The Trumpet is our monthly newsletter.
Happy September and Welcome back! We have a fun-filled year ahead, with informative presentations, exciting hands-on activities, our annual landfill collection and fundraising plant sale.
We survived the hot, humid July/August weather, dealt with drought-like conditions and flooding downpours only to have the same weather patterns follow us into September. Ouch! Isn’t Mother Nature aware that September is supposed to bring cooler, drier temperatures and breathable air? However, our gardens didn’t fare too well this summer. Flower and vegetable gardens wilted and shriveled up in the heat. The beautiful plants we lovingly cared for and patiently waited all spring to bloom were greedily devoured by heartless critters - - Bunnies and Chipmunks and Deer, OH MY! Flower buds and tender leaves were nibbled on by these pesky critters. Fruits, tomatoes and other vegetables were half eaten and left to rot by the same merciless critters. But all we could do was complain, spray repellent, build protective-wire fences and chase them out of our gardens.
Not only did our vegetable gardens suffer, but many of our perennials did not come back. A warm January followed by a deep freeze in February left many plants badly damaged and some even dead. Butterfly bushes, rose bushes andornamental grasses suffered stem dieback. Certain perennials that leaf-out in the spring didn’t have the physiology to withstand a late frost and suffered root damage and death. Most noticeable on the Cape was the reduction in blossoms of our beautiful, iconic deep-blue hydrangea macrophylla. Half dead, half alive, these plants experienced a 50 percent loss in flowers. Although we missed the beautiful blue and pink hydrangeas the Cape is well-known for, we saw vivid, bright yellow and orange flowers in abundance everywhere we looked.
Marigolds bloomed all summer long in vibrant shades of yellow, gold and orange. Sunflowers and Black-eyed Susans brightened our landscapes with happiness and joy. The compact Stella D'Oro’s rich, golden yellow blooms showered the garden in fragrant flowers all summer long. But the herbaceous clump-forming perennial known as the common orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) could be seen just about anywhere around us.
These daylilies grow along roadsides, railroad tracks, riverbeds, woodland edges, in ditches, fields, meadows, cemeteries, suburban home landscapes and out in the middle of nowhere. They’re one of those plants that were passed from neighbor to neighbor and spread quickly because of it. They thrive in dense drifts, in shade or sun, in moist or dry locations and in fertile or poor soil. Moreover, their ability to thrive in arid and nutrient-deficient environments makes them interesting candidates for erosion control by slowing or halting soil, rock, and other surface runoff when planted on slopes and reclamation projects. The tall bold blooms of the orange daylilies are very striking, and the pleasing foliage brings lively contrast and added interest to perennial borders and are well-suited for butterfly, drought-tolerant, edible or pollinator gardens. When not in bloom, the plants provide texture to the garden and crowd out any weeds close by (Bonus!).
Common orange daylilies (also known by unflattering nicknames as ditch lilies, tawny daylilies, Fourth of July lilies, outhouse lilies, roadside lilies and railroad daylilies) are extremely invasive and hard to kill once established, but unlike many garden favorites, these daylilies don't need special care to get established, or possibly any care whatsoever. They grow vigorously wherever they are planted. Orange daylilies are still popular, favored by homeowners and landscape designers for their showy flowers, hardiness and ability to spread, and the common daylily has since been cultivated endlessly due to its endurance and its beauty. They're also dependably resilient; so, once you have them, you have them for many years.
But, did you know that those orange daylilies are not considered true lilies? The genus name comes from the Greek words hemera for “day” and kallos for “beauty”. This refers to the fact that each flower lasts just one day, opening at sunrise and withering at sunset, often being replaced by a bud on the same stem and opening the next day. The species epithet, fulva, refers to the flower’s reddish-yellow, orange or tawny amber color. Although assumed by many to be native to the United States, the orange daylily’s native range is Asia, including China and Japan, and was introduced into North America from Asia in the late 1800’s as an ornamental. Since then, plant breeders have now registered over 40,000 cultivars, all of which have “ditch lily” genes and all of which have the potential to spread just like the original has.
Interestingly, all parts of the daylily are edible, and plants have been cultivated for thousands of years in Asia for food. Flower buds are frequently cooked, served with butter and said to taste like green beans or wax beans. The leaves, shoots and flowers can be eaten raw or cooked when very young. However, the flowers taste better when cooked and can be fried for storage or dried and used as a thickener in soups. The rhizomes can be chopped and cooked like potatoes and claim to be as sweet as sweet corn. The tuberous roots have a nutlike flavor and can be eaten raw or roasted. In fact, in its homeland, China and Japan, the orange daylily is more than just another pretty flower; the buds have been roasted and eaten as part of the Asian diet for centuries. As appetizing as this all sounds, I prefer my common orange daylilies alive and growing in the ground!
Stay well, stay safe and watch out for what you eat!
Elaine Frongillo, President
This month’s arrangement was created by Joy Shipp
There is a sign-up sheet at the back at the room for the ladies who would like to make an arrangement to go on the podium for one of our monthly meetings later this year. Any questions please call Joy.
Immediate opening for the Chair or Co-Chair of the Conservation Committee. This committee provides a year-round emphasis on environmental issues and concerns. At our members’ meetings, you and your committee members present helpful, interesting ways to bring conservation into our daily lives by simply reporting a conservation fact or demonstrating a helpful example to better the environment. You and your committee may wish to arrange conservation walks throughout the year. This position is kind to your knees and back as there is no heavy lifting. If you care for our environment, wish to be more involved in a less physical way and work with wonderful committee members, this position is for you. Please see me for additional information.
Elaine Frongillo, President
We have three new members joining the Garden Club this fall. Contact information is in the Handbook.
David Becker He is on the Civic Beautification Committee
Lindsay McGrath She is on the Hospitality and Ways and Means Committees
Arman Sharma He chose the Herb Garden and Web Committees
Starting this year, a member who brings a guest to a meeting who then becomes a member will receive a gift certificate to Green Spot.
Guests attending a meeting will be given a lavender sachet made by Eileen West as a reminder of our club.
Pam Innamorati, Membership Chair
PROGRAM: As it has become our custom, this month's luncheon is brought to you by the Board to welcome old members back and to introduce new members. We hope you enjoy meeting up with or catching up with friends and have "Fun" which we hope to put more of in our activities this year.
October's program will feature. Ann Firth on garden color through all seasons.
Kiki Becker and Cheryl Ryan, Co-Chairs
The opening program meeting (9/19/23) and the Transfer Station dates and times have been posted on the web site. The full schedule of meetings and events will be posted when it is made available after the 9/19 meeting. Images from the summer have been posted on the web site and the Facebook page.
Regina Mullen, Chair
Have you ever wished you had an extra pair of hands, garden fairy's hands, to help you out? Think of this "Wish List" as your invitation to be that magical helper who steps out of the comfort zone and into a community.
Do you enjoy writing out birthday cards? Come to a fun gathering (TBD) and help write out welcome cards for new Yarmouth residents. See Diane Tlapa
Don't have enough weeds or plants to plant? Lend your hands to our horticulture beauticians. They can always can use more hands. See Jan Brogan
Are you passionate about conservation on Cape? Why not enlighten us with a valuable Conservation Minute at our meetings? See Elaine Frongillo
Love a day trip with friends ...a lot of them and are great at organizing trips? Maybe you and a team of helpers could bring back our horticulture outing. See Elaine Frongillo
Are you or do you know a supporter who'd volunteer to maintain our irrigation systems as a community service or at a discount? See Jan Brogan.
Graphic Designer & Writer
Are you a wordsmith, designer, or a bit geeky and love a challenge? At times we need folks with the magic to creatively take pop-up ideas to the next level web designer and folks to send it out into the world. Just because we serve on the Board that doesn't mean we're all naturals!