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A blooming good time of the year

Among its activities, the Elmira Horticultural Society maintains many flowerbeds, including those at Lions Park. Other locations include Gibson Park, Union Cemetery, Bristow Park Gardens and Breslau Gardens.

The busy spring planting season behind them, members of the Elmira Horticultural Society have some time to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Or, in the case of its series of garden tours, the fruits of the labours of fellow gardeners.

In that vein, the group followed up a local garden tour earlier this month with a bus trip this week. That annual outing is a longstanding tradition of the society, with ten-year member Reta Weber coordinating the event for the past six years.

Attendees visited a variety of different gardens in the area of Huron Perth, including Riverbend Gardens, Howick Community Centre Gardens, the Purple Rooster, Sunset Springs Greenhouse, Baanre Gardens and Murray Reesor’s Garden. They viewed a variety of plants, specifically annuals and perennials. The society enjoys switching up the location in order to show their audience different environments, and dates of departure every year in order to show their audience a variety of plants.

“Last year, we went to the Guelph area,” said Christine Webb, president of the Elmira Horticultural Society. “And then the previous year, we went down to southern Ontario. And then this year it’s in Huron/Perth area.”

They also tend to switch up the time of year that they go to keep the event interesting.

“This year, we [went] in July,” said Weber. “Last year, we went in June because we don’t want to see the same thing year after year. We choose to not always go in June, for instance. Now in July we’re going to see some perennials that we wouldn’t see in June. It’s seasonal so you go in different times of the summer.”

“It was educational, to a degree,” added Weber. They can ask the gardeners questions at the places that we go. But some of them just enjoy seeing flowerbeds and that type of thing. Sometimes we see an unusual plant somewhere. The work that people put into them, it’s just incredible.”

This is just one of many events that the horticultural society hosts in the summertime.

On June 18, there was an educational meeting with a guest speaker, Dan Cooper, as to how to create a low-maintenance garden. On July 7, the society hosted a garden tour of its own. There are plenty of ways to keep busy in the society over the summer, according to Webb.

“In June our executive have a potluck meeting,” added Webb. “We help with the annual garden tour,  bus trip and junior garden club.  Also,  we have 10 community flowerbeds that one of our executive, Rose Morden,  coordinates. Reta Weber also oversaw and did the planting of two concrete planters in front of the TD bank; Stuart Horst from Floralane waters and fertilizes these as well as the other concrete planters in town and the hanging baskets. We worked with Steve Pond from the BIA to get the concrete planters organized this year.”

The Junior Garden Club that allows children to practice gardening behind the skate park every Wednesday 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

There are approximately 190 members of the Elmira Horticultural Society, and membership tends to increase to 200 by the end of the year. The society was founded more than a century again in 1900. Anyone interested in more information can visit Garden Ontario.

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