Dunnville Horticulture Society

OCT. 2017 DHS Monthly Program – Optimist Hall

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary





Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017


Our October program night began with a full house of 98 members and guests. Debbie Thomas warmly welcomed everyone, especially our Junior Gardeners and 4H guests including Haldimand County 4H President Isoble Miller and 4H leaders Wendy Strong, Gwen Schauffner, Reta Vandervliet. Morgan Schaeffer (4H Jr. Gardeners President) led the 4H pledge.

Updates: -Centennial Park & Fountain Rededication, Sept. 23: appreciation was expressed to DHS Board & Executive, DHS members, community volunteers and all who made this event and work leading up to it a huge success. Special recognition of Debbie Thomas and Katrina Schmitz (Haldimand County) was made.

-Tree Canada/Grand Erie Home Hardware & Building Centre grant: DHS 2017 recipient. Debbie provided an update on the tree plantings: 7 trees planted in all, 2 Honey Locusts, 2 Ginko, 2 London Plane, I white spruce. 3 trees went to Kinsmen Park, 3 to Central Park, 1 to new Waterfront Park. Central Park was the humble beginning of DHS. The Norway Maples surrounding the park and weaving the paths were planted by DHS more than 88 years ago and sadly some are marked to come down.

-DHS Board of Directors 2018: joining will be Nelly Engelage, Lynn Loney, Ian Steele.

-DHS/DCS: honoured with the Haldimand County Canada 150 Project Award.

New Business: -9-11am, Oct. 21 Fall cleanup. Meet at the bridge parking lot. Mike Lessard of “Jeff’s Outdoor” will join us with his trailer for hauling our plant debris.

-10am, Nov. 4: Decorate winter planters. Meet at town fountain. Bring pruners, gloves, and materials such as birch, curly willow, dogwood, sumac, hydrangea, evergreen, etc. Make sure they are long enough for deep pots (soil is 12” below top of pot)

-Jr. Gardeners Flower, Vegetable and Pumpkin Show winners were presented:

Best Flower Arrangement  :  1st Prize – Christopher Reynolds

2nd Prize – Morgan Schaeffer

3rd Prize – Isabella Harper

Best Carved or Decorated Pumpkin : 1st Prize – Meghan Silverthorne

2nd Prize –  Alicia Stavinga

3rd Prize – Morgan Schaeffer

Best Vegetable Animal : 1st Prize – Meghan Silverthorne

2nd Prize – Morgan Schaeffer

3rd Prize – Caitlan Thompson

Largest Sunflower Head : 1st Prize – Aiden Lucas

2nd Prize – Harley-Lynn Atkinson

3rd Prize – Jennessa Melik


Judges  :  Denise Richardson, Mary-lou Johnston, Kim Christoff

-Jr. Gardeners were recognized by Margaret Bottrell for their excellent season of gardening. The following awards were presented: 1st place garden Mackenzie Caddick, 2nd place garden Lilianna Peirson, Harley Lynn Atkinson, 3rd place garden Landon Lucas, Christina Lucas, Aiden Lucas. The Judy Jeffrey outstanding achievement award for 2017 went to Harley Lynn Atkinson.

Refreshment break was announced with appreciation to 4H for providing snacks. Kitchen tips and snack donations were $61.70.

Our guest speaker, Lester Fretz was introduced. Lester is a 6th year returning favourite DHS speaker. He shared an informative power point on “Gardening with Raised Beds” and engaged everyone in a hearty question period following his talk. Lester concluded his presentation by giving out 14 containers of fertilizer to lucky recipients.

The Flower, Vegetable and Pumpkin Show winners in the adult categories were announced:

Annuals :  1st Prize – Angela Lathan

2nd Prize – Gloria Hunter

3rd Prize – Gwen Van Natter

Perennials :  1st Prize – Sharon Kennedy

2nd Prize – Gloria Hunter

3rd Prize – Ian Steele

Now How’s That? : 1st Prize – Denise Richardson

2nd Prize – Marilyn Stavinga

3rd Prize – Gloria Hunter

Fill Your Boots : 1st Prize – Marilyn StavinGa

2nd Prize – Gwen Van Natter

3rd Prize – Denise Richardson

It’s Scary Out There!: 1st Prize – Marilyn Stavinga

2nd Prize – Denise Richardson

3rd Prize – Leona Crumb

Judges :  Gwen Schauffner, Wendy Strong, Isobel Miller


-Feel free to pass your year-end suggestions along to Debbie T. or Deb Z. or place in the suggestion box provided on program nights. There will be no survey this year.

-Visit your local garden centres for end of season sales.

-Gather and save your seeds for next year.

-6pm, Nov. 16: AGM, Christmas Potluck, 4-Seasons Garden Photo Contest, Raffle table (no Ways & Means) & our Food Drive for the Salvation Army.

-Flower bouquets on the tables were given away with thanks to Petra D-K for donating these vase arrangements from Windecker Woods Flower Farm, 215 Windecker Road, Cayuga (www.windeckerwoods.ca)

-Ways and Means winners were also called and everyone was dismissed.

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary


Dunnville Horticultural Society is up and running for the fall

Debbie Thomas



With a busy summer of maintaining the many gardens behind us, our monthly programs have resumed. Sept’s program on “Bonsai 101” presented by David Culp had 68 in attendance. We learned Bonsai is not only beautiful art form, but requires a significant commitment of time, often years. The much awaited Re dedication of Centennial Park and Fountain held Sep 23rd was a huge success with a fun 1967 theme. Over 200 DHS members and guests enjoyed nostalgic music provided by River Arts and Haldimand Art Works, DHS members wore groovy costumes, provided cool games, free treats and fun memories. The official program began with the cadets from 611 Harvard Squadron entering the park from the now fully accessible bridge linking Lions park to Centennial park, full color march along the newly paved paths to the front of the now restored fountain. O Canada was lead by the children from Dunnville Christian school. Followed by speeches, the singing of Happy Birthday and cake was served. This project was 2 years in the making, its success is owed to the generous support of the community, and its partners on this project. Dunnville Christian school’s grade ¾ students and Haldimand County. DHS would like to invite you to join the Oct 19th program with guest speaker Lester Fretz, a member favorite presenting on “gardening with raised beds.” Our Jr gardeners will be joining us for their awards and taking part in the clubs annual “fun fall flower & vegetable show” for information www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or contact Debbie Thomas Pres 905 774 3064

Raised Bed Gardening

Sandi Marr & Lester C. Fretz

Raised Bed Gardening

     Fall signals for gardeners a time to rest. Autumn is also a time of reflection and planning for the next growing season. Raised bed gardening is a great way to grow flowers and vegetables.

     It is amazing what can be grown in a small area. If soil is poor, raised beds are an excellent option. Raised beds are helpful for seniors where less bending is required for pulling weeds or harvesting produce.

     There are many benefits of raised bed gardening. Drainage is superior. 12″ usually provides ample depth for most vegetable roots. Materials such as manure, wood chips, leaves, compost and bagged soil can be easily used to fill the bed.

     Soil in raised beds warms up more quickly in the spring. Sides may be made of wood, hay, stones, brick, cinderblocks, sand bags or other natural materials. Wire netting on the bottom can also be installed to deter rodents.

     Due to its limited size, seeds may be sown close together which prevents weeds, maximizes sun, conserves water and fertilizer. Most of all, a raised bed can be very aesthetic.

     Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) invites everyone to learn more about “Raised Bed Gardening” with popular guest speaker, Lester C. Fretz, on Oct. 19, 7-9pm, Optimist Hall, Dunnville. On this DHS monthly program night, we will also host our Annual Fun Flower & Vegetable Show. 4H and junior gardeners will be joining us for their awards night and providing refreshments. Visit our facebook page and website for more details www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or contact Debbie Thomas, President at (905) 774-3064.


Photo caption: raised bed by Joanne Plaenksken

Photo by Lester C. Fretz