Dunnville Horticulture Society

Annual General Meeting and Christmas Potluck

Sandi Marr, DHS Recording Secretary

6pm, Thursday, November 18, 2017

A festive Christmas hall welcomed everyone to our Christmas potluck celebration and Annual General Meeting. 63 people signed in. Penny Sale tickets were available and 28 memberships were sold for 2018. Food donations were received for the Salvation Army Food Drive.

Debbie Thomas opened our evening with a warm greeting. Following the singing of “O Canada,” Geoff and Mary Lou Johnston sang a Latin hymn as grace. Everyone enjoyed a delicious spread of potluck foods. Thanks was expressed to the Optimist Hall ladies for their excellent service. Throughout the meal, a slide show displayed our year’s activities.

Following a brief break, a Christmas carol sing led by Deb Zynomirski and accompanied by Cindy Huitema on the keyboard introduced the Christmas season.

Sandi Marr presented the November 2016 AGM Minutes. A motion to accept was made by Sandi M, seconded by Pauline Bradford and carried.

Kim Christoff reviewed the Financial Report for 2017. Thanks was expressed to Lorraine Stevens and Joan King for their financial review. Motion made to pass the Financial Report and to accept Lorraine Stevens and Joan King as financial reviewers for 2018: Kim C. and seconded by Steve Elgersma. Carried. Service pins were given out for 5 years: John Cruikshank, Shirley Baatnes, Nancy Cruikshank, Mary Fretz, Lester Fretz, Ellen Guenther, Christine Hey, Lynda High, George Hoto, Shirley Hoto, Kathy Huit, Gloria Hunter, Nick Huitema, Marlene Link, Lynn Loney, Beth Powell, Ken Sherwood, Lorraine Stevens and Lynn Thomas and 20 years of continuous service: Hellen Edl.

The 2017 Directors were recognized for their service and leadership. Farewells and appreciation were expressed to those leaving: Betty Ballanger, Mary Lou Johnston, Rob and Sandi Marr. OHA District 9 official Sue Lusted commended DHS on their year and swore in the new and incumbent Executive and Directors for 2018: Debbie Thomas (President), Deb Zynomirski (Vice-president), Petra Kruis-Daly (Recording Secretary), Kim Christoff (Treasurer) and 2018 Directors: Gloria Hunter, Marilyn Stavinga, Margaret Bottrell, Wray McLean, Denise Richardson, Ian Steele, Nelly Engelage, Lynn Loney. Welcome to new directors: Ian S., Nelly E., Lynn L.

Debbie Thomas reviewed our very successful year with the “12 Firsts for 2017” and thanked each person who contributed to DHS in a unique way. Our membership is large and strong. We all do what we can and each contribution contributes to the whole.

Sue Lusted made a motion to approve the actions of DHS since the last AGM. Seconded: Betty Ballanger. Carried. Sue Lusted made a motion to approve the actions and decisions of the Executive Officers since the last AGM: Seconded: Pauline Bradford. Carried.

The 4 Seasons Garden Photography Contest winners were announced by Gloria Hunter. Spring: Cheryl Brown, Summer: Kim Christoff, Fall: Cindy Huitema, Winter: Cheryl Brown.Winners received a $25 gift certificate from Blooming Designs.

Our 3 poinsettia winners were announced: Marie Bak, Hellen Edl, Lauren Stavinga

Penny Sale Winners were announced: Gwen VanNatter, Pauline Bradford, Mike Draaster, Cheryl Brown, Agosino, Gloria Hunter (2), John Wilson (4), Deb Zynomirski (3), Leonard Walters, Leona Crumb, Jenny Elgersma, Marilyn Suton, Bev McLean (2), Rose Allen (2), Kim Christoff (2), Shirley Stevens, Agnes Walters, Sue Lusted, Sharon Kennedy, Evelyn Wardell, Kim Dickie, Denise Richardson, Don Zynomirski (2), Debbie Thomas, Sherry Stokes, Sharon Sykes, Joan King, Ellen Guenter, Mary Lou Johnston. $340. was raised from Penny Sale tickets.

Our generous sponsors for Penny Sale donations were acknowledged and everyone was encouraged to shop local to support our generous businesses. The evening concluded with a heartfelt thank you to our many volunteers who make DHS a continued success.

Everyone was dismissed with wishes for safe travels and a healthy, happy new year. We hope to see everyone back on January 18, 2018.

Sandi Marr, Recording Secretary


Letter to the Editor

Debbie Thomas


Volunteering is not defined by a set geographic location

Dunnville Horticultural Society would like to thank Mike Lessard and his son Caleb as well as Jeff’s Outdoor (previously Jeff’s Lawn Care) for volunteering their personal time and equipment to  assist DHS with the annual public bed clean up day in Dunnville

This a big job that requires many volunteers to pull the annuals, trim and prune the perennials and shrubs. Until Mike Lessard came on board, it required countless round trips with DHS members personal vehicles to truck away all the garden materials for disposal.

With the use of the large landscaping trailer, everything fit on one load and Mike took care of disposal. This act of kindness and community spirit made a really big job more manageable, and cut the time involved for everyone significantly.

Mike Lessard resides in Dunnville, his children attend Dunnville schools, he is the Vice Pres of the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce. His son Caleb for the second year is acquiring

Community volunteer hours for school. The Landscaping Business-trailer used is a Haldimand County business. The equipment, fuel, dumping charges, time was all volunteered and donated.

DHS tries very hard to promote supporting local businesses within our membership. Yes we do have supporters that donate and give discounts  that are not located within the town of Dunnville this is not unusual. DHS also has active members that volunteer their time in Dunnville and do not reside in Dunnville. DHS welcomes any business or individual wanting to assist us in beatifying our town. At DHS monthly programs we have a table that Landscaping businesses and Garden Centers are welcome to leave/display their flyers and business cards for anyone to pick up if they wish. It is a soft sell, we don’t promote directly, similar to a community bulletin board.

However any donation of either cash or in kind is listed on our website for one year.

DHS is a non profit registered charity #886092816RR0001 comprised of volunteers.


Debbie Thomas Pres. DHS

905 774 3064

Creating Beauty from Nature

Sandi Marr

Winter porch pots are gaining popularity. Garden centers, grocery stores, and hardware stores sell beautiful porch pots for your front entrance. Why not create your own arrangement and welcome Christmas to your home?


Here are the basic steps: filler, thriller, spiller. Fill a pot with soil. You will need a “filler” —a variety of evergreens such as such as fresh cut boxwood, cedar, spruce, pine. Now is a good time to trim your evergreen bushes and trees.


Choose a thriller for the centre of your arrrangement from among white birch branches, curly willow or red dogwood. Twigs or branches may be spray painted white, if you do not have birch.


Look around nature for your inspiration and think outside the box. For example, you might wish to add hydrangea, sumac, seed pods, pinecones, and grape vine balls to your arrangement as well.


Soft white pine cascading down from your pot adds the spiller. Or you may wish to add a bow made from burlap or sinnamay ribbon. A Dollar Store is my favorite place to find inexpensive items to make your arrangement sparkle for Christmas (such as ornaments and balls).


When creating your porch pot, step back to view it. Make sure your arrangement is balanced and symmetrical. Create a natural arrangement with movement and flow. Enjoy the creative process as it is a unique expression of you. 


In November, members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) decorate the town pots for Christmas. For more information, visit our facebook page or website at: www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or call Debbie Thomas, President at (905) 774-3064.


Sandi Marr a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society and can be reached at smarr2@cogeco.ca. She also offers DIY Porch Pot Workshops throughout November and December.


Photo courtesy of Sandi Marr