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December 11, 2014

The last ABC Garden Group get-together of the year has been, in the past, a potluck supper held at a member’s home. This year we decided to try something different and meet, instead, at our usual “watering hole,” the Athol Public Library. Everyone was encouraged to bring their favorite holiday finger food – sweet or savory – to share for an evening of fellowship and good cheer.

We never get together without trying to learn something new, and our December meeting was no exception. Sue Bockelman, aka the Plant Pro, has shared her knowledge and expertise with us throughout this past year in workshops and Library gardening classes. As part of our December get-together, Sue offered to help folks make holiday centerpieces. She brought evergreen boughs, flowers, florist’s foam and decorations while members contributed their own containers and creativity. Thanks to Julie McKerracher who took the following pictures showcasing the beautiful results!

Our next get-together will be on Tuesday, January 8th at 6:30 p.m. at the Athol Public Library, and the topic will be “Extending the Season – Hoop Houses, Cold Frames and Row Covers.” Everyone who is currently using one of these season extenders is encouraged to come and share pictures and experiences with the rest of the group in a round robin discussion. See you all in 2015!

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The good news is that this year’s First Frost award isn’t going to Vern and Amy Spencer, and this year’s first frost is much later than last year’s (September 27th this year versus September 10th last year). The bad news is that this year’s recipient is Janet Benoit with a low of 30 degrees on September 27th. We all know how Janet struggles with her colder-than-average micro-climate, but we hope that a little recognition of the trials and tribulations she suffers will be of some comfort! Congratulations (?), Janet!

2013 ABC First Frost Award

Honorable mentions go to Vern and Amy Spencer in Cocolalla with a low of 29 on October 3rd, Marie and Roy Rambu in Athol with a low of 23 on October 4th, and Jeanne and Al Sliva in Bayview with a low of 28 on October 4th. I don’t know about the rest of the group, but this is one contest I’m happy to lose!

The Athol-Bayview-Careywood (ABC) Garden Group hereby awards its first annual “First Frost Award” to Vern and Amy Spencer of Cocolalla, Idaho and Donna Armbruster of Careywood, Idaho. On September 11, the Spencers suffered a low of 21 degrees while Donna Armbruster’s garden sank to 25 degrees F. Honorable mention goes to Janet Benoit of Careywood, Idaho with a low of 28 degrees F. Some of us extend our sympathies while others wish that frost would come to their gardens so they can relax and start planning for next year!