Frosty Morning marks the End of Growing Season


Last night’s temperature dipped to 29 degrees, and our garden showed the impact this morning.

The icy crystals on the remaining plants and herbs reminded me of crystallized flowers that decorate cakes.  It is very pretty to look at as the frost clings to the edges like lace on a party dress.

It’s time now to clear the beds, we will be sowing annual rye next week and tucking the garden in for the winter. The compost is scheduled to be delivered and the bags will be placed on gardener’s beds on Thursday.

I will be in the garden Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday mornings.  If you are available to help organize the shed and a few other chores, I would appreciate the help.

We tallied the volunteer hours logged and some gardeners haven’t volunteered for the six  hours of service required of every gardener, this would be a way to make up the difference. Remember, you have to have your hours in to be eligible to keep your plot for next season.

See you at the meeting tomorrow, Wednesday night, 7 p.m. at Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street.

Warmly, Natalie



Girl Scout Artist’s work on T-Shirt

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 8.07.44 PM.pngMae Austin’s sunflower drawing took first place in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens art show and one of her prizes was having her art work printed on a T-shirt.

Last night, at the Girl Scout leaders meeting, Mae, who is seven-years-old, received her T-shirt.  She was very happy.  It was her first art show, she said.

Her mother, Kim, said Mae was a very good artist.  We can agree. Pictured above is Mae with her mother and the winning design.

Great Sunflower Wreath Making Class with Suzanne Balet-Haight

Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.56.40 PM Suzanne Balet-Haight taught a wreath making class in her greenhouse on Nelson Avenue Extension this morning using the sunflowers grown in the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens.

It was great fun and each person’s wreath came out very different.  There were Adirondack style wreaths, country cottage wreaths, and even a very elegant wreath.

What did they all had in common? Sunflowers and lots of them.

Suzanne, an excellent teacher, showed everyone the proper way to attach the sunflowers using 22 gauge wire. She demonstrated making bows with grasses and how to secure different flowers she had on hand to the grapevine wreaths. Participants used marigolds, amaranths, Dallas blue grass, cedar, statice, sedums and more.

Lots of Fun and Beautiful, Too

She began by demonstrating how to make floral sprays to attach to the wreath.  Everyone in the class heard the same instructions, but the results were an individual as the participants.  A truly creative experience.Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 1.55.30 PM

Suzanne teaches floral decorating and wreath making throughout our area. She has taught classes on creating Christmas and hydrangea wreaths, and boxwood tree centerpieces.  If you’d like to try your hand at one, contact her through her website,  Balet Flowers and Greenhouse. She is a talented artist and knowledgeable teacher.

Also, a generous one.  The proceeds of the class today were donated to the Pitney Meadows Community Gardens to put towards the Spring fairy gardens the girl scouts are creating. Thank you, Suzanne for sharing your time and talents.


Thank you to our Volunteers!

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When I arrived at the garden this morning, there was ice on the picnic tables.  Brr.

But that didn’t stop our volunteers.

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 1.28.37 PMJan. D. came by and painted “Messages” and “Chores” on the two chalkboards on the east side of the Gardener’s Shed.  This will be were we write notes to one another and where a list of tasks that need doing will be posted.

Thank you, Jan.

Chalk will be kept on the ledge so feel free to leave a note or check a task off once you complete it.

Crossing things off a list is deeply satisfying, isn’t it?

The volunteer log is now in the garage near the refrigerator. Be sure to log your hours. This shows you have fulfilled your volunteer hours commitment and also helps us when we go for grants to show the gardens have your support.

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 1.27.33 PMJan also found three caterpillars on her parsley when she cleaned she bed out.  I brought these to Rachel, a first grade teacher at the Division Street school.  She was going to see if a teacher there would be interested in fostering them. (We also brought a handful of parsley to feed them).

Painting Done

Another volunteer, Anne C. was putting the finishing touches on the farm stand shed, which is the first little building you pass on the right as you drive in pass the house. It has a large window and use to be the farm’s produce stand.

Anne has been diligently working on this building for several months along with Navy volunteers and it is now done. Thank you, Anne. It looks terrific. Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 1.26.53 PM

Other news

  • The shed floor is painted. Thank you Chris Cameron who was on hand to guide the Navy volunteers on what needed to be done and to the volunteers who did such a nice job.
  • We are looking for an electrician to do the wiring so we can put our garden equipment inside. Any suggestions?
  •  John S. finished the task of sterilizing the tomato cages for next year. Thank you.
  • Mark S. is building the children’s picnic tables for us.  When last I saw him, the tables were in pieces like a puzzle needing to be assembled. Thank you for taking this on.

If you haven’t completed your volunteer hours and you want a bed next season, please contact me soon. Natalie


Thank you, Sunflowers!



Our sunflowers worked hard for us all season.

They lured artists in from everywhere to paint, draw and take photographs.

The seed heads fed the pollinators and then the birds.  They were harvested for a wreath making class this Saturday at Suzanne Balet’s greenhouse on Nelson Avenue ext.

They were part of a grow the tallest sunflower contest. And the winning image was printed on children’s T-shirts.

Bouquets of cheerfulness were shared with volunteers and brought one person to happy tears.

But as of today the seedbeds, which had finished blooming, were removed and just the stalks remain. This was done on the west side of the garden to hold the soil in place when the winter winds blow.

Even now, they continue to give by helping us preserve the garden’s soils.



What’s the Buzz?

Why it’s the bees of course.

Take a look at the bees and butterflies enjoying our pollinator plants.  Next year, we will create four pollinator beds filled with plants the bees, butterflies and birds find appealing.

If you want to be part of the buzz, let me know. We will need help planning, purchasing and planting seeds and transplants that have been donated.  If you have plants that are suitable for this endeavor, let me know.

We have two holding beds in the gardens with perennials that will be planted for the pollinators next Spring. But, we could use liatris, butterfly weed and echinacea to name a few.  Can you help?


Thank you Navy volunteers!

The Navy has been volunteering in the community gardens all summer. What a joy to have them come every week to rake, weed, move gravel, paint and more.  They are willing hands and much appreciated.

Last week, I wanted to send a little sunshine their way and told them to gather a bouquet of the sunflowers to take home with them. And, they did.

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One volunteer gave our scarecrow a sunflower for his pocket while picking some for himself.

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 11.12.45 AM.pngThank you to all the volunteers who helped in the gardens.

You all contributed to the success and sense of community. Thank you.