West 104th Street Garden

June 14, 2008

Notes from Wednesday Garden meeting

Filed under: Meeting Notes — by west104garden @ 8:32 am

Hello gardeners!

Many thanks to all you who showed up for the work meeting Wednesday eve, and those of you who emailed. The work session was incredibly productive: a cracker-jack team replaced rotting boards in the gazebo, others mowed lawns, separated rocks from dirt, tied roses and raspberries back, Sarah Kavka and her daughter, new members, worked on expanding the herb garden, with more plants to come, and so much more. Bravo to all.

For those of you who are eager to help out but couldn’t make the session, we’ll send out a separate email of things still needing done. Meantime, please be sure the plants in the communal gardens are watered.

And please support upcoming events: On Saturday, June 21, the garden will be filled with music in a celebration of the summer solstice, all part of Make Music New York. It starts up with a session for kids at 11 a.m. with Vita Wallace, a member and classical musician who will lead kids in a session with instruments they make themselves, followed by jazz (1-4) and classical music (4-5.15).

Again, thanks for your support. Below, you’ll find condensed updates from various committee heads — please take time to read, if you weren’t at the meeting.

All best,
Suzanne Charle’ for the Steering Committee


Marcia Berry, Jean and Alan Tenney will be getting together to create a template for the future. Anyone interested should get in touch with them.

A vote is being taken on Julia Soledispa’s proposal that the communal gardens be given $150 each (for a total of $300). Votes sent to Mary Kelly by those who weren’t at the meeting by June 21 will be added to those at the meeting. A decision will be announced soon after the deadline.

Committee updates:

Communal gardens:

A few reminders: In both gardens, please do not store personal seeds (which might attract rodents).
Please don’t store personal gear in the sheds.

If you want to work on the communal beds or put something in the beds, please see the heads of the committees (Lou Ludyny in the East Garden; Julia Soledispa and Suzanne Charle’ in the West) and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. Each section of the garden has a ‘chief gardener’ who is overseeing that section.

During heat waves, please everyone take time to water a part of the communal gardens–deep, so the roots go deep.

In the East Garden, rocks were separated from the dirt, which has been spread out. Please help bring the remaining rocks behind the sheds in the garden–ask Lou if you have questions.

Herb garden:

Larry Lewis and Florice Peterkin are heading the effort. Please work with them.

Raspberries are beginning to come into season–you might want to have your kids taste a few.

There are still some spots that need herbs–please consider buying a plant of your favorite herb and asking Florice or Larry where is best to plant.

Sarah Kavka, a new member, is establishing a beach head in the vinca minor section, so there will be even more herbs.


In each garden there are places to put your green material (pls., no weeds and no sticks or branches.) There is a marked garbage barrel next to the composter in the East Garden, and a cage at the back of the shade garden in the West Garden. This material will eventually be shredded and put into the composter.

Please, no food or kitchen scraps, which will attract rats.

Lou will show those interested how to use the composter.


1) This Saturday, the Flea Market takes place. Julia is the head.

2) Next Saturday, Make Music NY, with free music in the garden, starting with a children’s program at 11. Please contact Rolando if you know musicians who want to play.

3) A Fall Festival planned for Saturday October 18th. This will incorporate flea market, maybe music, apple/pumpkin sales, all in garden. It will replace block party (too complicated) and perhaps Halloween party…to be determined.

4) There will be Jean’s Can-Can (Jean?) holiday/carol event sometime in December.

5) Proposing MayDay party for opening garden season in Spring, with maypole dancing…


Please remember to take out all picnic garbage, food containers and dispose of outside the garden so we don’t attract rats.

Please take out all large boxes that you might bring in.

Lawnmowing Committee:

We have one usable mower and are keeping it in the West Garden shed. A new mower will be bought soon. Please be sure to clean off the blades after you have used the mowers, so the blades remain sharp.

Please don’t cut the grass too short during heat waves.

Membership and monitoring:

Pam Wax has been doing a great job, and has almost completed the membership and committee lists. Some people will be asked to be on other committees, that don’t have enough people. Monitoring times need to be honored; if you can’t, it’s your responsibility to find someone to take your place.Please be sure that you have signed up for two monitoring days. Kitty Crooks has the schedule.


Janice will be pruning the street trees in front of the west garden once the weather isn’t so hot.

Rose Committee update:

Lucille notes that committee has be resetting the maze, and branches have been tied up.
We will be attaching new signs shortly, and fertilizing all plantings when first blooms
have finished to set up repeating cycles on all.

The roses have been particularly bountiful this year. Please take time to smell our roses.

Repairs Committee:

Frank and Jean and their crew repaired rotten floor boards in the gazebo. The shed in the West Garden still needs to have a broken screw drilled out before one of the door can open. Repairs of beds continue apace.

Tree pits:

Alan Tenney has been in touch with the contractor Rob Hoover, who will be building the tree surrounds. Unfortunately, the work has been slowed by a (I hope) mild eye injury to his assistant. Rob hopes to have the tree pits installed by the end of June. Alan will maintain a dialogue with Rob and keep you updated.

Water Barrels:

Only the people on the water barrel committee can fill the water barrels. Please see Lou or one of the other water barrel committee members for instructions if you’re interested in being able to access the hose and fire hydrant.

Website update:

Noreen Whysel, the grand creator of the website reports:

URL: http://www.west104garden.org
Blog site: https://west104garden.wordpress.com (used for news)
Photo site: http://flickr.com/photos/26803601@N05/
Calendar site: Pending, probably will be GoogleApps, since we already have an account there.

We would love more pictures of recent events, photographer & people/subjects identified.

If anyone wants to write a blurb about annual events, the memorial rose arbor or fireman’s plot, let Noreen know.

We also had a request to put in an article about organic composting and pest control, but we don’t have any details. Please send along if you have the information.


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