Month: August 2011

Summer Whites

Summer Whites

Many gardens in the Chester area are now morphing from their mid-summer pinks and blues to the transitional shades of yellow and tangerine as summer prepares to give way to fall. And providing just the right accent to those predominantly bronze-coloured blooms, we are pleased to welcome the white blossoms of plants that appear at this season.

The buddleja shrub above is loaded with flower stalks that attract butterflies seeking a wee drink from the tiny individual blooms that form the flower mass. Commonly known as the butterfly bush, this plant is named for Adam Budd, a 17th century cleric who was also a keen botanist.

The tall stalk of a gladiolus lightens up the green and gold palette; its fresh blossoms act like a crisp white collar on a dark ensemble.

Although the Chester Garden Club has not yet announced details of its fall program, the regular meetings are scheduled to start again in September. Meanwhile, anyone interested in attending another flower show is invited to drop in to the Floral Arts Show with the theme “Honouring Autumn“, which will be presented by our neighbouring club – Basin Gardeners – on September 3rd and 4th. The show will be held at the Aenon Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Chester Basin, with visitors welcome from 1 to 6 in the afternoon on both days.

A lovely white begonia adds another delicate accent to the edge of a path lined with shrubbery. For a gardener longing to extend summer, every plant is precious. Chester gardeners felt themselves extremely lucky that hurricane Irene, which had been forecast to be heading our way, changed course and spared our local territory. It was truly [a] Good night, Irene! This morning’s gardens appear to have survived intact. 

Bloom Day North – August

Bloom Day North – August

In celebration of Bloom Day North – Chester version – we are posting a number of photos of various plants in bloom on this day, the 15th of August. In no particular order, we present a double-petalled sun-splashed Rudebeckia, mixing it up with a few annual poppies… 


and a crimson, no-name dahlia (bought from a fellow gardener at a plant sale two years ago)…

and a clump of bi-coloured nasturtiums …

followed by the creamy-white day lily named “Spring Thaw”, tubers of which were given out by the NSAGC two years ago to all member clubs.

The llilac-coloured day lily below is actually a deeper maroon colour in the garden but, despite the day being overcast and therefore theoretically good for photos, this shot is a little washed out.
The same effect (a noted decrease in intensity of colour) is seen on the yellow water lilies and the apricot day lilies growing at the edge of the pond, in the photo below.

A small clump, one of the many masses of blooms on a rambler rose named for Dorothy Perkins,  is brightening up another corner of the garden.

Despite the heavy rain and wind last week, the clematis (Jackmanii) below has proliferated, clinging stoically to the fence and spreading horizontally for over six feet.

On the other side of the same fence, a clump of mallows has attracted a bee in search of nectar.

Farther along the fence, there is a massive tangle of perennial sweet pea plants that bear delicate pink blooms like those shown below.

 A Bonnica rose that was pruned twice by deer this summer has somehow rallied to produce this tiny perfect bloom, which has to date escaped the ravages of roaming herds.

If we were to include all of the other flowering plants in bloom in the Chester area today, the post would be even longer than it is now, but here are just a few more photos. Below: another lovely day lily, a bright yellow variety with the name “Alice in Wonderland”.
Next up is a shot of delicate honeysuckle flowers that are a favourite with hummingbirds in the area, and  
an architecturally dramatic structure that is a Yucca in full regalia.

The garden being home to many varieties of day lilies, your blogger couldn’t resist yet another photo of their blooms. If my records are correct, this variety is named Siloam Double Classic.

 And to complete the samples in this Bloom Day North post, we have a shot of bees at work on a globe thistle flower-head.

We enjoy receiving photos from your gardens to include in the blog. You may send them to the Chester Garden Club e-mail address indicated on the side-bar.

Annual Summer Party

Annual Summer Party

In keeping with tradition, members of the Chester Garden Club convened for a relaxing summer party, about ten days after successfully running another annual Flower Show and Tea.  Diane, Sandy (hostess), Sheila and Brenda are in good spirits despite the damp and windy weather.

As usual with a pot-luck event, conversations seemed to proliferate where party-goers gathered around the food tables.

The anticipated focal point of the day was the opportunity of a ring-side seat on the deck of a house overlooking the first race of Chester Race Week, which is always an exciting scramble by boats seeking advantage of a good start.

Unfortunately, inclement weather meant that most of the gardeners at the party opted to stay indoors and the boats sped past quickly in high winds.
Nevertheless, with plenty of delicious food and wine on hand, and a large crowd of members and guests, the indoor site produced a wonderful party.   (Thanks to Sylvia for the photos)
Flower Show and Tea – Part 3

Flower Show and Tea – Part 3


Continuing with photos from the Flower Show and Tea, which had as its theme:  Chester Gems, we have a few examples of the artistic breakfast trays that were entered in the design class “Breakfast in Bed at a Chester B and B”.


Taking first place was the silver tray with delicate pink roses and accessories, shown above. It was entered by Joanne Jellett, who is shown below with a stunning arrangement of lilies placed on a beautiful glass tray made by local artisans at Chez Glass Lass. This arrangement won her the Popular Choice award, voted on by all those who attended the show.
Entries in the many design categories varied from the serenely beautiful to the slightly off-beat, as in the toy train composition below, that was related to a much-loved story-book. 
Another whimsical arrangement that won a first prize in the design sector calling for edible materials is seen below. The container was filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables and even edible flowers.
A “fiddle” created from a gourd and assorted floral add-ons was a successful entry by River Cote in the class for children under 8 years of age. 
Much to her surprise, your blogger was awarded a trophy for her entry in the design category calling for a composition with a water feature.
Among the many others who helped to make the day a success were Jocelyn Cameron,  who took second and third place in several sectors of the design class;

And our gracious hostesses at the tea table – Jane Wilkins and Barb Munroe – both of whom provided service with a smile all afternoon.

And to close off the selection of photos from this year’s Flower Show and Tea, one last overview of a group of entries placed in the “Breakfast in Bed” sector.
A reminder that a complete list of winners in all classes is available by clicking on the heading Flower Show Results, under Events in the side-bar to the right of the blog. 
Flower Show and Tea – part 2

Flower Show and Tea – part 2

In this blog we feature some of the winners who were honored at the Flower Show. A list of all winners, including those who were awarded trophies, can be found by clicking on the heading “Flower Show Results” on the side-bar.

Shown above are: from the left, Sheila Soestmeyer (co-chair), Heather Mackinnon (president), and Sidney Spahr, winner of both the Dudley Lees Trophy for Best in Show, and the Presidents’ Award.

 Next is Myra Knight,  being presented with the Dena Hennigar Memorial Trophy by Heather and Sheila. Myra also took two other ‘firsts’, including one for the all-white arrangement seen below.

Kay Bollivar, co-chair who spent most of her time overseeing the Tea, won the Ruby Pullsiver Award for her lovely flowering orchid, an entry in the Indoor Container Plant class.

 Barb Rafuse was awarded the Rose Barkhouse painting for her entry in the “best use of roses” category.

Samples of the many lovely exhibits in the Roses section, seen from different angles, are shown in the next three photos.

That concludes part 2 of the blog featuring Flower Show entries and exhibitors. The next instalment will include more photos of the colourful displays and several other winners, including Joanne Jellett, whose entry won the Popular Choice vote.
Flower Show and Tea: part one

Flower Show and Tea: part one

The Chester Garden club hosted another successful Flower Show and Tea on July 28, and the organizers were delighted with the response from members and the general public. Shown, as they gathered in the kitchen before the doors opened, are a few of the organizing members: Barb Munroe, Brenda Garland, Heather McKinnon, Sheila Soestmeyer and Kay Bollivar.

Exhibitors’ entries were accepted until 10 AM, when the doors to the hall were closed to allow the judges a tranquil setting in which to examine the exhibits.  Clerk Anna Stevens is shown enjoying a tea with judge Jennifer Niemi, following the judging. 
The second judge was Jana Fejtek, who was assisted by clerk Myra Knight, seen in the photo below in conversation with Jane Wilkins and Cynthia Spraggs. 
The first visitors came in a special bus from Shoreham Village, and were able to maneuver their way around the tables in walkers before the main crowd arrived.
Attendance numbered well over 160 during the four hours that the show was open to the public. On entering, visitors were greeted with a vast array of tables covered with a spectacular variety of plants. 

The tables were labelled according to the particular class or design section, and the arrangements were clearly identified by exhibitor’s name with any winning tags prominently displayed.

Back in the kitchen, volunteers were preparing plates of sandwiches and cakes, making tea (both traditional hot tea and the iced version), and generally keeping the food assembly moving. The volunteer dishwashers played a big role too.
Whimsical entries, such as these including sailboats, were part of the competition.
The horticultural specimens class proved once again to be popular with both exhibitors and visitors. Over 100 specimens were entered in this year’s competition.
This completes part one of the posting for the show and tea. More photos of floral designs in various classes, as well as winners of the many trophies awarded, will be posted in the next instalment.