Tulip Times - September 2009

Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society

Established 1917

Upcoming Meetings

  • Tues. September 22 –
    Palatine Chili Night
    Location: 2108 Four Mile Creek Road
    6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
    Walk the Fields
    (please let us know if you need assistance)
    7:00 p.m. Chow down on some Chili
    7:30 p.m. Meeting
    Owners Rene & Eva Schmitz invite you to spend an
    evening at Palatine Fruit & Roses. Palatine specializes
    in growing roses of distinction. Learn how to prune and
    take care of your roses, as well get the scoop on the
    latest varieties.
    Please bring a chair and jacket.

  • Tues. October 27 – Garden of the Year

    Community Centre -- 29 Platoff St. 6:30 p.m.

  • Tues. November 24 – Pot Luck/Annual
    General Meeting

    Community Centre -- 29 Platoff St. 6:30 p.m.
    Bring along your favorite dish and pick up a few
    recipes along the way.

Facts & Other Happenings

Fall Forum
Hosted by Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society
Niagara Parks School of Horticulture,
Niagara River Parkway 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Open to all members in our Society and District 9. Don’t miss the guest speakers and a variety of interesting vendors. Let’s see who takes the ribbons at the Flower Show. Niagara-on-the-Lake members?
Every attendee will receive a “goodie bag”.
For more information email notlhortsociety@gmail.com

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you….
Doreen Bennett
who put on a workshop in August showing the how to’s for the flower show competition.

Lil Haworth – accredited international judge of horticulture and design for coming on short notice to help our members become more familiar with what they need to know to enter the flower show competition at the Fall Forum.
Session is Sep 10th, Virgil Arena 6:30 – 7:30.

Web links to check out:

William Dam Seeds

Fun Guy Farms – Mushrooms

Gesundheit – Premium Pure Grape Juice www.niagarajuicecompany.com

Seed of Diversity

Climate Action Niagara

Harmony Residents Group http://harmonyresidentsgroup.blogspot.com

Specialty Teas - The Organic Tea Store http://www.theorganicteastore.com

Niagara on the Lake horticultural society http://www.notlhortsociety.com

Keep checking back for updated newsletters, garden tour and Society pictures.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have two great volunteer opportunities for board members in 2010:

After 2 and a half years Mike Fox will be stepping down at the end of the year as Secretary of our Society. We will all miss Mike’s diligent and excellent work. Let’s all thank him for doing a great job! Can you fill his shoes?

At the young age of 90 our esteemed treasurer Bill Plumer will be hanging up his ledger at the end of 2009. Bill is not only treasurer of our Society but as well for three others. He keeps himself busy. When Bill came on board he worked very diligently to straighten out our books....what a great job he did! We will all truly miss Bill and his contributions.

Both Bill & Mike will still attend our meetings.

Each position would need approximately 6 hours per month for the months of January-May & August– November (this includes attending board meetings.)

If you or anyone you know would like to join the board in 2010 as our treasurer or secretary, please contact Shirley 905-468-2325. You’ll be guaranteed to have fun and a few laughs!

2009 Executive

Shirley Madsen

1st Vice President
Anne Beedles
905- 262-5185

2nd Vice President
Gloria Thurston

Mike Fox

Bill Plumer

Membership Director
Marion Boon

Barb Waller 905- 468-8484

Robert Achal
Melissa Achal

Linda Derstine 905-685-9466

If you need a ride to a meeting call:

Marilyn Buttner 905-468-4089 305 Nassau St.
Ruth Boulton 905-468-3765 27 Delater
Sally Mitchell 905-468-5801 215 Gage St.

Membership Information Contact:
Marion Boon

289-868-9168 mboon@cogeco.ca

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

The recipe everybody wants:
By Anne Bergen thanks to Hielke De Young

Queen Anne’s Lace Jelly

4 cups water, bring to boil
Add – 18 large heads of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers
Steep at least 3 minutes or more if a stronger flavor is desired.
Strain through cheesecloth.

  • 3 cups liquid in to pot
  • 1 Tbsp. butter to prevent foam
  • Add 1 package certo powder
  • Boil 1 minute
  • Add 3 2/3 cups sugar.
  • Boil 1 minute
  • Skim and ladle in to hot jars and seal.
    From an old cookbook!

Thank you Anne.

For Sale

Colorado spruce tree, approx 12 ft tall, excellent specimen, $200. Must move as will grow too big for our front yard. About 2 ½ yrs old. Arborist advises it can be moved by using spades.
Corkscrew Hazel tree 5ft tall. $50
Marion Boon 289-868-9168 or mboon@cogeco.ca

A few words of wisdom from Doreen Bernett

What is a garden pest? A: Someone who harms living creatures.
{From A Notebook For Gentle Gardeners}

What is a weed? A:A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. {Emerson}

Soil Improvers: Nettles, flax, goldenrod, night shade, sunflower, lupines, clover.

Other soil Improvers: Peas, beans, lima beans, and soy beans.. They add nitrogen to your soil.

Artemesia repels garden bugs - especially slugs. Lay branches by your door to repel ants and flies.

Wouldn't you like to know...

Trust everyone had a good summer? However, most of us are not too pleased with the lack of sun, incredible amounts of rain and wilting tomatoes. ?

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 - 18th ANNUAL GARDEN TOUR

Even though the weather was not cooperative in the morning, that did not stop our committed volunteers in getting the signs and balloons distributed. The weatherman scared some visitors away; however, the diehard —gardener’s? came out and had a great time.
To all the residential and commercial property owners, garden sitters and volunteers….thank you for making the 18th annual garden tour a success!
A special thanks to Mori Gardens for being our sponsor and helping us sell the majority of tickets.

356 Dorchester


What a variety of gardens we were able to see! Thank you all for your hospitality.
Helen Brown – everything was blooming beautifully
Mona Noel – gorgeous extra tall grasses among other things
Maybeth Ross - inspirational and talented
Keith & Etta Mills – their private oasis
Paula Clark – what an incredible mish mash

Paula Clark

Chris Clark- incredibly meticulous gardener
Hielke De Young - wow hope you didn’t miss this one, cornucopia of veggies & stuff
Jean Cochrane – you could never get enough of her tips and tricks

To all our members we would love to see your garden next year. Don’t miss it.


Special thanks to all the judges as we are winding down this year’s Garden of the Week contest. Wait till you see some of the gardens at our Awards reception on Tuesday, October 27th. Who will win the Garden of the Year award to?


We were so fortunate to have had one of the local nurseries donate daylilies and clematis to help us raise funds for our Society. Once again thank you to Busy Bee Lavender Farm for letting us use their facilities to sell the plants. There are still some available so drop by anytime. $5.00 each.

Catching The WInd

Catching the wind

How do you catch the wind?

At the beach, the wind is seldom invisible. It pushes the water toward the shore, curling it into giant whitecaps along the way. Sailboats and wind turbines are all designed to catch and use the wind for power, while a simple kite can teach youngsters the dynamic power of moving air. In a meadow, you can watch the wind as it swishes and sways its way through the grasses and wildflowers.

Strong, gusting winds can cause all sorts of damage in the garden—broken tree limbs, collapsed delphiniums and tattered roses. And yet, a gentle summer breeze is refreshing and soothing in the garden. Is not the perfect summer day one with sunny blue skies and a gentle breeze?

Wind adds an extra dimension to the garden—movement. Along with movement comes sound, consider the rustling of miscanthus or the gentle rattling of the dried seedpods of last summer’s poppies. Movement is associated with energy and life, and so it follows that by adding plants that sway gently in the breeze, a sense of liveliness will be added to our gardens.

If you have any doubt about the value of movement in the garden, I suggest a visit to the Toronto Music Garden, located on the shores of Lake Ontario. This garden is filled with massed groupings of gentle Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus), Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum) Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis) and Russian Sage (Perovskia) that are set into motion with the slightest breeze. The rustling sounds of the grasses and trees help to calm and soothe visitors to the garden. The noise and stresses of the city are soon forgotten. Even on a still day, the garden is in constant motion with the buzzing of bumblebees, lighting of butterflies on nectar rich flowers and songs of the birds—although you may have to sit still yourself for a few minutes before you will notice and appreciate this persistent, rhythmic movement. A spray of Miscanthus will suddenly spring back into position after a perched songbird resumes his flight.

In his book, Designing with Plants, Piet Oudolf suggests that "…grasses depend upon wind movement for their pollination, so it is entirely appropriate that they register its motion more expressively than do other plants." His text goes on describe, "…Those with long stems and heavier flowers or seed heads are particularly sensitive registers of movement."

In the garden, the wind has many voices. It can be gentle and soothing as it stirs the leaves of a maple tree or slips through a meadow. It might sound mystical as it rustles through the willows late at night or crisp as it snaps the flag to attention. In the autumn, the wind occasionally takes on a harsher voice; it may tug on a loose branch or shingle, creaking and rasping and keeping you awake at night. It may abruptly turn bitterly cold.

A resplendent autumn maple will shed its colourful foliage after an afternoon of unrelenting wind. The fallen leaves continue to dance in the stirrings of the autumn breeze, until they finally settle under a sobering blanket of snow or heavy rain.

To trace the wind’s movements in your own back yard, wait until spring to cut back ornamental grasses, coneflowers butterfly bushes and other tall, graceful plants. Most grasses and numerous perennials will stand erect and tall over the winter, often straightening themselves out after a heavy snowfall weighs them down. Sound may not seem an important factor in the winter garden, but take a stroll through the garden and listen to the rattling of the dried stems of miscanthus or the rustle of switch grass as a frosty breeze stirs and awakens these sleeping giants, it is truly a magical sound.

The wind seldom arrives unannounced at our place – heavy metal wind chimes toll October’s arrival. Tall Zebra grasses rustle, sombre tree canopies are suddenly animated and gracefully arching maiden grasses sashay around the circle garden - there’s a lot to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Theresa M. Forte is a local garden consultant (and one of our members) specializing in easy care perennials and ornamental grasses. You can reach her by calling (905) 374-1505 or by email at theresa_forte@sympatico.ca.