The Grapevine

July 2004
Jodi Cahillane, Editor

Notes from the President

The Board met in the Carriage House at Wistariahurst at 10 a.m. June 17. Jack Sprano, the Berkshire County representative and Carol Maynard could not attend.

Our meeting got off to a brisk start even though the temperature and humidity had started to climb. We began old business by talking about the new location for our booth - the Massachusetts building - at the Big E. The Board hopes our enthusiasm about the new location is justified and that we will be able to staff with less difficulty than in the past. I proposed that we find several members, perhaps three, to organize the volunteers. The burden of responsibility would rest on a number of people rather than one. The Massachusetts building has many amenities that our previous location did not have. Lunchroom, nicer bathroom, and parking right behind the building were a few of the perks. This year the Big E will run September 17 through October 3.

The Wistariahurst hotline was put into action on June 15. Our spirits lifted when the first call arrived at 9:07 am. No calls followed, but we hope that by getting more publicity we'll have more callers. Louise Dunphy will be doing more publicity for Franklin and Hampshire County and in July, Kathleen Lovell of Hampden County will join her. Ron Kujawski, our mentor, mentioned the new number in his newspaper column in the Hampshire Gazette. Thanks, Ron. Joe Dubiel has agreed to coordinate the volunteers for this project.

UMass Garden Day, August 13. The Board discussed topics for speakers and will pass them along to Linda Honan, the organizer at Continuing Education. Bridget will be preparing an exhibit for several upcoming events, including UMass Garden Day, and would like to get pictures of past Master Gardener events. If you have any please call her at 665-8662 or

Bridget presented the new application form that will be used for the Trainee Class of 2005. There will be a sign up sheet with slots for refreshments, quizzes (or whatever is politically correct), etc. at the Summer Meeting. Hope you signed up! If you know people interested in becoming a Master Gardener, they can contact Betty Ann Taylor at 589-9212 or

Last minute preparations for the Summer Meeting are taking place, hope we 'saw' you all there.

Nancy Howell,

Directory Updates!

Ann Floyd has e-mail once again:

Website articles needed

To all the writers out there-You are needed and wanted. To keep our articles on the website each month, we need ideas for articles and writers for September through December now. Contact:

Rae Davis 413-625-0168 or 

Pittsfield's Hidden Heart,

Concealed City Gardens Tour is Saturday July 17 and Sunday July 18. $13 through the mail postmarked no later than July 7. Call Donna DiGennaro at 413-684-3087 for information. $15 at the headquarters at Springside Park on July 16, 17 & 18. Proceeds benefit projects that enhance Pittsfield.

Concerts Benefit Grandmothers' Garden

Pat Steele-Perkins forwarded via e-mail a form for ordering tickets to Springfield Symphony Orchestra concerts in Stanley Park, Westfield that benefit Grandmothers' Garden. Tickets for July 22 and August 5 are $12 and there is a $50 ticket that includes upfront seating at the free July 3rd Star Spangled Salute concert and fireworks, plus reserved lawn seating for the Pops concerts on Thursdays July 22 (Passport to Pops) and August 5 (Sax, Drums & Rock&Roll). The discounted price is good only if you use the form and advance sales benefit the garden 100%. Interested? Please contact:

Pat Steele-Perkins
568-9353 or

Hotline Update

Nancy Flach would love volunteers for the Berkshire Botanical Garden hotline. Call her 413-258-4223 otherwise she will be calling you.

Regional MG meeting

in Baltimore, Oct 5th-Jack Sprano reports that about 8 WMMGA members are planning on attending. Moe and Jack are planning on hosting a table.

I heard, "Grapevine is Late!"

My apologies to all whose Grapevine didn't arrive until mid-June. The mail house delivered it all at once & on time but a tray may have been mishandled in Springfield or delayed due to other volume. Please send your notices to me far in advance. You'll note there are calendar items in here for September already. I'll continue to try my best to get information to you.

-Jodi Cahillane, Editor

Tour to Newport Rhode Island

Saturday September 11, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. "Newport's Secret Garden Tour & SeaFare's American Cafe." Women's Club of the Berkshires will be taking a tour leaving Data King in Pittsfield at 6:30 a.m. for Newport RI. Tour 9 of the larger more private gardens in the Estate Section of Bellevue Ave. Take a midday break with the included luncheon at Sea Fare's American Cafe, a property of the International Institue of Culinary Arts. Scrod or Chicken entrees are offered. Return by 7:30 p.m. to Pittsfield. Cost $78 p/p for members; otherwise $80. For information and reservations contact: Martha Hathaway, 413-443-4670.

Classes, Lectures, & Opportunities

A selection of events at Berkshire Botanical Garden; Intersection of Routes 102 & 183, Stockbridge MA, follows. Other classes of interest can be found at Registration required for classes. (413) 298-3926

Thursdays, July 8, 15, 22 & 29, 9:30 a.m. -12:30p.m. "Watercolors in the Summer Garden." Basics of watercolor painting, including color mixing, brush techniques and composition. Students will learn step by step how to create a finished watercolor and new techniques will be demonstrated at each class. Beginners are welcome. Instructor Linda Novick is a graduate of Pratt Institute and has taught art for over thirty years. She has taught numerous workshops in the U.S. and Europe and was the president of Hudson River Watercolor Society in 1995. Berkshire Botanical Garden- Cost of Four Week Series: $125 Members, $135 Non-members; Individual classes: $37.50 (Participants provide their own material) Beginner/intermediate.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 1-August 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m. (Activities are held on Tuesday and repeated on Thursday)-"The Story of Rain, Wind and Fire: Hands-on Workshops for Children." Each week's activities will focus on a different aspect of gardening including growing and harvesting garden goodies, making garden projects collected from the wild and learning about flower power. Staff members of the Education Department of the Berkshire Botanical Garden will instruct programs. Berkshire Botanical Garden- $4 Members, $5 Non-members.

Aug. 7-8, 12-5 Saturday, 10-5 Sunday-"Flower Show". Annual exhibition of floral design, horticulture, including special children's classes. Entries welcome: call 413-298-3926 for details.

Saturday, August 14, 10 a.m.-Noon - "Distinctive Annuals for Beds and Borders". Learn about specific varieties and how to use these plants effectively. View annuals in their full glory with a walk through the Carol Tatkon Entrance Garden. Maureen Daury-Corcoran is co-owner of Dr. Lahey's Garden a full-service garden center in Pittsfield, Mass. She specializes in propagation, but annuals are her passion. She is also a Western Massachusetts Master Gardener. $18 Members, $22 Non-members. All levels.

Friday, August 20, 10-11:30 a.m.-"Ornamental Vegetables that Taste Good Too!" Food that is gloriously beautiful is a regular feature of the ornamental vegetable garden. Learn about vegetables that do double-duty as ornamentals along with adding to the late summer harvest. Walk the garden and find vegetables that are almost too pretty to pick! $10 Members, $12 Non-members.

Berkshire County News

Date and time for our August meeting will be announced in Grapevine and via email.

Official work party schedule for the Demo Garden is every Tuesday night 5:00-7:00 p.m. Come hang out with your fellow MGs and stay for the Tuesdays in the Park band concerts. Springside classes have averaged about 12 per class. We're breaking even, anyway. (The June 17, "Effective use of Annuals and Perennials," surged to 19 however!!) Kiosk materials are at Springside are ready to be posted as soon as the kiosk is ready.

There was a great turnout for the Plant Exchange on June 5th. Lectures and demonstrations were part of the activity. Jack S and Duncan advocated for a WMMGA West (as in Berkshire) symposium modeled to a degree after the Palmer symposium (not in competition!!). They agreed to hold a subcommittee meeting to flesh out details.

We received a letter of appreciation from Deb Burke of the Conservation District for assisting at their Plant sale.

West Side Community Garden- Jim announced that $400 had been received from the Rotary Club. This number was obviously disappointing. Funding from HUD would not be known until June. The project may have to be restructured.

Handicapped Garden-Jack G reported that $1000 had been received from the Pittsfield Garden Tour Committee. Confirmation of an additional grant from Home Depot was still unavailable. Jack recommended that the project be held until Home Depot status is known.

Jack Gillis 413-743-5193 or

Franklin & Hampshire County News

Franklin and Hampshire counties will meet at 6:30 Thursday July 15. The meeting will be at Quonquont Farm in Whately. Native vs. Invasive plants and Land conservation is the topic. Watch for emails with more information and directions to the farm. If you have any questions call or email me.

Rae Davis, 413-625-0168,

Hampden County News

Everyone is working hard in there own little way. The Hotline has started at Wistariahurst and we are looking for people to work there on Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to Noon. More volunteers are needed at the 3 Farmers Markets in Holyoke, Chicopee, and the X in Springfield. Many gardening things are happening at Wistariahurst and we are still looking for volunteers at any time; just call ahead. We hope to have a MG historical demo garden there but we will need help to get it started. How are the plants coming that Hampden County members got at the last meeting in April? Keep them going and bring to the meeting in September. Still looking for more ideas for Hampden County members to do as a group.

John Hurley(413) 335-5067 or

Dues Are Due April 1 

George Kingston is now collecting membership dues.  Mail them payable to WMMGA

c/o George Kingston, 66 Rural Lane, East Longmeadow, MA 01028.  The dues are $15 per year.

Mail Grapevine submissions to: Jodi Cahillane, P.O. Box 304, LenoxDale, MA 01242; Email:; Fax (please make voice call first) to: 413-637-9827. Submissions should be received by the 18th of the month prior to publication date.