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        Ann's Choice Garden Spaces

Meets March-October

Contacts: Ruth Kurtz, Jack Zoltowski, Mary Robinson,

Mary Jo Bachman

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in place at Ann’s Choice the Garden Spaces Community will NOT hold a fall meeting in 2020. A newsletter will be issued later this fall, and a date for a spring 2021 meeting will be disclosed in that newsletter.

Garden spaces are provided by Ann's Choice for resident use.

The spaces are located behind Rose Gardens.  Each space is 10' x 10'.  There is a $10.00 annual flat fee per household for the use of one or more spaces.


If you already have one or more spaces, you will be contacted in the spring of each year about renewing them.  You will be able to retain your current space(s) and add additional spaces if they are available.


If you would like one or more garden spaces, please contact Kenny Faunce, Community Resources Coordinator, at 215 443 3837. Kenny's office is located on the second floor of Liberty Commons Clubhouse.


When you pay your fee and receive your space number(s), you will be given a copy of the "Ann's Choice Garden Spaces Guidelines." Please read this carefully since it provides guidance as to what you can and cannot do and your obligations with regard to gardening here.  Ours is a community garden and it is important that we all live up to our responsibilities with regard to keeping our garden spaces weed-free.


Questions?  Contact Kenny.

Gardening Community Fall Minutes
A number of changes concerning our garden plots. Click here to open the file.
Adobe Acrobat document [972.7 KB]

Ann’s Choice Gardening Community – Fall Meeting
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Liberty Clubhouse Catering Room @ 10:00 a.m.
Minutes of October 10, 2018 Meeting

This meeting was coordinated by the Garden Advisory Group, along with Kenny Faunce, Community Services Coordinator at Ann’s Choice, to discuss with active gardeners this past summer’s growing season, and important issues affecting the community.

Topics Discussed
A. 2018 Growing Season – General discussion focused on many gardeners’ frustration growing flowers and vegetables over this past summer. The general consensus was our unusually wet summer significantly contributed to everyone’s gardening difficulties.

B. New Shelves – Dick Longcoy was complimented for the utility of new shelves which he designed, built, and installed in the large wood shed. Gardeners were reminded to use these new shelves, and to keep the shed’s floor area free of personal items. This floor space is needed to store the garden community’s hoses, wheelbarrows and trashcans over the winter months.

C. Small Plastic Shed - Dick Longcoy discussed the problem with the very difficult to open doors on the plastic storage shed. Dick explained that the shed has unevenly settled and needs to be supported by a better foundation. While a concrete base was considered earlier in the year, the cost exceeded the funds available in the garden account maintained by Ann’s Choice. Instead of concrete, a crushed stone base will be explored. This will require temporarily disassembling the shed, purchasing and arranging delivery of crushed stone, volunteers raking and leveling the crushed stone base, and reassembling the shed. Dick stated he has the assembly instructions for the plastic shed. This process will not be undertaken between now and the end of the year, but hopefully can be done early in the spring of 2019.

D. Tilling Fee – Kenny Faunce mentioned that Ann’s Choice management has objected to its Grounds Department providing free tilling of garden spaces to those who requested it. It is expected that Ann’s Choice management intends to impose a tilling fee for 2019. At this time the proposed fee is not known. General discussion followed on this issue.

E. Walkways and Paths – Jack Zoltowski mentioned that over the summer some gardeners have started to place potted plants and containers, as well as store garden tools, supplies, and materials in the garden area’s walkways and paths. This obstructs the walkways and paths, and creates a potential trip and fall hazard. All gardeners are reminded that garden walkways and
paths must be kept clear when gardeners are not actively engaged in gardening activity. All plants, plant containers, tools, and supplies must be stored within your assigned garden space.

F. Garden Maintenance – Ruth Kurtz mentioned that our gardening community has been plagued over this past growing season by a few gardeners who fail to adequately maintain their garden spaces.
G. Revisions to Ann’s Choice Garden Spaces Guidelines – Due to the problems cited above, along with other issues, the Garden Advisory Group met and developed proposed revisions to the Ann’s Choice Garden Spaces Guidelines. These proposed revisions were distributed on a one page handout for all in attendance to review. The proposed revisions are:

o Plants – Gardeners are welcome to grow anything LEGAL they want in their spaces. (Revision to existing guideline, effective 2019 growing season)
o Garden Maintenance – NEW second paragraph – All assigned garden space(s) and raised bed(s) must be actively weeded by May 15th of each growing season. This is necessary to prevent the spread of troublesome spring weeds – dandelion, chickweed, white clover, etc. – to fellow gardeners’ spaces and raised beds.
(Addendum to existing guideline, effective 2019 growing season)
o Garden Maintenance – NEW third paragraph – Any gardener whose assigned garden spaces or raised beds do not appear to be in active use, appear overgrown, have excess weeds, or appear abandoned will be notified in writing of conditions observed, and the gardener may be limited to just one garden space for the remainder of the current growing season with additional assigned spaces or raised beds forfeited.
(Addendum to existing guideline, effective 2019 growing season)
o Tilling – Ann’s Choice Grounds and Community Resources will till spaces at no cost A NOMINAL FEE (to be determined) to the residents each spring per request.
(Revision to existing guideline, effective 2019 growing season)
o Garden Pathways – Pathways must be kept clear when gardeners are not actively working in their garden space(s) or raised bed(s). Gardeners may only plant or store gardening related objects within their assigned garden spaces or raised beds. Placing plant containers or storing gardening related objects on the macadam public walkways is strictly prohibited. This is necessary to eliminate trip and fall hazards, and ensure the safety of all gardeners and visitors to our community garden.
(New guideline, effective 2019 growing season)
General discussion of the proposed changes to the guidelines followed. A vote by a show of hands was taken, and the above proposed revision to the Ann’s Choice Garden Spaces Guidelines was approved.
H. Proposed Greenhouse – It was announced that several members of our gardening community have discussed with Ann’s Choice management the possibility of obtaining and installing a greenhouse for use by the gardening community. At this time there is nothing definite; however, it appears possible that management might be willing to pay for the cost of the greenhouse, while our gardening community would be responsible for any necessary foundation work, anchors, and other ancillary costs. Members of the gardening community attending today’s meeting were asked if anyone objected to the proposed greenhouse, and the use of garden account funds to pay for the foundation work, anchors, and other ancillary costs. There were no objections. This issue of spending garden account funds for the above purpose was then put to a vote by a show of hands. The motion was approved.

I. Accounting for the dissolved Ann’s Choice Garden Club’s Monies – A member of our gardening community requested that the Garden Advisory Group provide an accounting for $3,000 belonging to the former Ann’s Choice Garden Club when it disbanded. Jack Zoltowski volunteered to respond to this question on behalf of the Garden Advisory Group. He stated it is his understanding, based on hearsay, that the monies held by the former Ann’s Choice Garden Club Executive Board were turned over sometime in 2017 to Ann’s Choice management where these monies are now held by management in a separate garden account. Jack stated that he is not aware whether or not the former Ann’s Choice Garden Club Executive Board kept records and/or minutes of this transaction, nor what protocols and procedures were followed by the executive board when the club dissolved. Jack specifically stated that the Garden Advisory Group, created in the spring of this year (2018), will not provide an accounting for these monies because this transaction did not involve the Garden Advisory Group, and the Garden Advisory Group does not control these monies. Jack suggested that any questions about these monies should be directed to the former club’s executive board, and Ann’s Choice management. General discussion followed, and it was requested that Kenny Faunce provide a status of the garden account funds when our gardening community meets again in the spring of 2019.

J. Putting Your Garden to Bed - Marge Schwegel prepared and distributed an informative presentation on how to put your garden to bed for the winter. Marge recommended the following:
o If you have herbs, gather them for drying. Tie the stems into small bundles with string and hang them upside down in a warm, dry, airy place out of the sun.
o Pull or hoe all the weeds. After a killing frost, pull up dead annuals and add to the compost can. Shake and “beat” dirt from roots and fill black cans only ¾ full. Any and all garden weed fabric must be removed.
o Empty and clean all containers and garden ornaments to keep them from cracking and store them upside down. Clean all of your tools. All items in the shed must be marked with your name or they will be discarded. All garden
Minutes of October 10, 2018 Meeting (continued)
Page 4 of 4
implements (fencing, tomato cages, stakes, ornaments) must be kept in your garden secured so they do not blow away.
o Mulch your beds with leaves or straw. Straw can be bought from garden centers or Walmart. Leaves make extremely good mulch, helping to protect your soil from erosion and compaction, while also breaking down to provide nutrients. Be sure they are chopped or shredded before using. Whole leaves can form a mat that water can’t penetrate. (If you have a family member with leaves, ask them to shred the leaves—run over them with a lawnmower--and give you a bag or two.)
o Take notes on your garden for next year. Write down what went well and which flower and vegetable varieties you planted.

K. 2019 Spring Meeting - It is anticipated that our spring kick-off meeting for 2019 will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Here is a Garden Update from August 23, 2018-  a reminder to plot owners.

Garden Maintenance Issues, August 23, 2018


Good News

Throughout the 2018 growing season gardeners have been using the additional shelves installed (by Dick Longcoy) earlier this year in the wood garden shed. For the most part the floor of the wood garden shed has been kept clear of personal items. Congratulations to all of us. This demonstrates respect for everyone’s well being and safety.


Bad News

A recent tour of our garden area revealed maintenance and upkeep issues which our gardening community needs to address. This is necessary for our safety, the Ann’s Choice Grounds Department’s safety, as well as the safety of Ann’s Choice residents and their guests who stroll through the garden area.


Trash and Plant Recycle Cans

  • Garden soil and plants continue to be placed in the green cans designated for trash. Soil belongs in your garden space. Please place all plant material in the black cans previously designated for garden waste recycling.
  • Soil has not been removed from many of the plants placed in the garden waste recycling cans. This is a careless misuse of our garden resources, and makes the cans too heavy for the Ann’s Choice Grounds Department to safely lift and empty. Please shake and remove soil from all plants before placing plants in the garden waste recycling cans
  • Plastic bags holding plant waste continue to be placed in the garden waste recycling cans. Plastic bags cannot be recycled as part of garden waste.  After removing plant material from your plastic bag and placing the plant material into the garden waste recycling cans, please dispose of your empty plastic bags in the trash cans.
  • Both the trash cans and the garden waste recycling cans continue to be overfilled. This makes the cans too heavy for the Ann’s Choice Grounds Department to safely lift and empty. Please do not fill any can over 3/4s full.
  • Someone has dumped zucchini and squash plants on the lawn in front of the wood garden shed. This is a safety issue which creates a serious trip and fall hazard, attracts wildlife and vermin, and interferes with the work of the contractor responsible for mowing lawns. Dumping plant waste on the lawn must stop.


Plastic Garden Shed

The handle for the door on the Rubbermaid garden shed, in the vicinity of the lower numbered garden spaces, is missing and needs to be replaced. We need a volunteer (or volunteers) to replace the handle.


Individual Garden Spaces

All of us with garden spaces for the 2018 growing season agreed to reasonable upkeep of our assigned spaces including weeding and pruning of our spaces to prevent the spreading of weeds into other garden spaces, etc. Sadly, many garden spaces are overgrown with weeds, including the highly invasive, very aggressive and persistent yellow nutsedge (green grass like leaves with yellow, spindly tops), and grasses. Most of these weeds and grasses have now gone to seed.   This is a significant problem for responsible gardeners in our gardening community.





The table which follows below summarizes those garden spaces in need of some remedial cleanup.



Garden Space Number

Status - Assigned unless noted otherwise




Plant  partially blocking pathway


Assigned, but garden space appears to be abandoned

Weeds and grasses



Weeds and grasses



Weeds and grasses



Weeds and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, grasses, and grasses blocking pathway.



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses

Note: This garden space has been cleared of weeds and grasses


Assigned, but garden space appears to be abandoned

Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, grasses, and grasses blocking pathway.



Weeds and grasses



Weeds and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses



Tomato plant growing in pathway



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses

Note: This garden space has been cleared of weeds and grasses



Weeds, including yellow nutsedge, and grasses



For all gardeners responsible for any of the garden spaces noted above, please take immediate steps to clean and maintain your garden spaces.


If no action is taken by Labor Day weekend the Ann’s Choice Garden Advisory Group will make arrangements to trim the tops of weeds and grasses in those garden spaces which have gone to seed.


Ann's Choice Garden Advisory Group




Garden Update

April 23, 2018


This is a quick update to keep gardening participants informed on the status of various issues pertaining to our 2018 growing season.



The Ann’s Choice Grounds Department has turned-on the water to the garden spaces area of the campus, and water is now available for your use.


Compostable Plant Material and Trash Receptacles

Ann’s Choice personnel have informed us of problems with gardeners improperly   disposing of dirt, as well as garden waste and trash. These problems include placing dirt in cans, failing to separate plant material from trash, and overfilling cans which makes it difficult for Ann’s Choice personnel to safely lift the cans and place them onto a raised truck bed.


All garden participants are reminded of the following:

·       Do not place soil in any of the black (compost) cans or light green (trash) cans

o   Soil must be shaken-off and substantially removed from all plant material (dead plants, weeds, etc.) before you place this plant material into the black (compost) cans.

o   Any soil which you shake-off and remove from your plants should remain in your garden space.

·       Separate garden waste by type

o   Use the black cans for compostable plant material.

o   Use the light green cans for trash (paper, plastic, used garden weed fabric, and other non-compostable material).

·       Do not overfill the black (compost) cans or the light green (trash) cans

o   Cans should only be ¾ full

o   Please place a lid on a can when you have finished working with it. Wet plant material and trash becomes very heavy when exposed to rain or other moisture.

o   Please remember if a can is too heavy for you to move then it is probably too heavy for Ann’s Choice personnel to safely lift the cans and place them onto a truck.

o   The black (compost) cans and light green (trash) cans are scheduled to be emptied by the Ann’s Choice Grounds crew on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. When the cans are ¾ full please do not add anything to the cans. Please store your garden waste material in your garden space until empty cans become available.

o   The Garden Advisory Group is considering purchasing additional cans for composting and trash.


Garden Compost

Arrangements are being made to provide gardeners with triple-ground leaf compost that we obtain from Abington Township.


Garden Space Tilling

For the past week the soil conditions in our community have been too wet for tilling soil.  When weather conditions permit it, the Ann’s Choice Grounds Department will begin tilling garden spaces for those who have requested tilling.  Hopefully, this can begin sometime this week.


Wood Shed

As discussed at our 2018 gardening season kick-off meeting, held on April 10th, it is important that this shed be kept neat, uncluttered, and well organized to protect gardeners from trip and fall hazards. Already, great progress has been made and many gardeners are taking advantage of the new shelves recently installed by Dick Longcoy.


All gardening participants are reminded of the following:

·       Personal tool storage containers, etc. must be stored on the shelves,  and identified with your name and apartment number

·       Numerous items – many unidentified or with the names of former gardeners who no longer participate in our gardening community - are stored in the middle of the wood shed floor.

·       All items currently stored in the middle of the wood shed floor must be removed by May 1, 2018.

o   Any items remaining in the middle of the wood shed floor on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 will be removed, and either donated to a charitable organization (e.g., Impact Services, or Habitat for Humanity) or discarded.


Plastic Shed

The plastic shed, located directly across from garden space number 2, is in questionable condition. This shed has settled into its foundation, and the shed’s doors are nearly impossible for many gardeners to open and close.


Last week the Garden Advisory Group met with Ann’s Choice representatives to discuss this problem, and to explore options for resolving the issue. The Ann’s Choice folks expressed concern about the condition of the plastic shed because it has been moved before, parts of it appear brittle, and the roof has been previously repaired. Their foremost concern is for the safety of the gardeners who use this shed, and for residents who stroll through our gardens. Any corrective changes to this shed, its’ foundation, or possible replacement will have to be approved by Ann’s Choice management.


The Garden Advisory Group will continue working with Ann’s Choice management to develop a solution for the shed problems. As more information becomes available, the Garden Advisory Group will provide updates.


This document ( 042318.1 ) has been prepared and issued by the Garden Advisory Group.

Pictures submitted by Ray Schwegel, June 2018

Coments for this page, use Contact Us for Bob Klimek.

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