Chester, Nova Scotia. Is it really fall?

 

Many Chester garden club members have been sharing wonderful late season pictures that have both pleased and caused many of the gardener photographers concern. When spring plants bloom in the fall, what happens? Will the plant have more winter stress?

Many gardening experts tell us forsythias, and many of our traditionally spring blooming plants can flower in fall when their normal growing season of later spring and summer puts them under stress. Once fall approaches and the weather fluctuates and then begins to cool and regulate, the outdoor conditions might trick the plants into |”thinking” it is time to flower.

So, we are told, the good news with fall flowers is that it usually is not in full bloom and the buds that do not blossom should not damage our plants.

Lets have a look: click on any picture for a slide show of each group.

Mid September Sandy took a walk and noticed all the beautiful hydrangeas blooming around the village.

Sandy also noted a few interesting things at home in Chester.

 

Sandy tells us, for the past few years, Ramapo has been blooming in the fall. If it does so, it doesn’t have a great show the next spring, reminding us rhododendrons set their buds before winter.

Jane W, was both surprised and pleased with a self seeded nasturtium … look at it go. Have a look at other late colors in her garden.

Marion and Barry have created a wild area. The Painted ladies seem to be content with the plan.

Sheila KMR shares what has been happening in her garden.

Brenda also shares a few thrillers from early October.

 

Soon we will have to admit it is fall and start… our next post –

“Putting our Gardens To Bed”.

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Stop, Look, Listen …

Stop, Look, Listen … touch, smell, feel

4 April a visit IMG_3126The world outside our doors are filled with things that buzz, squawk, flutter, scurry, build, burrow, chase and soar. The viewing is fun, free, available 24/7, and there’s always something new!

Many gardeners have been listening to the wild voices, watching their wild neighbours while they work, eat and play – birds gathering nesting material, feeding on berries, seed heads or insects, or enjoying a splash in a birdbath; butterflies and bees sipping nectar from flowers.

Touch a picture for a slide show.

What a thrill! We also have opportunities to feel nature first hand – to smell a flower, to capture silky milkweed seeds on the wind or a “whirlybird” maple seed twirling to the ground below and gather a few pine cones, oak nuts or leaves around us.

 

Some of our members have taken time to relax a little and get closer to nature in their gardens. They just stopped, occasionally, during the summer and early fall, sat quietly and watched what was going on around them; the butterflies, moths, bees, birds and other creatures. Some even created habitat to provide shelter, safe cover and winter hibernation sites.

 

Getting in tune with the living and breathing creatures that are in our gardens is a lot like meditation, a brilliant way to start, incorporate into lunch break or end the day.

Pictures shared : Sheila KMcR, Sheila C S, Sylvia, Jocelyn, Pam D and Brenda … thanks all

Posted in Butterflies, Endangered Species, Environmental issues, Gardening, Seasons | Leave a comment

” Produce to Preserve “

Whether our produce is a native plant, from our own gardens, a local farmers market, a farmer’s co-operative basket program (weekly baskets that include a mix of vegetables, fruits and herbs according to the season) whose objective is to grow fresh and delicious organic vegetables or from careful “Slow food” choices ( Slow Food – Nova Scotia was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the world around us), we have opportunities to eat and preserve local food that is fresh and picked at the peak of its season.

Jayne Campbell, our club president, a retired High School Administrator, who describes herself as a “Gentleman Farmer’s” wife and a food lover (especially home/locally grown), along with several club members treated Chester Garden Club Members to a “feast for the eyes and palate” presentation, Monday, September 18th .

The theme was ” Produce to Preserve – Enjoying the bounty of our gardens year round while growing and buying local”.

 

Traditional recipes, old cookbooks such as the “Dutch Oven”, “Out of old Nova Scotia Kitchen” and many others were on display.

We all have wonderful memories of the worn pages of the hand written recipes and the taste of family favorites that have been passed down through the generations with titles such as “Gram’s Pickles”, “Mom’s Pies”, “Aunt Millie’s Raisin Bread” .

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Thanks to Jayne, Esther, Nancy, Myra, Dave, Sheila S. & Jane W., many went home to reminisce and search out some of their old “comfort food” recipes.

 

Maybe there will be more samples to enjoy …

Posted in Environmental issues, Fruit, Gardening, Horticulture, Seasonal chores, Vegetables | Leave a comment

150th Celebration with Flowers

Gardeners and plant lovers are by nature generous, sharing people, quick to offer bouquets, cuttings, seeds and bits of wisdom gleaned from digging in the soil and nurturing plants. Whether celebrating successes or pondering near successes, they are as optimistic as and endearing as their gardens. Continue reading

Posted in Community Service, Community tea party, Floral arrangements, Flower Show, Gardening | Leave a comment

Ready for the Flower Show

Flower shows are fun, worthwhile activities for everyone, providing opportunities to display and view examples of the many beautiful flowers and plants grown in our area and shown as specimens or in beautiful floral designs. Each year, Chester Garden Club Flower Show committee organizes the annual flower show, ensuring opportunities for all members to assist and including members and community of all ages. The Show Schedule provides all of the details needed to prepare and stage exhibits for entry, including Entry Classes, Show Rules, Show Tips, Definitions and a summary of Trophies and Awards. Judging is done by NSAGC Judges whose decisions are final.

The team has been working together for many months. The theme, schedule, tags, ribbons, venue, tables and staging plans, tea, sandwiches and sweets are some of the details that have been finalized.

On Monday, at our July 17th meeting we were treated to information and demonstrations to help with this year’s schedule. Thank you to Nancy, Sidney, Jane, Jocelyn and Myra.

 

We are looking forward to our flower show, “Celebrating Canada 150” on July 27th, 1:30 to 5 pm., a show that breaks gardening boundaries and blends tradition with unexpected innovative design.

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Delightful June Meeting

image1June 19th was a special meeting at the Chester Garden Club. We were able to honour one of our long time dedicated members, Herb Fraser with “Outstanding Member of The Year”. He was very surprised but pleased with the award. Well deserved for all of the work he has done preparing and taking care of so many important gardens in the village.

 

Following the presentation, Nancy Guest wowed us with her display of window boxes and gardening for seniors. She had three displays. One window box for the shade, another for the full sun. Her selection of plants were delightful. They varied in texture and lots of colour. Her wooden ladder garden or porch display was a combination of flowering pots, ornamental bird houses and potted greens.

 

 

 

 

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Lunches are always a delight and usually incorporate a little arranging
each month. Thank you Myra for these additions to the table.

Thanks to Jocelyn and Jayne for the pictures and content for this post.







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Rhododendron Tour

We who garden all have a mountain of memories of Captain Richard (Dick) Steele. One of his most outstanding attributes was the impact he had on everyone he met.

Captain Steele believed that beautiful plants and gardens made people more virtuous and the world a more peaceful place. To many, he was “Captain Rhododendron”, a tounge-in-cheek homage to a visionary who opened up new possibilities for ornamental horticulture in Atlantic Canada and beyond.

He spent research time in Newfoundland and Labrador with huge patience, looking for our Alpine jewels, taking cuttings and gathering seed. In later years, he continued his work and researching leaning first on one cane, then two.

Captain Richard Steele was a founding member of the Atlantic Chapter of the Rhododendron Society of Canada and supported the creation of the Atlantic Rhododendron & Horticultural Society.

Dick set up Bayport Plant Farm in 1973 where he focused on crossbreeding rhododendron species and hybrids to produce tough plants for the Atlantic climate. Dick was awarded the gold medal of the American Rhododendron Society and in 2004, he became a member of the Order of Canada.

Captain RIchard (Dick) Steele  passed away quietly on March 14, 2010.

Many of Captain Steele’s rhododendrons are admired in both public and private gardens throughout the Atlantic provinces and beyond. They are enjoyed by thousands of visitors throughout the year through and there is an extra surge of visitors when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

On June 7th, a group of Chester Garden Club members and friends gathered and Sandy’s for coffee and then met guides, Debbie and Kathleen Hall for the pre-arranged tour of the private Halifax, Hall’s Road Dick Steele Rhododendron Gardens.

Both from the comments of those who attended this was a truly delightful tour.

Posted in Flowering shrubs, Gardening, Horticulture, Rhododendron, Seasons | 2 Comments