Plant Sale This Saturday

Saturday May 20 at 8 am at the Tweed Memorial Park
Members are asked to plant their plants as soon as possible for best display.  Please attach a label.  If you have a large quantity of one variety of flowers, it would be nice if you can supply a colour photo wrapped in plastic to help sell the plant.  All plant material should arrive by 7am.  The proceeds of this event help fund the planting of the town flower beds and will also help to fund the paving of the garden paths at Moira Gardens. Donations of plants and bulbs from friends and neighbours are also welcome. Please call Joan 613-478-6115 if you know someone who wishes to downsize their garden and would like to donate plant material.

Inspiration From Around the World

At the May meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society, members enjoyed viewing gardens from British Columbia to Newfoundland and across the ocean to England, France and the Netherlands. Marjorie Mason, from Mason House Gardens in Uxbridge shared her travels through an informative power point presentation highlighting unique features of the various gardens.

Marjorie is a horticulturalist who has been traveling with gardeners of all levels to destinations throughout North America and Europe. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for history and culture was evident throughout her presentation. As Marjorie says, “You go to an art gallery and enjoy the paintings and art work there. The same applies to gardening; you can enjoy the beauty of gardens and never garden!”

According to Marjorie, Mother Nature is the best gardener of all! If she does something, then we should follow her example.

Some of the highlights of the presentation…..

-create a blended hedge-plant different plant material together and shear to create a hedge of various colours and textures

-support vines when they are young (and not necessarily with a trellis)

-it is OK to mix annuals and perennials in a garden

-plant bulbs at the back of your garden and the perennials will cover up the dying foliage

-potscaping…plants in pots….use garbage cans, rolling planters, living walls, troughs (stone or wood)

-put houseplants outdoors in the summer

-days of pristine lawns are a thing of the past…now
”relaxed”lawns are a mixture of clover and wildflowers which is great for the birds, butterflies and pollinators

-create a hedge from your pruning debris


 June 6…John Poland, from Kingston will provide insights into his gardening experiences. He developed a love of gardening by observing and helping his father and these experiences as a young child have helped him as he established pollinator and vegetable gardens on his property.

May 20…Plant Sale at Tweed Memorial Park. Set-up starts at 7 am and sale opens to the public at 8 am.

May 30…Planting the town planters and flower beds. Meet at the lot across from Valumart at 5:30 pm.

July 13…Bus Trip to Mosaicanada 150 at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau.  Price is $45.


Spring Clean Up

Spring is here and its time for the first garden clean up of the town flower beds. We will be meeting at the Moira Garden (near Tim Horton’s) at 9 am. Please bring your gloves, trowels, and snipers. Also if you can bring a container to put the yard waste in while working, then we can dump it in a garbage bag for pick up.

If you are unable to attend Sat., please feel free to stop by and weed when it’s convenient.

We are hoping to get work done on the garden paths this spring so it is so important we get in there and do the repairs needed prior to the paving.

Good Soil

Doug Gabelman, from Thomasburg was the guest speaker at the April meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Doug, a biological farmer or non-conventional farmer or more commonly known as organic farmer, grows vegetables and fruit for a market garden in Ottawa. This year, he is planning to expand into flowers to add to his market garden.

Good soil or dirt (one and the same according to Doug), is 45% mineral content, 25% water, 25% air and 5% organic. The perfect soil/dirt is like “black cottage cheese”….dark in colour and crumbly like cottage cheese.

According to research that Doug has studied, people are turning back to growing their own fruits and vegetables for the nutritional value. Today, there is a much lower nutritional value in store bought fruits and vegetables.

Doug suggested the members refer to the following videos for detailed information about improving soil quality.
Keys to Building a Healthier Soil
Soil and Soil Dynamics

His advice to the members…

  • minimum tilling of the soil…let the earthworms do the work! Good soil needs to be porous to let the plant roots spread
  • use a diversity of plant material
  • limit use of chemicals
  • use raised beds as this helps avoid saturation
  • limit amount of compost…can actually have too much compost


 May 2… Marjorie Mason, from Mason House Gardens in Uxbridge will use a slide show to share her travels to inspirational gardens around the world.  Plant material from Mason House Gardens will be available for sale…CASH ONLY. Please note that this meeting will be help at the White Building. Free for members, $3 entry fee for non-members.

 April 22…Tweed and District Horticultural is hosting this year’s AGM.

April 29…Meet at Moira Garden at 9:00 am for first garden clean-up of the season. Everyone is welcome!

July 13…Bus Trip to Mosaicanada 150 at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau.  Price is $45.

Why Compost?

Dr. Judi’s Kryzanowski’s presentation about “Compost” on March 22 (postponed from February due to weather conditions) presented some “shocking” but very informative material to the members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society.

Through her Powerpoint presentation, Kryzanowski who is an environmental scientist and member of the Stirling Horticultural Society shared information about packaged compost and ways to make our own.

Why should we compost? Composting increases soil nutrients and releases them slowly back into the soil. Astrid Muschalla’s presentation on March 7 highlighted the importance of good soil for our plants and crops so composting tied the two topics together for the members. Compost stores carbon, increases soil organic matter to help hold moisture as well as feeds soil organisms and most importantly it is an organic or natural alternative to chemical fertilizer.

Gardeners can make their own compost or purchase bags at a commercial outlet. Kryzanowski shared a photo of what she discovered in her commercially purchased bag of  compost…a dime, plastic, pieces of metal and perhaps other items that the naked eye could not see. Through the photos, Kryzanowski was trying to show members that compost can contain “biosolids” which is a fancy name for “sewage sludge”….flame retardants, motor oil, personal care products, cleaning products, medical waste, heavy metal radioactive compounds are examples of sludge….very few nutrients for the soil, plants and crops. Municipalities can ban sewage sludge but very few do.

So what should a gardener do??? Although careful reading of labels will help, the ideal solution is making our own compost…then you will know what is going into it.

How do you make compost…..

-collect plant based food and garden waste (suggested avoiding animal waste

-make a “pile” or purchase a bin

-feed regularly

-turn often to aid aerobic digestion

-maintain moisture

-WAIT…often the hardest part!!!

-apply to soil and continue to repeat process


-good items for composting-tea/coffee grounds, pasta, bread, egg shells, raked leaves, wood ashes, hair, dried flowers/plants, wooden toothpicks, twigs/sticks


-items to avoid-fruit/veggie stickers, plastic wrap, rubber bands, dryer lint, dirty tissue, most cat litter, treated wood products, metal


Tips for successful composting…

-air flow is important to ensure ventilation so frequent turning is important (use a pitch fork)

-ph between 6.5 and 8….not to stress about this

-moisture…50% is ideal

-temperature between 55 and 65 degrees to kill weeds, parasites

-keep participle size small when adding to pile

-pile size…1m x 1m x1m

-have a balance of nutrients….brown (leaves, twigs) and green (grass, veggies)

Now that you have this wonderful compost….spread into gardens and dig in with a pitch fork. If you have already completed your planting before your compost is ready, simply side dress around your plants…..result will be an amazing garden filled with plants, flowers and crops that you will know are safe and healthy as you know what went into your compost!!!!


 April 4… Local organic vegetable gardener, Doug Gabelman will share his ideas about the best ways to prepare soil for growing plants and vegetables.

April 7, 8, 9…Peterborough Garden Show takes place at the Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road.

April 22…Tweed and District Horticultural is hosting this year’s AGM. If you can volunteer, please contact Elizabeth.

April 29…Meet at Moira Garden at 9:00 am for first garden clean-up of the season. Everyone is welcome!

For Healthy Grass



Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed Astrid Muschalla to the March meeting.

Astrid who resides on Wolfe Island has been part of Doors Open tours, CTV Garden of the Month as well as showcasing her gardens in various garden tours. She is an active member of SOUL…Society of Organic Urban Land Care.  Astrid’s website can be found here here.

Her power point presentation certainly highlighted the “better way” to look after the soil in our gardens and lawns. Since pesticides do not help our ecosystems, there is a need to take action to protect the earth’s ecosystem. Pesticides do not cure plant deficiencies but they DO poison the soil for developing organisms.

According to Astrid, the ideal soil is 25% air, 25% water, 45% minerals and 5% organic matter. Having that 5% organic matter will reduce the need to water as organic water is great for water holding capacity…and after last summer’s heat and lack of rain, this is important for all gardeners to know. Minerals should not be added to soil unless a professional soil test is done.

Conventional practices of feeding plants with commercial products will kill the insects and pests but does not promote healthy plant growth. Therefore, the pests will return as they thrive on unhealthy plants.

Clover is an added bonus to lawns as it promotes a healthy environment to grass to grow.

Best compost is your own…as Astrid stated, “You would be surprised what goes into some commercial compost!” As a follow-up to her presentation, Astird encouraged members to attend the meeting on March 21 as Dr Judy Krzyzanowski will address the issue of commercial compost.


 March 21 Re-scheduled meeting from February 7….Dr. Judy Krzyzanowski will highlight the regulations governing packaged compost as well as telling how to make our own.

Annual dues can be paid at the meeting….$12 per individual or $16 family

April 7, 8, 9…Peterborough Garden Show takes place at the Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road.

April 22…Tweed and District Horticultural is hosting this year’s AGM. If you can volunteer, please contact Elizabeth. The cost is $20 per person if you wish to attend the meeting. Pre-registration is needed.

Meeting This Tuesday

A little colour to chase away the March winds.

The February 7th meeting was cancelled due to the unfavourable weather conditions.

March 7 Meeting….Astrid Muschalla will discuss how to care for lawns without the use of chemicals.
Annual dues can be paid at the meeting…$12 per individual or $16 family

March 10… Bus Trip to National Home Show and Canada Blooms at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto
Cost…$65.00. See poster below.
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

Annual Christmas Pot Luck Dinner

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society welcomed the festive season with their annual Christmas Pot Luck dinner at the 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.

Continue reading “Annual Christmas Pot Luck Dinner”

Getting Ready for Christmas

Linda Holmes (left) and Wanita DeVries
Linda Holmes (left) and Wanita DeVries

Members of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society had a head start on  Christmas decorating at the November meeting as local Tweed resident, Wanita DeVries shared ideas about using natural items in Christmas items. Wanita discussed using items from nature and previously used items to create one of a kind Christmas pieces for the holiday season. Continue reading “Getting Ready for Christmas”