Long Island Horticultural Society

March News & Notes

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March 2021
President's Message...

Hello Gardeners!

First, I want to apologize for any offense taken regarding my comments about stamps. It was, in no way, meant to demean veterans or the flag. The US Postal Service prints stamps depicting many historical and cultural icons. You have the freedom to choose.

Tamson’s talk on Sunday got me excited to try new vegetables, not only in my flower beds but in general. Scarlet runner beans, purple string beans and kale, amaranth. What a pretty plant that is. Her plant list is available on the website. I was watching a show the other day and the host had planted wheat on her front lawn in place of ornamental grass. She harvested and ate the wheat berries, there was not enough for a bag of flour.

I had on This Old House on TV as background noise as I was cleaning last weekend and they had the coolest product. It is like a Roomba (the automatic vacuum) but for weeds. It cuts down any plant that is about 2 inches or smaller. According to the show, it did a really good job. If you want to find the episode online, it was season 19, episode 15. I prefer the old school method of hand weeding. They also had a smart irrigation system that paid attention to weather reports. All kinds of new gadgets.

Thank you to everyone who sent in pictures of their holiday plants. My amaryllis finally bloomed in February. My husband said it was a 2 holiday plant- Christmas and Valentines day.

I have purchased all my seeds, snowdrops are just about to bloom and my early daffodils have poked through the snow. I am ready to garden.

I hope everyone is well and healthy and getting vaccinated. We are hoping to start in person meetings in September. It seems like a long way off, the time will go by quickly.

  & Hacks
Image by Jen Theodore

I am not a coffee drinker, but my husband and boys are. It always bothers me when they use the Kuerig machine and the K-cups because there is a lot of waste with the coffee pods. I have found a way to re-purpose them. I empty the used ones (grinds and paper filter go to the compost), and then they are perfect for seed starting.   They already have a drainage hole, just put them under a tray!

-Anne Cognato



                Virtual Visits

This month: 

2021 New Shrub Introductions and March in the Conservatory at Longwood

Image by Nareeta Martin

Recap of February 21 2021 Webinar: Dr. Tamson Yeh: Edible Landscapes: Helping the Environment One Bite at a Time by Ronnie Brancazio

Handouts for Tamson Yeh's Presentation: Edible Landscaping Selections and Vertebrate Pests of Edible Gardens

Gardening with Pets

Gardening with Pets


Ronnie Brancazio

How to fulfill your dual role as pet owner and gardener.

How To Make Kokedama

Kokedama is a ball of soil, covered with moss, on which an ornamental plant grows. The idea has its origins in Japan, where it is a combination of the nearai bonsai and kusamono planting styles. Today, Kokedama is very popular in Japanese gardens

By Toni Cabat & Stuart Germain

Growing Under Cover: Techniques for a More Productive, Weather-Resistant, Pest-Free Vegetable Garden by Niki Jabbour


Browsing in the new book section of our local library we came across this new book and although we have not read through it all, we wanted to get the title out of our LIHORT members since you are looking for ways to start your garden and protect it. Here is the review which we have adapted to help familiarize you with her new book.  It is also available on Kindle.


Niki Jabbour is a well established author of gardening books,  as well as author of many magazine articles. She lives in Nova Scotia and is well aware of our unpredictable weather patterns and pest infestations. So she came up with some solutions to help us. In this in-depth guide, Jabbour shows how to use small solutions like cloches, row covers, shade cloth, cold frames, and hoop houses, as well as larger protective structures like greenhouses and polytunnels, to create controlled growing spaces for vegetables to thrive. Photographed in her own garden, she highlights the many benefits of using protective covers to plant earlier, eliminate pests, and harvest a healthier, heartier bounty year-round. With enthusiasm, inventive techniques, and proven, firsthand knowledge, this book provides invaluable advice from a popular and widely respected gardening authority..


Let us know if you find this helpful reading. 

March 21 Webinar

Anthony Marinello:

Gardening for Spring

LI Hort members will be emailed a link to attend the webinar. Visit the Meetings page for more info

Want to join LI Hort to view the webinar click here

Tropical Plants
From the Editor....

Spring is comin' I can feel it. I went for a walk outside the day it was 50 degrees out I just had to take in the warmth and sunshine made my soul feel good. I walked around my garden looking for signs of spring. They are there, the birds are chirping I can hear cardinals, chickadees and the titmouse laughing. I can also see the hellebores blooming underneath last year's growth. I cut a few of last year's stems back just to peek at the flowers. I don't usually cut the old stems back but I just needed to see the happy flowers, needed it more this year so I cut a few back. I still have them to cover the base of the plant if we get a real bad cold snap.

I took some photos  to share with you all as I think seeing the beauty of spring is something we all need right now. I'm inviting everyone to share pictures of spring, please send them to me at 


and I'll publish them in the newsletter until we get enough to start up the Virtual Garden Tours Albums again. 

   Check out the Garden Calendar page for a primer about how to winter Prune your trees and shrubs save those cutting for forcing branches indoors!

-Ann Wetzel

Anne Cognato

Lady Slipper Orchid
Lady Slipper Orchid

Barbara Hanft


Ann Wetzel


Anne Cognato


Click on the viewer to see full size photos

Cook's Corner
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This month's recipe comes from Katherine Readinger Shakshuka with Spinach and Feta