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Swansea horticultural society
SWANSEA HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY
95 Lavinia Ave., Box 104 Toronto M6S 3H9
NEWSLETTER – SUMMER, 2013
Hi Members, The lazy, hazy days of summer are here. But are the days that lazy when we drive 3 hours to the cottage in heavy traffic and upon arrival try to avoid getting hit by a motorized water vehicle while swimming. Summer travel on flights that squeeze us in like sardines is not fun and lest I bring up the loooong airport security checks. And how about city construction woes and our humid heat. What’s so great about summer? None of this happens in winter! Well, perhaps the traffic is just as bad. One thing that stays constant is relaxing in a tranquil environment such as your backyard or going to High Park where there are many quiet areas to enjoy and of course don’t forget the Humber and the lake. You are also invited to visit Mary’s garden – see her article. I sold my house recently and will miss my garden, but I now enjoy the my balcony surrounded by some plants and the parks are not far. So, summer can be lazy and our city can be very hazy.
Not so common Summer Perennials:
: (Echinacea “
Sunrise”) - A tall plant with a long
2013 Officers and
summer bloom and citron yellow flower petals. It is a great cut flower.
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)-
A drought tolerant shrub
with white blooms in summer that attracts butterflies.
Ellen Mitchell 1st Vice President
) -This grouncover is great for dry
shade and it won’t push out other plants. It has pink flowers in spring
2nd Vice President
and its edible red berries can carry on through winter. It’s a good
Our journey in June had interesting surprises. Wine and beer tasting at
Kittling Ridge Estate
in the morning! Or, should I say, pre-lunch tasting.
The pear beer was tasty. Lunch was fantastic and I don’t think anyone
had fault with it. The Edgewater Manor
is an historical home on Lake
Ontario in a beautiful garden setting. Even though we ate inside, the
formal setting was just as beautiful and, most importantly, enjoyed by
all. Bev did not get her salmon, so I offered to her mine after I saw how
luscious the chicken looked. It tasted even better and Bev was happy.
After our lingering lunch we arrived late at the wonderful Burlington Botanical Gardens just in the nick of time for a tour. It was good that we had time to scatter about on our own after the tour. Our last stop was at the Dutch Mill
where we could get lost (literally) and buy practically anything – from plants to household goods, even clothing and baked goods. Shanti was a little disappointed that they did not have a chair in a colour that would co-ordinate with what she was wearing for a picture opportunity!! No place is perfect.
Swansea Horticultural Society Newsletter. – Summer - 2013
~~ Mary Patterson’s Page(s) ~~
Have you ever heard the expression about someone “selling their soul for a mess of potage?”
I’m not sure what potage is, although I’ve always thought of it as porridge made of beans.
Anyway, sitting here with a painful mix of leg cramps/sciatica/arthritis, this old adage came to
mind as I sold the use of my legs this week for the price of digging out two large beds of snow
peas, regular peas and cabbages from our garden so that I could replant everything. The reason
for this foolish amount of work was that we have been robbed by someone who
has sneaked into our allotment garden and stripped the vines of all the remaining
crop and neatly cut out several cabbages; not just one day, but two days in a
row! When they came prepared with a harvesting knife, it was just too much, and
we took the remaining cabbages home before they too disappeared!
There was an article in the Star the same morning saying that there’d been similar activity in other
city gardens, something we used to have happen regularly, but which has been absent the last
few years. I will NEVER plant cabbages again! That’s the crop that seems to attract thieves most!
So it’s back to spinach, chard and other healthy leafy greens for us! And carrots which aren’t so
apparent to “visitors.”
Once again we took advantage of Sobey’s summer sale of mini-potted roses
, each pot of 4 or 5
small rose bushes a mere $2.00! Many of these carry over well through coming seasons in the
front of the border, and a few we’ve had develop into full sized bushes over the years. They bloom
continuously all summer. I dug some up last fall to move, left them in a pail, forgot them until
December and then took these poor frozen things up to the greenhouse where they immediately
came back into leaf and bloom! I moved them back home in the spring, and they took off again
with masses of flowers. Amazing!
A gentle nudge to all of us to remember to pick up more daffodils
at the end of
summer. These are another bargain plant that we buy at Costco, at ridiculously low
prices, some 50 per bag for less than $20.00. We’ve had spectacular blooms from
some of the new “pink” types which the nursery catalogues describe as having “split
coronas” (flattened trumpets, in brilliant pale orange-pink shades, with the petals
quite thick and substantial.) By the way, most bulb catalogues price these at about
$1.00 per bulb, a BIG difference in price! These make an excellent cut flower. Plant them as early
as possible, before the end of Sept., as daffodils, unlike tulips, make their main root growth in the
Remember how we anxiously watch for the first signs of spring? Those ‘species’ varieties of
crocus and tulips often bloom as early as snowdrops. “Tarda” tulips
are a favourite of mine, with
their clusters of star-shaped yellow blooms on dwarf plants appearing easily 3 weeks ahead of
most tulips, and we have others which look even less like tulips which bloom with the early
crocus. If you MUST have true tulip-shaped blooms, try some low -growing Unicum tulips
brilliant vermillion red with green and yellow striped foliage. A show stopping early species variety.
I personally choose early species tulips
and rarely plant the larger “improved” tulips now as, (a)
the squirrels nip off too many of them, and (b) by the time they bloom many other garden
perennials and shrubs are already flowering competing for attention. Species for me!
How did you all fare during the flood of July 8th? I’m amazed at how frail flowers stand up to such
deluges, but we have spent the past few days at our lawn bowling club out in the valley below
Montgomery Inn where the Etobicoke Creek rose up some 15 or 20 feet and covered the bowling
greens with 2 feet of water before receding and depositing inches of sand and silt that has had to
be shovelled away.
Swansea Horticultural Society Newsletter. – Summer - 2013
The steel fences were flattened, and heavy park benches were carried down three hundred feet
until the piled up against a tennis court fence. Needless to say, the clubhouse received a foot or
more of water as well, and there were sandbars across the carpets and locker room floors.and
Swansea and south Etobicoke with the power outages! What a day for us to have been preparing
for a picnic supper!
I bought an excellent flower identification book at the St. Lawrence antique market and plan to
leave it with our flower show equipment so that anyone can look up the right name for their
entries. Also found a tree and shrub encyclopedia at Chapters .a great book and on their $2.00
special table. If anyone brings a picture of a tree or shrub they’re trying to get a name for, we can
look through this as well.
I was down at the St. Lawrence on my way from a second trip to see the Agave
bloom for which they had to cut a hole through the greenhouse roof
at Allan Gardens. As of July 7th, the buds are still fattening and the stalk is the size
of a good sized Christmas tree. We’ll check it again in another week to take more
Our home garden hasn’t got weeded, mainly due to time spent replanting vegetable allotment, (or
at least, that’s the excuse I’m using!), but if any of you pass by our house, the garden gate is
always open, and please walk in and take a stroll around if you like. It’s the first house north of
Bloor, on the west side of Durie St., # 270, with a little greenhouse behind the garage. Don’t wait
for someone to be home.we rarely are, but my mother always said that flowers seem to bloom
best when looked at by visitors.
(Oh yes, and if you want to do any weeding, I can leave out some tools for you.)
Flower Show Winners:
Cash prize: $5.00
Our Annual Plant Sale
on May 11 raised $407.05 plus $65.00 for the baked goods. This was a
great sale considering everyone closed shop early so that they could attend Kay’s 99th Birthday
celebration that afternoon!
The annual Potluck Picnic
was washed out however the news did not get to Beverly Donnelly,
the Muellers, Mary Micek and friend who wound up having a grand time together. They had
enough good food and Bruno was gracious to make the tea to go with the pie and cookies ! They
could have had an even better time if they had joined the dance class - yes they were asked to
Muriel Casey and Marcia Smith for their entry in the
Front Door Patio category at the CNE later this month !
Swansea Horticultural Society Newsletter. – Summer - 2013
Bulbs, Corms, Rhizomes and Tubers
Joanna Blanchard, Toronto Master Gardener
Gardening to Attract Songbirds
Members, please invite friends to attend our meetings. All are welcome.
Containerized plants in various sizes from large to small can create a good screen and
can be more attractive than a fence. Thorny Solution
: To protect birdfeeders from cats and any other interested wildlife, place a large thorny
plant such as thistle or even a rose under the birdfeeder. Weeds:
Weeds are just plants you don’t want in the garden. Early autumn is a great time to weed and
to thin out plants that are growing outside of their boundary. Divisions:
Why wait till spring. Divide large and spreading plants in early autumn. You can still
contribute divisions to the Society for sale. Some plants such as Irises and peonies prefer division in
Happy Lazy Gardening!
If you have paid your membership, Thank You !Our expenses include our informative speakers.
SWANSEA HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY - Membership 2013 Renewal: . New.
Name: (please print) ……………………………………………………………. Address: …………………………………………………………………………………………………. City: .………………………………………. Prov.: .…………………………P/C……………………. Telephone: …………………………………. Dues: Single $15.00 …. . Family $20.00……. Email ………………………………………. Signature: . Cheque payable to: Swansea Horticultural Society
95 Lavinia Ave., Box 104, Toronto, ON M6S 3H9 Attn: Membership
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