“Hanging of the Green”

The Chester Garden Club’s traditional “hanging of the green” took place on a cold and windy November 24th when about 15 garden club friends gathered at the village bandstand.

New members were welcomed to the decoration crew who weathered the sudden drop in temperatures and enjoyed this years holiday decorating. With guidance from those more experienced, volunteers fastened evergreen boughs and strands of coloured lights to its railings, accomplishing the annual bandstand seasonal greening in record time.

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Within an hour, tools were put away and the whole crowd retreated to Heather’s to warm up with mulled wine, homemade soup and goodies.

The following pictures show our collective achievement and enjoyment. 

 

All done…

20181124 Myra's

The Warm Up…

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Posted in Autumn, Community Service, Evergreens, Gardening, Seasonal chores

“We’ve Got Talent”

In light of the upcoming holiday season, which seems to be quickly approaching, Chester Garden Club members and guests were invited to put on their creative hats, give each other inspiration and encouragement and create a seasonal arrangement.

 

In preparation for Monday evening’s workshop, on a beautiful cool crisp morning with snow flurries in the air, woodland and garden treasures were gathered. Gorgeous greenery such as Fir, Pine, Hemlock, Cedar, Juniper, Euonymus, Boxwood and Holly predominated.

 

Members also gathered dried garden and roadside perennials and woody stems to share. Ribbons, baubles and glitter helped complete the works of art.

 

Focusing on enjoying each others company, having a great time choosing materials and of course learning, ( Next you’ll start “Greening it up”) we created together using a mixture of the seasons best greenery, woodland treasures and seasonal accents.

 

Best of all, we all got to take home our unique designs.

Have a look “ We’ve got talent ”

Posted in Autumn colours, Crafts, Evergreens, Floral arrangements, Gardening, Nature's Designs, Seasons, Softwoods, Trees

“Distracted”

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Robins having a meal in the Pyracantha ( Firethorne)

 

I have been distracted as I have been gardening this fall. Many of the familiar birds are heading to warmer places and stopping for nourishment along the way and the regular fall and winter residents are gathering in old familiar places.

 

As I ready the gardens for winter I am leaving the perennial seed heads standing, giving the birds the food they are searching for and me the pleasure of their company.

I am reminded that I can help our plants along by giving them a bit more of what they need to survive; water, nourished soil and the optimum placement .

Watering when it is dry, adding high nutrient compost when they are actively growing and pruning all but spring flowering shrubs during the winter when they are defoliated and dormant are good gardening practices.

Mulch, which can be spread at any time, is particularly timely for fall. The garden expects organic material, just like the forest expects fallen leaves. Leaves and debris settle as mulch during the fall rains and winter snowfalls, helping to retain moisture and inhibit weeds.

Our gardens can then do “What Comes Naturally”

 

Now, I just need to get back to fall gardening chores and stop being so distracted by the birds.

Posted in Autumn, Birds, Endangered Species, Environmental issues, Flowering shrubs, Gardening, Nature's Designs, Perennials, Seasonal chores, Wildlife

Apples Anyone ?

 

We all enjoy apples for attributes like great flavour, crunch and versatility. Have you ever wondered where apples come from?

Dr. David Maxwell had members and guests full attention as he described his passion to help ensure heritage varieties continue to grow and produce.

 

He guided us along explaining the botany and history, as well as the factors determining the ascendance and eclipse of particular cultivars using visual examples of treasured varieties, many that he grows.

Apples originated in Kazakhstan where they grow as small as grapes and as large as pumpkins. They need to be humanly grafted on suitable root stock to reproduce. There are more than 12000 named cultivars that have been selected for climate, purpose, season, keeping, disease resistance, resistance to shipping, taste and modern marketing. For example a recent cultivar, the Honey Crisps, were created by market demand for large size, sweetness, colourful appearance and, of course, crispness. We all have our personal preferences for eating and cooking and some were surprised to learn that Bramleys are the premier cooking apple of the world.

Click on any picturefor a slide show

After his informative presentation on the attributes of apples, Dr. Maxwell treated members to a variety of tastes of apples, apple crisp, apple sauce, apple jelly and apple cider. Members enthusiastically took up the challenge to discover which apple tastes they preferred, choosing from over 15 varieties.

Apple anyone?

Posted in Apples, Endangered Species, Environmental issues, Fruit, Gardening, Trees

Opportunities

The Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs is an organization made up of Garden Clubs, Horticultural Societies, and Speciality Plant Societies from 7 districts across Nova Scotia. Chester Garden Club is one of seven clubs in District 6, the south shore. Each year, one club in each district takes a turn and hosts a meeting, inviting members of all clubs in the district to attend.

On October 13th , two members from our club were among 25 guests of Liverpool Garden Club. In a warm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere we were welcomed and enjoyed and challenged by two excellent presentations.

 

 

Speaker Emily Liot’s topic was Composting. Her passion is Red Wigglers. – Vermi-culture.

 

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Mary Lou White spoke passionately about the needs in Nova Scotia regarding Food Security. She described the issues and her support and work building and encouraging Community Gardens, providing education and giving families hope for more in the future than food banks.

 

 

IMGP8183Door prizes included garden produce and other gardening related items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a delicious lunch we were encouraged to visit Cosby’s Garden Centre and take a walk through the fall foliage to view the incredible work of Nova Scotia sculptor, Ivan Higgins.

 

 

Thanks to Liverpool Garden Club we had fun,we learned and we were challenged to create and also to support ways to make a difference for others in our communities and province.

Posted in Community Service, Garden Clubs, Gardening

Thanks

The more often we see the things around us, even the beautiful and wonderful things, the more they tend to become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the sunshine, the rain, the flowers & garden produce, the trees, the animals & birds, even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.

Several garden club members and gardening friends have shared pictures and thoughts of garden gifts in the fall; a reminder to all to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, SMELL, TOUCH, TASTE AND SHARE.

Jayne: “Love this time of year”

 

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The 8th generation Campbell property today with a bounty of freshness.

 

Sheila: “AJ researched for the  Flower Show Victory Garden and her design later produced these wonderful Cucamelons and Peppers”

 

Carol:“Yum! My first cantaloupe ever and some squash.”

 

 

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Myra: “Red from my neighbour’s garden and yellow from my garden.” 

 

Brenda:”A collection for our favourite fall variety of dishes: cucumbers and cream, relish, jams, soups and others. 

 

Sheila Soestmeyer

Sheila: “I was inspired to forage for mushrooms at our September meeting. Pizza tonight”

 

 Shirley: “You can’t eat these but they are lovely” – Jane “Yummy Bundle” – Myra: “My Pickerel Frog”

Lets remember to give thanks

For food in a world where many walk in hunger

For faith in a world where many walk in fear

For friends in a world where many walk alone

 

Click on any picture for a slide show

Posted in Autumn, Community Service, Crafts, Gardening, Seasonal chores, Vegetables

Gardener’s “Pot Luck”

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Chester Gardeners, who are usually busy with garden or flower design, occasionally shed their “play” clothes and show off their culinary design skills.

Click on any picture for a slide show…

 

 

Members and partners, looking forward to seeing gardening friends, conversation and a wonderful variety of dishes, arrived on the warm rainy summer afternoon for the annual “Pot Luck” held at Jayne & Keiths beautiful shore property.

 

 

The windows in the rainy weather allowed time out in the beautiful gardens and some found a spot with a view to enjoy their meal out of doors. The variety of beautifully displayed foods enjoyed by all were soon only empty dishes.

 

Thanks to all and especially our hosts, Jayne and Keith, everyone had a most enjoyable time.

 

 

Posted in Gardening