Luck was with members of both the Chester Garden Club and Friends of Nature as they gathered on September 19th to honour Rudy and Mickie Haase in a brief ceremony at the Cove Garden. The blossoms on the garden’s hydrangeas were heavy with moisture from rain but, by 6:30 pm, in a show of “friendship”, nature cooperated with us and …
… the light rain gave way to overcast skies. Friends and neighbours were delighted to put away their umbrellas and catch up on local news while waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Once Rudy and his family arrived, and had in turn been greeted by his friends, all eyes turned to the east side of the garden where three fruit trees and a hemlock had been planted as a result of his generosity.
Rudy, along with Syd Dumaresq representing the Friends of Nature, and Heather McKinnon representing the Garden Club, posed briefly near the fruit trees and beside a mysterious green lump on the ground.
Syd then gave a brief recapitulation of the wide-ranging conservation projects that the Haases have created and supported over many years, before and after they moved to Chester. Those projects included saving an island in Maine and preserving several other large sections of land in New Zealand and in Nova Scotia as permanent conservation areas. Syd also mentioned their generous support for many cultural organizations in the province.
Helped by his daughter-in-law, Rudy then unveiled the granite boulder on which the commemorative plaque had been installed.
Following the unveiling, Rudy expressed his thanks to all who had been part of this event and, on behalf of Mickie, who was unable to attend, relayed her thanks and good wishes to all.
The participants then made their way to St Stephen’s Community Centre for a short reception hosted by the Garden Club. As an added bonus, in keeping with the theme of good stewardship of the land, a plant sale of perennials from members’ gardens provided an opportunity to pick up some bargains for fall planting.
Thanks to regular contributor, Sandy, we have a good selection of photos to illustrate September’s Bloom Day North. The bright blue and red hydrangeas below seem to refute an earlier suggestion that autumn’s blooms were dominated by hues of yellow and orange.
One of the surprise blooms at this time of year comes with the R. Ramapo below. This small-leaf rhododendron usually blooms in the spring or early summer, so blossoms at this time of year are a bonus.
Veering back toward autumn’s golden shades, this Yarrow Achillea millefolium below makes a striking feature in Sandy’s garden.
And, following a similar colour palette, but in a more delicate shade, we have a late-blooming gladiolus.
During these warm September days, as we take inventory of the jobs to be done this fall, we also start making mental notes for improving next year’s garden. One of the tried and true methods of introducing new plants into a garden is to share or exchange plant material with friends. That is how your blogger came to have the Bouncing Bet [ Saponaria officinialis] seen below, that adds a fresh accent to several corners of her garden.
Also known as Doublepink soapwort, this perennial grows to a height of 45 to 60 cms and is not fussy about the type of soil or the amount of sun it receives. It comes by the name “soapwort” because its crushed leaves and roots have been used as a sort of soap substitute since the Renaissance. As for its other moniker, “Bouncing Bet”, the legend is that barmaids (known as Betsys in old England’s pubs) used to thrust the whole plant in and out of beer bottles to clean them.
Another plant that came from a slip out of a friend’s garden is the Obedient plant [Physostegia virginianna
] shown in the photo below. The spikes of lavender coloured flowers can be bent and placed into a position that will be held by the plant.
On September 19
, following the ceremony of the plaque dedication in the Cove garden, Garden Club members will have a great opportunity to pick up plants like these from other members’ gardens at bargain prices.
Continuing the debate about fall colours, we present another popular fall bloomer – the sedum Autumn Joy – which certainly presents a rosy touch to the landsccape.
And in the surprise department, a mature Clematis [Nelly Mosher] has produced several new blooms this week.
But for the last word on autumn colours, the Gaillardia below gives us both yellow and red as it beams like a bright ray of sunshine in the fall garden.
Since posting the last blog, which favoured white blooms as a refreshing accent among the many golden-hued flowers that seem to come into their own at this time of year, I have been reminded of the many reds and crimson colours that are still appearing in local gardens. The rose-coloured glads on the right, with such a delicate shading in the throat, came as a delightful surprise when the plant bloomed last week. The bulbs had been saved from the previous year and set out a little late, in an area of the garden that did not receive as much sun as would have been beneficial, and so the blooms have opened only in September, far too late for the club’s Flower Show.
As you may have guessed, the photos in this post are included here merely to catch a reader’s attention. The main purpose of this post is to publicize the Chester Garden Club’s first meeting of the fall season, to be held on September 19.
The format of this event will be slightly different from the usual. Members and guests will first meet at 6:30 pm in the Cove Garden, Water Street, for the dedication of a plaque honouring Mickie and Rudy Haase for their life-long interest in ecology and their commitment to preserving natural spaces from destruction by over-development. The plaque is a joint effort by the Garden Club and a local group called Friends of Nature, which is active in increasing public awareness about environmental issues, and which includes a number of garden club members in its roster.
Following the dedication, members will proceed to St Stephen’s Parish Community Centre for a plant sale (perennials), refreshments and a short business meeting to prepare for the forthcoming fall session.