Dunnville Horticulture Society

Bringing Spring Beauty to our Lives

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary

Nature provides everything we need to bring beauty to our lives. With fragrant spring blooms filling our gardens, we are surrounded with outdoor beauty. What great inspiration to bring beauty to other areas of our homes.

Take a peak at your front entrance. Is is warm and welcoming? Consider a new welcome mat, a hanging basket, or fresh paint on your front door. A spring wreath also brings beauty. Here’s a few simple steps to create a wreath. Purchase a grapevine wreath base or make your own. Form a circle about 18 inches in diameter with curly willow branches, dogwood, or other twigs. Continue to wind additional branches in and out until you have a wreath of desired thickness.

Decorate the wreath with silk flowers. Our local Dollar Store has a great selection. Group your flowers together for the biggest impact. Use odd numbers to look more natural. Decide where your focal point will be and work from that point. Start with your bow and move out from there. Place largest flowers closest to the bow and smaller ones furthest away. Aim for a wreath with movement, flow and dimension (just like nature) rather than a flat and rigid wreath in appearance.

Enjoy nature’s beauty with friendly folk from the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS). Our monthly programs are free and open to everyone, members and non-members alike. Join us at the Optimist Hall, 101 Main St. W., Dunnville from 7-9pm on Thursday, May 19. Returning favorite Lester “MacGyver” Fretz will presenting “Backyard Greenhouses” including some humorous stories. If you missed our huge annual plant sale May 14, there will be plants available for purchase.

Be sure to mark May 28, 8am -12 noon on your calendar….our Town Planting Day. We meet at the Bridge parking lot and volunteers are always appreciated. We take pride in making our town beautiful with seasonal plantings. You don’t need to be a gardener to help plant. This is a good way to learn about gardening, meet some friendly folk, and contribute to our Downtown area. Bring your garden gloves and trowel.

Call Debbie Thomas, President at (905) 774-3064 or Deb Zynomirski, Vice President at (905) 774-8453 for more information.

OHA Photo Competition 2016

Hello All,

Calling anyone who takes pictures. Below are the Categories for the OHA Photography Competition. Even if you do not plan to go, you can still enter. You just have to let someone know so they can pick it up for you at the convention next year in Kitchener/Waterloo. I hope you take the time and try this out. It is fun.

Lisa De Young
Welland Horticultural Society
“Experience the Grand”

CLASS 1: “Monet’s Garden” – Your interpretation

CLASS 2: “Fairies” – A Fairy Garden

CLASS 3: “Harvest Time” – Crops being harvested

CLASS 4: “My Friend Herb” – Your favourite herb

CLASS 5: “Waterloo Glads” – A Gladiola

CLASS 6: “Fantastic Ferns” – Ferns in the garden or wild

CLASS 7: “Patterns in Black & White” – Patterns created by plants (Black & White class)

CLASS 8: “Woodland Landscape” – Woodlands

CLASS 9: “Your Grand River” – Photo of your local river (must include vegetation)

CLASS 10: “Wilmot Rose” – A single red Rose

CLASS 11: “Wellesley Holleyhocks” – Holleyhocks
Youth Classes

CLASS 12: “Ribbit” – a frog of course a)6-11 b)12-17

CLASS 13: “I Grew That!” – a plant or vegetable that you grew a)6-11 b)12-17

Rules Update

All members may submit 4 photos for judging in the photo contest. “Four photos representing each of the four seasons” from your garden, or from around the Dunnville area can be entered.

“Do not make pets or wildlife the focus of your photo entries”.

Please ensure the photos are standard 4 x 6 inch prints, to fit on our display easels.

Identify the prints on the back only, with your name and the season each print represents.
Please bring them to the photo-easels in the hall before the meeting begins.

Good Luck!

MPP Toby Barrett celebrates the volunteer contributions.

DHS…The Secret Is Out!

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary

“Dunnville Horticulture Society is the best kept secret in town!” remarked one of our members at a recent gathering. The “secret” is getting out. Without a doubt, 215 horticultural members in small town of approximately 12,000 people is remarkable. The Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) was established in 1929. We have a rich and deeply valued presence in our community.

Recently, our growth and achievements were recognized at District 9 Annual General Meeting. We were honored and pleased to be awarded the “Doris Lightheart Award” for the largest increase in membership in our district for 2015. We actually had the largest increase for all of Ontario. We acheived almost a 60% increase in membership in 2015, and we are on track for an additional 15% growth in 2016. Clearly, we have an exceptionally strong society and our presence in Dunnville gets bigger every year.

To what do we attribute our strength and vitality? People and programs are the backbone of our society. We have devoted and faithful life members, new members, young and old members. Our committed board of directors and executive leads the way with vision, energy, and by example. Many other volunteers work hard “behind the scenes” to carry out the dreams of the board.

DHS is known for our creation and care of public flower beds and planters throughout the town of Dunnville. These beds and planters are outstanding in every season and welcome visitors and residents. Truly they speak of the great pride and hard work of society members. We nurture strong partnerships formed with the many other service groups in Dunnville, enabling us to complete many large scale projects.

Our monthly program nights are lively and well attended with 80-100 people. Everyone is friendly and hospitable as we come together to share gardening knowledge, questions, and even blunders. Our speakers are planned a year in advance and present relevant topics to educate and inform. Our evenings are full of laughter and fun, not to mention delicious refreshments and “Ways & Means” free recycled garden items. We endeavour to keep our business “short and sweet” while informing everyone of important discussion items.

The annual Lions Spring Home, Garden and Craft Show is one of our best forms of advertisement. We use this venue to promote who we are and what we do. Many visitors stop by our booth for conversation or to attend a “Mini Gardening Demonstration.” It has been just the last two years at this event that we have focused our efforts on a membership drive that resulted in the Doris Lightheart Award.

Our “town famous” plant sale is another opportunity for visibilty in our community. Donations are accepted from members and non-members and clearly labeled with the plant’s name, colour and sun/shade requirements. There is a plant for everyone—-even outdoor garden art for those without a green thumb!

Planting and maintaining Dunnville’s flowerbeds is what our society is all about. Each year the town looks better and better. A volunteer sign-up sheet is quickly filled and town planting is completed in 3-4 hours. Many hands make light work. Over 200 flats of annuals are donated by a local greenhouse. This is also a great opportunity for high school students to earn some volunteer hours.

Of course, there are other “perks” for members of the DHS. For example, this year we are hosting a bus trip to the beautiful Niagara region to tour some wineries and gardens. A sommelier will be joining us to make this experience more informative. We are also offering “Garden Tours” for members. 8 exceptional gardens of our members will be on display. This is a self-directed tour with beverages offered at each garden. Members are invited to bring their own “picnic lunch” and take time to sit and enjoy the gardens. Of course, member discounts at garden centres, seed exchanges, flower and vegetable shows, photo competitions, rose draws, and our annual potluck Christmas Celebration are just a few more reasons why everyone likes to belong to DHS.

Gardening is for young and old alike. We are grateful for our many senior members who faithfully support the activities of the DHS. Recently, three of our life members were honored with the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for over 30 years of service with the DHS. We value the collective wisdom and experience of those who have been with us for many years. Our Junior Gardeners Program encourages children to discover the joy of gardening and showcase their green thumbs. This year they will be creating scarecrows from the veggies they grow throughout the summer.

With gratitude, we celebrate both our rich history of over 87 years in the community and we look with vision into the future. Our goal is to continue to be a vibrant, growing and caring community of people who make our town of Dunnville a more beautiful place.

May 2016 DHS Monthly Program – Optimist Hall

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary

May 2016

Debbie Thomas called our meeting to order and welcomed guests, as well as new and old members. A 2016 record of 108 people signed in. Housekeeping details were highlighted including Emergency exits, Sign-in Sheet, Washrooms, Refreshments, Agenda/newsletter, Ways & Means, and Plant Sales at end of program. Several changes were noted such as our new location for Ways & Means, 2 food tables, and recylcable name tags.

Business was kept to a minimum with the following reports/updates: Treasurer’s Report: an update will be shared next month. Overall, we are in excellent financial shape thanks to everyone including our partnerships with service/community groups.

May 14 Plant Sale: in spite of the weather, we raised almost $2000. Thanks to everyone who donated plants, volunteered, and came out and bought.

Jr. Gardeners: to date we have 21 children signed up. They will be doing a fundraiser with Vesey Bulbs with 50 % profit back to DHS. Catalogues are available for orders which will be received up until/at our Sept. meeting. Margaret Bottrell is the contact person for this fundraiser.

Fountain project, East and West signs gardens: in the works with more information coming soon.

July 10 Garden Tour: members’ homes showcasing beautiful gardens in rural settings. Details of the specific locations and homeowners will be revealed next month. If you wish to bring a non-member, they are more than welcome. They will be asked to purchase a membership at the first garden they visit.

Dunnville Downtown: we have 10 new pots and inserts for a total off 22. Thanks to the Dunnville Business Improvement Association. Inserts were designed and planted by Mallord Farms.

Planting Day, 8am-noon, May 28: everyone is encouraged to help. “The more hands the faster the work.” Bring a garden trowel and gloves. Families are welcome. Meet at the bridge parking lot.

Weeding: if you are available, please see Debbie to sign up.

June Flower Show for Jr. Gardeners and Adults: class lists are on our website and will be sent out via email.

Thanks to snack volunteers: Jenny Elgersma, Sandra Gill, Marilyn Stavinga, Dorothy Minor and Carol Mulder. One more volunteer for June is needed. Please contact Bev McLean, snack co-ordinator.

Deb Zynomirski gave an update on the Aug. 13 “Summer Horticultural and Winery Bus Tour” for members. Tickets are still available for $50/person. We will begin at the Niagara College School of Horticulture along scenic Niagara Parkway and then visit 3 different wineries including: Reif Winery (sensory garden), Southbrook Winery (environmental/organic approach), and Konzelman Winery (along shores of Lake Ontario). A Sommelier will join us for the day. Again, members are welcome to bring non-members. They will be asked to purchase a membership.

Refreshment Break: was announced with time for ticket purchases.

7:40pm Call back and introduction of our guest speaker, Lester Fretz, “Backyard Greenhouses.” Lester is a returning favourite. His humorous stories and wealth of gardening experience is always appreciated. Lester presented a power-point on the diversity of backyard greenhouses in the Niagara region. Everyone was inspired with the many values and types of backyard greenhouses. It is not surprising, Lester now sees backyard greenhouses wherever he looks!

After a brief question and answer period, Debbie Thomas thanked Lester and offered a few closing remarks. Our Annual Rose Draw was conducted and 10 rose bushes were given away to members who had signed in.

Everyone was dismissed. Ways and Means winners were announced. Remaining plants from our plant sale were available for $1-$2. Everyone left with a lovely bouquet of tulips, thanks the generous donation from Niagara Tulips. Our Treasurer, Kim Christoff, a employee at Niagara Tulips secured this donation for DHS. Thank you Kim.

Thanks to all for their great support: raised this evening $94 Ways and Means, $63.95 Kitchen Tips, and $94 Plant Sale.

Day lilies are one of the easist perennials to divide.

May: Dividing Perennials

Sandi Marr, DHS Reporting Secretary

Gardeners are generous souls. They love to share their gardening passion with others. Their stories include both successes and failures. But nature is always kind to gardeners and there is always another gardening season.

It’s not uncommon for gardeners to plant more than they need so they will have extra to share with others. Gardeners grow a variety of plants—-fruits and vegetables, annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees. All are great for sharing.

Did you know May is a perfect time for dividing perennials? Perennials are plants which come up year after year. Most perennials benefit from division. Once a perennial has matured and become established, it may be divided. Dividing perennials is a great way to move plants to other areas of your property or give to people who are looking for plants.

A good rule of thumb is to divide perennials in spring or fall. Best not to divide them when they are in full bloom. I have good luck dividing hostas and daylilies. You can divide by digging up the entire plant and dividing it into smaller plants. You can also leave the plant in the ground and dig up the part you want to move or share. Remember to water and fertilize the new plants.

Don’t forget our Annual Plant Sale, May 14, 8am-12 noon at the Optimist Club Hall Parking Lot. There is a plant for everyone and this year, the addition of outdoor gardening decor. Plant donations are always welcome and may be dropped off (with plant name and color) at the Farmers Market,May 13, 5-7pm. If you have questions, contact Debbie Thomas, President at (905) 774-3064 or Deb Zynomirski, Vice President at (905) 774-8453.

For more tips on growing perennials, annuals and vegetables, attend a monthly meeting of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS), free and open to everyone, members and non-members alike. Gardeners are some of the nicest folks I know. Join us at the Optimist Hall, 101 Main St. W., Dunnville. My dad, returning favorite, Lester “MacGyver” Fretz will be presenting “Backyard Greenhouses” on May 19, 7-9pm. Lester enjoys talking about, growing, and giving away fruits and vegetables.

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary.
Sandi welcomes your questions and ideas for future gardening columns.

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
April 2016

Well, the good weather is finally here…I think. It hasn’t been the warmest but with the longer days I’ll take it. No more winter coats and boots. Plants are popping up everywhere and it’s always exciting to see how my perennials fared over the winter. So far so good.

Our appearance at the Lions’ Home & Garden show was a huge success. We had lots of visitors to our booth and we managed to sign up quite a few new members. I think people were especially impressed with our demonstrations. Thank you to everyone who came out to help. The Lions’ Home & Garden show is our best form of advertisement each year promoting who we are and what we do.

District 9 has awarded us the “Doris Lightheart” award for the biggest increase in membership in our district for 2015. We actually had the biggest increase for all of Ontario. We have a strong society and our presence in Dunnville gets bigger every year. Someone said recently that the DHS is the best kept secret in town. Well, not anymore! With 91 in attendance last month I guess our secret is out. The Doris Lightheart award will be on display at the upcoming program. As of last week we have 215 members, not including our junior gardeners. Congratulations everyone!

Our “world famous” plant sale is coming up on Saturday, May 14th (you may be reading this after the sale in which case I’ll fill you in on how successful it was in my next newsletter). We decided to hold it one week later than usual (after Mother’s Day) because of the crazy weather we’ve been having the past couple of years. This way everyone’s plants will have an extra week to develop in what hopefully will be some warm sun. Donations are being accepted on Friday, May 13th at the Farmer’s Market parking lot from 5 pm to 7 pm. Please have your donations clearly labeled with the plant’s name, colour and sun/shade requirements. The sale starts at 8 am on the 14th at the Optimist Hall parking lot and usually runs until noon.

Planting day is Saturday, May 28th this year. Planting and maintaining Dunnville’s flowerbeds are what our society is all about. Each year the town looks better and better. A volunteer sign-up sheet will be passed around at the upcoming program. Please volunteer some time. Planting the beds usually takes about 3-4 hours. Many hands make light work. The annuals are donated by Konkle’s Greenhouses and all you need to bring with you is a trowel, gloves and some elbow grease. This is a great opportunity for high school students to earn some volunteer hours if they need to complete their requirements to graduate. If you’d like to help on planting day please contact our President Debbie Thomas at 905-774-3064. She will be very happy to hear from anyone who would like to help.

A bus trip has been planned for Saturday, August 13th to the beautiful Niagara region to tour some wineries and gardens. Tickets are selling fast so please contact Deb Zynomirski at 905-774-8453 if you want to purchase a ticket. Tickets are $50 per person and will also be available at the upcoming program.

I would like to thank our guest speaker for last month, Karen Richardson. She is the curator of the Haldimand County Museum and Archives. She spoke to our members about early kitchen gardens. Our guest speaker for this month is Lester Fretz. Lester is an annual favourite with the DHS. I’m looking forward to learning about backyard greenhouses. It is also our annual Rose Draw so be sure to attend the meeting. You must be signed in and present to win one. June’s guest speaker will be Frank Kershaw from the Toronto Botanical Gardens. His topic will be recycled and repurposed garden art.

At the June program we’ll be holding our first annual Spring Flower Show. There will be divisions for both the junior gardeners and adults. There will be more information at the upcoming program and the class list will be posted on our website. It’s amazing to see how creative our members can be.

The Ontario Horticultural Society is holding their 110th annual convention in Kitchener this year. It’s taking place at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 105 King Street East from July 29th to the 31st. They have quite the list of speakers this year, including our very own Lester Fretz on the first day. There is a flower show and numerous bus tours. You can find more information on our website. I read that one of the tours is to Langdon Hall. It’s one of the swankiest restaurants in the Kitchener area and their English gardens are gorgeous.

So now is the busiest time of year-it’s what we gardeners live for: sunshine and warm soil and of course garden centres! Don’t forget to show your DHS membership card when purchasing plants. Most of the garden centres in this area will give you a discount if you’re a paid-up member of the DHS. Happy planting!


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