Today, I shot some snapshots of the wrecked corner at Forest Drive and Beulah Road, which I have posted here. It's destroyed, but at least the sign is still standing. Apparently, there were two auto accidents at that corner last weekend--one was because of the bad weather on Monday evening, February 21, and the other one was a DUI. The DUI is the one that caused the damage to the corner, and it occurred in the early morning hours of last Sunday, February 20.
We have the police report from Churchill Police Dept, and we are in the process of filing an insurance claim for the wall, the shrubs, the compost, and the installation of everything. I'll keep you posted.
On the bright side, I met a new (to me) neighbor who lives near the corner, and whose yard was also damaged in the wreck. Of course, I have already forgotten her name, but not her lovely smile, and I will ask her again for her name. Oy.
Verona’s beautiful Longue Vue Club will be the site of the BGC’s spring benefit on Saturday, March 19, 2011, starting at 11:30 AM. Our annual event, this year themed to celebrate the hosta, will feature a luncheon, bake sale, chance auction with unbeatable baskets, family fashion show by Macy’s of Monroeville, and our “big” raffle. Even if you don’t attend the luncheon, we hope that everyone in Blackridge will support the raffle. (But, ask anyone--the luncheon is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, so join us!)
One hundred percent of the profits from Bloomin’ Corners is returned to the community, and enables the BGC to maintain Blackridge’s signature corner plantings, and to support the BCA, the BSC, and local community service projects. For more information or if you a Blackridge area businessperson, crafter, musician, writer, teacher, artist, or generous person, who would like to donate items or services (of any value—large or small!) to be auctioned at the Bloomin’ Corners benefit, contact Nancy Del Presto at 412-247-4129.
In the terrible weather last Monday night, someone unfortunately ran off Beulah Road, while turning into Blackridge, and wrecked into the lower side of our Forest Road corners, near our good friend's (the late Mr. Stewart's) home. The retaining wall behind the corner, which we just rebuilt late last summer, and a few new shrubs on that side--euonymus and Japanese hollies--were taken out. We sincerely hope that no one was injured in the accident, and we also hope to gather information so that we can recover funds to replace the destroyed property. If you have any information or comments, please post here. Our president is contacting the Churchill Police Dept on Monday morning, and we hope to have good news to report.
Isn’t now a great time for a quick review of pruning principles? As I type this, we literally can’t get into our gardens to do anything else, so let’s observe the structure of our woody ornamentals. Early March is a good time to make the sometimes-difficult decision to remove trees that have been weakened and disfigured by topping, and to plan proper pruning of our shrubs and trees.
The late dormant season in our area—late winter, before bud break—is the optimal time of year to prune summer-blooming ornamental shrubs and trees, as well as shade trees. The second best time is the middle of summer. Do not wait until the spring flush of growth to prune, and don’t prune in autumn. A rule of thumb to follow is not to prune when leaves are forming or falling. Of course, if you have a branch that is dead, diseased, or dangerous, it may be removed at any time. Hand pruning shears, loppers, or saws are recommended for pruning; hedge shears are not.
Late winter is not the time to prune spring-blooming woody plants, because the flower buds of spring-bloomers, like rhododendrons, azaleas (both of which normally require little pruning), and lilacs, are set in the previous growing season; in other words, these plants bloom on old wood. The better time to prune them is directly after they finish blooming, if you want to preserve this year’s show. However, it is desirable to winter-prune spring-bloomers that have become straggly through long neglect. Cut long branches to encourage new bud development early in the next growing season. If such pruning is postponed until summer, dormant buds already present may remain so until the following spring when several will break near each pruning wound. In the interim, the plant will appear unattractive.
To thin out most deciduous shrubs and trees, cut off a branch or twig at its point of origin from the parent stem, or to a lateral side branch, to the Y of a branch junction, or at ground level. Never simply shear the ends of branches off, and never top trees. To rejuvenate an old, overgrown shrub, remove one-third of the oldest, tallest branches at or slightly above ground level.
Proper pruning practices will preserve the natural shape of the plant, will protect it from many pathogens, and will promote vigorous growth of the plant.
The benefit committee spent some time today folding, stuffing, and labeling invitations to our 2011 Bloomin' Corners Benefit. All BGC members and all Blackridge residents will receive an invitation and raffle tickets in the mail. If you are a friend of the club, but not in one of those two categories, and you'd like to receive an invitation or further details, please post here. We welcome everyone to the event on March 19 at Longue Vue Club in Verona. It is always a lot of fun!
As a follow up to our February meeting, I am very interested in knowing what you all are planning to plant--either from seed or from seedlings, in your veggie gardens this spring, and what kind of luck those of you who attended last night's meeting have with Lil's Old Gate Rudbeckia Blend seeds. Please post any brainstorms and advice here.
I am still waiting for a few catalogs to arrive, but I am also making lists of tomato and pepper seeds, and deciding what I want to experiment with. I am a chile head, and am always looking for a good new hot pepper that grows well in my back yard.
I agree with Ralph DeFilippo that one of the best parts of the summer squash plants are the blossoms, and that chard rocks, so I am definitely allocating space for a couple of cultivars of each. I am also going to try to replicate our past president's, Ceil Greber's, luck with eggplant. I have toiled in vain to produce a decent crop of eggplants, but maybe this year will be different. ;)
Thanks to everyone who participated in last night's meeting, and a special thanks to our guest stars and newest members, Ralph and Kathy DeFilippo. Webby Girl will be posting pix of the evening, plus a copy of my own notes and those of the DeFilippos here on the website for your reference. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.
Verona’s beautiful Longue Vue Club will be the site of the BGC’s spring benefit on Saturday, March19, 2011, starting at 11:30 AM. Ourannual event, this year themed to celebrate the hosta, will feature a luncheon,bake sale, chance auction with unbeatable baskets, family fashion show byMacy’s of Monroeville, and our “big” raffle. Even if you don’t attend the luncheon, we hope that everyone inBlackridge will support the raffle. (But, ask anyone--the luncheon is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, sojoin us!) Your invitation and raffletickets will be mailed to you in February.
As I mentioned, I will be organizing the Macy's fashion show for our March 19 benefit at Longue Vue Club, and if you are interested in modeling, or have any suggestions, please give me a call or post them here.
I also want to thank all of the donors to our benefit, with a nod to good neighbor Tony Schryer, who has donated a custom car detailing to the auction. Tara Taylor and her pop, Sherwood, are planning another donation, as well, so if you enjoyed Sherwood's floral designs in the past and loved his presentation at the November meeting, you'll look forward to that prize. Another talented designer, Shelley Grotzinger, is working on the centerpieces for "Hosta La Vista," and I can tell you from seeing the samples, that the tables are going to look swell.
One hundred percent of the profits from Bloomin’Corners is returned to the community, and enables the BGC to maintainBlackridge’s signature corner plantings, and to support the BCA, the BSC, andlocal community service projects. Formore information or ifyou a Blackridge area businessperson, crafter, musician, writer, teacher,artist, or generous person, who would like to donate items or services (of anyvalue—large or small!) to be auctioned at the Bloomin’ Corners benefit, contact Nancy Del Presto at412-247-4129.
I have all of my show and tell items on the dining room table, ready to take to the BCA tomorrow afternoon, and I am planning to talk to Bernie and to Ralph and Kathy later today. I know our decorating and food committees will have some nice visual touches and some good treats for us, as well! If you have any questions, please post them here. We are looking forward to seeing you! (If we have wacky weather, and you aren't sure about a possible cancellation, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be checking it on my phone all day tomorrow, but I hope the worst of the ice will be over by tomorrow evening.
Once the February meeting is under my belt, I'll start moving forward on the fashion show for our March 19th benefit. The benefit committee has already done quite a bit of work on carrying through our theme of "Hosta La Vista" throughout the decorations, menu, beverages, and prizes, and Blackridge neighbors should be receiving their invitations and raffle tickets in the mail in the next couple of weeks.
If you have any ideas about anyone from the community who would like to model for the Macy's fashion show at the benefit, please let me know! I have to get a balance of ages and sizes of both men, women, boys, and girls, and I have a few new folks in mind and some returning favorites, but I am always looking for volunteers!