Calendar Events

February 2016

March 2016

  • Mar 7 California Arbor Day
  • Mar 10 Regular Monthly Meeting
  • Mar 16-20 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show

April 2016

May 2016

  • May 12 Regular Monthly Meeting

June 2016

  • Jun 9 Regular Monthly Meeting
Lynn MacFarland, Best in Show
Livermore-Amador Valley Garden Club (LAVGC) is a non-profit educational service organization affiliated with California Garden Clubs, Inc. serving the Tri-Valley Area: Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Sunol.

LAVGC Mission: Encourage interest in all phases of home gardening; Promote better horticultural practices; Promote civic beauty; Promote conservation of natural resources.

LAVGC offers special interest groups and workshops on a variety of related subjects.

Different special interest groups include Floral Design, Herb and Culinary, and Mediterranean/Native Plants.

Members take tours to see outstanding gardens, nurseries and to attend horticultural events. In addition, there are local hikes to see the wild flowers growing in the Tri-Valley area. Members also perform community service locally and nationally.

Climbing Roses - February Monthly Meeting
Thursday, Feb 11 at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

LAVGC monthly meeting is at the Alisal Elementary School multipurpose room, 1454 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, CA 94566.

Anita Clevenger, Curator of the Sacramento Historic Rose Garden will discuss: Climbing Roses. What is the difference between a rambler and large flowered climber? Do you know that not all climbers grow the same way? What are great climbers to grow in our valley? Come and learn more about climbing roses, how to prune them, structures to grow them on, water requirements and much more from Anita Clevenger.

Dinner with the speaker: We will be having dinner before the meeting at 5:15 at the Oasis restaurant, 780 Main Street, Pleasanton. All members are invited to attend. This is a great way to meet and converse with the speaker. If you plan on attending the dinner, please phone or email Sharon Howard by Noon on Wednesday, Feb 10. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Sharon's phone number.

Visitors Are Welcome!

Please join us at the monthly meeting or contact us at the Contacts link above. Please take a moment to fill out the 2015-2016 Membership Application Form for July 2015 through June 2016.

PDF requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Thanks, thanks and more thanks

Thanks to all who participate in the club workshops, work parties and providing meeting refreshments. > > More

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Plant Sale Planning Meeting

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7:00 pm. Location: Pleasanton Gardens Community Room, 251 Kottinger Drive in Pleasanton

We have lots to discuss so hope you can join us. Coffee and snacks will be provided. Any questions, please contact Karen Abbruscato, plant sale chairman. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Karen's phone number.

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Alameda County Master Gardeners Workshop

Saturday, Feb. 13, 10:00 am. Location: Martinelli Center, 3575 Greenville Rd, Livermore.

The Alameda County Master Gardeners will be resuming their 2016 monthly gardening info workshops at their Livermore Demonstration Garden. The workshops will be held on the second Saturday of each month at 10:00am. The February 13 workshop is Building a Compost System for the garden. The speaker will be club member and master gardener, Erica Dedon. The demonstration garden is located in front of the county agriculture building in the Martinelli Center, 3575 Greenville Rd. in Livermore. Rain will cancel the workshop.

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Diablo Foothills District Meeting and Luncheon

Thursday, February 18, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm. Location: Walnut Creek Elks Lodge

All DFD and LAVGC members, guests, friends, and interested parties--- Attached is the flyer for the DFD February Meeting and Luncheon on February 18. This meeting is open to the public and certainly anyone interested in gardening and garden clubs. For more information and to signup, see the flyer. Reservations must be received by February 15th.

Speaker Don Vivatson, working with the Adler Group of Walnut Creek. Specializes in making your yard "pop" with curb appeal using sustainable and native plantings. Structures, lighting, plant features and the customer's current and projected use of their yard are all considered part of the complete package to enhance your home. "let us help you get started".

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Arbor Day Workshop

Saturday, February 27, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Location: the Seasons Building at Alden Lane Nursery

The Seasons Building is near the corner of Alden Lane and Holmes Blvd. Jacquie plans to have the gate open near that building that morning for LAVGC volunteers to enter as well as the main entrance. This is always a lively affair and many hands can help to make the seed sorting, and handout compiling a pleasant repast. Potential presenters will be receiving a mini refresher lesson. Home baked refreshments will be served as well as hot teas, courtesy of Chez Dedon. If you are interested in participating in the Arbor Day Poppy Seed Sorting Workshop or being a presenter at the schools, or both.

Please signup at the February club meeting or contact Erica Dedon, Arbor Day Coordinator. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Erica's phone number.

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Getting ready for our 2016 Plant Sale on April 16

Save the date, Saturday, April 16th, 2016. That's the date for our annual Plant Sale event. It's never too early to start propagating so start dividing, germinating, and rooting your cuttings. We need your good healthy plants for this sale.

Early February is the time to start tomatoes from seed. Starting seeds now will provide the perfect plant size in April for the sale. If you need seeds, please contact Sondra Bierre or Barbara Stott for access to the Seed Library, which is currently on hold for the winter. See the LAVGC Yearbook for their phone numbers.

We're trying a new sales technique this year to better promote our plants. In doing so, we are looking for plant champions that have some experience with a plant family. Do you love Roses, Geraniums/Pelagoniums, Begonia's, Bromeliads, Succulents, grasses, annuals, bulbs, shrubs, fruits, iris' or ???? What is your favorite or specialty? We're looking for a team of two that can "own" a table of a plant family. We will work with you to create signage to market the plants, and your knowledge and enthusiasm will help attract buyers to make the purchase.

More details will unfold throughout the year as we settle on the specifics but the general essence is to have a better presentation of the large amount of plants we offer. If you would like to chair one of the specific plant types or have any ideas, suggestions or questions, please contact Karen Abbruscato, plant sale chairman. See the LAVGC Yearbook for Karen's phone number.

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Spring Member Garden Tour, Sunday, April 24

This tour is for members and their friends and is not available to the public. We'd love to include gardens not seen recently. It's a terrific reason to get all those projects completed or even to show off new areas or specialties of your garden. Details and directions will be in the April newsletter.

If you'd like to participate or have suggestions for gardens you'd like to see, please contact Sandra Yamaoda or Betty Nostrand. See the LAVGC Yearbook for their phone numbers.

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Vote this Month: Budget and Vision Statement

Background: A major goal of the Executive Board has been to provide transparency and clarity regarding the budget and related fiscal matters. This club belongs to all of us and we share in deciding the future of our club. We are currently fiscally sound with strong reserves so it is a good time to plan for the future. At the same time, we know that for a number of years a trend has developed whereby our annual planned expenses exceed our annual planned income. This trend has brought a number of important questions to the forefront, including: What is a prudent reserve for our club? Under what circumstances should we use reserve funds? What are the selection criteria for fund requests? What is our vision for the club's future? A well thought out collaborative review of these questions was needed to insure a healthy club future. The reality is that the cost of club business has increased. For example, over the last five years our insurance costs have increased by 60%, room expenses for our evening general meetings are up by 29%. While our membership income has decreased, dropping about 100 members since 2005. The bottom line is due to reduced membership and increased costs the Fixed Costs per person are now at $39.57. This is double the $20 cost of individual membership dues. Our Plant Sale pays for half of the Fixed Costs. The Vision Workshop attendees, the Executive Board, and the Board have decided these issues need to be addressed to ensure a fiscally healthy club in the future.

The Approval Process: The Executive Board, in cooperation with the Board, has been working to establish clear budget related guidelines and a common understanding. To begin the process, we invited all club members to participate in the decision making process. Being inclusive was important to us. So, the Executive Board hosted an all-day Garden Club Vision workshop, on November 7, 2015. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a vision statement, gain consensus on identified budget issues, and develop written recommendations for the Executive Board. The agreed upon workshop recommendations were forwarded to the Executive Board for their consideration on November 21, 2015. (Please let us know if you would like a copy of the workshop recommendations summary and we will be glad to provide it.)

Bringing the motions to you for vote is the final step in the approval process. After much exploration, discussion, and collective decision-making we have jointly decided approval and implementation of these motions will help us to produce a fiscally sound annual budget using a common reference of understanding. The Executive Board and Board are united as we ask for your support of the motions. So please review the proposed motions below and come prepared to vote at the February 11, 2016 general meeting. In the meantime, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us prior to the meeting. Developing the vision statement, to support our existing mission statement, was a good exercise for us. It helped us to acknowledge that we value many enduring aspects of the club but most of all we value the fellowship with gardeners and the learning opportunities we have through the club. That thinking led us to create the vision statement listed below. We know a commonly agreed upon mission and vision help us to work together as we make budget decisions which lead our club into the future.

In closing, we would like to say thank you for working with us as we move forward to ensure an enduring future for our club.

Submitted by Marcella Rodgers

Motions to be voted on by the membership at the February 11, 2016 General Meeting

I. Motions Related to Reserve Funds:
A. Annually maintain a minimum 125% of previous year's actual expenses as a prudent reserve.
B. Use reserves for emergencies and special approved projects with a limited time frame.
C. Philosophically adopt the concept that reserves are not used to balance the annual budget. This will be fully acted upon within 2 to 3 years, when the income has been increased.

II. Motions Related to Funding Requests:
A. The discretionary funds criteria will be used to request reserve funds.
B. All requests to use funds must be submitted in writing. This includes a budget funding request, discretionary funds, and a change in funding request.
C. Funding request selection criteria for all written funding requests will include: ability of principals to implement, project feasibility, benefit to the club, clarity of project budget to justify amount requested, and alignment to the club mission. Request needs to state whether there is an income component to the project or matching funds.

III. Motion Related to Club Dues: Increase dues for the 2016-17 year by $5 for individual membership and by $10 for family membership. The increase for renewal membership will be waived, for this year only, if membership is paid by May 30, 2016. The waiver does not apply to new memberships.

IV. Motion for Yearbook Fee: Charge $1 for each additional yearbook. (Individual or family membership includes one yearbook.)

V. Motion to Adopt the Following Vision Statement: Gardening for fun and purpose while working together to share knowledge and promote environmental responsibility.

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