The 81st year began with these Officers: President Anne Smith, Vice President Cindy Phillips, Secretary Sue Kelly-Cochrane, and Treasurer Ellen McGrath-Thorpe. Some Committee Chairs remained: Helena Gilmore (Discovery), Fran Whitton (Liaison), Sara Woollard (Facilities), BJ Boland (Publicity), Susan Osmanski (Decorations), Mary Hassing (AHLF), Maxine Levine (P4P), Wendy (Scholarship), and Robin Griswold (Pennies for Pines). Some other Committees had new Chairs: Dee Porter (Auditor), Martha Law-Edwards (Membership), and Chris Marois (Sales Table).

There were no changes in the Club’s Purpose, Bylaws, Affiliations and Program Scheduling.

A new fundraiser was suggested by Mary Tornborg called “Jars for Change”. In lieu of the traditional Holiday auction, Members were instructed to add their change to a jar reflecting savings that occur, for example, the value of your coupons. This was very successful.

President Anne added a page to the Directory, “A Time to Honor”, on which she listed 5 Members who have especially helpful to the Club: Barbara Diamond, Robin Griswold, Maxine Levine, Barbara Manzano and Elaine Willingham. She created a process through which Members could be nominated for Lifetime Membership status. The final selection would be made by the President, and the chosen Member (announced at the June Meeting) was Barbara Diamond. Congratulations!

We were able to fund 2 scholarships this year, and 3 Pennies for Pines acres.  We participated in the offer of a free website offered by the CGCI. The decision was made to continue this website and improve our participation in the CGCI website.

One of our very new Members, Walt invited the Discovery Group to his garden this July. The front yard was very different from his neighbors with the tiers of plantings amid these great rocks, and all of this on top of the usual wretched clay soil. His garden was dominated by sun loving foliage plants with shade loving flowers underneath. He has created many hybrids which will be the focus of his talk at the September Club Meeting. On the way to the one acre backyard which is built into a canyon, we noticed the cactus growing upside down out of the drainage hole of a pot…….an unintentional result! I’m really looking forward to the September Meeting.


September Meeting: Walt, his plants and process; Robin and Pennies for Pines

September 6th: Our first General Meeting in the 2013-4 Garden Year, our 81st, was held back in the Dove Library. This facility is better able to accommodate our size Club comfortably. President Anne was home recovering from surgery and Secretary Sue was off on a trip. We still had a nice  turnout so we handled all the Club business such as approving the Budget.

Walt, one of our Members was the Speaker and was introduced by Vice President Cindy. We had gone to his home with the Discovery Group in July, so we knew how luscious and different his gardening is. Having worked for 40 years as a Landscaper in the Pasadena area and having a longtime relationship with Huntington Gardens, he had much information to share with us. In the picture on the left we have the full story of one plant’s life from tiny seed on. On the top right picture, we see a picture of one of his ferns and the middle one shows how much it has grown…keep in mind how very tall Walt is! After his presentation, and a lengthy Q&A session, Waly sold some of the specimums that he brought.

In the bottom picture, we see Robin explaining the program “Pennies for Pines” and then she sent around a container to collect our loose change. After collecting $68, Robin will send it in to the Cleveland Forest to purchase an acre of seedlings. This is one of the ways that we fulfill our purpose as a Garden Club.

The Minutes for this Meeting were approved and found in the Members section.

Our October Club Meeting was a field trip. We visited the local Community Garden, named in honor of its founder Harold Smerdu. His daughter, Patrice, invited us. She is a Member of the Carlsbad Garden Club and a Founding Member of the Carlsbad Community Gardens Collaborative, the latest Club to join the Palomar District. She shared the history of this Garden which is almost 30 years old. Times were simpler then when her father was able to bring this venture into existence with handshakes and quick approval by the Mayor and Council of Carlsbad. This is a very popular site and one of its kind in our city. Once the lots were filled, a waiting list was started. Some Residents had to wait 7 years to obtain a space. The Collaborative formed to change that situation, organizing and lobbying to have more Community Gardens started. They also showcase gardening to schoolchildren through tours and with their donations to the Magnolia School of their surplus, helping them to earn money to use in the school’s garden. They have a website, and have activities such as a seed exchange.

The pictures from top to bottom show the Club Members who came out for this tour, one of the lots and how the gardeners decorated it and a pumpkin grown by a future gardener, the grandson of the lot’s owner. The lots were quite varied. Some had just vegetables, while others also incorporated flowers and fruit trees. Some planted directly into the ground, while others had raised beds as well as pots. Some had decorations and seating arrangements, while others had crops only. According to Patrice, the gardeners have formed quite a Community, after all they’ve come together because of their love of gardening and willingness to work at producing their food. They have obligations to work together and maintain the Garden. They make friends there and exchange within their group.

The gate is locked, but visitors are encouraged to come and see what they are all about. Check out their website for more information:

Our November Club Meeting was very full. Good news: Anne was back having recovered from her surgery. She can be seen to our left of the Scholarship Winner Trenton Raven DeMello with Wendy (more information under Garden Buzz), our Scholarship Chair to the right. Our Program Speaker was Pauline Sechi, very active in the Palomar District and the CGCInc., as well as a Flower Judge, who entertained us while making floral arrangements from “stuff” found in her own garden, in parking lots, etc. Besides the door prizes of donated gifts, Pauline gave us the arrangements to auction off. We had the regular meeting, refreshments and gained a new Member.



Below we can see some of the happy winners of Pauline’s arrangements. Top left: Jodi; Top right: Kitty and then Robin (Pennies for Pines Chair) won a Barbara D door prize contribution. Bottom left: Donna, our new Sunshine Chair and Bottom right: Kathleen, our newest Member

The November Discovery Group met at Mary H’s and discussed her garden issues. Having travelled a lot recently, her garden was neglected. Practically in tears, she told us about losing some trees because of HOA rules and a neighbor’s complaints. Ok, jacaranda are messy but so beautiful…what a shame. Mary was able to save some other plants through rigorous pruning and picking off bugs by hand. We made some suggestions. Almost all of her fieldstone slabs and rocks come from El Corazon, Mary is an excellent role model of recycling.

We had a great turnout of our Members and a visitor from the Vista Garden Club…a great opportunity to exchange ideas.


Our December Meeting was quite different from our traditional auction. We had a place setting contest.  Every Member was asked to bring in their own holiday place setting to use for our traditional potluck. After everyone set up, all of us were given 2 ballots to select the best  place setting in 2 categories: classic (Maxine’s the winner on the left) and whimsical (Susan’s the winner on the right). It was quite difficult to choose…so many lovely settings, so hard to choose! The food was scrumptious and the socializing was great.

The official meeting included some news on the death of a former Member, Natalie, who was an artist (who studued in Monet’s Garden), a sculptor, and a poet. Our Club donated a library book in her honor. The November Minutes were approved (see Members Page). Cindy announced that due to a family illness, she needed a volunteer to make a Power Point Presentation of the pictures that she has been gathering for the January Club Meeting. Donna S volunteered her husband. Ellen announced that she and Sharon have started working on the website hosted by the California Garden Club Incorporated. Martha asked us to nominate a Member to assume a leadership role in the 2014-15 Garden Club year. The current Officers have served many years and would love to train their replacements! Martha emphasized that this was not a popularity contest but a vote of confidence. “Winners” will be announced at the January meeting. Cindy donated 5 individually decorated wreaths which Sara auctioned off in her usual entertaining style. What a great way to start the Holiday season…….with good will to all.


This an annual event for the Discovery Group. It is held at one of the Member’s Homes, in this case, Kitty’s. Her home is beautifully decorated home for the Holidays…check out the tree. We all bring our favorite culinary creations and have a wonderful meal. All dressed up in our Holiday Finery, we eat and chat and enjoy ourselves. After lunch, we have our Holiday Exchange. We’ve each brought in a gift and they’ve been placed under the tree. Cindy offered Rita and then the rest of us the opportunity to draw a number. We then selected our gift based on numerical order. After we each individually opened the gift, it could be “stolen”, in other words, someone else could take your gift instead of an unopened gift from under the tree. If your gift was stolen, then you got to pick another gift. A gift could only be stolen twice., so there was a little strategy involved. Lots of laughs and lots of fun. Our Hostess was cheered and thanked for offering her home.

At the January Club meeting, Anne brought in some items from former Member Natalie R’s Estate for the donation table as well as one of her Monet inspired paintings to auction with the proceeds being donated to the Club. Natalie’s sister thanked us for the book donated in Natalie’s name to the Library.

Donna S narrated a Power Point Presentation which she created of our Members’ Gardens. 20 Members submitted photos and I have included 1 of mine.

The sunflower table displays created by Susan were given to our 2 brand new Members, Madeline and Laura.

At the February Discovery Meeting, we had a tour of the Marron Adobe in Oceanside. This is the oldest adobe house in this area and part of a large family estate. Besides its historical value, it is part of an environmental battle between those who wish to preserve the area and those who want to develop the area for homes. The impact on local traffic would be quite intense.  Meanwhile the family members who are still involved have opened their home and garden to schools and groups such as ourselves. I’m sure it will be some time before this is resolved.

Our field trip in April for the Club was a docent led tour by our very own Kitty of the San Diego Botanic Garden.

For the April Discovery trip, we visited Sylvia’s garden, a former member of our Garden Club. Her garden is amazing. First of all it is very large especially in this area. Secondly it is a combination of native plants and perennials growing together which she hand waters and she just celebrated her 90th birthday. She was also a delightful hostess with wonderful homemade cookies and iced tea. She also gave us a succulent as well as a pamphlet that her husband had written.

On April 26 and 27, 2014, our club held a Plant Sale in conjunction with the Friends of the Library’s Book Sale at Cole Library. In September, Maxine. held a plant propagation workshop at her home and they produced quite a number of plants which have been cared for ever since in various member’s homes. On the 25th, Maxine, as Chair of this activity, held another workshop where the plants were “prettied up” and priced. 21 Members participated by contributing plants, selling them as well as buying plants and donating to the cause: “our charities and programs”.  We sold lots of plants and made some connections in the community…and had lots of fun!

On May 2nd, 30 Members (including brand new Member, Sheila) and 5 Guests participated in our Annual Garden Tour which was our May Club Meeting. This tour was organized by our President Anne with 1 garden suggested by Fran which is the top left picture. This is the back yard of the Angus family, designed by the homeowner to include the breathtaking view which includes the ocean. The water features are surrounded by a variety of plants and shrubs. The middle shows some of the magnificent stonework designed and built by the owners, the Armstrongs. We’ve been to this garden before but it is always a delight to see how the garden has filled in. This time they opened their home, designed with the same artistic eye and attention to detail. In the third garden, we were in the oldest garden closest to the Village where the lovely hostess discussed her design. The picture (left, bottom) shows their 40 year old cork tree which along with other hugh trees created a canopy for many cactus and native plants. Below this is part of the fourth garden designed by the owners, the Kozlowskis. They created a series of islands devoted to different types of tropical plants and water features which took advantage of the different microclimates on their property. I was also impressed with their vegetable garden. The art work found in the front of their home nade by Bob has previously been entered in the San Diego County Fair where he placed second. After that, we enjoyed lunch at Mimi’s Cafe in Oceanside. Despite the heat, we all had a wonderful time!




The President from 2006-8 and 2012-14 and 10 year Member Anne wanted to find a “A Time to Honor” (found in 2013-4 Directory) Members who have dedicated themselves to making the Carlsbad Garden Club what it is. She developed a criteria and a process for nomination and ultimately selection by the current President with the Board’s approval. They were all Members for at least 10 years and served as Officers or Chairs. They’ve made their own homes and garden available for Club activities. They have literally taught various lessons as well as served as examples of how the love of gardening plays out in their lives. They have truly been assets to the Club.

In the Directory passed out in September 2013, the 5 Nominees listed were Barbara D, Robin, Maxine, Barbara M and Elaine. At the June 2014, Anne announced her selection of Barbara D who received a certificate, a Garden book and a lifetime of no dues.

Congratulations, Barbara D