October, 2020

Tour of cranberry bog

On October 14 members of the Sogkonate Garden Club took a tour of the cranberry bog at the Middle Acres Farm in Tiverton, RI.  Started as a dairy farm in the 1820’s it was turned into a corn field and in the 1990’s into a cranberry bog.  Managed by Lucien LeBreux’ nephew the cranberries are harvested in October and sold to make juice.



Playground Garden

On October 10 a group of members devoted some time to weeding, pulling up damaged plastic cover and mulching the perimeter by the playground.

Stay tuned for news of additional improvements to this lovely area in the center of town.



Little Pick Up Rare Find

At the October 8 litter pickup Rikky LaBerge won the prize for the most unusual item for the day:
a jawbone from possibly a cow.






September, 2020

Sogkonate Garden Club Conservation Effort – Coastal Clean Up
On September 19th twenty members of the Sokgonate Garden Club participated in our Coastal Cleanup.   We picked up trash along the beaches at South Shore/Goosewing, Briggs, Philipi, Town Landing , Lloyd’s and the bottom of Town Way.   
This year, due to COVID-19, we didn’t tabulate the types of trash we found.  We noticed cigarette butts seem to be everywhere!    Cigarette butts are the largest form of plastic waste in the world —  4.5 trillion of them polluting the earth.   The plastic part of cigarette butts contain hundreds of toxic chemicals that leach into the environment and remain even after the 10-15  years cigarette filters require to decompose.
Next year, we hope we can again invite the community to join us in this effort to keep our town beaches clean and beautiful.


The Sokognate Garden Conservation Committee organizes roadside clean-ups that collect on average 10 to 20 bags of litter each month.  






Looking to get rid of household hazardous waste? RI residents can make an appointment to dispose of paint, used motor oil and more at an eco-depot. 

The following items will be accepted:
Fluorescent light bulbs
oil-based paint
used motor oil
lawn and propane tanks

Since 2001, the eco-depot program has provided a free way for Rhode Islanders to properly dispose of household hazardous waste. When improperly disposed of, these substances can damage the environment and contaminate the state’s waterways.

July, 2020

More Little Compton/Tiverton sign news (see news below):

A Sakonnet Times article (July 9, 2020) written by Claire Johnson summarized a little origin history about the Little Compton/Tiverton town sign.  This sign, located on W. Main Road on the border of Little Compton and Tiverton,  was erected in 1994 to replace an aging “Little Compton” sign.  The Sogkonate Garden Club’s Civic Beautification Committee (at that time consisting of Carolyn Montgomery and Carole Flores) set the process in motion. They engaged the Tiverton Garden Club’s collaboration.  The two clubs shared the cost of the sign which was erected by LC town employees.  A few years later the sign was damaged during a storm and the two clubs again shared the cost of repairs.  On one side of the sign it reads:  Town of Little Compton, RI, Founded in 1675; Incorporated 1746.  The Tiverton side of the sign states: Town of Tiverton, RI,  Incorporated 1694.  The LC Grange plants a small garden at the base of the sign each year and, as described below, the Sogkonate Garden Club cleans the sign annually. 







The Little Compton/Tiverton Sign Gets a Cleaning

The two-sided sign, a result of a collaborative effort between the Sogkonate Garden Club and the Tiverton Garden Club and volunteers, gets a recent cleaning  – Thank You to Sandy and Ashley Sparks!








Check out”Gardener’s Corner” for the history of collaboration to make this sign happen.


Stop by the outdoor demonstration meadow, now with plant identification signs to help you learn!

Meeting House Lane, Little Compton(by the tennis courts) 



Blossoms and Sweets May 2020

Over the Memorial Day weekend, our Garden Club traditionally holds Blossoms and Sweets, our biggest fund raiser of the year.  In addition to many plant offerings, we usually organize a Green Elephants table, a raffle and sell baked goods.  Given the current situation the Ways and Means Committee limited the fundraiser to plant sales at various outdoor locations in town.








Plants, herbs and shrubs grown by Marty Fisher (by far the largest contributor, thanks Marty!), Ann Beardsley, Rachael Downs-Honey, Kate Kelly, Donna Pilkington and others were for sale at specific locations in town.We extended the sale to the three day weekend and  had a very successful fund raiser. Thanks to all members who organized the event, contributed and bought plants!







Civic Beautification Tasks April 2020

For information on how we are organizing this spring’s civic beautification activities, please click on CIVIC BEAUTIFICATION 2020


Earth Day Celebration 2020


Although the official Earth Day celebration on April 25th was cancelled in LC, how about the SGC still contributing by cleaning up our town during Earth Week?  On Tues, April 21 (rain date Thur., April 23) the conservation committee with be at the Brownell House parking lot between 10:00 and 11:00 to distribute bags and gloves for you. Just tell us which street(s) you are going to pick up.  We will practice social distancing, of course; in fact, we plan on a drive through. 

We will be wearing masks and gloves ourselves. 

For those of you who do not have a dump sticker, you may drive back to the parking lot by 11:30 and we will take your bags to the transfer station.  Please wear your SGC vest when picking up the litter.  Nancy Dymecki and Jean Sunny

Winter 2020 Moth Update

Heather Faubert from URI has updated the information on winter moths for winter 2020.  To see this latest update click on winter moths 2020.</strong

Third Graders’ Gifting Greens


On December 18, 2019, two third grade classes at the Wilbur & McMahon School joined volunteers from the Sogkonate Garden Club to make gifts of greens for family members and other loved ones. Following a lesson on greens offered by SGC member Sue Theriault, students used greens and colorful decorations to form individualized potted gifts.  Teachers and other staff also received a gift of greens.  



Tree Spree


Every year the Sogkonate Garden Club participates in the town Tree Spree, the proceeds of which go towards college scholarships for local students. The Club’s theme which focuses this year on being “Stewards of the Land” was reflected in the decorations and presents generously contributed by Club members.




Sixth Graders’ Wreaths Making




On November 26, the Wilbur & McMahon Schools sixth graders and assembled wreaths to decorate the center of town during the holidays. This event is jointly organized and sponsored by members of the Little Compton Garden Club and the Sogkonate Garden Club.



Making Swags

Did you ever wonder who gathers and assembles the materials to create the swags that decorate the lampposts in the Center of town? Sogkonate Garden Club members recently created the 35 Holiday Swags which will be hung on the wrought iron lamp posts throughout Little Compton Commons. This annual event began 26 years ago in as a means for decorating the town for the annual Ben Wilkie Memorial Tree Spree held in the Wilbur McMahon School Gym. The assorted greens and berries were donated by SGC member Carolyn Faria and husband Gabe. Sandi Sparks who has been making the swags and hosting the event at her home for over 26 years, shares her special technique for creating the Swags. The lush red velvet bows, which she makes herself, complete the swags, which have to endure the strong winter winds of Little Compton. As part of the community event, the swags will be hung by the personnel of the Little Compton Highway Dept. in the coming days.  Enjoy the festive decorations!







Photos by Rita Nazareth and Amanda Nickerson Toste.








The Filler, the Spiller, and the Thriller – A Floral Design Workshop

The program was presented by Barbara Blossom, an accredited National Garden Club Flower Show Judge.  In her November 13 workshop she walked participants through the creation of beautiful floral arrangements which adapt to the shifting schedule of winter holidays – the filler, the spiller, and the thriller – a method that mixes textures and colors to create a three in one design which can be changed to celebrate Thanksgiving ,  Christmas and New Year’s. 

Enjoy  browsing through some of the participants’ projects!


Photos by Amanda Nickerson Toste.

Carla Young’s presentation on November 6, 2019


The Sogkonate Garden Club held its November program at Young Family Farm in Little Compton. Carla Young’s presentation focused on the care of hydrangeas and dahlias. She discussed two types of hydrangeas: the hydrangea macrophylla which bloom on old wood and require little pruning and the hydrangea paniculata which bloom on new wood and can be cut down at the end of the winter. She recommended the application of aluminium sulfate to enhance the blue flowers in the fall. If you wish to make arrangements with cut flowers, the bouquets will keep longer if you place them first in hot water then in the freezer for one to two hours.


Carla took us next on a tour of the dahlia beds where there were a few remaining flowers creating a beautiful contrast with the colors of the surrounding beds and meadows. In the fall she removes the tubers and let them dry out in a root cellar. Make sure they are not washed out. She gathers them in small bunches and writes their name with a marker. After the tubers are planted in the spring, she applies 20 20 20 only once. She also sprays for bugs every 5 to 10 days. Next summer, don’t miss the view of the dahlias in bloom and the picking of fresh dahlias!


International Coastal Cleanup on September 21, 2019


Sixty seven volunteers including members of the Sogkonate Garden Club participated in the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by Save the Bay.  They worked along the jetty, on Lloyd’s Beach, at Warren’s Point, Harbor Beach, along the Sakonnet River from Sakonnet Yacht Club to Bailey’s, by the Ledge and at Briggs Beach. In addition, Geoff Dennis collected many large items including a TV set. The Club especially thanks Kristen Close who travelled again this year from Vermont to coordinate the Sakonnet Point area.




Kristin Close reported that the total number of pounds of trash collected was over 1,600 pounds. Good work, everyone! 




Field Trip to the Resource Recovery Corporation (Johnston Landfill) on September 11, 2019

The guided tour of the facility covered first the outside areas and was followed by an indoor tour of the materials’ sorting and recycling operations. For additional information, visit the Web site of the RI Resource Recovery Corporation.



New Members’ Reception

At the September 4 lunch meeting, four new members were welcomed. 

Participants brought flower arrangements or produce from their gardens as a show and tell.

Everyone enjoyed the delicious lunch and hearing about the Dahlia Challenge or any tips on other fruits, vegetables, flowers or plants.




Monarch caterpillar


This August the Civic Beautification Committee teams have been treated to the company of an additional worker… a monarch butterfly larva enjoying the plants at the Triangle.







August 4, 2019 Cocktail Party at the Home of Donna Pilkington 


It was a great opportunity for members of both groups to meet, exchange ideas and enjoy a summer evening together.





Eighth Grade Prom 2019

On June 17 members of the Sogkonate Garden Club created floral arrangements with Eighth Grade students at the Wilbur & McMahon School for their 8th Grade Graduation Prom. Flowers were donated from Club members’ gardens, and arrangements were used as centerpieces for the
dance. Club member Carolyn Montgomery organized this yearly event.
Members’ Garden Tour 2019

On June 5, Garden Club members toured four gardens created and/or maintained by our own members.





The group started at the Laurel Acres Farm, a large organic no till vegetable, fruit and herb garden tended by Rikky and Roger Laberge. They grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruit which they share with the food pantries.


The next stop was at Holly Glade, a large beautiful garden with a mix of sun and shade plants lovingly maintained by Claire Johnson and her husband, Steve.




The Meadow Project created in 2017 by members of the Horticulture Committee was the next stop. The plants in the meadow have grown back and are looking healthy. It is a very attractive spot for walkers who are making their way to the Dundery Brook Trail near by.



Finally, the group stopped at Ashley Sparks’ garden who moved to a historic house two years ago and is starting to discover all the garden treasures left by previous owners.






Memorial Day Parade 2019

Sogkonate Garden Club members marching in the Little Compton Memorial Day Parade.


Blossoms and Sweets 2019

Mother Nature was definitely on our side 0n May 25 when Sogkonate Garden Club members held their annual Blossoms and Sweets event.

Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs’ New President installed

Sogkonate Garden Club members attended the 2019 Spring meeting/luncheon of the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs.  Congratulations to Deb Ort, a former Sogkonate Garden Club president, who was installed as the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs’ President at this meeting.






“Lydia the Limulus” Helps Teach the History of the Horseshoe Crab

The Sogkonate Garden Club recently sponsored a program for the Kindergarten students of Wilbur & McMahon School.  The program “Lydia the Limulus” (Lydia is a 3 foot replica of a horseshoe crab) was presented by the Lloyd Center.  habitat and to respect all creatures. 

Students discovered through hands on learning, the history of the horseshoe crab with an informal introduction to basic taxonomy. They also learned the proper way to observe and handle crabs when they come upon them in their natural  habitat and to respect all creatures.




Sogkonate Garden Club Exhibits Local School Children’s Bird Feeders at the RI Federation of Garden Clubs Flower Show

Local school children’s bird feeders shown in the flower show’s youth division.


The Memory of Trees & Insights on the Ecology of Forest
On March 30, at the annual meeting of the RI Wild Plant Society Neil Pederson, senior ecologist at the Harvard Forest discussed how forests in the northeastern U.S. will respond to a hotter climate. The simple answer to this question is that it is not completely obvious. Through the use of the growth rings of trees, a synthesis of observations regarding tree mortality, and model experiments,  he  discussed what is known about the resiliency of trees, how climate has impacted trees and forests in the past, and how they might respond to future climatic change.

Grow a Meadow Large or Small
Landscape designer, speaker and writer, Kathleen Connolly, will lead an all-day intensive meadow seminar at the Mosesian Center in Watertown, MA, on April 13.

A native meadow is an ecologically vibrant landscape, providing food and habitat to native pollinators and other wildlife. The deep, undisturbed roots of mature meadow plants capture and store carbon. Meadows rarely need visits from lawnmowers or leaf-blowers, thus reducing air pollution and neighborhood noise.
But meadows are not simply lawns or perennial beds gone wild. Understanding why meadows are different is critical to success. At this intensive seminar, we’ll discuss the definition of a meadow, site selection and preparation, the relationship of grasses and flowering species, and maintenance protocols. Class enrollment includes extensive plant lists and design resources.

For additional information and to register, visit Kathleen Connolly’s web site

First Grade Seedling Project

The Greenhouse Six Weeks Project with First Grade students is conducted every Spring at the Wilbur and McMahon Schools.  First graders, teachers and Garden Club members look forward to this fun activity.



Students germinate seeds and transplant seedlings.

 Students also learn how to identify common herbs and take samples of them home along with their potted plants.







The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Would you like to find out how birds survive the winter? Would you like some help identifying a bird? The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has answers for you! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Their hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet. 

The section of the website All About Birds offers an online guide to birds and bird watching with fascinating articles and research projects.  


Little Compton Memorial Wall

The Memorial Wall was a project of the Sogkonate Garden Club which was started in 1999.  Each foot of wall was given in memory of a loved one and was sold for $25 per foot.  Funds were raised and the wall was built and dedicated on Memorial Day 2000.  

However when the new playing fieland walking path was built, it was necessary to take down the west end of the wall and for nearly four years there was a huge pile of rocks left on Veteran’s Field.  In late December of this past year, a contract was awarded and the work began to rebuild the wall along Meeting House Lane.