Dunnville Horticulture Society

DHS Monthly Program – Optimist Hall

Oct. 2014

Meeting was opened at 7:03 p.m. There were 61 people signed in.

Thank you to Maura Cooper and Pauline Bradford for looking after the kitchen, and to Kirsten Asher, Jenny Elgersma and Irene Sherbrook for bringing goodies.

Lori welcomed everyone and thanked everyone for coming.

Pauline Bradford made a motion to have the September minutes accepted as read, and Mary Lou Johnston seconded the motion. Motion was passed.

The treasurer’s report was reviewed and no questions were raised.

Lori discussed the upcoming cleanup day (October 18, 2014) and asked for volunteers. We are only pulling out annuals, no trimming.

Lori told members about the beautification grant for which we applied. We need to keep records of volunteer hours for each person, member or not, who volunteers with the flowerbeds (planting and cleanup). Haldimand County would like to see proof of our volunteers at work. We also need newspaper articles, before and after pictures. She also mentioned that we need an official photographer to attend our events and make sure that we get good photos. Of course, anyone can take pictures at any time, but an official photographer is needed.

Brenda Case passed away in September (she was not a member) and requested in lieu of flowers to donate to the Dunnville Horticultural Society. So far we haven’t received anything. If we do we will let everyone know. We need to find out more about how to handle memorial donations, and make sure we are doing the right thing with them.

November’s general meeting is our AGM. At this meeting we review the past year. We will read minutes from last November’s meeting. We will have our penny sale instead of the Ways & Means. We also will have our pot luck dinner. Each member has been asked to bring something. The DHS will provide ham, apple cider and other refreshments. Members’ families are invited to attend.

Tickets for the penny sale will the $5 for an arm’s length. There are lots of prizes. The photo contest is on. There are 4 categories: winter, spring, summer and fall. Pictures should be taken in Haldimand County. Children and pets are allowed in the photo but gardens should be the focal point. Photos should be 4 x 6 inches with no matting. Write your name on the back, and the members will vote for the winners. 5 year membership pins will be awarded at this meeting as well.

Lori told the members how proud she is about the great team of directors that we have working for us. Everyone gets along very well, and works very hard. Planning has become much more organized, and our volunteers have really stepped up and made the flowerbeds absolutely beautiful this year.

Lori made a sad announcement that she will be stepping down at the end of the year due to personal reasons. Rob Maracle will be stepping down as director of fundraising as well. He will be happy to coach anyone who is interested in taking over the position.

The existing executive and directors will be staying on so we just need to fill Lori and Rob’s vacancies. Debbie Thomas will be stepping up in the role of president which leaves a gap for vice-president. Best of luck to both of you, Lori and Rob, and hopefully you’ll be able to come back on board soon.

Purchase your 2015 memberships by the February meeting to qualify to our annual early bird draw.

If you have ideas for speakers please let the executive know.

Aidan and Ethan, our 2 student helpers, were nominated for Youth Volunteer of the Year award. Congratulations to both. Although they didn’t win, we certainly appreciate the help receive from them at each meeting. They’ve become indispensable!

The District 9 Fall Forum is coming up on October 25th in St. Catharines. If anyone is interested in going please see Debbie.

After a short break we welcomed our guest speaker Lene Rasmussen of Lakeshore Willows in Wainfleet. She displayed many beautiful willow baskets and graciously donated one for a raffle. Her lecture was very interesting and informative.
She offers workshops so if anyone is interested go to her website for more information: www.lakeshorewillows.com.

The Ways & Means draws were called and the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

Oct. 2015

Happy Autumn, everyone! I can’t believe how fast this summer flew by. It seems like we just opened our gardens and now we have to put them to bed. The fall colours are starting to happen and the squirrels have been keeping themselves busy getting ready for winter. My husband and I visited the Agawa Canyon Park, which is 100 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie by train, on September 21st. The leaves were at peak colour and everything was absolutely stunning. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful province with so many of its parks being within a day’s drive.

The Flower & Vegetable show at the September meeting was a huge success! Pauline Bradford did a wonderful job of creating the class list, and organizing the set up and judging of the classes. A complete list of winners is available on our website. We will definitely do this again next year. Thank you so much to Barb Whyte, Joan King, Lorraine Stevens, Beth Powell, Judy Jeffery and Pauline Bradford for judging. The exhibits were spectacular and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for the judges to pick the winners.

Our guest speaker at September’s general meeting was Ron Duxbury. I’m sure you’ve seen his whimsical bird houses on display each year at the Home & Garden show in Dunnville. He spoke to our group about dahlias. Ron has won numerous awards for his prize dahlias and his slide show highlighted many different varieties, all different sizes and colours. During his presentation he gave a recipe for bug repellant.

It is as follows:

4-5 garlic
2 quarts water
1 TBSP mineral oil

Put in blender then add 1 TBSP dish soap
(do not put dish soap in blender – sudsy nightmare!)

Spray after rain and when needed.

Our speaker at October’s general meeting is going to be Lene Rasmussen of Lakeshore Willows. The topic will be growing cultured willows for basketry and living fences. We will also be holding our annual seed exchange so be sure to label seeds clearly with names and planting requirements (sun/shade/water).

October cleanup day is Saturday, October 18th. We’ll be meeting at the condo parking lot at 9:00 a.m. rain or shine and hopefully if enough people come out the cleanup of the flowerbeds won’t take more than a couple of hours. We had such a tremendous turn out for planting day, so please come out and help on cleanup day. Many hands make light work.

Be sure to mark your calendar for our November Annual General Meeting. The date is Thursday, November 20th. This meeting is the highlight of the year—it’s a big night for all of us. This meeting is our AGM, our Christmas pot-luck dinner and celebration, penny sale, photography contest, food bank drive and installation of 2015 executive and directors. (Rumour has it that one of Mary Lou Johnston’s paintings may make its way to the penny sale table.) If you’re at all interested in helping out as a director we are always looking for new people to come aboard. Don’t be afraid to ask…you don’t have to commit to more than you can do. Our guest speaker for our November meeting will be Sandra Marr. She is Lester Fretz’s daughter and the topic for the evening will be Festive Porch Pots. Just in time for Christmas! Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Dunnville food bank and something good for pot-luck. You can also bring your family members to the dinner as well. The dinner will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting following shortly after. There will be no Ways & Means.

Garden tip of the month: When you’re finished cutting back plants, pulling out annuals and raking, be sure to go for a drive and enjoy the fall colours before they’re gone. Perhaps you can snap one of the winning pictures for the November photography contest.

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”
-Albert Camus.


See you at the meeting!


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