THE SCARECROW ‘Tis the season… This, that and the other thing I rummaged around looking for my gloves this In a few weeks, we will begin a new year. Come weekend, then, headed up to the foothills to enjoy the October 7, 2010, the Gardeners of the Grove will small town holiday spirit. We were greeted by a teasing celebrate its third birthday. In June, it will be time to flurry of snow when we arrived. Later there would be a elect a new president and vice-president for two-year foot of snow on the ground. Fortunately, we had visited terms. By May, nominees must be selected. Now is the the shops, had a bowl of soup and a Welsh pasty and time to begin considering who you would like to lead been on our way before the snow fell. the club for 2010-2012 and cajoling your choice into This morning, when I took the dog out, every- running for office. thing was covered with a heavy blanket of frost that In January, the president will appoint the nomi- squeaked underfoot like newly fallen snow. By mid- nating committee. According to Article X, Section 1 of morning, the neighborhood roofs were still white with the by-laws: frost. Indeed, it is the season for cozy fires, lap blan- There shall be a nominating committee consisting of three kets, Burpee’s seed catalog, surfing the Internet and members to be appointed by the President. A past president plenty of good cheer in between racing outside to cover may be a member of the committee if she/he so wishes. The the citrus and getting those empty boxes of Christmas committee shall meet as often as necessary to complete the décor stashed away before the relatives arrive. For timely business of the committee. It shall be the duty of this now, there’s hot cornbread smothered in butter and committee to select candidates for the following elected offic- maple syrup waiting in the kitchen. ers: President, Vice-president, Secretary, and Treasurer. All God love you all, and have a very merry Christ- members should be given due consideration as candidates. mas. Guidelines for the Nominating Committee shall be set forth in the GOTG Procedures [too much detail to include here]. The nominating committee shall: a. Actively recruit and contact prospective candidates. b. Secure nominations/candidates. c. Acquire at least one candidate for each vacant posi- tion. d. Report the decision of the committee to the officers prior to May meeting. Don’t forget our holiday get together e. Present the slate of proposed officers to the member- on Monday, December 28, 2009. Mark ship at the May meeting. f. Conduct election for new officers at the June meeting. your calendar to join all the club members for our annual holiday social. We will not Editor’s Note: Check out our Website for Jim have a business meeting. Please bring an McRitchie’s piece about our last speaker, Missy Borel. appetizer and a 4-inch potted plant for the plant exchange. Cake and sparkling cider will be provided by the club. HAPPY NEW YEAR The Scarecrow | December 2009 2 at 5:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall, and John hopes to have input from the Planning Commission by then, so we can From the e-desk of… get approval by the Old Town Merchants at that time. I From the e-desk of Ali Aleman, our volunteer liaison with the will plan to be present at the time, and would like if you Old Town Foundation and Old Town merchants could both be there if possible. We can answer any questions they might have. Hello Phil and Mary Ellen [also a liaison]: Jennifer at the Secret Garden was very positive about our helping to plant the planters. She told me to After we met on 12/3/09, I went to the Secret count her in as being involved with us in the project. I Garden and spoke with Jennifer Khal. She referred me know this all looks like a lot more than we thought of at to the President of the Old Town Foundation Mr. John Lambdin, who I have met before at Elk Grove Funeral first, BUT we’ll need this type of plan to get any approv- Chapel. He will be President through 2010 until 2011. al from the merchants and planning folks—politics! If We had quite a conversation, and I apologize you can’t beat’em--join’em. We’ll make some of them for this long e-mail, but I sat back while he developed a get their hands dirty! Call me if you have any questions, plan so that we could obtain permission from the Foun- or if you just need to yell at me for getting us involved dation AND the Planning Commission to plant the plan- in this event, which may take on a life of its own. (812- ters. He is going to approach the Foundation who 2362). will then work with the Planning Commission to make Ali [With many liberties taken by the editor.] sure we can go ahead with the following. April 17, 2010, is the Saturday we chose in spring, which is ahead of Western Days (first weekend in May, which we can’t interfere with.) John is calling The City Gardener this event, Grow with Old Elk Grove. He will tell the By Carol Wheeler, Chair, GOTG Horticultural Committee Foundation and Commission that we want to plant the and Vice-President of our club planters with native plants and drought tolerant plant- Gardening tasks in January depend on the ings, plus some annuals, since he feels these will more weather. Has it been very stormy and wet? Has there easily be approved by the Planning Commission and been a freeze or is it a warm, dry, low-rain year? No Foundation Once we have this approval, the Old matter what the weather there are jobs to do. This is a Towne Foundation could use some money they have in great month to buy and plant bare-root plants. Roses, the budget for upkeep, etc., to fund the plantings, and fruit trees, cane berries, and grapes are available and also they would want us to approach merchants for in- can be planted now. When selecting bare-root plants kind donations (i.e., Lowe’s, Home Depot, Capital, etc.) look for healthy, white roots evenly spaced around the He wants to do this instead of asking individual Old crown. Town merchants to donate cash, even in small amounts. Watch for weeds. If soil is not too wet start The other reason is that when it is “sponsored” by the pulling them. In a freezing year, frost tender citrus and Foundation, we have some coverage from their insur- perennials need to be kept warm and covered at night. ance policy (very important since we will be working Frost damage on plants should be left until spring when around traffic!) He believes we can slow the traffic, all danger of freezing temperatures is past. perhaps with police help, but not stop it completely. He Prune hybrid tea, floribunda, and grandiflora wants to have this event be community based, with a roses. Open up the center, remove crossing canes and workshop or two during the event. He suggested a prune to an outside bud or “eye”. Remove all old leaves workshop for children about potting plants. I think we from rose shrubs, rake up and discard them and all cut- could call the UC Davis Arboretum back to give a work- tings and debris from beneath the plants. shop to the community about drought tolerant plant- Once-a-year blooming roses should be pruned ings for our area. (just an idea). With enough notice, in the spring after they bloom. Prune and shape other John and I can contact both the Citizen and the Garden once-a-year-bloomers, such as forsythia, lilac, spirea section of the Bee for coverage of this event. and quince later in the spring after they bloom. There is no Foundation meeting in December. The next one is January 26 (last Tuesday of the month) The Scarecrow | December 2009 3 Keep outdoor potted plants watered and be sure to check foundation plants under the eaves so they Our next meeting don’t dry out. Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, De- Prune deciduous fruit trees, shade trees and cember 28, 2009 at the Jessie Wright Suites at 9275 E shrubs while the framework is visible. Remove crossing Stockton Boulevard at 6:30 PM. There will be much or dead branches. Make cuts at an out-side bud or ex- carousing and well-wishing, no business meeting, no isting lateral branch. Wait until March (after bloom and guest speaker—just fun! rain) or August to prune apricot trees. If it is a stormy year, watch for areas in the yard where puddling occurs. Check downspouts and direct runoff away from the home. Make a note to improve the drainage in the spring. Be careful of walking on the soil; soggy soil is easily compacted. Peas, parsnips, radishes, and turnips can be planted this month. Thank You, Carol. And, thanks to Jim McRitchie for lin- ing up speakers for us and Diana Raymond for maintaining our Website and all of you that have volunteered your time. From the garden of…Not! Courtesy of the Winter Warlock It’s wet and soggy out there. The rain splatters on the camera lens. The skies are often flat and grey. Boots are sucked up by the mud. (I actually had to go out and pull Pat out of the drainage ditch where she was clearing away a gopher mound. We provide a lot of free entertainment for our neighbors!) Gardens are not at their best, especially, after the hard freeze; and, like the rest of us, I’ve been checking my list and checking it twice…so, no featured garden this month. Coming Soon to Gardens Near You--Spring!