Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a chance to spend time with family and friends. It’s wonderful to catch up–looking back on the year and planning for the new one. The holidays always go by so fast. Now we can try to keep our New Year’s resolutions on track and look forward to a happy and healthy 2015.
2014 was another stellar year for the Dunnville Horticultural Society—lots of hard work and lots of fun. Our plant sale in May was a huge success and so was our Garden Walk in June and bus trip in July. In August we awarded 15 residential and 3 Trillium Awards and we held our first annual informal Flower Show at the September general meeting. We weren’t too sure how the flower show was going to go over, but with Pauline Bradford at the helm it was well organized and everyone loved it.
I don’t think that Dunnville has ever looked better—the flowerbeds everywhere were spectacular. Our army of planting, digging and weeding volunteers outdid themselves this year. Thank you to Konkle’s Greenhouses who graciously supported us by donating all the annuals (more than 150 flats). They have assisted us for many years with the donations and we hope they do for many years to come.
Our partnerships with Dunnville Secondary School, the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and the BIA flourished last year and we look forward to it continuing this year. It’s so nice to be able to work alongside these groups and by doing so it makes our planning and doing so much easier. Unfortunately, in its inaugural year our $500 Dunnville Secondary School student scholarship was not awarded. In order to qualify students must be enrolled in the “environmental sciences” class, volunteer a minimum of 10 hours with the DHS, have good academic abilities, and be planning to attend college or university to further their horticultural studies or enter into an apprenticeship involving horticulture. Hopefully this year will produce the right candidate.
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November was awesome as usual! There was soooo much food! Thank you so much to everyone who brought food and to everyone who donated prizes for the Penny Sale which was a huge success again this year, earning over $300.00!!! Thank you to all who donated items for the Dunnville Food Bank. The photography contest was also a big hit, with Miranda Bucsis cleaning up in 3 categories and Brenda Pittaway winning as well. When you’re taking pictures in and around Dunnville this year keep the photo contest in mind. It’s always in November, it’s easy to enter and the prizes are well worth it. Our guest speaker was Sandra Marr and she demonstrated how to make festive porch pots. She does such a beautiful job and she graciously donated one for a raffle. Thank you Sandra. Last, but not least, thank you to District 9 Assistant Director Lisa DeYoung for swearing in our 2015 executive.
Your executive and directors for 2015 are excited about planning our meetings and events for the upcoming year. There are a few new faces on our team which always means fresh energy and ideas. In case you weren’t at the general meeting in November and because the Ontario Horticultural Society’s website has been out of commission until recently (the November minutes and newsletter were just recently posted) your executive for 2015 is Debbie Thomas (President), Deb Zynomirski (Vice-president), Sue Mazi (Secretary), and Kim Christoff (Treasurer).
Your 2015 directors are Betty Ballanger, Pauline Bradford, Maura Cooper, Gloria Hunter, Mary Lou Johnston, Marilyn Stavinga and Ian Steel. Our Past President, Lori Maracle, will still be around for advice and support when needed. The website is up and running beautifully now. All of our contact information, newsletters, minutes and pictures are there for your perusal. Please take the time to check it out—there’s a wealth of gardening information as well.
Our January general meeting will be on Thursday the 15th at 7:00 p.m. at the Dunnville Optimist Hall. We’ll be having a Q&A session with a few of our gardening experts like last year. It was new territory last year but seemed to be a big hit with everyone. Our guest speaker for February will be Paul Boland from the Potting Shed and he’ll be talking to us about water gardening and ponds. We are having our early bird draw at the February meeting so make sure you purchase your 2015 membership to be eligible to win a prize.
If you have any suggestions for guest speakers, garden walks, bus trips, etc. please let your executive know. We are always looking for new places to go and are open to suggestions. Speaking of guest speakers, in my last newsletter I mentioned that Lester Fretz would be a “three-peat” speaker if he were to visit in 2015, but I just realized that he has already visited us 3 times. He will be making another appearance in March, which will be his 4th visit with us. He’s always a hit with the crowd (although the cinnamon buns do help). Just kidding, Lester-you know we all love you.
We will continue to email out minutes, newsletters and up-coming events before each meeting so be sure to watch your mail box and check your spam if you don’t get one. Kim usually sends them out 1-2 weeks before the general meetings.
I know I run the risk of sounding like a broken record (you young folks can google that) but I’d like to remind everyone that the DHS is successful because of two things: our volunteers and our sponsors. Our volunteers are the backbone of the Dunnville Horticultural Society. Volunteering fosters a sense of community pride, personal satisfaction and gives us a chance to meet new people with similar interests and forge lasting friendships. We managed to log over 1800 volunteer hours in 2014 which I believe is a record for our society. This pays off in grants from OMAFRA and Haldimand County. Our sponsors, many of Dunnville’s merchants and private individuals, have come to our assistance with their generous donations of money, food, gift items and time. A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone for your support and assistance in making the Dunnville Horticultural Society successful.
Garden Tip of the Month: Keep your bird feeders clean and topped up and if possible provide a fresh water source. Because of the weather this is a good time to sit and plan your garden on paper, or tend to your houseplants that may need repotting. Closely inspect them for aphids which can be treated with a mixture of equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water and an added drop of dishwashing detergent, or toss them out like I did last week. A red Kalanchoe took one for the team. There are many tips on our website for natural remedies for pests. Keep warm and remember– the days are getting longer!
See you at the meeting!
Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.
Essential advice for the gardener: grow peas of mind, lettuce be thankful, squash selfishness, turnip to help thy neighbor, and always make thyme for loved ones. ~Author Unknown