Coral Bells and Eco-Friendly Floral Designs
by Bonnie Whitehead
Assistant Director Jane McDonald welcomed close to 80 people to the District 7 Annual General Meeting kindly hosted by the Harriston Horticultural Society on Saturday, April 21st at the Harriston Community Complex.
Each table was decorated with gardener friendly straw hats with floppy brims, colourful ribbons, bright colours, or cowboy and Huckleberry Finn inspired brims. Each hat uncovered a green food preservation bag of goodies that included bird seed, Epsom salts, seeds, fertilizer pellets, note pad, and dental hygiene products. The ladies had coffee, tea, juice, muffins and jam at the ready when people started to arrive at 8:30 a.m. to set up their flower show entries. Don Matthews set up his display of supplies for all to buy from that day.
At 9:30 a.m. sharp, Jane McDonald led the singing of the National Anthem. The roll call was answered by 73 members from the 14 societies that are represented in District 7. Don Matthews read a gardener’s thank you in honour of the members who had passed away this past year. Friends are like flowers of all description that fill your life with promise and joy.
District Director Dorelene Anderson sent along a report, in her absence remarking on the tree grant approved for Harriston; an oak to be planted in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee; three scholarships for forestry; new webmaster Steve McKenna; new flowers for fundraisers; and the convention in Niagara-on-the-Lake from August 17th to 19th.
Don Matthews shared a report from the Ontario Horticultural Association President Carol Dunk who noted the proud heritage of the O.H.A. in existence since 1906; the tree grant will increase by $200.00; applications are being accepted for a $500.00 Beautification Grant; promote the rain barrel project; a President’s handbook will be out soon; and check out the O.H.A. website.
Peter Phillips shared details of the financial report and a budget. He received a round of applause and praise for a job well done for five years.
Rink Vliestra was praised for his years of doing his fair share for the town of Fergus followed by a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ in celebration of his 75th birthday.
Don Matthews installed the new executive for 2012/2013: District Director Dorelene Anderson; Assistant Director Jane McDonald; Secretary Laurel Strachan; Treasurer Kathy Bouma; with board members at large – Peter Phillips, Clara Bauman, Frances Bouma, Beverley Farmer, Marilyn Hodgins, and new this year Karen Dowler from Clifford.
An amendment to the District 7 constitution was passed to change the fiscal year to be the 1st of January to the 31st of December.
Diane Ireland Kelly welcomed guest speaker Shirley Koch of Riverbend Nursery. The demonstration table was laden with plants of all description with peppermint ice and the unusual Onyx Odyssey helivores; power priced peonies with hearty stalks and Bartzilla’s fragrant bountiful yellow blooms; cherry cola heucheras in the soda series; and cascading apple crisp heucheras in the crisp series. Her real love is hostas. Ten varieties grew to 40 and she now boasts 983 hostas, out of a possible listing of 9,000 named varieties. There is something for every taste and viewing pleasure from three inches tall to 49 inches tall namely Empress Wu, Praying Hands, Designer Jeans, Marilyn Monroe, June, and her offspring Ripple Effect. Guardian Angel still captures her heart as the favourite beauty in her garden even after three years of her plant addiction. She showed some lovely bleeding hearts and the heat loving succulents. Jo Houston won a plant from her collection before everyone ventured forward to take a look or buy a plant.
Jean Gordon reported the judge Ivy Gross was impressed with the excellent show of 61 entries featuring interesting designs. She encouraged everyone to read their schedule carefully and follow the rules in the Judges Standards handbook. Jean Phillips was awarded the Judge’s Choice for her 'Spring at Last' design.
Don Matthews offered grace before everyone lined up to fix their own sandwiches with a variety of bread and buns, luncheon meats, and cheeses, along with salads, and vegetables followed by a never ending buffet of delicious desserts and fresh fruit.
Announcements were made regarding a garden design/landscaping workshop for the fall; the June 14th bus trip to the Botanical Gardens, Joe’s Garden in Brampton, and Mount Pleasant Cemetery; and the fall meeting to be hosted by Elora/Salem.
Laurel Strachan introduced guest speaker Mary Audia who demonstrated five simple and elegant eco-friendly floral designs. She cautioned using oasis that is not ecologically friendly. She manipulated branches of dogwood to fit the structure of the first water design, then added five tulips to create a simple design. Change out the tulips for fresh ones and your design continues. Wire netting helped stabilize the tall branches in a tall cylindrical vase. She added large open bloomed lilies and large leaves to create another beauty. Decorative wire, willows, and dahlias, sunflowers, mums, or daisies could all have been used to fill the bowl and hide the mechanics of the third design. The green vase created its own sunny design shaped with corkscrew hazel, lilies, and curled leaves. The fifth design started with a tall dark vase draped in a ‘slinky’ type wire and filled with dogwood branches of different heights and widths and lilies. Each of the designs was graciously donated and auctioned off by Jane McDonald fetching a high dollar value for each one.
Society members welcomed everyone to attend their upcoming events. The Harriston Horticultural Society will be celebrating their 60th anniversary with guest speaker Charlie Dobbin on September 10th. They invite you to share in the day, as well as join them June 2nd for their 11th annual Garden Festival.
Clara Bauman announced the final door prize and raffle prize winners, and the meeting was adjourned by 3:00 p.m.
The next Distict 7 meeting will be held at the Alma Community Centre featuring guest speakers James Graham on the topic of ‘Memberships’ and Graham Buck on the topic of ‘Plant species at risk in Ontario’. The meal will be catered by Shirley Shoemaker.
Visit the Society or O.H.A. websites at GardenOntario.org for more information or call District Director Dorelene Anderson at 519-338-3467(2012-05-20)