Dunnville Horticulture Society

Dunnville Horticultural Society: Rose of Sharon comes in many varieties

Purpureus variegated shrub hibiscus, or rose of Sharon, comes in many different varieties, but the one I find most striking is althea purpureus variegatus. This rose of Sharon is unlike the other varieties, and has beautiful variegated blue/green and velvety creamy white foliage from spring to fall. It flowers in late summer and the blooms resemble raspberries. The flowers are very tight and do not open entirely, like the other types. The blooms are dark purple or black in colour.

Another variegated variety is called sugar tip and, unlike the purpureus variegatus, the blooms open to reveal a double pale pink flower.

Plant these in full sun to part shade and prune in late fall or early spring.

Rose of Sharon can be used as a hedge or specimen shrub. Sugar tip and purpureus variegatus shrubs do not self-seed, so no pulling of seedlings is required like with some varieties.

They can be propagated by layering. Nick the branch, cover it with soil and place a rock on top until roots form — this could take up to a year — then cut the branch off below the roots.

This shrub will add lots of interest to your garden.

If you want to learn more about rose of Sharon and other plants, the Dunnville Horticultural Society meets on the third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Hall, from September to June. For more information, check out our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or our Facebook page. Club president Deb Zynomirski can also be reached by email at debzyn@gmail.com or by phone at 416-566-9337.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Dunnville Horticultural Society: Beautyberry shrub lives up to its name

The beautyberry shrub is an unusual shrub with long, arching branches producing many small pink flowers, usually in August. It has yellow-green fall foliage. However, its most eye-catching features are the clusters of glossy, iridescent purple berries that cover the branches after the leaves fall following a hard frost.

The berries are an important food source for 40 species of birds. They can also be used in teas, jelly and wine. Beautyberry berries have been used for medicinal purposes for many years, but only consumed in very small quantities.

The beautyberry shrub is a good understory bush, and it prefers moist soil. It can be propagated by softwood cuttings. It will grow from one to two metres high and can be pruned severely to 30 centimetres from the base just before the new spring growth appears. Pruning will keep it more compact. There are several different varieties.

I have five bushes, which the birds feast on during the winter.

Marlene’s gardening tip: To organize your plant tags, punch a hole in them and hang them on a shower curtain ring or in a three ring binder.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society meets on the third Thursday of the month in the Dunnville Optimist Hall, 101 Main St. E. For more information, check out our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or our Facebook page under Dunnville Horticultural Society. Our president, Deb Zynomirski, can be reached by email at debzyn@gmail.comor by phone at 416-566-9337.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Dunnville Horticultural Society hosting annual plant sale

Are you looking to add a bit more green to your garden?

The Dunnville Horticultural Society is holding its annual plant sale this Saturday, May 7, from 8 a.m. to noon, at 210 Main St., in the bridge parking lot.

This is the organization’s largest fundraiser of the year.

The evening prior, the group will be accepting donations for the sale from 5 to 7 p.m. Donations needed are plants, garden tools, garden art, pots and seeds.

For more information about the club and its upcoming meetings, visit http://www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org/.

Dunnville Horticultural Society: Volcano phlox bring an explosion of colour to the garden

As with most plants, there are always new varieties coming down the pike; volcano phlox is one such plant.

It is a strong, shorter, denser and floriferous example that is exceptionally mildew resistant, although not entirely impervious. For this reason, you should plant them 12 to 16 inches apart to boost air circulation.

Best of all, volcano phlox is very fragrant.

In addition, if you cut back old stems by one-quarter of the growth, they will bloom again.

This plant comes in a variety of colours, even bicolours, and they bloom from early summer to fall.

It is best grown in full sun and fertile, well-worked soil. It will tolerate moderately dry soil. You should water this plant at the base and not from overhead to prevent the risk of mildew.

Phlox are great for filling in large areas or just for adding pops of colour. They are great for cottage-style gardens, native plantings and meadows; phlox are also popular with butterflies and birds.

Some varieties can provide form, colour and fragrance to mixed planters for summer arrangements. Give yourself a gift and get some for the serenity of flowers and nature.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society has resumed meeting on the third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Hall.

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.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Dunnville, Haldimand horticultural societies have first flag on community pole at county building

The first flag to fly on Haldimand County’s new pole for community groups actually represents two organizations: the Dunnville Horticultural Society and the Haldimand Horticultural Society.

The flag is in recognition of 2022 being the Year of the Garden.

Sharon Slack, a member of the Haldimand group, said the Year of the Garden is being celebrated throughout all of Canada.

“They’re asking every gardener to plant red flowers,” she said, adding that many groups, including both of the ones in Haldimand, are having special initiatives and activities this year in celebration.

“Gardening brings everyone together,” she said.

Debbie Thomas with the Dunnville group noted that the COVID-19 pandemic meant a lot of community groups —

The Dunnville group meets on the third Thursday of the month in the Optimist Club of Dunnville building at 7 p.m., while the Haldimand group meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at St. Paul’s Anglican hall in Caledonia at 7:30 p.m.

Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt said, “The county is pleased to see the first community flag raised and looks forward to recognizing more local groups/organizations doing important work through this new initiative.”

Charitable and non-profit groups are asked to submit a request at least four weeks in advance of the date requested for their flags to be flown. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The flags cannot be of a political, commercial or religious nature, and cannot promote hatred, violence, racism or discrimination.

For more information or to find the online flag application form, visit the county’s website.

including horticultural societies — have had to curb their in-person meetings and activities for the majority of the past two years.

Having it be the Year of the Garden and having a flag celebrating that at the Haldimand County Administration Building in Cayuga “is a way to kick off and get us going again,” Thomas said.

She encouraged everyone who isn’t already to become a member of their local horticultural society and “be a part of beautifying your community.”

What type of Cactus do you have?

Which cactus did you buy before Christmas? Do you have a Christmas cactus or a Thanksgiving cactus? I’m sure it’s not an Easter cactus, as they are the same genus but a different species. How do you tell the difference?

While all usually bloom in cooler seasons, they are not the same cactus.

Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti are in the Schlumbergera genus. They are both short day cacti and need long periods of cool temperatures and dim conditions before they set buds. Christmas cactus and Thanksgiving cactus are in separate species designations and have a different leaf structure.

The Thanksgiving cactus has clawed edges on the leaf and is often called crab cactus. The Christmas cactus has notched edges, but they are not as pointed. They both have tubular, brightly coloured flowers. The Christmas cactus’ flowers are drooping with purple-brown anthers and the Thanksgiving cactus flowers grow horizontal to the stem with yellow anthers.

The Easter cactus has a smooth leaf edge with no notches and the flower is a flat star shape. The Easter cactus needs a longer period of cool temperatures and low light period to form flowers.

All three plants come in a variety of colours, mostly red to fuchsia, and you may find white, orange and yellow, too. No matter what type you have, they are all delightful and will brighten your day.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society has resumed in-person meetings at the Dunnville Optimist Hall. Our next meeting is at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2022.

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

We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Invasive Species to Watch Out For

I recently read an article that describes two invasive species.

One of them, the buckthorn tree, is very aggressive and vigorously spreads, out-competing native plants and negatively affecting the soil. The buckthorn tree produces berries that can cause illness in birds and also dehydration. Migrating birds will not stay in an area overloaded with invasive shrubs.

Planting native spicebush and arrowwood viburnum (whose berries are more nutritious to migrating birds) and removing any invasive species will benefit the environment and wildlife.

The other invasive species, recently found in Michigan, is the dead spotted lanternfly. It was found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Eight other states have confirmed infestations.

Immatures and adults feed on many hardwood trees, including fruit trees, black walnut, maple and black cherry. Grapevines and hops can also be damaged or killed.

Egg masses look like old putty or gum and have been found on the surfaces of tree trunks, wooden posts, stones and even camping gear.

Adults are an inch long, with folded wings that are grey to brown with black spots, and when opened reveal bright red hind wings with black spots, and their yellow and black abdomen. There have been no reports of sightings in Ontario, but everyone needs to be on the lookout for this invasive species.

One important species that is on the decline is the humble bumblebee. One suggestion to encourage them to build their nests is to bury a roll of toilet paper about two-thirds into the garden soil. A queen bee will chew a hole into the roll and start her colony in the spring. Seventy per cent of our native bee species nest underground. So, maybe you have an extra roll of toilet paper that you stocked up on, and now can help out our pollinators that we depend upon for our flower and food production.

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

Note that 2021 club memberships are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single, $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.

Fall brings new projects and change for Hort society

DUNNVILLE—Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) awarded its Annual Bursary of $500 to Laurann Stavinga on September 2, 2021. Laurann graduated from Dunnville Secondary School and is pursuing her postsecondary education at Trent University in Peterborough. Laurann assisted DHS this summer with volunteer activities such as Planting Day and weeding. DHS awards its annual bursary to graduating DSS students who are going on to study in agriculture/horticulture and who commit to a minimum of 10 hours volunteering. Shown is DHS President, Deb Zynomirski presenting Laurann with her award. —Photo courtesy of Deb Zynomirski.

By Deb Zynomirski

President, Dunnville Horticultural Society

September is here, and with it comes a host of changes for all of us! Kids are getting back into the routine of in-person school, the weather is cooling down, farmers are gearing up for ongoing harvests, and of course our gardens will be experiencing many changes too.

Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) was proud to award its annual $500 bursary to Dunnville Secondary School (DSS) graduate Laurann Stavinga. She volunteered with DHS this summer, and is pursuing her post-secondary studies at Trent University this fall. Thank you Laurann for your help and contributions, and good luck!

If you have been lucky enough to spend some time at the Thompson Creek Eco Centre (TCEC) on Robinson Road, you may have noticed that many of the native Carolinian trees have now received signage to identify them. Thanks to DHS members Dan McKay and Debbie Thomas, and Haldimand County’s Adam Chamberlin for undertaking this project. We encourage you to take a stroll through the Arboretum at TCEC and learn more about these native species!

Many people have wondered when we will be able to resume meeting as a group for our regular program nights. We were to do so this fall, however with COVID numbers on the rise again, that is seeming less likely. Our members’ safety is our first priority! With that said, we are still hoping to meet for our AGM scheduled for November. Fingers crossed that things will improve by then!

As we head into fall, why not consider volunteering with us on our Board of Directors? Our DHS Board has remained very active behind the scenes, continuing to facilitate many activities. This fall, I am stepping down as president after three years. We are looking for new people who are interested in serving our community through our wonderful Horticultural Society … why not you? You don’t have to have a green thumb to help out! And it doesn’t take much time to make a contribution. We will also be looking for a treasurer, and other board positions. Contact me directly so we can chat about how you might fit in.

Finally, I am excited to announce that after two years of planning and work, our latest community project is taking shape. DHS will be erecting a 15-foot-tall decorative lighthouse in the garden close to the bridge on the east side. This lighthouse will greet citizens and visitors alike, and provide a charming addition that reminds us all of Dunnville’s strong nautical ties in history.

As the temperatures drop, and a return to routine ensues, there is still much to enjoy about our gardens. Petunias and snapdragons will be replaced by fall mums and asters. Take the time to enjoy the change!

To obtain a DHS membership, please send a cheque or money order ($10 single, $15 couple) to Dunn-ville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1A 2X5. Your membership card will be mailed directly to you. Although DHS monthly program nights are still on hiatus, the DHS Board continues to work behind the scenes. In the meantime, you can keep up with DHS at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. You can also contact me for more information at debzyn@gmail.com.

Take good care of trees: Dunnville Horticultural Society

This summer has been wetter than normal this year, and the gardens are loving it. The plants are lush with growth and look like an amazing jungle, but unfortunately, underneath all that beauty lies trouble.

Rot, mold and insects will thrive too, causing damage to your plants. Thinning out the foliage may help dry them out and allow you to observe any problems that might occur. Good drainage is always a benefit, too.

Another issue I observed in my neighbour’s garden was a plastic tree guard on a young tree. Upon removing it, I saw there were signs of bark disease and insects starting to affect the bark.

The owner was surprised, as he thought tree wraps were beneficial for stopping sun, weed whacker, deer and rodent damage. However, with all those benefits come grave disadvantages if you are not careful.

Rubbing, insects and mice between the guards can cause damage too. Guards that are too tight and not removed can girdle, choke and kill trees. Moisture trapped in the guard can also kill the tree.

The biggest issue with any guards is user error. People need to be more aware that your trees need attention, and if left unattended, they will suffer.

I usually take my guards off in the spring and replace them in late fall. Take care of your trees, and they will provide you with many years of beauty and shade.

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

Note that 2021 club memberships are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single, $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.

Dunnville Horticultural Society: Gas plants a unique addition to the garden

Marlene Link writes about an unusual plant that can ignite

 

The gas plant (dictamnus albus) is a long-lived perennial herbacious species. It is a member of the citrus family (rutaceae) and smells like lemon in the hot summer heat.

It has leathery, glossy green leaves and it bears upright spikes of blooms that are very showy and resemble mini orchids. It grows 60 to 91 centimetres (24 to 36 inches) high, and the bloom stalks add another 25 to 30 centimetres (10 to 12 inches) to its height.

Typically, the bloom colours are purple, pale pink or white. There is also a red bloom available, which is really hard to find.

As the common name might suggest, this plant does something quite strange. The fumes from the oil that the gas plant produces are highly volatile and can actually ignite if the air temperature is high enough or if you light a match to the plant. It will produce a burst of blue flame that does not harm the plant. Isn’t nature full of mysterious wonders?

The gas plant is very drought-tolerant and prefers full sun, but will tolerate some shade. It’s hardy in zones three to seven (which includes Haldimand and Glanbrook) and the gas plant grows in all types of soil.

It’s not commonly found in garden centres, but this unique plant is out there and worth the hunt, as butterflies are attracted to it, especially the swallowtail.

One word of caution when around the gas plant: The resin it produces may cause burning and blistering rashes, so wear protective clothes and gloves to avoid contact.

They grow a long, deep tap root, so choose a permanent location when you plant it and sit back and enjoy the flowers.

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

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