Dunnville Horticulture Society

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary


November 2016


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Happy November! I can’t believe how fast autumn is going by. It’s dark in the morning when I drive to work but seeing the beautiful trees that have changed colour makes it okay.

What a stellar year our organization has had! Our society continues to grow each year by leaps and bounds. Our membership count as of October is 273 which includes 3 life members. How awesome is that? We had 105 people in attendance at the Optimist Hall last month-we’re practically bursting at the seams! Membership is vital for the success of our society and as of today we are stronger and better than ever.

Dunnville’s public flowerbeds were beautiful again this year thanks to everyone’s hard work planting and maintaining them. It never ceases to amaze me how everyone comes together to help us carry out our duties. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered to assist with our various projects this past year. Volunteers have always been the backbone of this society and without you there would be no Dunnville Horticultural Society. Since its inception in 1929 the official mandate of the DHS has been to plant trees and take care of the public gardens throughout the town of Dunnville as well as educating our members and the general public on the topic of horticulture. Unofficially it has been our mandate to have fun. It looks like we’re right on track!

Looking back over the year, we held a number of events that were huge successes. Our garden walk in July was a hit, along with our Flower & Veggie shows and our bus trip to Niagara. Our booth at the Lions’ Home & Garden show in April helped to give us lots of exposure in our community and our plant sale in May was our biggest fundraiser as usual. Looking forward to next year–our partnerships within the community are flourishing with many projects in the work for 2017, with our refurbishing of the Centennial Fountain being one of many that will bring pride to our town and to our society. Canada’s 150th birthday should bring colourful celebrations next summer and it should prove to be an exciting season for every community in Haldimand.

Many businesses and private individuals have come to our assistance throughout the year with their generous donations of money, food, gift items and their time. A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone for your support and assistance in making the Dunnville Horticultural Society successful. Please remember: shop local! Dunnville’s businesses need your support as much as we need theirs. A complete list of our sponsors can be found on the website.

Our upcoming program on November 17th is going to be a busy one. This is our AGM, installation of officers for 2017, Junior Gardener Awards, Christmas Celebration, Pot Luck Dinner, Penny Sale, Photo Contest, and Food Drive. Be sure to arrive at 6:00 p.m. and bring your favourite dish or dessert for the pot luck. We will be accepting non-perishable food items for the food bank. The Four Season photo contest consists of 4 categories: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Each photo should be 4 x 6 inches. Gardening is to be the focal point and they should be taken in Haldimand County. 1 entry is allowed in each category. Our guest speaker will be Gary Cartlidge from Armstrong Milling. His topic will be “The Right Food for the Right Bird at the Right Time”.

There will be no general program in December. Our next get together at the Optimist Hall after this month’s program will be Thursday, January 19th at 7:00 p.m.

This will be my last newsletter of the year, so on behalf of the executive and directors of the Dunnville Horticultural Society I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Have a safe and happy holiday and we will see all of you again in January.

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary


October 2016


Happy Autumn! Finally–some relief from the heat and humidity. Now it’s not so difficult to get outside to do some much needed yard work.

September was a busy month for the DHS. For the very first time we participated in the Great Tricycle Race held in Cayuga on September 9th. Every year the Great Tricycle Race is an opportunity for Haldimand’s service groups, not-for-profit organizations, firefighters, high schools and sports teams to compete for bragging rights and cash donations to their causes. It’s also a platform to exhibit those who help out in the community. We were well represented with a float in the parade and 2 tricycle riders in the race. Our trike riders were DHS president Debbie Thomas and her better half, Andy Hyma. The trike race garnered us a prize of $750! We came in third in the float competition ($2000.00) and received $600 just for entering in the evening’s events. Thank you so much to Chris Ricker for providing his beautiful Belgian horses and market wagon for our team to decorate. It was awesome! Thank you also to Rosa Flora for the beautiful Gerbera daisies and Garden Gallery for donating grasses. Thank you to Margaret Kamping and her grade 3 & 4 students at Dunnville Christian School who came out to walk along us the DHS in the parade. The prize money will be put to good use with our Centennial Fountain restoration project. Last, but not least, a huge thank you to our Junior Gardeners and everyone else who came out to help and to cheer us on! This could be the beginning of a great annual tradition for our society.

DHS volunteers have been busy recently spreading mulch in the beds at the east and west “Welcome to Dunnville” signs and the bed in front of Sweet Retrospect located downtown. McKay’s Stump and Tree Removal generously donated over 9 yards of natural mulch for these beds. Garden Gallery donated 6 yards of black mulch for the beds underneath Muddy the Mudcat and we purchased 6 more to finish the job. The beds now have approximately 5 inches of mulch on them to keep the weeds down. Kim Christoff, Deb Zynomriski, Marilyn and Alisha Stavinga, Steve Elgersma, Gloria Hunter and Debbie Thomas all deserve a huge thank you for doing this work in the hottest, most humid weather we’ve had this summer.

The DHS recently gave a donation of $5,001.00 towards the development of the new Farmer’s Market for Dunnville. Careful planning and fundraising over the past 4 years have led up to this donation and we are very proud and excited to be able to support this project. We have been following the progress of both the Farmer’s Market and the new Waterfront Park from the beginning. Hopefully we can offer more assistance once the park has been built.

We are also very excited about the direction that our Centennial Fountain project has taken. The students from Dunnville Christian School are participating and have raised over $1000 for us and the money we received from the Tricycle Race has been earmarked for this project. We have recently secured a partnership grant from Haldimand County to put towards its rehabilitation. Some of this money will also be used to refurbish the butterfly gardens in front of Muddy the Mudcat. This has evolved from a “can we do something to fix the beds around the fountain?” meeting in front of it 2 years ago, to a huge, exciting project for the Dunnville Horticultural Society. We have applied for funding through provincial and federal programs in partnership with Haldimand County. We would also like to see new pathways linking Lions’ Park to Centennial Park and making the bridge over Thompson’s Creek accessible to all. We are confident that we’ll have all of our funding in place and the work will be completed in time for our 2017 Canada’s 150th Anniversary and Dunnville’s Centennial Park’s 50th Anniversary. If anyone is interested in donating toward this project please let us know and don’t forget: DHS is a registered charity and will provide tax receipts for your donation.

Our new website is officially up and running. Log in to the web address above and check it out. Let us know how you like it. We would appreciate your feedback.

Our guest speaker at the September program was Wendi Prior, assistant manager of the new Terra Greenhouses on Hwy 20 in Stoney Creek. She spoke about gardening in drought conditions and answered questions from our members.

Our guest speaker for the upcoming October program will be Jeff Bokma from Vermeer’s and his topic will be “Houseplants 101”. Our members really like Jeff. This will be his third appearance in the past 18 months. We will also be holding our annual seed exchange and our first annual “Fall Flower & Veggie show”, and what’s a fall flower and veggie show without some pumpkin carving? Bring your best Jack-0-Lantern to win a prize!

Please mark Saturday, October 22 on your calendar. We are meeting at the bridge at 9 a.m. to clean up the town flowerbeds-volunteers are needed.

November’s program is our AGM, Junior Gardeners awards, Christmas celebration, pot luck dinner and 4 season photo contest. It’ll be a busy evening for sure! Bring your favourite dish and a non-perishable food item to donate to our local food bank. Photos can be entered in each category: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. The photos must be 4×6 with focus on gardens and taken in Haldimand County. 1 photo per category and the prizes are always awesome. Most importantly, a representative from District 9 will attend to swear in the executive and directors for 2017. We have a very strong group of people who work very hard for this organization. If you think you would like to get involved please let us know. We would love to have you!

See you at the meeting!

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

Sept. 2016

Happy September!  Summer is supposed to be winding down, but the only thing I have noticed so far is that the days are getting a little shorter. It’s still hot and sunny. It’s been a brutally dry summer as you can see by the brown lawns and fields around Haldimand County. Even our local golf courses are brown. Hopefully it won’t last too much longer.  Dunnville’s downtown flowerbeds, however, look absolutely gorgeous. Thank you to all of our volunteers who are keeping them weeded and watered.  You are all doing an incredible job.


June’s general program was well attended (as usual!).  The Flower & Garden show had lots of entries and they were so creative and beautiful. Our members are so gifted and director Pauline did a great job putting the class list together and of course, thank you to our judges for their time and expertise.  Our guest speaker was Frank Kershaw who showed us a slide presentation on beautiful gardens and how recycled and refurbished art can be used as focal points.


Our partnerships are forging ahead, with one of them being the Centennial Fountain Restoration project. Students at Dunnville Christian School have hopped on board to help and as of June had raised over $1000 towards the reparation of the fountain. They are so excited to be involved in this project.  In 1967, as part of Dunnville’s Centennial celebrations, the fountain was commissioned with both sides of it (the uprights) having 5 panels created by the late sculptor, Hamilton born Elizabeth Holbrook. The panels depict scenes of life along the Grand River.  Because of the fountain’s historic significance we are hoping to see it restored and hopefully in time for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2017.


The members-only garden tour in July was a huge success. Thank you to all the home owners who opened up their gardens for everyone to see. All the gardens were gorgeous. We received lots of positive feedback so I have a sneaky feeling this is going to be an annual event from now on.


The August bus tour to Niagara was awesome!! The bus was full. Deb Zynomirski did a wonderful job organizing everything from the perfect winery destinations, views and tour guides. The heat and rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Thank you, Deb, for all of your hard work—everyone had a great time.


On Friday September 9th, we are participating in the Haldimand Motors Great Tricycle Race in Cayuga.   This is a first for the DHS. This year there is a Western theme. We are going to be entering a float in the parade and of course the tricycle race itself.  Come out and help if you can. Come dressed in your finest Western garb, bring a food donation, bring a sweater and a lawn chair and have some fun. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at` 9:00 p.m. with a fireworks display.


Our speaker for the upcoming program on September 15th will be Wendi Prior who is an assistant manager at the new Terra Greenhouse in Hamilton.  She will be talking to us about ways to garden in drought conditions. We’ll see if we’ve been doing it right these past few months.  She is sure to have some stock with her for sale too. This is also your last opportunity to help support the Junior Gardeners by placing a fall bulb order. Vessey’s always has great stock and it’s a great way to contribute to the Junior Gardener Program. October’s speaker will be Jeff Bokma and his topic will be “Houseplants 101”. This will also be our annual seed exchange and our Fall Flower & Veggie show.

Lastly, it is with a very heavy heart that I must announce, if you haven’t heard already, that our beloved Judy Jeffery passed away on August 14th after a courageous battle with cancer.  She was such an inspiration to all of us.  Her disabilities never slowed her down: when she wasn’t working hard at her garden centre on Marshall Road she was working for the DHS and she always had a smile on her face.  Over the years she has served as DHS treasurer (2004-2007) and president (2010-2012).  Recently she was involved with leading our new Junior Gardeners.   She was a very special lady and will be missed by many.  Her family has requested that any donations that you may wish to make in her memory be directed to the Dunnville Horticultural Society.


See you at the upcoming program.


Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

June 2016

Happy Summer! Finally! We’ve been waiting so long for the warm weather. The temperature has been somewhat inconsistent but it beats winter! I am enjoying watching my perennials flowering and like any gardener I keep digging them up and moving them around. Perennial gardens are always a work in progress.

The plant sale on May 14th was a huge success (no surprise there)! Thank you so much to everyone who donated plants and to everyone who helped accepting and sorting them on Friday night, and of course to everyone who helped on Saturday with the sale. The weather wasn’t very co-operative, but despite the rain we had a great turn-out of volunteers and shoppers. We raised $1918.00 and signed up 17 junior gardeners!

Planting day on May 28th was a resounding success, largely in part from President Debbie Thomas’s hard work organizing things and doing a lot of preparatory work along with Steve Elgersma, and George & Shirley Hoto. Mother Nature was on board, too, and she made it a beautiful sunny day. Thank you so much to the 25 adult volunteers who came out to plant the beds in town and the 10 junior gardeners who came out to plant the bed at the Floral Clock. Planting was finished early and the flowerbeds look awesome!! Konkle’s Greenhouses kindly donated 250 trays of annuals and 64 grasses this year. They have teamed with us for many years now-we don’t know what we’d do without them. Prior to planting day DHS also planted numerous perennials in the town beds in an ongoing effort to have sustainable plants that are resilient and drought tolerant. Russ Savage of Landscapes with Russ has revamped our East & West Dunnville signs with new perennials, donating all the material and labour, and in partnering with the Rotary Club we were able to get George Byleveld to install the beautiful concrete edging around these beds. Thank you, also, to Egger Truck & Machine for taking care of the watering. Each year the town looks better and better during the summer. You may have already noticed that there are many more flower pots on display downtown thanks to the BIA who has been working closely with the DHS for the past few years to dress up the downtown core. Everything has come together beautifully.

At our upcoming program we will be holding a spring flower show. The Fall Flower & Veggie show has been a big hit the past 2 years so this year we are having 2 shows: June and October. There are divisions for both junior gardeners and adults. Our members are so talented at putting together creative and beautiful arrangements. Our speaker that evening will be Frank Kershaw from the Toronto Botanical Gardens. He’ll be talking to our group about “Recycled and Repurposed Garden Art”.

Make sure to mark Sunday, July 10th on your calendar for our members’ only garden tours. So far there are 8 gardens confirmed. This is to be a self-guided tour. You can start and end where you like. Gardens will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Each home will have a sitting area but unfortunately washroom facilities will not be available nor food or refreshments. Please keep this in mind when you are planning your day. An updated list of gardens with addresses and directions will be available at the program on June 16th. More information will be on our website and you can also contact President Debbie Thomas at 905-774-3064.

The next thing on the agenda for the summer is our bus tour to Niagara on Saturday, August 13th. Deb Zynomirski has arranged a coach and driver to take us to Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, then on a tour of three distinguished wineries of the region: Reif Estate Winery, Southbrook Vineyards, and Konzelmann Estate Winery. Tickets are $50 per person and we’ll be leaving Dunnville at 9:00 am and returning late afternoon. Ticket prices do not include meals, but food and drink will be available at a reasonable cost. Bringing a ‘brown bag’ lunch is another option. Tickets are going fast-get yours before it’s too late. Please call Deb at 416- 566- 9337. It should prove to be a great day!

Since most people are busy with family activities and vacations during the summer there’ll be no monthly program at the Optimist Hall in July or August. Our next monthly program will be on Thursday, September 15th. As the weather heats up remember to take it easy, don’t get too hot working out in your gardens, and most of all take the time to sit back and really enjoy the fruits of your labour: our gardens are a great source of mental and physical therapy as well as a great source of pride. See you at the upcoming program!

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.

Essential advice for the Gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbour, and always make thyme for loved ones.
~ Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
April 2016

Well, the good weather is finally here…I think. It hasn’t been the warmest but with the longer days I’ll take it. No more winter coats and boots. Plants are popping up everywhere and it’s always exciting to see how my perennials fared over the winter. So far so good.

Our appearance at the Lions’ Home & Garden show was a huge success. We had lots of visitors to our booth and we managed to sign up quite a few new members. I think people were especially impressed with our demonstrations. Thank you to everyone who came out to help. The Lions’ Home & Garden show is our best form of advertisement each year promoting who we are and what we do.

District 9 has awarded us the “Doris Lightheart” award for the biggest increase in membership in our district for 2015. We actually had the biggest increase for all of Ontario. We have a strong society and our presence in Dunnville gets bigger every year. Someone said recently that the DHS is the best kept secret in town. Well, not anymore! With 91 in attendance last month I guess our secret is out. The Doris Lightheart award will be on display at the upcoming program. As of last week we have 215 members, not including our junior gardeners. Congratulations everyone!

Our “world famous” plant sale is coming up on Saturday, May 14th (you may be reading this after the sale in which case I’ll fill you in on how successful it was in my next newsletter). We decided to hold it one week later than usual (after Mother’s Day) because of the crazy weather we’ve been having the past couple of years. This way everyone’s plants will have an extra week to develop in what hopefully will be some warm sun. Donations are being accepted on Friday, May 13th at the Farmer’s Market parking lot from 5 pm to 7 pm. Please have your donations clearly labeled with the plant’s name, colour and sun/shade requirements. The sale starts at 8 am on the 14th at the Optimist Hall parking lot and usually runs until noon.

Planting day is Saturday, May 28th this year. Planting and maintaining Dunnville’s flowerbeds are what our society is all about. Each year the town looks better and better. A volunteer sign-up sheet will be passed around at the upcoming program. Please volunteer some time. Planting the beds usually takes about 3-4 hours. Many hands make light work. The annuals are donated by Konkle’s Greenhouses and all you need to bring with you is a trowel, gloves and some elbow grease. This is a great opportunity for high school students to earn some volunteer hours if they need to complete their requirements to graduate. If you’d like to help on planting day please contact our President Debbie Thomas at 905-774-3064. She will be very happy to hear from anyone who would like to help.

A bus trip has been planned for Saturday, August 13th to the beautiful Niagara region to tour some wineries and gardens. Tickets are selling fast so please contact Deb Zynomirski at 905-774-8453 if you want to purchase a ticket. Tickets are $50 per person and will also be available at the upcoming program.

I would like to thank our guest speaker for last month, Karen Richardson. She is the curator of the Haldimand County Museum and Archives. She spoke to our members about early kitchen gardens. Our guest speaker for this month is Lester Fretz. Lester is an annual favourite with the DHS. I’m looking forward to learning about backyard greenhouses. It is also our annual Rose Draw so be sure to attend the meeting. You must be signed in and present to win one. June’s guest speaker will be Frank Kershaw from the Toronto Botanical Gardens. His topic will be recycled and repurposed garden art.

At the June program we’ll be holding our first annual Spring Flower Show. There will be divisions for both the junior gardeners and adults. There will be more information at the upcoming program and the class list will be posted on our website. It’s amazing to see how creative our members can be.

The Ontario Horticultural Society is holding their 110th annual convention in Kitchener this year. It’s taking place at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 105 King Street East from July 29th to the 31st. They have quite the list of speakers this year, including our very own Lester Fretz on the first day. There is a flower show and numerous bus tours. You can find more information on our website. I read that one of the tours is to Langdon Hall. It’s one of the swankiest restaurants in the Kitchener area and their English gardens are gorgeous.

So now is the busiest time of year-it’s what we gardeners live for: sunshine and warm soil and of course garden centres! Don’t forget to show your DHS membership card when purchasing plants. Most of the garden centres in this area will give you a discount if you’re a paid-up member of the DHS. Happy planting!


Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
Happy Japril! Yes, Japril (It’s April and January won’t leave). After having a particularly mild winter this latest cold snap seems to have no end in sight. My poor daffodils and tulips that came up early didn’t fare well with abrupt change. My winter driving this year, however, was much better than usual – I think there was only one bad commute in the snow this year. Hopefully this crazy weather will warm up soon and stay that way. We gardeners are getting impatient!

The Lions’ Home and Garden Show is first on the agenda of community events. It’s located at the Dunnville Memorial Arena and Lifespan Centre and will be held on April 15th and 16th. Volunteers are needed and if you haven’t already signed up to help out please contact any of the executive. We’ll be promoting all aspects of the DHS including our Junior Gardeners. All help is greatly appreciated and most of all it’s fun.

Our three Life Members, Karen Waltham, Janice Croft and Doris Thomson, were honoured by the Province of Ontario last month at a ceremony in Vittoria recognizing their volunteer service of more than 30 continuous years each with the Dunnville Horticultural Society. MPP Toby Barrett was there to present the awards and ladies — you looked awesome in your photo in the Haldimand Press. Congratulations and we are very, very proud of you!

Steve Elgersma was nominated for Dunnville Citizen of the Year for his volunteer efforts in town, but unfortunately did not win. That’s okay, Steve. Everyone already knows how hard to you work and you’ll always be Number 1 with us. Congratulations on your nomination.

Last month’s guest speaker was Adam Koziol, from Dunnville’s EarthGen. He spoke about planting native trees and the talk was very informative. He and his daughter gave an engaging demonstration on how his company has developed a way of encouraging greater root development resulting in faster tree growth. DHS members are welcome to drop by and visit Earthgen anytime. Adam and Meghan graciously donated a tree to the DHS at the end of the presentation. Our guest speaker for April is Karen Richardson, curator of the Haldimand County Museum & Archives. She’ll be talking to us about early kitchen gardens. It’s always fun to learn how people grew their own food in the days before grocery stores.

Speaking of food, we all know that without our beloved honey bees our sources of food are going to become endangered. Honey Nut Cheerios, in an effort to raise awareness about the environmental threats facing bee populations, has launched a new campaign (March 15-April 30th) to remind customers just how important these pollinators are to life on Earth. General Mills has removed the honeybee mascot from the front of cereal boxes, replaced instead by an empty profile and an appeal to visit the campaign website and #BringBackTheBees. “One-third of the foods we depend on for our survival are made possible by the natural pollination work that bees provide,” Emma Eriksson, director of marketing for General Mills Canada. “With ongoing losses in bee populations being reported across Canada, we wanted to leverage our packaging to draw attention to this important cause and issue a call to action to Canadians to help plant 35 million wildflowers – one for every person in Canada.”

Canadians can visit the campaign website to order a free packet of wildflower seeds from Vesey’s Seeds, courtesy of General Mills Canada. More than 25 million wildflower seeds already have been shipped to households for planting. Go to https://bringbackthebees.ca to get your packet of seeds and to enter the contest to win one of five $5000.00 garden makeovers. I’ve ordered mine! As ‘caretakers of the soil’ it’s our responsibility to plant flowers that are beneficial to our bees, and to butterflies and birds as well.

For those of you in the area with cable television, this month’s episode of Haldimand Life airing on Cable 14 is about “What’s Growing On” with the Dunnville Horticultural Society and they also visit the recently opened Caledonia Lions’ Community Centre. It will be airing at different times throughout the month. If you don’t have an opportunity to watch the program on Cable 14 you’ll be able to see it on Cable 14 NOW by visiting:  www.cable14now.com and using your MyRogers/My Cogeco account login and password to access this show.

Mark your calendar for May 14th for our annual Plant Sale (I’ve booked the day off of work!). This is our biggest fund raiser each year and it will be held rain or shine in the parking lot of the Optimist Hall from 8 am till noon. We will be accepting donations of plants and garden related items on Friday evening (May 13th) from 5-7 p.m. at the Farmer’s Market parking lot on Market Street. So, when you’re dividing plants this spring please remember to save some divisions for the plant sale and make sure all plants are labeled with name of plant, care requirements, colour of flower if possible, and please have them in pots.

District 9’s Spring Forum (AGM) is being held on Saturday, April 30th in Grimsby. This year’s theme is “Spring at Beamer Falls”. The meeting will be held at 156 Main Street W., Grimsby, Ontario. There’s a link on the DHS website under “Upcoming” which you can click on to find out more about the AGM. There are guest speakers, a flower show and door prizes.

There will be a members-only garden tour on Sunday, July 10, 2015. This will be a self-guided tour with 8-9 different gardens to visit. The gardens all belong to members of the DHS and it’ll be so exciting to see them. This event will be free to members and non-members will be required to purchase a membership. Some refreshments will be provided.

It has been confirmed that there will be a winery/horticultural bus tour in August on the 13th to Niagara. Tickets will be available at $50.00 per person and we’ll have them at the upcoming program on April 21st. I’ll have more information for you in my next newsletter.

Until next month!



Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

March 2016

Happy Spring!!!!! It’s almost here! The days are finally getting longer. I can drive to work and home again in the daylight. I love this time of year: we can finally burst out of our cocoons of forced-air heated homes and bulky, scratchy winter clothes and get ready to take in the sunshine and….wait a minute. I think I’m getting ahead of myself. It’s still March and I’m sure we’ll get more snow. Maybe it’s best not to put our winter clothes away just yet. After all, last month Wiarton Willie said 6 more weeks of winter. But it won’t be long until we can get out and start digging!

Our spring and summer events are coming fast. First on the agenda will be the Lions’ Home & Garden show in April at the Dunnville Memorial Arena. It’s a two day event, Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th. Please plan on helping out with a shift or two manning the booth. Last year we had a great time with our membership drive and demonstrations and I’m sure there’s more of the same planned for this year.

Our Trillium Awards committee is taking a break this year. The awards are an integral part of our society and we’ve decided that maybe it’s time to take a long hard look at the rules and regulations and see if there is room for some changes. We will keep you posted if and when any changes are made and the awards will definitely be back, better than ever, in 2017! So while the awards are on hiatus we will be have a day of “members only” garden tours. We have numerous members offering up their gorgeous gardens for viewing. Mark your calendars: the date is Sunday, July 10th from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m.

Each year the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade accepts nominations for Ontario Volunteer Service Awards. Recipients are recognized for continuous years of service as volunteers in their communities and this year the DHS has nominated Karen Waltham, Doris Thomson and Janice Croft who each have 30+ years. All three ladies are life members: Karen and Janice have both served as President and Doris has served as Secretary and Treasurer. The awards will be presented in a special ceremony at the Vittoria and District Community Centre on March 31st with our President and Vice-President attending. There will be many special ceremonies held across Ontario where recipients are presented with a stylized trillium service pin and a personalized certificate acknowledging their years of service. Congratulations, ladies, on your nominations and thank you for your many years of hard work and dedication with the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Speaking of volunteer awards, our very own Steve Elgersma has been nominated by the DHS for the Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Citizen of the Year award for volunteering in Dunnville. I do believe that Steve logs the most volunteer hours (non-executive) for our society well as volunteering for other organizations in town. At almost any given time you will see him in the town flowerbeds weeding and cleaning up. Thank you, Steve, for your tireless efforts. Many services in our area rely on volunteers and Dunnville is very lucky to have someone like you.

Our guest speaker last month was Theresa Forte. She talked to our group about naturalizing our gardens to attract butterflies, bees and birds. She showed many beautiful photographs that she had taken and generously donated a matted photograph for a door prize. Thank you, Theresa for your wonderful demonstration.

This month our guest speaker will be Adam Koziol from Earthgen, in Dunnville. His topic will be “Native Tree Plantings with Fast Results”. Earthgen is an innovative grower of native trees located just outside of town with new methods of propagating and growing for environmentally sound and fast results. I really have no idea how to explain it so be sure to come and listen to Adam on Thursday.  This should prove to be a very informative evening.

Don’t forget that this upcoming get-together is on St. Patrick’s Day so don’t be surprised to see some leprechauns greeting you at the door!
See you then!


Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

Feb. 2016

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that our dear Maura Cooper passed away on January 31st at the Haldimand War Memorial Hospital in Dunnville. Maura truly loved gardening and has been an integral part of the DHS for many years. She had been looking after the kitchen during our monthly programs for a number of years and behind the scenes she was a tireless worker on many committees assisting with our numerous projects. Maura will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

This weather has certainly been a mystery, especially after last year’s long winter deep freeze. Hopefully Wiarton Willy got it wrong and there won’t be 6 more weeks of winter. As I write this the sun is shining and it’s 4 degrees. The only downside to this is that many garden plants are confused and starting to sprout. Hopefully they won’t be damaged by the cold weather that’s supposed to be coming next week.

At last month’s program, President Debbie Thomas highlighted some changes that will be made for 2016. We surveyed our members in the fall and their suggestions led to these changes. For starters, the layout of the hall has been rearranged for a better flow of traffic. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will start each month promptly at 7:00. A short video will begin at 6:50 which will be your signal that the meeting is about to begin. In order to keep boring business stuff to a minimum the Minutes and Treasurer’s Reports will be posted on the bulletin board. These reports are always available on our website if you wish to see them.

The nicest thing about doing the survey is finding out what people really like about the DHS, such as: “Fellowship, friendship, welcoming, relaxing, fun, Ways & Means, refreshments, learning new things, entertaining, informative speakers, well run and organized, great leadership, proud of flowerbeds”. DHS members are truly a great group of people who love to learn and socialize at our monthly programs. We do have a wonderful leader in our president and our executive and directors work very hard each month to keep things well organized. However, it still is a work in progress.   Finding out what people don’t like helps us make those necessary changes. Remember, there is a suggestion book at the back of the hall if you have any ideas that may help. We will continue periodically to do surveys to make sure things are going well.

Our Master Gardener panel was a huge hit again at last month’s program. I guess this is going to be an annual thing! Nothing like picking the brains of our very own experts.   Thank you to Lester Fretz, Marlene Link and Doris Thomson for sharing your vast knowledge with the members. Everyone truly enjoyed it.

Our guest speaker at the upcoming program on February 18th will be Theresa Forte who is a journalist, photographer and has been a speaker at Canada Blooms. Her topic will be: “If you plant it they will come: birds, butterflies and bees”.

Do you know what a “Witches’ Broom is? In medieval times, mysterious and unexplainable occurrences were often blamed on witchcraft. Brooms during this time were made of bundles of twigs. The term witches’ broom comes from the German word Hexenbesen, which means to bewitch (hex) a bundle of twigs (besom). In horticulture, witches’ brooms occur on many different woody plant species, including deciduous trees such as maple and willow, and conifers such as pine and spruce. There may be only one broom in a tree, or there may be many scattered throughout the tree. In some cases, the brooms are quite large in size and are easily spotted. In others, they are small and well-hidden. A number of stresses, both biological and environmental, can lead to the formation of brooms. Organisms such as fungi, mites, and aphids can cause abnormal growth when they attack a host tree. Environmental stresses that injure the growing points of the branches can also trigger the formation of shoots with short internodes that resemble a bundle of twigs, or a witches’ broom. In other cases they look like a ball shaped dwarf plant growing in a tree. There is one at Dunnville’s Grandview Lodge so if you’re in the area stop and have a look.
Happy gardening!

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding secretary.


Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

Jan. 2016

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were everything you hoped they could be. It’s a nice time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. It’s nice to have a break from gardening but if you’re anything like me you can’t wait for spring to see what your garden is going to do. Perennial gardens are always a work in progress and they’re never the same two years in a row.

Your 2016 executive was sworn in at the November general meeting and everyone is working very hard planning and organizing our meetings and events. First thing is that we are no longer going to call our meetings “meetings”. They are going to be called “programs”. We will keep the business to a minimum and concentrate more on our guest speakers, Ways and Means and of course the goodies. Our first monthly program is rapidly approaching and we are going to have a question and answer session with 4 of our very own master gardeners. Where better than our own membership can we turn to find experts? Appearing will be Lester Fretz, Marlene Link, Beth Powell, and Doris Thomson. They each have different areas of expertise so bring your gardening questions. Last year proved to be very informative and a lot of fun. Don’t miss it! And remember: our doors open at 6:30 p.m. and programs start at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Survey says!

Membership fees are going to remain the same as last year. A single membership for 2016 is $10.00 plus $5.00 for each additional person at the same address. Considering all that our society offers (monthly speakers, bus trips, plant sale, flower shows, seed exchange and of course our world famous Christmas celebration) where else could you better spend $10? Okay, our Christmas celebration may not be world famous, but word has definitely gotten out: we had over 100 people in attendance. In fact we had over 100 people at a few of our meetings this year. The main purpose of the DHS is to beautify the flower beds in town but our second is to educate, socialize and have fun and it looks like we’re doing something right! Our membership has grown to 206 which includes 3 life members. This is totally awesome!

Many of the garden centres in the area offer discounts to DHS members so be sure to inquire if you’re out shopping for plants in the spring.

Speaking of memberships, be sure to purchase yours no later than the February meeting in order to qualify for a chance to win our annual Early Bird draw.

I hope everyone got a chance to see our light up display at Wingfield Park. I don’t mean to sound biased, but Marilyn Stavinga’s winning design turned into the most beautiful display of all! Thank you to everyone who helped bring this project to fruition. It was also placed in the appropriate spot–right behind the Wingfield monument. W.H. Wingfield was the very first president of the DHS back in 1929. I do believe he would be very proud of what we have accomplished.

Our website has been updated for 2016. There is a plethora of information here so be sure to visit dunnvillehortsoc.gardenontario.org. Not only is there a very interesting history of the DHS on the site as well as a list of all past executive, there is information on all aspects of gardening and many links to other websites that we think will be of interest to you. The dates for all of our events and programs are listed with the names of our confirmed guest speakers. We will have printed calendars at the upcoming meeting, and the calendar can also be viewed on our website. Our guest speaker for February is Theresa Forte from Canada Blooms. Her topic will be “If you plant it, they will come: bees, butterflies and birds”.

Starting in January the DHS is contributing a monthly column in the Sachem, our local paper. Our recording secretary, Sandi Marr, will be submitting this article and with her experience and knowledge it will be very interesting and informative. If you don’t get the Sachem you can find these articles on our website.

Our DHS Junior Gardeners program went very well in 2015 and the kids did a great job! We hope to grow and expand the program for 2016. Thank you to Judy Jeffery and Marg and Mark Bottrell, and Pauline Bradford for working with the juniors. If you or anyone that you know would like to volunteer please let one of them know. All volunteers mentoring the children must have a vulnerable sector check done. The junior program runs throughout the summer.

This year we’ll be changing up the flower and veggie show. We’ll have two shows this year, June and October, along with our pumpkin carvings and designs. It never ceases to amaze me how creative our members can be.

We’ll be taking part again in the Dunnville Lions’ Home and Garden show in April. Our membership drive at last year’s was a huge success for us, and I’m sure this one will be too.

The plant sale in May of course is on again, only this year we will be holding it the week after Mother’s Day on May 14th. Mother’s Day weekend is just a little too early this year. Please plan on donating plants for the cause if you are dividing anything in the spring. This is our largest fundraiser each year and all donations are welcome. Each year we have a huge variety of perennials and annuals and there’s something for everyone.

We are hoping to have the Junior Gardeners enter a float in the Dunnville Mudcat parade in June. Everyone in town looks forward to the parade and it’s a great way to publicize our society.

We will be planting the town flowerbeds on Saturday, May 28th. Mark your calendar and please plan to help out. Our army of volunteers has done such an amazing job each year and I know this year will be no exception.

We have been asked to let our members know about a new internet program called HortusTV. It’s a video streaming program that has over 300 episodes of garden shows from around the world, free of advertising. Some are vintage and some are brand new, with new ones being added all the time. It has just launched in Canada. There is a 7 day free trial with no obligation if you want to check it out. After that, if you like what you see, you can subscribe for $6.99 per month plus applicable taxes. It’s sort of like Netflix. Go to www.hortustv.com to sign up for the trial. Credit card is not required. Your president, Debbie Thomas, is going to check it out and hopefully let us know if there are any pitfalls. It certainly sounds interesting. If any of you try it please give us some feedback.

I think I’ve covered everything for now.

Happy Gardening!

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.

See you all in January. Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 21, 2016 here at the Optimist Hall at 7:00 p.m.

DHS Newsletter

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary

Nov. 2015

This year is really winding down fast.  The weather has been unbelievable this fall and it’s been a treat to be able to clean up the flowerbeds without freezing.  Who knows – maybe it’ll stay like this until spring and then get warmer. I don’t like winter, but I do like having a break and waiting to see what the new spring season brings to my garden.

First and foremost I would like to extend a huge thank you to Sandi Marr who has come on board as our new recording secretary. My work schedule this past 6 months has made it almost impossible for me to attend the executive and general meetings. I will continue as our corresponding secretary as well as newsletter editor and anywhere else that my assistance is needed.

Our speaker for October was Jeff Bokma from Vermeers who spoke to our group about fall bulbs. Thank you, Jeff, for visiting us twice this year.  Both of your lectures were very informative.

The upcoming general meeting is our Annual General Meeting.  At this meeting we have our Installations of officers for 2016. Susan Lusted, District 9 Director, will swear in your new executive this year.   I do believe all of the executive and directors are returning along with a couple of new faces.   We will read the minutes from 2014’s AGM and present our year end treasurer’s report as well as our 2016 budget.

We also have our annual pot luck dinner at this meeting as well as our penny sale and photo contest.  Dinner starts 6:00 p.m. with the doors opening at 5:30.  Bring your favourite dish or dessert and if you have any great gardening photos bring them with you and enter them-you can enter 1 picture in each category:  Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.  Bring your 4 x 6 photos (without matting) and you may win a wonderful prize.  Please don’t bring anything for Ways and Means – we won’t be holding it at this meeting. Instead we’ll be having our annual Penny Sale.  Be sure to purchase your tickets when you arrive at the hall.   Word on the street is that we’re having a special mystery guest. I wonder who that could be?  It’ll be a great night – it always is!  It’ll be a great opportunity to see everyone before the holidays.

Your executive will soon be busy planning 2016.  There’ll be another great line up of speakers as well as our usual functions such as the May plant sale, Home and Garden show and Mudcat Parade.  I do believe another bus trip is in the making as well.

Since this will be my last newsletter until January I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our executive and directors for their hard work this year.  Every year gets better.  Thank you, too, to all the volunteers who showed up to help out at the various functions this year.  Our flowerbeds were outstanding this year, the properties that won Trillium Awards were fabulous, the Plant Sale raised over $1800,  and the Dunnville Lions Home & Garden show gave us great community exposure as well as many new members.  As I’ve said many times before, volunteers are the backbone of our society.  Without our army of helpers none of our projects would be possible. Our partnerships with Haldimand County and the service clubs in our town are flourishing with projects that came to fruition in 2015, and many more in the works for 2016.

Thank you to all of our sponsors who donated plants, planting material, food, money and gifts.  Without your generosity we would not be the successful society that we are today.   If I’ve missed anyone I’d like to extend a huge thank you to you too.

On behalf of the executive and board of directors for the Dunnville Horticultural Society, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

See you all in January.  Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 21, 2016 here at the Optimist Hall at 7:00 p.m.

Happy Gardening!

Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.

See you all in January. Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 21, 2016 here at the Optimist Hall at 7:00 p.m.