Dunnville Horticulture Society

DHS hosts Fall Forum

Shown (l-r) is Thomas, Zynormirski, Hewitt, and Tanazi. Above right are some of the creative decorations at the meeting. —Haldimand Press photos by Valerie Posthumus.

DUNNVILLE—The Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) held the District 9 Fall Forum on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at their home base: the Optimist Hall. There were 57 members in attendance from Horticultural societies across Niagara and Haldimand.

“It was a great day for DHS!” said Deb Zynomirski, President. “Everyone enjoyed the decor in the hall, great food, prizes, and the speaker.”

Debbie Thomas, Past President, was awarded the District Service Award from Margaret Tanazi, District 9 Director.

Haldimand Mayor Ken Hewitt expressed “appreciation for all that the Dunnville Horticultural Society does to enhance and beautify the town of Dunnville.”

Councillor Bernie Corbett also stopped by with greetings. Corbett listed the many accomplishments of DHS, especially the recent revitalization and opening of the Thompson Creek Park Eco Centre. The past year was very successful for the society. Among plant sales, planting days, and garden tours, they host meetings on the third Thursday of every month from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Optimist Hall.

For information about events or membership contact Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com.

Dunnville Horticultural Society update

By Deb Zynomirski, DHS President

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The dog days of summer are here and now is the time to be enjoying your gardens to the fullest. With the planting being done and the weeding (hopefully) under control, make sure you take time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

If you planted mostly flowers, take some cuttings to bring indoors or share them with loved ones (see my lilies above!). If you plant vegetables or fruits, picking them is just so rewarding! Try some new recipes or host a dinner with friends to enjoy the tastes of the season.

The Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) is gearing up for a busy September and we hope you will join us for the fun events we have planned.

So many things to keep you busy, informed, and celebrating our wonderful community!

So come on out.  DHS meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. From 7 – 9 p.m. Our next Program Night features celebrated photographer Mark Zelinski, presenting a primer on photographing flowers, nature, and landscapes. For more information, visit us online at our Facebook page, dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org, or contact myself (Deb Zynomirski, President) at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

Upcoming Events:

September 14: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fall Garden Tour (members free, others $10)

September 19: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Program Night

September 25: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Thompson Creek Eco Centre Grand Opening

September 27: 9 a.m. – noon. District 9 Fall Forum

Parsley on your doorstep

The photo shows a pair of boots which were discarded because the soles developed large cracks, making them useless for wear but providing the much-needed good drainage for growing parsley. Italian is in the left boot and curled in the right. By placing them near a sunny window, they could be taken indoors for winter. —Haldimand Press photo by Lester C. Fretz.

Don’t discard your boots! They make a good container for growing parsley on your balcony or doorstep.

Parsley is very easy to grow and having it in an easily accessible location makes it easy to grab a few sprigs to add flavour to your cooking or appearance to a presentation.

There are two kinds of parsley. The curly leaf parsley texture is good in a salad with a mild flavour. Flat leaf or Italian has a stronger flavour, making it a chef’s choice for cooking.

Although parsley can be grown in the garden, it’s convenient and unique grown in a container.

Fill the container, which should have good drainage, with quality soil. Soaking the seed for 24 hours speeds up germination.

Sprinkle the seed on the soil and cover lightly. Place in a sunny location; however, it will tolerate some shade.

Continual picking will induce ongoing growth. Fertilize occasionally. For the best flavour, pick early in the morning when oils in the leaves are stronger. Parsley will grow for two years, however the second year it grows a stem with a flower.

Thrift stores are an excellent place to pick up a suitable container for growing parsley. Using your imagination will result in an unusual and practical way to have parsley right on your doorstep!

            Lester C. Fretz, M.Sc., is a member of the Dunnville Horticulture Society.

To The Haldimand Press

By Deb Zynomirski, DHS President

DUNNVILLE—The dog days of summer are finally here, and I for one couldn’t be happier! After such a cool and rainy spring, the sunshine and warm days are making for a bumper crop of weeds this year. Take a few minutes every few days to do some weeding, and it keeps this chore from feeling too overwhelming.

While the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) takes a break from meetings over the summer, we are still actively working in the town beds. Our June Program Night was a lesson in backyard birding courtesy of Loretta Shields of the Smithville Garden Club. A lovely gourd birdhouse created by Angela Latham was won by Frank Phillips. And the Potting Shed donated a beautiful lavender planter, won by Darlene Buscis.

Watch this summer for big changes to the old Floral Clock. The old mechanism will be replaced by a wonderful storyboard depicting the history and significance of the Floral Clock in Dunnville.

Also, mark your calendars for September 14, for our members-only Fall Garden Tour. In addition, we will be hosting a grand opening for the newly-rehabilitated Thompson Creek Eco Centre on September 18. Our Program Night on September 19 will feature professional photographer Mark Zelinski, showcasing his fantastic photos and providing tips for us to learn how to photograph plants, flowers, and landscapes. Finally, September 27 features DHS hosting our District 9 Ontario Horticultural Association delegates for an exciting Fall Forum. We will be celebrating our 90th anniversary, and the Forum gives us a chance to share with the attendees the many projects and accomplishments we have completed over the past years. Looks like a very busy fall is on the horizon!

So, come on out to our next Program Night! The DHS meets at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7 to 9 p.m. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

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

Dunnville Hort Society’s May Update

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—I love this time of year, when the garden centres swing their doors wide open. It’s my therapy to walk among the colourful plants, drinking in the earthy aroma! It’s exciting to peruse the aisles, scoping out what is new and interesting, and planning out just which corner of my garden I can squeeze in something else. Every year I strive to create a colourful masterpiece in my own little corner of the world.

At last month’s Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS)’s program night, we enjoyed a screening of the movie “The Gardener”. It left us mesmerized and inspired! This month, on May 16, we will welcome Adam Koziel of Earthgen. He will be sharing his insights on growing truffles in Haldimand County … yes, truffles!

We are excited to see how things are progressing with the rehabilitation work at the Thompson Creek Eco Centre. The controlled burn went extremely well, and we look forward to the planting of wildflowers over the coming weeks. This area is an ecological gem and it will be exciting to watch the educational component come into fruition this year.

Special thanks to Debbie Thomas and Dan McKay, who are co-chairs on the project. Together with Haldimand County and Ducks Unlimited Canada, this multi-faceted project is moving forward as planned.

May is a very busy month for DHS, as we also hold our annual Plant Sale on May 11. Why not consider dividing some plants and donating them? Labelled and potted plants can be dropped off at the municipal parking lot beside the bridge on Friday, May 10 between 5 to 7 p.m. We will also have a section for garden art and tools. As this is our biggest fundraiser of the year, we count on you to come out and support us. Remember us when you are doing your spring cleaning!

Finally, our Planting Day is coming up on May 25. Mark this date in your calendar and come out and join in the fun! It’s a gratifying experience to work together to make our town beautiful. We will meet downtown beside the bridge.

2019 marks the 90th anniversary of DHS. I’m sure the founding members of our society would be pleased to know that all these years later, their vision and goals continue to be carried out.

Join us and see what our club is all about. You are sure to make new friends and learn something great … not to mention enjoy some excellent refreshments!

So, come on out to our next Program Night! DHS 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 dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

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

   Deb Zynomirski is the DHS president.

Controlled burn makes way for rehabilitation project in Dunnville

A controlled burn was carried out near Robinson Road in Dunnville on Thursday, April 25, 2019. The burn was required as part of the Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project.

DUNNVILLE—In May 2018, Haldimand County Council awarded an $11,550 community partnership grant to the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS) to bring the Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project to fruition.

Part of this Haldimand County-DHS-Ducks Unlimited Canada partnership project required that a controlled burn be conducted on the parkland adjacent to Robinson Road. The burn took place on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

The Thompson Creek Parkland Restoration Project aims to rehabilitate the wetlands and grassland, create naturalized walkable pathways and establish a Carolinian Arboretum Education Centre/outdoor classroom.

The purpose of the controlled burn was to clear the grassland site of accumulated debris, halt the growth of invading shrubs and rejuvenate the native tallgrass ecosystem.

Shown in photo are DHS Thompson Creek Reboot Co-chairs Debbie Thomas and Dan McKay. The pair were very pleased with the result of the burn and have great expectations for the space which will include sitting areas and brand new signage. —Haldimand Press photo by Valerie Posthumus

Dunnville Hort Society April Update

By Deb Zynomirski

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—Seems like the switch has been flipped and just like that, spring is upon us! The Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS)’s March program night was a very busy one, with Kelly and Troy from Moodie Bees giving a very educational talk on bees. Representing the Haldimand-Norfolk Beekeepers Association, they provided great insight into the complex and interesting life of bees. In addition, they explained the whys and hows of helping these little critters to thrive in our area. Thank you, Kelly and Troy! We had 75 people sign in that night, making for a busy and packed house. It was also the final night to qualify for the early bird membership draw. This was won by John Cruickshank. Don’t worry if you didn’t get in on the early bird draw … you can still purchase a membership at the Lions Home and Garden Show! We will be there all-day Thursday (April 18) and Saturday (April 20). Come visit us and check out our booth and enjoy one of our great mini-demos on the Saturday!

Our next program night is also Thursday, April 18, 2019 when we will be featuring a wonderful screening of the documentary film titled The Gardener. This movie follows the work of one man’s passionate pursuit of perfection in his own 20-acre garden in Quebec. We will enjoy popcorn and other theatre-style goodies that night!

At DHS we are gearing up for a busy spring of planting, weeding and tending our town flower beds. We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. Join us and see what our club is all about. You are sure to make new friends and learn something great … not to mention enjoy some excellent refreshments! So come on out to our next program night! DHS meets every third Thursday at the Optimist Club Hall, 101 Main St. from 7-9 p.m. Or visit us online at our Facebook page or website dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. For questions or comments, contact myself (President) at 416-566-9337 or debzyn@gmail.com.

Seeding Speedily

There are various ways a gardener can “get the jump” on the growing season. Not only can vegetables mature sooner, but it also enables multiple cropping.

The photos show some simple ways to warm up the soil to enable planting well before the last frost.

1. Cover the soil with plastic. Clear plastic invites the sun’s rays to go through the plastic while black plastic attracts the sun, thus warming the soil. Using plastic requires something to weight it and prevent the wind from blowing it away.

2. Laying a piece of thick glass also allows the sun’s rays to penetrate and warm the soil. Placing a thermometer into the earth enables observing the rise of temperature.

This photo shows the use of glass and black plastic to attract the warming sun’s rays.

3. By cutting the bottoms off juice containers, not only do they permit the sun to heat the soil, but can also act as a mini greenhouse after the seeds germinate and the plant emerges. If a frost is predicted, shredded leaves can be strewn over the jugs.

4. Wrapping an electric heating blanket in a tarp is yet another way to warm the soil and lengthen the growing season.

5. Starting tomato plants indoors in a pot large enough to prevent the roots from being disturbed is yet another method which will expedite the ripening of the crop.

The photos show the use of glass, black plastic, and juice containers to attract the warming sun’s rays.

Shown is a cut jug used as a mini-greenhouse.

Lester C. Fretz, M.Sc., is a member of the Dunnville Horticulture Society.   

Horticulture Havens in Haldimand

Horticulture havens in Haldimand

By Cassandra Fleet

The Haldimand Press

HALDIMAND—Haldimand is  home to not one, but two horticulture societies, both of which have a mission to beautify our local towns.

The Dunnville Horticulture Society was established in 1929 with only a plan to plant trees within Central Park. Now 90 years in, they have grown significantly and spearheaded many projects, including creating flowerbeds throughout Dunnville.

“As time has gone on, the club has become less formal and more of a gardening club,” said President Deb Zynomirski. She explained that when the club was founded, they focussed on more of a scientific approach. Zynomirski continued, “The club is now meant to appeal to the average person who just enjoys gardening.”

The society has just completed rehabilitating Centennial Park, where residents and tourists often stop to see the iconic Muddy The Mudcat. Included in the rehabilitation was rebuilding the historical aspect of the fountain, planting flowers, and repaving the pathways. This has led them to rebooting the Thompson Creek Eco Centre Project. In the coming season, the society will be restoring the 45-acre site for an educational purpose. They also will be working to fully repurpose the floral clock and add a story board including local historical sites.

“We could not continue doing what we do without our Board of Directors and volunteers. We have about 200 members currently who devote so much time to our projects, planting and maintaining our gardens,” said Zynomirski.

The Haldimand Horticulture Society, which meets in Caledonia, is still a sapling in comparison, having been established in 1984. At that time, they were planting various gardens throughout Haldimand and maintained them with pesticides and weed killers.

“The biggest change over the years is that people actually care about what they’re eating or bringing into their home,” said President Sharon Slack. “Weed killers are banned now, but we no longer use the pesticides to ensure safe ingestion because that is what people want now.”

This year, the society will be focussing on planting trees for the “future of our world” throughout the River Walk and Riverside Park, as well as maintaining their gardens at the West Haldimand General Hospital, the dam, Centennial Hall, and more.

“Our members and volunteers spend over 1,500 hours each season maintaining all of our flowerbeds. We couldn’t do any of it without them,” said Slack.

Both Dunnville and Haldimand are eagerly welcoming new members to join them to continue bringing out the beauty of our towns. For more information on the clubs, their events, or upcoming meeting dates you can visit Dunnville at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or Haldimand at haldimand.gardenontario.org.

The 4th Annual Spring Farm Edition

Haldimand Press


It’s that time of year again. The cold weather has made itself at home here in Canada, and we’re all patiently awaiting its long-awaited departure. There are a few signs of spring that are familiar to everyone, from the melting of snow to the budding of trees to the return of animals that were smart enough to migrate south at the first sign of winter. While these sights may be a little in the distance yet, there are two signs of spring already here: The HFA is ready for their annual banquet this weekend, and The Haldimand Press has published this annual Farms: Spring edition.

As we look ahead to the warmer weather we hope is soon to come (and stay), we consider everything that farmers must look ahead for as well. Of course, each year farmers have to make a plan for that particular planting, growing, and harvesting season, but they can’t stop there. Ultimately, farming is a business and farmers rely on their business continuing to thrive to provide for their family. Businesses must plan for the future if they are going to succeed, otherwise they risk being caught off guard by incoming challenges or falling behind their peers as their industry evolves and outgrows them. For this reason, our theme this year is focusing on the new technologies and practices that our local farmers are not only adapting to, but also using to their advantage to grow their business.

As always, thank you to our farmers for your hard work and dedication. We understand it’s a difficult business you’re in, and we appreciate your efforts to ensure we have safe, delicious, and healthy home-grown food to enjoy.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to, or supported through advertising, The Haldimand Press’ special keepsake edition celebrating all things agriculture in Haldimand.

We love getting feedback from our readers, so please, if you have something to say about this special edition, let us know. Whether you had a favourite article in the section or you learned something interesting that you didn’t know before, we’d love to hear from you.

In addition, if you have any agricultural-related story ideas, would like to write a letter to the editor on your opinion of farming today or in years past, or have historic farm photos you think other readers might enjoy seeing, we would also welcome those submissions. All submissions or inquiries can be sent to publishers@haldimandpress.com.