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June 2024 Updates and Events Concord Garden Club


Up Next:

CGC Annual Meeting - RSVP ASAP!!!

As a treat for our 100th Concord Garden Club Annual Meeting luncheon, Author and Humorist Neal Sanders will entertain us with his presentation “Garden is Murder”.


Neal speaks from a ‘husband’s point of view’ of gardening.  His presentation is filled with humor and insight from someone who gardens less from an abiding love of horticulture than for the love of a spouse.  Good horticultural advice is dispensed, bad advice is debunked.  Our members will leave with a better appreciation of what is going on in the mind of their helpmates. 


Neal will talk about….

·       Why it is impossible to do just one thing in the garden

·       Why so much gardening information on the internet is awful

·       Why you should never compute the value of your labor in gardening

·       Evidence that the wildlife in your garden have never seen a Disney film

·        Why it requires digging three holes to plant something

·       And much more…


Neal is also an author of 15 mystery themed books, a number of them centered around the bond of members of the Garden Club Gang but also another, stronger bond: each book centers on strong, independent women.  Some of those women solve crimes.  Some of them commit them. Some did both.  Neal will be bringing copies of his books to the luncheon to sell. To review titles and synopsis of the titles, go to: The Hardington Press – The home of mystery writer Neal Sanders

Thursday, June 6 2024


Kimball Jenkins Estate

Members Only -- RSVP here 

Registration Closes May 31st


If you are unable to attend the Annual Meeting but wish to remain a member of the Concord Garden Club, please pay your annual dues as soon as possible.

Our online payment system is currently offline, so your $75 check for the upcoming year should be made out to "Concord Garden Club", noted with"2024-25 dues" in the memo section.

Please mail to our treasurer:

Gretchen Coughlin

95 Kimball Pond Road

Canterbury, NH


Thank you!


May Meeting recap -

Sanborn Mills Farm Tour

Threatening weather held off, and over two dozen members and guests enjoyed a tour of the Sanborn Mills Farm's beautifully designed and realized gardens and grounds. Led by Sanborn Mills' head gardener, Helen Westergren, the tour was informal and information-packed -- Helen has intimate knowledge of all the plants on the grounds and shared freely what has worked for their conditions and what hasn't. She invited us all back to observe the garden changes throughout the growing season, noting that the farm, which has an educational mission focusing on traditional farming and crafts, is open to the public from 10-3 daily. Check their website for more information.

Thanks to Ruth Perencevich for organizing this event.


September - Save the Date!

Plan to join the fun at our Centennial Celebration Cocktail Party!

Members and their spouses/partners only

Friday, September 6th


1 Auburn Street, Concord

The home of Tricia Wentworth and Mark Fagan

Details to follow


Hospitality Request

In an effort to be green during our future social events, we have decided to collect plates to use and reuse as needed. We are looking for 6-8" plates (chipped or imperfect is okay!) which we will first use at our 100th anniversary cocktail party at Tricia Wentworth's house in September. Please look in your cupboards and donate whatever extra you have. We are looking to accumulate about one hundred plates. Gena ( and Tricia ( will be accepting donations through the spring.

Thank you in advance.



The gardeners of the Community Service Committee have been busy at work in the Peace Pole Garden at White's Park. Take a swing by to enjoy the newly tended-to garden! Updating of this garden will take place throughout the summer. Thanks to Melissa Smart for organizing this enthusiastic work team.

Seasonal changes in decor at the Friendly Kitchen continue, thanks to Debbie Carley and her team.

Additionally, the Community Service Committee has recommended to the Board that the focus of our Polly Perry funds for 2024 should be a refresh of the entrance gardens at the Concord Public Library. Jeanie West has very ably led this project. Watch for the transformation!


JUNE Chores for Flower Gardens

SOME PERENNIALS MAY be so tired they need a full cutback now or soon. Perennial geraniums, particularly the great groundcover Geranium macrorrhizum and extra-handsome G. phaeum, are like that. You sometimes have to make things worse for the garden to look better in the long run.

LET ANNUAL GERANIUMS, which are technically in the genus Pelargonium, dry between waterings for best results.

SOME SPRING WILDFLOWERS can be multiplied by simple division around this time of year, including trilliums, and others can be divided in fall. Here is how expert Carol Gracie does it


DEADHEAD ANY messy-looking bulbs as blooms fade, but continue to leave bulb foliage intact to wither and ripen the bulbs naturally. Deadhead spring-flowering perennials unless they have showy seedheads (same with bulbs), or you want to collect seed later (non-hybrids only).

TENDER BULBS like dahlias, cannas, caladiums, gladiolus and such should be in the ground, but with the glads, you can stagger flower harvest by planting a row every two weeks until the start of July.

ARE ANNUAL VINES getting the support they need, whether twine, wire, lattice? What about perennial ones like clematis? Expert tips are in this Q&A.

PREPARE NEW BEDS by smothering grass or weeds with layers of recycled corrugated cardboard, heavy construction paper or thick layers of newspaper, then put mulch on top.

EDGE BEDS to make a clean line and define them, and keep edges clean with regular fine-tuning with grass shears. A well-cut edge (along with mulch touchups) makes a big difference in how the garden looks.

HAVING DESIGN ISSUES, with the yard just not hanging together visually? Landscape architect Thomas Rainer offers some valuable tips on reducing lawn areas and massing plants for visual impact, and designer and nursery owner Katherine Tracey tells us how to critique our own yards.

trees & shrubs

BE ON THE LOOKOUT anytime for dead, damaged, diseased wood in trees and shrubs and prune them out as discovered. Ditto suckers and water sprouts. Complete pruning tips are here.

SPRING-FLOWERING SHRUBS like lilacs get pruned now. Later pruning (after about July 4th in Zone 5B) risks damage to emerging buds for next year’s blooms. Clean up unsightly deadheads of other big bloomers like rhododendron if you care to, and other things that don’t make showy fruit next–anything where leaving behind the faded blooms just looks messy. With fruiting things (roses that make nice hips, viburnums, you get the idea…) faded flowers are left intact to set beautiful, bird-feeding fruit.

MULCH AROUND WOODY PLANTS after cleaning away weeds and grass, but no volcano mulch (meaning no piling thick mulch up against trunks). Two inches depth or slightly less is plenty, starting several inches or so away from trunks.

THROUGH THE END OF JULY, softwood cuttings of Buddleia, Weigela, Rose-of-Sharon and roses, among other shrubs, can be taken to propagate more plants inexpensively.

Gardening advice courtesy of Margaret Roach's website, A Way to Garden.

For additional useful gardening information, visit her full site here



For the peony lovers amongst us, now is your moment -- so here's some information you can use from Kathleen Gagan of Peony's Envy, a specialist peony grower in New Jersey. Her website is full of useful peony growing tips and details about peonies as cut flowers, such as:

  • You can harvest 100% of the flowers if you know how much stem to take

  • How to refrigerate buds for a couple of days, weeks or months

  • What to do with sidebuds

  • When and how to deadhead

  • How to know when to cut your herbaceous peony: The sepals are the green "petals" that encase the flower bud.  As the bud expands, the sepals no longer cover the entire bud.  Herbaceous peonies should be picked when the sepals have a little "lift"  Lift is when you can comfortably slide a fingernail between the top of the sepal and the bud.  The bud will not yet be open at this stage which means there won't be any pesky ants on the flowers.  Obviously you can harvest at any time after this, but there will be ants and a shorter vase life.  If you harvest before you have lift you won't be guaranteed that the buds will open.


To receive Granite State Gardening, an incredibly informative and useful hyper-local monthly gardening recap email from UNH Extension, complete this online form.


Members may be interested in these upcoming classes offered at Bedrock Gardens in Lee, NH, which is another good local resource and was the site of our June field trip last year. The garden's Executive Director John Forti was our March 2023 speaker.


Community Corner

Kimball Jenkins needs your help!

Please join us for a morning of spring clean up at the Kimball Jenkins perennial gardens on Thursday, May 30 or Friday, May 31 from 9:00 am to 12 pm.  Please bring weeders, trowels and your favorite tools, although some tools are available for use.  We'll be back for a second round on Thursday, 13 or Friday, June 14. Kimball Jenkins has been a host for many Garden Club events, and most recently a great partner for Art and Bloom. 

Unable to make one of these dates but still interested in lending a hand?  Call or text Gayle Kimball at 603.848.0566.


Garden Conservancy open days

 If you love visiting beautiful gardens, The Garden Conservancy's Open Days are for you. The Open Days, which have already started for 2024, are held at private gardens all over the country and provide a rare opportunity to see spectacular gardens which are otherwise closed to the public.

To see the local schedule, visit The Garden Conservancy  and select New Hew Hampshire from the "State" drop menu.

There will several NH gardens on show throughout this summer, but of particular interest to us is Michael and Betsy Gordon’s garden in Peterborough (pictured above) on the August 24th Open Day, as Michael will be our November program speaker, and his garden will be the topic of his presentation.

Also of interest on the 24th are the wonderful Fry Garden (also in Peterborough) and two other special gardens, Skatutakee Farm in Hancock and Nan Quick's in Jaffery, the creation of which is documented on

Tickets for this Open Day will be available on Monday, June 3.


Guns to Gardens

Guns to Gardens provides an opportunity for community members to safely dispose of unwanted firearms without putting them back out on the market. This novel program has been held in several other states, and we are excited to bring it to New Hampshire for a 2nd year now. Community members are encouraged to bring an unwanted, unloaded firearm to be dismantled into useful things, like art or garden tools!

Guns to Gardens is hosted by GunSense NH, a project of Granite State Progress and Engage New Hampshire, the NH Council of Churches, Kent Street Coalition, and other members of the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition.  


We will be holding our second annual Guns to Gardens event on

Saturday, June 8th, 2024,

10am to 1pm. 

Wesley United Methodist Church parking lot,

79 Clinton Street


This event provides an opportunity for Granite Staters to voluntarily surrender firearms that they no longer want and do not wish to sell or put back into circulation. Under state law, New Hampshire law enforcement must either store firearms voluntarily surrendered to them, use them, or sell them back out on the market. Guns to Gardens helps take unwanted firearms off the market by repurposing them into something more useful, and less harmful, to our community.  Sign up to support Guns to Gardens here:





Saturday, June 15 -- 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Join us for a day with the experts to talk about all your gardening dreams!

During this special full-day workshop, we’ll hear from Page DickeyEdwina von GalHelen O’Donnell, and John Gwynne, innovative thinkers on gardening into the future.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Harris Center, Hancock, NH.  

A brown bag lunch by Fiddleheads Cafe will be provided, and regional nursery vendors will be on site. Coffee, tea, and snacks will be served starting at 9 a.m., with opening remarks starting at 10 a.m.

Cost: $100 per person for Harris Center supporters / $110 per person for all others

If you need lodging for this event, some local options are: 

Space is limited, and registration is required. 

For questions about registration, contact Miles Stahmann.

For all other information, including questions about accessibility, contact Susie Spikol.

Susie Spikol


Community Programs Director and Naturalist

Harris Center for Conservation Education

Hancock, NH 03449

(603)525.3394 ext 111


The New London Garden Club has invited us to attend their upcoming Garden Tour:


American Waterscapes, a woman-owned business in Andover NH specializing in the creation of ponds and waterfalls, has invited us to attend this informational day

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