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.



Plant Based Foods

Louise Nadeau from Cobourg was the guest speaker at the September meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Louise is a plant based and whole foods chef and coach offering workshops on this topic. Her presentation highlighted ways for people to incorporate more plant based foods in their daily diet.

As Louise stated throughout her presentation, “Our body wants to be healthy!” How to do this…

-cut out processed food which also helps to eliminate glutton

-add 1 green drink per day either as a smoothie or juice

-move from products to produce

-get support from family and friends

-exercise…walking and even just moving around is good

-be mindful of what and when you eat

-add sprouts to diet

-nuts and seeds should be soaked as the soaking wakes them up and they become alive and more nutritious

During the presentation, Louise demonstrated how she grows her sprouts…a handful of sprouts beats out any multivitamin. She discussed the process of dehydration which she uses to make crackers.

Members were invited to sample sweet potatoes and zucchini mixed with a red pepper dressing. Sprouts were added. There were also energy bars to taste.

For more information on this topic, Louise can be contacted at livingwithlivefood@gmail.com



October 2…Dorothy and Viren Oogarah will share their garlic growing adventures in their journey to becoming “Eastern Ontario Garlic Grower Champion in 2017”. They will discuss their successes as well as their challenges as they refined their growing practices.



September 18…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at 5:30 pm at Moira Garden.



Anna Talks about Grasses

Anna Mizyn of Anna’s Perennials in Lindsay.

Anna Mizyn shared her love of perennial grasses at the June meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Anna is the owner of Anna’s Perennials  located in Lindsay.

According to Anna, there are more than 10,000 species of grasses. Her power point presentation highlighted many of the different grasses that she grows in her own gardens. An interesting tip she shared was using her weed whacker to cut down the grasses in the early spring…so much faster than using shears!!!

Why do people plant grasses in their gardens…


-largely unaffected by diseases and pests

-great variety of size and form

-rustling sound in the wind

-deer resistant

-can add height to a garden and even become a focal point of a garden

Anna also spoke about her hardy cacti and succulents that she also grows in her gardens. Cacti and succulents are great plants for gardens as they require no water and are easy to grow. The flowers on the cacti are beautiful.

Visitors are welcome to visit Anna’s gardens….63 Shoreview Road, Lindsay, ON. Anna can be contacted at 705-799-0062 or by email annasperennials@gmail.com

Members work their way through the boxes of plants Anna brought to the meeting.


 July 27-29…OHA Convention in Kingston

August 7…Pot Luck Dinner at  Dave and Rhonda Derrington. Remember to bring your chair, a pot luck main dish and a dessert and your own plates, cups and utensils. Don’t forget a plate for your dessert!!!!

September 4…Join Louise Nadeau, a plant based whole food chef and coach as she discusses how we can easily incorporate more plant based food in our daily diet.


July 17, August 14…Clean up of flower beds in the town. Meet at 6 pm at Moira Garden.

Tweed Agricultural Fair…Theme is “Twist and Shout so 50,s”. Members are encouraged to enter items in the Fair. All entries must be set up by Friday at noon. Tweed and District Horticultural Society sponsors some of the horticultural items. For more information about the Fair, please check tweedfair.net



Another Successful Plant Sale.

Members (and customers) braved the drizzle (and the later downpour) to participate in the annual Tweed Hort Plant Sale on the May long weekend. Trailers and tables full of plants brought many early shoppers.

Spring Talk; Easy Care Perrenials

Spring has definitely arrived (finally) and gardeners in Tweed were excited to hear Dawn Golloher of Gardens Plus located near Peterborough talk about easy care perennials at the May meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society.

When Dawn originally bought the property in 1996, the only garden was a cedar hedge! Now her beautiful display gardens are open to the public and plants are sold there as well.

Dawn’s focus in gardening is growing plants that require very little maintenance once they are established in the garden…and what gardener wouldn’t love plants like this???

According to Dawn, these characteristics are what makes a perennial “easy to care”….

-not invasive

-thrives for more than 3-5 years

-does not require dividing due to clumping

-drought tolerant…water once a week

-resistance to disease and insects

-does not need to be staked or burlapped

-long blooming

…the perfect plant for any gardener who wants to enjoy the garden.


Dawn also shared some tips for planting….

-light conditions for plants is important

-add compost to soil for some plants

-mulch with natural cedar or pine; do not mulch a dry garden, mulching helps keep the weeds to a minimum

Some easy care perennials shown in her power point presentation…hostas, coral bells, clematis, bee balm, cone flower, salvia, sedum and day lilies.

Gardens Plus is located at 136 County Road, Peterborough. Phone 705-742-5918. Gardens Plus is open from Mother’s Day weekend until the end of July from 10-4 Wednesday to Sunday. Fridays 10-7.


 May 19… Annual Plant Sale at Tweed Memorial Park. All plant material for sale should arrive at park by 7 am. Sale starts at 8 am.

June 5 Anna Mizyn of Anna’s Perennials near Lindsay will be discussing winter hardy cacti and perennial grasses. There will be plants for sale!

 June 9…Children’s Program at Tweed Public Library at 10 am. The children will create a seed craft and plant a flower to take home. Pre-registration is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.