Orchids and
species. (paraphrased from October's
pictures in our Gallery
... of the meeting and Susan's
"Propagation by Cuttings
pictures from the workshop)
Workshop Leader: Kathy Mendenhall
Sept. 6: Membership
in the Night: A Celebration of Bats
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
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 www.californiabats.com
pictures of the Bat Lady and her "friends" visit
Aug 23: Board meeting
Aug 2: Members' Summer Potluck
...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
Feeley, as he showed slides of gardens in China, Japan, India and
elsewhere, as well as some in Euroope that have borrowed from Asian
Elements found in Asian gardens include
wall holes, pathways, extensive use of stones and rocks, and borrowing
a majestic background to frame a garden.
Chines gardens often create scenes and
while Japanese gardens frequently feature soothing environments for
contemplation, Feeley said.
No Membership Evening Meeting
This year the Members' Gardens Tour was moved to May 22d.
June 7: Membership meeting.
Gendron, Butterfly Encounters
(click below; and see page 2)
May 22: Members'Garden Tour
May 3 -Membership meeting
Speaker: Gwen McIntosh:
May 2-31 PH Central Library display
April 9 - Member trip
Green Gulch Zen Garden
pictures from the trip