From the President

News, thoughts, comments and reminders from WNF&GA

It was “over the river and thru the woods” of Pennsylvania to “grandmother’s house” – our special WNF&G home in Ambler. And once there, where we all began, what a fine time. Philip Albright, Chairman of Visitors, put out the red carpet for us, along with Dean Jim Hilty, for a warm reception at Bright Hall on the Ambler campus. A tour and pre-dedication followed at our very own “greenhouse”.

The greenhouse is really the “headhouse” of the former ancient greenhouse which had become an unsafe hazard; luckily, the headhouse is the original, historic space which is both roomy, sound and safe and will serve our purpose well, where we can have our WNF&G history, books and treasurers displayed in a useful Visitor’s Center.

 Hazel Herring and her committee have worked like honeybees – buzzing here and there to accomplish comb-solid funds for our first payment on our pledge. Many great new ideas were put forth to raise funds for our final 2009 payment. We are so grateful to Hazel, “our Queen Bee” on this project as well as all of you worker-bees.

We are grateful too, to the Keystone Branch – those good looking, flower and herb loving young women who did so many things for us. Think of making all those welcome baskets, table arrangements, tour and speakers. It’s a shame that all of you reading this couldn’t have been there to experience the pure joy, excitement and exhilaration, which filled the air everywhere.

Then there was the one and only Jenny Rose Carey, whose tours, arboretum (at Ambler), home at Northfields dinner and garden constituted an evening straight from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Longwood and Morris Arboretum left us all entranced, as did Michael Tooley. He charmed us with his very personal account of Gertrude Jekyll and our own Mrs. E. Francis King. Tumultuous applause rang thru our meeting hall and members hope to have a return visit from him.

Our business meeting included good reports from officers, Division Presidents and chairmen, all carefully timed at two minutes by a vigilant Aileen LaBret. We did, importantly, vote to make our website up to the minute with Susan Hunt’s supervision and we voted a $2 dues increase, the first in a long time. Our bills were exceeding our income.

No report could be complete without praising those involved with the ‘almost magic’ bus transportation. It meant so much to the meeting’s success and we understand that Sue Vette kept everyone content with fun games. Her hard work is appreciated by all of us. We were sorry to hear of Julie Siefker’s tornado devastation, which prevented her from being with us.

Mary Bertolini performed magic too – those hard work miracles saved the day several times and are ongoing. Her patient husband provided smiling, good-hearted support. You are all aware of the brilliance and beauty of our magazine as Kathy Beveridge continues to improve content and presentation. Kathy has infused the magazine with her quiet skill and intent. We must help her in every way we can and carry on the good work of our Founders in 1914.

We finished the business of the Ambler meeting with a fine address by our out-going President, Marla Diamond. She has done so much for this beloved organization of ours, with little fan-fare and big success.

After Marla’s remarks, Barbara Hochstettler installed the new officers by cleverly pairing each office with an herb. The audience smiled at seeing Margaret Latham as E&C Treasurer, receiving a potted “mint”.

Faith Tiberio spoke of her ‘faith’ in WNF&G, and her ‘hopes’ of our ‘charity’ to the project of our Ambler home base “greenhouse”, i.e. “Headhouse”.

Plans are underway for the 2009 meeting in New England, and all those needing to communicate by e-mail, can reach me at our office under the number of my nephew, Ed Huppi at or my new secretary, Andrea Crossman at

Yours In WNF&G –
June 2008

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