A New Botanical Garden



Deanna Groves and John Reidi, owners of Quinte Botanical Gardens were the guest speakers at the March meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Through a power point presentation, they shared the development of these gardens on their property north of Frankford on Glen Ross Road.

The gardens were developed on 6 acres of land that was part of their property. Presently there are 13 structures placed throughout the gardens, 23 benches and 3 water features.  The gardens were designed by Deanna to focus on a theme for each garden…..Knot Garden, Oriental Garden, White Garden, Colour Wheel Garden, Edible Garden and Bird, Bee and Butterfly Garden.

The gardens will be opening May 31 this year and will be open from May to October six days a week (closed Wednesdays) from 9-5. The grounds are 100% accessible with seating throughout the gardens. There are washrooms available and restaurants are within a short drive. There is an admission fee of $10 and the tour is self guided.

There are always lots of events happening at the gardens according to Groves…..weekly presentations, teaching/fields trips, seniors programs, memorial plantings and trail gardens to try new seeds. A Tulip Festival is planned in the near future with 40,000 tulips.

Members could be heard discussing plans to visit to the Quinte Botanical Gardens when they open in May. As Groves stated, there is always something new blooming in the gardens…..so several visits just might be necessary!!!


 April 3….Barry Matthie, owner, grower and breeder of Bonibrae Daylilies in Bloomfield will be speaking about daylilies. He enjoys breeding lilies with ruffles edges, gold edges, double edged and specific colour combinations.

April 13-15….Peterborough Garden Show at the Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road. Show hours are Friday April 13, 5 pm-9 pm, Saturday April 14, 10 am -5 pm and Sunday April 15, 10 am – 4 pm. Admission $8.00


 April 28….District 3 Spring AGM hosted by the Stirling Horticultural Club. Please register with our club if you re interested in attending,



Growing Greens and Storing Harvest in Cold Weather

John Wilson

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society were happy to attend the first meeting for 2018…..a sign that spring is coming in spite of the mounds of snow and the Groundhog’s predication of six more weeks winter! Elizabeth Chrurcher shared her experiences using a cold frame and John talked about how he stores his garden produce.

Elizabeth has been member of the Tweed Horticultural Society for over 10 years and served as its President for the past two years. John is the former owner of the organic blueberry patch in Tweed.

Through various methods, Elizabeth is able to enjoy food from her garden throughout the year. She has a cold cellar where she stores beets, carrots, onions and potatoes. Her freezer is filled with beans, corn, garlic scaps, broccoli, pesto, asparagus, pears, zucchini, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches (she admitted that she does not grow peaches!!!), apples, pumpkin and black currents. Her shelves are laden with preserves….beets, dill pickles, salsa, applesauce, chili sauce and tomato sauce. She also dries herbs from her garden…sage, lemon thyme, oregano. Some herbs are kept on her sun porch throughout the winter in pots.

In spite of all the food from her garden, Elizabeth really wanted to have fresh spinach, lettuce, and other greens during the winter months. Her solution…build a cold frame. Using the book, Year Round Vegetable Gardener by N. Jabbour, Elizabeth set out the construct a cold frame.

She highlighted both her successes and areas that are still a “work in progress”….

-use a southern slope and sink the frame into the soil

-use cedar not treated wood to build the frame

-mix compost and aged manure to within 6inches of the top and add mulch to fill to top

-greenhouse plastic….if you can get some

-need to vent….open for part of the day

-watering…let rain do it….can’t get too wet

-brush off snow with a broom

-pick greens at mid-day

-planted….spinach, lettuce (make sure you get the kind of seed that is winter hardy), kale, argula

-plant in early-mid September….will last until early March

-due to very cold weather in December/January of this year, the cold frame did not produce the abundant crop that was harvested in past winters….but it is all a learning experience, according to Elizabeth!!!

John Wilson shared his ideas and practices for storing food from his garden over the winter months. A cold cellar/root cellar needs air circulation and the humidity should be maintained between 85%-95%. 

John’s “Show and Tell” presentation gave the members an opportunity to see the potatoes, carrots, leeks and beets that he has stored in his cold cellar. Cabbages do very well in a cold cellar….they can even be hung. John recommended that potatoes should develop a tough skin before they are placed in the root cellar. Sweet potatoes can keep for almost a year as long as they are “cured” in warm soil for 10-14 days. Sweet potatoes like warm temperature so they are not recommended for cold cellars….simply keep them in a milk crate or cardboard box in a cupboard with 60 degree temperatures.

John plants lots and lots of tomato…..before freezing he suggests removing the core and simply freezing in plastic bags until you are ready to use them for salsa, chili sauce etc. Too many green tomatoes….place in warm dark room or cover with newspaper to ripen.

John uses a dehydrater to dry some of his vegetables, for example zucchini. Samples of John’s zucchini chips were enjoyed by members.

Both Elizabeth and John’s love of gardening was evident throughout their presentations…they love experimenting with different crops, they enjoy the healthy choices that their gardens provided all year and maybe, just maybe a young child will ask them, “Can you show me how to garden?”


 March 6 ….Deanna Groves and John Reidl, owners of Quinte Botanical Gardens will discuss their gardens and the overall plan for their property in the future.

March 9… Bus Trip to National Home Show and Canada Blooms at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. Cost…$65.00. Tickets must be purchased by February 24th. Price includes admission to both shows and motor coach. Bus leaves Tweed at 7 am from the parking lot behind Quinn’s of Tweed. For more information, contact Linda @613-478-6850


March 9-18…National Home Show and Canada Blooms at Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Some Christmas Cheer

Members of the Tweed and Disrrict Horticultural Society ushered in the holiday season at their Christmas Pot Luck dinner on December 5. Bright red tablecloths, fresh cedar and pine boughs, Santa and snowmen figurines and pointsettia plants created a very festive atmosphere.

The members continued to showcase their culinary talents with a variety of delicious dishes….roast turkey, ham, potatoes, vegetable casseroles, bakes beans, meatballs, quiche, rolls and a variety of salads. The dessert table was laden with plates of cookies, tarts, trifle, pie, squares and even grapes for the healthy minded members!!!!  Punch, wine, tea and coffee completed the menu!

Jean Clark thanked the members for their volunteer hours during 2017. The members donated more than 2000 hours to the club through various activities.

Several members were presented with the 5, 10 and 20 year pins to recognize their years of service to the club. Congratulations to these members!

Linda Holmes and Joan Morton shared the annual video that highlighted the club’s activities during 2017…speakers, trips, AGM meetings, workshops, plant sale, 150 celebrations, Tweed Fair….such an active group! The video was enjoyed by all and a very special thanks to Linda and Joan for coordinating this presentation.

Then it was time for……”Quarter Frenzy”….a bidding game that uses quarters to bid. Dave and Penny did a great job keeping the game on track and ensuring that ALL members dropped their quarters in the cup as they bid!!! There was lots of excitement as members bid for the items….shortbread cookies, wine, an enormous poinsettia plant, Christmas cake, maple syrup, birdfeeders, table runners, cookie jars and a variety of Christmas items. Several lucky members won three prizes!!!

To conclude the meeting, members also had the opportunity to win poinsettia plants…lots of fun was had by all.

Wishing all our members a joyous holiday season and best wishes for 2018!


NOTE: First meeting for 2018 will be Tuesday February 6 @ 7:00 pm at the Tweed Library. Annual memberships will be on sale at the meeting.

On Your Mark, Get Ready, for Christmas

 Roseanne Ballast of Stonepath Greenhouses launched the Christmas season for members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society at the November meeting. Through several demonstrations, Roseanne showed members how to create outstanding Christmas arrangements for both indoors and outdoors.

According to Roseanne, a pot/container filled with soil works well for outdoor arrangements. An oasis soaked in water can also be used.  Using different types of greenery…pine, cedar, spruce, hemlock and boxwood will lend a professional touch to arrangements. She suggested using white pine as a “spiller” as it will soften the arrangement. Cedar creates an interesting texture and dogwood adds that hint of a colour. Of course, “glitz” is popular during the festive season. For balance, Roseanne suggests using uneven numbers of these glitz decorations.

Using a metal wreath frame, Roseanne created a wreath of natural greenery. The greenery is wired onto the frame. A bow adds a touch of colour.

Roseanne also demonstrated indoor centre pieces for the holiday season. An oasis needs to be cut to fit the container. This oasis must also be wet to preserve the greenery and flowers indoors. Use real flowers add colour to the arrangement. The flowers do not last as long as the greenery, so Roseanne suggested simply replacing the flowers when they die! A good piece of advice shared by Roseanne is to keep table arrangements low so people can easily talk across the table!

The highlight of the evening came when Roseanne invited members to create a Christmas angel. She supplied the angel frame (made from barn board and cedar),  greenery, wire and ribbons….and the room was suddenly filled with beautiful angels that members were proud to take home for the festive season…..the Christmas season had certainly started in Tweed!


 December 5Christmas 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. 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 5th.

 December 9…Children are invited to create a Christmas ornament. All materials will be supplied. The event tales place at the Tweed library at 10:00. Please pre-register.

 December 15…Luncheon at Club 213 at Loyalist College at noon.



Jenna Empey shared her knowledge of fermentation at the October meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Jenna has over ten years experience in organic gardening and fermentation. She began a small business in Prince Edward County that focuses on the natural fermentation of sauerkrauts, kimchi, brined vegetables and pickles.

According to Jenna, eastern Ontario is a great area to grow high quality vegetables. She only uses local vegetables for her fermentating.  Fermented foods is the new buzz word for one of the oldest way to preserve foods.  All it takes is sea salt, vegetables and time…very low tech the way that Jenna described the process!

Fermentation is good for the digestive system as it contains good bacteria. Fermentation also increases the nutrients in vitamins.

The evening concluded with a demonstration on making a sauerkraut ferment. Jenna started with 10 cups of shredded cabbage and 1.25 tsp of sea salt. Wearing rubber gloves, she massaged and pounded the cabbage and salt mixture…amazing amount of liquid resulted. She then packed the mixture in a mason jar and pressed down with her pounder to pack it into the jar. Cleaning the inside of the jar will help prevent mould from developing. She then filled a small plastic bag with water and placed it on top of the cabbage mixture…to weigh down the cabbage. The lid was placed on the jar…Jenna cautioned the members to “burp” the jar to allow gases to escape. She suggested keeping the jar on the counter for 4 days and taste…if it is acceptable, place in fridge. If not, keep on counter and test on a daily basis until the the desired taste is achieved.

Jenna encouraged member to mark August 4,2018 on their calendars as the Ontario Fermentation Festival is being held at the Crystal Palace in Piction…a great way to learn more about this process through displays, workshops and speakers.


 November 7…Rosanne Ballast of Stonepath Greenhouses will demonstrate Christmas decorations for both inside and outside using local greenery and other natural products.

AGM will also be held at the November meeting.

November 15…Volunteer hours are due. Please submit hours by email to info@tweedhort.ca or call 613-478-5535 for more information.



Master Chefs of Tweed

Elizabeth Churcher, Janet Kennedy and Penny Vance shared their cooking expertise during the September meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society.  The three members of the club focused on using local ingredients in the dishes they prepared for the meeting.

Elizabeth prepared two stews…meat and vegetarian. All the vegetables used were from her own garden and the meat for the stew was locally purchased.  Elizabeth grows her own vegetables and some fruit on her property in Tweed. She loves doing this for a variety of reasons….healthy food, physical activity, helps the environment as she uses no pesticides and the farming is done manually. Her stews contained zucchini, peppers, carrots, dried beans, potatoes, green/yellow beans, garlic, tomatoes and a blend of herbs…..thyme, oregano and savory….all from her garden.

Janet admitted that this year was a challenge for her vegetables due to the rain and cool temperature. Her garlic and tomatoes definitely suffered! She made a cabbage salad using Napa Cabbage from her garden. She also prepared baked beans using her own dried beans and her homemade chili sauce. She suggested growing the beans on chicken wire to prevent mold from forming….especially needed this year with the damp weather conditions.

Penny made savory cheese rounds using cheese from Maple Dale which is one of the two independently owned cheese factories sin the Quinte region. Flour and butter were also locally sourced. Penny also shared information about Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) in the area; she highlighted Earth Haven which is in this area. She brought a bin filled with produce that she has recently received since she is a part on the CSA……great interest was generated by the members about CSA and Penny had brochures and business cards available for members.

Members enjoyed the samples provided from the three chefs. Elizabeth also had extra zucchini so she made a zucchini cake which also a hit with members!


October 3…Jean Empery will discuss organic gardening and fermenting.




Watching Butterflies

Tweed and District Horticultural Society strives to encourage children to learn about various aspects of gardening.  One of the initiatives that has been pursued in 2016 and 2017 is the provision of butterfly kits to our two local schools, St. Carthagh’s Separate School and Tweed Elementary School.  We deliver the Painted Lady Butterfly kits to classrooms in mid-May.  After ensuring that the teachers have all of the supplies they need and are comfortable with the process, we stand back and watch the kindergarten classes enjoy the development of these butterflies from the larval stage through the pupal phase to the mature adult.

 Throughout approximately a month of study, the children observe the butterflies daily and record in their journals any changes that they see.  By witnessing each stage in the metamorphosis of the Painted Lady Butterfly, they develop an understanding of the life cycle of these insects and of the importance of having them live in our gardens.  The students write poems and stories about their butterflies, study the various kinds of butterflies that they may see in local gardens and categorize butterflies using specific criteria.  The children light up their classrooms with their creative and colourful butterfly artwork and they may even sing a tune about their beloved butterflies.  They, too, learn the value of caring for and working with nature.  This wonderful unit of study culminates in the release of the beautiful mature Painted Lady Butterflies.  While many of the children cheer as these majestic insects realize their freedom, some shed a tear at losing such good friends!   

A Gardening Life

John Poland entertained members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society at the June meeting with a power point presentation about his “Lifetime of Gardening”. Originally from England, John retired from teaching at Queen’s University in Kingston and is now focusing on gardening and butterflies. He has written a book…Pictorial Guide to the Butterflies of the Kingston Region.

John’s presentation started with a glimpse at his father’s life in England. His dad started working at the age of 14 for “6 millionaire estates”. He worked in the private greenhouses on the estates which resemble commercial greenhouses that we are familiar with in Canada. In 1945, his dad started his own nursery doing mainly propagating…on average he propagated 75,000 plants annually. He created new plants by cross pollinating. John worked along side his father in the nursery….thus John’s love for gardening!

John shared the development of his garden at his home in Kingston. When he bought the house, there was one apple tree in the backyard….that was the garden!

First John built a potting shed….then a deck…then another deck…..then a greenhouse and finally ponds complete with waterfalls! His greenhouse was amazing…..he grows his plants in the greenhouse…when the warm weather arrives, he folds up the sides on the greenhouse and the roof, adds soil to  the bottom of the greenhouse and plants his flowers right in the greenhouse…..and the result is an amazing garden!

John is also involved in the Lakeside Community Garden in Kingston which features plots of land for families and individuals to grow their own produce, a donation garden, pumpkin patch, garlic field and a native species/butterfly garden. John is instrumental in constructing the Butterfly Garden. He has learned that it is difficult to plan a butterfly garden as you need to have plants that attract butterflies to lay  their eggs in the garden…and  the variety of plants require different soil conditions. He has also learned that it is important to clump the plants in order to attract the butterflies…..this garden is proving to be a challenge that John is enjoying!

A few gardening tips….don’t water plants…this will force them to develop stronger root systems as the roots will grow deep to get water! His secret to controlling weeds….hoe the weeds and he has an amazing tool that allows him to do this!


 June 18…Paper Flower workshop at 10 am at the Tweed Library. Please pre-register.

July 7-9… Tweed Agricultural Fair….please see members booklet for more info.

July 13…Bus Trip to Mosaicanada 150…..FULL

July 21-23…OHA Convention in Richmond Hill.

August 1…Potluck dinner at 6 pm at Dave and Rhonda’s. Remember to bring your chair, your favourite potluck main dish and dessert, cup, plate and utensils.

September 5…Cooking with club members. Samples and recipes will be available!


  • Tuesday June 20
  • Tuesday July 18
  • Tuesday August 15

…Meet at 6 pm at Moira Gardens





Great Year For Plant Sale

A banner year for the Tweed Horticultural Society’s annual plant sale held on the Victoria Day weekend in Memorial Park. The lack of chestnut blossoms on the park trees this year was more than made up for by the sales of donated plants.