Meeting Calendar

We meet the second Monday of each month (please note exceptions), September through June, at Center Congregational Church, 11 Center Street, Manchester, CT. Meetings begin at 7:00 pm (doors open 6:45 pm). Parking is next door behind the Manchester Town Hall. We welcome guest attendance.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
Bonsai Basics: Illusion vs. Reality
Todd Hansen will be discussing design and horticultural techniques in an engaging look into plants in extreme containers. Todd has been a guest lecturer on Bonsai at the Connecticut Flower Show, is the past President of the Bonsai Society of Greater Hartford, and has formal Bonsai training and years of dedicated independent study with Bonsai masters from around the world. He says anyone that can grow a houseplant can grow a Bonsai….you just need a little more information.

OCTOBER 16, 2017
Holiday Magic
Gary Zinsmeyer will show the latest trends and tricks and magic for the holiday season, using new materials and containers and mechanics. The arrangements will feature this year’s color trend colors and combinations, and Gary will use some very special containers. Gary is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Life Sciences and Agriculture and has been designing floral arrangements for over 30 years. Gary runs his own business, Gary Z's of Stamford, and in addition to designing, enjoys teaching and educating on a range of topics.

NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Compost Happens
Carol Quish covers the hows and whys of making composting including the scientific reasons. Basics, practical advice and troubleshooting compost pile problems will be covered. Carol is a horticulturist at the UConn Home and Garden Education Center. She provides plant disease diagnosis and insect identification, and answers plant and pest questions via a toll free phone line, email, and in person. Carol has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Turfgrass Management from UConn. Her certifications include Advanced Master Garden, Master Composter, and CT Nursery and Landscape Association Professional.

DECEMBER 11, 2017
Holiday Party

JANUARY 8, 2018
Sustainable Landscaping
Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN will discuss how to decrease lawn and create edible landscapes while conserving water, soil, and improving biodiversity. Judith is a Master Gardener and teacher with more than 20 years experience developing workshops and classes, speaking and writing about holistic health, edible and medicinal plants, dreams, and more. She has degrees in nursing and nutrition science, and has taught holistic health studies and nutrition science at both university and college levels. As a Master Gardener, Judith gives talks on wild edible and medicinal plants, landscape sustainability, and creating meadows throughout the East coast.  

FEBRUARY 12, 2018
Cacti and Succulents for Connecticut Homes
Dr. Matthew Opel will bring a diverse collection of living cacti and succulents, suitable for windowsill cultivation, and discuss water, light, soil and fertilizer needs. The focus will be on plants that are suitable for those just starting out in the C&S hobby, but there will be exotic oddities to see, as well. Matt will also bring examples of succulents that are winter-hardy in our area, assuming he can chip the pots out of the snow and ice. Matt studied biology and botany at Cornell University. He received a doctorate from the University of Connecticut after completing studies of the genus Conophytum. Matt is a horticulturist at the University of Connecticut, at the Biodiversity Education and Research Greenhouses. He has published articles about South African desert plants and given lectures on botanical topics to plant societies throughout the Northeast and in California.

MARCH 12, 2018
Victorious Vegetables!
Michael A. Russo is the owner, "farmer- florist " and creative force behind Trout Lily Farm. Recently retired from 33 years in a career as an art educator, Michael is also a certified CT Master Gardener. As a long time member of CTNOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers Association), he is a conscientious grower and maintains a "green" perspective when designing for his clients or growing wholesome produce for his customers. Michael is always looking ahead to what’s next in the floral and organic food universe and is excited about sharing his ideas, designs and concepts with you.

APRIL 9, 2018
Create Butterfly and Bird Habitats in Your Own Backyard! 
Lisa Turoczi co-owner of Earth Tones, LLC, Native Plant Nursery and Landscapes in Woodbury, Connecticut will discuss how to create a backyard oasis for our beloved winged creatures. There are few "wild" places left in New England, most of which have been manipulated over time, resulting in a decline in the natural balance of our ecosystems. Birds and butterflies, however, rely heavily on the native plants. By learning how to observe the natural world around us, we can begin to understand the important dynamics native plants play in their ecoregions. We will explore the native plants that provide the most food, and shelter for the birds and butterflies throughout the season!

MAY 14, 2018
Changing Land, Changing Wildlife 
Connecticut's landscape has changed dramatically over the last 500 years, from forest, to field, to thicket, and back to forest. As the land has changed so has our wildlife. Learn how our current land use practices impact our wild areas. What is the effect of severe winter on wildlife? What are the effects of global warming? Explore how we can assure a healthy environment for future generations. Margery Winters is the Assistant Director and instructor at Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton and manages their native plant gardens. She is past chairman of the Federated Garden Club Landscape Design Study Program and is a Master Landscape Design Consultant. Margery serves as chairman on Simsbury Inland Wetland/Conservation Commission, was a past member the Simsbury Open Space Committee, and is currently the vice president of the Simsbury Land Trust. Margery holds a Master’s degree from Queen’s University, Canada and a Bachelor’s degree from Miami University, Ohio in Physical Geography/Geology. 

JUNE 11, 2018
Members' Year-End Party