Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
Garden gloves: check! Knee pads: check! Trowel: check! The sun is shining, the grass is green and it’s 29 degrees! It’s hard to believe that just a few short weeks ago we were freezing and praying for this. No excuses to stay out of the garden now…winter is finally behind us.
The Lions Home & Garden Show was a huge success this year! Our booth was one of the busiest at the show and with demonstrations given by Mary and Lester Fretz, Marlene Link and Donna Cavers and some smooth sales pitches from our volunteers we managed to sell 57 memberships. That is a record for us. As of April 30th we had a total of 170 members. Thank you so much to Deb Zynomirski and Gloria Hunter who took the wheel and organized the event and thanks to everyone who helped set up and man the booth. All memberships that were sold were thrown into a hat and Wendy Johnston, Lisa Hardy-Morrow, Darlene Buscis, Walter Riley, and Caroline Goodale won prizes. Our demonstrations were a big hit and the other vendors there took notice—next year we’ll probably see more people doing it.
The annual plant sale on May 9th was also a huge success. The weather gods were definitely on our side with a gorgeous sunny day. Thank you to everyone who donated plants and to everyone who came to help out, both Friday and Saturday. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and as usual we did a great job, making $1850.00. We signed up 12 new members and 13 junior members.
We are very excited about re-introducing our junior gardener program. Margaret and Mark Bottrell and Judy Jeffery are spearheading this program where the juniors are started up with a package containing seeds and plants to get them started with their gardening. Over the course of the summer they will receive gardening guidance from the leaders which will include two home garden inspections. The junior gardeners will also be in charge of planting and weeding the flowerbed at the anchor in Wingfield Park.
Planting day is coming up soon. May 23rd is our scheduled date. Please meet at the condo parking lot at 8:00 am and planting should hopefully be finished by noon. Many hands make light work! Please bring a trowel, gloves and knee pads and help out wherever you can. Some of our executive and directors have been out already getting the beds edged and prepared. Konkle’s has been gracious enough to donate annuals again and Egger’s Truck and Machine is going to be looking after watering. Last year’s beds looked amazing and I know we can do the same again this year. Let’s go TEAM!!
Trillium award nominations will be accepted from June 18-30th. If you think your home is worthy (yes you can nominate yourself) or know of someone else whose gardens are beautiful please fill out a nomination form. Judging takes place in July and we will be awarding 15 residential and 5 commercial awards. Pictures of last year’s winners grace the wall in the Optimist Hall and will be replaced in September with the new winner’s photos. These awards are an integral part of our society and it’s very important to us to honour Dunnville’s citizens for their hard work making their homes, and in turn the town itself, beautiful. Many of our present day members joined because they received a Trillium award.
Speaking of photos, don’t forget to take some pictures around town, or Haldimand County, for our photo contest in November. There are 4 categories: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. 1 photo in each category is allowed and should be no larger than 4 x 6 inches. Kids and animals are allowed, but gardening should be the focal point.
The Dunnville Horticultural Society is teaming up the Dunnville Rotary Club to assist them with landscaping underneath Muddy the Mudcat. We are going to be helping with design and plant choices so Muddy should look pretty awesome this year.
Our guest speaker for April was Jack Kent of the Potting Shed and he’s coming back this month. He’ll be talking to us about “What’s New and Commercially Available for 2015”. June’s general meeting is always our Rose Draw and you must be signed in to win one.
We will be having a general meeting in June this year. Our speaker for that meeting will be Jeff Bokma from Vermeers Garden Centre and he’ll be speaking to us about succulents. Our garden walk is still in the planning stages so we will have more information about it soon and a bus trip is in the works too.
The Mudcat Festival is coming up as well. This year it runs from June 11-14th. We will be hosting a table in “Community Lane” on Saturday the 13th from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm instead of participating in the parade. It’ll be somewhat like the Lions’ Home & Garden show so maybe we can surpass the 200 membership mark. If you’d like to help out at the booth for an hour or two please let any of the executive know. For more information about the Mudcat Festival, and other events this summer in Dunnville go to: http://www.dunnvillemudcat.com.
Did you know that there is a “Community Garden” in Dunnville? It’s located on George Street, and they are looking for some donations to help get them started up. If you are interested in donating soil, seeds or plants please contact Debbie Robinson at 905-701-5916.
Senior Support Services is hosting another “Blooms and Bubbly” fundraiser on June 27th. The cost is $12 per person and this entitles you to tour 4 beautiful gardens in town and for an additional fee there will be a BBQ, penny sale and wine tasting afterwards. Sounds like a good day to me. For more information call 905-774-3005 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Someone asked me at the plant sale about yellow peonies. “Bartzella” is a stunning yellow Itoh peony. The Itohs are hybrids, crossed between herbaceous and tree peonies, and are becoming more readily available at garden centres. There are very few yellow herbaceous peonies and although the Itohs can be a little pricey (be prepared to spend $75-$100 for one of these beauties) they’re well worth it. They die back in the fall like herbaceous peonies, but they have stronger stems much like the tree peonies, and they all have gorgeous flowers. They are named Itoh after the man who was first able to successfully cross the two types.
Garden Tip of the Month: Be sure to stretch before you start digging. The last thing any of us need is a lower back injury—there’s far too much work to be done. Mother Nature has almost given the go-ahead to start planting, but watch for frost until later in the month. Happy planting!
See you at the meeting!
Sue Mazi, DHS Secretary.