Program Schedule

Unless otherwise indicated, meetings are held the first Monday of the month at the Maplewood Memorial Library, 51 Baker St., Maplewood, NJ,  at 7:30 p.m. All meetings are free, open to the public, and refreshments are served. We look forward to seeing you!

September 12, 2016 (please note: this meeting is held on the second Monday of the month)
Subject: Made In The Shade
Speaker: Claudia Thornton

How do we evaluate shade conditions and determine what actions are needed to grow a successful shade garden? Claudia Thornton, landscape architect, will enlighten us with specific suggestions and approaches to the challenges of shade gardening, emphasizing natural ways to improve soil health and moisture preservation. By using the materials our gardens produce naturally, we can improve the vigor of our gardens and enjoy success in our gardening efforts. Claudia will also offer expert advice on what plants to select for different types of shade.

October 5, 2016 (please note: this meeting is held on a Wednesday)
Subject: Garden For the Common Good: Become a Seed Saver!
Speaker: Shanyn Siegel

Did you know that the seeds inside ripe heirloom tomatoes are fully developed and can be saved and replanted next season? Even if you only have a small garden, you can easily save seeds from some of your favorite garden vegetables. In this talk, Shanyn Siegel, former Collection Curator and Head of Preservation for Seed Savers Exchange, explains why the age-old tradition of seed saving is a skill every modern gardener should have. She’ll share practical, how-to seed-saving tips and demonstrate quick methods to properly clean and store garden seeds using tools and materials found in the common household. Find out more about olericulture and seeds, and become a seed saver! http://www.shanynsiegel.com

November 7, 2016
Subject: The Layered Garden
Speaker: David Culp

David Culp, expert herbaceous perennial gardener, national gardening lecturer and Vice President of Sunny Border Nurseries, will show us how to create a layered garden: how to choose the correct plants by understanding how they grow and change through the seasons, and how to design and maintain one. To illustrate how layering works, David will take us on a personal tour through each of his celebrated gardens: the woodland garden, the perennial border, the kitchen garden, the shrubbery, and the walled garden. Find out what he recommends as the best signature plants for all four seasons. www.davidlculp.com

December 5, 2016
Subject: Festive Flowers and Vegetable Designs
Speaker: Florence Leyssene

Learn how to make unforgettable holiday arrangements from the exceptionally talented Florence Leyssene. Everyone remembers how she wowed us with her creativity and unusual designs when she visited us two years ago. This time she will create arrangements using vegetables as well as flowers. We will be inspired to create our own festive displays after learning her trade secrets and tips for award-winning floral designs. Florence has won many blue ribbons from local and state garden clubs. Don’t miss this one!

January 9, 2017
Subject: Untermyer Gardens: Past, President, Future
Speaker: Timothy Tilghman

Timothy Tilghman, horticultaralist and head gardener at Untermyer Gardens, will introduce us to this garden, which is also a public park in Yonkers, NY. In 1899, Samuel Untermyer purchased the Greystone estate, transforming the gardens and greenhouses into some of the most celebrated gardens in America. Designed in the Beaux Arts style around 1916, the gardens sprawled over 150 acres overlooking the Hudson River. Come learn about the restoration of 43 acres of this treasure and how it is being cared for today by the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. www.untermyergardens.org

February 6, 2017
Subject: The Natives Are Restless; Outstanding Forms of Woody Native Plants
Speaker: Marc Montefusco

The tremendous interest in native plants for residential gardens is very sound from an ecological standpoint. However, some gardeners view the prospect of a predominantly native garden with some regrets. What about all those spectacular trees and shrubs from Asia and Europe? Do we have to sacrifice visual excitement for good stewardship? Fortunately for gardeners and the environment, the answer is no. Stunning new forms of native American plants are being introduced all the time, and the best of them inspire admiration in gardeners around the world. Marc Montefusco, Director of Horticulture at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, will introduce us to some of his favorite “exotic natives,” any of which could find a place in your landscape. www.reeves-reedarboretum.org

March 6, 2017
Subject: Spring Wildflowers, Ephemeral Beauty With a Purpose
Speaker: Carol Gracie


Although the beauty of local wildflowers enhances our enjoyment of spring, a look behind their pretty faces reveals the important roles that they play in the ecology of our eastern forest environment. Come meet acclaimed naturalist Carol Gracie, former NYBG teacher, as she explains how wildflowers have adapted to their shaded environment, their role as an important food resource for early emerging insects, their methods of dispersal, and some of their uses by humans as medicines, foods, and dyes.

April 12, 2017 (please note: this meeting is on a Wednesday)
Subject: The Presby Memorial Iris Garden: A Legacy of 90 Years
Speaker: Suzanne Broullon

The Presby Memorial Gardens are a delight to behold in May when thousands of irises are in bloom. Come hear how this magical place was created through an act of democracy and love. Suzanne Broullon, the Communications and Donor Manager of this local garden in Montclair, will explain how they keep these gardens blooming and how the gardens became the 20th park in the Essex County park system. Along with the garden history, you will also find out the highlights of bearded and beardless iris culture, and how to grow and care for them in your home garden. www.presbyirisgardens.org

May 1, 2017
Subject: The Story of the 9/11 Memorial Trees
Speaker: Paul Cowie


From 2005 to 2011, Paul Cowie and Associates worked as a design team specialist to landscape architect Peter Walker and Partners on the design and implementation of the tree planting at the National September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York. Having been intimately involved in the process for six years—from development of the project specifications, through procurement and preparation of the trees, to the start of planting— Paul Cowie will share a wide range of photographs, stories, and technical reviews from each step of the process. The logistics of this immense garden design project are just fascinating. www.paulcowieandassociates.com

Unless otherwise indicated, meetings are held the first Monday of the month at the Maplewood Memorial Library, 51 Baker St., Maplewood, NJ,  at 7:30 p.m. All meetings are free, open to the public, and refreshments are served. We look forward to seeing you!