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The Official Publication of
The Federated Garden Clubs
of New York State, Inc.



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FGCNYS Annual Meeting
March 28-29
Pearl River Hilton
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The official publication of:

The Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc.

104 F Covent Gardens,
Guilderland, NY 12084 


Phone and Fax: 
The office is open Tuesday, Wednesday,  Thursday of each week from 9 am to 4 pm

The Federated Garden Clubs 
of New York State, Inc., was founded in 1924 and incorporated in 1930 for the purpose of supporting the Garden Clubs of New York State. The FGCNYS presently includes 300 garden clubs with 9,000 members across the state.  


Membership in the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc. offers garden club members the opportunity and privilege of participating with others in advancing and promoting the objectives and purposes for which the State Federation was formed: 
Scholarship Benefactor's Fund




Glenville Garden Club in memory of Judy Ralston


In memory of Rachel Kitchen from her Garden Club


Garden Lover's Club
Three Village Garden Club
Ithaca Garden Club


Maryann Jumper as an honorarium for Elaine DiPietro and Louise Farmer


Memorium from Maryann Jumper for Betty Nosbisch 


Eleanor Holls
Memorium from 
Mary Piraino for 
Angela Doglio

To make a contribution for the Scholarship Benefactors Fund, contact Elaine DiPietro 

National Garden Week

June 3-9, 2012 


submitted by Elaine DiPietro  


It's never too early to plan events in your community to celebrate National Garden Week. This is a great time to help others become informed and involved with garden club goals. It is our responsibility to offer educational programs and promote gardening, no matter how big or small, and environmental responsibility to our communities and families. Share the joy of all the garden related activities with schools, churches, retirement homes, scouts, libraries, night school classes, civic clubs and all your friends and neighbors.




A Garden Week Proclamation signed by your mayor. A program at your local library, etc. on your club's connection to your community and how your whole community could work together for the good of all. For instance, start a community garden. Donate gardening books to the library. Make an educational exhibit of gardening books. Sponsor a mini-flower show. Place arrangements in various businesses, public buildings or nursing homes, hospitals, and libraries. Sponsor an activity in a nursing home with potting plants. Beautify a blighted area, or beautify an area in memory or honor of someone. Organize a garden tour.  
Welcome to THE NEWS ONLINE. Communciation between our members is critical to FGCNYS. You can help us by forwarding this newsletter to garden clubbers who may not be on our mailing list. Simply click on the links to the left. 
Articles and photos of interest to our members may be sent anytime. 
Anne Dyet, Editor
President's Message 
FGCNYS President Pam Foehser

Just as we thought the bad weather was behind us for awhile and we were catching up getting our gardens ready for the long winter sleep many received an early greeting from the winter miser. As gardeners we can survive anything that Mother Nature wants to challenge us with.
The past summer many of our communities suffered damage from Irene, Lee and flooding , at the Fall Conference funds were collected to help those communities. The following was adopted by the FGCNYS Board of Directors: "Garden club Presidents are invited to submit a request for use amount of money not to exceed $317 for a project to benefit an area in New York affected by one of its 2011 Natural Disasters. This request must be in writing, submitted to the FGCNYS Treasurer by March 1, 2012 and outline the purpose for which the funds will be used. Distribution will be determined by the FGCNYS Finance Committee".

FGCNYS Annual Meeting will be held on March 27-29, 2012 at the Hilton in Pearl River, NY On Tuesday night March 27 we will be going to New York City for dinner and the Broadway Show "Anything Goes." Information can be found on FGCNYS Web site for the conference and al the other wonderful happenings throughout New York.
Come and join us for a fun filled conference and the fellowship.

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and a fruitful one.

Joan H. Baden, Rose Expert,Receives Horticulture Achievement Award from the 

Monroe County Fair Flower and Vegetable Show


Submitted by Arlene Cuff


The Monroe County Fair Flower and Vegetable Show benefits from our area's rich heritage of horticulture and the experts who practice it.  This year we initiate an annual Horticulture Achievement Award to honor horticulture contributors to the fair.


Considerations for this award include demonstrated excellence in a field of horticulture,acknowledged expertise by local, state or national societies and clubs, significant involvement in the Flower and Vegetable Show of the Monroe County Fair, participation in community, society and club activities, and involvement in activities supporting advancement of youth.


The first annual Horticulture Achievement Award honors Joan H. Baden.


For more than fifty years, Joan has been a lecturer and teacher with the 7th District of the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc.  She has been an active member of the Country Gardeners of Webster Garden Club and the Rochester Rose Society, holding many positions in both organizations.  She is a former District Director  of 7th District Federated Garden Clubs of NYS, Inc., past regional director of the Central Atlantic Region and former Board member of the National Council of Garden Clubs. Joan is a National Garden Club Master Judge Emeritus, Master Landscape Design Consultant Emeritus and an American Rose Society judge in horticulture and design. She has served on several other local, state and regional boards.


As a consulting Rosarian of the American Rose Society, Joan has the expanded title Master Rosarian.  This is a working honor involving writing of articles, lecturing, participation in seminars and demonstrations. 


Joan has judged our Flower and Vegetable Show for more than ten years. She has a keen interest in advising exhibitors how to nurture flowers of all kinds and how to prepare them for exhibit.  The gardens at her home reflect her skill and hard work. We are honored to have the contribution of this renowned expert for our Monroe County Fair Flower and Vegetable show. 


We are especially pleased to acknowledge Joan Baden with our first annual Horticulture Achievement Award.


Meet your FGCNYS Elected Officers..


Charlotte Spiers, Treasurer



Charlotte is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics.  She moved to New York from Illinois when she married her husband Thomas and no longer considers herself a Mid-westerner, but a New Yorker.  They have three children and two grandchildren.  She joined the Hopp Ground Garden Club of Bedford in 1994 and has served as Vice-President and President and has been chairman of several committees including Horticulture, Design and Civic Beautification.  She is an Accredited Flower Show Judge.  Before becoming District Director she was Assistant 

Treasurer and then Treasurer of the 9th District.  She is looking forward to meeting  and working with many wonderful gardeners and designers throughout the state during her term as Treasurer of FGCNYS, Inc. 

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Meet and Greet your New York State Officers

Editor's note: All FGCNYS Officers and Directors are encouraged to send biographical information and a photo, if available, to


 Gail McGee, First Vice President

A life long resident of New York State, Gail graduated from State University of NY at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design. Married for 38 years, she and her husband Dennis have a daughter, Jennifer, a Marine Biologist. 


As the former FGCNYS Treasurer and World Gardening Chairman, she belongs to the Bowmansville Garden Club . Before becoming the District 8 Director, she served the District Board as Secretary and First Assistant Director. An accredited Master Flower Show Judge, she is also a Landscape Design Consultant, National Gardening Consultant, NYS Horticulture Judge, as well as a FGCNYS and National Life Member.

Patricia J. Cargnoni, President of FGCNYS, Inc. 1993-1995

Assistant Treasurer and Protocol Chairman, FGCNYS, Inc. 2009-2013 


Pat will continue to serve as CAR Pressbook Chair and National Garden Clubs Habitat for Humanity Chair. For the term 2011-2013 Pat will also serve as the Home Chairman for Director, Jeanne Nelson's theme: GARDENING WITH PRIDE, HONORING HOME, COMMUNITY & COUNTRY. Pat is a Charter member (1969) of the Macedon Garden Club, Macedon, N.Y., and is an Environmental Consultant. She is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology and recently retired after a thirty year career in the medical field.  Pat enjoys her leisure time gardening, reading, traveling and spending summers on Keuka Lake with her husband, children and five grandchildren.





submitted by Aurralie Logan  


At the FGCNYS Fall Conference in Rochester there was an elaborate exhibit featuring various invasive plants.  However, nowhere was mentioned two that are growing with especial exuberance this year along our roadsides - both natives: ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), and goldenrod (Solidago spp.).  Of course we enjoy goldenrod, and there are many commercially developed cultivars available, but left to themselves, the native Solidago canadensis and S. rigida can both be definitely invasive, but we're not complaining about those.  On the other hand, ragweed does not have lovely flowers, and causes us much misery.  Why is it not at the top of invasive lists?  Goldenrod and ragweed bloom at thAe same time, and goldenrod's brilliant blossoms are eyecatching, thus it has been blamed for hay fever, when ragweed is the real culprit. 


The most that can be said for ragweed's appearance is that it has an intricately toothed leaf.  The bloom is a totally undistinguished greenish spray of tiny florets that produce ample quantities of the pollen that cause our runny noses and itchy eyes.  Contact with the plant can also cause a skin rash.


Ambrosia is a widespread genus of the Asteraceae family.  Although 21 species of Ambrosia occur in North America, most of the allergies are caused by A. artemisiifolia and A. trifida.  These two species account for more hay fever than all other plants together. Both are pioneer plants that are well adapted to invading disturbed soils. In natural habitats these species are restricted; however, in areas where human intervention has cleared existing vegetation, ragweed quickly becomes established.


Although the name, "hay fever" alludes to the "haying" season (i.e., fall), people often refer to allergies experienced at any time of year as "hay fever." Thus birch trees, for example, are spoken of as a major source of hay fever in eastern North America, even though the hay fever resulting from their pollen occurs in spring, not fall.


The male Ambrosia flower produces much more pollen than the female flowers need. This type of plant depends on wind pollination since very few insects are attracted to this plant. The over-production of pollen insures the survival of the plant. One plant is capable of producing a billion pollen grains in one season. To put this in perspective, corn may only produce 4 million pollen grains in a season. Once the pollen production has begun, ragweed season does not stop until the first frost kills the plant. The pollen is so lightweight that the wind can carry it for hundreds of miles.

  Oddly enough, the scientific name, Ambrosia, was the special food eaten by the Greek gods to make them live forever. Virtually no animal browses the species, and they do not attract many insects. Artemisiifolia refers to the similarity to Artemisia foliage.  Many species are adapted to the arid climates of the desert.  Burrobush  (Ambrosia dumosa) is one of the most arid-adapted perennials in North America. About 10 species occur in the Sonoran Desert.


Although it is noted that ragweed grows in bean and corn fields and is responsible for reducing the yields of those crops, no definite method of eradication is designated.  Since so much pollen is produced, the plant cross-pollinates easily, causing genetic diversity which makes it harder for herbicidal effectiveness to continue.  It is said that if the plant, being annual, is cut down before it blooms and pollen is produced, hay fever may be reduced, but since pollen travels such great distances, just cutting the ragweed in your own vicinity is no real remedy.  Also though the plant dies with the first frost, the seeds can lie dormant in the soil for years and then grow when the conditions become ideal.


On a positive note, ragweed pollen travels best on dry, windy days.  When the humidity rises above 70%, the pollen tends to clump up and is not so likely to be airborne.  The ragweed we see this fall growing beside the roads everywhere is tremendously thick and healthy looking, but the extreme amount of rainfall we have had in the past six weeks may have been a blessing for hay fever victims, even if it has brought us woes in other areas such as wet basements and flooded gardens.


Birds, Bats, and Bugs
submitted by Diane Slavin

Each month I get interesting facts from the DEC website Fieldnotes. These articles are short and very interesting. Here are just a few of the ones that I thought you'd like.


Skunks, ok - here are some things that you can learn about skunks besides their repulsive smell.
Striped skunks are known for their marksmanship. They can accuately reach it's 'prey' with a spray of up to 10 feet! Be careful!! It is a memeber of the weasel family, which includes mink, otter, fisher and marten. The Latin name for skunk, Mephitis, means 'double foul odor'.


The Northern Mockingbird can learn to imitate individal songs of many birds as well as expertly mimic sounds of rsty hinges, cacklinghens and barking dogs. Males can learn p to 150 or more different types of songs throughout their lifetime.


Sea Turltes arrive in NY in late June as the water temps rise. By mid-November they migrate south in search of warmer waters. If they do not leave in time, they get stunned by NY cold waters leaving them immobile and stranded. If you see a stranded turtle on NY beaches call the Riverhead Foundation Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Hot Line at 631-369-9829.


Long Island is a popular summer destination for sea turtles. Out of 7 species of sea turtles loggerhead, hemp ridley, green and leatherback are among the most frequent visitors to NY coastal salt waters.


Favorite meal for the leatherback is jellyfish. Plastic bags and balloons are mistaken for jellyfish and injested. This creates obstruction in turtles digestive path and causes death. Please help his ancient turtle and other marine animals by using re-usable cavas tote bags rather than plastic.


Lighting bugs, the twinkling insect, are more related to a beetle than a fly. There are about 175 different species of fireflies in the US. Each one uses a specific "morse code" flash to attract the right species as a mate. Some mimic and alter their flashing code to lure in another species to eat as a meal. Sad to say that their populations are declining over the years. 


New Invasive Insect

  Submitted by Lyn Chimera  


The Brown Marmorated Stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys) is an invasive species from Asia, first documented in Pennsylvania in 2001.  It has spread across several Eastern states including NYS.  A BMSB was brought into the Erie Co. Extension Center in E. Aurora from Orchard Park this summer.


THE BMSB is a very aggressive pest though not harmful to people. Host plants include a variety of fruit and shade trees as well as other woody ornamentals and legumes.


The name of this stinkbug comes from its coloration. The adult insect is about inches long and is dark brown. The last 2 segments of the antennae are alternating light and dark bands. The edges around the abdomen also have light and dark bands.


BMSB may enter homes in the fall to seek shelter for the winter. If you find a suspected stinkbug please take it to your local Cooperative Extension. Cornell is closely monitoring the spread of this newest invasive.



A Bit about Bittersweet
by Susan Loughran

As we all know the oriental bittersweet, Celastrus orbiculatus is not native and is invasive and the American bittersweet,
Celastrus scandens
, is not invasive. But, because these two vines are hard to tell apart at first glance, they both have basically been barred from being shown at NGC flower shows.
We can, of course, still grow them for our own pleasure.

The good news is that I have found a source not only for the species Celastrus scandens but for a hybridas well. The
hybrid is called Autumn Revolution
(TM)bittersweet. It's botanical name is Celastrus scandens 'Bailumn'. One would be able to show the hybrid in any NGC flower show. The berries on the hybrid do look different from the species, but they appear ( in the catalog) to be very decorative looking.
   You can find both vines sold as bareroot plants in J.W. Jung Seed Co.'s catalog (ph: 800-247-5864) or online at for the American Revolution hybrid; or at for the species.
   I have purchased from this company before and have had no problems.
   Hope this information is helpful and perhaps you can pass it on to your club members who may be interested in this vine. 


by Carolyn Pinto


MARY E. SLIFER MEMORIAL GARDEN originated in 1975 as a wildflower garden and then upon Mary's death in January 1978 at the age of 92, the garden was modified and native ferns, her favorite interest, were especially emphasized. Other attractive plants were included to add color from March to November.

It was a lifelong dream of Mrs. Walter B. Slifer to have a native plant garden in Rochester. She was a charter member of the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society and was instrumental in its preservation. She was also the state conservation chairman for the Federated Garden Clubs of New York State, Inc. and a member of several other notable and worthwhile organizations.

The garden has been maintained through the years by members of seventh district's garden clubs and for the last 10 years has been maintained by district seven's Landing Rock Garden Club. It is in excellent condition, and there are plans for soil amendments and additions of new plants for 2009.   



Email Etiquette for Gardeners
by Joel Heffner
Editor's Note: Joel Heffner is corresponding Secretary for the Annadale Garden Club. We welcome his contributions to THE NEWS ONLINE>

More and more gardeners are becoming computer savvy. Although the Web gets most of the attention, email gets the most action. There are literally millions of pieces of email sent each day. Unfortunately, many who send email aren't aware of the basic etiquette involved. There are some basic rules to follow when sending email. Here are some of the basics of email etiquette.

1. Don't send mass email to folks who don't want to receive it. That's called spamming and is probably the single-most hated thing on the Internet.

2. DON'T USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS! On the Internet, that is considered as shouting. It's also harder to read all capital letters.

3. Keep your messages short. Email is considered to be much less formal than sending a letter. Get to the point as soon as possible.

4. Use the Subject line to let folks know what the message is about. Try to make it interesting and short.

5. Spell check your email. Since your message is a reflection of yoursef, it is oftentimes the first (and often only) way that you can make a good first impression.

6. When sending messages to more than one person, use blind (BCC) copies. That means that the other folks who receive your message don't see the email address of each person you are sending the message to. It also will avoid having one person return a message to all the other people who originally received it.

7. When in doubt, don't send it. Frivolous messages should be avoided. No one wants to waste time looking at messages that didn't have to be sent. It may also mean that the next time you send a message - it won't even get opened!

8. Make your email address easy to remember. An address like is much easier to remember than one like You can get customized addresses at for free. You can also have them forwarded to your other email accounts.

9. Nice emails are always appreciated. Saying thank you is always a nice thing to do whether you are using email, telephone, or a written note. Congratulating a friend who just won a flower show award is always an unexpected pleasure.

11. Some people like to use symbols like :). These symbols are used to show emotion, since it's hard to tell if someone is smiling when they say something in an email. The most commonly used symbols are:

:) Smile
:( Unhappy Face
:D Big Grin
LOL Laughing Out Loud
ROFL Rolling On The Floor Laughing

Knowing about email etiquette will help you avoid mistakes on the Internet and will make you look more professional. Gardeners, as well as everyone else, can benefit from it.


 Brent and Becky's Bulbs    Bulb Growers Since 1900



Our FGCNYS Fundraiser will help defray the cost of the National Garden Clubs, Inc.,

Buffalo 2012 Convention


Order from your free

Summer-Flowering Bulbs Catalog 2012

at (877)661-2852 or at



Here's how ...

Just go to and choose to support Federated Garden Clubs of NYS.  You will then be taken to the website of Brent and Becky's Bulbs, click on 'Catalog' and you can choose to order a catalog, download a catalog or just shop. They have a huge selection of summer bulbs, plants, perennials, supplements, books, tools, and home accessories... anything you want or need for a beautiful summer garden. 

It's as easy as a click or a phone call and a      

percentage of your sale comes back to support FGCNYS!