Ontario Horticultural Association, Annual Report, 1996-1997
District Director: Donna Christie The Ottawa Valley gardens are diverse and wonderous. So are the gardeners. Membership in any of the 20 Societies in the District helps us to share and learn from each other. We publish a District Calendar of events to foster attendance at each other's plant sales, garden tours, flower and vegetable sh6ws and special events. We have a treasured District Speakers List in which we can refer great speakers to fellow societies and a District Junior Gardens Competition. Information exchange & communication is maintained via a district .Winter & Summer Newsletter and Fall and Spring Advisory Meetings. .' Carleton Place kindly hosted our very successful August District Flower and Vegetable show with neighbouring Societies assisting with the plant sale, data collection, clerking and advertising. Nepean hosted our A.G.M. at Algonquin College with a tour of the horticultural school's greenhouses and a catered meal by students of the hotel business school, complete with an ice carving. President Jim Anderson and his wife, Treasurer Judith Anderson were in attendance. There was a large "market" area of horticulturally-related wares, two excellent speakers, displays, business meeting and the presentation of the District Placque to Callie Basham. Almonte and Pakenham co-hosted the annual District Judge's Update. Our District also had a booth at the well-attended Ottawa Home Show and the Ottawa Valley Herb Festival. There is much cohesiveness within the District as members attend each other's events, exchange Yearbooks, share ideas, interact regularly and continue to celebrate this beautiful part of Ontario that we call home.
ALMONTE AND DISTRICT
The 85 members of this society, along with their 45 youth members have been very active this year with regular club activities such as planting and maintaining the cenotaph and Peace Park flower beds, bulk orders, holding a plant sale in May, and the juniors planting at the Post Office and Public Library. They participated in the Lanark Master Gardeners Tour and the District Flower and Vegetable Show as well as holding their own shows in spring and summer. Special events included holding co-hosting the initial planning for hosting the District A.G.M. in 1998, and holding an open to-the-public gardening seminar day which was a sold-out huge success as a fund raiser. All proceeds are going to landscape an empty yard behind the public library.
The 51 members of this society raised funds for their club with spring and fall shows and plant sales. They maintain a community profile exhibiting at the fair, moving forward with plans to plant trees at the Beachburg School in conjunction with the students who also help with the flower beds, providing Easter plants for shut-ins and by planting a memoriam tree for a deceased charter member. Seeds were provided for grade 6 pupils. The Christmas meeting was held at the Country Haven Retirement Home providing entertainment for the members and residents as well. A donation was made to the new Master Gardener Program in Renfrew County in which this society has three members involved. A lifetime membership was awarded this year. A club excursion was made to the Almonte area which included a visit to The Herb Garden, Whitehouse Perennials and Helen Halpenny's garden. The most exciting activity was a midnight ramble to the member's garden to view the blooming of his exotic night- blooming cereus. Photos were taken at many society events for inclusion in the club "Minutes Book" which is a historical record of the society who now wants to "put faces to the names"
It was a year of special projects for this society who participated in the Communities in Bloom program and found that the community improvement, spirit and pride generated by this involvement to be truly worthwhile. They planned and executed plantings for flowerbeds for the Business Improvement Association and planted and maintained the gardens at the Victoria School Museum. This Society of 64 members made donations to the BIA, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Friends of the Experimental Farm and the Purdon Conservation Area. An annual bursary was presented at High School Commencement and $75 to each elementary school junior gardener of the year trophy for flower show involvement. Members opened their gardens for other members and they held the dedication of the Arthur Hawkin Herb Garden. The society held their usual plant sale and then hosted the large District Flower and Vegetable Show which was very well organized and well-received. A library about gardening topics, books, magazines has been started and plans for their l0th Anniversary are under way.
Our largest society, with an adult membership of 767 (an increase of 75) and active junior group of 100, continues to serve as an integral part of its community. It celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year and the Town shone as a result of a massive effort to further beautify Deep River. The club championed Deep River's entry in the Communities in Bloom Program, partnering with the Town and the Chamber of Commerce. Their efforts were rewarded with a five star rating by the judges in the Provincial Competition. They were pleased with the positive media coverage and much attention to the society as a result of the participation. "As gardeners we tend not to be too 'bray' about our accomplishments and this was a good opportunity to show off our 'stuff' ". 14 massive planters were purchased and filled with flowers to augment the already fabulous display of 56 hanging baskets which the society had produced for the past 30 years. Residents really took note and thanked them. They planted 25 flower beds (maintained 23) at such sites as St. Mary's Home, North Renfrew Long Term Care Centre, Deep River Memorial Hospital, Mountainview Cres. and both welcome signs to the village. Also planted were 125 trees; some were commemorative, some for erosion/conservation and all to be enjoyed by future generations. They were honoured to receive a Sunbeirt Petawawa Spruce which was developed by the Petawawa Natural Forestry Institution. The youth members held a plant and bake sale, entered and won OHA Youth Competitions, and planted a total of 12 garden beds in Deep River at the 3 elementary schools, the high school and the Anon Street bed. The senior society raised funds by means of an extensive membership drive including a perennial selection purchase, community garden plots and a spring Strawberry Tea which was held in conjunction with a spring Flower and Art Show and local garden tours. A special 50th Anniversary Banquet was held with AGM and Ed Lawrence was the guest speaker. Founding member Vicky Zotov was rewarded for long term valuable service. A great year indeed.
A red maple now stands in Centennial Park thanks to this society of 58 members who also planted 42 planter boxes throughout the village and 8 flower beds. Four of the book "Urban Outback" were bought; 2 for the primary schools, one for the high school and public library. A bursary was presented to the top student in environmental science at Opeongo High School. A delegate attended the OHA Convention in Thunder Bay and 5 attended the District AGM in Nepean. A successful Bazaar and Plant Sale was held in May, a Harvest Auction in Oct., a Craft Sale at Christmas and a plant sale table was set up at regular meetings.
Community projects of this society of 126 included submitting a proposal for education of adults with learning disabilities who are interested in gardening, providing daffodil bulbs to the local cheese factory in St.
Albert to be planted along the path to the natural spring running on their land which is open to the public free of charge, as well as providing time and a variety of daffodil bulbs for planting at Good Shepherd School. A proposal was tabled to set up a youth program to interest members with children. Youth poster contests were held for the Yearbook cover and the Strawberry Social. The club outreached this year, working with the local historical society for the declaration of historical sites and exhibitions. Shows were held in shopping centres for greater public exposure. The publicity can1paign increased and is ongoing. The annual flower shows as well as plant auction and photo contest were held.
The 125 families involved with the club participate in various activities of the society including taking care of the Molly Wilson Memorial Garden, Tom Thompson Park, and t1owerbeds at the Hazeldean Library. Fundraising and planning is on-going regarding the development of a commemorative garden along with a heritage pavilion at the Old Town Hall. Ground breaking ceremonies are anticipated for 1998. Regarding the project, there have been plant sales, bazaars, garden tours and speakers such as David Tarrant. Renowned artist Ben Babelosk')" has offered to create a painting of the pavilion and garden with a limited number of prints for sale to assist with the fund raising. The society looks forward to resurrecting in-the-park concerts
A total of 16 beds were planted in the communities of Kemptville and Oxford Mills including two new "Long" beds at the new parking lot as well as 10 barrels in various locations and 3 huge cement planters and one at the "Rock". A hot summer with restrictions on watering made caring for the beds "hectic". The 43 youth members participated in a photo competition, garden competitions (several won at the District Level), a poster contest and an art competition which was open to 4 area schools. Their Smorgasbord awards night continues to be very popular and the society of 153 members also participated in "Hey Days" donating funds raised at the plant sale to the Kemptville Hospital. A plant sale is also held in May and there was a sale of mums and tulips. The society is busy working on plans for hosting the 1998 District Flower and Vegetable Show which will include tours of local gardens while entries are being judged.
The community projects of this society with 131 members consisted of planting 30 barrels in Barry's Bay and Combermere. A planting of annuals was done at the Radcliffe Hills Ski Area in exchange for a truckload of mushroom compost which was bagged and sold at the May Plant Sale. Included in the exchange is ongoing advise to assist them with landscaping and plantings around a large pond. Table arrangements and floral displays were provided to the Madawaska Valley Association for Community Living for their AGM and dinner. Monthly competitions include categories for youth. Fund raising projects included a Plant, Yard and Bake Sale, Strawberry Social, Student Bursary Fund Tea and Flower Show and a Fall Plant Auction. The 6th Anniversary garden party was a special event for this ever growing vibrant society.
Manotick is beautified and improved by the efforts of this society of 110 members who plant and maintain flower beds at the Manotick Public Library, the Post Office and the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind Training Centre. To raise funds, the club holds a spring plant sale, a herb sale in June and a perennial sale in September. Mini flower shows are held at regular meetings.
1997 marked the 20th Anniversary of this society who boast a membership of 119 and 11 Junior Gardeners. The society's special event to celebrate this Anniversary was to host the District Annual Meeting which was like a day long convention which was enjoyed thoroughly by the many who attended throughout the Ottawa Valley. They were greeted by members of the society, then proceeded to the Garden market Place with 33 vendors. Speakers and luncheon were followed by a tour of the campus greenhouses and then more speakers and presentations. A fun day was had by all. The Juniors do the plantings at the Nepean Museum and the adult members did the flower boxes there. A perennial bed is also maintained at the Nepean Lawn Bowls and a tree was planted at the Woodroffe Campus of Algonquin College. The society has proposed a bench for the tropical greenhouse at the Central Experimental Farm. Funds were raised by means of a May Plant Auction, Compost Sale, Amaryllis Bulb Sale and 50/50 Draws. Shows include a Houseplant Show, Spring Bulb Show in conjunction with the Ottawa Society, a Mini Show and Harvest Show.
The 105th year of this society of 257 strong was marked by the many exiting and varied speakers, tours, shows and events. A Chrysanthemum Sale, Compost Sale and Plant Auction helped to procure funds for the society and the club promoted itself on it's homepage and by displaying a booth at the Ottawa Home Show. A trip was organized to visit the greenhouses at the Montreal Botanical Gardens as well as to Philip Fry's Old Field Garden. The society's shows were very well attended, especially the Spring Bulb Show co-hosted with the Nepean Society in conjunction with Ottawa's Tulip Festival (they stopped counting at 300). Other shows include an indoor garden show, peony and iris show, rose show and September show. A Garden Competition is held to recognize the efforts of individual citizens to beautify the city. Six downtown gardens were featured on this year's tour, enabling members to see different approaches to the urban challenge of gardening in small spaces. Member Mary Harris (also a member of Manotick and Nepean Societies) was honoured with the OHA Trillium Award and member Anita Price received an environmental award for her work on the city's Urban Forest Committee.
The Main Street in historic Pakenham was again graced by 23 barrels planted with flowers and maintained by volunteers from the society. Several flower boxes and local parks were looked after by this club who has a membership of 93. There are also 54 Youth members whose leader, Loiise Larabie won the OHA Youth Leader Award this year. Each Junior was given a Lilac Bush this year and each has a garden book with lots of instructions on different aspects of gardening, which can be added to every year. Many participate in garden contests and do well at the local and District levels and all receive a coloured certificate. The adult members raise funds with a plant sale, mushroom compost sale and a silver collection for a cup of tea at each meeting. They sponsor a Beautification Contest for private and business properties and conducted a trip to the Botanical Gardens in Montreal. Flower Shows are held spring, summer and Fall.
Adult membership was 200 plus there were 87 Junior Gardeners. The Youth delighted all with their showing at the District Junior Gardens Competition. Volunteers assisted with the gardening needs of residents at a newly established seniors residence. Their subsidized plant offer continues to attract new and maintain current memberships. Two flower shows were held, a combined spring tea and flower show proved to be a good fund raiser with the accompanying plant, craft and bake sale. The second show was held at a local mall. Spring and Fall swap nights proved to be very popular. This year they initiated video taping members gardens and showing the results on a large screen at the fall meeting. A"General Store" at which plants, jams, jellies etc. is a new addition to meetings and appears to be an effective way to raise money. Two bus tours
were sponsored; one to the Ottawa Tulip Festival and one to the Purdon Orchid Reserve to view the Showy Lady Slippers and also the Raised Bed Round Garden for visually impaired at Perth. Flower beds were planted and maintained throughout the city at Centennial Park, Riverside Park, Library, Museum, waterfront and Pansy Patch Park. Hanging baskets were planted and suspended from light standards along Main and Lake Streets.
PERTH AND DISTRICT
1997 was a good year for the society with lots of involvement on the part of the 157 adult members, especially in their monthly swaps when exchanges of plant, seedlings, cuttings, catalogues and clippings are made. Cited as a year of sharing, the club worked together to improve their town by planting the Flag Garden at the Tay Basin in Perth, the Hospital Cenotaph, trees at 5 local schools, shrubs for school gardens and 2 Perth High Schools. Poinsettias were delivered to shut-ins at Christmas and the society participated in the Crystal Palace Christmas tree display. Volunteers provided assistance with the Round Garden for the blind and a major project was participation in the Communities Bloom Program which they nick-named "The Great Green Perth Challenge". A $500.00 scholarship was provided to a student pursuing the horticulture course in Niagara Falls. There was a spring and fall plant and bake sale, earwig trap sales, fall bulb sales and spring bulb and mum sales. The47 Youth members work out of 4 groups: the 3 Public Schools and 1 Home Schooling Group. Their gardens were visited throughout the summer and they enjoyed gathering to socialize and share at the fall Junior Picnic.
Petawawa's 1st year has been a tremendous success. They have built their initial structure as a society and interested the general community. They look forward to the completion of their first yearbook with a major project already under their belts. Apart from establishing a society: they participated in the Communities in Bloom Program. Plans are already underway to conduct a Youth Program in the area schools and a local nursery has agreed to be the seed sponsor. They are embarking on a Community Gardens Program and hope to "Re - invent" Arbor Day within the community. A number of plantings of deciduous trees has been planned. The society, the town of Petawawa and individuals will be purchasing trees for this symbolic planting. Petawawa is already a model and successful society although brand new and our district is pleased and enhanced by their presence.
Prescott was dormant this year. Hopes remain that public interest in regenerating this society will arise.
RENFREW AND DISTRICT
A major accomplishment for this society of 115 adult and 12 Youth members was to establish "Gardening Week", the 2nd week of June as a community-wide event sanctioned by the Town of Renfrew. This first year's events included demonstrations, an information booth, draw, tea, yard sale and membership drive. Now the club is very busy organizing Project 2000 whereby they hope to fill Renfrew with crocuses as a millennium project. Their goal is to promote the planting of crocuses on every public, private, commercial, industrial and community property by the year 2000! Students, local media and community members are assisting in turning this campaign into a beautiful reality. A spring plant sale was held and flower shows were held spring and summer. The club has just managed to procure a regular gardening column in the local paper which should certainly help to promote the society.
The society members enjoyed the varied and informative program of interesting speakers throughout the year. They worked together on improving their community and continued producing pressed flower cards for sale as a fund raiser. The July garden tour brought much publicity for the club and was a well organized and well received event earning over $500.00 for the society!
The 144 members of this society enjoyed a full complement of great speakers as well as a Rock Garden Trough Building Workshop, Fruit tree Workshop, Trillium Woods Field Trip conducted by a naturalist, and a Field Trip to see the spring flowers of the Bill Mason Centre's "Back 40". Two bus tours enabled members to view the gardens of Diana Beresford-Kroeger and of Norbert and Irme Markert in Ogdensburg, New York and the Montreal Botancial Gardens. A successful plant sale was held in the spring. The West Carleton in Bloom Award helped to promote beautification in the township. Donations were made to the Friends of the Farm, Purdon Orchid Reserve, and Algonquin College Greenhouse Restoration. Waterlilies were sold to raise funds for the Purdon Conservation Area. Books were donated to the Library and classes were sponsored at the Carp Fair. The annual garden tour was held in the fall this year.