Dunnville Horticulture Society

New storyboard commemorates Dunnville’s Floral Clock

by Tamara Botting: The Sachem

 

Dunnville Horticultural Society project receives Community Project Award

The Dunnville Horticultural Society is continuing its efforts to beautify the community.

The group’s most recent project was the installment of a storyboard to commemorate Dunnville’s floral clock.

The clock, located at Main Street and the bridge, was built in 1957.

“The clock had not kept time since 2013. The internal workings were removed and inspected as to repairs. It was deemed replacement was the only option,” said Deb Zynomirski, president of the horticultural society.

“Following years of community consultation as to (whether we should) replace, repair, refurbish or even remove (the clock) altogether, Dunnville Horticultural Society decided to repurpose the original stone base.”

With a community partnership program grant from Haldimand County, a storyboard was recently installed to detail “the history of the popular downtown fixture, while honouring the commitment of those residents and groups that originally installed and cared for it over the decades,” Zynomirski said.

The project was selected for the Community Project Award (under $10,000) at Haldimand’s Recognition Night on Oct. 17. The other entry in the category was the hort society’s designation of a heritage tree in the Thompson Creek Eco Centre.

Don’t Blame the goldenrod

A bumble bee on Canadian Goldenrod making his rounds collecting pollen from the flowers. - Staff photo/IAN KELSO
Columnist Marlene Link asks what plant is the real culprit.

Is goldenrod taking a bad rap for your sneezing? Or is the real culprit ragweed?

Found growing side by side, goldenrod is unfairly blamed for most pollen allergens coming from ragweed.

Ragweed is an annual broadleaf weed with ragged looking leaves that resemble the artemisia plant.

Ragweed’s pollen is spread by the wind, whereas goldenrod is pollinated by pollinators like bees and butterflies. Goldenrod has bright yellow flower clusters and ragweed has a greenish-yellow spiked flower.

Goldenrod and ragweed are two different species and do not share the same genus or tribe.

So when goldenrod is in bloom, remember it’s the ragweed pollen blowing in the wind that is making you sneeze. Now you can enjoy the fall colour of goldenrod in your garden and help the pollinators store up food for winter.

Why not join other happy gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next Program Night, Thursday, Oct. 17? Our featured speaker is Raj Gill of Lake Erie Alive, speaking on the current state of health of Lake Erie, and how we can protect it.

The Dunnville Hort Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or website www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org For questions or comments, contact Deb Zynomirski (president) at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Dunnville community celebrates Thompson Creek Eco Centre opening

by Tamara Botting

Sachem

It was a day of celebration in Dunnville, one that Dan McKay wasn’t sure he’d ever see.

Over 20 years ago, McKay was part of a group that included representatives from Ducks Unlimited, the Dunnville Horticultural Society and the Grand River Conservation Authority; they worked together to rehabilitate 20 acres of land behind Grandview Lodge along Thompson Creek.

“It was not in very good shape. There wasn’t much life here,” McKay said.

Now, however, after countless volunteer hours and financial support from various sources, the Thompson Creek Eco Centre is thriving.

Wildlife, including birds, turtles, snakes and more, has returned.

“It’s just amazing,” McKay said on Sept. 25 as the ribbon was officially cut on the rejuvenated park.

A crowd of volunteers who had worked on the project, as well as interested community members, gathered for the special day.

Jeff Krete, conservation program specialist with Ducks Unlimited, spoke to the audience about the work his group had done and would continue to do in helping to restore the wetlands.

“It’s an ongoing responsibility that we have,” he said.

Debbie Thomas, co-chair of the project and past president of the Dunnville Horticultural Society, said, “Our vision is that all of the schools in this area will use this park.” McKay agreed.

“The big reason I’ve done this, why I’ve stuck with this for so long … is for the children,” he said, adding that he wants area students to learn about nature so that they will not only take joy in it, but also work to preserve it as they grow older.

The celebration included the official recognition of a heritage tree in the park by Forests Ontario.

Photo 1: Many area residents, and past and present volunteers on the Thompson Creek Eco-Centre project came to the park on Sept. 25 for the dedication. – Tamara Botting/Torstar
Photo 2: The new Thompson Creek Eco-Centre includes signage to let visitors learn more about the park and its features. – Tamara Botting/Torstar

Enjoying the Beauty of Seventh-Son Flower

Marlene Link details how to train a seven-son shrub into a tree shape

Do you have a favourite tree or shrub? My favourite is “hepdicodium miconiodes,” commonly known as seven-son.

This unusual member of the honeysuckle family is a vase-shaped shrub, but can be trained into a tree form by pruning techniques. After selecting a strong stem to be the trunk, cut all lower stems to remove one-third of the growth, leaving the rest for a year.

Continue pruning until all but the single stem is left. Stake it closely to keep it growing straight. Remove any new shoots around the base of the trunk to maintain the tree form.

Seven-son will bloom in August or September, with white flowers consisting of whorled sets of seven, hence the name. The flowers turn reddish as they mature, and the bark peels in strips similar to paper bark maple.

The bees will swarm to this plant when in bloom. I have had two trees in my garden for several years and I really enjoy them. Hope you can find one to enhance your gardens, too.

Why not join other happy gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night, Thursday, Sept. 19?

Our featured speaker is Mark Zelinski, who will be talking about photographing flowers, gardens and landscapes.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m. Or, visit us online on our Facebook page or website,www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

For questions or comments, contact president Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

- Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

What’s on your garden wish list?

What’s on your garden wish list this year?

Every year we are overwhelmed with new plants to choose from for our gardens. With the changes in climate, our plant choices are changing as well.

Using eco-friendly plants such as indigenous, pollinator-friendly and drought tolerant is the new norm for many gardeners. Supporting the environment and food production also seem to be the trend for today’s gardens.

The Hosta of the year for 2019 is the Lakeside Paisley Print, while the 2019 perennial of the year is Stachys Monieri Hummelo, a clump-forming cousin to lamb’s ear that attracts bees.

Sweet potato vines, which now come in many different colours, can be coupled with tropical plants for containers, making for a striking display.

And monochromatic gardens using variations of a single colour, usually white, seem to be on the rise.

Using plants in a variety of containers, such as shoes, purses, lampshades or birdcages are unique ways to display our favourite flowers.

Let your creative juices flow as you artistically design your garden this spring.

Why not join other happy gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on June 20? Our speaker will be Loretta Shields, sharing on the topic of backyard birds.

The Dunnville Hort Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m., or visit us online at our Facebook page or website www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. 

- Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

What’s on your garden wish list?

What’s on your garden wish list this year?

Every year we are overwhelmed with new plants to choose from for our gardens. With the changes in climate, our plant choices are changing as well.

Using eco-friendly plants such as indigenous, pollinator-friendly and drought tolerant is the new norm for many gardeners. Supporting the environment and food production also seem to be the trend for today’s gardens.

The Hosta of the year for 2019 is the Lakeside Paisley Print, while the 2019 perennial of the year is Stachys Monieri Hummelo, a clump-forming cousin to lamb’s ear that attracts bees.

Sweet potato vines, which now come in many different colours, can be coupled with tropical plants for containers, making for a striking display.

And monochromatic gardens using variations of a single colour, usually white, seem to be on the rise.

Using plants in a variety of containers, such as shoes, purses, lampshades or birdcages are unique ways to display our favourite flowers.

Let your creative juices flow as you artistically design your garden this spring.

Why not join other happy gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on June 20? Our speaker will be Loretta Shields, sharing on the topic of backyard birds.

The Dunnville Hort Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m., or visit us online at our Facebook page or website www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. 

For questions or comments, contact president Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

- Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Let Someone else do the Work of Downsizing Your Garden

Planting season is fast approaching, and plant sales are a great way to bring some new additions to your garden. - Julia Lovett/Metroland

Moving? Downsizing? Are you unable to care for your garden due to lack of time or getting older? Well this might be a solution to your problem: Have a BYOS (bring your own shovel) yard sale.

Let others do the digging and dividing and you keep just a small division for your own downsized garden.

Check with your local horticulture clubs to see when they are having their annual plant sale to raise money for their garden projects in the community.

Our own Dunnville Horticulture Society plant sale is coming up on May 11, so you can start planning your plant donations. Just make sure they are potted well in advance and labelled.

I’m sure the members would like to add a few new plants to their gardens as well. You might be surprised at how many of your neighbours show up with shovels in hand, having watched your garden flourish from a distance.

And because others are doing the work for you, you could always put up a sign saying, “Free plants.”

Also, why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on May 16?

Our special speaker will be Adam Koziel of Earthgen, sharing his expertise on growing truffles in Haldimand. This is an exciting and emerging foray in agriculture in our area, so you won’t want to miss it.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m.

Visit us any time online at our Facebook page or at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org

For questions or comments, contact president Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

 

- Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Controlled Burn Completed in Dunnville

Dan McKay’s prediction is that the tall grass in the Thompson Creek Parkland will start to grow immediately now that the controlled burn on the site has taken place.

“We’ve been wanting to do this burn for many years,” he said.

McKay is the project co-ordinator on the Dunnville parkland restoration project, working in conjunction with a number of other partners, including Haldimand County, the Dunnville Horticultural Society and Ducks Unlimited Canada.

“Controlled burns remove unwanted, invasive species and dead thatches that have accumulated over the past 20 years,” he said.

While there have been a few accidental spot fires over the years, the fire on April 25 was the first controlled burn on the site in decades.

Lands and Forests Consulting was contracted to do the burn, with Haldimand County Emergency Services being consulted and firefighters from Dunnville and Hagersville stations on standby.

“We had to do a few modifications, but we kept the burn within the boundaries,” said Jason Sickel, the burn boss on site. “We had to account for a late wind shift.”

Now that the burn has been done, a 20-acre plot of native wildflowers will soon be planted, and some trails and signage will be put in.

“The intention is to have this as an outdoor education site for local schools and the public,” McKay said.

Those wishing to get involved in the project, either by volunteering or donation, can contact the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

A bit of warm weather does not make it gardening season

Marlene Link cautions against being too eager in the garden

“Haste makes waste” is a saying that can apply to our gardens, too — don’t be too hasty at the first warm day to start clearing your gardens.

Leave your leaves to help insulate your plants and bulbs, as we are likely to receive more wintry weather. It also protects the worms that are breaking those leaves down and fertilizing the soil.

If you really must do some work, start by removing broken branches, dead hosta leaves and damaged plants; you can also cut back tall flower stems.

Add this material to your compost, with some manure to give it a kick-start. Try to avoid walking on your beds, as this compacts the soil, which makes it hard for roots to grow.

Pruning late summer-blooming plants can be done now, but don’t prune spring blooming plants now — wait until after they have bloomed to prune or shape.

Cut back your ornamental grasses, and if you have large-stemmed grass, save those stems to use for supports. Leave your silver leafed plants, like lavender, caryopteris and artemisia for a later date and warmer weather.

Why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on April 18? It’s movie night for the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

We will be screening the documentary film The Gardener, which chronicles one man’s pursuit of gardening perfection during his 60-year love affair with his 20-acre garden.

We meet every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St., from 7 to 9 p.m. Or visit us online on Facebook or at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

For questions or comments, president contact Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

– Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Plants aren’t always thrilled with Winter Weather either

Do you dislike winter weather? Do you hate the cold that gives us the shivers, or the snow that makes driving conditions unbearable at times?

Well, our plants are not always thrilled about winter either, especially the ice and fluctuating temperatures we see as spring approaches.

The changing temperatures makes one wonder how plants can survive -33 C yet be damaged by -3 C a few months later.

It all has to do with fluctuating hardiness. Plants produce their own antifreeze, but they reach maximum hardiness in January and February. As the temperatures rise, the plants start to de-harden, and therefore when the temperatures drop again, they may suffer freeze injuries.

Damage usually shows up later in the spring. Never try to remove built up ice and snow, as this will cause more damage to your plants. Simply let it melt naturally and your trees, shrubs and plants will return to their normal forms.

Prune any broken branches as soon as possible, as clean cuts heal quicker than a ragged break. Also, be aware of using de-icers like salt near your trees and shrubs.

To avoid freeze injury, know your planting zone and select plants that are hardy in your location.

Of course, a certain rodent (not mentioning any names) has predicted an early spring, so maybe we will be safe from freeze injuries this year.

Why not join other gardeners and would-be gardeners at our next program night on March 21? Our speakers Troy Moodie, Kelly Bowers and Natalie Hahn will discuss the importance of bees.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m.

Visit us online on our Facebook page or website, www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org

For questions or comments, contact president Deb Zynomirski at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

– Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.