Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary
Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were everything you hoped they could be. It’s a nice time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. It’s nice to have a break from gardening but if you’re anything like me you can’t wait for spring to see what your garden is going to do. Perennial gardens are always a work in progress and they’re never the same two years in a row.
Your 2016 executive was sworn in at the November general meeting and everyone is working very hard planning and organizing our meetings and events. First thing is that we are no longer going to call our meetings “meetings”. They are going to be called “programs”. We will keep the business to a minimum and concentrate more on our guest speakers, Ways and Means and of course the goodies. Our first monthly program is rapidly approaching and we are going to have a question and answer session with 4 of our very own master gardeners. Where better than our own membership can we turn to find experts? Appearing will be Lester Fretz, Marlene Link, Beth Powell, and Doris Thomson. They each have different areas of expertise so bring your gardening questions. Last year proved to be very informative and a lot of fun. Don’t miss it! And remember: our doors open at 6:30 p.m. and programs start at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Survey says!
Membership fees are going to remain the same as last year. A single membership for 2016 is $10.00 plus $5.00 for each additional person at the same address. Considering all that our society offers (monthly speakers, bus trips, plant sale, flower shows, seed exchange and of course our world famous Christmas celebration) where else could you better spend $10? Okay, our Christmas celebration may not be world famous, but word has definitely gotten out: we had over 100 people in attendance. In fact we had over 100 people at a few of our meetings this year. The main purpose of the DHS is to beautify the flower beds in town but our second is to educate, socialize and have fun and it looks like we’re doing something right! Our membership has grown to 206 which includes 3 life members. This is totally awesome!
Many of the garden centres in the area offer discounts to DHS members so be sure to inquire if you’re out shopping for plants in the spring.
Speaking of memberships, be sure to purchase yours no later than the February meeting in order to qualify for a chance to win our annual Early Bird draw.
I hope everyone got a chance to see our light up display at Wingfield Park. I don’t mean to sound biased, but Marilyn Stavinga’s winning design turned into the most beautiful display of all! Thank you to everyone who helped bring this project to fruition. It was also placed in the appropriate spot–right behind the Wingfield monument. W.H. Wingfield was the very first president of the DHS back in 1929. I do believe he would be very proud of what we have accomplished.
Our website has been updated for 2016. There is a plethora of information here so be sure to visit dunnvillehortsoc.gardenontario.org. Not only is there a very interesting history of the DHS on the site as well as a list of all past executive, there is information on all aspects of gardening and many links to other websites that we think will be of interest to you. The dates for all of our events and programs are listed with the names of our confirmed guest speakers. We will have printed calendars at the upcoming meeting, and the calendar can also be viewed on our website. Our guest speaker for February is Theresa Forte from Canada Blooms. Her topic will be “If you plant it, they will come: bees, butterflies and birds”.
Starting in January the DHS is contributing a monthly column in the Sachem, our local paper. Our recording secretary, Sandi Marr, will be submitting this article and with her experience and knowledge it will be very interesting and informative. If you don’t get the Sachem you can find these articles on our website.
Our DHS Junior Gardeners program went very well in 2015 and the kids did a great job! We hope to grow and expand the program for 2016. Thank you to Judy Jeffery and Marg and Mark Bottrell, and Pauline Bradford for working with the juniors. If you or anyone that you know would like to volunteer please let one of them know. All volunteers mentoring the children must have a vulnerable sector check done. The junior program runs throughout the summer.
This year we’ll be changing up the flower and veggie show. We’ll have two shows this year, June and October, along with our pumpkin carvings and designs. It never ceases to amaze me how creative our members can be.
We’ll be taking part again in the Dunnville Lions’ Home and Garden show in April. Our membership drive at last year’s was a huge success for us, and I’m sure this one will be too.
The plant sale in May of course is on again, only this year we will be holding it the week after Mother’s Day on May 14th. Mother’s Day weekend is just a little too early this year. Please plan on donating plants for the cause if you are dividing anything in the spring. This is our largest fundraiser each year and all donations are welcome. Each year we have a huge variety of perennials and annuals and there’s something for everyone.
We are hoping to have the Junior Gardeners enter a float in the Dunnville Mudcat parade in June. Everyone in town looks forward to the parade and it’s a great way to publicize our society.
We will be planting the town flowerbeds on Saturday, May 28th. Mark your calendar and please plan to help out. Our army of volunteers has done such an amazing job each year and I know this year will be no exception.
We have been asked to let our members know about a new internet program called HortusTV. It’s a video streaming program that has over 300 episodes of garden shows from around the world, free of advertising. Some are vintage and some are brand new, with new ones being added all the time. It has just launched in Canada. There is a 7 day free trial with no obligation if you want to check it out. After that, if you like what you see, you can subscribe for $6.99 per month plus applicable taxes. It’s sort of like Netflix. Go to www.hortustv.com to sign up for the trial. Credit card is not required. Your president, Debbie Thomas, is going to check it out and hopefully let us know if there are any pitfalls. It certainly sounds interesting. If any of you try it please give us some feedback.
I think I’ve covered everything for now.
Sue Mazi, DHS Corresponding Secretary.
See you all in January. Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 21, 2016 here at the Optimist Hall at 7:00 p.m.