Month: May 2010

Gardener’s Sale a Success

Gardener’s Sale a Success

The old train station in Chester was a busy spot on Saturday morning, May 29th, when the Chester Garden Club held its popular Gardener’s Sale. The sale, a fund-raiser for the Club, brought out a large number of interested gardeners who shopped at booths set up by commercial vendors as well as at the tables selling plants from members’ own gardens.

Pretty in pink: a few ladies get an early start on making the rounds of the tables soon after the event was officially opened at 9:00 am.

Choosing just the right plant often required extensive deliberation.

Prices of the plants donated by members ranged from $1 to $5, according to the size and particular quality of the plant.

Purchases were made only after careful consideration and a close inspection of the merchandise.

Some of the less experienced gardeners became weary with the constant searching for just the right plant.

Showcasing a variety of herbs and other plants, Joanne Jellett sold products in support of Bonny Lea Farm, a community service organization.

As the morning wore on, sales of coffee and home-made muffins were welcomed by both customers and workers.

Some gardeners really dug the free compost that was on offer from the municipality.

A hefty encyclopedia (of gardening) was available as a reference to help solve queries about the characteristics of specific plants , and consultations were the order of the day.

As the sale began to wind up at noon, president Sheila Knowlton-MacRury announced the winners of the three decorative iron pots filled with geraniums that had been on offer in a silent auction throughout the morning. The pots had been donated by a club member and the winners were also club members.

The sale proved to be a wonderful “meet and greet” occasion as well as an opportunity to pick up some real bargains. Even those stragglers who arrived late, as the tables were being dismantled, managed to find a few good buys. The organizers are very grateful to all the members who volunteered their time and efforts into making the sale such a success. The proceeds will provide a much-needed boost to the funds required to maintain the two public garden spaces in the village.

Cove Garden Begins to Bloom

Cove Garden Begins to Bloom

The Cove Garden, owned and maintained by the Chester Garden club, is in good trim this spring despite the ravages of last fall. The grass has been restored to health and a gravel pathway has been laid for a more secure footing. The crab-apple tree, which has undergone a judicious pruning, is in full bloom and the rosa rugosas will soon be opening their blossoms.

Many properties around Chester are graced with at least one apple or crab-apple tree, and this year seems to be a particularly good one for blossoms.

The abundant delicate pink and white flowers promise a plentiful harvest to come but, after a long winter, we prefer to focus on the present, enjoying the delightful spring weather.
Gardeners in the area are taking advantage of the early warm season to get a head-start on their planting and many will be stopping by the club’s annual Gardener’s Sale at the old train station on Saturday, May 29th, between 9:00 AM and 12 noon, to choose from a variety of perennials and other garden staples. Proceeds from the sale go toward the upkeep of the Cove Garden and other club projects.
Gardener’s Sale

Gardener’s Sale

The sunshine and high temperatures in the Chester area have resulted in a virtual explosion of colourful blossoms in the last week. Taking advantage of a long weekend, gardeners are following the old adage of beginning to plant their gardens in the week the apple trees are in bloom. Members of the Chester Garden Club have been preparing for next weekend’s sale by potting up perennials from their personal gardens. The sale includes commercial vendors as well, and is a popular spring event. All plants bought at bargain prices next weekend have been hardened off in pots and will be ready for transplanting into the buyer’s garden in the weeks ahead.

Although the sale usually draws a large number of eager buyers who show up before the sales crew are ready, it doesn’t actually open until 9:00 am. Plants donated from members’ gardens are placed on tables designated according to the price range but all are considered a bargain. The commercial vendors offer a good variety of plants and garden accessories for everyone from the novice to the experienced gardener. Coffee and muffins are available, and the event is a pleasant opportunity to mingle with fellow gardeners. We hope to see many of you there.

Bloomday May 15, 2010

Bloomday May 15, 2010

Bloom Day in Chester went unreported by your blogger due to a preoccupation with other activities. She did, however, take photos on the 15th and this blog contains a representative selection of her photos from the Chester area, with additional photos by Sandy Dumaresq.

The first fragrant scent of lilacs brings back memories of childhood bouquets brought to school, with the best of intentions, as gifts for teachers, despite the fact that many of those “arrangements” had wilted long before the teacher could put them in a vase.

The ruby blooms on the Japanese quince, above, have already been visited by this season’s newly arrived hummingbirds. It’s now time to get the feeders operational.

The relatively cool weather during the last two weeks has helped extend the season for many daffodils. Forsythia and Indian Pear trees are also making a showy display in gardens and along roadsides at this time of year.

And to top off the list of our May Bloom Day gallery, the azaleas and rhododendrons are coming into bloom in Chester.

Above, a Landmark rhododendron (Ginny Gee) opens its delicate blossoms to the strong spring sunshine.

One of the Olga Mezitt rhodos (Aglo) appears to glow when seen in situ, but is the word “aglo’ really a play on words for Olga (spelt backwards)?

And finally, below, a prolific Weston’s Aglo, one of 10 growing in Sandy’s garden.

The Garden Club blog invites all members to share their garden photos via this blog. Send them to the club’s e-mail address (at the top of this page). The next meeting of the Club will take place on Monday, May 17th, at St. Stephen’s Paris Community Centre. For more information on the Club’s activities, check the links on the side panel of this blog.

A Complement of Tulips

A Complement of Tulips

A previous blog highlighted the recent work-party that descended on the village Parade Square to restore the health of that garden. Members of the Garden Club have been complimented by passersby for the attention they give to that lovely little part of Chester but the Parade Square garden has also been complemented by another stunning garden that is situated directly across from the parade square, en face, as one says in French.

This complementary arrangement is particularly effective in the spring, when the private residential garden is awash in tulips. For a few weeks, the colourful tulips in the public space appear to reflect the glory of those across the road. Perhaps it is merely a coincidence, but rumour has it that a mystery gardener has in fact been adding to the considerable number of bulbs planted by members of the Garden Club in the public garden. Whatever the source, these two gardens make a delightful pairing. Later in the season, tulips will give way to a mix of day-lilies and ornamental cabbages on one side, and roses, shrubs and perennials on the other. The two gardens are certainly complementary and both add immensely to the beauty of the village.

Spring Cleaning at the Parade Square

Spring Cleaning at the Parade Square

A dozen or so members of the Chester Garden Club were out in force on May 10th, weeding, pruning, and spreading mulch on the beds of the garden at the Parade Square.

The garden is located in the middle of the round-about, in front of the village war memorial and band-stand, close by the Chester Yacht Club.

“Say, prez, are you digging yourself in too deep?”

Pruning out dead rose canes is a prickly and finicky job, especially while trying not to tread on the tulips.

This spring’s crop of weeds was no match for determined gardeners armed with a variety of tools to dig out the unwanted interlopers.

Club members should be looking svelte this spring after their strenuous workouts in the “bend and stretch” department.

It was certainly “bottoms up” for many of the members of the Club long before they withdrew for refreshments at noon. The garden has come through the winter with little damage; and the armilllary sphere, which has undergone some repair, will soon be set back in place.

The next event will be the Club’s general meeting, on May 17th, 6:30 for 7:00pm, at St Stephen’s Parish Community Centre. Herb Fraser, a member of the Club, will talk about and demonstrate the advantages of Dividing Perennials.
Spring Clean-up

Spring Clean-up

Early May brought out a good number of volunteers from the Club to tackle the clean-up of the Cove Garden. In addition to the usual weeding and general tidying, this year’s volunteers were able to add a great quantity of compost to the flower beds. The Club is very grateful to the Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. plant in East Chester for its donation of the compost.

The truckload of compost was off-loaded by two employees of the plant. Members and friends of the Club posed with Phil Ellwood, manager of the plant, after thanking him for his help in procuring the valuable material.

Before starting to work, members compared notes on their own gardens and then split up into teams choosing to focus on weeding, or edging or spreading compost. The rose bed bordering the road leading to the front harbour received a good share of the rich compost.

The next opportunity for members to volunteer their time in beautifying the village will be the annual spring clean-up of the Parade Square garden, near the bandstand. On Monday, May 10th, all members and friends of the Club are invited to present themselves with trowels, pruners and shovels to deal with weeds and apply a healthy layer of mulch to the shrub and flower beds .