Manitoba Horticultural Association

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					Manitoba Horticultural Association
Editor: Roger Brown Fax: 204-257-4546 E-mail: Co-Editor: Carol Clegg

Hello Fellow Gardeners….
Wow! Summer is here! Enjoy this week of heat filled days because the temperatures are sure to drop soon. I got used to working in the cooler temperatures so this heat has drained me of my energy. This summer has been very busy for me. Not only did the Peace Garden see our newly renovated “sunken garden” come alive, I added new perennials and shrubbery around our home as well. There were no flowers on the site a year ago, so now it looks like someone cares. I hope all of you had a very prosperous summer and you did other things along with your gardening. Did you go the lake, visit family, watch it rain, or just sit back and watch the weeds grow? Whatever you did, I hope your days were good. No matter what you do, always remember to take the time to “stop and smell the flowers”! The things we do today may be gone tomorrow, so take care of today and always remember “Life is Good” if you let it be. Connie Lagerquist, MHA President

September 2009
Connected & Growing
The next meeting of the MHA Board of Directors will be held on Friday, October 23, 2009 in Neepawa, Manitoba

Manitoba Horticultural Association

Nominations for MHA Regional Directors
MHA member horticultural societies and garden clubs are requested to submit a nomination for a regional director to the MHA office no later than November 1, 2009. The procedure outlined in your secretary’s MHA binder (Nomination section) should be followed if you are nominating your present Regional Director or nominating some other person willing to let their name stand for the position.

112th ANNUAL CONVENTION Theme – Dutch Connection
January 28, 29 & 30, 2010 Steinbach 55 Plus Centre 10 Chrysler Gate Steinbach, MB
Hosted by Steinbach & Area Garden Club

The MHA will be accepting resolutions to be presented to the membership at the 2010 Annual Meeting. Information relative to preparing a resolution is provided in your society/club secretary’s MHA binder. Resolutions should be received by the MHA office no later than November 1, 2009.

Print Competition
It‟s the season to have cameras at the ready to capture those unique photos for the MHA Print Competition. The deadline for entries is December 1, 2009. Your secretary has a copy of the categories and regulations or visit

2010 Annual Meeting
The Convention Program Committee is offering a sneak preview of some of the knowledgeable and interesting speakers we will enjoy at the 112th MHA Annual Meeting and Convention in Steinbach on January 28, 29 & 30, 2010….. Not to be missed are presentations on Friday and Saturday by guest speaker Sara Williams. Free Press Columnist Reena Nerbas will give us some great hints on Green Solutions for the Garden. Karen Munn, Herb Society of Manitoba and editor of the Prairie Sage Quarterly will give a presentation on Herbs for Cooking and we will also enjoy a talk by Jennifer Heinrichs, Manitoba Food Charter and Local Food Initiatives. Duayne Friesen‟s appearance and live radio show at this year‟s convention in Neepawa was such a huge success, we‟ve invited him to broadcast his Lawn and Garden Journal again live from the 2010 convention in Steinbach – be sure to have your gardening questions ready for Duayne‟s show! More speakers and topics are being lined up and a detailed program will be included with the November newsletter. The Steinbach & Area Garden Club will have a few very busy months ahead as they prepare to host and assist the MHA in staging another successful convention. It‟s going to be a great time, with excellent speakers, interesting and educational topics, Great Gardeners Auction, Silent Auction, a good selection of gardening items available from the MHA Company Store, Seed Store, door prizes, pull ticket draw, and much more! This is too good to miss, so don‟t forget to bring a friend, everyone is welcome! Here again is the accommodation information provided by the Steinbach & Area Garden Club.
Days Inn 75 PTH 12 North Steinbach Ph: 877-906-9200 (toll free) Ph: 204-320-9200 Fax: 204-320-9222 Email: Rates: Single $ 99.95 plus tax Double $109.95 plus tax Triple $119.95 plus tax 2

Pool, Waterslide, Continental Breakfast, Restaurants nearby. Located 2.8 km from the convention venue.
(Lower rates for this hotel may be available by booking on the internet, e.g.

Sleep Suite Motel 150 Park Road W Steinbach Ph: 204-326-1324 Fax: 204-326-9597 Email: Rates: Single $66.95 plus tax Double $76.95 plus tax Triple $86.85 plus tax Continental Breakfast, Restaurants nearby. 3.5 km from the convention venue.


Chickadee Lane Bed & Breakfast Ed & Marlene Silinski 333 Homestead Crescent Steinbach Ph: 204-326-3908 Email: Rates: Single $60.00 plus tax Double $70.00 plus tax Home Cooked Breakfast, computer access and wireless access for laptops. Lunch and dinner available at an extra charge. Located 1.7 km from the convention venue. Chickedee Lane is a bungalow style home situated on a wooded acreage. It has 2 B & B bedrooms, each with a queen sized bed. These bedrooms share a bath. The “comfy” great room and sunroom are perfect for relaxing and catching glimpses of wildlife in the adjacent wooded yard. Please note that all accommodation rates quoted are subject to change

Save Some Seed
Remember to package and label the seed you have saved and bring to the 2010 MHA Convention. Mark each package with the variety, colour, height and year the seed was collected.

Deadline for next Newsletter October 15, 2009

Horticultural/Gardening Events
Agassiz Garden Club Sep 9 Pot Luck Dinner – 6:30 p.m. Composting – Sylvie Hebert, Resource Conservation MB Oct 14 Fall Plants & Shrubs – Arlene Wheeler Nov 4 Native Plants & Shrubs for Winter – Shirley Froehlich Beautiful Plains Horticultural Society Sep Garden Tour – Berni Harley Oct Garden Pals Revisited – How things worked out throughout the year Nov Pot Luck Supper / Annual General Meeting Brandon Garden Club Sep 16 Cooking with Larry DeVries Getting Canned – Preserving & Canning Basics – Marcia Hamm-Wiebe Best Terrarium Contest Oct 21 Pot Luck Pasta Night Garden Club of Carman Sep 22 Hardscaping & Raised Beds – Marian Schneider Oct 27 Invasive Species of Manitoba – Cheryl Hemming Deloraine Horticultural Society Sep 19 Fall Plant & Bulb Sale – 2 to 4 pm, Town Plex, Deloraine East Kildonan Garden Club Sep 9 Fall Plant Sale Oct 14 Conifers St. James Horticultural Society Sep 15 Pot Luck Supper / Awards Night Oct 20 Trees, Shrubs & Winter Foliage – Robyn Magas Steinbach & Area Garden Club Sep 14 Roundtable – Group discussion with interesting gardening topics Oct 19 Gardening in Shade – Jennifer Bishop Nov 9 The Edible Landscape – Jim Kohut Transcona Garden Club Sep 16 Annual Awards Night Oct 21 All About Bulbs AGM and Elections West Kildonan Horticultural Society Sep 8 Field Trip – Kildonan Park Oct 6 Poisonous House Plants – Eva Pip Westman Gardeners (Brandon) Sep 3 Hostas, the Misunderstood Plant – Jennifer Bishop Oct 1 Making Wooden Furniture & Preserving Your Existing Wooden Furniture – Charles Shepard Nov 5 Enhancing Appetizers, Greek Dishes and Foods with Fresh Herbs & Spices – Paul Spiropoulous

In Memoriam
PHYLLIS PIERREPONT March 1, 1918 – June 16, 2009 REMEMBERING A FRIEND AND HORTICULTURAL PIONEER At 91 years of age, Phyllis passed away peacefully in her home with her two daughters at her side. Phyllis was born in Port Hope, Ontario, and moved to the Swan River Valley a couple years later. She married Ernest Pierrepont on December 29, 1945. Ernie predeceased Phyllis on May 15, 1963. They built their life together on a farm in the Lady Hubble School District west of Bowsman, Manitoba, where Phyllis lived until her passing. An avid life-long learner, Phyllis continued her formal education by taking a Horticulture Diploma Course from Guelph University during the 1970‟s. Following Ernie's death, Phyllis chose to continue farming for the next ten years after which time she rented out her farm land. A person of many varied interests, Phyllis sewed extensively for her girls and herself, taught Sunday School, led 4-H, sang in several choirs and the Sweet Adelines. She was also an active participant in the Women's Institute and Toastmasters. For many years up until her death, she fostered several children through Plan International Canada. Her real passion was horticulture. A member of Bowsman Horticultural Society, Phyllis became the Northern Director for the Manitoba Horticultural Association in 1968, vice-president in 1973 and then served as president for two years. She became much-in-demand as a certified horticultural judge at exhibition and horticultural shows. An Honorary Life Membership in the MHA was bestowed on Phyllis in 1973 for her continuing service and leadership in horticulture. Always one to share her knowledge and enthusiasm, she encouraged young people to become involved in horticulture and to be good stewards of the planet. Members of the Bowsman Horticultural Society shared her vision for young people and created a bursary for the University of Manitoba students in Horticulture. Until very

The MHA apologises for any omissions – our computer crashed shortly before this newsletter was prepared and some emails stored relative to events and articles for this issue, have not yet been recovered.

recently, Phyllis continued to write the thank you notes to all who have contributed over the years. Ernie gifted Phyllis with her first lily bulb in 1947. This was the beginning of over sixty years of growing, breeding, testing, lecturing and writing about lilies. Her interest in lily breeding spilled over into experimentation and testing of annuals, perennials, vegetables and fruits. She was never happier than when she was in her garden. During her „career‟ in lilies, she received many awards and each was special to her. She was particularly proud to be the first recipient of the Prairie Garden Award for Excellence from the Prairie Garden Committee. A meritorious award from the Manitoba Regional Lily Society presented to her in March, 2009 for her work in promoting genus lilium gave her special joy in her last months. An additional passion of Phyllis‟ was the protection of animals. Always interested in the lives of people young and old, she had good friends ranging in age from teens to contemporaries. Phyllis was very highly respected among her MHA friends and fellow gardeners and will always be remembered for her enormous contribution to horticulture, her friendship, kindness and generosity.

encouraged me, and others, first to try my hand at showing some things I grew, and later, to embark on becoming a horticultural judge as she was. I apprenticed with her, and served as a clerk at shows where I learned, and continue to learn more about gardening and showing. For many seasons, she wrote solid, down to earth articles on growing fruit, vegetables and flowers in our region for The Russell Banner newspaper. Readers looked forward to her articles weekly. I remember the grand times we had together judging shows, attending MHA Conventions, and touring gardens. I remember her great love and knowledge of gladioli, and lilies, in particular. Her lily garden at the farm and her pear tree were stellar. Lila, as previously mentioned became a certified horticultural judge, and her services as such were in great demand for agricultural fairs, home grounds, and horticultural shows in our region every summer. She stopped judging in 2001, when personal manoeuvrability became an issue. Lila was on the MHA.board of directors as early as 1985; retired in 1993, but came back with her friend, Phyllis Pierrepont, to represent Minitonas, Bowsman, Benito, Roblin and Russell, for a short term. She served as President in 1991-1992, and was given an Honorary Life Membership in 1994 to acknowledge the positions held, her hard work, and tireless dedication to the organization. During her term, she organized short courses, judges' schools, and was involved in organizing conventions in both Russell and Roblin. Without Lila's warm friendship and generous mentorship, I doubt if I would have ever become interested and involved in gardening and horticulture to the extent I am. For all of this and more I thank her and celebrate her life. Respectfully Submitted Judy Bauereiss Donations in memory of Phyllis and Lila have been made on behalf of the members of the MHA to the Manitoba Horticultural Societies Award Fund.

LILA BILY October 24, 1924 – July 21, 2009 REMEMBERING A MENTOR AND FRIEND The horticultural and gardening Manitoba community lost one of its greatest supporters and tireless advocates this summer with Lila's death. Although her life had many facets, the one I am going to remember here is her association with the Russell Horticultural Society (now inactive), and by extension her service to and contribution to the Manitoba Horticultural Association. Lila's love of gardening led to her involvement with The Russell Horticultural Society for over 50 years. She served as a board member for nearly all of that time, and held the positions of President, Secretary, and Treasurer more than once. I first met Lila when my interest in plants led me to become a member as well. Lila shared her knowledge willingly and graciously. She

Around & About
Our 90th Fair is just finishing up today so it can be regarded as a SUCCESS! Hot weather prevailed

but the Community Centre was air conditioned so that was a bonus – kept out the rain, thunder and lightning as well. Typical weather surprises for this year. Little did the Charleswood parents know when they formed the Boys' and Girls' Club in 1917 that a junior gardening program would be in existence in 2009. The parents and friends combined their first Adult Fair in 1919 with the junior Club third annual exhibition. The list of exhibits then was very different from now and reads like a history lesson of the Charleswood community. Dedicated volunteers interested in furthering horticulture, crafts and baking have achieved today‟s memorable event. It is very fitting that our Society started with the young folks. A paragraph from the Notes on the Background of Charleswood written by Mrs. H. E. Vialoux, a long-time member, illustrates some of the pride in the junior program: "The Charleswood Horticultural Society was formed in 1918, holding the first show in conjunction with the Boys' and Girls' Club in Charleswood School. By the way, Charleswood had one of the first successful Boys' and Girls' Clubs in the Province for some years. One year the Boys' and Girls' Club had a canning exhibit of 500 sealers, winning a special prize from the Government of $10 and the jars of fruit, vegetables and pickles made an attractive exhibit in Winnipeg at the Provincial Horticultural Show that same week". When it was obvious that the word "chores" entered into the picture in those early days, it is amazing that these young people could dedicate time to competitions such as this one! Charleswood Executive The Pilot Mound Horticultural Society began the New Year with an executive meeting to plan event dates and committees for 2009. At the February meeting delegates, Sharron Vassart and Gordon McCoy gave a comprehensive review of the 2009 Annual Convention. They were especially impressed with the fresh flowers that decorated the tables and reported that it was a very good convention.

Organic farming is becoming a fast growing industry and a presentation at the March meeting by Fran and Dan DeRuyck of Treherne was very enlightening. They have found it to be a process of learning and very labour intensive. Experience and the purchase of specialized equipment have made their venture worthwhile. At our April meeting, Monique Rampton of Morden Nurseries inspired members with her presentation about new plants for 2009 and educational information on changes in pesticides and fertilizer. The Annual Spring Plant and Bake Sale and Lunch held on May 22 were very successful even though there were a reduced number of perennials for sale due to the cool late spring. In order to accommodate the working public we changed our time for opening to 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Instead of an afternoon tea we offered a hot dog lunch which was very successful. The bake table and lunch monetary returns made up for the lack of perennials to sell. Two carloads of members visited yards in and around Morden for their Annual Garden Tour. With a good start touring as the gardens opened, the group was able to visit almost all the gardens which ranged from a brand new garden featuring turf grass to very elaborate gardens featuring a variety of decorative elements, an operating model train, a Wizard of Oz theme, and a reclaimed riverbank on the banks of Dead Horse Creek. The first hot week of summer (or so it seemed!) didn‟t deter local horticulturalists from gleaning their gardens and flower beds to display their produce, flowers and talents at the annual Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Show on Aug 12th. The number of entries increased substantially and there were a few new entrants. The society was especially pleased to have an entrant in the children‟s section. Judges, Lola Shields and Ella Green again capably judged the entries, giving valuable advice to entrants and to the directors. As the September meeting approaches to begin the last half of our meetings for the year, we will be enjoying the flowers that are yet to bloom and the vegetables yet to taste. Judy MacKinnon, Secretary

My Most Despised Weed
Weedy stories from our MHA Directors! Art writes….. I would have to say the weed which is my worst enemy year after year in my built up flower and vegetable beds is chickweed (stellaria media) (CYRILL). It has been said that there is no part of the world where the chickweed is not to be found. It is a native of every region and has naturalized itself wherever the white man has settled, becoming one of the commonest weeds. But, I always wonder how and why did it ever settle in my built up garden beds? _________________________ Louise writes….. At first thought, my choice was a tie between common chickweed (stellaria media) and wild portulaca (purslane). As a youngster, I used to work on a farm where my duties included trying to control wild portulaca in the vegetable garden and chickweed by the patio. By summer‟s end, the vegetable garden was clear but I was still picking chickweed by the patio. Years later, in my own garden, I had no chickweed at all….until last year when I bought some soil. Argh!!!!! But, as I‟ve come to learn, these plants are not all bad news…. Common Chickweed (stellaria media) Other names: Stitchwort; Starwort; Chickenwort; Winterweed. Stellaria media is a cool-season annual plant native to Europe, which is often eaten by chickens. The plant germinates in fall or late winter, then forms large mats of foliage. Flowers are small and white, followed quickly by the seed pods. This plant flowers and sets seed at the same time. It is widespread in North America from Alaska to all points south within North America. Stellaria media is edible and nutritious, and is used as a leaf vegetable, often raw in salads. Also, chickweeds are used as food plants by the larvae of various moths and butterflies. Wild Portulaca (purslane) Other names: Pusley; Low Pigweed. Although purslane is considered a weed in North America, it can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, Asia and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all good to eat. Purslane can be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked like spinach, and because of its mucilaginous quality it is also suitable for soups and stews. Raw purslane is over 92% water. It is over 94% water after it is boiled and drained.

Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids (alphalinolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. It has .01 mg/g of EPA (an Omega-3 fatty acid normally found mostly in fish, some algae and flax seeds). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for land based vegetable sources. It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves (about 1 cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. One cup of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A. A single purslane plant can produce more than 52,000 seeds.

Carol writes…. My candidate for the 2009 nasty weed list is the Canada thistle. When alfalfa production took off in our area, the Canada thistle ran amok. As soon as alfalfa crops were left until late in the season to combine instead of being cut several times a season for hay, every thistle plant in the fields went to seed. Neighbouring fields, ditches, and gardens were infested when seed blew in. I refuse to use herbicide in my vegetable garden. I know I can never win a war against a plant with roots extending downward to a depth of fifteen feet. I have to be satisfied with chopping them off – out of sight, out of mind, for a week or two – until I have to repeat the process. Thistle seed is reputed to be the staple food of gold finches. If that's the case, we should be observing a goldfinch population explosion. _________________________ Tena writes…. Weeds, weeds, weeds, aren‟t they pesky? They are so persistent, don‟t need good soil as a rule, don‟t seem to care if it‟s dry or wet and will grow in sun and shade. One that gets my Irish up is the field Bindweed. It snuggles up to your perennials and gets real cosy twinning and twirling its way up the stalk and strangling the plant if left to its own devices. You don‟t notice them until you see its tiny head twisting above your favourite plant. A good yank on the weed will probably pull the good plant from the soil so be careful and take it down in pieces and be sure to destroy the removed Bindweed as it will set roots and grow again and start the whole nightmare over again. The leaves are something like a wild Morning Glory and gets small Morning Glory like flowers. Bye-Bye Bindweed!

Why Do Flowers Have Colors and Different Shapes?
People use flowers to make their homes and yards cheerier and more colorful and fragrant. But in nature, a flower’s main purpose in life is to make seeds that will grow new plants. To do that, most kinds of flowers need help. They need an insect or bird or some other creature to carry pollen from one flower to another of the same type. Biologists call that pollination. Here’s how it works. An insect lands on a flower to sip nectar. While it’s drinking or looking for the nectar, it bumps into the pollen-making part of the flower called the stamen and gets some dusty pollen on its body. Later, the insect flies to another flower of the same sort to slurp up more nectar. As it’s crawling around, it brushes against a special flower part called the stigma. Some of the pollen on its body rubs off and gets stuck on the stigma. Presto. That flower becomes pollinated and is now able to make seeds. Nothing at all happens, though, if the insect is the wrong size or shape to brush against the right parts of the flowers. And nothing happens, either, if the insect gets pollen from one kind of flower and then brushes it off onto a different kind. No pollination. No seed. The pollen is wasted. That’s why different types of flowers use color, shape, and other tricks to attract just the insects or other creatures that “fit” their parts and won’t waste their pollen. Flowers that depend on bees, for instance, open during the day (when bees are out), and are usually brightly colored – yellow, blue, white, or pink. That’s because bees have excellent color vision. In fact, bees can see some colors, called ultraviolet colors that people can’t. Flowers that look plain white to us are blue-green to bees. One color that bees and many other insects can’t see is red. Most red flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds instead. The flowers hide their nectar way at the back or in deep tubes, where only a hummingbird’s long tongue can reach. As the tiny bird zips from flower to flower poking its beak into the blossoms, it picks up pollen on its head or breast. Moths and butterflies also have a long tongue, called a proboscis (pro-BAH-sis), for sipping nectar. They use it like a drinking straw. Flowers pollinated by moths and butterflies often are shaped like a bell or funnel, and store their nectar too far back for shorter tongued insects to reach. Butterflies are attracted to most colors, but they especially like yellow, purple and blue flowers. Plants that are pollinated by moths open their flowers at night and are white or some other light, easy-to-see-in-the-dark color. Sometimes the flowers have strong aroma, too, to help moths find them. Some flowers even give their pollinators a treasure map that points the way to nectar. The patterns of spots, stripes, or lines on flowers are known as “nectar guides”. They lead to the part of the blossom where the nectar is located. When an insect lands in search of a snack, it just follows the dotted line to a sweet treat!


Choosing Garden Soils and Amendments
What it is: Compost is any organic material – from leaves to manure to municipal waste – that has broken down into a rich, black, crumbly substance called humus. What it does: Feeds the soil, improves its texture, often contains micronutrients, encourages important microbial activity. Advantages: Compost is one of the best things to add to all soils because it both fertilizes and improves texture. Disadvantages: Some compost is poor quality. Aged forest products make the best-quality compost. Composted manure is very rich in nitrogen, so be careful to not work in too much or plant growth may be overly lush. Composted manure may have a lingering odor. And remember: With any compost, you pay a premium price for something you can easily make in your own yard.

Garden soil, topsoil
What it is: Bags of “garden soil” can be a blend of many things including soil, sphagnum peat moss, fertilizers, bone meal, and manure. Topsoil is any relatively decent-quality soil scraped from the top layer of the earth and packaged. What it does: Provides good soil for growing plants directly in the ground. Advantages: A convenient way to buy small quantities of (with luck) top-quality soil to use in your flower and vegetable beds. Disadvantages: Very expensive compared with bulk topsoil from a landscaping company or garden center – and also compared with the cost of improving the soil in your garden. Quality varies radically.

Potting mix, potting medium
What it is: While some bags labeled as “mix” or “medium” contain soil, most are soilless; that is, they’re a blend of any of the following: sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and fertilizers. What it does: Provides the ideal mix for containers. Advantages: Sterile mixes are ideal for growing plants in containers. (Potting soil, on the other hand, could have harmful bacteria.) Often used for seed starting. Specialty mixes available for plants with different needs, such as orchids, cacti, and bonsai. Disadvantages: Often low in nutrients, though some have fertilizers added to compensate. However, the amount of fertilizer is usually low.

Potting soil
What it is: Lightweight soil blended with amendments such as compost, perlite, vermiculite, charcoal, and/or sphagnum peat moss. What it does: Drains freely but also retains moisture well. Advantages: The ideal mix for container plantings; far more convenient than making you own. Often sterile, cutting down on diseases. Disadvantages: Quality varies; cheap potting soils are often too heavy.

Sphagnum peat moss, peat, peat alternatives
What it is: Sphagnum peat moss is harvested from peat bogs and is of a high, consistent quality. Peat is usually darker and heavier than sphagnum peat moss. It’s usually not a particularly good addition to your soil. There are also “peat alternative” products that claim to have the advantages of peat without the environmental disadvantages. What it does: Breaks up heavy soils and makes sandy soils more moisture-retentive. Some types of peat (namely, reed sedge peat) are an acceptable soil amendment. Advantages: An easy and fairly cost-effective way to add organic matter to the soil. Disadvantages: There’s some concern about the environmental impact of harvesting sphagnum peat moss. There’s more concern about harvesting the other types of peat, though, and the quality of those can vary radically.

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