FROM: Sandy Robinson, President, National Garden Clubs, Inc.
SUBJECT: Milkweed

It has been brought to my attention that some “Big Stores” have been selling milkweed plants that have been treated with systemic Neonicotinoids. This will kill caterpillars! Please, be aware and be on the lookout for these tags placed in plants. Please pass this information along to your garden club members!

Garden Club member Mary Writes, I purchased a Milkweed plant from Home Depot near my home and it wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the little information stick hidden behind the identification information that the plant had been treated with systemic Neonicotinoids. The container boasted how desirable the plant is for birds and butterflies. Yesterday I went to a different Home Depot and they had just put out an entire rolling cart of these plants, maybe about 100, all poisoned. I contacted the store manager and told him that it is the same as giving poison candy to kids on Halloween. This is THE host plant for the Monarch. My club, Shady Oaks and our junior club, Little Shadows have worked so hard to establish a Monarch Waystation and to educate people on the decline of the Monarch. I hate to think of the millions of poison Milkweed being distributed nationwide by Home Depot.

The container says distributed by Home Depot, 2455 Paces Ferry Rd N. W., Atlanta , Georgia.

I contacted the LSU Ag Agent for New Orleans, Dr Joe Willis. He said the Neonicotinoids will dilute as the plants grow but that only a very small amount will kill the larva of the Monarch. He is contacting the Master Gardeners of the area. I contacted the newsletters of garden clubs to ask that they send a notice to members. I contacted a local GOA club and the president said she would inform her members. I contacted our LGCF President and our Environmental School Chairman with the information.
We need a notice to Home Depot from a national source.

I contacted the Monarch Watch organization at the University of Kansas (1200 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045) .
It needs to be sent soon as these plants are being sold now to well meaning people who are wanting to help the Monarch and not kill them. I hate to think of the billions of plants being sold nationwide and how that will cancel the efforts of so many to stop the demise of the Monarch. Could you please help?

GMG Readers, Wednesday I am planning to check to see if our local Home Depots are also selling milkweeds with pesticide. I don’t purchase plants from Home Depot as they are generally of a much poorer quality, however I have in a pinch. 

Milkweed can be purchased from these local sources:

Cedar Rock Gardens

Wolf Hill

Northeast Nursery

Male and Female Monarch Butterfly on Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)



One of the teeniest butterflies you’ll see at this time of year is the Spring Azure, with a wing to wing span of less than one inch. Found in meadows, fields, gardens, and along the forest edge, the celestial blue flakes pause to drink nectar from clover, Quaker Ladies, crabapples, dandelions, and whatever tiny floret strikes her fancy.

You can find the Azures flitting about Crabapple blossoms.

Native wildflowers Quaker Ladies, also called Bluets, are an early season source of nectar for Azures.

If you’d like to attract these spring beauties to your garden, plant native flowering dogwood * (Cornus florida), blueberries, and viburnums; all three are caterpillar food plants of the beautiful Spring Azure Butterfly.

The female butterfly curls her abdomen around in a C-shape and deposits eggs amongst the yellow florets of the flowering dogwood. Pink or white, both are equally attractive to the Spring Azure.

Cornus florida ‘rubra’

*Only our native flowering dogwood, Cornus florida, is a caterpillar food plant for Azure butterflies. Don’t bother substituting the non-native Korean Dogwood, it won’t help the pollinators.

Native Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) at Willowdale Estate Butterfly Garden

Week 2 of 8 Katrina’s $1,000 Singer Songwriter Challenge 7:30pm Tonight 5.9.2017

if you’re planning to catch this great lineup, call ahead and reserve a table: (978) 515-7817.

Photos and winners of last week’s challenge

The first week of Katrina’s $1000 Singer Song Writer Challenge 2017 was one of the best nights in live music entertainment I have attended. Quite a few players came from the Boston area. Some were nervous but that did not interfere at all with the awesomeness they put out.. At some points it felt like we were in the presence of the likes of Joan Baez and Judy Collins, combined with the Jakals duo. You have to believe that many in the audience found themselves in awe of what they witnessed last night. No wonder the word goosebumps was mentioned so many times.
Here is a list of the players and judges and winners.
Steve Caraway
Zion Rodman
Jakals (duo)
Greg Guba
The Only Humans (trio)
Prateek Poddar
Patrick Nelson
Phil Holub

Judges: Annie Brobst, Susan Coviello & Brian Alex (who also, happened to do a real fine job on sound)

3rd place Zion Rodman
2nd Place The Only Humans
1st place a tie Jakals & Prateek Poddar

Chris Langathianos did a real fine job hosting the event. Katrina’s had a great vibe all night long and the food and service was excellent,
Special thanks, to Steve Caraway for performing “Quanah Parker’s Band”

One Hour at a Time Gang Clean up

Hi all:

Hope everyone is doing well. Received a call with regards to Poles Hill and asked me if we could help out cleaning up there.

When: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Where: Poles Hill ( we can park on Ferry or Riverview )
Time: 08:00 – 09:00

I will have good ole yellow bags.

Thanks and if you have pickers please bring them along with gloves.

Take care

Amazing Gloucester High School trip to Spain and Portugal

Over the April 2017 school vacation, Gloucester High School students and chaperones traveled to Spain and Portugal. Report from the trip:

Mr. Celestino Basile, World Language Coordinator at the High School, led the group through visits to Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Seville, Costa del Sol, & Granada, as well as many other fascinating spots in Spain before heading to Lisbon, Portugal. Basile has brought many groups of GHS students to Europe over the years. While in Seville, on Easter Sunday, some of the Spanish exchange students who had visited Gloucester in September 2016 (staying for 3 weeks with GHS students and their families, and attending GHS with their hosting student) were able to meet up with and visit the Gloucester group. What an amazing opportunity for these kids, thanks to Mr. Basile! Highlights included a flamenco evening, an evening cruise, visiting the beach at Costa del Sol, and re-connecting with the exchange students who had visited Gloucester.

In Gloucester,MA, one must experience Fisherman at the Wheel,  the iconic bronze memorial by Leonard Craske installed in 1925. While in Madrid one must visit Oso y El Madrono– the bear and strawberry tree– the 1967 monument to the symbol of Madrid by artist Antonio Navarro Santafé.  Bears are common symbols worldwide but a bear leaning on a strawberry tree and eating the fruit heralds solely Madrid. Before that sculpture commission, Santafé modeled Madrid’s Bear of Berlin as well as sculpture gifts for dignitaries based on Madrid’s memorable coat of arms. Madrid’s bear was modeled on a local one* captured in the Picos de Europa mountains and sent to the zoo in El Retiro. “The bear, more than Difficult, it is ungrateful, because it is animal in a heavy way, and the sculptor has to guess its anatomy through its imposing fur coat. Anyway, like everything done by God, and for Nature, it is beautiful.” 

“My bear, which is the Bear of Madrid, in the fabulous wheel of the Puerta del Sol!” Antonio Navarro Santafé

The Gloucester High School students were there! And the Prado, and…



Antonio Navarro Santafe, Parque de Berlin Oso de Berlin, Madrid




Spanish language teacher and chaperone, Heidi Wakeman, sent two photos and summarized the trip for Good Morning Gloucester:

“37 students, 6 chaperones, 2 countries and 1 Spanish tour guide = ONE AMAZING TRIP! The GHS trip to Spain and Portugal was an exciting, educational and exhausting excursion!  We landed on Wednesday, April 12 and started sightseeing right away (El Prado museum, to see Las Meninas, el Greco, among other masterpieces).  There were cathedrals, churches, plazas and palaces.  A highlight was the reunion with Spanish students that lived here in Gloucester last fall. Students spoke and listened to a lot of Spanish, then Portuguese as we finished in Lisbon.  As a middle school Spanish teacher at O’Maley, I was so grateful for the experience: my first time chaperoning an overseas trip, and my first time to Spain! The kids will never forget this trip, and neither will I!”- Heidi Wakeman

Sevilla, Spain from Heidi


Chaperones, Toledo Spain, from Heidi

GHS spain 2017


*Local inspiration:

Anna Hyatt Huntington modeled Joan of Arc at her Annisquam home Seven Acres in part from poses of her niece, Clara, and Frank, a ‘magnificent Percheron’  from the Gloucester fire department. The Gloucester cast is a monument to the WW1 heroes of Gloucester. Leonard Craske’s Gloucester Fisherman at the Wheel is a debated composite.


oral history transcript 1969 A Hyatt Mayor Adores his Aunt Anna Hyatt Huntington (read by Marie Demick)

All in a days walk…

Took some time to get outside on Sunday with a walk through the Hamlin Reservation out in Ipswich and then headed up to Salisbury.   The marshes were teaming with egrets having some breakfast and found a greater yellowlegs waking up the world with his squawking.  Later in the day we found a shy little fox kit hanging in the brush….so cute!!   It was a gorgeous day to be outside…although I could have done without all the ticks who decided to follow me home!

Greater yellowlegs squawking in the marsh
Marsh view at Hamlin Reservation



Lots of egrets enjoying some breakfast  

Shy little Fox kit hiding in the brush.



May 13, 2017 (the Day before Mother’s Day! Find the perfect gift!)
8:00am – 12 Noon
Come early for the best selection!
The Annisquam Exchange Yard
32 Leonard Street, Gloucester MA 01930

Annuals and perennials from local greenhouses plus plants from the gardens of Annisquam

New this year!
Planters ready to go or select your favorite plants and the members of the ASC will plant them in a containers of your choice.

Delicious gourmet foods prepared by the members of the Annisquam Sewing Circle.
The Annisquam Sewing Circle was begun in 1837 as the Annisquam Female Benevolent Society. It is thought to be the oldest continuous independent society of women on Cape Ann.

The Society’s purpose as stated in its Preamble, was “for the performance of acts of benevolence.” Through the years, the Society, and now the Circle, has contributed generously to community programs and to individuals.

The Annual Christmas Fair & Luncheon and the Annual Plant and Gourmet Food Sale raise funds to support scholarships and projects on Cape Ann.




SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017

Concert Features CAS Debut of Remarkable Blind Pianist

Yoo Jin Noh

Cape Ann Symphony wraps up the orchestra’s 65th Anniversary Concert Season on Saturday, May 20 at 8 pm with a Scandinavian Spectacular featuring stirring music from Scandinavian composers Carl Nielsen, Jean Sibelius and Edvard Greig and the CAS debut of the extraordinary blind pianist Yoo Jin Noh at the CAS performance venue at Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium on 36 Lincoln Street in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Manchester-Essex High School Auditorium is handicapped accessible. The Scandinavian Spectacular concert program features Nielsen’s Symphony No. 1; Sibelius’ Finlandia and piano phenom Yoo Jin Noh performing Greig’s gorgeous Piano Concerto.

According to Cape Ann Symphony Music Director and Conductor Yoichi Udagawa, “When Rockport Music’s David Deveau introduced me to Yoo Jin Noh. I was highly impressed with her ability. She is an extraordinary pianist and musical talent, and we are thrilled to be able to present her to our audiences. The Grieg Piano Concerto is one of the most popular pieces in the repertoire, and Yoo Jin Noh’s singular talent is perfectly suited to the piece. Her performance will be unforgettable! We will also play Sibelius’ ever popular Finlandia.Nielsen’s Symphony No. 1 is not often performed, but is a gorgeous and highly emotional work which I am sure our audiences will love. We will definitely give an introduction of the piece with musical examples at the concert. We are ending our 65th Season on a high note, and are grateful to our ever growing audience for their enthusiastic support.”

Blind at birth, Yoo Jin Noh expressed an interest in music from early childhood, ultimately focusing on the piano at the age of 14. She received both her Bachelor and Master degrees and recently her Graduate Diploma from Boston’s New England Conservatory of Musicwhere she studied with Wha-kyung Byun and Gabriel Chodos. While a student she participated in various NEC events including the All Hands on Haydn Concert, Scriabin Through the Flame and the Orientation Concert for new students at Jordan Hall.


Seaside Garden Club Plant Sale and Auction

Cape Ann Community

The Seaside Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale and Auction is Tuesday, May 9th at the Manchester Community Center. This event is the Seaside Garden Club’s only fundraiser for the year.  Proceeds help fund their community service projects and programs.

This is a great opportunity to purchase tried and true perennials from the Garden Club Members’ gardens along with garden art and contributions from area businesses including:

  • Mulch (delivered!) from Pallazola Brothers
  • Ryan and Wood Distilleries
  • Neptune Harvest Fertilizers
  • Marshall’s Farm Stand
  • Sea Meadow Gifts and Talbots
  • Seven Central, Shea’s, Windward Grill, Ithaki and many more…
  • Gloucester and Rockport Garden Tour Tickets
  • Any much more…

6 pm – Plant Sale

7 pm – Auction starts


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