Year End Celebrations

It looked like Christmas when members arrived at the December meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural meeting…. bright red tablecloths on the tables with poinsettias and smiling snowmen decorations! So festive!!!

And the meeting was all about celebrating…. not only the upcoming holiday season but members of the club.

2022 was declared the Year of the Garden and our “Garden Hero” for the year was Elizabeth Churcher. Elizabeth works with our club, the St Andrew’s Church gardenand the Gateway Community Health Centre’s garden. Congratulations, Elizabeth!

Valerie Foran (left) vice-president of Tweedhort presents Elizabeth Churcher with her “Garden Hero: award.

Members received pins from the Horticultural Society for their service to the club.  A very special congratulations to Ray and Jean Clark for their 35 years of service! Linda Holmes, Penny Vance and Darlene Elson received their 25-year pins. Congratulations to the members who received their 20, 15,10 and 5 year pins…. the club would not be able to function without your support.

Joan Morton (left) presents Darlene Elson (centre) and Linda Holmes with their 25 year membership pins.

Linda Holmes presented her annual multimedia presentation about the yearly Horticultural activities in Tweed…. gardens, meetings speakers, activities and this year she incorporated the history of the organization into the presentation. Thank you, Linda for all your work in preparing this as it is always enjoyed by the members. 

Finally, it was time to play the favourite Christmas game…Quarter Frenzy. Valerie and Elizabeth did a wonderful job showcasing the prizes and encouraging everyone to keep on bidding! Lots of laughter and smiles were evident as members bid on the variety of prizes…..award winning garlic, honey, bath salts, maple syrup, garden décor and lots of chocolates!!!!

Hands go up for bidding as Valerie and Elizabeth start the quarter frenzy auction.

To finish the evening, a draw was held for the many poinsettias….and more smiles as winners collected their poinsettias to take home. 

The meeting was a great way to start the holiday season with our gardening friends. 

Wishing all members and their families a joyous holiday season and best wishes for 2023!

NOTE: First meeting for 2023 will be Tuesday February 7 @7pm at the Tweed Library. Annual memberships will be available. Guest speaker will be Linda Yorke of The Carpent-Her birdhouses.

A Couple’s Life with Nature

Tweed and District Horticultural Society’s November meeting was brimming with information for the members. Brad King, a director from District 3 Ontario Horticultural Association along with members, Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson were guest speakers.

Brad highlighted the work that the OHA does for its members…insurance rates, liability issues, grants, conventions, programs and fundraising. Volunteer hours from all 267 societies in Ontario are used  to obtain funds for the OHA from the government. He stressed the importance of submitting these hours annually….and as we all know, gardeners are always volunteering!! Brad also installed the slate of officers for the 2023 Executive.

Brad King, District 3 Ontario Horticultural Association Director speaks at the Tweed annual general meeting.

Elizabeth and George, both active members of the Tweed HorticulturalSociety shared their slide presentation, “Making Friends with Nature”.The couple spends a lot of their time in nature and in their garden. Their personal goal is to always try to learn more about nature to develop a deeper understanding of it. Their slide presentation highlighted the many ways they both enjoy and respect nature.

Elizabeth was immersed in nature starting as an infant as she was born and raised on a 130 acre farm just outside of Bancroft. She had “nature’s garden” just outside her door! As a child she was always exploring plants, birds and animals. Her mother was an avid gardener and Elizabeth admitted that she learned so much from her. As an educator, Elizabeth always tried to instill the love of nature in her students.

Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson.

George, on the other hand was born and raised in Toronto near Dufferin Street and St Clair Ave…he definitely did not have “nature’s garden” outside his door. His outdoor experiences as a child were family outings to Balm Beach and Lake Simcoe  where he was intrigued by the clams, crayfish and other fish. George always had an interest in wildlife, birds, insects and aquatic life. George attended the Ontario Agricultural College where he was able to truly connect with nature.

George and Elizabeth are involved in many projects that support nature…building bluebird boxes on their property, reporting bird sightings to various organizations in Canada, completing amphibian and reptile surveys, using the fields on their property to allow birds like the bobolinkand eastern meadow lark to nest, and driving for Sandy Pines, an organization that helps animals injured in the wild.

Their love of nature is seen in their gardens as they grow plants to support nature, for example pollinator gardens for the bees. They have an extensive veggie garden….onions, tomatoes, beans, potatoes garlic, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, squash, zucchini, carrots plus a raspberry patch where Elizabeth picked 90 quarts of berries during the summer of 2022! 

The couple is sharing this love of nature within their local community. They volunteer at their church which has numerous vegetable gardens. This year 650 pounds of fresh vegetables were donated to the Tweed Food Bank. Elizabeth was instrumental in writing and obtaining funds to start this garden on the church property.

By writing a weekly column for the local paper, The Tweed News, the couple shares their passion about nature with a wide audience. 

And according to Elizabeth and George, the best part of all their hard work is taking a moment to sit back and truly appreciate the wonders of nature!

Next Meeting…December 6 @ 7pm; more information about the program to follow

Some Fall Bouquets

The creative juices were flowing at the October 4th meeting of the Tweed and District Horticultural Society. Linda Holmes, a member of the group guided the members as they created a Harvest Pumpkin planter. The tables and even the floor were covered with flowers and foliage to use in the planters…hosta leaves, sedum, hydrangea, zinnias, rudbeckia, ornamental grasses plus much more!!!

To start, the members, cut a hole in their pie sized pumpkin and then cleaned out the seeds etc.…. definitely the yucky part of the process! Next a plastic cup was placed in the pumpkin shell with some wet oasis…making sure that the oasis was a bit above the edge of the cup. Then the fun started…. gathering materials to use in the planter…. lots of chatter as members helped each other and admired each other’s work. The pumpkin lid was attached using a floral pick.

 Special thanks to Linda for her guidance throughout the class….her “students” were thrilled with their final results!

November 1st Meeting

The guest speakers will be George Thomson and Elizabeth Churcher who will share their life’s journey in Nature’s Garden. They will discuss how they support and live in harmony with their natural world.

First Meeting in Forever!!

Tweed and District Horticultural Society held its first meeting since the pandemic on Sept 7 at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church’s community garden. Elizabeth Churcher, a member of both the church and the horticultural society spoke about the community garden.

According to Elizabeth, the Environmental Team at the church applied for a New Horizon’s Grant to establish the garden. They received just over $12,000.

The garden serves many purposes in the community…

  • to provide food for pollinators and people in the community
  • to serve as a teaching garden
  • to provide a relaxing place in the community to visit, find peace and enjoy the garden

Once the grant was received, garden structures were built, seeds were ordered and started. From May to October the garden was planted and maintained.

Fresh produce from the garden is delivered to the local food bank.

In the fall, seeds are collected and sorted to start the planning for next year’s garden.

Some photos from the garden…….

We’re Back!!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Tweed & District Horticultural Society

Returns with 1st Fall Outdoor Meeting Following Covid


St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Community Garden

55 Victoria St. N, Tweed

Elizabeth Churcher, member of both the horticultural society and St. Andrews will lead a tour of the garden giving details about the vegetable and pollinator sections along with stories about activities in the garden. Everyone Welcome. Free Admission. Bring a chair