all are welcome to these events

FEb 2015


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Upcoming events this month



Martha Washington Garden Club 

Feb 25 12:30, February Meeting; " Birds in Our Neighborhood"

by Connie Fairchild, club member

What you may not know about the secret

lives of Birds


  If you have any interesting horticulture related events you would like to share, please email them to




February 25  Meeting; " Birds in Our Neighborhood"

by Connie Fairchild, club member
What you may not know about the secret
lives of Birds    12:30 at the Lower Makefield Masonic Hall. Join Connie for an entertaining presentation on how to attract more  birds to your backyard and tips on how to identify them            All welcome   . Guest fee $5 at door                                                    


Magnificent Monarchs

Join Stommy Blauth, Director of the J.V.M.
Butterfly House at Churchville Nature Center
for a discussion about the Monarch Watch
Program and the beautiful monarch butter-
flies. Stommy will share information about
the monarch's habitat and migration and how
to attract butterflies to your own yard. Learn
about the butterfly garden being built by the
EAC at Veterans Memorial Park. For adults.
Fee:  Free
Location:  Municipal Center
Date:  Tue., Feb. 24
Time:  6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
If you are interested in working with the butterflies at the Churchville Nature Center this Summer, this is a perfect time to meet and have a change to speak with Stommy.
Environmentally Speaking
Sponsored by the Middletown Environmental Advisory Council

All are invited .I have heard Walter speak about conifers, he gives a very good presentation and has quite a collection of unusual varieties
CONIFERS FOR THE GARDEN presented by Master Gardener Walter Cullerton
Feb. 18, 7:30 pm at Tamanend Park, 1255 Second Street Pike (at Maple Ave., near Bristol Road), Southampton, PA
sponsored by Tamanend Park Herb Gardeners Club



The Martha Washington Garden Club is offering 2 educational scholarships, the MWGC scholarship and the  Jane Parr Memorial Scholarship, given in her memory by her husband. They are each for $2,000.00. They are open to both  high school and college students. High School students must include a copy of the college acceptance letter. Among other items, everyone must include up to date grade transcripts, 4 references: 2 character and 2 scholastic: a list of volunteer activities, and work experience. A written essay on why the applicant is interested in his or her chosen field and possible career plans is also obligatory. It is open to any student in the area majoring in the following fields, Botany, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, and related fields. All material must be received by April 30, 2015. For more complete information you may contact your local HS guidance office or  College Financial Aid office,,  or email

Langhorne Gardens Arts and Crafts

 We could use some help at the Arts and Crafts for the residents of Langhorne Gardens Nursing Home. Can you come out at 2:30 for an hour or so to help us make some  crafts? We meet at 2:30 at the Langhorne gardens Nursing Home , just off Lincoln Highway at 350 Manor Ave, Langhorne, PA 19047. Please call Betsy Miller if you can help us out at 215-493-5835. The volunteers meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month to help the residents with an arts and crafts program. The residents are a delightful group and appreciate all the fun we provide to them.

       Designing With Natives “Backyard Conservation Design Basic Training  Workshop " with author  John Rodgers  on March 28th at Newtown’s Township Building. Autumn Thomas at is coordination the training. 
  The class lasts from 9:30 to 2:00 and costs $55.
 ( I have taken this training  and found it wonderful and educational )
Backyard Conservation Design Training
A roadmap to backyard conservation design and stewardship using native plants
Backyard Conservation Design is an environmentally-sensitive, low-impact and restorative approach to backyard and open space design.  It results in good habitat for birds, improved air and water quality, reduced stormwater and flood damage and it saves money on energy, water and lawn care costs.  A healthy yard helps improve your quality of life and health and lowers your cost of living.
During training, you will receive a copy of Designing With Natives on CD.  A workbook is provided to help you design your own yard.  It contains steps, charts of bloom times and tolerances of plants, and stewardship ideas. The training will show you how to create great habitat, save money, limit runoff and create beautiful curb appeal and a beautiful back yard.
Cost of training and materials:  $55
“In Designing With Natives, John Rogers has compiled the most comprehensive guide to sustainable landscaping I have seen to date. He could just as easily have called it “Managing Water with Natives,”  “Sequestering Carbon with Natives,” “Conserving Biodiversity with Natives,” or “Saving Energy with Natives,” since his new book discusses all of these ecosystem services and more.   Even a quick read will convince you that our properties and neighborhoods are more than just places to live. They provide ideal opportunities to encourage the essential earth functions that support us.  Designing With Natives will be a useful and timely reference for years to come.” 
Doug Tallamy
Co-sponsored by the Wyncote Audubon Society


Naturalist Training Program Seeks Participants in the Philadelphia area

In the Spring of 2015, the volunteer training program of Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is partnering with Friends of the Wissahickon to prepare citizens to become volunteer leaders in their communities through natural resource conservation education, citizen science, and stewardship. Pennsylvania Master Naturalist is a citizen volunteer initiative with three key components: an initial 55-hour volunteer training, annual volunteer service, and continuing education in the natural sciences.

Building Volunteer Leadership for Community-based Conservation

Master Naturalist volunteers design and pursue a wide variety of service projects from habitat restoration and native plantings, to nature walks and interpretative displays or publications on natural history, to water quality monitoring and supporting the natural resource conservation efforts of partnering organizations. Since 2010, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist volunteers in Southeastern Pennsylvania have:

· engaged in more than 6,300 hours of conservation service

· contributed $140,700 in conservation value and impact to numerous regional partners

· reached over 9,000 people through education and outreach initiatives

· improved 330 acres of habitat through stewardship service

· dedicated themselves to 2,300 hours of continuing education in the natural sciences


Seeking New Applicants for Spring 2015

The Pennsylvania Master Naturalist natural history training includes 55 hours of classroom (weekday evenings) and field (Saturday) sessions and will be coordinated by the Friends of the Wissahickon in the spring of 2015. The training begins April 6, 2015 and ends May 28, 2015. Classroom sessions take place on most Monday and Thursday evenings from 6:00-8:30pm at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Field trips are scheduled on four Saturdays (4/11/15, 4/25/15, 5/9/15, 5/16/15) beginning at 9:00am and continuing through most of the day.

Individuals interested in the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program in Philadelphia are invited to apply by February 17, 2015. Applications can be found on Pennsylvania Master Naturalist’s website at under “Become a Master Naturalist” and “2015 Training”.

Contact: Andrea Stevens, Program Coordinator or (570) 764-7628


Phila Flower Show

Last call for volunteers.
Here's a great opportunity to see the Phila Flower Show by volunteering to help in the judging and scoring  sections.   There are so many positions and times to choose from,, very easy work,  banking hours, you can sit or choose a  position  that is more active, you can see the show before it opens to the public with your free entry ticket, and get to see all the behind the scenes action too. Below is a  letter from Elsa Efran with a description, you can contact her or me if you have questions. Its so much fun. Available days start in mid February, and continue during the show , which is Feb 28 to March 6. Email me for an exact calendar of available days.  Yes, this is almost too good to be true!
From:       Elsa Efran, Co-Chair, Points/Computer Support  Diane Humphries, Senior Manager, PHS Information Services
215-988-8822                                   215-988-8863                                
To:   Points and Typing Booth Volunteers
We invite you to work with us (again or for the first time) for the 2015 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, “Celebrate the Movies.”
There are five areas and time frames in which we need assistance:
Entering data in the Flower Show Data Base (FSDB)—we’ll train you or refresh your skills. We will be set up to start work here at PHS on Tuesday, January 20.
Assisting the Horticulture Committee with its exhibitor mailing (mid-February) at PHS.
Helping at the Pennsylvania Convention Center the week before the Show (February 23-27) and during the Show (February 28 through March 6—the notorious “second Friday”) up in our Show headquarters in Room 306 of the Convention Center.

During the week before the Show, we print entry cards and judging sheets (this mainly involves feeding cards and paper into the printers and then organizing the resulting paperwork). We process upwards of 10,000 pre-entries for the Show, about half of which actually came to the Show.

During the Show, we enter the results from the Horticulture and Artistic judging into FSDB (some computer skills needed) and proofread and file all the paperwork (no computer experience necessary, only eagle eyes).
Working in the Typing Booth on Thursday, February 26, Friday, February 27, on Monday, March 2, and Friday, March 6. We need typists (FSDB-savvy and/or Word savvy), and nomenclature checkers.
Working as Post-Entry Aides to accept post-entries. We’ve taken over responsibility for these volunteers, who were formerly part of Hort Aides. We hope the “old” ones will help out again, and we hope they can train new volunteers.
The attached calendar shows dates and times when we anticipate needing help. For all of these jobs, we request that you work a shift of at least three hours. Of course, we’d like to have you for as much extra time as you’d like to work. It’s a good idea to check in by phone or e-mail the day before you are scheduled to work to make sure there is still work to do (or, shhhhh, if snow has become an issue). Sometimes you are so efficient that the work is finished early and there is nothing left for the next shifts to do.
We’d appreciate your getting in touch (by mail, email, or phone) to let us know if you are available this year and what times and jobs work best for you. If you have friends who might be interested in helping out, please let us know that, too—we’re always looking for computer folks but also could use more “non-techies” like those of you who so ably organize our paperwork and proofread our printouts. Working on Points can be addictive—many of our current volunteers have been with us for a number of years. All of us are happy to welcome and train newcomers.
Please note: If you are going to be working with the computers in the Typing Booth or FSDB (as opposed to proofreading or filing) and want to play around with the new system in advance, we can send you a link to a “sandbox” version of the Administrative portal along with some practice exercises to let you become familiar with FSDB. We would probably do this closer to Show time. If you come to PHS to do data entry, we will train you here. It shouldn’t take long—it’s very similar to shopping online.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
P.S. If you want to be removed from the list of Points/Typing Booth volunteers (for instance, if we’ve gotten your name in error or you are no longer interested or available), please let Elsa know. If you can’t work this year but still want to be on the list, let us know about that, too. Thanks.

  If you have any interesting horticulture related events you would like to share, please email them to




Club President Ruth Logan
215 493 8148 for info on any of our events



CHURCHVILLE NATURE CENTER BUTTERFLY HOUSE is looking for volunteers who want to help work in the butterfly house, raising butterflies, caring for the plants in the butterfly house or helping to lead tours. We will train . info contact Stommy Blauth at

Explore the wonder of butterflies

at Churchville Nature Center’s Butterfly House


As Seen In The March 2014 Edition of the Yardley Voice

by June Portnoy


    Churchville Nature Center will celebrate the start of butterfly season by reopening its Janet V. Makiewicz Butterfly House on Sunday. The  second annual Grand Reopening, from 11:00am until 4:00pm, will offer a family-friendly day with games, face painting and fun activities, along with the Nature Center’s Annual Wildflower Sale, and of course all day tours of the Butterfly House. For this special event, admission price is $5.

“Over 2,000 guests visited our Butterfly House last year, and we’re expecting about 3,000 people this year,” says Stommy Blauth, Butterfly House Coordinator.

     The Butterfly House exhibits approximately 30 to 35 different types of native butterflies flying freely among host plants, nectaring plants and flowers at all different

eye levels within a 30’ by 40’ enclosed space. The large variety of butterflies range from the monarchs, black swallowtails, red admirals and tiger swallowtails to red

spotted purples, cabbage whites, commas and question marks, just to name a few. “What makes this butterfly house so unique is that it includes host plants,”

explains Stommy.  A female butterfly will only lay eggs on a specific host plant. Caterpillars eat only certain types of host plants, so the female butterfly  knows to lay her eggs on those plants so her offspring will survive. Most butterfly houses don’t include  host plants because caterpillars eat them, requiring a lot of upkeep. Therefore, at

most other butterfly houses, you won’t see butterflies laying eggs or young caterpillars, as you can here.  “As a result, Churchville Nature Center’s Butterfly House offers visitors the rare opportunity to observe every aspect of these  butterflies’ life cycle and development,” says Stommy.

    While here, you might be lucky enough to watch butterflies court, mate, and lay  eggs on one of the 15 to 20  native host plants available to them.

Also view a chrysalis up  close in the Butterfly House’s entrance vestibule.  “Once you’ve seen a butterfly emerge and spread its wings, you’ll be hooked,” says Stommy.

She adds, “It is the best hands-on exposure one can get to butterflies. You  don’t feel like you’re learning, even though  you truly are.” One of the Butterfly House’s goals is

to encourage people to fall in love with butterflies. According to Stommy, this is particularly important because so many people have an aversion to insects. “Many kids don’t consider butterflies to be insects, and few people have phobias to butterflies,” says Stommy. “Therefore, both children and adults gain an appreciation for other insects.”  Still another benefit of coming to the Butterfly House is that it takes kids away from electronics and brings them outside,  giving them exposure to nature. Knowledgeable docents explain interesting facts, while pointing out different  stages of the butterflies’ development.

   The Butterfly House depends on volunteers  to work as docents. “Our docents  are like mothers to these butterflies,” says  Stommy. “They find the eggs, help rear the

caterpillars, and ultimately, release the butterflies into the Butterfly House.”  There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to get involved in virtually every aspect of maintaining the Buttery House, including giving tours, food plant propagation and rearing butterflies.

     Last year, Stommy  reared  20% of the butterflies in the house, and this year she hopes that with  additional volunteers she can increase that  number to 50%.

“Butterflies are expensive to buy, and  they only live about two weeks,” says Stommy. “In addition, very hot weather shortens their life span, so we’re constantly replenishing our Butterfly House with new ones.” The Butterfly House is currently recruiting volunteers for this year’s season, which will run from May until October.

Ideal volunteers are students 16 or older looking for community service hours for school, seniors, retired schoolteachers and Master Gardeners. Hours are very flexible, and volunteers can work in whatever role they prefer. For children ages nine through 13, the  Butterfly House will run a summer camp August 4th through August 8th where kids  will enjoy hands-on fun. Inquire about additional camps for different age groups all summer long.

   The Butterfly House hours will be Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:00am to 4:00pm. General admission is $8; seniors (62 plus) pay $6; juniors (4 – 12) pay $5;

and children three and under are free. Churchville Nature Center members  pay just $6. All prices include a guided  tour. Call to arrange required reservations

at 215-357-4005








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Jeremy Parry,
Feb 20, 2015, 4:45 AM