Dunnville Horticulture Society

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
March 2014

Happy Spring! It’s hard to believe that it’s right around the corner. This winter has been cold and miserable and I’ll be glad when it can all be put behind us. Of course it’s too early to be doing much outside, but we can certainly get ourselves prepared for the first nice day where we can pounce on our flowerbeds and get to work. It’s a great time to start seeds indoors, though, and many catalogues are now available.

Our February meeting was well attended and our guest speaker, Dan Cooper, was very informative. He spoke to our group about low maintenance gardening and I know I certainly learned a lot about native plants and water wise gardening that I can hopefully put to good use this year. The Early Bird winner was Jenny Elgersma and she won 2 tickets for our upcoming bus trip to Whistling Gardens & Bonnie Heath Lavender Farm in July.

Our guest speaker for our March general meeting is Jackie Lynch who’ll be talking about “glorious grasses for all seasons and reasons”. Grasses can be a real challenge especially if you have a small garden like I do.

Due to reasons that will be explained in full at this upcoming meeting, we are not going to be having a booth this year at the Home & Garden show, nor will we be having a float in the Mudcat Parade. So our first big project for 2014 is going to be our plant sale on May 10th at the Optimist Hall parking lot. We’ll need donations of plants to sell, and we’ll need volunteers to help out the evening before and the day of the sale. The plant sale is very important as it is our biggest fund raiser of the year. Hopefully we can set another sales record this year!

We still need volunteers to help Maura in the kitchen at the general meetings. This coming meeting is covered but we still need help with April. Please let Maura know if you’re able to bring some snacks and help out with kitchen duties.

Our partnership with the Dunnville Secondary School continues this year. We have a couple of trusty students who volunteer at each meeting to help with setup and cleanup. They certainly make things easier for us old folks. We are also going to be working with the Rotary Club for the first time to guide them with plant purchases to improve the landscaping around Muddy the Mudcat.

Don’t forget to take a moment to check out our website. Minutes and newsletters are archived there, and our agenda for the year is there along with photos of trillium award winners, garden walks, and the Mudcat Parade.   A full list of our sponsors is there as well. Without the support of our sponsors we wouldn’t be the strong, successful horticultural society that we are today. Also, if you’re interested, gardenontario.org is the website of the Ontario Horticultural Society. Here you can see what’s going on with the rest of the horticultural societies and garden clubs in our district (Niagara district 9) as well as the rest of the province.

Garden Tip of the Month: March is a good time to take stock of your garden tools and equipment. Sharpen spades and trowels, oil rusty joints (the tools’, too), get seed trays ready, and watch for robins. As soon as you see one you’ll know that spring has officially arrived.



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

March 2014

The meeting was opened by President Lori Maracle at 7:13 p.m.

There were 59 people in attendance.

Lori welcomed Rotary Club members who attended. We are partnering with them this year to help them with landscaping around Muddy the Mudcat.

Sue Mazi discussed the minutes from February. Ian Steel moved to have them accepted as read and Pauline Bradford seconded the motion. Motion was passed.

Kim Christoff discussed the treasurer’s report. No questions were raised.

Lori Maracle touched on a few things that have been going on. We all know about the devastating fire at Rosa Flora so we passed around a card for everyone to sign. It’s important to let the owners of Rosa Flora know that they are in our thoughts. She also spoke about Charlotte Huitema who is the daughter of members Nick and Cindy Huitema. She is recovering from a terrible car accident and her story was recently covered by the Sachem. She is truly a remarkable young lady.

District 9 is holding their annual AGM on April 5th in Smithville.
Information was posted on the bulletin board.

Lori informed the members that we will not be attending the Home and Garden show or the Mudcat Parade this year. These projects require a huge amount of manpower and time and the payback isn’t always worth it. We will look at these things again next year, but for now we will concentrate on the basics: plant sale, planting flowerbeds and Trillium awards.

The plant sale is May 10th (Mother’s Day weekend). Members were asked to donate plants and to please have them in pots and have them labelled. We’ll have more detail about the sale at the next general meeting and a sign-up sheet for volunteers.

Debbie Thomas spoke about our new “Hodge Podge” table. Some items that our members made at Krista Barlow’s Kornhusk Kreations workshop were on display. Beth Powell also displayed various seeds to share with our members. If you have any odd or unusual items, or plants that need to be identified please bring them to display on this table. Judy Jeffery offered spring bulbs for sale at a 25% discount to members.

Debbie explained that we will be purchasing Nincompoop for the downtown flowerbeds as a fertilizer. Nincompoop is available at Rice Road nurseries by the yard and is sterilized and produces no weeds. Don Davis graciously offered to help with picking it up. At the moment we don’t have any available for members to buy, but members can pick up at Rice Road Nurseries in Welland.

After a short break Lori introduced our guest speaker Jackie Lynch. Jackie’s presentation was “Glorious Grasses for all Reasons and Seasons”. We learned all about different types of grasses, which ones are invasive and which one aren’t, and how to use them to make our gardens beautiful in all 4 seasons. Jackie was also kind enough to donate a $20 gift certificate as a door prize which was won by Robert Marr.

The Ways and Means draws were called. They Ways and Means table looked spectacular this evening. Thank you to everyone who donated items. We raised $73.00. Calling out names of winners is proving to be much easier than using numbered tickets. Thank you to Betty Ballanger and her team of helpers. Good job as usual!

Thank you to Mary VanOosten, Mary McKinney and of course Maura Cooper for providing tea, coffee and snacks. Everything was absolutely delicious.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Sue Mazi, DHS Secretary