And 2020 Begins…

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society were excited to attend the first meeting of 2020…a sign that spring is coming in spite of piles of snow and the Groundhog’s predication of six more weeks of winter! Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson shared photos of their “Garden Friends at Hepatica Hill”. Hepatica Hill is the name of their 100 acre farm south of Tweed.

Elizabeth and George are active members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society.

Elizabeth started the presentation by a photo walk through their property highlighting their various gardens. They like to think of their 100 acres as one large garden overflowing with flowers, trees, bushes, shrubs, herbs, vegetables and fruit.

They try to plant a variety of tree, bushes and shrubs to provide shelter for the different wildlife that come to visit their property…and they are always welcome!!! In fact, Elizabeth and George even plant extra crops so the wild life can enjoy the produce just like they do!

Their plants are carefully chosen so they will attract pollinators to their gardens.

George, an avid photographer shared photos of the various wildlife that have visited Hepatica Hill throughout the years. Butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, bees, spiders, frogs, toads, salamanders, milk snakes, garter snakes to mention a few. Many species of birds have also been spotted on their property….red headed woodpeckers, Baltimore orioles, tree swallows, bluebirds, juncos, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals and even a great gray owl (twice in 46 years but George has a photo of this!) Mammals also drop by to visit…red squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, porcupines and of course deer.

Elizabeth and George have implemented strategies to support a harmonious relationship among all living things on their property…and it seems to be working judging by the beautiful plants and wildlife seen in their presentation.


March 3 …Kailey Bosch, owner of Melrose Market Garden will discuss ways to help members grow a vegetable garden… planning the garden, seed starting, succession planting, companion planting and creating healthy soil.

June 8…Bus trip to Peterborough to visit gardens and do some spring plant shopping. Cost $40.


April 18…AGM in Ameliasburgh. Register with our Club if you are interested in attending.

April 24-26…Peterborough Garden Show at Fleming College, 599 Brealey Drive.

Happy Holidays!

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed the holiday season with their annual Christmas Pot Luck dinner at their December meeting. Tables covered in bright red tablecloths and decorated with evergreen boughs intertwined with beads, ornaments and poinsettia plants created a very “holly jolly” feeling to the meeting room at the Tweed Library.

The dinner was just as amazing as some of our members’ gardens…..roast turkey, ham, quiche, and a wonderful variety of salads, meatballs, veggie trays, rolls, potatoes and several vegetable casseroles. The dessert tables were filled with cookie platters, pecan pie, apple pie, cakes, tarts and squares…a wonderful variety for that sweet tooth that we all have during the holiday season!  A variety of punches completed the menu!

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

Members enjoyed Linda Holmes’ annual video presentation that showcased the speakers and club activities during 2019. Our club had a busy year as seen in the presentation. Many thanks to Linda for continuing to coordinate this presentation as it was certainly enjoyed by all.

Then it was time for “Quarter Frenzy”….a bidding game that used quarters. Valerie and Dave did a wonderful job showcasing the prizes and encouraging everyone to keep bidding! Laughter and the sound of quarters dropping into cups could be heard throughout the room. Lots of excitement as members bid for the prizes…and several members won more than one prize!!!! Members were also given the opportunity to win a poinsettia plant….lots of fun was had by all!!!

Wishing all our members and their families a joyous holiday season and best wishes for 2020!

NOTE: First meeting for 2020 will be Tuesday February 4th @ 7:00 pm at the Tweed Library.

Annual memberships will be on sale at the meeting.

The Look of Christmas

The scent of cedar boughs certainly made it feel like Christmas at the November meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Sheila Harris, former owner of Dustin’s flower Shop in Belleville shared some of her favorite ideas for Christmas decorating.

Using a grapevine wreath, she had made, Sheila simply added different types of greens to the base of the wreath to create a simple yet stunning wreath. She likes to use natural grapevine to make her wreath rather than using a store-bought wreath. Simply use wire to hold the vines in place and make the wreath the size you want. She used spruce, pine, boxwood and cedar as her greenery. She suggested adding one type of greenery at a time. Push the greenery into the spaces of the grapevine and wire for extra durability. Berries, dried orange and lime slices, hydrangea, pinecones, and dried flowers from the garden are natural embellishments that Sheila tends to use in her wreaths.

A vase with dogwood branches makes an attractive arrangement for the holiday season. She suggested adding slices of lemons and limes to the water as a natural preservative. Adding a few cranberries gives a splash of colour!

Sheila demonstrated how to use a tie a bundle of dogwood branches as the base of a centre piece and added greenery to enhance the dogwood….very attractive! Again, Sheila preferred to use natural embellishments but the choice is yours!

She mentioned that most natural wreaths and centre pieces will dry out in the house unless they are in water. They can last 4-5 days indoors even with occasional spritzing of water. Sheila suggested keeping them outdoors and just bring them in when needed…then put outside again!

At the conclusion of her demonstration, Sheila encouraged members to use the many materials available to make something to take home for the holiday season.

The AGM was held at the meeting. The financial report was presented and approved. The slate of officers was presented for 2020.


December 3…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 2019. 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 3rd.

Canning and Some Salsa

With gardens overflowing with ripe tomatoes, zucchini, onions, carrots etc, members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society were interested to learn tips about preserving their harvest through canning.

Nadine Campeau, the dietitian at Gateway Community Health Centre in Tweed was the guest speaker at the October meeting. Nadine discussed safe ways to preserve the season’s harvest through canning.


-always wash your hands and use gloves if handling items like jalapeno peppers

-use a water bath when canning acidic produce high in salt and sugar

-all jars and lids need to be washed in hot soapy water, air dried and placed in a water canner for 10-20 minutes prior to filling; the snap rings need to be sterilized at 82 degrees for 10 minutes to sterilize; always use new lids and snap rings

-do not touch any area of the jars which will hold the ingredients; use sterilized tongs

-when jars are sealed properly, the lids become concave; if unsure if a jar was sealed properly, keep in the fridge and use within a few weeks

-canned food must be sealed properly to prevent botulism which can make a person very ill and affect the nervous system

Nadine made Peppy Salsa, a Canadian Living recipe…

Members enjoyed the Peppy Salsa that Nadine made at the meeting!


October 26….Garden clean-up. Meet at Moira Garden at 9:00 am

November 5….Christmas decorating tips with guest speaker, Sheila Harris. There will be a hands-on workshop; bring your clippers and supplies.

The Annual General Meeting is held at this meeting. The Financial Report of the past year will be presented for approval.

Seed Saving

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed Karen ten Cate, from Bumblerock Farm located near Roblin to the September meeting. The members were chatting among each about their “harvest” of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, beet, etc. that they have been enjoying. Karen’s talk was a perfect choice for this time of year as it gave members insight into “seed saving” for next spring’s growing season.

Karen, her husband and children grow organic vegetables on their farm and are stewards of a large heirloom seed collection. Honey is also produced on their farm.

Through her photos, Karen shared the secrets of her seed saving journey. Although she has had many successes, she admitted that she had just as many “non-successes” during her learning process. But as she stated, seed saving was a means to keep her “ancestors alive”. She started seed saving with seeds from her grandmother’s garden.

Heirloom seeds offer delicious tasting produce, are locally adaptable and offer a wide variety of colour, shape, size and texture.

It is important to collect seeds that are true to the type of plant you want. Seeds should dried and stored in glass jars that are not completely sealed.

Karen’s enthusiasm about seed collecting was evident throughout her presentation. She loves the fact that she has seeds in her heirloom collection from plants that were grown 100 years ago.

Members were encouraged to attend the Kingston Seedy Saturday which is always held the first weekend of the March Break.


September 17…Garden clean-up. Meet at Moira Garden at 6:00 pm

October 1…Nadine Campeau from Gateway Community Health Centre will be discussing canning. She will do a demonstration on making salsa.

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.