ARCHIVES OF NEWCOMERS CLUB BLOG: 2014
Creating Door Decorations for the Holidays, December 2014
On December 4th, Garden Group members gathered at A New Leaf Florist on West Rio Road to enjoy creating door decorations with fresh greens. The instructor, Eric, picked the most creative arrangement, a swag with Calla lilies added.
Garden Group Hits the Road Again, November 2014
Members of the Newcomers Garden Group carpooled out to The Market at Grelen on November 5th. The beautiful property is located in Somerset, Virginia, and is about 25 miles from downtown Charlottesville. A visit to Grelen is well worth the drive!
At Grelen, the group enjoyed a delicious lunch while listening to Grelen Nursery cofounder Dan Gregg give examples of great plants and trees to choose to maximize fall color in one's yard or garden.
Luncheon at Wintergreen Resort, October 2014
The first luncheon event of the Newcomers Club 2014-15 season was held on a gorgeous day in October. The luncheon took place at Wintergreen Resort, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The setting for the luncheon was the Mountain Inn at Wintergreen. In the ballroom of the inn, we enjoyed chatting with new friends and getting caught up with old friends while we dined on a scrumptious lunch.
The speaker at the luncheon was Marijean Jaggers, author of a guide that features 100 fascinating things to do in Charlottesville. Her presentation, which covered a selection of those activities, was both informative and entertaining.
Visit to “Grow-What-You-Eat” Garden, September 2014
The Newcomers Garden Group enjoyed visiting the master-planned vegetable garden in the backyard of Nancy Watkins on September 25th. She grows herbs, tomatoes, lettuce, squash and other vegetables from seed.
Nancy Watkins is growing tomato plants taller than she is! She has prepared all the compost-rich soil in raised beds and is beginning to reap the rewards of her labor. From seed to table is her mantra, and she also shares and cans her surplus produce.
September 2014 Coffee Event at Farmington Country Club
The Charlottesville Newcomers Club held a delightful coffee event in the ballroom of the Farmington Country Club on the morning of September 23rd. We had a marvelous time socializing while enjoying a lovely selection of nibbles such as miniature quiches and muffins.
Members and guests were able to find out about various Newcomers Club activities and about volunteer opportunities at non-profit organizations by visiting tables that were set up around the perimeter of the ballroom. Visitors to the activities tables were able to have their questions answered by Newcomers members and visitors to the non-profit tables were able to chat with representatives from those organizations.
United Way Day of Caring, September 2014
Twelve members of the Charlottesville Newcomers Club contributed their time and energy to the community on September 17th by participating in the United Way Day of Caring.
The Newcomers Club members were stationed in front of the local Walmart store and they collected donations of supplies for the Shelter for Help in Emergency. Generous shoppers donated supplies such as paper towels.
Garden Group Plant Swap, Spring 2014
Tuesday, May 27th, was the date of this year’s Plant Swap of the Garden Group of the Charlottesville Newcomers Club. Many members came bearing plants taken from their gardens and then returned home to replant new ones in their place. The Newcomers' gardeners pooled their donated plants and had a great time adopting new ones from the collection.
Luncheon at Boar's Head Inn, May 2014
The final luncheon event of the Newcomers Club 2013-14 season was held at the Boar’s Head Inn on Tuesday, May 20th. The three-course lunch began with the inn’s signature peanut soup and ended with a marvelous butterscotch crème brûlée.
Following the meal, Coy Barefoot gave an outstanding presentation about the history of “The Corner,” the well-known commercial area that is near the University of Virginia; his presentation included numerous historic black-and-white photographs and more recent color photos depicting the same spots. Mr. Barefoot is an author, media personality, historian and teacher and his books include The Corner: A History of Student Life at the University of Virginia.
Historic Garden Week Outing, April 2014
On a sunny Saturday in April, Charlottesville Newcomers Club members participated in Virginia’s statewide Historic Garden Week by visiting Morven Estate. Morven has a long history dating back to the 1700s and it is currently owned by the University of Virginia Foundation.
Newcomers Club members had a lovely time strolling the grounds of Morven and enjoying the abundance of spring flowers that were in view. The salmon tulips were especially spectacular.
The Newcomers Club visit to Morven was a memorable way to spend a springtime Saturday morning!
April 2014 Event at King Family Vineyards
On the afternoon of April 22nd, the Charlottesville Newcomers Club held a delightful event at the King Family Vineyards. Members and guests socialized while sipping lemonade and snacking on miniature muffins and other treats. Representatives of several local nonprofit organizations were on hand to share information about the work of their organizations and about volunteer possibilities.
The weather was cooperative enough that we were able to head outdoors for a while and appreciate the marvelous views. While we were outside, James King, general manager at King Family Vineyards, spoke to our group about the fascinating history of this family-owned business. Afterwards, some of us took the opportunity to participate in a wine-tasting experience.
Cherry Blossom Adventure, April 2014
The Garden Group of the Newcomers Club organized a terrific train trip to Washington, DC, to see the famous cherry blossoms. The trip took place two days before peak bloom and the cherry trees looked lovely.
At the Tidal Basin, we stopped in front of the Jefferson Memorial and enjoyed the views from there of the cherry trees and the Washington Monument. In addition, our group saw various other memorials during our visit, including those commemorating Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and World War II.
Luncheon Event with Antiques Appraiser, March 2014
On Tuesday, March 25th, almost 100 people gathered at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Charlottesville for lunch in the Promenade Ballroom. A short meeting was conducted to elect the Executive Board of the Charlottesville Newcomers Club for the next club year, which starts on June 1st.
Then the group was treated to a lively and fascinating talk by Ken Farmer of Quinn & Farmer Auctions. Mr. Farmer has been in the antiques business for 39 years and has been an appraiser on Antiques Road Show since its inception 18 years ago. He spoke about antiques, collecting and downsizing.
Mr. Farmer finished up with a mini version of Antiques Road Show—he appraised personal items that some luncheon attendees brought with them. During the event, snow was falling, which is unexpected on a day in early spring; but it looked beautiful and it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for and the enjoyment of the day.
Community Outreach Event on Valentine's Day 2014
As a Community Outreach activity, a group of Charlottesville Newcomers Club members treated UVA Medical Center Hospitality House residents to a pizza lunch and baked treats for Valentine's Day.
February 2014 Gardening Challenge at Ivy Nursery
The Garden Group of the Charlottesville Newcomers Club held a gardening challenge event at Ivy Nursery on a sunny day in mid-February. Attendees received a small house plant and were charged to care for it until the fall; at that time, a “best plant” prize will be awarded. Master gardener Midori spoke to the group about how to grow, prune, water and repot house plants.
January 2014 Event at Michie Tavern
On Tuesday, January 28th, the Charlottesville Newcomers Club held its first luncheon event of 2014. The setting was historic Michie Tavern, which is located just one half-mile from Monticello.
The weather was quite chilly, which made the cozy ambiance of the tavern especially inviting. We enjoyed socializing while dining on selections from the tavern's buffet: fried chicken, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas, green beans, cornbread and more.
The luncheon event included a fascinating presentation by Kat Imhoff, president and CEO of the Montpelier Foundation. She told us a number of surprising facts about Montpelier's most famous residents, James and Dolley Madison.
If you weren't able to make it to this event, you can plan on coming next time, as the Newcomers Club holds a luncheon every year at Michie Tavern!