Rododendrons & Azaleas


Cora Swinamer, Landscape Designer, gardener, Atlantic Rhododendron & Horticultural Society member and educator recently treated Chester Garden Club Members and guests to an informative presentation.

Click on any picture for a slide show…

 

Many Rhododendrons and Azaleas, illustrated by her beautiful slides have proven to be hardy in Nova Scotia.

 

Cora described Plants of the rhodo family as Elepidotes, which are the large-leaf plants, or Lepidotes, the small- leafed varieties; or as Azaleas – either deciduous or evergreen. Cora suggested that as a way to remember which description fits which category the beginning of Elepidote resembles the the start of the word “elephant” and Lepidote reminds gardeners of the word “leprechaun”.

We were reminded, like many of the plants we choose for our gardens, site conditions make a difference. Rhododendrons require quality soil with good drainage, thrive in acidic soil, and do well in some shade, although in Nova Scotia, full sun exposure is not an issue. Cora advised that “ the larger the leaf, the more shade the plant can tolerate” and reminded us that stiff winds can cause broad-leafed plants to suffer. Deciduous Azaleas, which drop their leaves in cold weather were suggested for windy sites .

 

Cora shared information on tending to the rhododendron family of plants, including planting, mulching, dead-heading.

 

Slides from several beautiful gardens.

 

Dave assisted with advice about propagating from cuttings.

Those who took cuttings home await spring results of their efforts.

Pictures thanks to Sandy and Brenda

For further information visit: Atlantic Rhododendron & Horticultural Society- www.atlanticrhodo.org

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Posted in Garden Design, Gardening, Rhododendron

Social Views

 

For those who were able to attend this summers garden club annual pot luck at Jayne and Keith’s, it was a special treat. What a nice event… Good friends, good food and a beautiful day. It was nice to see the usual group who attend and especially nice to have some new members attend.

The weather was sunny and warm allowing everyone to enjoy their beautiful property during the late afternoon and early evening.

We roamed the gardens, gazed out to sea, shared conversation, laughter and a delicious pot luck meal.

It was hoped that we would experience one of those glorious sunsets that Jayne had told us about.

… and there it was

Jayne says “A special thank you to those who participated in the pot luck social today… A great selection of food and the weather was beyond beautiful. Being able to mingle in the yard made the day complete. Keith and I love being able to share our home and view with you all. The great selection of foods and friends make it very special.

Thanks Jayne and Keith. It was a special time.

Pictures: Pam, Jayne and Brenda

Posted in Garden Clubs, Gardening, Nature's Designs

Our 2019 Flower Show

IMGP9547As I said in the previous blog post, we were given an inspirational send off as July 22nd week took Chester Garden club and community members to their own and to friends gardens assessing and gathering for the much anticipated annual flower show. Each year our members and community participants have this opportunity to display and view examples of the many beautiful flowers grown in our area.

“The Islands Of Mahone Bay”

This years Theme for our Flower Show and Tea

If you were one of the more than 170 who attended on July 25th, you know just how much there was to take in. The late wet spring had many organizers and participants concerned.

Welcome… click on any picture in a group for a slide show.

20190725_110445The judge and clerks have the first view:

And then the guests:

 

 

However, as soon as guests walked in, the georgeous display showed off the available garden gifts and the many talents found in our community.

 

 

Many hands are always needed to ensure a smooth day. Pre – planning is a must. Our Vice President and convener Esther ensures this event is on track. She is always seen with her notes. There are bookings to be made, the show schedule to design, the tags and signage to procure, not to mention all those needed to help with set up, kitchen help and donations, serving tea, welcome and ticket sales at door and more.

Every entry was a winner in someone’s eye. The judge, president and guests all have opinions. Trophies are awarded. And this year’s winners are:

 

 

The Dudley Lees Trophy: Best in Show – Sheila

 

 

Chester Garden Club Trophy: Popular Choice – Joanne Jellett

 

 

The Johnson Cup: Best Annual Sweet Peas in Class 5 – Sylvia

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The Dena Hennigar Memorial Trophy: Best Wildflower Design in class 54 – Sidney

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The MacAlpine Trophy: Best childrens entry (age 9 to 16) awarded to Danika who was not present. Passed president Mrs Peggy McAlpine’s friend reminded all that Chester Garden Club holds a special place for Mrs. McAlpine.

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The Rose Barkhouse Painting: Best use of Roses in Section D – Sidney

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The F.C. Winfrey Memorial Trophy: Best Specimen in Section A&B- Anita

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The Ruby Pulsiver Award: Best indoor plant in section C – Sheila

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The President’s Award: Members only in Class 49 – Joanne

 

 

Janet Piers Awatd: Best design incorporating water in class 50 – Myra

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The Wilkins Cup: Best Childrens Entry (age 8 & under) Rylan

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The McNeill Trophy: Novice Best in Show – Isabel

AND NOW FOR A FEW MORE PICTURES:

 

 

Thanks to all.

Pictures: Kay, Brian & Brenda

Posted in Children, Community Service, Community tea party, Floral arrangements, Flower Show, Gardening

Mahone Bay Islands

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As a lead in to this year’s Chester Garden Club Flower Show, Syd presented a descriptive slide show for garden club members and interested community guests. There are hundreds of islands in the Mahone Bay and we who live here all have our individual views and favourites.

 

 

 

 

Syd gave us some history, some news about the conservation groups who are working to ensure that some of the treasured islands remain uninhabited and available for enjoyment by all and an overview of many islands near Chester. With pictures and charts he described some of his favourites like Quaker, Meisner’s, Big and Little Fish and others, including Round and Snake, that were part of the upcoming Flower Show schedule which was themed ” The Islands Of Mahone Bay”.

 

 

 

 

A social time followed giving all those in attendance opportunity for thought, questions and discussion.

Members planning to enter the flower show were inspired to create their designs for this years up coming show.

Thanks Syd .

 

Posted in Gardening

Gardeners Tour

Click on any picture for a slide show…

Early in the year our president Jayne had a request from another provincial garden club . Many months of planning with the executive and members of Chester Garden Club resulted in a wonderful July 10th Chester area garden tour day for for the 55 + guests who arrived by motor coach from Bible Hill.

Danielle B with Syd, and Bible Hill Guest IMGP9556

On the beautiful Wednesday our guests who arrived in Chester Basin mid morning were joined by Chester Councellor Danielle and District Director Sue. Dainelle guided the tour to Myra’s, the first of four individual members gardens (Myra’s, Claudett’s, Sandy’s and Cynthia’s)

 

 

Each of these gardens are special with individual uniqueness in design and plantings.

 

 

 

Thanks to Mr. Risley and Gena, greenhouse manager and staff , the Risley Greenhouse Property was part of the days tour destinations.

 

 

IMGP9360The structure, approximately 4500 square ft was constructed for the Risley family apporoimately 15 years ago and is modeled after the formal glass houses at Kew Gardens in England.

 

 

The greenhouse is divided into several rooms. Some are dedicated to growing fresh vegetables for the family. Others are dedicated to annuals for transplanting, overwintering bigger planters and tropicals that are dispersed all over the property during the summer. The large center atrium is an oasis of tropical plants.

 

 

The greenhouse property boasts a large boarder planted with many trees, shrubs and perennials; gardens with annuals for viewing and cutting, fruits and vegetables wich are harvested for use throughout the year.

 

 

The two gardens cared for by a small group of Chester Garden Club members were in pristine condition thanks to those dedicated Garden Club and also Community members.

The trustees of the Cove garden Sheila and Carol provided background information and answered many questions.

 

 

 

Even the walking distances didn’t leave anyone dissapointed. Those who stayed behind enjoyed the parade gardens and ocean scenery.

 

 

 

 

Following the tour an attractive and delicious buffett supper was enjoyed by Bible Hill Guests and the volunteer committees.

A Wonderful Day for all.

Posted in Gardening

“Cool” Gardener’s Sale

 

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The late spring and absence of the usual apple blossoms didn’t slow down members preparations for the annual Chester Gardener’s Sale held on May 25th at the old train station.

 

 

 

Our clubs annual fund-raising gardener’s sale, with proceeds going to Club activities and two garden parks in the village attracted the usual faithful group of full time residents and seasonal visitors alike who enjoy finding special treasures.

 

Jayne and artist Maria Kuttner (2)

 

On display, a raffle (the draw will be at the annual meeting in the fall) this year, was our gift from friend and artist Maria Kuttner. Maria has kindly donated her rendition of our annual event. Along with greeting cards this will help raise funds for our clubs annual commitments.

 

 

 

 

Featured again this year were a wide variety of perennials from members gardens along with many plants and accessories for the garden brought in by commercial vendors. Other surprise items, providing more variety were “gently used” garden tools ready for sharpening at “the Blade Runner” who was on site and a wide variety of gardening books.

 

 

 

 

Marion’s “coffee and muffins” were a warm-me-up addition on the sunny, cool day, a welcome change from the frequent wet weather during May.

 

 

 

 

Now that this once-a-year sale is over, the countdown is on for at home gardening, community gardening, garden tours, flowers shows and summer gatherings.

Posted in Annual Gardener's Sale, Garden Clubs, Gardening, Spring

Painting Nature

 

We gardeners have all admired the art of those who choose nature as their subject. We are keenly aware that nature influences many art forms including painting, floral art & needle stitchery.

Click on any picture for a slide show.

 

 

 

We see artists in gardens, on the sea shore, along rivers, in parks and other outdoor spaces. Some painters paint from a scene, some from a thought and some paint from a photograph.

 

 

 

 

Is there a difference for Botanical artists ?

In May, our Chester Garden Club guest speaker, highly respected and experienced artist and teacher, Margaret Best, presented members and guests a view of the Botanical Artist and Art.

 

 

 

 

Explaining that botanical art is an observational art form and a fundamental requirement is for artists who are guided by science to have a passion for plants. She took us on a historical journey of the history of the artists and transition of this art.

 

 

 

 

During social time many members and guests were in discussion and were fielding questions to Margaret. Chester Art Centre may have some additional students for her future classes.

A gift to Margaret was a Siberian Iris, which is a favourite of botanical artists. It is the Nova Scotia Association of Garden Club plant this year . Siberian “ White Swirl”

Posted in Gardening