President's Message 2021

By Jill Thomson

This has been another difficult year, but our society has come through it well, with 95 members to date, and likely more people will buy a membership at the Spring Plant Swap and Sale, to be held on May 29th. It is so good to be planning “in person” events again, you can check for the scheduled events on our website.

The Board of directors held 4 meetings since our last AGM, 3 outdoors in the gardens of Pat Wilson, Bernadette Vangool and Janelle Unrau, and the 4th by Zoom in February. It was very pleasant to meet outdoors, with a chance to visit lovely gardens, we might want to continue this, weather permitting of course.

Your board of directors continues to try and provide activities and information relevant to the gardening community. We all work together on current activities, with certain people leading the way for specific projects. Currently the positions held by board members are: Sue Barrett - Secretary and Garden Tour organizer; Kathleen Chipperfield – Face book manager, Vice President; Deb Huculiak – Plant Sale selection committee; Bev McLeod – Librarian; Jill Thomson – President; Janelle Unrau – general assistant; Bernadette Vangool – Treasurer, Web-site manager, Labour and Learn Coordinator; Criss Wiercinski – Plant Sale selection committee, Hospitality coordinator; Pat Wilson – Plant Selection Committee, Garden Tour organiser. It is fun and rewarding to be part of the team that organises the society events and if any member would like to “come on board” please contact me.

We were able to hold a Plant Sale (no Swap) in the spring, and member response was enthusiastic. Criss Wiercinski, Pat Wilson and Deb Huculiak selected the plants and put in the order, and Bernadette Vangool organised payment and pick up. The final selection was a little disappointing because our supplier did not send the number and variety of plants we had ordered. This was likely due to the increased demand for plants by the larger retailers, as many people took up gardening as an excellent hobby to combat Covid blues!

In the fall we also held a Plant Swap at our usual Forestry Farm venue. Approximately 40 people attended allowing us to follow the guidelines for preventing transmission of Covid. There were many plants available and we anticipate our Sale and Swap this spring will be very popular.

The Garden Tours were postponed, but we hope to hold one in summer 2022. Similarly we did not participate in Gardenscape in person in 2021. However Bernadette Vangool , Pat Wilson and helpers continued to work outside to maintain the Meditation and Rose gardens at the Forestry Farm. Thank you to all the volunteers who worked hard to make these gardens a peaceful and pretty place for the public to visit.

Just after the Christmas holiday, we received the very sad news that Nancy Senior had died unexpectedly. Nancy joined the board of directors in 2018, and always made valuable contributions to our discussions. She and Bev McLeod worked hard to reorganize and catalogue the society library books. We will miss her very much.

The society continues to provide weekly gardening articles to the Bridges newspaper. I would like to thank Michelle Petrisor who does an excellent job as the Garden column coordinator. The articles are posted on our Face book site, along with gardening videos selected by Bernadette Vangool. If anyone has suggestions for topics that could be discussed, or would like to write an article for Bridges, please contact me.

Our membership cards have a list of stores that offer discounts to members. I wish to thank the participating stores very much. Please support these local stores if possible, and note that some offers are for purchase of perennials only. The participating stores are: Early’s, Floral Acres, Mother Earth and Wilson’s. Lakeshore and Dutch Growers have not yet confirmed participation, but as soon as we have the final list we will post it on our website.

We have successfully weathered the second pandemic year, and now I hope that it will become easier to hold activities where we can enjoy meeting in person again. Thank you to all the members who continue to support the society, I look forward to seeing you at garden events in the coming year.