President's Message

By David DeJohn, NHCLP

July 2016

Welcome to Summer!

During my first stint as president, I think it was in  August or September of 2011, I wrote about my dog, Bodhi, a big German Shepard who came to work with me everyday for 13 years. I’m not going to repeat that story here, but he was quite a dog. Anyway, I’m only mentioning it now because I was recently back at a job I did 20 years ago, when Bodhi was still by my side, to begin the process of  renovating the old gardens.

One of the nice things about being in this business so long (and there are a lot of nice things) is that occasionally you get to go back to jobs you did years and years ago and see how they look now: what went right and what went, well, not so right. Overall I’m happy with the bones of the original garden and I’m retaining the basic flavor of it, but I now have the opportunity to fix some mistakes I made and use my expanded plant palette, which I have developed since I first worked on this project. Over the years some plants vanished and some plants, like Heliopsis, just took over. Not a horrible mess, but definitely time for a do over.

Part of this renovation involves fixing sections of the wall that surrounds the upper garden that chipmunks, people, and gravity have disturbed and loosened.  One day while taking down a section of this wall to rebuild a corner, out pops a ratty old tennis ball and a chewed up nylabone. I knew immediately whose toys these were. Bodhi was obsessed with tennis balls and rocks and lived for chasing them. He would find hiding spots for his toys and move them around if he thought I saw where he put them. So I  could fully picture him dropping them in behind the wall at the end of a day for future use. Admittedly I got a little teary-eyed finding them, but felt so happy and lucky to have found them. I tucked them back into the wall and continued building over them, grateful that his presence was still there to be felt in that garden.

Thank you to Northern Nurseries for hosting the first Twilight Meeting of 2016. Joe Biondo from Alliance outdoor Lighting gave a talk on the benefits and profitability of landscape lighting followed by tours of the nursery. It was a nice evening of good conversation and catching up, not to mention the food and drink they put out that started it all off.

If you didn’t make it to the first meeting, our next Twilight Meeting will be on July 27 at the beautiful campus of Keene State College. Refreshments will be at 5:30 followed by a tour of the Campus grounds led by Bud Windsor. Chuck Simpson of Simpson Landscape will also lead a tour to show off the work he’s done at Ashuelot Park. Hope to see you there; it will be well worth it.

Saturday, July 16, is NHLA Day to be hosted by Palmer Koelb at his beautiful Shin-Boku Nursery up in Wentworth. This should be a great day and a chance to see a very unique nursery and some spectacular examples of Japanese Style pruning. There will be a cookout, tours, and a talk on pruning. Hope to see you there!

Our 3rd Annual Golf Tournament is coming up on August 9 at Candia Woods, so make sure you sign up. This has been a great event and last year’s was a huge success despite the rain. Let’s hope for better weather this year, but either way it will be a fun day.

We’re starting to put together a wish list for improvements to our website: more user-friendly, credit card capability to pay dues and such, improve membership directory, easier for committee chairs to add and edit information, membership forum are just a few of the ideas so far. There will be a lot of discussion at our August 2 Board Meeting about these things so if you have any ideas on what you would like to see or changes made let us know. We’d like to form a small committee to work on this and to work with whoever might help us implement these changes. If you have experience with web development and/or are pretty tech savvy – younger members I’m talking to you – we could certainly use your help.

Well, that’s it for now. Hope your summer is going well and hope to see you at some of the upcoming events!


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