Dunnville Horticulture Society

Oct. Dunnville Hort Update

Debbie Thomas

Dunnville Horticultural Societies Oct program didn’t disappoint the 63 in attendance. It was a full night of activities. A live auction was held consisting of a antique lawn mower donated by Velma Shirton; purchased by Kim Dickie. A solid pine, blue martin house built by DSS students was purchased by Richard Egger. Windecker Woods Flower Farm donated 6 beautiful bouquets, lucky recipients were randomly drawn from the sign in sheet. The annual “Fun Flower and Vegetable show,” was held. As always very imaginative creations were displayed. 8 categories reflected the groups talents for gardening and designing. ”Most Unusual Vegetable” went to Susan Milligan with a puff ball the size of a basketball. She also won “Fright Night” with her decorated pumpkin. The “Hats Off” category went to Marilyn Stavinga, “Hang it High” went to Gloria Hunter. “Annuals” to Angela Latham, “Perennials” to Gloria Hunter. Lester Fretz took “Best vegetable” We at DHS joked last month, that the Jr Gardeners displays were so good, it would intimidate our members, luckily we were proved wrong. Next up was our guest speaker Jeff Bokma from Vermeer’s Garden Centre. His topic was very timely “How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter” DHS members kept him busy with questions. “What to prune back now as opposed to spring?. How to mulch, fertilize and with what? Why it’s important to leave certain plants, grasses and shrubs standing over winter to provide shelter and food for birds. Bulbs you can still plant well into November for spring beauty. DHS held its annual fall flower bed cleanup Sat Oct 20th, done in record time. We had over 30 volunteers come out starting at 9am. Consisting of DHS members, 4H Jr Gardeners and DSS students acquiring volunteer hours. A huge thank you goes out to Mike Lessard and his son Caleb from Paul’s Outdoors. For a third year they brought a large landscape trailer that held everything easily. They also took care of disposal. Such a time saver, as in the past DHS members made multiple trips with personal pickup trucks.  Thank you also to Sweet Retro-spec surprising our volunteers with hot chocolate

While they worked and to Flyers for hosting this very hardy, slightly soiled group when the job was done providing muffins and hot drinks. A Big!! Thank you to Steve Elgersma. Worried it would rain Saturday, he went out most of Friday pulling and piling annuals making Saturdays cleanup day much easier for everyone. DHS is grateful to everyone that participated.  On Nov 1 DHS volunteers will be out completing their final task of 2018. Decorating the town pots and planters for the winter season. On November 15th starting at 6pm. DHS will hold its AGM, Potluck Supper Christmas Celebration, including a food drive for the Salvation Army. Guest speaker Geoff McDonald of Bains Road Cider Company, will provide a seminar on “Creating Ciders & Fruit Wines including a Tasting Event.”   visit www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or contact DHS Pres. Debbie Thomas 905 774 3064 for information.


Sept. Dunnville Hort Update

Debbie Thomas

Summer is behind us. The Dunnville beds still look beautiful going into Fall. Many dedicated volunteers keep the weeds at bay, while Brad Stirling and Charlie Hartsell  ensure the flowers stayed hydrated. Not a small task this past hot dry summer.  Behind the scenes DHS installed a new Living Wall at the Centennial Park Fountain donated by Tim Miotto from Devron Sales. With the help of a Haldimand County Partnership Grant, ongoing fund raising efforts and Community support, DHS was able to complete 4 projects this year. Nautical enhancements were added to two flower beds using recycled materials donated from Vic Powell and Hines Electric. The Historic Anchor bed was rehabilitated, Thanks to Dunnville Silo. DHS made repairs to the anchor and replaced the long lost historical plaque with a new one.

A bench has been installed by the bridge making it the 5th bench the group has added over the years. New decorative concrete edging is yet to be completed around the flower bed beneath the new BIA sign and the Thompson Creek Project is progressing.

DHS Jr Gardeners program in partnership with Haldimand 4H held its second workshop in August, hosted by DHS member and Jr Gardener leader Margret Bottrell  featuring Moodie Bees. The children were treated to a hands on experience tending to the beehives, donning the protective suits, peering into the hives, removing the frames to view the bees and all the internal workings of an active hive. Pollen and honey was available for tasting.

The Jr Gardeners will be attending the Thursday Sep 20th DHS program to showcase their achievements, by participating in a flower and vegetable show with items grown from their own gardens this past summer. Guest speaker Adrianne Lickers of Six Nations Market & Garden, will present  “Sweet Grass Gardening, the History, Basketry, Craft and Medicinal Uses.”

Programs are free, with draws and refreshments. Doors open 6:30 pm at the Optimist Hall in Dunnville (corner of Main and Cedar St) Program 7pm-9pm.

For information contact DHS Pres Debbie Thomas or visit www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org

Thompson Creek Eco Centre – Reboot

Debbie Thomas & Dan McKay

The Dunnville Thompson Creek Project was started over 20 years ago by a group of organizations headed by the Dunnville Bioregion Association. It was one of many possible projects identified at a week long workshop organized to develop a sustainable development plan for the Town of Dunnville.

The project involved the restoration of a 45 acre site of community owned property that included Thompson Creek which was seriously degraded and in need of remediation.

It was identified as an ideal opportunity to rehabilitate the creek as well as plant a Carolinian Arboretum, establish a Wetland Complex and Tall Grass Prairie Plantation. All of which would be used as a outdoor education facility for local schools as well as providing a naturalized walking trail system for the community.

Over 800 trees were planted by volunteer groups,  all Carolinian species were incorporated. A riparian zone was restored along the creek banks. Ducks Unlimited restored a wetland in the 35 acre field and planted it with native Tall Grass species and native wildflowers.The local Ducks Unlimited committee built the existing pavilion on site, in hopes of it becoming an outdoor classroom. However the original plan stalled allowing Mother Nature to take over. The Carolinian trees grew, the Tall Grass flourished, the Wetland regenerated and the Creeks health improved. Fast forward Dunnville Horticultural Society fresh off the success of the Dunnville Centennial Park and Fountain restoration, was approached by Dan Mckay one of the original members of the Bioregion Association. Dan felt DHS was the perfect organization to partner with and take up the challenge to complete the original project and finish the trail system.

Dunnville Horticultural Society has since secured permission, along with a partnership agreement and grant from Haldimand County. Dan Mckay is the Project Coordinator with DHS Pres. Debbie Thomas as co-chair. DHS is pleased to announce the trail system including outdoor educational components will be known as  Thompson Creek Eco Centre. The motto will be Restore-Educate-Preserve. It will have four distinct ecological cells. They will each have a trail system, species identification signs, large color information panels describing each of the cells habitat and ecology as well as its wildlife residents.

The four cells include Carolinian Arboretum, Creek Restoration, Wetland Complex and Tallgrass Prairie. The trail around the prairie is 1.5 km, the other trail areas will be shorter providing for all hiking levels. The future hope is to link these trails to The Trans Canada Trail and the town’s existing Rail Trail that runs along South Cayuga St. from Cedar St. The parking lot at Centennial Park where the Fountain and Muddy reside, will have a large map directing the public to the the various eco cell locations. Signage will have QR codes linked to various information websites to  learn about what species, flora and fauna reside within. Fundraising efforts and work on site has begun with the routing of trails. DHS has coordinated with professionals that will assist with the eradication of invasive plant species this fall (phragmites) with a controlled burn planned for the Tallgrass area early next spring. The Project is expected to be complete by fall of 2019.

DHS is seeking public support, and is a non profit registered charity #886092816RR001.

For inquiries on project please contact www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org   Dan Mckay

or DHS Pres. Debbie Thomas 905 774 3064

Dunnville Hort Update

Debbie Thomas



Dunnville Hort Update   submitted by Debbie Thomas Pres. DHS


Dunnville Horticultural Society volunteers were out in droves during May. The town bedsneeded weeding along with soil and mulch amendments and each year more perennials are added relocated some divided, even potted and sold at our annual plant sale. DHS is grateful to its members and the  community for supporting their plant sale with donations of plants or garden items and coming out to make purchases. Hardy DHS volunteers  set up in the rain and remained to help raise $1768. with the proceeds allocated to the Thompson Creek Project. Our May program had 75 attendees all arriving early for our tailgate plant sale, as we sold all left over perennials for a $1 pot any size. Our guest speaker Carla Carlson from Niagara Nature Tours enlightened everyone with her talk on weeds.”good verse bad” most surprising to everyone was that many types of common weeds, that we just pull from our gardens can actually be eaten. 10 lucky members went home with a free rose bush as we held our annual rose draw. Our town wide planting day May 26th started at 7am with the pickup of annuals, all donated from Konkle Greenhouses. Followed by the arrival of volunteers at 8am with trowels in hand. Planting was complete in record time, celebrated  with a parking lot tailgate coffee and muffin party for all volunteers. Behind the scenes DHS volunteers have been adding nautical enhancements to various beds with the telephone poles donated from Hines Electric and  marine rope from Vic Powell Welding Ltd. The anchor bed in Wingfield Park also got a subtle makeover with new garden cloth to keep weeds at bay and the addition of 2 tonnes of potato rock, all thanks to Ed Zylstra of Dunnville Silo Ltd. A new plaque is yet to be added with historic information on its origin. Plans are also underway for enhancements to the area beneath the new BIA sign. Our June program  with guest speaker Lester Fretz a returning favorite spoke on “Introduction to Trellis Gardening”  Guests learned that not just flowers can climb, many vegetables do quite well. If you have limited gardening space vertical is the way to go, and keeps you off your knees when harvesting. Lively banter among the 77 in attendance, providing all kinds of ideas and sources to get or make vertical structures. There will be no DHS programs during July and August. However  DHS volunteers will continue to weed the 24 town beds and planters ensuring  Dunnville looks its best. Regular programs commence Sep 20th. DHS has been invited to take part in the No 6 RCAF annual open house July 7th, members will be on hand to provide information on the Thompson Creek Project. 

info www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or Debbie Thomas DHS Pres. 905 774 3064

PHOTO: “one of the DHS nautical installations as it appeared before vandalized, with the bird stolen.
picture taken by Brant Richardson

Dunnville Hort Update

Debbie Thomas
At February’s program, members and guests enjoyed a presentation given by guest speaker Kim Dickie.
Kim’s talk was very interactive as questions on everything from oasis types & uses, how to prolong the life of
fresh flowers, watering, cutting, best flower choices, the use of themes and everyday containers.
Most important, Kim emphasized the art of arranging is to be enjoyed, that anyone can learn the tricks of trade.
Kim donated two beautiful fresh rose arrangements, won by Steve Elgersma and Marilyn Sutor.
     Attendees as always enjoyed friendship, refreshments and draws. DHS member John Wilson donated a beautifully
delicious basket of goodies, Angela  Latham  was the lucky winner of this free draw.
     Next program Thursday March 15th. Guest speaker Adam Chamberlin Project Manager Forestry for Haldimand County will  be joining DHS to discuss Haldimand’s tree canopy. Adam’s position was created a little over 7 months ago.
 An opportunity to hear and ask questions on whats been happening, plans moving forward as well as programs.
DHS member  Dan Mckay will follow, providing an overview of  DHS plans for the Thompson Creek Area
adjoining Centennial Park. Dan was involved with the original rehabilitation over twenty years ago when over 33 species of Carolinian trees and shrubs were planted along both sides of the creek, class two wetlands were restored and tall grass habit was planted.  DHS in partnership with Haldimand County  plan to commence Phase two, a continuation of the successful project that saw improvements made to Centennial Park last year.
     Program begins 7pm, doors open  6:30pm. at the Optimist hall in Dunnville. A free public program, everyone welcome.
     For information  visit www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or contact DHS Pres. Debbie Thomas  905 774 3064
picture taken by Deb Zynomirski
pictured guest speaker Kim Dickie demonstrating flower arranging do’s and don’ts

Dunnville Hort Update

Debbie Thomas
Jan 15th kicked off Dunnville Horticultural Societies first program of 2018.
The program did not disappoint the 50 people that braved the cold to come out.
Each person went home with 2 beautiful bouquets of fresh tulips donated from Niagara Tulips.
Not 1 but 3 presenters provided hands on informative and entertaining presentations.
Lindsay Stephens Community Coordinator for Haldimand County’s library’s presented on resources available for gardeners.
Materials, ways to access information and invited everyone to check out the newly completed renovations made to the  Dunnville Library. Gloria Hunter presented on the Health benefits of Kambucha, how to make your own and provided taste samples as well as start kits for anyone interested. Lester Fretz provided very visual ways to use recycled items to use for planting, protecting and nurturing your plants. His inventive display items were given out to members excited to try them.
As always fun raffles, great food and shared interests were enjoyed by all.
The next program is Thursday Feb 15th with presenter Kim Dickie demonstrating “the thrills, the fills and spills of fresh flower arranging” doors open at the Dunnville Optimist hall, 6:30 pm, program begins at 7pm. All welcome, no need to be a member.
For information visit www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org  or our facebook page or contact  Pres. Debbie Thomas 905 774 3064

Dunnville Hort Update

Debbie Thomas

Our last program night of 2017 was held in November and featured our annual pot luck celebration,
annual Salvation Army food drive,  and 4 season photo contest.  Highlights of 2017
were shared with members in the form of “12 firsts for DHS”.  A fun and bountiful penny sale was
enjoyed by members, with all items donated by local businesses. Proceeds raised will go
towards beautification projects in Dunnville.

The 2018 board of directors was sworn in as follows:  returning President Debbie Thomas, VP Deb Zynomirski,
Treasurer Kim Christoff, Secretary Petra Kruise-Daly, Directors Margaret Bottrell, Gloria Hunter, Wray Mclean, Denise
Richardson, Marilyn Stavinga, Ian Steel along with new directors Nelly Engelage and Lynn Loney.
Although no program was held in December, the board has been busy planning 2018. Highlights will be announced next month.

DHS monthly programs resume January 18th, 7pm at the Optimist hall (doors open 6:30).
Guest speaker Lindsay Stephens (Haldimand County Public Library Community Outreach Co-ordinator) will provide
an overview of all “the resources available for Gardeners” at Haldimand’s libraries.  Following Lindsay,  a returning favorite
 Lester Fretz will provide fresh, innovative ideas on using recycled materials “Recycling Your Garden”.  Lester will be followed by
Gloria Hunter “How to make and use Kambucha for Health”.  There will be a Q and A period following the presenters.

DHS invites you to attend our programs the third Thursday monthly to enjoy timely speakers, refreshments, draws
 and to meet a very friendly and dedicated group of volunteers. Being a member is not a requirement to attend. However,
memberships are available anytime at a very reasonable annual amount of $10 per person or $15 a couple, proceeds enable
 us to fund and complete new projects each year.
To view our past and future initiatives, get garden tips and to view our list of generous sponsors, please visit our website www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org  You can also check out our Facebook page or contact Pres. Debbie Thomas 905 774 3064 for more information.

Letter to the Editor

Debbie Thomas


Volunteering is not defined by a set geographic location

Dunnville Horticultural Society would like to thank Mike Lessard and his son Caleb as well as Jeff’s Outdoor (previously Jeff’s Lawn Care) for volunteering their personal time and equipment to  assist DHS with the annual public bed clean up day in Dunnville

This a big job that requires many volunteers to pull the annuals, trim and prune the perennials and shrubs. Until Mike Lessard came on board, it required countless round trips with DHS members personal vehicles to truck away all the garden materials for disposal.

With the use of the large landscaping trailer, everything fit on one load and Mike took care of disposal. This act of kindness and community spirit made a really big job more manageable, and cut the time involved for everyone significantly.

Mike Lessard resides in Dunnville, his children attend Dunnville schools, he is the Vice Pres of the Dunnville Chamber of Commerce. His son Caleb for the second year is acquiring

Community volunteer hours for school. The Landscaping Business-trailer used is a Haldimand County business. The equipment, fuel, dumping charges, time was all volunteered and donated.

DHS tries very hard to promote supporting local businesses within our membership. Yes we do have supporters that donate and give discounts  that are not located within the town of Dunnville this is not unusual. DHS also has active members that volunteer their time in Dunnville and do not reside in Dunnville. DHS welcomes any business or individual wanting to assist us in beatifying our town. At DHS monthly programs we have a table that Landscaping businesses and Garden Centers are welcome to leave/display their flyers and business cards for anyone to pick up if they wish. It is a soft sell, we don’t promote directly, similar to a community bulletin board.

However any donation of either cash or in kind is listed on our website for one year.

DHS is a non profit registered charity #886092816RR0001 comprised of volunteers.


Debbie Thomas Pres. DHS

905 774 3064

Dunnville Horticultural Society is up and running for the fall

Debbie Thomas



With a busy summer of maintaining the many gardens behind us, our monthly programs have resumed. Sept’s program on “Bonsai 101” presented by David Culp had 68 in attendance. We learned Bonsai is not only beautiful art form, but requires a significant commitment of time, often years. The much awaited Re dedication of Centennial Park and Fountain held Sep 23rd was a huge success with a fun 1967 theme. Over 200 DHS members and guests enjoyed nostalgic music provided by River Arts and Haldimand Art Works, DHS members wore groovy costumes, provided cool games, free treats and fun memories. The official program began with the cadets from 611 Harvard Squadron entering the park from the now fully accessible bridge linking Lions park to Centennial park, full color march along the newly paved paths to the front of the now restored fountain. O Canada was lead by the children from Dunnville Christian school. Followed by speeches, the singing of Happy Birthday and cake was served. This project was 2 years in the making, its success is owed to the generous support of the community, and its partners on this project. Dunnville Christian school’s grade ¾ students and Haldimand County. DHS would like to invite you to join the Oct 19th program with guest speaker Lester Fretz, a member favorite presenting on “gardening with raised beds.” Our Jr gardeners will be joining us for their awards and taking part in the clubs annual “fun fall flower & vegetable show” for information www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or contact Debbie Thomas Pres 905 774 3064