Dunnville Horticulture Society

March Program Night Minutes 2019

March Program Night Minutes by Petra Kruis Daly
Deb Z opened the meeting by welcoming new comers, reminding everyone to sign in as they enter. She pointed out exits and restrooms as well.
• Treasurers report was pointed out as posted at the back of the hall, everyone is encouraged to take a look
• Minutes from last month are on the back of tonight’s agenda.
• Thank you to board members who sold memberships, especially to several new members.
• At the back of the room, those able, are encouraged to sign up to help at the Home and Garden show, The spring forum, and the summer weeding.
• Lester Frets then spoke, telling about his articles in the Haldimand Press. He is looking for people in the gardening community, who he can highlight in an article. Please give him your name if you have some interesting gardening technique he can feature.
• Haldimand Horticultural Club in Caledonai is having their seed exchange this Saturday, 9 -2pm at Micinnon Park SS.
• Thank you from Salvation army for the food that was collected in the fall for their food bank.
• Coupon from Grand Erie home hardware was given out to all members. Other sponsors also give discounts, please ask at checkouts if your membership gives you advantages.
• Dan McKay did a short update on Thompson Creek. The burn will happen soon. Volunteers are no longer needed for planting of the wild flowers. A weather station was sent to Dan and he has set it up so that the ideal date of the burn can be decided. As soon as the burn is complete, thousands of wild flowers will be planted. Signs are being designed and should be up by the end of the year. Dan has observed many people using the area already and so this is very exciting. For those unable to walk the trails, check out Google maps, an aerial view shows the trails clearly. The large white oak near the center of the grass area is about 260 yrs old, a story board will show all the things this tree has seen in the changes of the town.
• Deb reminded everyone of next month’s program. The movie ‘The Gardener’. Refreshments will be popcorn and other sweets. Gloria asked for snack volunteers for May 16th program night and they are; Ellen Guenther, Sharon Sykes, Leitha Burden, Rose Allen, Pat and Rosemary. Thanks to Evelyn Wardell, Denise Richardson, Vhelma Shirton, Marlin Stravinga, leitha Burden, Petra KruisDaly, Debbie Thomas and Murel Curry for the amazing snacks tonight.
• The clock update is ‘status quo’. The clock will be reworked into a story board about the history of Dunnville.
• The Horticulture Club sign on the Optimist club outdoor wall is going to be changed to reflect our new website.
• Muddy’s upkeep is the responsibility of the township. The DHS’s responsibility of the gardens below the mudcat, are complete.
Deb welcomed everyone to enjoy the refreshments, purchase tickets for the Ways and Means, and get a stretch before our speakers begin.
Deb introduced Troy Moodie and Kelly Bowers-Moodie from Moodie Bees, speaking about ‘All about the Bees’, an informative talk about starting your very own bee hive, and how to care for it. After a very informative session, Deb thanked our guest speakers

John Cookshank won the early bird draw of a gift certificate of $20 to Pothos. Betty and Gwen started drawing names for the ways and means.
Kitchen brought in: $57
Ways and Means brought in: $68
New memberships brought in: $240

February Program Night

Dunnville Horticultural Society
February Program Night
February 21 2019
Deb Z called the meeting to order at 7:03pm. She welcomed all new attendees and reminded everyone to sign in on the sheet by the door. She pointed out the exits and washrooms. A reminder to everyone to purchase both their memberships and tickets for Ways and Means. Memberships purchased before the March meeting, will be eligible for the early bird draw rose.
• Information including treasurers reports, news articles and our sponsors are posted on the bulletin board near main entrance; previous minutes are on reverse of agenda.
• Seedy Saturday is in Niagara on March 23, 10-3pm. St George church in St Catharines. On our March program night, we are having our own Seed Exchange. Please bring in your seeds to exchange then. Please identify.
• Our program brochure is out, Deb brought everyone’s attention to the April date for the Home and Garden show is incorrect. The date is actually April 19-20 Easter Weekend. The home show will be taking place on the Thursday April 18th and Saturday April 20th (not Easter Friday) Our own program night is the same Thursday, April 18th. Our program will be a movie night, complete with popcorn. A documentary; about a man who was an avid gardener his entire life.
• Quint night represents all the service clubs in Dunnville. Each Club highlights events or activities they have done, and will do in the coming year. Although the DHS is not considered one of the ‘Quint’ service clubs, we are always invited to present. Debbie and Dan did so that evening on the Thompson Creek Project. Muddy the mudcat, is to be getting a face lift this year, the Lionesses mentioned they will partner with Rotary on this. The floral clock should be done by the spring. The clock will become a showcase for Dunnville’s history rather than a working clock.
• Gloria thanked Susan Milligan, Angela Latham, Joan King, Helen Edl, Florence Zyomirski for bringing snacks tonight. The following people volunteered to bring snacks for March: Evelyn Wardell, Muriel Currie, Denise Richardson, Debbie Thomas, Petra Kruis-Daly.
• The spring forum will be held in Grimsby Saturday April 27. Topic will be creating a Pollinator garden as well as information on the Legacy Prairie Garden. People interested should get in touch with Deb Z so that carpools can be arranged.
• Dan McKay gave a short update on the Thompson Creek Wetland Project. He talked about signage, labels by trees, paths, the controlled burn of the Tallgrass Prairie this spring and planting of wild flowers (volunteers are needed to plant all these seeds: contact Debbie T or Dan Mckay if interested), a weather station, will monitor the area..
• Deb Z commented on how DHS undertakes massive projects and has had much success in the past many years on what we have accomplished. We should all be proud of all our efforts.
Break: Deb Z encouraged everyone to take a coffee and snack break as well as look over the information Dan McKay brought in about the Thompson Creek Project.
Speaker: Deb Z introduced Janice Gilbert a Wetland Ecologist. She spoke about invasive Phragmites and kept the audience captivated for 45 minutes. She encouraged everyone to be aware of Phragmites and make sure it is eradicated as soon as possible.
Business Continued:
• Deb thanked Dr Janice for her informative talk. Door prizes were given out, 3 bouquets were donated by Tina Janssen who got them from Rosa Flora, these were won by: Rosemary Bosak, Betty Ballanger and Tony Daly. Meeting was adjourned. Deb Z wished everyone a good evening and safe drive home.
• Ways and Means were drawn.
24 memberships were sold this evening bringing in $185
Kitchen brought in $25.85
Ways and Means brought in $50

Waxing Poetic Over Snowdrops

Columnist Marlene Link sings the praises of the little white flowers
Snowdrops will be popping up in gardens soon. – Cathie Coward

Oh Spring! Wherefore art thou? Which do I long for more? Watching for the first Snowdrops to appear, or getting my hands in the soil? Methinks I’ll watch for the Snowdrops as the ground is likely too cold to dig.

There are 20 varieties of Snowdrops but three are the most common: single white common, double, and a very early large variety. All three varieties have three slender leaves. Snowdrops propagate quickly and produce tiny bulblets. When planting in the fall, add compost, leaf mould or well rotted manure. In addition, they like a little moisture. I also enjoy Winter Aconites (Eranthis) which are a small yellow flower with green ruff.

Snowdrops can be found in literature and art as a sign of spring…let’s hope we start to see their beautiful faces soon!

Why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next Program Night on March 21? Our speakers will be Troy Moodie, Kelly Bowers and Natalie Hahn on “All About the Bees!” The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. From 7-9pm. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or website www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org For questions or comments, contact Deb Zynomirski (President) at (416) 566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.


– Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Horticulture Havens in Haldimand

Horticulture havens in Haldimand

By Cassandra Fleet

The Haldimand Press

HALDIMAND—Haldimand is  home to not one, but two horticulture societies, both of which have a mission to beautify our local towns.

The Dunnville Horticulture Society was established in 1929 with only a plan to plant trees within Central Park. Now 90 years in, they have grown significantly and spearheaded many projects, including creating flowerbeds throughout Dunnville.

“As time has gone on, the club has become less formal and more of a gardening club,” said President Deb Zynomirski. She explained that when the club was founded, they focussed on more of a scientific approach. Zynomirski continued, “The club is now meant to appeal to the average person who just enjoys gardening.”

The society has just completed rehabilitating Centennial Park, where residents and tourists often stop to see the iconic Muddy The Mudcat. Included in the rehabilitation was rebuilding the historical aspect of the fountain, planting flowers, and repaving the pathways. This has led them to rebooting the Thompson Creek Eco Centre Project. In the coming season, the society will be restoring the 45-acre site for an educational purpose. They also will be working to fully repurpose the floral clock and add a story board including local historical sites.

“We could not continue doing what we do without our Board of Directors and volunteers. We have about 200 members currently who devote so much time to our projects, planting and maintaining our gardens,” said Zynomirski.

The Haldimand Horticulture Society, which meets in Caledonia, is still a sapling in comparison, having been established in 1984. At that time, they were planting various gardens throughout Haldimand and maintained them with pesticides and weed killers.

“The biggest change over the years is that people actually care about what they’re eating or bringing into their home,” said President Sharon Slack. “Weed killers are banned now, but we no longer use the pesticides to ensure safe ingestion because that is what people want now.”

This year, the society will be focussing on planting trees for the “future of our world” throughout the River Walk and Riverside Park, as well as maintaining their gardens at the West Haldimand General Hospital, the dam, Centennial Hall, and more.

“Our members and volunteers spend over 1,500 hours each season maintaining all of our flowerbeds. We couldn’t do any of it without them,” said Slack.

Both Dunnville and Haldimand are eagerly welcoming new members to join them to continue bringing out the beauty of our towns. For more information on the clubs, their events, or upcoming meeting dates you can visit Dunnville at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or Haldimand at haldimand.gardenontario.org.

The 4th Annual Spring Farm Edition

Haldimand Press


It’s that time of year again. The cold weather has made itself at home here in Canada, and we’re all patiently awaiting its long-awaited departure. There are a few signs of spring that are familiar to everyone, from the melting of snow to the budding of trees to the return of animals that were smart enough to migrate south at the first sign of winter. While these sights may be a little in the distance yet, there are two signs of spring already here: The HFA is ready for their annual banquet this weekend, and The Haldimand Press has published this annual Farms: Spring edition.

As we look ahead to the warmer weather we hope is soon to come (and stay), we consider everything that farmers must look ahead for as well. Of course, each year farmers have to make a plan for that particular planting, growing, and harvesting season, but they can’t stop there. Ultimately, farming is a business and farmers rely on their business continuing to thrive to provide for their family. Businesses must plan for the future if they are going to succeed, otherwise they risk being caught off guard by incoming challenges or falling behind their peers as their industry evolves and outgrows them. For this reason, our theme this year is focusing on the new technologies and practices that our local farmers are not only adapting to, but also using to their advantage to grow their business.

As always, thank you to our farmers for your hard work and dedication. We understand it’s a difficult business you’re in, and we appreciate your efforts to ensure we have safe, delicious, and healthy home-grown food to enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to, or supported through advertising, The Haldimand Press’ special keepsake edition celebrating all things agriculture in Haldimand.

We love getting feedback from our readers, so please, if you have something to say about this special edition, let us know. Whether you had a favourite article in the section or you learned something interesting that you didn’t know before, we’d love to hear from you.

In addition, if you have any agricultural-related story ideas, would like to write a letter to the editor on your opinion of farming today or in years past, or have historic farm photos you think other readers might enjoy seeing, we would also welcome those submissions. All submissions or inquiries can be sent to publishers@haldimandpress.com.

Time to Start Sweet Potato Slips

Haldimand Press
By Lester Fretz


Considering that a gardener can easily grow as many pounds of sweet potatoes in a hill as white potatoes, it seems ridiculous to pay up to 10 times per  pound for sweet potatoes as white potatoes at the grocery store.

Perhaps the difficulty in locating slips and the exorbitant cost of purchasing rooted sweet potato slips also discourages growing sweet potatoes. Growing slips is exceedingly easy. As a house plant, it’s probably the easiest!

The alternative is to purchase a couple sweet potatoes from the local grocery. By placing the potato in a container of water in a warm, sunny location, it will soon send up sprouts.

The photo shows one growing in a well-lit window. There is enough nutrition in the potato that allows it to be grown in water while producing this voluminous growth, although growing submerged in soil produces healthier slips.

Near the middle of May, the vine can be cut into 30cm lengths with all but a few leaves removed up to the upper end. When placed in water, the pieces of the vine will root in less than a week for planting into the garden when the soil warms by the second week of June.

There are many varieties of sweet potatoes. Superior, with leaves resembling a soft maple tree, is easy to grow. By saving a few tubers each year, this particular variety has been growing in our garden for over 50 years!

            Lester C. Fretz, M.Sc., is a member of the Dunnville Horticulture Society.

DHS March Update

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

Calling all Leprechauns! It is almost time to get your green on! If we can’t quite see green in our lawns and gardens, then our green sweaters, hats and gloves will have to suffice. We have made it through the coldest months with those short daylight hours and now we can look forward to milder temperatures and the reawakening of spring.

Our Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) had a wonderful program night on February 21, welcoming Dr. Janice Gilbert who shared much on getting rid of those invasive phragmites. Fifty-two people signed in to share in a great evening. Tina Janssen donated three bunches of Siberian irises, won by Betty Balanger, Rose Marie Bosak, and Tony Daly.


Dan Mckay, DHS lead on the Thompson Creek Project & Janice Gilbert, of IPCC Invasive Phragmites Control

Next month is our Early Bird Draw for members who buy their 2019 membership on or before March 21, so make sure to come early to do so. At just $10 ($15 for a couple), it is great value. Our guests that evening will be Troy and Kelly Bowers of Moodie Bees, and Natalie Hahn speaking “All About the Bees”. This important topic is sure to be of interest to many.

At DHS we are gearing up for a busy spring of planting, weeding, and tending our town flowerbeds. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. Join us and see what our club is all about. You are sure to make new friends and learn something great … not to mention enjoy some excellent refreshments.

So, come on out to our next Program Night! The DHS meets every third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m., or visit us online at our Facebook page or website


For questions or comments, contact myself at 416-566-9337 or at debzyn@gmail.com.

            Deb Zynomirski is the president of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Quint Night

Dunnville Quint Night: the annual gathering of all Dunnville's Service Clubs. An Opportunity to socialize, network and share information of past and future projects. February 13, 2019 is (back, l-r) Lion Steve Allen, Kinsmen David Welsh, Optimist Don Zynomirski, (front) Legion member John Wood, Lioness Vicky Almas, and Horticultural Society member Deb Zynomirski. Absent from photo is Rotary member Sandie Herweigh. —Submitted photo.

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The Dunnville Lionesses hosted the annual Quint Night at the Optimist Hall on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Guest speaker for the evening was Dunville resident, Josie Penny – author of “So Few on Earth” and “On the Goose”. She shared some of her life experiences growing up in Labrador.

The Dunnville Service Clubs – Kinsmen, Legion Branch 142, Lions/Lioness, Optimist, and Rotary, along with the Dunnville Horticultural Society, gathered for an opportunity to network and share their stories and their upcoming projects.

Emcee Lioness President Vicky Almas introduced the Service Clubs in order of the years that they were founded. The Rotary (est. 1905) focuses on literacy, poverty, seniors, and mental health. Upcoming Rotary fundraisers include the April Urban Challenge and the September Golf Tournament.   The Lions (est. 1918) support local sports, the Sports Park, and the White Cane Club. Upcoming events include the April Home & Garden Show, Lobsterfest, and Mudcat Festival activities. 

The Optimists are celebrating 100 years of Optimism. Dunnville Optimists placed first of 57 clubs in the District last year (see more on Page 13). March fundraisers to support the Optimists’ work with the youth in the community include ABBAmania and the Holiday Bazaar.

Kinsmen (est. 1920) raise funds through hall rentals and selling fireworks.  They also support a local amputee.

Legion Branch 142 (est. 1929) support veterans, the Salvation Army, Air Cadets, Dunnville Hospital & Healthcare Foundation, and more. They will be holding an open house to celebrate their 90th anniversary.

The Lioness are the youngest Service Club at 70 years old.  All funds raised by the Lioness from the January Thaw, Murder Mystery, and Girls’ Night goes directly back into the community.  They are currently partnering with the Lions on the building of the Splash Pad in Lions Park.

Dunnville Horticultural Society currently plants and maintains 23 flower beds in Dunnville. There are two projects in Dunnville – the current Floral Clock will be restored as a storyboard to depict the landmarks of Dunnville;  and the Thompson Creek Ecosystem Phase 2.

For more information on clubs or upcoming events, check Facebook and/or the various clubs’ websites.

Tomatoes: How to Prevent “Blossom End Rot”

Items you can use to prevent Blossom End Rot

Often gardeners ask, “Why do my tomatoes develop blossom end rot?” A simple solution to this disappointing situation is to save your egg shells.

Although nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are important for healthy plants, calcium is also very essential, especially to produce a great tomato crop. As shown in the photo, by placing a container in a convenient place, egg shells for your garden can be easily “harvested”.

1. Place the shells in a container without washing them, as the inner soft skin contains valuable organic matter.

2. After they have dried for a couple of days, use a grinder or some sort of item to crush them. The photo shows a simple item to ensure they are finely ground.

3. The contents of the kitchen container can then be transferred to a larger container to accumulate for spring planting.

4. At planting, place a handful of crushed shells in the bottom of the hole dug for the tomato plants. Adding coffee grounds will also add nitrogen to the soil.

5. Rotate the location each year for growing crops such as tomatoes.

6. For an abundant supply of egg shells, request a restaurant which specializes in breakfasts to give you what they produce in one day.

Lester C. Fretz, M.Sc., is a member of the Dunnville Horticulture Society.

Lester Fretz-Tomoto Vine