Jeff Green | May 08, 2014
The Land O'Lakes Garden club was started in 2005 by Lynn McEvoy of Cloyne.
The original members quickly joined up with garden clubs in larger centres such as Belleville as members of District 3 of the Ontario Horticultural Association. They remain members of the OHA and recently hosted the district at a meeting on May 3, which was held at Pineview Free Methodist Church and was very well attended by people from the other 15 clubs within the district, including Athens, Brockville, Bath, Ameliasburg, Trenton & Bancroft. At that meeting, a local expert, Coleman Boomhour, gave the keynote address on the subject of the Emerald Ash Borer, which is set to devastate Ash trees throughout Eastern Ontario.
The Garden Club has been associated with Pine Meadow Nursing Home ever since it started up, with the first project being to establish gardens at the home in 2006 and 2007. The club continues to maintain the gardens on a year-round basis, and each year they plant annuals in the early summer.
One of the largest projects of the Land O'Lakes Garden Club was the rehabilitation and beautification of the Pioneer Cemetery in Cloyne, a project that was undertaken in conjunction with North Frontenac Township. The cemetery had been in a state of decline and then was devastated by the Cloyne micro-burst in 2002. However, after a lot of work, dignity has been restored to the grave-sites of some of the early settlers along the Frontenac Addington Trail. The club continues to maintain the cemetery with twice-annual cleanups.
One of the most visible of the club’s projects is the ongoing planter project at locations along the Hwy. 41 corridor between Denbigh and Kaladar. Identical planters are located at businesses and other institutions in hamlets along the roadway, and each year the club puts in plantings in June to decorate the area throughout the summer months.
“This year we will be planting drought-resistant petunias to spill out of the planters as well as a plant called phormium,” said Mary Kelly of the garden club. Mary added that the hosts of the planters are responsible for watering and fertilising throughout the growing season.
The garden club meets each month between April and November at 7pm at Pineview Free Methodist Church before taking the winter off. They used to take July and August off as well, but there are a number of summer residents who wanted to take part in educational events so those months are now included. The meetings are announced in Northern Happenings and the next meeting is tonight, May 8. The topic is: "Permaculture" - how the right soil is important for gardens”, presented by Master Gardener Tom Mercantonio.
Among the more popular events the club has held have been two garden tour & tea events in Cloyne and Harlowe, which gave community members a chance to poke around in club members’ gardens and talk plants.
Last year the club held a Tea at Pine Meadow to mark the 20th anniversary of the home.
The motto of the Garden Club, is “you do not need to be a gardener to join the garden club”, all are welcome.