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It's Still Just Dirt - Angela Lassam

A great meeting was enjoyed by Tillsonburg Horticultural Society members where Matt Fenn of Garden Gate demonstrated how to do a succulent bowl for indoors, although it could also be a base for a miniature garden.

He said there is a trend for air plants. They are known as epiphytes and have no soil generally and they are attached to host plants/branches using thread or wire (even hot glue). They feed through trichomes (hairs or prickles). The offsets are called “pups” and when 2/3 of the mother plant in size will make a new plant. They are easy and need very little care, just misting. Orchids are in a similar category and he warned failure is usually too much watering – an ounce of water a week is all they need. Both like sunny locations.

Garden Gate has some new products with the usual tried and true ones. There is Stump Remover which is easy to apply and this year we have many damaged trees to cut down. Super Hunter is a new wild animal repellent. Wilson’s Weedout is a new lawn weed killer but it is available only in a limited supply. Japanese beetles are common in all our gardens and this year there is a larger reusable catcher bag available. The Safers kit and accessories is available as usual at Garden Gate.

New vegetable seeds are GMO free from OSC. They have leaf lettuce which is slower to bolt, a spinach that is a hybrid, also bolt and disease resistant. Cumin has been added to the herb section.

The flower section has new varieties of Marigold that are dwarf, lemon and orange color. Cosmos appears as some new names. Cupcake (a white/pale pink) looks like a paper cupcake case. A pale yellow one named Xanthos and a white one called Mini Click.

A new rose has come onto the market from the Vineland Research Centre but started its life in Manitoba - the Canadian Shield Rose (vibrant red), the first of a series called 49th Parallel. A limited supply will be in selected nurseries. Most nurseries are already preordered and out of stock.

Perennial of the year is Echinacea Puff Vanilla which is an ivory flower with double anemone type blooms.

The Annual Plant Auction is set to take place once again in the Lions Auditorium in Tillsonburg Community Centre. There will be the usual live auction of plants, trees and garden decor at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16th. Doors will be open at 5:30 p.m. for the Toonie table, $5 table and Bake table. Also the Draw table with many donated items for you to try your luck.

I hope that members have started seeds, maybe potted up some perennials or bulbs (lilies are popular). The crafter members always do great garden décor so hopefully we will see some this time. Then the bakers usually contribute to the bake table, so anyone can help make this a great event.

Funds raised at this important event allow the society to do various ventures in town - Annandale House, Station Arts Centre, Livingston Centre, Royal Canadian Legion, Woodingford Lodge and Senior Centre gardens. There is also the Junior Gardeners Competition where volunteers take a large interest in encouraging the young gardeners of tomorrow.

The newest fundraiser, called the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society Town-wide Commercial Urn Beautification Project, has started with advertising by both the local radio and newspaper and members have now distributed the information sheets. We hope the local businesses will come together and participate in this. It is a new venture and now we need the support necessary to make a statement throughout the town. Please everyone give this your consideration, deadline is April 20th.

The next meeting for the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society is Tuesday, May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Auditorium, Tillsonburg Community Centre. Stephen Douglas, an expert on Hostas, will tell us all about new varieties and bring some samples to be given away. There will be sign-up for the Spring Buying tour. Non-members welcome, come and make some new friends. Membership $15 per year.

For information about the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society visit online. Also find us on Facebook - Tillsonburg Horticultural. 


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