Dunnville Horticulture Society

2022 Year of the Garden!

By Deb Zynomirski

President, Dunnville Horticultural Society

You may have heard that 2022 has been declared the Year of the Garden. In these times of lockdowns and restrictions, gardening is still a joy and a pleasure that we can partake in. Dunnville Horticultural Society planted several hundred new tulip bulbs this past November to mark the occasion. We are also hoping to return to our regular Program Nights, and plans are already underway to hold our annual Plant Sale once again. Start planning now for how you will celebrate this auspicious occasion this year!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Resolve that this is the year you will finally plant that vegetable garden.

Shop online or locally for seeds which you can start indoors in February.

Plan to diversify your garden with new and exciting plants that you have never tried before. Our climate has changed in the last 25-30 years, so plants that used to be too tender for our area can now withstand our seasons.

Attend our Program Nights when they restart. Make new gardening friends!

Share your cuttings and perennial divisions with your neighbours.

Plan to attend several garden tours, both local and far-flung. You will find inspiration to turn your own patch of dirt into something beautiful this year.

Red is the official colour for the 2022 Year of the Garden, so make sure you paint your gardens RED this year!

DHS was fortunate to be able to hold our 2021 AGM between lockdown times. At this meeting, we welcomed our 2022 Board of Directors: Debbie Thomas (Past-President), Petra Kruis-Daly (Recording Secretary), Ellen Guenther (Treasurer), Susan Emery, Nelly Engelage, Wray McLean, Melanie Ruigrok, Sharon Sykes, Jordan Wagter, and myself, Deb Zynomirski (President). We are looking forward to getting back to our normal club activities in 2022!

Keep thinking green thoughts! 

DHS normally meets the third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Hall. However, due to the current Provincial COVID-19 restrictions, please note that the January Program Night is cancelled. For more information, visit dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org 

or their Facebook page under Dunnville Horticultural Society. DHS President, Deb Zynomirski, can also be reached by email at debzyn@gmail.com.

Letter to the editor—Invasive Phragmites threatens municipal budgets in 2022

To the Editors,

Municipal budgets can expect to take a hit in 2022 from an unexpected direction. The cost to control the rapidly expanding and fast growing tall invasive species called Phragmites can be expected to add red ink to many municipal budgets.

As Phragmites (Phrag) spreads rapidly along rural roadsides, it has become a significant safety hazard at intersections by obstructing driver sightlines. The dense roots impact municipal infrastructure by clogging drains, ditches, and culverts, causing road flooding and related damage.

Already there are over 1,000 kilometres of roadside with Phrag in Ontario. The current cost to treat and eradicate a single kilometre of roadside infested with “Phrag” is estimated at $6,000. When municipalities work closely with local partners and budget proactively for Phrag control they can limit the spread, protect biodiversity, and manage their liability.  

Phrag also impacts recreational opportunities such as swimming, boating, fishing, birdwatching, and hunting, which is costing local economies an estimated $42.7M annually. Waterfront landowners take a double hit; in addition to recreation impacts, a recent study indicates these property values have been reduced by $357M due to Phrag encroachment.

In partnership with the local municipality and other organizations, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has been actively reducing Phragmites. To be Phrag-free and eliminate this economic and environmental burden, it’s time for a substantial investment by government in Phrag control that supports municipalities and their partners’ efforts.  

Respectfully,

Deb Zynomirski, 

President, Dunnville Horticultural Society

Ontario Phragmites Working Group

Ontario Invasive Plant Council

Viola: Herb of the Year!

By Brad and Susan Emery

Did you know violets are herbs? I had no idea that violets are herbs and that they are valued for their medicinal properties. It was the Greek physician Dioscorides who noted violets have a ‘cooling’ effect on inflammation of the stomach and of the eyes. The 16th century English physician, John Gerard, described more than a dozen medicines made from the leaves or flowers. These were used for hot fevers and inflammation. 

Today, herbalists still rely on violets to treat coughs, colds, skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, urinary tract infections, and arthritis and rheumatism. And why not, since they have been known to help reduce inflammation? Research has shown that extracts of violet leaves and flowers can be as effective as corticosteroid drugs in reducing inflammation. All naturally. Plus, other studies have shown that violets can also reduce pain and repair damaged tissue. 

So, if you plan to grow violets and haven’t yet, here are some tips. They do best in moist, well-drained soil, in a partly sunny location – but they can be surprisingly adaptable. I think the reason I’ll grow them is because the fresh flowers are edible. They are fun to add to salads, soups, or dessert. You can even candy the flowers, made by coating fresh flowers with a sugar syrup. I definitely want to try that out. 

Not all violets are scented, but the sweet violet (Viola Odorata) is renowned for its ‘soft, powdery, and romantic’ scent and has been used in perfumes for at least 1,500 years. Regardless how we use them for medicine, food, or fragrance, violets really are herbs. Pretty and practical. 

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

Dunnville Horticultural Society: Indoor plants can be beneficial to your health

My columns are usually about outdoor plants, but many of us enjoy having houseplants — especially during the cold winter months, and they can be beneficial to your health.

Sansevieria plant is also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue plant.

The sansevieria plant releases oxygen especially well and can improve indoor air quality by removing 87 per cent of airborne toxins in a small or medium area at night. It also reduces the level of nitrate ions. Sansevieria can help people with breathing problems from airborne allergies.

Overwatering is the main reason sansevieria plants die. They prefer to be root-bound in small pots and allowed to dry out between watering.

Fertilize only when they are actively growing. They will grow in any light settings, but will grow faster in more light and may even flower every few years.

They seem to have few pest issues.

One drawback of sansevieria plants is they are poisonous to pets, children and even adults, so be aware of this when selecting plants for your home and deciding where you will place them.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society normally meets the third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Hall. However, due to the current provincial COVID-19 restrictions, please note that our January program has been cancelled.

For more information, check out our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or our Facebook page under Dunnville Horticultural Society. Club president, Deb Zynomirski can be reached by email at debzyn@gmail.com or by phone at 416-566-9337.

Keep thinking green thoughts!

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Consumer Notice: Pesticides and their Alternatives

My name is Brooke and I work at ConsumerNotice.org, a website dedicated to providing information about harmful products, environmental hazards, and preventing personal injuries.

As you may know, most pesticides can pose a risk to humans and animals. For this reason, we have published a guide with organic, homemade, and agricultural alternatives.

You can check out the guide here:
https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/pesticides/roundup/alternatives/