top of page

Long Island Horticultural Society

April News & Notes

April 2024

President's Message...
Image by Heidi Samuelson

Happy Spring, Everyone!

I do wish it would warm up a little more, but my spirits are still soaring when I see those first crocuses (now past), daffodils, and early species tulips! My seedlings are doing well under lights, and SOME of my patio plants have wintered over well (alas, only some). There are tiny buds on my flowering shrubs which invite close inspection - except for forsythia of course, which are in full bloom!

My spirits also soared when I saw the excellent attendance at our last couple of LIHS meetings and got to meet - or at least saw the names of - so many new members! The word is getting out about our wonderful organization and all it offers to members. Please keep spreading the word and inviting guests since that's how we grow!

We also grow by attending different horticultural events where we can set up LIHS displays and distribute our promotional literature, and at our last meeting you heard about several of these events. There are several more coming up, one an Arbor Day event at Planting Fields Arboretum and another a Plant Sale at Farmingdale College, with more to follow. These events provide a fun and helpful way to get the word out about LIHS, so please consider volunteering to help out. I also encourage you to visit our Facebook pages for interesting news and information, and then share the pages with others.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you at our next meeting, when we will learn about correct pruning methods - and now is the perfect time to take on this task and DO IT RIGHT! There will also be interesting and helpful information shared in the Tutorial presentation and on our Exhibition Table. I also can't wait to see all the beautiful and creative spring entries to the Competition!

Happy Planting!

-Ronnie Branczio

2024 Perennial Plant of the Year: Jeana Phlox

‘Jeana’ is an exceptional garden phlox renowned for its impressive flower show, tall sturdy habit, and pollinator-friendliness. Dense, domed trusses crown stiff stems from midsummer to early fall. Individually, the fragrant lavender-pink flowers are significantly smaller than typical garden phlox....Continue reading here


By Ronnie Brancazio


Spring has finally arrived for real, and my first impulse is to be delighted. My second impulse, however, is to panic at the amount of work that needs to be done! Having spent the whole winter PLANNING my spring projects, which involves mostly sitting, looking at catalogs, and jotting down ideas, the moment of truth has come when those ideas need to be acted on, and that means WORK! Yikes! 

Continue reading here

Thank you to Maureen Wawrzonek for the Hospitality Table Centerpiece.


Donations to the Hospitality Table: Patrica Martin, Dale & Suzan Goldstein, Priscilla Bauerschmidt, Anne Cognato, Judith Dunn, Sharon Rubin, Toni & Stuart Germain, Janet Tufaro, Jeanette Murphy, Chris Douglas

Donations to the Raffle Table: 

 David & Rosemarie Papayanopulos, Carlos & Kathryn Taborda, Carole Kazdan, Nancy Ehehardt, Judith Dunn, John Dunn, Joyce Anderson, Toni & Stuart Germain, Carolyn Do, Leslie Leber, Cynthia Hopping, Ann Wetzel

April 14 Meeting

Speaker: Jessica O'Callahan

Topic: Spring Pruning Basics for more info go to the Meeting page

Doors open at 12:30pm

Place Horticultural Competition entries by 1pm

Tutorial: Rhododendron Basics, by Ava Grego

Horticultural Judging from 1pm to 1:30 pm

1:30 - 2pm LIHS Business and Announcements

Speaker starts at 2pm

After speaker presentation concludes- Raffles & Refreshments.

Photos from March 17 Meeting

Welcome New Members!

Fran Andino


Lois Bonetti


Laura Borsellega


Eva Cramer


Nancy Ehrhardt


Patti Fichtelberg


Virginia Glenn


Janet Kielbasa


Janice Kowalski


Susanne Millner


Maria Oppenheimer


Dan Simon


Kendra Swaby


Barbara Thayer


Barbara Wilkinson

Horticultural Competition


Best in Show
Carlos & Kathryn Taborda A2 Phalenopsis Dish Garden

1st Place Ann Wetzel L32 Minature Oncidium "Twinkle"
1st Place Anne Cognato C2 Moss Vinca Eggs

2nd Place Maureen Wawrzonek L32 Oncidium "Heaven Scent"

2nd Place Priscilla Bauerschmidt C9 Acuba, Camelia

2nd Place Ann Wetzel P43 Coleus 
3rd Place Connie Kneis P43a Saintpaulia "Neptune" Aprican Violet

Botanical Arts

1st Place Anne Cognato Q44 Milkweed & Sleeping Bee

1st Place Mary Wagner Q46 hand painted Easter Egg

Check out our Facebook Page:

We also have a Facebook group where you can post phots of your garden and interact with other members: LIHS Facebook Group


Though we picture beets as round and crimson in color (or “red as a beet”), varieties run the spectrum from white to yellow and orange to burgundy. They range from spherical to cylindrical when it comes to shape, and some reveal white rings once sliced.


 How to Grow Beets As a half-hardy vegetable, beets are fairly tolerant of frost, surviving temperatures as low as 30 degrees (F). Grow beets in full sun or part shade, in the ground, raised beds or even in pots....continue reading here

Membership  Form

Take Note: The dues for membership are changing for 2024: Single $35, Household: $45, student $5

Please fill out the Membership Form here on the website, when renewing or joining. Just type your information into the form and print it out. Bring it with your dues to a meeting or mail it to the address on the bottom of the form.

From the editor....

Sunday March 24 winter was still holding on tightly, it was a brisk day but the sun was out as we traveled to the Hicks Nursery Flower show. The theme this year was "Celebrations From Around the World". One of my favorite displays was the Día de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead). Flowers are a predominate feature of the celebration. The fragrance of the bright orange and yellow Marigolds is said to lead souls from their burial place to their family homes. The cheerful hues also add to the celebratory nature of the holiday, which, although it's wrapped up in death, is not somber but festive.


Holi, the Hindu festival, celebrating color, love, and spring. is a time to let loose and celebrate life. Family and friends gather to playfully throw colorful paint and bright powders at each other and into the air, fully immersing themselves from head to toe in color. One of the colors used in the festival comes from a plant, the Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma), is the source of the wonderful, traditional color for Holi. The flowers are soaked overnight in water and can also be boiled to obtain a fragrant yellowish – orange colored water.


Maypole ceremonial folk dance performed around a tall pole garland with greenery or flowers and often hung with ribbons that are woven into complex patterns by the dancers. Such dances are reminiscent of ancient dances around a living tree as part of spring rites to ensure fertility of the land.


Chinese new year was also featured with the bright cheerful dragon and the center of the display. Originally it was ceremonial day to pray for a good planting and harvest season.


Of course no trip to Hicks would be complete without buying plants! I was good and I only purchased 2 plants. One mini Cattleya and a Fittonia I will need when I re-make the Paladarium after my move.


Time for Lunch! We found a gluten free restaurant in Glen Cove, Downtown Cafe, that was very good! The chef/owner is gluten free himself so I felt very safe and comfortable. I had the Carbonara, Maureen & Janet had a delicious looking wrap of Eggplant & Chicken Parmigiana.

We had a wonderful Day!

-Ann Wetzel

Also Check out the Gardener Calendar for all the garden to-dos for the month of April. As Ronnie said its time to get to work!

In Memory of
Carolyn Bantz

Last month, we in the Long Island Horticultural Society lost a dear friend and long-time member of our Society. Carolyn Bantz was totally dedicated to the organization and was passionate in her love of gardening, nature, and the larger environment. She was always a warm, enthusiastic presence at meetings, and managed to join in and contribute even as her strength and energy waned.

    She took on many roles to serve and improve LIHS, including as Board Member, Competition Clerk, and Speaker Coordinator. She also served on the Committee to re-write and update the Bylaws and Administrative Manual of the Society, and she did an exemplary job in each of these responsibilities.
In addition, she did many unofficial tasks to make things run smoothly and optimally.

    Carolyn was a passionate advocate for Native Plants, Rewilding, Ecological Restoration, and everything related to the health of our natural world. Her recent display, on Prof. Douglas Tallamy and his "Backyard National Project", was her final gift to us, in which she shared her knowledge and support for this important movement.

    Carolyn will never be forgotten by her many friends and fellow garden-lovers. 
We will treasure her memory!

-Ronnie Brancazio

Donation Form

We have a new Donation Form here on the website. LIHS has big, exciting plans for the coming year, but don't have sufficient funds to carry them all out. We will be planning interesting fund-raising activities in the future, and member Donations are one way that members can help out as we expand and innovate.

    With the new Donation Form you can make a donation to the LIHS Scholarship Fund, which funds our scholarship award given to a Long Island student studying horticulture or to the LIHS General Fund, which funds all the activities LIHS engages in including our interesting monthly speakers. 

   You can make a donation in honor of a friend or loved one in celebration or memorial.

    Contributors will be acknowledged in the newsletter unless they decline via the form.

    Please fill out your information and print out the form and either bring it with you to a meeting or mail it to our treasurer, Maria Hoffman.

This Month's Donors:

Priscilla Baurschmidt

Run to the NYBG Orchid Show before April 21,2024

It is Glorious!

By Toni Cabat and Photos by Stuart Germain

 This year's Orchid Show at NYBG is just grand.  The colors, design and fashions are out of this world. Thousands of orchids in the warmth of the conservatory and the hills are alive with daffodils for those willing to walk or take the tram outdoors.  The photos speak for themselves. Just get there before April 21.  Annual membership is clearly a great baragin! Gets you to come back more often at one small membership fee.  Enjoy!

Cook's Corner

This month's recipe comes

from Carolyn Bantz, Spaghetti with 4 cheeses


Long Island Gesneriads Society
Flower Show Saturday April 6, 1-4pm, 
Sunday April 7, 11am to 4pm
The Conference Center at Planting Fields Arboretum


North Shore Land Alliance:

Register for all at

Spring Stroll Through Shu Swamp Preserve
Saturday, April 20, 2024, 11:00 am
Shu Swamp Preserve (Charles T. Nature Preserve), Mill Neck

John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden Season Kick-Off
Saturday, May 4, 2024, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
3 Dogwood Lane, Locust Valley

As mentioned at the March meeting, we're participating in several events to spread the word about LIHS. We're looking for volunteers to cover a table for the following events:

Event: Arbor Day Festival
Location: Planting Fields Arboretum Visitor's Center/Hay Barn (inside)
Dates: Sat 4/27 & Sun 4/28
Hours: 10-1 OR 1-4

Event: Farmingdale College Plant Sale
Location: Farmingdale College (outside)
Dates: Tues 5/7 & Wed 5/8 
Hours 9-1 OR 1-5

Please send an email to with the event, date and time you'd like to help, and we'll send you a confirmation with details. 

bottom of page