Dunnville Horticulture Society

Spring doesn’t have to mean spring into action

DUNNVILLE—Gardeners everywhere always eagerly anticipate the arrival of longer days and warmer weather. But aside from necessary pruning, we should temper our enthusiasm for some time yet. March is a good time to prune back shrubs, trees, and fruit producing vines. However, this is a poor time to be cleaning out our gardens and raking leaves and lawn.

Why, you ask? Many of our most important pollinators burrow in twigs, under leaf litter, and in thin, hollow branches. Imagine these pollinators that have survived a long cold winter, only to be dug up or raked away from their protective nests before they have a chance to emerge on their own. With the assault on our pollinators by insecticides, we need to give these insects every chance to survive! I would encourage you to wait on your garden and yard clean up. Early to mid-May is the ideal time to tackle this task and will ensure that most pollinators will have had a chance to emerge from their winter hibernation.

Also remember that your nemesis, the dreaded dandelion, is an important first food for these pollinators. It’s so tempting to get out there and get a head start on picking and uprooting the dandelions. However, as our pollinator friends emerge, they will be very hungry, and those dandelions and other early wildflowers provide the nutrition and food they need to replenish their energy stores. They will thank you by caring for your flower and vegetable flowers, and help you produce a great crop.

This May, the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) will once again be spreading our planting activities in town across three days. If you are interested in assisting with our Planting Days, contact me directly. Likewise for anyone interested in weeding a garden for the season.

Some members have been asking how they can obtain their 2021 DHS membership. Please send a cheque or money order ($10 single, $15 couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1A 2X5.

Your membership card will be mailed directly to you.

Although our DHS monthly Program Nights are still on hiatus, your DHS Board continues to work behind the scenes, planning for this 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.

Think green thoughts!

How does snow help your garden beds?

I love watching it snow. Everything becomes quiet and the snow dances when the light hits it. I thought that was the best thing about snow, but I was wrong. Snow is GREAT for your garden.

First of all, it’s a great insulator for the soil. Without snow, very cold temperatures can freeze the soil deeper and deeper, which can then lead to damage of the root systems of trees and shrubs. Snow prevents these cold temperatures from harming plants.

Secondly, it will help against wide temperature fluctuations in the soil. Under the snow, the roots of perennials, bulbs, ground covers, and strawberry plants are protected from the freeze-thaw cycle that can heave tender roots right out of the ground.

Thirdly, snow helps conserve soil moisture over the winter.

And here’s a BONUS! Did you know that nitrogen attaches to snowflakes as the snow falls through the atmosphere? That’s why The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls snow a “poor man’s fertilizer.” Nature provides a gentle fertilizer boost to plants!

So, now when we get that last snow dump as we sometimes do in March and April, we can say, ‘Let it snow and thank you for the fertilizer’ – instead of cursing it.

Susan and Brad Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS).

      Due to COVID-19 restrictions, DHS has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, contact DHS President Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or visit dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

      Note that 2021 DHS Subscriptions are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 single, $15 couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1A 2X5.

Dunnville Horticultural Society: Many plants can be dried for later use in cooking, decor and more

Lavender Farm
Plan now for your harvest later, says Marlene Link

There are a host of plants to consider planting this year to reap the seeds and flower heads to later dry and use in numerous ways. The most commonly used are dried herbs in cooking, e.g. oregano, tarragon, thyme and peppermint for tea.

Lavender is used in many ways, especially for its aroma and for essential oils.

The annual flowers, such as the strawflower (helichrysum bracteatum) was quite popular several years ago, but recently I have found it at only a couple of garden centres. The blooms are very stiff and can be used for potpourri. Their colours range from white to rosy pink, or purple and hot yellow to gold. They can also be easily grown from seeds. They love hot, dry weather and with regular harvesting of the flower heads, they will continue to bloom until frost.

Globe amaranth (drumflower) and statice are both favourites for flower arranging. Celosia and Nigella (love in a mist) and salvia can also be used for drying.

Sea oats is one of my favourites with its flat, pointed oval seed heads, and can be used in floral arrangements or pressed for cards and small framed pictures. It is a perennial grass, but be cautious where you plant it, as it will self-seed under the right conditions.

Harvest timing is important for drying flowers. For example, the salvia should be picked when the bracts are fully coloured, or when the bottom two or three flowers are open.

Now is the time to think about what you want to plant. So, plan ahead for what you want to harvest later in your garden and always have fun and enjoy.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, please contact president Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or check out our website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Memberships for 2021 are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single membership, $15 per couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario, N1A 2X5.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Plan now for your harvest later, says Marlene Link

There are a host of plants to consider planting this year to reap the seeds and flower heads to later dry and use in numerous ways. The most commonly used are dried herbs in cooking, e.g. oregano, tarragon, thyme and peppermint for tea.

Lavender is used in many ways, especially for its aroma and for essential oils.

The annual flowers, such as the strawflower (helichrysum bracteatum) was quite popular several years ago, but recently I have found it at only a couple of garden centres. The blooms are very stiff and can be used for potpourri. Their colours range from white to rosy pink, or purple and hot yellow to gold. They can also be easily grown from seeds. They love hot, dry weather and with regular harvesting of the flower heads, they will continue to bloom until frost.

Globe amaranth (drumflower) and statice are both favourites for flower arranging. Celosia and Nigella (love in a mist) and salvia can also be used for drying.

Sea oats is one of my favourites with its flat, pointed oval seed heads, and can be used in floral arrangements or pressed for cards and small framed pictures. It is a perennial grass, but be cautious where you plant it, as it will self-seed under the right conditions.

Harvest timing is important for drying flowers. For example, the salvia should be picked when the bracts are fully coloured, or when the bottom two or three flowers are open.

Now is the time to think about what you want to plant. So, plan ahead for what you want to harvest later in your garden and always have fun and enjoy.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, please contact president Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or check out our website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Memberships for 2021 are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single membership, $15 per couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario, N1A 2X5.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.