'A Way We Grow'
Martha's Vineyard Garden Club
April 2024
From our President...

With the change in time this past month, it seems that spring is coming a little closer. With spring, the gardens are stirring.... daffodils sending their hopeful shoots up, hellebores blooming, and buds swelling on flowering shrubs throughout my garden. Time to celebrate Spring!

DID YOU KNOW? In the early 1920's there was an enormous infestation of tent caterpillars on the island. Our newly formed Garden Club decided to do something about it! From 1927 until 1931, awards were given to school children all over the island for collecting the caterpillar nests. Tens of thousands of them were collected and destroyed! At 5 cents for 2 nests, this was a great investment in the island's tree scape.

News from the committee for our 100th anniversary: Martha's Vineyard Museum is working on a display wall in honor of our centennial. This exhibit will be hung and ready for visitors on May 22! This is a change from the initial plan of an exhibition in September. The Museum curator has become so impressed about the history of the club that she wanted to have it up during the busy time of the year. News to come about a celebratory gathering of members at the museum.

I had a wonderful time at our member meeting on March 19th at Wakeman. We had a full house of attendees, and we were all so happy to greet several new members to our club. A big thank you goes out to Vineyard Haven members for bringing all the snacks! The table was loaded and looked beautiful with potted daffodils. Please read more about the program further along in this newsletter.

There are so many other events coming up. The Pinkletinks Party, Earth Day and Climate Action Fair, and of course, Blooming Art are all in the works.
- Ty Johnston, President
Welcome to these NEW Club members for 2024!
We are thrilled that you have joined in our Centennial Year!

Kate Megan

Deborah Robertson

Vineyard Haven
Barbara Santarelli

West Tisbury
Phillip Kantoff
Lorelei Mucci
Members; if you have any questions re: this event, please reach out to either Deb or Trudy
Friday, April 5th - PINKLETINK PARTY for Martha's Vineyard Garden Club Members

CELEBRATE SPRING, Friday, April 5th from 4-6 pm...The island is our garden and we have Pinkletinks@ The Old Mill. Come out and meet them!

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS and for those who are not members that want to join the Club so they can attend this event, JOIN HERE!
Floral Design and Spring - -
A Perfect Duo!

Your Floral Design team is busy planning more fun events for our membership. Thanks to everyone for your support, and always feel free to contact Jayne or Nancy with your ideas and suggestions on all things floral!

The next Nancy’s Challenge will take place at the Membership Meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd. We will start Nancy’s Challenge at 12:45 p.m. and ask that you have your arrangements at Wakeman by 12:30 p.m. With a theme of “Almost Spring” members will be encouraged to bring an arrangement to the meeting. Nancy suggests that arrangers look beyond the most obvious, daffodils, and add to them flowering trees/shrubs such as forsythia, witch hazel, shad for examples. Also don’t forget all the beautiful new buds and leaves on interesting, shaped branches throughout the island in April. The spring greens are varied and particularly beautiful.

Off island members are encouraged to participate in Nancy’s Challenge and send a photo of their design to Jayne Isford by Sunday, April 21st for display at the meeting to floraldesign@marthasvineyardgardenclub.org. This is not a judged event, purely for joy and participating with your fellow club members! Nancy will discuss some of the different flowers, materials and techniques shown in these
spring arrangements.

Foraging Field Trip on May 7th
We will be offering a foraging field trip with Past President and Master Forager, Nancy Cabot on Tuesday, May 7th at 10:00 a.m. This event is open to the full membership. We will meet at the State Ranger’s Office in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest just off Barnes Road. Nancy will demonstrate her expertise and knowledge on this trip on the many plants, flowers and materials that are at our fingertips on the island. There is much to recognize and appreciate on our beautiful Vineyard. Wear boots and bring your phones to take photos. A detailed email will be sent with directions prior to the foraging trip. Contact Jayne Isford at floraldesign@marthasvineyardgardenclub.org with any questions.

Blooming Art Floral Design Planning is well underway, with Debbie Barrett, Fern Vaughan and Jayne Isford as Co-chairs. We will be offering several workshops for our 35 floral designers. A special time to be a floral designer in the Club’s 100th birthday year. Contact Debbie Barrett at dbarrett141@gmail.com if you would like to join our waitlist to be a floral designer this year. We need you!

Our interactive workshops have been very well received. We plan to offer another workshop in the early fall focused on fall floral arrangements, and the annual Holiday Wreath Workshop will be held again this year on Saturday, December 7th at Wakeman. Keep checking the website and your emails for ongoing updates on all things floral! CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR FLORAL DESIGN PAGE ON THE MVGC WEBSITE! - Submitted by Jayne Isford, Floral Design Chair
Our March Meeting at the Wakeman Center...Ghost Island Farm's CSA & Rusty Gordon!

Our March member meeting was nicely attended for the month of March. There were twenty-six Garden Club Members in attendance, along with three NEW 2024 Club members and one guest.

Our speaker was Rusty Gordon, grower at Ghost Island Farm in West Tisbury. Rusty's gentle demeanor and awesome sense of humor really made for a comfortable learning experience for all in attendance.

Rusty had been associated with Whippoorwill Farm before heading up Ghost Farm's team and bringing their Ghost Island Farm vision to life.

Here are a few gleaned snippets of information from Rusty's presentation:
*Ghost Farm grows 33 different varieties of tomatoes, primarily heirlooms. *Typically GF sells an average of 5000 pounds of tomatoes in one year.
*In 2023, GF sold 6000 pounds of tomatoes!
*They sell items from other small local farms via their WT farm stand.
*As a CSA member, you can choose whatever items you want to purchase at any time. No pre-determined dates/times/crops for members.
*They sell heirloom apples from nearby farms in early autumn.
*They grown flowers that CSA members can cut themselves.
*Ghost Farm will be trying out growing and possibly selling of their own farm grown oyster mushrooms in 2024.

As a CSA believer (for 20+ years when I lived in NJ!) and a member of Ghost Farm's CSA since 2021, this is great option for folks who want to support small, local farms and feel a true sense of Community in the process. Ghost Farm asks for just $250.00 to set up your account, and as you make your purchases at the farm stand, your account is deducted from. They let you know what is left in your account each time you make a purchase, and you can re-up by adding dollars as your account depletes.

Thanks so much, Rusty for demystifying CSA's for us and explaining how you at Ghost Island Farm do it! Each CSA does it differently, but your method is simply wonderful and so user-friendly! It was all-in-all a great presentation, and it was nice to see fellow Club members. Huge thanks to Vineyard Haven Club Members and to Vineyard Haven's VP , Gay Smith who gave us such a beautiful table arrangement and a lovely assortment of refreshments along with lots of yummy sweet and savory nibbles. -Submitted by Donna Arold, Communications
DON'T MISS the articles below. If they appear chopped off, just follow the instructions in the lower left hand corner of this email and click on the link that says
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From the Membership Committee...

We are happy to report that as of March 22, 161 members have joined the garden club for 2024, 36 are new to the club.  THANK YOU ALL!! We also want to remind those who have not paid their dues for this year to pay them soon. The names, email addresses, and phone numbers of the 2024 members, who gave their permission, are now on the MVGC website, which can be accessed by clicking on “Members Only”. There is a new password for 2024 which members should watch for in their email
-Linda Shaw and Susan Shea, Co-Chairmen, Membership Committee
Greenhouse Kudos!
When we were at the Wakeman Center for the Club's March meeting a group of us could not resist heading into the Greenhouse to check out what the Greenhouse Committee has been up to! These pics are just a taste of the work that has been done, but know how inspiring your work is and how much we appreciate the loving care you have all taken in cultivating these 'babies' from seeds and cuttings!

We look forward to the opportunity to purchase at our May meeting @ Wakeman along with the Plant Sale open to the public, scheduled for Memorial Weekend at The Old Mill!
Our April Meeting!
The Club's next Meeting/Program is
​Tuesday, April 23, 2024 ~
Meeting Begins @ 1:00pm at The Wakeman Center located in Vineyard Haven
Refreshments / Social Time @ 12:30

Program Topic: 'North American Trees and Shrubs in Your Garden' -
Speaker: Tim Boland, Executive Director, Polly Hill Arboretum

ALSO HAPPENING THIS DAY: Nancy's "Almost Spring" Challenge!
(MEMBERS: Come at 12:15 if you want to participate in Nancy's Challenge!)

Nancy Cabot's second Floral Challenge will take place at 12:45 p.m. prior to the business portion of the Membership meeting. The theme Nancy has chosen is “Almost Spring”. By 12:15 pm members should bring their floral interpretations to the Wakeman Center. Nancy will introduce the Challenge @ 12:45 pm
The meeting will begin @ 1:00pm at The Wakeman Center located in Vineyard Haven. Refreshments / Social Time will begin @ 12:15pm
FREE to MVGC Members / Open to non-members @ $10.00 pp
West Tisbury members and VP to provide snacks & refreshments.

At the April 23 MV Garden Club meeting, Tim Boland, Executive Director, Polly Hill Arboretum, will give a lecture, “North American Trees and Shrubs in Your Garden.” Gardeners have so many choices when growing plants in their home gardens. We often overplant trees that create too much shade to grow anything else and remove valuable native oaks that bind our island ecosystems together. North American trees and shrubs provide several outstanding choices of local and regionally adapted species that require fewer resources to maintain and offer benefits for local wildlife. For the past 15 years, the Arboretum has focused on rare local island endemic species and making them available for island gardeners. Tim will share these and other examples of using native plants that have grown at the Arboretum since its early plantings in 1958, as well as more recent additions found at the Islands living plant museum, the Polly Hill Arboretum.
-Submitted by Programs Committee Chair, Kathie Skinner
Giving Back!

I received this letter (at left!) from the MV Public Charter School via our Facebook page and thought to share it with our members this way. Let's help the kids with their vision to create a sensory garden at the school with a few simple donations... There are some 'wish list' items mentioned in the letter (at left) that I am happy to collect at our next meeting...so if there is anything you wish to contribute, please bring it to our April meeting.
I'll have a big red bucket marked 'Charter School Donations' at the meeting, so you can just drop your contributions there, and I will deliver it to Kasey, the teacher at the School once we coordinate a date and time. Do reach out to me via email if you have any questions or suggestions as to how we can further assist! Thanks in advance for your kindness!
-Submitted by Donna Arold, Communications
From Joan Eville, Windemere Chairperson

On April 10 Joan Eville and Gay Smith will lead a spring flower arranging activity at Windemere Nursing Home. Residents will design individual floral pieces for their rooms. They will also create larger presentations for each of the nurses’ stations. In addition Nancy Cabot will lead the residents in designing an art project with pussy willows as the theme. We hope the afternoon brings a breath of spring to all of the Windemere patients.
Dahlia Tubers at our March meeting!
SO! At our March meeting during social time, a kind and generous lady named Cindy Johnson (Thank You, Cindy!) stopped by with a huge brown bag of
future beauty for Garden Club members! She had read the article about our Club in the news and thought we would appreciate the dahlia tubers she dug up from her yard last year. There had to be 25 huge clumps of tubers in that bag...
and she told us all of them would grow to about 6 feet tall and all are red in color.
What a wonderful and generous surprise! We invited Cindy to stay for the meeting as a 'thank you' but she had things at home to tend to,
so she left us the bag and scooted off. We carefully separated and laid out the tuber clumps on newspaper for members to easily take home,
but without proper tools and having little time, we did our best not wanting to damage the delicate eyes that were already sprouting. Some members who took the tubers knew little about growing dahlias, so there is some helpful info about growing and / or dividing dahlia tubers below. I have had intermediate success growing this fabulous flower and noted below a few links that may also be helpful to new growers. Dahlias are a somewhat needy and high-maintenance flower to grow, but the end result really is super-rewarding! If you are a Facebook person, check out the Vineyard Dahlia Collective's Facebook page...they are an on-Island group and their Facebook page is quite inspiring!
Have Fun and Happy Growing!

A 'YOU TUBE' video on splitting dahlia tubers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQdg9sS0_DE

Dahlia Care / How To Grow Dahlias:

Dahlia Tuber and Splitting Guide:

Vineyard Dahlia Collective via Facebook

General dahlia tips:
If you want to grow dahlias, here are the basics to keep in mind:
  • Dahlia tubers need to be stored in a cool, but not freezing and high humidity environment through the winter months.
  • The tubers should be planted in full sun and well-drained soil with lots of organic matter after the risk of frost is over.
  • Make sure you do not over water dahlias after they are planted. They need very little water until the plants are at least 6”-12” tall.
  • As dahlias grow it is best to stake them so they to not fall over in the wind.
  • After 12-16 weeks they will start to produce flowers and will continue to do so all the way until your first frost.
  • The best way to extend the vase life of dahlia flowers is to make sure you keep them in clean water.
  • In the fall, after the plants die back, you can dig up the dahlia’s tubers to store them for another year.
-Submitted by Donna Arold, Communications
From Anne Kushwaha, Greenhouse Chair

The greenhouse committee is busy in the greenhouse and even though the sun has not shone as much this winter, we have a nice variety of plants growing.  Here is a teaser of what members can expect to buy at the Member's Sale on Tuesday, May 21st from 1-3pm and later at the public Plant Sale on Saturday and Sunday, May 25-26th from 10-2pm:
Geraniums, Begonias, Coleus, Cardinal flower, Echinacea, Zinnias, Cosmos, Feverfew, Coreopsis, Verbena, Lupines, Lamb's Ears, Cranebill Geraniums, red Salvia, Creeping azaleas, Hibiscus, Agapanthus, Streptocarpala, Wishbone flower, spiderwort, chives, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and lemon balm plus more!
Are you an Oyster lover & did you know?...

Having recently attended a showing of 'A Passion for Oysters' at the MV Film Center in VH, we learned there is an oyster collection station in OB!

Visit our website via this link: https://www.marthasvineyardgardenclub.org/conservation-information.html to learn where it is located and how you can help aid the oysters in reproducing!

Learn more about the Oyster project and the MV Shellfish Group here: https://www.mvshellfishgroup.org/

Learn more about Tisbury Waterways here:
Its the MV Garden Club's Centennial Year!
Be sure to renew your membership so you don't miss out on any of our
upcoming Garden Club events!

If you are not already a MV Garden Club member, DO consider joining the Club so you can share in all that we have planned!
For those folks who have not yet returned, below are some images of what is presently in bloom
around this beautiful Island!