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Every month we get together for a wide-ranging and unusual set of programs usually a lecture from an outside expert, organized by our inquisitive and knowledgeable Programs Committee. See the schedule below for this year's offerings.


Amy South Demystifies Houseplant Care (evening meeting)
Union Congregational Church

Monday, March 20, 2023, 6:00pm reception; 7:00pm meeting 

GCM member, Amy South owns the beautiful local shop Moss & More, in Upper Montclair.  The store is the result of Amy's 10-year-long dream to design a space inspired by nature, love of home, and creativity while connecting people with common interests — plants and passion for home spaces! She will discuss houseplants — their needs and care — and take us far beyond the reliable philodendron, to confidently try some more interesting and exotic plant species.


“The Secret Gardens of Santa Fe” with Sydney LeBlanc
Union Congregational Church

Monday, April 17, 2023, 1:30pm

A hidden world of gardens lies behind adobe walls in Santa Fe: an amazing mix of exuberant flowers, austere native plants, hand-painted containers, water features, art, perhaps a touch of spirituality, and scents of sage and piñon in the air. Santa Fe’s horticultural tradition spans 400 years, and the gardens reflect an evocative blend of Hispanic, Native American, European and contemporary ideas. Gardeners in Santa Fe confront some of nature’s most challenging climatic extremes. Sydney LeBlanc is the author, among other books, of Secret Gardens of Santa Fe. She lives in New York City, where she was a long-time member of The City Gardens Club of New York City and co-chair of the Club’s annual house and garden tour on the Upper East Side.


Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Orchids
Union Congregational Church
Monday, October 17, 2022, 1:30pm

Having been fascinated by orchids as a child, Marc Hachadourian is now the senior Curator of the New York Botanical Garden Orchid Collection, as well as the Director of Glasshouse Horticulture at the Garden. He is the NYBG’s go-to person for the trickiest questions about orchids or obscure plant identification. In 2001 he co-authored Botanica Magnifica: Portraits of the World’s Most Extraordinary Flowers and Plants.  His 2018 book, Orchid Modern: Living and Designing with the World’s Most Elegant Houseplants, is a great resource for both new orchid enthusiasts and more advanced growers alike. See images from the event.


Fall and Winter in the Native Garden
Union Congregational Church

Monday, November 14, 2022, 1:30pm

Deb Ellis — environmental activist, community builder and teacher — will talk about how to extend the gardening season throughout the fall and winter with native flowers, evergreen ferns and berry-producing bushes. She will also be discussing how to modernize fall cleanup, how “leaving the leaves” can nurture a garden, and how native plants can serve as a home and winter food source for pollinators and birds.


Deb is the Vice President for chapters of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey and the founder and leader of the Essex County Chapter. She is a Master Gardener and a Rutgers Environmental Steward. Deb gardens in Montclair where her smallish property hosts over 100 species of native plants. See account of the event.


Ask the Beekeeper
Union Congregational Church

Monday, February 13, 2023, 1:30pm

Local Montclair beekeeper Eileen Hyland and her family manage Stately Hyland Apiaries. Her experience includes helping urban beekeepers with rooftop hives, including Liberty Science Center, to working with both farmland and commercial apiaries. Eileen works alongside an Eastern Apiculture Society (EAP) beekeeper and has been raising queen bees and nucleus (starter) hives for sale for four years. A Master Gardener and Master Preserver, Eileen is working towards her EAS Master Beekeeping Certification.

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