2020 – 2021 General Meetings

September 2020 – June 2021

Meetings are usually the 4th Tuesday of the month.

Time: 10:00 am

September 24, 2020
Activities & Committee Fair:

“Get to know each other and become familiar with club activities”

Anna DeConti, Zita Dauler, & Maggie Conger

CHGC will be meeting virtually via Zoom in September and October.

Traditionally, the September Meeting does not have a Speaker. It is a chance to meet one another and to learn from the committee heads what the Chapel Hill Garden Club is all about.

Every year at the September meeting CHGC members bring flowers that are arranged by Bitty Holton during the meeting into an amazing bouquet. With the meeting being held on-line, we have decided to put together a digital bouquet to share with our members. The bouquet will be in the form of a slide show that will be part of the meeting.

To attend, you must register in advance using the link for the session you plan to attend. The day before the session, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and a link for joining the session. Remember to jot down the meeting ID and passcode that is included in the confirmation email so you have it handy when you go to join the session.

Why Are We Asking You to Register?  With the increased use of Zoom for business and education, there is an increased need for security. By registering, each attendee will receive a unique link for joining the meeting. This is an added layer of security for you, the meeting and other attendees.

October 27, 2020
Betty Montgomery:

“The Winter Garden”

Betty Montgomery, author and syndicated columnist, will show slides of plants that can be grown successfully in the winter to give you a lovely landscape.  Her passion is shrubs and trees, but she also grows a few perennials and lots of different bulbs.  If your garden mostly hibernates in winter, you need to hear from Betty Montgomery.

Betty Montgomery has turned the soil in Campobello, South Carolina, and Hendersonville, North Carolina, for more than 50 years. She started out as a collector of unusual plants and has now turned her collection into a 5-acre garden.  Through decades of trial and error, Betty has learned the secrets to growing thriving plants, shrubs, and trees, expertise that she has shared through gardening columns in two newspapers.  Author of A Four-Season Southern Garden, her most recent book Hydrangeas: How to Grow, Cultivate,and Enjoy is designed for the beginning gardener, and reflects her 20 years of collecting hydrangeas.

November 24, 2020
Craig Blackmar:

“How Trees Can Save the World and What We Can Do to Help

Craig Blackmar, of Leaf & Limb will talk about the critical role of trees in maintaining and healing the environment, and how much we can do to help trees perform this vital function. We will learn how to responsibly care for trees and how to give new trees the best start possible.

Craig Blackmar is a Board Certified Master Arborist and a 32-year veteran in the tree care industry, with extensive experience in plant healthcare. His special expertise is tree risk assessment.

December 8, 2020
Holiday Tea:

We will not call this a meeting, but perhaps a virtual tea !! So grab a cup of tea and Join us as we enjoy a wonderful slide show of Horticulture owned by Members. Loraine Tuck has spent time gathering and then making up this fun and instructive show. We may get lucky and actually have the owners of these beauties tell us facts we can use !!

January 26, 2021
Margaret Pender:

“Compositions for the Winter Months”

Margaret grew up on a flower farm in Zimbabwe and came to America in 2004. She and her husband chose Chapel Hill as a place to build their new life and business and founded there the inspirational and successful Victoria Park Florist in the Timberlyne Shopping Center on Weaver Dairy Road.

Margaret Pender demonstrates effective and original ways to use the seasonal cut flowers of winter in designs for the here and now. Margaret will construct some of her signature winter creations. Questions welcome! Join us for an adventure with CHGC’s only Honorary Member.

February 23, 2021
Damon Waitt and Michael Kunz:

“Adapting to a Changing Landscape and Plant Conservation Programs at the NCBG”

Damon Waitt
Michael Kunz

Damon Waitt will update us on what has been happening at the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) since the pandemic began.  Mike Kunz, NCBG’s Conservation Ecologist, will follow with an overview of the Garden’s plant conservation programs.


Damon Waitt is the Director of the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Professor of the Practice in Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Damon is responsible for overall leadership and management of the NCBG and for ensuring that the Garden fulfills its mission to advance the conservation of plants and create a sustainable relationship between people and nature.  Before coming to NCBG, he was Senior Director and Botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.  He is on the board of the Center for Plant Conservation and is chair of the Board of North Carolina’s Plant Conservation Program.  Damon holds a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas in Austin, an M.S in Botany from Louisiana State University Baton Rouge and a B.S. in Biology from Tulane University.

Michael Kunz is the Conservation Ecologist at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.  Since 2005, he has worked on stewardship of natural areas, curation of a seed bank for rare plants, and management of the native plant materials program.  Additionally, he researches and works on the reintroduction and recovery of imperiled plants throughout the Southeastern US.  Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and a Master’s degree in Ecology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  His research interests are in population ecology, biogeography and conservation of rare plants.

March 30, 2021
John Dole:

“Creating a Home Cut Flower Garden”

Cut flowers bring life and joy into our lives and help us memorialize the special events in our lives. Learn how to set up, plant and maintain a home cut flower garden. Learn which species and cultivars are easy to grow, productive and beautiful.

John Dole is Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University. He researches the selection, production, and postharvest handling of cut flowers. He teaches Physiology of Flowering and has co-authored seven books, including two on cut flowers.

April 27, 2021
Maureen Mikolajczak:

“Iris – the Rainbow Flower of the Tufton Farm: Historic Tall Bearded Iris in the Garden”

Maureen Mikolajczak presents a brief history of the tall bearded iris and its place at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm, a part of Monticello in Charlottesville.  What is historic and why should we preserve it?  Maureen reviews iris culture, propagration, diseases, and identification and shares her experiences caring for the historic iris collection.  Here is the handout from her presentation.

Maureen is a volunteer at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants and is responsible for the care of the historic iris collection. An avid lifelong gardener, Maureen is a Master Gardener, former docent at the Adkins Arboretum on the Easter Shore of Maryland, a member of the Historic Iris Preservation Society and the Shenandoah Nature Journal Club.

May 25, 2021
Master Gardeners of Orange County:

“What Do Pollinators Really Want? Does Your Garden Have What It Takes?”

photo by Kathy Swendiman

This month’s program is a change of pace, featuring 4 presenters and panelists from Orange County Master Gardeners who will give 2 short presentations and then open up for a wide ranging question and answer period.

Master Gardener Faye McNaull will take us far beyond the usual list of “pollinator-friendly” plants. She takes us into the life of the pollinators themselves: what are they looking for? What colors are best if you want to attract certain pollinators?

Master Gardener Mary Leonhardi tells us about her favorite native plants, focusing on those that hold their own with cultivars AND have what it takes to attract pollinators.

Then we will open up for a question and answer panel with Faye McNaull, Mary Leonhardi, and Master Gardener Interns Kay Johnson and Melissa Kohout.

No matter where you are in the process of introducing pollinator magnets, you will find the MG team a fountain of inspiration!

June 8, 2021
A Garden Visit:

at the home of Gail Norwood

From 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Gail has invited Chapel Hill Garden Club members to come enjoy a stroll in her garden “Belvedere”. Please note:  to treat Gail’s garden gently, this will be a members only event.

This year, no food will be served, as a Covid precaution.  Wear a mask if you prefer; keep social distance if you prefer. We will be outdoors at all times.  Gail will have lemonade and water available.  Feel free to bring your own drink.

Everyone is asked to bring their own folding chair, to be sure we all have a seat.