Christmas Potluck

Once again members of the Tweed Horticultural Society showcased their culinary talents at the group’s annual Christmas potluck dinner on Tuesday December 6, 2011. The tables were decorated with evergreen intertwined with ribbons and balls. Poinsettias added the final Christmas touch and several members won the poinsettias at the conclusion of the evening.

A delicious assortment of hot dishes, salads, rolls and bread as well as mouthwatering desserts was enjoyed by the members.

Janet Kennedy was presented with a gift to thank her for her term as President of the Society.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2012!

The next meeting will be on Tuesday February 7 at 7:00 pm at the Tweed Library. Please note the new start time for the meetings.

Memberships will be available for 2012…$12.00 individual and $16.00 family.

Christmas Decorating

Lynda Akey of Memory Lane in Tweed shared her designing secrets at November’s Horticultural meeting. As Lynda designed the wreath, she talked about some of the “dos and don’ts” to follow when creating floral pieces.

Some wreath designing tips the members learned during the evening….

•when placing lights on a wreath (need approximately 100 for a 30 inch wreath) start with the plug at the base of the wreath

•”fluffing up the wreath” gives the wreath dimension and removes that flat look

•work on the wreath with the lights plugged in

•use three sizes of decorations and use an odd number of the same decoration

•decorate the side so the wreath as well as the front

•if in doubt about a certain decoration….leave it off!!

Lynda recommended using 3M Command Strips to hang up swags on a wall, over a door or around the corners of a door frame.

Members were reminded about the Loyalist Luncheon on Friday December 2 at Loyalist College. Cost is approximately $13.00.

During the months of November and December, Connon Nursery will give 10% of purchase back to Horticultural Clubs…remember to take your Membership card when you are Christmas shopping!

NEXT MEETING: December 6 at 6 pm…..Christmas potluck. Bring your favourite dish. Don’t forget your plates, mug and cutlery.

A Thank You for Us

Al McNeill, chair of the Municipality of Tweed Public Library Board, presents Janet Kennedy, president of the Tweed and area Horticultural Society with a plaque in recognition of the work done by members of the Hort Society to beautify the front entrance of the Library. Hort members, under the direction of Jean Clark, designed and planted the Library gardens this summer.

Apple Talk

Diane and Randy McPherson of Grills Orchards in Belleville were the guest speakers at the Tweed and District Horticultural Society October meeting. They shared the changes that have taken place in the apple industry through the 14 years since they purchased Grill Orchards.

Many of the apple trees in the orchards are being replaced by dwarf apple trees to facilitate spraying (a very costly expense), pruning and picking.

A major change in the business occurred when National Grocers would not accept produce in their stores from local farmers. Since Grills Orchards delivered apples to several grocery stores in the Quinte area, they had to find another outlet for their apples. The result was the opening of a store at Grills Orchards as a way to support local farmers in the area. Locally grown apples, garlic, produce and even meat is sold at his store. The store now boasts a bakery that uses as many locally grown products as possible in the baking of breads and other baked goods. There is even a fudge counter for those with a sweet tooth!

At the conclusion of the meeting, many members had developed an awareness of the need to try and “buy local” in order to support the area’s farmers and economy. As President, Janet Kennedy always says many times throughout the monthly meetings “Buy Local”.

Members of the group had prepared several apple dishes to compliment this month’s topic. Members nibbled on a variety of apple treats…pie, cheesecake, muffins, “wedges”, loaves…..everything simply delicious! Some members were fortunate to win some apples from Grills during the monthly draw.

NEXT MEETING: November 1, 2011

A local designer will share her secrets as she designs and creates a Christmas wreath.

The Annual General Meeting will take place with elections for several positions on the Executive.

Cooking in September

Drew Ferguson and Steve Nicholson, chefs from Loyalist College in Belleville were the guest speakers at the Tweed and District Horticultural Society September meeting. Drew admitted that it was quite a challenge to “have a cooking class without a kitchen” but he managed to give the members a great evening filled with information and yummy treats to sample.

Drew spent some time speaking about water buffalo…meat that is very low in fat. However, the milk products from the water buffalo are very high in fat. As Drew said, “You can’t win them all!”

Drew spent part of the evening providing tips about growing garlic as that is what he is known for in the Tweed area. In a 4×8 plot, he can grow 100 plants. He recommends using organic materials to help the bulbs grow. Although he uses straw to keep the weeds out of the garden plot, he told members not to till the straw into the soil at the end of the season as it is too much fiber for the soil.

Drew and Steve served members water buffalo meatballs and a pasts dish with “Pronto Tomato Sauce”….as Drew said with all the tomatoes in people’s gardens, he thought this recipe would be a good way for members to use their tomatoes without having to cook sauce for hours on a hot summer day! For the sauce he used tomatoes (suggested Roma tomatoes), red onion, fresh basil, salt, pepper and garlic scap. As usual, Drew doesn’t give exact measurements!! The sauce can be heated and mixed with pasta (as the chefs did at the meeting) or used as bruscetta on bread or served over chicken……members raved about the sauce and some lucky members won some sauce as the door prizes!

NEXT MEETING: October 4, 2011

A local supplier will speak about what is involved in growing apples. President Janet Kennedy encouraged members to bring apple creations…either a craft or food to share for the meeting!

Garden Art for Cheapskates

Dianne and Gary Westlake ( of Peterborough were the guest speakers at the Tweed and District Horticultural Meeting on June 7, 2011. The topic of their presentation was “Garden Art for Cheapskates”

Using a power point presentation, Dianne and Gary gave many helpful tips and ideas to enhance gardens “on the cheap”. As Diane stated, they do not like to throw anything out, so they are always looking for news way to reuse items in their garden.

Gary said that garden art sets the tone for a garden but he also warned the audience that more is not necessarily better. Dianne and Gary get their ideas by touring gardens and incorporating ideas they have seen into their own garden…..gardeners are always so willing to share their ideas with each other according to Dianne.

Garden art can be as simple as painting on an interestingly shaped rock or hanging a bed spring on a wall for clematis to climb on.

Many tips were given throughout the presentation. To make cooper looked aged, Dianne suggested using vinegar and salt and spraying the solution on the copper. Stepping stones can be made by using cement and extra large leaves like elephant ears or rhubarb. Dianne feels all gardens need stepping stones to walk on during the spring when gardeners are dying to get out into the garden as soon as the last bit of snow melts! Mushrooms can also be simply made using cement, a colander lined with plastic and a yogurt container for the stem. Or cut a sonic tube to a width of 3 inches, fill with cement and add a Dollar Store trivet.

If you are creating a pathway in the garden, ensure that it is wide enough for 2 people to walk along together (5 feet). Forget about the landscape fabric; remember cheap…just use layers of newspaper and add gravel on top of the newspaper.

The Westlakes’ garden will be featured in Garden Central, August 2011 issue. As they said during the talk…..they just try to put something of themselves in their garden and their presentation certainly illustrated that point.

FLOWERAMA….Friday July 1 at Tweed Memorial Park

Members are asked to bring their displays to the park by 9:00 am on July 1. Sheila Frost, Committee Chair asked members to bring their containers with annuals, perennials and hanging baskets to be displayed. She also suggested categories where the members can use their gardening expertise and creative skills….

•Water and Time Savers

•Cut Flowers arranged in a favourite container

•Hosta La Vista…hosta in containers

•Candles and flowers

•Herbs and Edibles

•Garden Ornaments, indoor plants

•Anything you would like to “show off”

Easy-Care Perennials

Dawn Tack of “Gardens Plus” was the guest speaker at Tweed and District Horticultural Society’s May meeting. Dawn’s presentation showed the evolution of her “gardenless” property near Peterborough to a beautiful oasis of hostas, day lilies and many “low maintenance” perennials. Dawn’s goal is to enjoy her garden-not just work in it. According to Dawn, you don’t need to sacrifice colour, texture or foliage to achieve a garden of easy care perennials. Since Dawn lives in the country, drought resistant perennials are important and she uses mulch as well. Throughout her presentation, Dawn advised members to be aware of the importance of light on their plants. If a plant seems to be doing poorly, there’s a good chance it’s getting either too much or too little sunlight….simply move the plant and try in a new location! As Dawn says, “You might be pleasantly surprised!”

Dawn’s presentation concluded with a slide of her extensive gardens surrounding her farmhouse…..”What a journey and loving it!”

For more information about “Gardens Plus”, check out the website at


1. Plant Sale…Tweed Memorial Park, May 21@8am

2. Flowerama…”Under the Tent” at Tweed Memorial Park, July 1

…Some theme ideas for plantings…hostas in pots, planting in terra cotta pots, candle arrangements

JUNE 7….Meeting will feature Diane and Gary Westlake on the topic of “Garden Art for Cheap Scapes”.

May meeting

Dawn Tack of Gardens Plus will be the guest speaker. She will discuss low maintenance perennials including hostas and daylilies. Meetings are held at the Tweed Public Library, Metcalf St.
Don’t forget the Annual Plant Sale  Saturday May 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tweed Memorial Park. Event takes place rain or shine.

Cam Mather on All You Can Eat Gardening

Cam Mather of Tamworth was the guest speaker at the Tweed and District Horticultural Meeting on March 2, 2011. Mather, author of The All You Can Eat Gardening Handbook and Thriving during Challenging Times: The Energy, Food and Financial Independence Handbook and publisher of The Renewable Energy Handbook for Homeowners lives off the grid and shared his expertise on growing vegetables organically.

Mather’s PowerPoint presentation opened with some background information regarding fossil fuels which likely will cause higher food costs in the future. His talk highlighted the need for proper soil preparation (compost, compost and compost!), weeding, watering, dealing with garden pests and storing the harvest. Mather included photos of different kinds of root cellars that exist and can be built to keep the produce that is grown. The right temperature and humidity in the root cellar is crucial to store the food properly.

Members were invited to ask questions following the presentation and many members purchased Mather’s books which were for sale. “A fantastic informative evening” was the comment heard after the presentation.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday April 5th… Hazel Cook from Blossom Hill Nursery will be speaking about growing and caring for peonies.
Upcoming Events…Canada Bloom Bus Trip….Fri. Mar. 18, 2011

Forest Sustainability

Elizabeth and George chat with Jim Pederson (right)
 from Stewardship Ontario.
Jim was our guest speaker this month.

Jim Pedersen was the guest speaker at the Tweed and District Horticultural meeting on February 1, 2011. Jim is a forest technician who works for the Ministry of Natural Resources. According to Jim, “Hastings County is a mosaic of rich biodiversity from Lake Ontario to Algonquin Park. As one travels through the county it is evident these different landforms promote different vegetation.” Although 45% of the county is forests, people have been “hard” on the forests during the years. What we need to do, says Jim is to work and maintain what we have in our forests. Many members at the meeting were surprised to learn that having a woodlot on their property could result in a sustainable break on their property taxes!

Jim mentioned “Harvest Hastings” which was developed to raise the profile of local farmers and to “buy local”. He said to mark April 30th on our calendars as that is the Community Tree Event in Tweed. On that day, residents are invited to pick up a free tree from a designated location and plant it on their property.

MARCH MEETING: Cam Mather will discuss growing vegetables organically.

CANADA BLOOMS BUS TRIP: Friday March 18, 2011. Cost is 48.00 before February 28 or $55.00 after Feb. 28.