Dunnville Horticulture Society

Search for hidden gems in Haldimand

Marlene Link encourages gardeners to seek out new sources of plants this year

A few years ago, I discovered an amazing place on Highway 3 near Simcoe. Having driven by several times, my curiosity finally got the best of me when I saw the “plant sale” sign, so I stopped in.

My stop was rewarded with a wonderful tour of a garden trials location. There were rows upon rows of beautiful, robust plants overflowing their containers. Most annuals and some perennials grown here are tested for their durability and performance in our southern Ontario summer.

This particular plant trials location started with 300 plants the first year and expanded to 3,000 in 2020. They supply several large big box stores.

When was the last time you searched out a new local garden centre?

Haldimand, Norfolk, Hamilton and even Niagara have many diverse plant suppliers to quench our thirst for something new in our gardens.

You will often be able to find unique and native plants that may have your neighbours green with envy. Watch for the signs, ask fellow gardeners about their “secret” places, and scour the internet for out-of-the-ordinary suppliers.

Make 2021 your year to explore new garden options. You may just stumble onto a gold mine of exciting new plants. As the saying goes, “seek and ye shall find.”

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

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

Get Growing: Saving endangered native medicinal plants

It’s January! Time to start thinking and planning your garden for this year. I’m not sure about you, but we do like to look at growing species that are either struggling or not very common. We do this especially with pollinator species, herbs, and the occasional vegetable. This year in the Richter’s catalogue there was a list of endangered Native Medicinal Plants and I immediately thought … we have to get a few of these species! Now, what are these plants, what do they do, and which ones should we think of growing?

Richter’s mentions 12 different species that are available to order through them. Those species are: Bethroot, Bloodroot, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Echinacea, American Ginseng, Goldenseal, Wild Leek, Mayapple, Partridgeberry, Uva Ursi, and Wintergreen. The species that are most at risk in Ontario are Goldenseal, Black Cohosh, and American Ginseng due to overharvesting. As mentioned, all listed can be purchased through Richters (richters.com). It is quite a list, so this is what has made it to our purchase list and why:

Black Cohosh (above): We selected this not just for its medicinal properties. Black Cohosh can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including colds, pain, rheumatism, menopause, and possibly tinnitus. But,  it’s also known as Fairy Candles. It is said that the flowers even glow in the dark, and that it is a great pollinator species, so it should attract our bees.

Bloodroot: This was selected because it has a beautiful flower that looks similar to a water lily. It’s mostly the flower that attracts me, along with the bees. It’s a good pollinator species and it’s also supposed to be good to treat skin conditions such as eczema, skin tags, and moles.

Bethroot: chosen because it’s a red trillium! Although it’s used to treat everything from coughs, bronchial problems, and pulmonary haemorrhage, as well as gastro-intestinal bleeding, diarrhea, and dysenterys, we want to grow it because it’s a red trillium.

Partridgeberry: selected because we know we can harvest the berries for many yummy recipes. However, did you know it can help prevent high blood pressure, urinary tract infections, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, and helps slow aging processes such as memory loss and the deterioration of motor skill, improving circulation, as well as the prevention of certain forms of cancer?

There are many to choose from. Research each plant to see if they will be suitable to your space and gardens. These four listed are what we’re interested in. We have bees and areas where these varieties should thrive, and we won’t need to maintain them much. But at the same time, we like the idea that we can help a struggling species.

Susan and Brad Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society. If you would like more information on DHS, check out their Facebook page or  website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

            DHS mourns the loss of member Lester C. Fretz who passed December 23, 2020. Lester was the original contributing columnist for Get Growing. He will be missed by many friends and fellow gardeners.

Remembering Lester C. Fretz

By Co-publisher Jillian Zynomirski

On December 23, 2020, former Press columnist Lester C. Fretz passed away in his 89th year. Lester, a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society, wrote for The Press’ ‘Get Growing, tips from a local gardener’ column from 2017 to 2020. In October 2020, he passed the torch to new Get Growing columnists Brad and Susan Emery.

“I’m indebted to you folk at Haldimand Press for introducing me to the enjoyable opportunity of writing for you,” Lester wrote to us in October 2020. “I’m pleased to see the Emerys carry on with the column for which I give you the credit for creating.”

Lester inspired readers with his many gardening ideas and thoughtful tips.

Lester’s final column for The Press was on seeds and their sense of direction. We can’t help but think that Lester has planted many seeds in his lifetime, developing strong roots, which will live on in his memory.

Lester was so encouraging and never missed an opportunity to let us know what a great job we were doing at The Press. He was one of the most kind-hearted people, and we will never forget him.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.


It’s my turn now to be planted

Put out to seed again

While the fruits of my earthly labours

Flourish in the sun and rain


It’s a wonderful day to be planted

In rich, deep loamy soil

A natural bed, for a tired gardener’s head

With green fingered hands of toil


Please plant a tree or bush for me

To celebrate a gardener’s life ways

I strove to enrich the world with beauty

Over many, many gardening days