Dunnville Horticulture Society

Merry Christmas from Dunnville Horticultural Society!

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

As I write this update, it is pouring down rain and a balmy 9 degrees! Not exactly the December weather we were expecting, but I for one am glad for the mild days. As 2020 draws to a close, I’m sure we are also glad to say goodbye to a difficult year.

I would like to thank the many Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) members and the Dunnville community for supporting our recent food drive for the Salvation Army. We were thrilled to collect 317 pounds of food for those in need in our little town!

As Christmas approaches, take some time to enjoy the great outdoors. The Thompson Creek Eco Centre has recently installed bluebird boxes along the trail around the Tallgrass Prairie. In addition, two large barn swallow nesting structures have been erected towards the west end of the park. It would be hard to miss them!

The project co-chairs are Debbie Thomas, and (Lead) Dan McKay. A great deal of time was invested by Dan in researching, building, and designing these structures. Egger Truck and Machine assisted with the installation, along with many dedicated volunteers. Next year we are hoping to welcome barn swallows, tree swallows, bluebirds, and other at-risk species to Thompson Creek.

Are you stuck for a gift idea for the gardener on your list? DHS has a limited number of Pollen Bee Nest homes for sale. They attract solitary bee pollinators which tend to be non-aggressive, and provide a home for them to lay eggs and nurture new bees. The cost is $25 for non-members, and $20 for members. We can provide front door drop off delivery. Contact me, Deb Zynomirski, to place an order.

Speaking of members, if you would like to purchase your 2021 membership, you may do so by mail. Simply send a cheque or money order ($10 single or $15 couple) to “Dunnville Horticultural Society”, PO Box 274, Station Main, Dunnville, N1A 2X5.

Finally, many of us will purchase or receive a beautiful pointsettia plant over the holidays. I must admit, I have killed many of these plants over the years, either from neglect or from too much kindness! One of our members, Marlene Link, offered advice some time ago on caring for your pointsettia: keep soil moist to the touch, water thoroughly, drain well before putting on a saucer (to avoid root rot), and place in a sunny location. I have followed this advice and successfully transplanted Christmas pointsettias to my garden in late May, where they continued to thrive!

Speaking of thriving … we are looking forward to doing just that in 2021! Although our monthly Program Nights are still on hiatus, your DHS Board continues to work behind the scenes, planning for next year. In the meantime, you can keep up with us on our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. You can also contact me for more information at debzyn@gmail.com.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a safe, happy, and healthy 2021!

Deb Zynomirski is the President of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

How do you care for miniature roses from the grocery store? Dunnville Horticultural Society member offers some tips

Miniature roses found in grocery stores are always tempting to buy, but after you get it home, you wonder if it will survive until the weather gets warm enough to put it outside. Usually, they last a few weeks in a sunny spot in the house.

Always remove the gift wrap sleeve, as it prevents drainage. After flowering has stopped, place the plant out of bright light and keep it slightly on the dry side, but not completely dried out.

After it has gone dormant, you can divide the rose, which usually has multiple plants in one pot. Use a good potting soil to allow for adequate drainage, but do not use peat moss, as it makes it difficult to manage watering. Too much water can cause the leaves to go yellow and drop. Use a rooting hormone compound when planting.

Some miniature roses are heartier than others, but they generally do well and are sturdier than they appear. Transfer them directly into the garden or use them in planters as an accent plant and enjoy them next summer.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has suspended member meetings.

If you have questions or comments, please contact the group’s president, Deb Zynomirski, at debzyn@gmail.com or check out our website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Thompson Creek Eco Centre Update

DHS recently added 2 large Barn Swallow structures that will also accommodate Brown Bats and 30 Bluebird houses at Thompson Creek Eco Centre in the Tallgrass Praire section, all species are considered at risk due to loss of habitat.
A Special Thank You to Dan Mckay for researching, building and coordinating this latest project at Thompson Creek. Also, to all of our generous community supporters that enabled us to fund and complete these projects.
Thank you to Roger Egger of Egger Truck and Machine for donating time and equipment to assist with instalation, and to DHS volunteers Doug Swick, Brad House, Charlie Hartsell, Debbie Thomas, Natha McKay and Mark, Kaelen,Rowan McCormack.

Dunnville Horticultural Society supporting species at risk

Debbie Thomas writes about work being done at the Thompson Creek Eco Centre


Driving down Robinson Road, you may notice something different at the Thompson Creek Eco Centre in the tallgrass prairie.

Two large, 2.4-metre-long roof structures that tower 3.7 metres above the ground stand ready for barn swallows to take up residence during the spring 2021 nesting season. The location offers water, mud and vegetation for nest building, plenty of insects for food and the structures are designed to provide shelter and protection from prey.

Barn swallows are designated as a species at risk in Ontario, brought on by nesting habitat loss, mainly due to the disappearance of traditional old barns that used to dot rural Ontario.

The purpose of this latest Dunnville Horticultural Society project is to replace some of the habitat for local bird populations, and to act as an educational demonstration site for other people to possibly replicate and do the same.

Prior to COVID-19, our group also added 30 birdhouses spread throughout the 23-acre tallgrass prairie to entice blue birds and tree swallows in time for spring nesting.

We are happy to report we had 90 per cent occupancy of tree swallows having multiple broods, and we are hopeful blue birds will follow. Both species are also considered at risk.

We’d like to thank our member and Thompson Creek Eco Centre project lead, Dan McKay, for researching and building these structures. As an added bonus, his design of the enclosed roof section will also allow nesting space and housing for the little brown bat, another species at risk.

Also helping on the project were Roger Egger, Doug Swick, Brad House, Nathan McKay, Charlie Hartsell, and Mark, Kalen and Rowan McCormack.

Debbie Thomas is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society and co-chair of the Thompson Creek Eco Centre project in collaboration with project lead Dan McKay.