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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Heirloom seeds for a Historic House

Tuesday morning was cold but that didn't stop members of the Nathan Hale Garden Club from gathering together for the first horticultural workshop of 2008.

Our club is located in the township of Huntington New York, which is a charming town on the north shore of Long Island. Our club's focus this year is "going green, the natural way". To keep with the theme, our first workshop was learning how to make newspaper pots and planting Heirloom seeds.

You can tell from our members attire that the temperatures were only around 40 degrees but that didn't stop us from rolling out those pots like a well oiled machine. Here you can see Patty showing us how nicely the bottom of the pot holds together.

Looking along our work table you can see Kim reaching for one of the tall glasses we used as the form for the pots. At first we tried different cans and bottles but these glasses turned out to be the perfect size and shape to work with.

If you scroll along my blog here you will see a list of labels at the side. Click on the one that says "Garden How To" and it will bring you to my post showing step by step instructions on making these pots.

As you can see, we quickly had quite a number of pots that were filled with lovely metro mix potting soil.

Our club is lucky to have Kim as a member, she is the driving force behind many of our projects. I'm even luckier as she is also a good gardening friend of mine and together we go on many gardening adventures. Kim ordered heirloom seeds from two locations. One set came from the gardens at Monticello and the second set came from the Seed Savers Exchange.

We were all working so hard when we suddenly heard some crashing noise through the underbrush. I quickly grabbed my camera and was lucky to get an elusive shot of jungle kitty trying to sneak up on us.

Here's Jungle Kitty looking her most ferocious. As you can see, she was only encouraged by our laughter at her antics.

Our members each took home a pan of pots with seeds. We are babysitting them until early May when they will be brought to the Kissam House in Huntington Village. The Kissam House was built in 1795 and our club has been working on planting and maintaining historical gardens at the location.

For the first two years we were happy just to clear much of the weeds and get an attractive planting started. Now we'd like to add to the gardens with heirloom plants and perhaps start adding fruit trees, shrubs and possibly a vineyard.


tina said...

that is so nice you post about this house. have you done a post about your club yet?

Vanillalotus said...

What great fun that garden club looks like. It's great you will be planting the plants in historical garden.s

Kerri said...

I think February had some warmer days than any we've had in March this spring. Brrr!
Thanks for those pot making instructions. Your meeting sounds like fun and I'm sure those Kissum House gardens will be beautiful with all that your club is planting.
That's a ferocious looking kitty! :) Great picture.

Frances, said...

What a worthwhile project, and so many dedicated members to brave the cold, a hardy lot. That is an excellent idea to get those heirloom seed grown plants for the historic house. Maybe they will self sow and give you many seedlings to work with, although it looks like you will have a good amount with your paper pots. Thanks for sharing this.
Frances at Faire Garden

Kim said...

OK, you've forced me out of lurking…The ladies are going to love this post! Thank you for the kind words, Melanie…Isn't it almost time for another adventure?

Melanie said...

Tina, I don't think I've done a post dedicated to my garden club. It would be a good idea for a future posting.

Vanillalotus, it's a great club, I've made many close friends there over the years and we always find something new and fun to do.

Kerri, I have to agree with you, March really hasn't warmed up very much for us here. Patches really is such a sweet kitty, she had us all entertained as they stalked around the garden.

Frances, we are hoping to be able to collect seeds from these plants. I will have to take some updated photos this year as we've already put some lovely things in at the Kissam House. We have a nice little kitchen herb garden right off the back door and lots of old fashioned perennials near the little red shed.

Kim, are you ready? I'm ready for an adventure! I've got one all planned, I'll give you a call and tell you all about it. We also have to plan a ride out east to visit the herb farm and the Talmadge perennial store. Shopping spree!!!

Gail said...


What a fun day...even if it was chilly. I love the heirloom seeds and look forward to any future post about planting day at Kissum House.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Melanie .. this will be a nice post to follow .. seeing how your projects with this club advance. I really have to try harder to find out about garden clubs here in Kingston .. if I had just one other garden nut like me .. I might just be brave enough ! LOL

Lin said...

How lucky you are to have such a good group of gardening friends who want to do things for the community! While I'm blessed with wonderful friends, I've found that most are not into gardening. What else does the gardening group do?

Love the photos of the cat. They do think they're little tigers, don't they?

Cinj said...

40 degrees? Sounds tropical to me. Well, maybe that's a slight exageration.... What a fun sounding group.

I love the ferocious jungle kitty picture!

I really should look harder for a gardening club over here. I guess my other friends weren't much for gardening either, here I don't really have too many friends yet. I guess I can only use the "I'm new to the area" excuse for so long....

garden girl said...

How nice it must be belonging to a garden club! It sounds like a wonderful group.

That's a really admirable project your club is involved in at the Kissam House.

I love the packages for those heirloom seeds. They're works of art themselves.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That sounds like a fun project.

I've seen a few demonstrations of the newspaper pots, but still haven't figured out exactly how the bottom stays together.