Weeders Meeting and Flower Show
September 13, 2016
The first meeting of the Weeder 2016-2017 calendar year was on Tuesday, September 13th at the Jenkins Arboretum in Devon. Patricia Doolittle and members of the Flower Show Committee set-up everything needed for our Fall Flower Show on the lower level of the Willaman Education Center the day before so when members arrived for registration and passing on Tuesday things went very smoothly.
The business meeting, program and lunch took place on the upper level. Hostesses provided coffee and treats before the meeting.
President Jackie Burke called the meeting to order at 10:35am with a welcome and thanks to the day’s chairs Alice Doering and Julie DeVuono, and hostesses Polly Garnett, Ellie Kirk, Wendy Quereau, Anne Rhoads and Ellyn Spragins. Twenty-eight Weeders attended the business meeting, while eight members of the Flower Show Committee oversaw final adjustments to staging and the judging of both horticultural and artistic entries. Jackie noted she had received letters of thanks from Bea Bast for sympathy expressed after the death of her husband and Floy Ervin on acknowledgement of her fifty years of membership in the Weeders. Jackie also received a letter of resignation from Lonnie Gray, a member in good standing since 2010. In addition, she urged members to reply to meeting notices as a courtesy to the hostesses.
Minutes of the June 2016 meeting were accepted as circulated with no additions or corrections. Treasurer Nancy Evans reviewed the proposed budget for FY 2017. It was noted that last year our contributions to civic endeavors exceeded what had been budgeted and required a significant draw down from our reserve funds held at Vanguard. Although these were unusual and worthy contributions (Founders Fund, Magnolia Tribute Garden, Farmers’ Stipend), this practice cannot be sustained or the fund will eventually be depleted. The Finance Committee will meet to consider the matter and make recommendations to the membership. Various ideas were mentioned as ways of contributing to the club; these included bequests, tax deductible withdrawals from an IRA if over 70 ½, an increase in dues, and a fund raiser in addition to our December holiday sale. Lorraine Wallace made a motion that the proposed budget be adopted; the motion was seconded by Maria Thompson and passed. A copy of the budget is attached to the minutes.
After a summer away from formal garden club activities, there were multiple announcements of upcoming meetings, tours and activities. The joint meeting of the PCGCA will be held at the Philadelphia Country Club on Wednesday, November 9th and the topic is “Cultivating the Garden Artist Within.”
A box of addressed invitations circulated as did the annual appeal for the Fertilizer Fund. Jackie urged Weeders to participate. Those who do are generous, but they are not very many and last year our club was last in numbers of contributors.
Multiple clipboards with sign-up sheets circulated. These included a boxwood propagation workshop at Stenton on October 22nd; a Rail Park Tour on Thursday, September 29th at 10:30am – meet at 21st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, the tour ends at 12th and Noble. Those interested may consult the website therailpark.org for information on Philadelphia’s version of the High Line. Linda Anderson noted continued media coverage of the Hudson Yards project in New York; Weeders on last October’s trip saw the extensive network of unused railroad tracks that are the site of the Yards project.
The Zone V meeting on October 19th and 20th will include a flower show. Members of the Garden Workers are hostesses and the flower show schedule is available on the GCA website. A paper copy was circulated at the meeting. There are a few categories that still have openings.
Awards were the next topic on the agenda. The recipient of the 2016 Biddle Award was unable to attend the June meeting and presentation will be made when she is available. Cynthia Wallace, who now lives at the health center at the Quadrangle, was recognized for her seventy-five years of service to the Weeders. Maria Thompson and her husband, a cousin of Cynthia’s, presented the framed certificate and accompanying letter. The certificate is in place on a wall in her room, near one of her paintings. Jackie and members of the Executive Committee discussed the possibility of scheduling award presentations every other year to coincide with transfer of the President’s gavel and Jackie sounded out those in attendance on the idea, which was received favorably as was the prospect of visiting a garden on the off year.
Committee chairs were called upon for reports:
Admissions – we welcome Nancy Holmes as a new member.
Club Flower Show, Photography – Melissa Bullitt urged Weeders to look at the schedule for the Spring Show, “Lights, Camera, Fashion!” and bring their entries to the March meeting.
The Botanical Arts Workshop will be held Wednesday, November 2nd at St Christopher’s in Gladwyne. Please take note as the date in the printed program is incorrect. All other information remains the same.
Alice Doering and Polly Garnett reported on Strafford Station and Cheryl Cheston spoke for the Gazebo Garden. Both are being maintained, with this summer’s challenges being July’s heat and the August drought. Cheryl requested additional help when it gets cold and the garden is put to bed. She will schedule special work days on a monday and saturday.
Strawberry Mansion will, once again, be the location for our holiday decorating magic. Patricia Doolittle and Lynne Gibbons will oversee our participation.
Laura Mitchell announced that this year, in addition to our flower arrangements for the Ronald McDonald House, we are being asked to assist with arrangements for the Champions of Hope awards dinner to be held at the Union League on Thursday, October 6th. They need arrangements for 40 to 45 tables.
For Horticulture, Alice Doering thanked those who participated in the flower show and said a challenge plant will be available for purchase at the October meeting. Lorraine Wallace passed around a sign-up sheet for her special pumpkin succulent workshop scheduled for October 18th. If attending, please come prepared with a pumpkin that’s been painted with mop-n-glow. Cost for the workshop will be $15 and Lorraine will order the succulents from Avant Gardens in Massachusetts. Michelle Bolton shared news of an excellent website for all sorts of horticultural inquiries – egardengo.com.
On Conservation, Biddie Edwards announced there would not be a recycling trip on Saturday, October 8th as printed in the program. The Recycling Trip will take place on saturday, October 22nd and is limited to eight participants. RAIR is a recycling outfit that artists use to scout for found objects. She said it is fascinating to see what recyclers are doing, for example organizing wire by color and size. Those participating must wear long pants and closed shoes, preferably boots. Nancy Evans mentioned Whole Foods no longer recycles batteries for the reason that they are not to be recycled. She also noted the importance of removing metal lids from glass jars, etc. because they are different kinds of materials.
Julie DeVuono reported she and Polly Garnett visited Inta Krombolz’s garden this summer for seasonal photographs. This is an ongoing project of the Garden History and Design Committee
Linda Anderson submitted an article for publication in the GCA Bulletin.
Jackie thanked Cheryl Cheston and Lorraine Wallace for their work over the summer on the inserts for our Weeder Program Binder and Karen Doyle called our attention to the interesting and varied Programs scheduled for 20166-2017.
Regina Wagner spoke for the Scholarship Committee and Polly Garnett said there was a possible tour under consideration for Visiting Gardens.
There were two topics brought up under the category of New Business: #1 - the possibility of a fund raiser such as a Kentucky Derby party in May and #2 because no one will be attending the Shirley Meneice Horticulture Conference in New York that the Weeders may have their own seed exchange.
The business meeting adjourned at 11:30am.
Karen Doyle introduced the day’s speaker, Dan Sneberger, whose subject was “Basics of Photography: How to Create Better Images.” Dan is a graduate of Tyler and, trained in landscape painting, he began his career as a freelance illustrator, influence by Maxfield Parrish. After that, he worked in marketing for a Swiss watchmaker. This position involved travel and, camera in hand, he recorded scenes to be painted later. He was drawn to photography for its own sake and found he liked it. He said his approach is somewhat impressionistic in that he tries to recreate the feeling he had when he saw what he recorded with his camera.
The basics included focus, which cannot be changed in editing, composition (rule of thirds – mentally divide the field), groups of three, the position of lines (roads, shadows, etc.) and depth of field. In low light situations, you may need to use a tripod and a long exposure of 3-4 seconds.
Dan urged us to carry our cameras with us and look around all the time. He also illustrated the capabilities of water, with its reflection adding interest to an image. He shared a few secrets of the trade – never put the horizon line in the middle of the photo, go high or low – and think about themes, especially what you like because if you take time to really look you may see the familiar in a different way.
He also challenged us to try new things and not be afraid of experimenting.
Toward the end of the presentation, Dan defined digital terminology: Raw means the camera captures everything, which is important for editing; and in jpeg format, the camera makes decisions for you.
To drive his point home, he gave an analogy using a piano – raw equals 88 keys and jpeg is the middle 44.
At the end of the presentation, Weeders were treated to a yummy lunch – a perfect finale for an auspicious start to our year.
Maria M. Thompson