The Flower Pot Newsletter of the Danville-Alamo Garden Club
PRESIDENTS MESSAGE April, 2014
Volume XLI, Issue 4
Inside This Issue:
Page 1Presidents Message
Page 2Horticulture, Tours
Page 3Outreach, Workshops &
Reminder Page 4Calendar
Page 5Did You Know?..
Page 6Questionaire Form
Page 7...2014 15 Membership
Page 8.Our Sponsors
Oh I came home so inspired after listening to our guest speaker, Hollie Lucas. She is so
knowledgeable about teas and herbs, their cooking and medicinal benefits. I am looking for-
ward to planting an herb garden. Just have to find the right location. Her suggestion about
using galvanized containers seems like a great idea. I read in a garden magazine recently
about a woman who lives in Glen Ellen and plants her herbs and tomatoes in them so the go-
phers cant get to them. I heard many positive comments from our members saying how they
thought she was an excellent speaker with a very educational presentation. Many of you
have asked for a copy of her Power Point presentation. She will be emailing it to Rebecca
Byrom and I have asked Rebecca to send it to Nancy Norland who will put it on our web site.
Information when it will be available will be published. I was pleased to see so many of you
purchasing her products. Hope you enjoy them. She is a very creative and talented young
Thanks to our Social Committee members for all their hard work setting up chairs and ta-
bles and cleaning up after our meeting. They are so critical to our clubs success. Also
thanks to our members who brought sweets and savories for everyone to enjoy.
I know everyone is enjoying this beautiful spring weather. This is a great time to visit our local
nurseries and see all the beautiful blooming plants they have. Use your Discount cards.
As I mentioned at our meeting, plans are underway for our June Installation luncheon. Com-
mittee members are meeting, tasting food selections and working on table decorations. They
are making great plans for an enjoyable time for all of us. Please look for a notice about
luncheon signups in this newsletter.
2 April, 2014
For our April tour we will be doing the Gamble Gardens Spring tour of 5 private gardens in Palo Alto on April 25. After the tour we will visit Gamble Gardens for their plant sale and Marketplace and have lunch.
We will meet in Danville at 9:00 a.m. RSVP to Vicki Freeberg @ email@example.com or 280-9847. Please indicate whether you would be willing to drive. I will get back to you with the de-tails.
Our Installation Luncheon is sched-
uled for June 12th. In order to plan for the
amount of food needed, the Installation
Committee will need to have an accurate
count of the members who will be attend-
ing by JUNE 1st
They will be passing around sign up
sheets at our April and May General Meet-
ings. Please save the date and enjoy a
Usually I wait until April to plant my tomatoes. I have seen frost on May 5
th, but it is no longer deep. A general
rule is tomatoes need to be planted when the soil is warm.
This holds true for basil, and other warm weather crops.
This year is very different. Today the temperature hit 82
degrees F. I worked in the garden and actually broke a
sweat. Today is March 16th, by definition still winter. Even if
we go into a cool spell, I doubt we will frost, because the
ground is getting very warm very fast.
So I am planting my tomatoes a month early. Perhaps
unlike the last few years I will have tomatoes for the 4th of
In the 1800s the San Ramon Valley was a farming dis-
trict. The railroad took the crops from Danville Station up to
Martinez, and from there the food went to either San Fran-
cisco or up river to the Gold country. One of the crops was
Dry land Tomatoes.
Dry land tomatoes are tomatoes that were planted in the
spring when the ground was still wet from the rain. They did
not get big and juicy, but were smaller, but very intensely
flavored. It allowed for farming on the hill behind Sunset
color on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. Mind you this was a
very wet period in California history. Water rights were de-
termined during this time, and that is why we have a prob-
lem for the farms in the San Joaquin Valley.
If tomatoes could be grown dry, and they can because I
have tried to do it and harvested them, this means that they
do not need much water in our vegetable gardens. I admit
to watering my tomatoes everyday last year, but this year I
plan to water them every other day. This reduces my water-
ing of that bed by 50%. More than the 20% that I would
have to cut back to voluntarily reduce my water consump-
tion. That means more water for other things.
So my point here is that if you know how each water
station is being used, you can modify your water more in
some areas, and less in others. So an across the board
water reduction can be well managed compensating for
higher water areas and lower water areas. Just another tip
to manage the drought watering restrictions.
3 April 2014
Brush off your camera and join us for a hike along Mt. Diablo's Summit Trail to iden-tify and photograph Spring wildflowers. We'll meet at the home of Karen Fox on Monday, April 21st (note day change - was Wednesday, April 23rd) at 10am to carpool to the north end of Mt. Diablo Scenic Blvd. (past the Athenian School), park and walk the short distance to the trailhead. How far we hike will depend on the group. Hiking boots a must. (This is not like the Ironhorse Trail.) No boots - no hike. Rain or muddy conditions cancel but we will re-schedule in May. You have homework! Please purchase the following book: Mt. Diablo Wildflowers by the Mt. Diablo Interpretive Association (mdia.org) for $7.50. Sign-up sheet at the April 10th General Meeting or contact Karen Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 3rd
we are off to Forest Home Farms for some ivy pruning. Yes, you are think-
ing, why dont they get some teenagers to tackle a mundane task like this? Well, in the
areas they need help experienced gardeners are a real asset. At one point they lost a 100
year old rose due to some inexperienced helpers working up near the house and paths. To
make this task more manageable we are looking at a two hour time window 12:30pm -
2:30pm. Forest Home Farms is located at 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd, San Ramon, CA.
Please bring a bag lunch, drink, pruners, kneeling pad (optional) and gloves. RSVP:
email@example.com or 828-1103 . Sandra Olinger
! Exciting News ! Ladies, its that time of year again. Membership Renewal Forms Due Now!
The DAGC Annual Membership Drive begins in April and ends in May. The deadline for receipt of the membership forms for next year is June 1, 2014. Mail your membership form and check to Susan Polk as soon as possible. (Her address is on the form you receive in the newsletter. If you will not be renewing for next year, would you please let Kayrene Braden or Win Cronin know, so we may begin contacting our waiting list. If you need to take a break from membership, but wish to return in the future, we suggest you place your name on the waiting list now, and there will be a spot for you in the future. Thank you and if you have any questions, please contact Kayrene or Win.
4 April, 2014
In your garden plant some summer veggies if the soil warms enough: beets, broccoli, corn, cucumbers, lettuces, peas, onions, radishes, and squashes. Prune spring-blooming shrubs when they finish flowering.
Dates & Times Events Details Tuesdays 9 am noon
Plant Sale Markham Arboretum
Great prices on all containers, 4 to gallon-size.
Apr 3 12:30 2:30
DAGC Community Outreach Forest Home Farms 19953 SRV Blvd, San Ramon
Volunteers will meet at the Farms to prune ivy. Bring lunch, pruners, kneeling pad, & gloves. Contact: Sandra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apr 5 10 am 3 pm Apr 12 10am 2 pm
Sale: Great Tomato Plant Sale 2014 Our Garden, in Shadelands, Walnut Creek
Master Gardeners will have more than 12,000 plants for sale, 60+ varieties of heirloom tomatoes, plus 20+ varieties of eggplants & peppers. Bring your own box. Cash or check.
Apr 5 2 pm
Class: Just Tomatoes Navlets Garden Center
Learn how to successfully grow the most popular of vege-tables, the tomato. We will cover soil preparation, heirloom versus hybrid, watering, and ripening tomatoes off the vine.
Apr 5 9 am
Class: Growing Cacti & Succulents Armstrong Garden Center
Add a touch of the south with cacti and succulents. Well show