Rosemary Teed | Jun 15, 2016
Gardens are never made by sitting in the shade and our local Land O’Lakes Garden Club members are prime examples of busy folks. The months of April, May and June are chock-a-block full of jobs as we cleaned up from winter, prepared the soil for planting and finally got to the best occupation -planting new seeds and plants.
An early morning line up was the order of the day on May 28 at our annual plant sale. Promptly at 9am the doors of Barrie Hall opened to a crowd of shoppers. Thank you to all our members and non-members who donated plants for this great cause. Our membership knows just what buyers want and spend enormous amounts of time separating and replanting vigorous specimens from their own gardens in pots. Remember these plants are acclimatized to our local conditions and will not be like fussy plants from further afield that take time to adjust to our acidic soil.
This was my first year and I was astonished by the number and quality of the plants for sale. The Don Cuddy family of Harlowe did an amazing job of starting vegetable seedlings and we were privileged to be the recipients of many beautiful heirloom tomato plants, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and herbs to sell. This is a generous donation from the Cuddys that is very much appreciated by our garden club.
For those of you who missed the sale, don’t forget it next year, as you will find a wide variety of plant and vegetable seedlings at nominal expense. We hold the plant sale every year on the Saturday after the May long weekend, so mark your calendars for next year. By then you can pop those tomato plants into the garden, as frost danger is normally past. What a great way to build a garden and provide you and your family with delicious home grown produce. There are plenty of helpers at the sale to answer your garden questions and get you started producing food. The money we earn is turned back into the community in various ways and some of it goes toward a bursary for children interested in pursuing their post-secondary education in the Environmental and Horticulture fields.
We hope you notice the community planters that dot our neighbourhoods. They are the rectangular black boxes, like the one in front of the Cloyne Post Office. Freshly touched up for the summer, with renewed soil and compost, they were well planted by our member teams on June 3 with beautiful annuals. Local businesses donate a small fee, which goes directly to our expenses in filling the planters, and we are grateful to every business and individual who makes that possible. When you see a planter in front of one of our local business locations, please make a comment to the owner as this beautifies our community and those folks are instrumental in making that happen. Business owners assume the responsibility of watering the planters throughout the summer while our member teams check on them periodically to ensure all’s well and blooming.
Take a walk along Little Pond Road and wander through the lovely little Pioneer Cemetery that members have lovingly restored. From an overgrown bush it has been transformed and every year we make improvements. This year you would have found many volunteer members moving gravel to renew the pathways as well as enjoying a great lunch. Do have a look!
Besides all the planting we have been up to, a big and exciting project is planned and underway for our Canadian 150th Birthday of Confederation. We are keeping the details under wraps for now but want to make a special thank you to Brad Douglas of Home Hardware in Northbrook for making a wonderful donation toward our objective. Thank you Brad!
A couple of things we can tell you are: It will be a show-stopper and the community will be invited to the opening. Watch this newspaper for more details as the summer progresses. And one other thing: think about planting all your gardens with red and white next year, and get your order in at the local nursery early as the entire population of Canada is thinking the same thing. Growers are anticipating the demand but it never hurts to remind them you will want red and white. What a display it would be if we all made this happen.
Pine Meadow Nursing Home is blooming too, thanks to our wonderful volunteer members. There is no one that is without a job helping out in these spring months in our garden club. You need to know that our levels of experience in gardening and our interests in what we grow are wide-ranging. Some have gardened a lifetime; some a few weeks. Some members love a vegetable patch; others care for growing cut flowers. Maybe there is an interest in shrubbery or herbs or just an interest in hearing our monthly speaker and having some social time. We gladly accept all visitors and hope you stay and decide to join our group. There is nothing better than sharing growing knowledge with someone who likes the dirt! We meet every 2nd Thursday of the month, April through November, at the Pineview Free Methodist Church at 7pm. Join us. Our welcome mat is out.