The Gardens in Mid-Summer

Village gardens are looking good this mid-summer. Tweed Hort maintains most of the municipal gardens in the downtown core.

Here’s a shot of the Moira Memorial Garden.

For more photos, click on the “Village Gardens” link over in the right hand column.

Container Water Gardening

With the rainy damp spring in southern Ontario this year, container water gardens seemed to be a perfect topic for the June Tweed and District Horticultural Society meeting. There has definitely been lots and lots and lots of rain to fill containers for water gardens!!!!

Peter and Christine Gill shared their water container garden knowledge through a power point presentation interjected with many comments that had the members laughing as they enjoyed the presentation.

Peter and Christine are the founding members of the Water Garden Society and are still very active members within the society.

Any container can be used for a water garden providing it has no hole!!!! This allows a novice water gardener to start small. What is important in planning for the water garden is knowing how much water ABOVE the plant is required.

Marginals grow close to the surface of the water. The hardy marginals are suitable for zones 4/5. Roots need to freeze during the winter months.

Floaters as the name suggest float on the surface of the water garden. Most are tropical so will need to be brought indoors during the winter months. Floaters provide shade for the water as well as help to filter t he water.

Submersibles need to be planted deeper in the container and the roots must not freeze…. therefore, they need to be brought indoors during the winter months. Water lilies are an example of submersibles but they are more suitable for ponds.

Peter’s photos showed how to use bricks, stones and cinder blocks to gain height for plants, levelling plants as well as protecting them from wildlife.

Since rainwater is recommended to use in water container gardens, pond tabs or Laguna pond sticks can be used to fertilize the plants.

Photos illustrated how to landscape your water garden to fit into the garden naturally. Peter suggested surrounding your water garden with plants give a more natural feel to the water garden.

Mosquitoes and raccoons can cause issues for water gardens. Using a pump and adding goldfish to a water garden helps with the mosquito problem. Or simply add a few drops of cooking oil to the surface of the water and overfill the container to get rid of mosquitos.  Placing plants in the center of the water garden and using containers with straight sides helps with the raccoon problem. Also, Peter has learned that solar lights placed close to the ground scares off the raccoons. You can move the lights around as needed.

Peter emphasized that what is in the pond stays in the pond….do not put plants or fish from your water garden into lakes, rivers or natural ponds as they may be invasive.

Suggested references…

-Water Garden Plants for Canada…. A. Beck

-Garden Artifacts in Uxbridge…. all water garden plants and supplies


June 9…Children’s Program at the Tweed Public Library. The children will be planting potatoes. Pre-registration is required.

July 5-6-7…Tweed Agricultural Fair. Entries must be set up by Friday July 5 at noon.

August 6…Pot luck dinner at Valerie and Chris Foran’s home at 6 pm. Please remember your chair, your favourite potluck main dish and dessert, cup, plate and cutlery.

September 3…Karen ten Cate of Bumblerock Farm near Roblin will discuss Heirloom Seed Saving…..both her successes and mistakes.


July 19-21…OHA 113th Convention in Windsor

Planning a Garden

In spite of the rainy, damp and below seasonal temperatures, members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Group eagerly attended the May meeting to hear about garden layout/design and cut flowers. The speaker for the evening was Rebecca Wheatley, from Napanee who operates her own business doing garden maintenance and design.

Using a power point presentation, Rebecca highlighted the elements of design to be incorporated into gardens…

-SHAPE…. arches (bleeding heart), cascading (phlox), clump (hosta), spike (yucca), spread (thyme), mounding (perennial geranium)

-UNITY…achieved by adding focal plants, planting groups of the same plants, simplicity by using no more than 7 different plants within a garden

-LINE…can be achieved in both plants as well as hard landscaping

-TEXTURE…adds interest…plants suggested…ferns, hostas

-COLOUR AND CONTRAST…can be achieved using plants and shrubs…nine bark, coral bells

To create a garden, Rebecca mentioned the importance of good soil. Adding bone meal and water to the hole when planting is beneficial to the plants. Spring and fall are the ideal times to plant.

She suggested to lay out your plants in the space you have selected for your garden arranging from large to small. It is important to know the maximum width and height of the plants to prevent transplanting in a few years!

Several flowers were suggested for garden if looking for cut flowers…. dahlias, lilies, black eyed Susan, aster, zinnia, sunflower, aliums, salvia, cosmos, foxglove, delphinium, sweet pea.

Rebecca recommended cutting the flower stem with a clean sharp tool and placing flowers in lukewarm water. It is important to replace the water every two-three days.


June 4th…Container Water Gardens with Peter and Christine Gill. They will have plants for sale.

June 11…Bus Trip to Peterborough. Contact Linda Holmes for more info.

May 18…. Annual Plant Sale at Tweed Memorial Park starting at 8 am.

May 28…planting of town planters and flower beds. Meet at 5:30 at the vacant lot across from Valu-Mart.

New for 2019

Many enthusiastic members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed Victoria Whitney of Griffin’s Greenhouses in Peterborough to their April meeting. The longer and occasionally warm sunny days are helping to get everyone in the mood for gardening! As Victoria repeatedly said throughout her presentation, “It’s coming, it’s coming!”

During July and August, Victoria visits the Trial Gardens, which are located in the Niagara region to see the newest trends for the following growing season. These gardens are located in the Niagara region.


-heat tolerant plants-succulents are great for this; can be planted in pots, bird baths; tropical succulents need to be wintered indoors

-low maintenance gardens that still manage to look breathtaking…shorter bushy plants to avoid the necessity of staking

-houseplants are making a comeback…remember those snake plants that our grandmothers grew…..well they are part of the Home Décor for 2019!

“gardens that give back”…butterfly gardens, use of native plants, growing own food

-colour of the year….”Living Coral”

Through a power point presentation, Victoria highlighted some of the beautiful plants that will be available at Griffin’s Greenhouses this spring…

-cana lilies that bloom continuously


-Papaya Tattoo Vinca…great for hot dry summer

-Caramia Yellow coneflowers…multiple heads, stocky, sunny location, fast rate of growth

-Amazel Basil…heat tolerant, resistant to mildew, high yield, sweet savory flavor

-Wildberry Heuchera…purple cast to leaves

-Atlantis Sedum

-Fall in Love Sweetly Anemone

-Little Miss Sunshine sedum

-Leading Lady Orchid Monarda…attracts bees, hummingbirds, butterflies

-Indiglo Girl Salvia…attracts bees, butterflies

-Wizard of Ahhs Veronica

Temp Yellow Geum…loved by pollinators

-Invincibelle Wee White Hydrangea….small blooms, partial shade, June-Oct blooming, zones 3-4, however,for our area, best to plant Anna Belle and Lime Light

-and for the rose lovers….At Last Rose…has a fragrance, disease resistant, blooms throughout summer, easier care as that is the trend for 2019!

Throughout her presentation, Victoria stressed the importance of planting zone appropriate material in our gardens.

Victoria ended her presentation with these encouraging words….”It is going to thaw  and it is almost time to start planting!” Everyone left the meeting with a smile looking forward to getting into their gardens soon!


April 2 ….Victoria Whitney of Griffin’s Greenhouses in the Peterborough area will share the new plants for 2019.

April 26 from 5-9, April 27 10-5 and April 28 10-4…Peterborough Garden Show at Fleming College,


 Admission $10

May 18…Plant Sale at Tweed Memorial Park; Plant drop off by 7am, sale opens at 8am


April 27…Spring AGM hosted by Rideau Lakes Group. If you wish to attend, please register with our club.

Adding Pollinators

Maya Navrot (left) spoke to members of the Horticultural Society about establishing pollinator friendly gardening. At right is Elizabeth Churcher of the Tweed Horticultural Society.

Layers of ice and mounds of snow did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society members as they welcomed Maya Navrot as their guest speaker for the March meeting. Maya is the Education and   Stewardship Coordinator for Quinte Conservation.

Through her photo presentation, Maya illustrated how yards, garden spaces and even patio containers can be established to help pollinators. A number of different gardens were presented from butterfly planters to naturalized wildflower meadows.

Maya shared ideas about planning a pollinator friendly garden as well as native wildflowers and shrubs that could be incorporated into these gardens. She discussed the importance of pollinators in our environment and in our daily lives.

Shot of the front entrance of the Quinte Conservation headquarters.


April 2 ….Victoria Whitney of Griffin’s Greenhouses in the Peterborough area will share the new plants for 2019.

April 26 from 5-9, April 27 10-5 and April 28 10-4…Peterborough Garden Show at Fleming College,


 Admission $10


April 27…Spring AGM hosted by Rideau Lakes Group. If you wish to attend, please register with our club.

Call of the Forest

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society greeted the first meeting of 2019 with enthusiasm….spring must be in the air……in spite of the icy snowbanks and the forecast for wintery weather until mid-March!

The film “Call of the Forest” featuring scientist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger was shown. Following the film, Jim Pederson, from Tweed spoke about native trees and how to obtain seedlings.


March 5 ….The topic of this month’s meeting is “Pollinator Friendly Yards” presented by Maya Navrot who is the
Education and Stewardship Coordinator for Quinte Conservation. Her presentation will highlight how yards, garden spaces and patios can help pollinators.

March 22… Bus Trip to Ottawa Home and Garden Show. Cost $75 which included transportation and admission. For more information, contact Linda @613-478-6850


March 8-17…National Home Show and Canada Blooms at Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Welcome Christmas 2018

The Christmas season for 2018 was officially under way when Penny Stewart spoke about getting Christmas planters ready for the holiday season at the November meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Penny is a Director of the District 3 OHA and a member of the Gananoque Horticultural Society. Her lively and entertaining talk certainly put the members in the holiday spirit!

Penny’s talk was entitled, “Cheap and Cheerful Holiday Decorations on a Shoestring Budget” and her presentation was filled with numerous creative and inexpensive ideas for members to use in their Christmas decorating.

Your own garden is the best source for your holiday decorations….greenery-jack pine, white pine, cedar, red and gray dogwood, blue spruce. The container/pot can be spray painted to give it a festive look. You can use a variety of greenery or just one kind….the choice is up to the individual and the look you want to achieve.

Seed pods, pine cones, fern fonds, milkweed pods and even zebra grass give a natural look to a planter. Dollar store decorations can be added to the arrangement or it can be totally natural…..again personal choice. A good tip Penny shared was using balls attached with glue to barbecue skewers…..this will hold the balls in place during the season.

Penny shared some hostess gift ideas during her presentation. Many of us love giving amaryllis bulbs as hostess gifts…after all we are gardeners! However, most of us simply put the box containing the bulb in a gift bag, attach a tag and present it to the recipient! Penny took this gift one step further….presoak the soil., leave 1/3 of the bulb exposed above the soil, add remaining oil, place a serviette or coffee filter with a hole cut in the center for the bulb on top of the soil (this will act as a barrier), add decorative beads or tiny pine comes on top of the “barrier”. The barrier will keep the soil in place when watering. Balls, bows, and pine cones attached to a skewer can also be added for truly festive look.

Paper whites can also be done in a similar way and the pea gravel can also be sprayed gold to rest on top of the barrier.

Penny recommended using coated wire when making door swags to prevent scratches to the door. Simply use 3-4 evergreen boughs for the bottom and then use shorter boughs for the top of the swag. Adding lavender to cinnamon sticks gives a lovely scent. Berries, balls, ribbon etc can be added to the swag.

Sources for decorating on a shoe string….local thrift stores, garage sales in the fall, your own garage and garden shed, dollar stores, your own garden and even the roadside!!! Penny definitely showed the members that holiday decorations can be created “on a shoe string” and look stunning!

The AGM was held at the meeting. The financial report was presented and approved. The slate of officers was presented for 2019.


 December 4…Christmas Pot Luck Dinner @ 6 pm. Bring your favourite pot luck dish, dessert, plate, utensils and wine glass. There will be the annual power point presentation of the club’s activities throughout 2017. Pins will be presented to qualifying members for their years of service to the club. Bring quarters to play “Quarter Frenzy”….always a lot of fun!

 Volunteers are needed to help set up for the dinner. Meet at the library at 1:00 on December 4th.




Never Too Early to Start






Tweed and District Horticultural group welcomed a group of young gardeners to their October meeting. These young gardeners shared their geranium plants that they had grown from a cutting they planted in June under the guidance of Joan Morton. The children were very proud of their results; in fact one plant was bigger than the gardener!!!! Unfortunately, one little gardener has no plant to show as the ducks walked all over her plant! The mini-gardeners were presented with a gift bag of spring bulbs to plant in their gardens. According to Joan, next year’s project will be planting potatoes.

Garlic Talk

Club members Dorothy and Viren Oogarah shared their garlic growing adventures to a large audience at the September meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Although Dorothy and Viren have an extensive flower garden, five years ago they decided to start growing garlic. Dorothy does the planting and harvesting while Viren looks after the soil preparation and marketing. Their high quality garlic harvest earned them the title, “Eastern Ontario Garlic Grower Champion” in 2017!

Garlic is one of the most widely consumed alliums and has many health benefits besides adding great flavor to food.

Garlic requires well drained rich soil in full sun. The soil ph should be between 6-7.5. The cloves are planted in September, rest over winter and are harvested in July.

The Oogarahs have 4 acres on their property devoted to garlic and they harvested approximately 3500 bulbs July, 2018…and we all remember the unrelenting heat during that month…many days 40 plus degrees!!!

Raised beds are used and the cloves are planted 4-6 inches deep using a dibble rake. The cloves are covered with soil and mulched with 4-6 inches of clean straw after the first freeze. The cloves rest during the winter months.

In the spring, the mulch is moved aside to speed up growth. An inch of water per week is required. Weeds are pulled. The scaps are removed to entice the bulb to grow larger. The scaps are used for salads and pesto.

During the harvest in July, the soil is washed from the bulbs and the roots are trimmed. Each bulb is carefully checked for pests. Bulbs are graded using a template and hung to dry as they bruise easily. It takes approximately 4 weeks for the bulbs to dry. Some of the bulbs are saved for future planting.

The Oogarahs sell their garlic at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. They advised members to be sure to purchase seed garlic from reliable organic farms for best results.

By the number of questions asked following the Oogarah’s presentation, many members must be considering growing garlic!



November 6…Penny Stewart will discuss “frugal” decorating for Christmas. The AGM will be held. The Financial Report for the past year will be presented for approval.


October 13 or date to be decided depending upon the weather…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at Moira Garden. Email will be sent with details.

District 3 Fall Meeting will be held in Kingston in November. More details to follow.