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Meeting Minutes


The Weeders

Minutes of the Meeting, April 18, 2017


On a beautiful spring evening nearly fifty Weeders, spouses, friends and guests gathered in Devon at the home of Julie and Jeff DeVuono.  Meeting Chair Lorraine Wallace and hostesses Linda Anderson, Cheryl Cheston, Karen Doyle, Patty Greenhalgh, Diana Mason, Reggie Thomas, Maria Thompson, Lorraine Wallace and Sally Wood helped Julie and Jeff reorganize their living room to accommodate rows of folding chairs, a place for a projector and screen, and space for our speaker Adam Levine.  The hostesses outdid themselves with selections of wine, appetizers, dips, mini sandwiches, cookies and other confections.


The meeting was called for 6:30 and, as President Jackie Burke observed in her opening remarks, Weeders love to socialize and because the food was so tantalizing it was a challenge to bring everyone to their seats at 7, but all complied.  Weeders were also treated to a fine Photography Show that Melissa Bullitt had set up on the front porch for all to enjoy as they entered the house.


Jackie called the meeting to order, thanked the meeting chair, hostesses and Melissa.  She then introduced the guests:  Marty Morse, guest of Elaine and John Lisle; Jennifer Fryberger, guest of Diane and Scott McCallister; and Mariana Wilson, guest of Patricia Doolittle.


With the exception of a most important vote to approve recently circulated proposed changes to the bylaws that was brought to the floor by Marilyn Sprague and passed, the meeting consisted of announcements and updates.


Treasurer Nancy Evans (whom the secretary praises for always submitting a written report) gave a nearly up to the minute (April 17, 2017) account of our checking account holdings - $3,650.  The Vanguard account stands at $31,644.42 and this spring we have had $375 in Tribute donations and $800 in program expenses.


Weeders have a lot going on – a group will get together at Laura Mitchell’s on Monday, April 24th to make flower arrangements for the Ronald McDonald House; there’s a work day at the Magnolia Tribute Garden at 5th and Locust Streets from 10 to 12 on April 26th with a party and rededication of the garden scheduled for Thursday, May 11th, and on May 4th there will be a workshop in Chestnut Hill on Garden History and Design.  A spring party is scheduled for Preakness Day, Saturday, May 20th [note:  this party was subsequently cancelled] and this year’s June meeting will feature a bus trip to the Grounds for Sculpture.  A flyer for the event will be circulated with the dues notice. 


Biddie Edwards described her four days in Washington at the GCA’s annual Conservation and NAL meeting as “fantastic.”  She urged all Weeders to consult the eight position papers on the GCA website and contact representatives to support HR 1054 – a bill with bipartisan support.  The GCA helped write the bill that is to help the National Park Service educate and hire botanists who can assist in the preservation of native plants.  Biddie was especially enthusiastic about a presentation made by Mary Tracy of Scenic America.  The talk paid tribute to Lady Bird Johnson and the Beautification Act.  This legislation gave birth to subsequent policies on Clean Air and Clean Water.  Cinematographer Louis Schwartzberg wowed the group with images that also appealed to Pope Francis who had them projected onto the Vatican.  The fundamental message is that nature protects what is beautiful.


Weeders also appear in print – Ellyn Spragins in Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer and Biddie Edwards and Nancy Evans in the GCA Bulletin.


Alice Doering amused the group with a Horticulture report that included her recent exchanges with our Ohio Weeder Jane Mangrum who sent Alice seeds for distribution.  The plant has a complicated Latin name but its common names are easy to remember – Hairy Balls and/or Family Jewels.  Alice urged us not to do a Google search!  The plant is supposed to have very interesting seed pods that are attractive to butterflies.  Soak the seeds for 24 hours and then surface plant.


The Spring Photograph Show chaired by Melissa Bullitt featured three classes (“Color Shift,” “Calvin Kleen” and “Tea Time”), which the judges subdivided into six classes.* The show drew eight entrants, including two new to the event – Floy Ervin and Nancy Holmes.  There were 37 photos.  First place awards went to Lorraine Wallace, Taddy Dawson and Nancy Evans.*  Lorraine also received a Best in Show award.


Cheryl Cheston called upon the Weeders to help with spring clean-up at the Gazebo Garden on Saturday, April 22nd.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned and Jackie called upon Lorraine Wallace to introduce the speaker, Adam Levine.  Adam is the editor of GROW, the PHS magazine and works at Philadelphia’s Water Department.  He is active in the Hardy Plant Society and is well known to many Weeders, who consider him a “great plantsman.”   He titled his presentation “From Creek to Sewer:  A History of Philadelphia’s Sewers and Watersheds.” 



Maria M. Thompson, Secretary


*Corrections to the minutes approved at the May 9th meeting

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