“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.

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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

Reflections of “Lest We Forget”

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“Lest We Forget “

 

Flower Shows begin long before the scheduled date. Many gardeners begin by planting very early in order to have a plant in bloom for a show day specimen and / or planned design.

 

Encouragement and reminders were presented to members and guests at our regular July meeting.

 

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Esther’s grandson Theo planning his entry.

It takes so much thought and planning.

Each year members and community participants combine there abilities to bring everything together to produce a beautiful display. There is a schedule to prepare, a judge needed, trophy’s to polish, tea and sweets to plan and prepare, servers, set up and clean up crews. And most important “Flowers Flowers Flowers” to prepare.

 

 

There are “Welcome” flowers and welcome from members.

 

 

This year, being the anniversary of the end of the first world war, our show was entitled “Lest We Forget”. The schedule design titles were reminders to all of events during times of conflict. The legion was tastefully decorated with military and war memorabilia.

 

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Shirley helps

Members helped as entries arrived and were placed.

 

 

The floral arrangements and specimens were especially stunning and entries showed skill in conditioning and preparation during the hot humid weather.

 

2018 07 26_Carol, Brenda & Pam help our Judge Jana 105634Carol, Pam and Brenda assisted Jana our judge.

 

Everyone is interested in the childrens entries.

 

Happy faces were seen everywhere from our youngest entrants and viewers, our guests form Shoreham Village and Bonny Lea Farm, those who would never miss and those who came for the first time.

 

We were thrilled to have our presidents mother,102 year old Margaret Harris and former president, Peggy McAlpine in attendance. Both ladies expressed their pleasure in viewing the show and meeting not only members but many from the community.

 

 

Tea Time.

 

 

The Silent Auction helps with Garden Club Community Projects.

 

 

A look at the winners from the show. Congratulations.

Thanks to Kay, Esther, Jayne, Katie & Brenda for the photos.

Posted in Floral arrangements, Flower Show, Gardening

Looking For Inspiration

 

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Jayne welcomes Niki Jabbour, to Chester Garden Clubs June meeting.

Niki Jabbour, energetic, entertaining and full of inspiring ideas, suggests we all consider plants from all over the world, hardy for zone 6 on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

Niki is the award – winning author of Niki Jabbour’s Vegi Garden Remix, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, and Groundbreaking Food Gardens. Her work is found in Fine Gardening, Garden  Making, Birds & Blooms, Horticulture, and other publications, and she speaks widely on food gardening at events and shows across North America. She is the host and creator of The Weekend Gardener radio show. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.        

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Inspired by family, Niki grows new plant varieties from all over the world, hardy to Nova Scotia’s south shore .

 

Niki gave us a beautiful visual presentation with suggestions for zone hardy choices “new to us” plants from many different areas of the world.

 

Chester Garden Club Members and Guests look forward to new reading and also new tastes from Niki’s recommendations.

Posted in Gardening, Horticulture, Vegetables