Dunnville Horticulture Society

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary


Jan 2013 Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas and had a chance to connect with family and friends, enjoying good food and good times.   Now it’s time to make some New Year’s resolutions and look forward to a healthy and prosperous 2013.

Your 2013 officers were sworn in at the November general meeting. Your executive and directors are as follows: President: Lori Maracle, Past President: Judy Jeffery, 1st Vice-president: Debbie Thomas, 2nd Vice-President: Betty Ballanger, Secretary: Sue Mazi, Treasurer: Kim Christoff. Directors are: Pam Blanchard, Pauline Bradford, Maura Cooper, Janice Croft, Mary Lou Johnston, Vel LeVatte, Rob Maracle, Marilyn Stavinga, Ian Steel and Debbie Wilson. Everyone is excited to get to work on various projects that we have lined up for this coming year: guest speakers, bus trips, the May plant sale, a flower & vegetable show, a garden walk, photo contest, and our Trillium awards. We are working on the 2013 agenda which should be in your hands at the January 17th general meeting. We are also having our “early bird” membership draw again this year. Your membership must be paid by the February meeting in order to qualify.

On behalf of the executive and directors I would like to thank past President Judy Jeffery for all of her hard work leading the DHS for the last 3 years. Over the last 8 years Judy has been active on the executive in different capacities, devoting a lot of hours and working very hard. She always has a smile on her face and is more than happy to share her knowledge or help out where needed. She’ll still be around though, lending a guiding hand at the executive and general meetings.

I would also like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered to assist with our various projects this past year.   Volunteers have always been the backbone of this society and without you there would be no Dunnville Horticultural Society. Since its inception in 1929 the official mandate of the DHS has been to plant trees and take care of the public gardens throughout the town of Dunnville as well as educating our members and the general public on the topic of horticulture.  Unofficially it has been our mandate to have fun! Our mandate can be found on our website at www.dunnvillehortsoc.gardenontario.org.

You’d have to be a hermit not to notice the new flowerbeds that have been installed in the downtown core. Spring bulbs have been planted in most of them so we should have a beautiful display of colour when they bloom.  We will be adding these to our list of beds in which to plant annuals this spring. Please plan on lending a hand when our planting day in May is scheduled.   We have also purchased and installed the new planters that have been mounted on the downtown fountain.  Full of flowers this coming summer, they will be absolutely beautiful.

Garden Tip of the Month:
Please remember if you are going outside to shovel snow to STRETCH! You should be used to doing this because you stretch every time before gardening, right?   It’s important to do this to avoid injury to muscles and joints.  There may not be lots to do outside but there are always lots to do with houseplants.  I have several that need to be repotted and this may be a good time to do so.  Turn and prune house plants regularly to keep them shapely.  Pinching back new growth will help to promote bushy plants.  Check all houseplants for insects and quarantine gift plants until you’re sure they’re pest free.   Most houses are too dry for house plants.  Humidity may be increased by placing the plants on trays lined with pebbles or aquarium gravel and filled with water to just under the base of the pot.  Humidifiers help, as well as a spray bottle for a daily spritz.  House plants with large leaves and smooth foliage, such as philodendrons, benefit if their leaves are washed at intervals to remove dust and grime, helping to keep the leaf pores open.  Now would also be a good time to peruse the new seed catalogues.  Don’t wait too long to order so you won’t be disappointed.  I’ve already received 2 catalogues and the flowers in them are irresistible! Where’s that order form…..??


Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Monthly Program – Optimist Hall

Jan. 2013

Meeting was opened by DHS president Lori Maracle at 7:15 p.m.

38 members were present.

October 2012’s minutes were read. Helen Edl moved to have them accepted as read, and Pauline Bradford seconded the motion. Motion was carried.

There was no new mail.

Lori spoke to the members about our nomination in 2012 for Haldimand County’s “Volunteer Group of the Year”. A framed certificate was on display. It will be hung up with the Trillium Award pictures if we get permission from the Optimist Hall.

Lori explained “Ways & Means” to the membership. Donations are accepted at each meeting, and are raffled off. This is a great fundraiser to help pay for things such as the rent for the hall.

Welcome new members Beth Powell (our 2012 garden walk host), Ken Sherwood and Nick Huitema.

Thank you to Maura Cooper, Pam Blanchard and Helen Edl for providing refreshments. Two volunteers are still needed to help in the kitchen at next month’s meeting.

Kim Christoff read the treasurer’s report. As of December 2012 we have 121 members. Balance forward: $3060.90. There was no income. Total expenses were $4.00. Closing balance: $3056.90.

We will try to cut down on printing costs by displaying reports on the wall at each meeting. Please make sure you read them and if you have any questions please ask any of the other directors.

Printed agendas were handed out to the members. These are tentative as things are still in the early planning stages. A number of garden centres are listed on it that offer member discounts. We are working hard at getting more garden centres and higher discounts. You must produce your 2013 membership card in order to receive your discount.

Debbie Thomas spoke about our speakers for 2013. They are not all confirmed yet. There will be a speaker at each general meeting unless something else such as a tour has been planned. We are hoping to have a bus trip to Whistling Gardens in Wilsonville this summer. A school bus may be suitable for this as it is less expensive and the trip is about 40 minutes. A bus trip to Canada Blooms/Toronto Home &Garden show in March will be arranged. Admission to the show is the same as last year and the price of the bus is yet to be determined. Debbie asked for a show of hands to see what day of the week would be best. Most people seem to want Saturday.

We will be making an appearance at the Dunnville Home & Garden show again this year. Last year was a huge success and this year promises to be the same.

The April general meeting will be held one week later than usual, on Thursday April 25th. Please mark your calendar. We will be hosting the OHA District 9 Spring Forum in April, on the 27th of April. We’ll be holding the forum at the Optimist Hall.

Members were asked if they are interested in having the Flower & Vegetable show in September. We will investigate as to whether or not it’s feasible to team up with the agricultural fair. Tentatively the show is booked for September 14th.

Debbie also announced that a bus trip to the Royal Winter Fair will be planned for November. This will likely be a weekday trip as the weekends are extremely crowded. A bus trip to Loeb Lavender Farm is also being considered.

November will be our annual Pot Luck Dinner combined with our Christmas celebration. It’s also our Annual General Meeting and food drive.

There is no general meeting in December.

Lori discussed the town’s flowerbeds. The flowerbed in Byng has been wrecked by trucks turning that corner delivering wind turbines so for this season nothing will be done with it. They have been driving directly over it so there’s no point planting anything. The flowerbed at the west end near Godfather’s Pizza has been upgraded. It now has a walkway around it and through the middle of it making it safer to work in and will need fewer flowers.

We need to put a committee together to choose plants for these beds that are drought tolerant. Perennials will be used more to help cut down on cost and work. As well, we need members to come forward and volunteer to help with the various projects that are slated for this year. If you aren’t able to do physical work, then you can help by organizing, making phone calls, etc.

One person asked if we could not have a scheduled planting day as is conflicted with her schedule and she could not help. It would be an organizational nightmare to have people planting on different days. Plants are delivered and sorted on planting day and there is food for the volunteers afterwards. Therefore we will continue to have one day for planting. If you can’t help on that day, your assistance during the rest of summer with weeding, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Mulching is already done so hopefully this year preparing and planting the beds will be easier.

The flowerbeds will be numbered and a map will be drawn up to make it easier for volunteers to find where they are going. The town has provided a map of the new beds, so Lori will make up a map of the existing beds. All beds will be numbered.

Judges will be needed for the Trillium Awards again. A short course will be provided to train judges. Please plan to help out. You will get to see the beautiful gardens in Dunnville that are nominated and you will have fun.

Last year’s May plant sale was a huge success with the society setting a new record for sales. We want to beat it this year. If you have any plants that you would like to donate please let us know. Volunteers are needed to help with the plant sale. We need helpers with sorting, labelling and pricing plants, as well as selling them on sale day.

A partnership with Dunnville Secondary School is in the works. The construction class that assisted with the Floral Clock renovations last year are busy making garden related items (arbours, benches etc). Some of these items will be for sale at our plant sale in May with proceeds going to the school to purchase a lathe. DSS will also join us at the Home & Garden show, hopefully having a booth next to ours to display their items. They have offered to provide us with some items to raffle off at the show.

Our Grant Committee consists of Lori, Kim and Debbie. They did a marvelous job last year obtaining funding for the DHS last year and will be sure to do more of the same this year.

Kim addressed the group regarding the DHS Constitution. It hasn’t been updated since 1998. The executive has recently done this so now the members have to read it and vote on it. There will be a special “constitution meeting” at the beginning of the next general meeting in February. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes so we will do this right at 7:00 p.m. It is four pages long and the new changes will be highlighted for the members to see. We will then vote on it as per OHA rules. Please remember to sign the sign-in sheet at each meeting. This is mainly for fire and insurance reasons, as well as giving us an attendance number for our records.

Winner of the Ways & Means draws were announced. The draw raised only $33.00. Please remember that this draw is very important to help raise much needed funds. Thank you Betty for a job well done and thank you to Gwen Van Natter for assisting.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:37 p.m. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this meeting possible.

Sue Mazi, DHS secretary