A Note from our Presidents, Bonnie Sipe and Penelope West

 2017-2018 Co-Presidents Bonnie Sipe and Penelope West and their Executive Committee

2017-2018 Co-Presidents Bonnie Sipe and Penelope West and their Executive Committee

The opening meeting of the year is always one of excitement – reconnecting with Garden Club friends, viewing what’s new in committee displays and upcoming events. There were many highlights.

For example, I was thrilled by what was offered at The Marketplace, with this month’s theme of “Getting Started in the Garden.” Their tables were burgeoning with classic trugs, lovely hats, and unusual garden tools, assembled by Nan Kaufman and beautifully displayed by Maureen McMahon. One can’t help smiling when Nan takes the podium decked out with sun-protective hats, knee pads, and a basket full of tools to demonstrate - what a saleswoman! I was just sorry I had to limit her time!

The Horticulture table, organized by Eva Richman and Sharon Patel, was also ablaze with color, with plants for sale and for show. It was clear from the large crowd around their tables that we must give them more space next time!

Susan Starr explained how field trips this year will introduce us to some of the truly interesting places to visit in San Diego County. The first trip will be on November 6th, with a private tour of the newly opened Conservatory at the San Diego Botanic Garden, followed by lunch and a visit to Rancho Soledad Nursery in Rancho Santa Fe. The original plan listed in the Yearbook had to be modified due to recent illness.

Linda Bienhoff and Peggy Sbardellati have lined up a wonderful program of workshops that you can read about in the Yearbook. The first event will follow our October meeting, and features preparing our garden soil – so appropriate for this time of year. A few places remain for this workshop, and since refreshments will be included, you need to sign up by October 19th.

I was thrilled that Mary Ann Driscoll offered to do the December Nights tree again with her sister-inlaw Sue Driscoll. This year’s assigned theme is Celebrating the Holidays through Children’s Dreams. Although it’s good to support this fundraiser for the Floral Association, our participation was made more meaningful by the decision to create a tree specifically for the girls and staff at the Girls Rehabilitation Facility in San Diego. I think this was the reason why Mary Ann – a former teacher – decided she would do it again. The event at Balboa Park takes place on December 7th and 8th.

Other future events include decorating pumpkins for patients at the VA Hospital under the direction of Julia Sheldon; making gingerbread houses at Brenda Schneider’s home to be sold at the Holiday Pantry Sale; gardening together at the Moores Cancer Center Healing Garden; and how about dividing those daylilies, clivia, and others to bring to the Gardeners’ Exchange table next month?

Last but not least, the main highlight of the meeting was our eloquent and personable speaker, Dr. Eric Haskell, on the gardens at Brécy. This was not your home garden! But Dr. Haskell gave a fascinating talk with beautiful photography, and made the valid point that it is important, historically and culturally, to preserve these magnificent gardens of the past.

Finally, I am happy to report that Bonnie is back in town after a productive time spent at the Mayo Clinic in Florida; and she is ready to pick up the reins of our co-presidency. Thank you all for being so helpful to me in her absence. We look forward to seeing you all on October 25th .