April 22,  2016

April gardening events and Plant Sales
Plant Sales
March 23 Leaflet

Martha Washington Garden Club

All are welcome to our events, you do not have to be a member to join us.

LIKE our Facebook Page - Martha Washington Garden Club Bucks County


March 23 Leaflet

If you missed our March meeting, here is a link to your copy of the Leaflet
page 1




Leaflet page 2




April 27 " What's going on in the garden now" , tips by the Penn State Master Gardeners, 1 Pm, Masonic Hall
May 25 The Farm and Garden Station will give up garden design ideas that we can use at any outside party, 1 PM , Masonic Hall
June 8 Covered dish luncheon, and plant Auction location TBA
June 21 - Garden Walk

Masonic Hall is located at 1600 Edgewood Rd, Yardley.
*The membership desk is the first desk you see when you enter our meetings. Gabriella would like someone to help her out at our monthly meetings, greeting people at the door and helping to sign in members and guests. Please speak with her if you can help out your club.
* Karen Papastrat is missing a leather bag with her garden club tours paperwork inside. If you find this, please call her at 2156306149
Tours to enjoy 

New Tour Just Announced 

David Benner Moss Garden Tour , New Hope, Pa . Wednesday May 4th at 10:30am (leaving from Masonic at 9:45). The group number is limited to 12 people,

Please contact  Karen to sign up at

See events page for more details

Dave Benner began gardening with moss in lieu of grass at his woodland garden in New Hope, Pennsylvania back in the early 60's. Since then he has converted his entire two woodland acres into a lush, cool green oasis by growing moss with wildflowers and evergreen groundcovers on a terraced hillside with meandering paths. This spectacular garden bursts into color in early May when the wildflowers peak, and remains a vibrant green the balance of the year due to the vast array of mosses and other evergreen groundcovers that are also growing on the hillside. The Benner garden has been featured in over twenty-five books and magazines through the years, and Dave still conducts tours of his woodland moss gardens in early May.

When it comes to knowledge and experience with growing moss in the landscape, the Benner name is well known. Not only do Moss Acres' customers receive a unique selection of the highest quality mosses, but they are also privy to over thirty-five years of expertise on how to best utilize the techniques for growing moss in the landscape.

The Benner garden has also been captured on a video entitled Made in the Shade, and in a booklet entitled Gardening with Moss. Both of these informative pieces, along with a wide range of accessory items that make growing moss even easier, are also available through Moss Acres.


Starr Tours 2016
Garden Related One Day Tours
Leaving from Yardley Park & Ride
Brooklyn Botanic Garden & Museum Tour
Date: Saturday, May 21st
Departure Time: 7:45am
Return Time: 6:45pm
Location: Yardley Park & Ride
Cost: $129.95 per person includes lunch
NYC Central Park & Carmine’s
Date: Saturday, July 30th
Departure Time:  9:00am
Return Time:  8:30pm
Location:  Yardley Park & Ride
Cost: $129.95 includes lunch
*This tour is an all day walking tour of paths, bridges, and tunnels of Central Park.  The tour requires walking shoes, the ability to walk for a full day, and potentially rain gear.
Longwood Gardens Holiday Tour
Date: Saturday 12/10/16
Departure time: 10am
Return time: 8pm
Location:  Yardley Park & Ride
Cost: $89.95 per person, lunch is not provided
*10% discount off first trip
*Full payment is required at the time of booking
*Private bus rental for 35 or more and discounted rates
Additional MWGC Trips & Tours Spring 2016
contact Karen at

Tyler Gardens and Mansion & Buildings Tour

Date: Friday, April 29th
Tour Time: 10:00am
Departure Time: 9:30am
Location: Tyler Mansion Bucks Count Community College
                  275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, PA 18940
                 (meet in front of Tyler Hall)
Cost: $12.00 per person donation requested, optional local lunch
Bartram’s Gardens & Historic House Tour
Date: Thursday, May 12th
Tour Time: 10am
Departure Time 8:45am (approx. travel time 43 minutes)
Location:  5400 Lindberg Blvd. (54th Street & Lindberg)
                   Philadelphia, PA 19143
Cost: $20 adults/$18 seniors plus $17 for lunch on site)
Pearl S. Buck House and Garden Tour
Date: Thursday, June 2nd
Tour Time: 10am
Departure time: 8:45am (approx. travel time 47 minutes)
Location:  520 Dublin Road
                  Perkasie, PA 18944
Cost: $32 per person (combined cost of 2 tours & lunch on site)


                     “Garden Disasters“ will be the featured PowerPoint program at the monthly meeting of the Trevose Horticultural Society on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at 7:00PM at the Bensalem Senior Center, 1850 Byberry Road, Bensalem, PA. 
                     Guest speaker, Joann Cosgrove will present a lighthearted look at what NOT to do in your garden and possible solutions to gardening problems!  A career RN MS, Cosgrove has been gardening since the age of 7 when her family moved to Levittown.  She admits that she has been enchanted with gardening ever since planting her first packet of Marigold seeds.  Cosgrove is Past President of Southern Bucks Garden Club and also Past Program Chair.
                     All meetings are open to the public; a donation of $3 is requested from non-members.  For further information, please contact 856/866-9163.
Del Val Life Sciences Center
More Than Just Geraniums: New Ideas for Container Gardening with Karen Rogers of  Shady Brook Farms
Tuesday, 04/26/16 6:30 reception , 7 PM lecture
+++++++ +++++++++++++++
 It's time to put out your Hummingbird feeders :)

Help track hummingbirds journey north
The Journey North website
and on the Audubon App
Audubon Help the Hummingbirds
If you have a soft spot for feisty hummingbirds, consider turning your counting skills to Audubon’s Hummingbirds at Home project.
Recent research shows that flowering times of some hummingbird-friendly nectar plants are changing. By taking part in Hummingbirds at Home, you can help researchers learn more about nectar sources, how changes in supply may be affecting hummingbirds, and what we can do to protect these small feathered jewels. All you need to do is submit your hummingbird feeding observations online or with the the free Hummingbirds at Home app for iOs or Android devices.


We need help in a few positions at the Martha Washington garden club. Here is your chance to get involved, learn more about the club, and help out under the guidance of an experienced club member. Membership - Gabriella need someone to help assist her greeting club members and guests at the door, Membership is also responsible for collecting names of attendees at the meetings, and taking email addresses of guests, and maintain a current membership list.
Beautification - helps to organize help to maintain Tot Lot Yardley and other public grounds
Community Flowers- Simply manage the sign up of members of leave flowers or plants at the township offices
Membership, greet people at the door and collect email addresses for our newsletter
If you can help to assist with any of these items, please contact us at or let someone know at the Sept 23 meeting.
Training Master Gardeners - Bucks County residents
We’ll be interviewing candidates for a new class of Master Gardeners soon! Classes start October 2016 and graduation is January 2017. If you know anyone who may be interested, please have them email Kathleen Connally
Master Gardeners receive free training from Penn State Extension, in return, they volunteer their time to educate the community about research based horticulture practices.
Know anyone going to college?

 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 a minimum of $2,000.00. They are open to both high school and college students in the Delaware Valley. 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, Environmental Science, Botany, Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, and related fields. All material must be received by April 30, 2016. For more complete information you may contact your local HS guidance office or College Financial Aid office,, or email

Do you Love Butterflies?
If you would like to work with butterflies, the  Churchville Nature Center Butterfly House is looking for you.
In this  volunteer position you may put in as many or as few hours as you prefer.
Our available positions include raising or feeding the butterfly caterpillars, watering and pruning the plants in the butterfly house , and helping lead tours of the Butterfly House to the public. The Butterfly house will open for volunteers in the Spring, and remain open until Oct 1.
This is a rewarding position , some butterfly knowledge preferred but we are happy to train. 
For more information, contact the Churchville Nature Center at             phone: 215-357-4005



Churchville Nature Center Native Plant Sale will begin the weekend of April 30 , May 1 . Mark your calendars. They are also looking for crafters to join in a craft fair this year.


 Sat May 7 8:20 - 2 PM
1282 Almshouse Rd, Doylestown, Pa

Community Plant Swap
  Tuesday May 10  6:30 to 7:30 PM
Silver Lake Nature Center, 1306 Bath Rd, Bristol.
hosted by the Southern Bucks Garden Club



This article from the April 3 Courier Times features our own club member, Connie Fairchild and Stephanie Huston

Warm winter has gardens springing early The obnoxious box elder bug knows nothing of our enormous planet but this: If the air is warm, it's time to swarm. And it has been warm. Unlike the mercury, temperature records kept falling. The U.S. government's National Centers for Environmental Information reported that February was the warmest in the 137 years records have been kept. The most recent high point had occurred two months earlier, in December. Abundant anecdotal evidence points to an early season for the great outdoors, as unusually balmy weather encourages plants and, somewhat less joyously, insects. "Everything that might have been killed in colder winters, may not have been," said Kathy Salisbury, a horticultural educator for the Penn State Extension Service in Bucks County. "Everything seems to be about two weeks ahead, so people need to get into their gardens and start monitoring them for insects." Local gardeners uprooted lettuce and tomatoes that began sprouting outdoors in January, cut back confused perennials that bloomed early and suffered frost damage when winter briefly returned, and have been spotting creatures they didn't expect to see for weeks, including destructive box elder bugs. Connie Fairchild of Lower Makefield usually misses the unfolding of her P.J.M. rhododendrons in April, when she annually visits North Carolina. She did not need to worry about that this year. "They're definitely out," she said last week of her ornamental shrubs. "They're already blooming, and the rest are ready to blow. Everything's definitely up, it's definitely sooner." Trees began to leaf out markedly ahead of what people are used to seeing. In December, ornamental fruit trees burst into full bloom. More recently, crabgrass and other weeds also got a head start, according to Salisbury.
Periodically, it cooled off. A blizzard hit Jan. 22. More snow was forecast in midMarch, but did not materialize. Gardeners were kept guessing. Stephanie Huston of Morrisville, who publishes a gardening blog, shared anxieties about her fruit trees with followers. "There was a large concern out there, because they were originally calling for 5 to 8 inches of snow," she said of March's non-event. "We talked about covering (fruit trees), even with a bedsheet, so you don't get frosted blossoms that fall off before they pollinate and turn into fruit." Huston's garden surprised her in January with lettuces and tomato plants that had self-seeded from the prior year's crop. She removed them while rearranging her beds for this year's growing season. "I am pretty sure they would have kept going until that big snowstorm we had where we got 2 feet," she said. The weather sent mixed messages to iris and alliums in Debbie Schaffer's garden in Middletown. "The biggest thing was the cold, the warm, the cold, the warm. It sort of sent out false messages to the bulbs," she said. "They would start to come up, then we'd get a cold (snap) and freezing, and they'd stop. They're not quite sure what they're doing at this point." The weather seesaw burned the tops of some of her alliums and discolored shoots of iris. "There's a lot of irises that the stems start to come up, and they don't bloom for four to six weeks, but they now have brown on their leaves. I choose to cut them back, and let them grow again," she said. In horticultural and agricultural terms, much hinges on April weather. Spring showers have given way to snowstorms in the past. Depending on where you live in Bucks County, the danger of frost can persist as late as May 10 (the southern half of the county's last frost date is April 30).
But based on what has happened so far, some authorities predict higher fruit prices at harvest time. If snow fell on prematurely flowering trees, "the pistils of the flower will end up dying, preventing any fruit from growing," according to the Bucks County Audubon Society's website. "If only a few of the buds don't survive the cold, this will thin the crops out, allowing the rest of the fruit to have a better growth potential." Salisbury, the extension educator, points out that on the other hand, last spring's season was late, but still produced a bumper crop of apples and cherries. The one point on which everyone agrees is the early debut of insects, including the unwelcome box elder bug. This species feeds on tree leaves, flowers, twigs and box elder seeds, according to an insect advice page from the department of entomology at Penn State. In a development worthy of fright-film plotter M. Night Shyamalan, "In heavily infested areas, thousands of box elder bugs may enter the living quarters of buildings," the entomologists report. However, with flowers come bees, which makes any gardener happy. Their pollinator colleagues the moths and butterflies are showing up ahead of schedule, according to local observers. "I've seen moths, I've noticed them around my porch light," said Huston, the Morrisville gardener. "I'm used to not worrying about bugs before Daylight Saving (Time). Nothing like in swarms or anything crazy. They just seem a little earlier than usual." Fairchild, the Lower Makefield gardener, is also a butterfly aficionado. As such, she keeps track of sightings. Buoyed by the warm weather, she recently mentioned to a friend that it was the kind of day to encourage Mourning Cloaks, a large lepidopteran with velvety dark wings edged in yellow. "As if on cue, one flew across Lindenhurst Road!" she marveled. It was still early March.
Less happily, Fairchild has noticed an early abundance of cabbage white butterflies. Due to their taste for cruciferous vegetables, these dainty creatures are major pests in the garden. "Even the ones in chrysalis are starting to emerge," she said. Close observers of climate find nothing odd in an unusually warm winter or an early spring. Recent mild temperatures did not surprise PattiAnn Cutter, an environmental educator at the Silver Lake Nature Center in Bristol Township. Peep frogs herald spring in the center's swamp, bog and stream. "They've been up for a while. The past few years, they've been earlier and earlier, it seems," Cutter said. Joann Cosgrove, a master gardener from Falls, was unfazed by early budburst. "We've had other warm winters," she said. "Mother Nature — you can't always depend on what's happened in the past."


Weed of the week

What is the pretty purple flowering weed blooming in yoru garden right now? It could be Henbit. Check out this photo and link from Penn State
Henbit can be easily pulled by hand , chemical control is discouraged for the health of the beneficial pollinators living in your garden.



  Lyme Disease Prevention Tips from the Lyme Disease Support Group

Clothes treated with Sawyer Spray ( Permethrin)  give protection from ticks, especially nymphs. Gardening or hiking clothes, socks, shoes and hats  can be sprayed with this and will give protection through many washings.
Who is at risk for Lyme disease?
Outdoor workers, gardeners, campers, hikers, pet owners, people who hunt, fish, golf, or picnic in parks, and children, including those on school sponsored outdoor activities are at risk. Children are especially vulnerable since they run and play without caution.
Deer bring ticks into your yard, so reducing deer populations can help in lowering tick numbers. Birds and other animals also transport ticks. Mice are a primary reservoir for Lyme disease as well as a number of disease-causing microorganisms and often have many deer ticks attached to them. A tick seeking a blood meal will attach to a mouse, feed, and become infected. Other infections transmitted at the same time as Lyme disease may include Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Bartonellosis, Ehrlichiosis, Powassan Fever, Mycoplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc. Ticks are described as a cesspool of disease. The spring and summer months are the prime time for Lyme; however, you can be bitten year-round. Ticks seek a blood meal anytime the temperature is high enough for them to be mobile, even with snow cover.
Personal prevention tips 
Avoid sitting on the ground, stone walls, woodpiles or fallen logs, use an impervious ground cover, e.g., Gore-Tex®. Walk in the center of well-maintained trails, avoid contacting brush along trails, and do not use deer trails. Periodically check for ticks while in tick-infested areas. Deer ticks like cool, moist environments, such as leaf litter, tall grass, and the edge of yards, playgrounds, wooded areas, or roadsides. Many infections occur within the home yard if bordered by deer-inhabited woods.
Outdoor  clothing
Wear light-colored long pants, long sleeved shirts and closely knitted socks. Tuck shirts into pants and tuck pants into socks. This will prevent a tick from crawling under clothing. Wear a kerchief and hat to protect your neck and head.
Rynoskin™ underwear is made from a knitted breathable stretch fabric that ticks have difficulty penetrating. It is reportedly helpful for hunters and anyone outdoors when the weather is cooler. Available in long sleeved tops, long bottoms, socks, hoods, and gloves. Available from
Permethrin Clothing Treatment ( Sawyer Spray)
Permethrin is a synthetic chemical that kills ticks. Treat shoes, boots, socks, pants, sleeves, gloves, kerchief, and hat. Spray clothing outdoors until wet. Do not apply to skin. Available from Sawyer, Ultrathon™ Gear and Clothing Spray, Duranon, Permanone, etc. or outdoor retail stores or online. A clothing soaking- treatment (DurationTM) is available Treated clothing can be worn when dry. A  treatment lasts 6 weeks. Follow all label directions carefully.
Insect Shield® Clothing
Clothing commercially treated with permethrin and effective through 70 washings. Developed by the US Department of Defense. Available from Insect Shield, ExOfficio, LL Bean, Orvis, REI, Columbia, or your own outdoor clothing can be commercially treated by Insect Shield®
DEET products for use on skin or clothing. Caution using DEET on children. Follow label instructions and avoid getting repellent in the eyes or mouth. Higher concentrations provide longer protection. Available as sprays, creams, or wipes, e.g., OFF®, Deep Woods OFF®, Cutter© Backwoods, and Ultrathon™ time-release formulations provide extended protection. Non-DEET repellents, include Natrapel® (rei. com), IR3535 (Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus IR3535® Expedition SPF30 Pump Spray), and BioUD ™ (etc. Plant oils are reported to be tick repellents.
After returning indoors
Immediately perform a careful tick check. Deer ticks are tiny and difficult to see. If possible, have someone else inspect you. Be sure to check your hairline and where clothes fit tightly. Parents should check children. Shower promptly using a washcloth to remove unattached ticks. Remove attached ticks immediately using fine pointed tweezers or tick-removal tool. Grasp tick close to the skin, pull gently straight out. Do not use petroleum jelly, alcohol, soap, lit match or the tick may regurgitate infectious microorganisms into you. Save tick in a plastic bag or vial with a moistened cotton ball for identification and possible testing. After removing the tick, call your doctor promptly and consider requesting immediate antibiotic treatment. If the tick is infected, early diagnosis and appropriate treatment is key to recovery. Delay will allow the infection to disseminate in the body where treatment is often less effective.
Consider keeping outdoor clothes in the garage or shed as ticks can migrate from clothing brought indoors and invade the home. You can also wash and dry your clothes immediately. Some people put the clothes in a trash bag then spray with permethrin and tie up the bag to kill the ticks before washing. Washing alone will not kill ticks, but a 30-minute hot cycle in a dryer will.
by Ron Hamlen, Ph.D. 



All are welcome to our events. We meet the fourth Wednesday of every month Sept- May at the Lower Bucks Masonic  Hall, 1600 Edgewood Rd, Yardley 

membership is available at any meeting for $30 per year. , Guest fees are $5 per lecture, and vary with other events. See our website for more details.
Our mailing address is:

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