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.

Spring doesn’t have to mean spring into action

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

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

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

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

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

Your membership card will be mailed directly to you.

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

In the meantime, you can keep up with us on our website at


You can also contact me for more information at debzyn@gmail.com.

Think green thoughts!

Dunnville Horticultural Society awards continuous service pins

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The new year has brought new hope that we may see a light at the end of the proverbial pandemic tunnel, as vaccines begin to arrive. Our world has certainly changed a great deal over the one year since the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged as a health threat. 

Although Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) Program Nights have been on hiatus for the past year, our hardworking board of directors continues to meet behind the scenes, planning for what we hope will soon be a return to normal… or least the “new normal.” Usually one of the highlights of our year is awarding our continuous service pins. Although we were not able to award these in person last year, the pins were mailed out to recipients. Help us to congratulate the following members:

5 Year Service Pin

Rose Allen, Angela Barrick, Christina Cavers, Richard Egger, Steve Ellis, Nelly Engelage, Barb Gough, Susan Milligan, Evelyn Wardell, Florence Zynomirski, Peter Zynomirski

10 Year Service Pin

Stan Carnes, Donna Cavers, Anna Lam, Debbie Thomas

As you try to navigate through the coldest of these winter months, now is the perfect time to be planning your spring and summer garden activities. If you are a “grow from seed” type of gardener, start to peruse the seed catalogs. Both online and paper versions can add colour and excitement to your days! The same is true if you are a “pick ‘em and plant ‘em” type of gardener.

Take some time to draw a rough sketch of your gardens, then fill in the locations of trees, shrubs, and perennials. Make note of colour themes you are hoping to develop.  Heights of plants are a big consideration too.  Leaf texture and variety also lend interest to your garden. Highlight those areas in your garden beds that need soil amendment before planting time.

All of these factors will play into which plants you will select for your garden. It   doesn’t matter if you prefer vegetable or flower gardening, both will provide you with endless hours of pleasure, exercise, challenge, and satisfaction!

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

You can keep up with us on our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. You can also contact me for more information at      debzyn@gmail.com. Think green thoughts!

Deb Zynomirski is the president of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Remembering Lester C. Fretz

By Co-publisher Jillian Zynomirski

On December 23, 2020, former Press columnist Lester C. Fretz passed away in his 89th year. Lester, a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society, wrote for The Press’ ‘Get Growing, tips from a local gardener’ column from 2017 to 2020. In October 2020, he passed the torch to new Get Growing columnists Brad and Susan Emery.

“I’m indebted to you folk at Haldimand Press for introducing me to the enjoyable opportunity of writing for you,” Lester wrote to us in October 2020. “I’m pleased to see the Emerys carry on with the column for which I give you the credit for creating.”

Lester inspired readers with his many gardening ideas and thoughtful tips.

Lester’s final column for The Press was on seeds and their sense of direction. We can’t help but think that Lester has planted many seeds in his lifetime, developing strong roots, which will live on in his memory.

Lester was so encouraging and never missed an opportunity to let us know what a great job we were doing at The Press. He was one of the most kind-hearted people, and we will never forget him.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.


It’s my turn now to be planted

Put out to seed again

While the fruits of my earthly labours

Flourish in the sun and rain


It’s a wonderful day to be planted

In rich, deep loamy soil

A natural bed, for a tired gardener’s head

With green fingered hands of toil


Please plant a tree or bush for me

To celebrate a gardener’s life ways

I strove to enrich the world with beauty

Over many, many gardening days

Merry Christmas from Dunnville Horticultural Society!

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

As I write this update, it is pouring down rain and a balmy 9 degrees! Not exactly the December weather we were expecting, but I for one am glad for the mild days. As 2020 draws to a close, I’m sure we are also glad to say goodbye to a difficult year.

I would like to thank the many Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) members and the Dunnville community for supporting our recent food drive for the Salvation Army. We were thrilled to collect 317 pounds of food for those in need in our little town!

As Christmas approaches, take some time to enjoy the great outdoors. The Thompson Creek Eco Centre has recently installed bluebird boxes along the trail around the Tallgrass Prairie. In addition, two large barn swallow nesting structures have been erected towards the west end of the park. It would be hard to miss them!

The project co-chairs are Debbie Thomas, and (Lead) Dan McKay. A great deal of time was invested by Dan in researching, building, and designing these structures. Egger Truck and Machine assisted with the installation, along with many dedicated volunteers. Next year we are hoping to welcome barn swallows, tree swallows, bluebirds, and other at-risk species to Thompson Creek.

Are you stuck for a gift idea for the gardener on your list? DHS has a limited number of Pollen Bee Nest homes for sale. They attract solitary bee pollinators which tend to be non-aggressive, and provide a home for them to lay eggs and nurture new bees. The cost is $25 for non-members, and $20 for members. We can provide front door drop off delivery. Contact me, Deb Zynomirski, to place an order.

Speaking of members, if you would like to purchase your 2021 membership, you may do so by mail. Simply send a cheque or money order ($10 single or $15 couple) to “Dunnville Horticultural Society”, PO Box 274, Station Main, Dunnville, N1A 2X5.

Finally, many of us will purchase or receive a beautiful pointsettia plant over the holidays. I must admit, I have killed many of these plants over the years, either from neglect or from too much kindness! One of our members, Marlene Link, offered advice some time ago on caring for your pointsettia: keep soil moist to the touch, water thoroughly, drain well before putting on a saucer (to avoid root rot), and place in a sunny location. I have followed this advice and successfully transplanted Christmas pointsettias to my garden in late May, where they continued to thrive!

Speaking of thriving … we are looking forward to doing just that in 2021! Although our monthly Program Nights are still on hiatus, your DHS Board continues to work behind the scenes, planning for next year. In the meantime, you can keep up with us on our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. You can also contact me for more information at debzyn@gmail.com.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, and a safe, happy, and healthy 2021!

Deb Zynomirski is the President of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Haldimand Press DHS Update

President, DHS

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The “Gales of November” have lived up to their notorious reputation this year, as many of us are still cleaning up after stormy weather. Trees that have long been a fixture in family yards were blown over or snapped in two by ferocious winds. Thankfully, most gardeners took advantage of the last spell of warm weather to put their gardens to bed for the winter, so damage was minimized for many.

October 17, 2020 was a blustery and rainy day, but 21 intrepid souls braved the weather for the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) Clean Up Day. Volunteers removed annuals and tidied up our public garden beds. We owe a special word of thanks to Jeff’s Outdoor, who donated equipment, vehicles, and an entire crew to assist us.

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, DHS was not able to hold its Annual General Meeting. However, the board of directors ensured that the business end of things was still taken care of. Despite the Ontario Horticultural Society’s decision to raise dues, DHS has elected to keep our membership fee at $10/single and $15/couple for 2021. What a bargain!

Even though we are not currently able to hold member Program Nights, your membership still provides a discount at local garden centres and is a great way to show support for your local horticultural society.

We encourage all present and past members to purchase their 2021 membership by sending a cheque to DHS, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1X 2K5. Your membership will be mailed directly to your home address.

In keeping with the season, DHS will be holding a Drive By Food Drive on December 5 from 12 to 2 p.m. in the Optimist Hall parking lot. Bring your donations that day, and our Executive and Board will transfer them in a socially distanced and safe manner.

With the end of our fiscal year, I would like to thank our directors who will be continuing on in their roles in 2021: Petra Kruis-Daly (Recording Secretary), Sharon Sykes (Treasurer), Susan Emery, Nelly Engelage, Angela Latham, Wray McLean, Colleen O’Reilly, Debbie Thomas (Past President). We are saying goodbye to Gloria Hunter and Kim Christoff (past Treasurer). These ladies have devoted many years of service to DHS, taking on a lot of responsibilities during their tenure. Thank you all for your many contributions!

Finally, I would encourage you to take a walk through the Thompson Creek Eco Centre. You will see that many bluebird houses and two barn swallow habitat structures have been installed. This project continues to develop and provide a welcome spot for birds, animals, and people alike! Thank you, Debbie Thomas and Dan McKay for spearheading this project.

If you would like more information about Dunnville Horticultural Society, visit our website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or contact me directly at debzyn@gmail.com.

Fall has arrived!

By Deb Zynomirski President, Dunnville Horticultural Society

The clocks are turning back, the leaves are turning colour, and the birds are turning south. All signs that autumn is well and truly upon us. While many welcome the cooler temperatures and beautiful fall colours, many others (myself included) will miss the warmth and sunny days of summer.

It’s time to start thinking of all the gardening activities that need to be done to prepare for winter.  Here is list of some of the things you may be doing over the coming weeks:

1) Raking leaves

2) Fertilizing your lawn

3) Pruning your late blooming shrubs

4) Pulling out the annuals

5) Planting spring bulbs

6) Raking leaves, again!

7) Dividing and replanting perennials

8) Disassembling water fountains and pumps

9) Putting away patio furniture

10) Emptying and cleaning hummingbird feeders

11) Relocating trees and shrubs as they enter dormancy

12) Emptying hanging baskets

13) Emptying and cleaning out birdhouses

14) Raking leaves, AGAIN!

So many leaves, so much raking! You can also use a mulching blade on your lawnmower to shred your leaves and add nutrients back into your lawn, thereby minimizing yard waste. Leaving wet leaves on your lawn over winter can promote mould and mildew growth.

As a rule, I always leave the leaf litter on my flower beds for the winter. They protect tender plants and provide many nutrients for the soil as they break down. In addition, they harbour worms and many beneficial insects (including ground nesting bees) over the winter.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society will be busy with our annual Clean Up Day on October 17, 2020.  We are looking for volunteers to assist in pulling the annuals and tidying up our public flower beds.  We will meet at 9 a.m. at the east bridge parking lot. Bring your gloves and mask; social distancing will be observed. For more information, contact me, Deb Zynomirski, at debzyn@gmail.com or phone 416-566-9337. Happy gardening!

Dunnville Horticultural Society update

DUNNVILLE—One of the many flower pots President Deb Zynomirski planted this year. —Photo courtesy of Deb Zynomirski.

DUNNVILLE—2020 will go down in history for many things, not the least of which is the craziness produced by the COVID-19 crisis. However, I for one will remember this summer as the one where my gardens looked their best!

Since there were so many closures and cancellations this spring, many of us had ample time to prepare and tend to our gardens. A warmer and drier than average summer also meant that we got to spend a lot of our time outdoors enjoying all that nature had to offer. We found ourselves slowing down and taking time to smell the roses … as well as prune them, fertilize them, and mulch them!

Now that September is upon us, I feel a little melancholy thinking about the season winding down and harvest time coming. It’s also a little disheartening thinking about the long winter ahead, where we will be hibernating and dreaming of going south – only dreaming since the border is still closed!

Well, before the leaves start falling, make sure to take some time to get out there and grab every last ounce of the good weather. Here are a few suggestions from the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS):

1) Go get a selfie with Muddy and enjoy the beauty of our Centennial Park, including the monument highlighting Dunnville’s historical past (Robinson Road and Highway 3).

2) Tour the Thompson Creek Eco Centre. Walk through the arboretum, hike the Tall Grass Trail, and look for turtles and frogs in the creek and the wetland habitat.

3) Tour our town flower beds and soak up the pretty colours and fragrances.

4) Stroll through Wingfield Park and enjoy our beautiful Grand River. Sunsets here are especially “grand”!

5) Visit our fabulous Farmer’s Market and taste the delicious bounty of our local growers (Market Street and Main Street).

Finally, I would like to thank the many DHS volunteers who assisted with planting and weeding this year. More than ever before, our public flower beds provided a needed boost to our community. Hats off to you all!

Since DHS has had to cancel its program nights, we sure miss seeing our wonderful members. We are hoping that come the new year, we may be able to take up meeting together again.

Until that time, get outside and soak up every last ounce of summer!

You can connect with DHS through myself, Deb Zynomirski, by email (debzyn@gmail.com) or phone (416-566-9337), or visit us on Facebook at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Horticultural Society adds some colour to Dunnville

One of the Dunnville Horticultural Society's garden beds.

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—A big thank you is in order for the many individuals that made it possible to plant Dunnville’s many public flower beds.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS)’s board of directors (Debbie Thomas, Petra Kruis-Daly, Nelly Engelage, Gloria Hunter, Angela Latham, Colleen O’Reilly, and Deb Zynomirski), along with volunteers from our membership and the public (Mary Lou Johnston, Steve Elgersma, Ron Richards, Jim Chambers, Shaunasy Thomas, Bruce Burton, Ellen Guenther, Pat Henderson, Diane Blanchard-Smith, Ken Sherwood, Beth Powell, and Cory Swick), banded together for three days to ensure that all 15 flower gardens would be brimming with colour this summer.

With the advent of COVID-19, and current restrictions on gathering sizes, the normal one-day planting event had to be reconfigured into three days. Our hardy and hard-working volunteers rolled with the changes and made it all happen seamlessly.

Konkle’s Greenhouses generously donated all the annuals once again, as they have done for many years now. In addition, Charlie Hartsell of Egger Truck and Machine  provides watering services throughout the growing season. Kudos to these great community business partners!

Volunteers will also work throughout the summer to weed all these flower gardens, so take time to thank them for their efforts when you see them working in the gardens.

Finally, we want to thank Haldimand County staff who, despite some temporary layoffs, have chosen to be out working in our County parks. They have been busy weeding and tidying up, so you can enjoy those public spaces. Thank you!

2020 will go down in history as a most unusual year, with upheavals of every kind to our daily lives. On behalf of DHS, we hope you will find some comfort and enjoyment from the beauty we worked so hard to provide for our community.

Deb Zynomirski is the President of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.

Dunnville will be awash with colour

By Deb Zynomirski

The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—Thanks to recent restrictions being lifted, the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) has been given the green light by Haldimand County to plant the community flower beds this month! 

DHS is excited to bring back the colour and beauty to our town, especially during these difficult days. Since we will be working within some limitations still with respect to the number of people working in each garden and maintaining distancing, this year our planting will take place over three days instead of our usual one day: Monday, May 25, 2020; Tuesday, May 26; and Wednesday, May 27 have been earmarked as our planting days.

No doubt many of you are itching to get out and get active with your family in a different environment. 

If you are interested in assisting with the gardens this year, we are always in need of help! 

If you are interested, contact myself, Deb Zynomirski, at 905-774-8453 or debzyn@gmail.com.

On another note, we have had to cancel our May and June Program nights and our June Garden Tour at the home of Beth Powell and Ken Sherwood. We are hopeful that by September, restrictions will continue to ease and perhaps we can meet up at our September Program Night on September 17. 

No doubt many of you who are gardeners have been outside cleaning up the yard and your garden beds. What a relief to hear that garden centres are now permitted to open so that we can once again fill our gardening desires with new plants and flowers. They will surely brighten not only our own lives, but those of all who pass by our homes.

Spring is much colder this year than I can remember it being in a long time. 

As these cold and dreary days wear on, keep your perspective. 

All this will one day be behind us, and we will enjoy the warmth and cheer of sunshine, family, and friends. Until then, take care of each other, stay connected, and get those green thumbs ready!