Tuesday Nights Backyard Gardening Series At Althouse Aboretum

A lecture series presented by Master Gardeners and other experts in their field.
Please preregister here

Native Plants for Every Garden

JUNE 9th        7:00 pm           Donation: $5
Learn how you can add beauty and reduce maintenance  while at the same time improving the ecosystem of your own backyard by using native plants in your landscape with Marc Randell, Master Gardener.  You can preregister here

Certified Wildlife Habitats

JUNE 16th   7:00 pm           Donation: $5
Certified Wildlife Habitats are a program run by the National Wildlife Federation to provide recognition for any property that provides food, water, shelter, nesting spaces and sustainable gardening practices that support wildlife. Whether you have a small yard, a balcony or acres of land, this program will help you attract beautiful wildlife to your property and reduce storm water in the process.  You can preregister here
~ Rachel Rosenfeld, Master Gardener

Garden Tips & Tricks, a Show & Tell

JUNE 23rd   7:00 pm          Donation: $5

Find fresh ideas to use in  your garden this summer. Learn about items in your home or yard that can be re-purposed or recycled in  ways you may not have thought of. Get the down and dirty with Kathy Klein, Master Gardener  You can preregister here

Garden in Place and Bring Nature Home

JUNE 30th   7:00 pm          Donation: $5
To garden in place and bring nature home not only beautifies your environment, feeds birds and wildlife and makes maintenance easier, but it also shows a personal commitment to preserving our natural world.  Preserving our natural world in this way supports life not only in your backyard but on the planet as well. Putting this concept into practice may be easier than you think, with greater rewards than you imagine. Learn more with Leslie Bass, Master Grardener.  You can preregister here

Mosaic Community Garden Announces Beautification Contest Winners

How it all began:  In the summer of 2012, Dick Heylmun, the owner of Pine Tree Hill Farm, contacted Mosaic Community Land Trust, after learning about their work in the Community garden on Chestnut Street.

Mr Heylmun, an avid gardener himself, conceived of the idea to offer prize money to people living in the Beech to High Street, Adams to Charlotte Street area for creating beautiful street-side gardens and plantings. He knows how pretty a block can be when the residents take pride in their homes and gardens and he revels in the joy and sense of pride that gardens bring to the gardener and all who pass by.

Mosaic partnered with the Pottstown Garden club to develop, advertise and judge the contest. Flyers were distributed to all the homes in the area while the Mercury helped promote the contest in an article about both the garden contest.

With only nine entries for this competition, the first of its kind in the core neighborhood, we hope to inspire confidence in others to enter next year.  The gardeners chose one of three categories and most of the entries were in the “front garden and planters combined” category.

Two members from the Pottstown Garden Club, Nancy Toothacher and Karin Albera, accompanied board member, Gretchen Lea, (who is also a Penn State Master Gardner), and Laura Washington, the MOSAIC garden manager, as they set out one very hot afternoon to walk the blocks and judge the gardens.  It was hard, yet fun and rewarding.

The contestants showed a sense of pride and enthusiasm about their creations, and had a variety of reasons why they chose one plant or another and why they chose to place them where they did.

Some plants have personal meaning, like beautiful memories and experiences of the gardens and gardeners we have known and loved -they are place makers in our lives. Gardens are often creative expressions of their creators.  Knowing this, while judging makes the job difficult, but all the more fun.

Asking a gardener about their gardens is like possessing the key to a box, open it up and you’ll find out something about what’s inside.

The judges passed several pretty and interesting gardens along the way and wished that those gardens had been entered in the contest too.  When asked why they didn’t enter, a few folks proclaimed… “Mine is not quite good enough”.  Some gardeners can be too hard on themselves. Working with nature is not easy. Nature cannot be controlled.  That makes gardening all the more challenging and rewarding.  I beg all who dig in the soil to keep up the confidence to keep planting. Every garden is a unique expression of the gardener.

20130714_173300_resizedI have entered my garden in shows and contests, even though they weren’t perfect, because others get joy in seeing them.  It is rewarding to watch people blossom when they see what you have accomplished.  It too is a great way to connect with one another. For me, gardening is a great reason to be outside and to work with Mother Nature as I try to express myself.

The Winners Are:

For Planters and window boxes:

Athena Singer 1st prize 352 Walnut Street $150

Anna Johnson 2nd prize 515 Chestnut Street $ 75

20130711_171523_resizedThe Garden awards and prize money were presented Sunday July 14th at 5 o’clock at the MOSAIC Community Garden, followed by a get together with refreshments, conversation and friendship.

We hope you will take the time to walk through the neighborhood and check out the winner’s gardens as well as all the other gardens that capture the imagination.

Garden by garden the Mosaic Community Land Trust’s designated areas will blossom, as the first garden has done, with people sharing stories, recipes, making new friends, learning about their gardens, trading plants and ideas while enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Thank you Dick Helymun for your great idea and generosity!

Mosaic would like to make the Beautification Contest an annual tradition.  If you would like to make a donation or take part we’d love to hear from you.

mosaicclt@gmail.com for more info

Green Thumbs Up and Thanks to Everyone Involved!

Gretchen Lea