Dunnville Horticulture Society

Dunnville Horticultural Society update

DUNNVILLE—One of the many flower pots President Deb Zynomirski planted this year. —Photo courtesy of Deb Zynomirski.

DUNNVILLE—2020 will go down in history for many things, not the least of which is the craziness produced by the COVID-19 crisis. However, I for one will remember this summer as the one where my gardens looked their best!

Since there were so many closures and cancellations this spring, many of us had ample time to prepare and tend to our gardens. A warmer and drier than average summer also meant that we got to spend a lot of our time outdoors enjoying all that nature had to offer. We found ourselves slowing down and taking time to smell the roses … as well as prune them, fertilize them, and mulch them!

Now that September is upon us, I feel a little melancholy thinking about the season winding down and harvest time coming. It’s also a little disheartening thinking about the long winter ahead, where we will be hibernating and dreaming of going south – only dreaming since the border is still closed!

Well, before the leaves start falling, make sure to take some time to get out there and grab every last ounce of the good weather. Here are a few suggestions from the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS):

1) Go get a selfie with Muddy and enjoy the beauty of our Centennial Park, including the monument highlighting Dunnville’s historical past (Robinson Road and Highway 3).

2) Tour the Thompson Creek Eco Centre. Walk through the arboretum, hike the Tall Grass Trail, and look for turtles and frogs in the creek and the wetland habitat.

3) Tour our town flower beds and soak up the pretty colours and fragrances.

4) Stroll through Wingfield Park and enjoy our beautiful Grand River. Sunsets here are especially “grand”!

5) Visit our fabulous Farmer’s Market and taste the delicious bounty of our local growers (Market Street and Main Street).

Finally, I would like to thank the many DHS volunteers who assisted with planting and weeding this year. More than ever before, our public flower beds provided a needed boost to our community. Hats off to you all!

Since DHS has had to cancel its program nights, we sure miss seeing our wonderful members. We are hoping that come the new year, we may be able to take up meeting together again.

Until that time, get outside and soak up every last ounce of summer!

You can connect with DHS through myself, Deb Zynomirski, by email (debzyn@gmail.com) or phone (416-566-9337), or visit us on Facebook at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Not your granny’s peonies

Marlene Link has tips to help your peonies thrive
There are a wide variety of peonies to enjoy in the garden. - Torstar file photo

Peonies are better than ever, with more varieties to choose from than the ones your grandmother had in her garden.

Peonies have been grown for over 4,000 years. The most common herbaceous ones will bloom for seven to 10 days and die back in winter.

The woody tree peonies from China have been around for over 2,000 years and were grown as a medicinal plant. They need protection from hot afternoon sun but are hardy and don’t need cutting back.

Itoh intersectional peonies are a cross between an herbaceous and a tree peony, and they also die back in the winter. They flower for three to four weeks and are more tolerant of heat and humidity.

While most of today’s peonies are fairly easy to grow, sometimes they might not perform and bloom as expected. What are some of the reasons why your peonies are not blooming?

• They may be planted too deep

• They may have insufficient sunlight

• They have been moved too often or divided too much

• They are cut back too early in the growing season

• You are killing them with kindness. Peonies thrive on scant fertilizer.

If you plan to divide your peonies, the fall is the best time to do so. Keep in mind, it can take a year or two for your peonies to flower again.

If you love gardening, or are interested in developing your green thumb, the Dunnville Horticultural Society is always welcoming new members. Check out our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org, our Facebook page or contact president Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or 416-566-9337.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.