top of page

2022-2023 Programs


We welcome everyone to our monthly speakers’ programs. We appreciate a contribution of $5 for non-members to help us support our programs and activities. We hire professional, well-known garden, floral arrangers and horticultural experts to help us learn how to make our environment more beautiful and sustainable.


Our monthly programs take place at:

Rye Congregational Church

580 Washington Road, Rye, NH

  • 9:30 Coffee and Social Time

  • 10:00 – Club Business

  • 10:30-11:30 plus – Guest Speaker

Cancellation Policy: When Rye public schools are cancelled due to weather, our meeting is cancelled. If the schools delay opening, we hold our meeting as scheduled. Members are notified of changes by email.

Programs At-A-Glance









Kevin Gardner

Patti Elwell

Kelly Orzel

John Fortis

Jamie Colen

Margaret Witham

Elaina Hatsis


Discovering New England Stone Walls

Growing Sprouts, Microgreens, & Herbs

Coastal Native Plants

Heirloom, Traditional Plants & Skills

Fuller Gardens-Dispelling Garden Myths

How to Grow Garlic

Japanese Flower Arranging

Program information is added each month. Check back here for more detailed program information...

September 20

Kevin Gardner

Discovering New England Stone Walls

Kevin Gardner, author of “The Granite Kiss”, will discuss his much-anticipated topic Discovering New England Stone Walls. Kevin will cover some main points from his book such as the history, stylistic development, and technique of stone walls. He’ll explain how New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, how their styles have emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape. While giving this informal talk, Kevin builds a miniature wall or walls on a tabletop using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket. There will also be a generous question-and-answer period where listeners are encouraged to bring up specific problems or projects on their own properties.  

patti elwell.jpg

October 18

Patti Elwell

Growing Sprouts, Microgreens, and Her

Patti’s garden philosophy “if she is going to work for her plants then they are going to work for her” is the reason she focuses her efforts on using and preserving all forms of edibles. Sprouts and microgreens pack a nutritional punch. Learn how easy it is to grow them, even in the winter, when you’re missing your garden the most. Patti grows her own vegetables, herbs and edible flowers and will share her knowledge and experiences. Learn which annual and perennial herbs will grow best in your NH garden and how they can also bring new flavors to your life. Discussion will also include ways to use and preserve them. Patti Elwell is an experienced gardener who has been a staff member and educator at Rolling Green Nursery for the past 8 years. She started the vegetable gardens for homeless individuals participating in the Seacoast Family Promise program. Patti is a past president of the Exeter Garden Club, where she’s been a member for 13 years, and currently coordinates their Facebook page.

November 15, 2022

Kelly Orzel

Coastal Native Plants

Small-scale organic herb farmer, Kelly Orzel, will be presenting Native Coastal Plants. Bred to stand up to the salty air, hard winter weather and inhospitable soil, native plants tolerate growing conditions that would make other more delicate plants weep —which is why we love them! Kelly will start by discussing the advantages of and how to create a thriving native landscape. Then she’ll play a little “identify the dreaded invasives” game, followed by an exhibition of native alternatives. Kelly will also profile a few of her favorite natives and reveal what makes each of them special

kelly orzel.jpg
john forti 300.jpg

January 17, 2023

John Forti

Edible Landscape

John Forti, Bedrock Gardens Director, will be giving an informative talk titled “Edible Landscapes: For Health, Habitat, Families and the Future.” This illustrated lecture will explore how to eat locally and enjoy the fruits of our own labors. John will delve into planting edible gardens and landscapes that offer healthy alternatives to lawns and hedges. Whether learning to explore our own backyards or the newest landscape style of the 21st century, this talk offers meaningful ways to engage ourselves, our kids, and our community in cultivating a sense of place from seed to table.

February 21, 2023

Jamie Colen

Keeping Roses in Tip-Top Shape

Roses can be so temperamental! Learn how to tame their bad behavior with Fuller Gardens Director Jamie Colen who will present “Dispelling Garden Myths. A Practical Guide to Growing with and Focus on Roses” at the Rye Driftwood Garden Club February meeting. Jamie will explore the best techniques for keeping roses in peak flowering shape such as the best location, watering, and mulching techniques, care throughout the year, and how to deal with unwanted pests.

march 2023 whitman2.jpg

March 21, 2023

Margaret Witham

Learn How to Grow Garlic

"If you can smell garlic, everything is alright" J.G. Ballard


Margaret Witham and Rebecca Hennessy, co-owners of Backyard Garlic, started their business to be part of the food business but with a twist. The main goal was to be part of their community while promoting human health and soil sustainability without the use of synthetic chemicals. Backyard Garlic grows 7-10 types of garlic which are blended through a slow dehydration process for use in their grinders and refill packages. These blends bring intense flavors and convenience right to the consumer's table to enjoy! 

Come join us when Margaret talks about how to grow garlic and tell us a little more about Backyard Garlic. 

April 18, 2023

Elaina Hatsis

Making Flowers Come Alive: Ikebana

Elaina Hatsis will be creating a couple of arrangements while demonstrating Japanese flower arranging. We'll highlight what makes Ikebana different from Western flower arranging, the philosophy behind it, and the way it evolved over the centuries as Japan opened its borders to the outside world.

Elaina has been a member of the Kittery Point Ikenobo Chapter since 2007 and has served as president from 2017-2019. Her training is in the Ikenobo School of Ikebana and has received a Level 6 Certificate from the Ikenobo School of Floral Art Teacher Training Program qualifying her to teach and give demonstrations. Come join us and enjoy Elaina's magic!

april 2023 hatsis.jpg
bottom of page