Society Events

Society Meeting for September 30

Our first meeting of the new season was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Treasurer Howard Hunter (President Colleen Green being absent with a new grandbaby – congratulations, Colleen!). Howard welcomed the 28 members present and introduced our guest speakers, award-winning Peterborough gardeners Dianne and Gary Westlake.

Dianne & Gary Westlake

Dianne & Gary Westlake

The Westlakes ( gave a very entertaining presentation on “Garden Art for Cheapskates”. They start from the premise that since all gardens have plants, it’s the man-made objects in each one that define its style and make it unique. You don’t need – and probably shouldn’t have – dozens of objects, but any garden can be enlivened by features like a gravel path, a fountain or pond, an arbor or a special gate. And you don’t need to spend a fortune: they showed how you can stack floor tiles to make a pillar, mold a statue in those Styrofoam shapes that come in packing cases, make trellises out of old pipes, cover rhubarb leaves with cement to create stepping stones, stencil a word or phrase onto a smooth rock. Bed frames, broken china or glass, disused bird baths, soap dishes and old flower pots can all be transformed into accents that will catch the eye, as well as being useful to your plants. Dianne and Gary illustrated their talk with lots of vivid slides, and finished by answering questions from the audience.


Howard distributed copies of a proposed amendment to the By-laws, and explained that it was worded by our insurance company to protect the members of the Board from being named in any lawsuits against the Society. Due notice having been given, the membership will be asked to vote on the proposed amendment at the AGM in November.

Also at the AGM, elections will be held to choose members of the Board. Several current members must be replaced as they have been in office as long as the Constitution allows. Howard urged members to consider volunteering.

The October meeting is the first of our new year, and members are asked to pay their dues for 2015-16 at that time.

Mini-show winners


Arrangement of grasses winner


Arrangement of three flowers winner

Pat Stuckey won the arrangement of grasses class. In the three-flower arrangement class, Mary Jenkins came first, Reg Lapierre second and Pat Stuckey third.

Photographs by Sheila Simmons

2015 County Garden Show

The timing of The 2015 County Garden Show at The Crystal Palace in Picton could not have been better. After days of heavy rainfall, Prince Edward County saw a day of sunshine and warm breezes on Saturday, June 13th!

Staff and Vendors had put in a lot of hours preparing for this day, and all were rewarded with our most successful PEC Horticultural Society Garden Show to-date. Over 700 attendees agreed!

We had a few very special guests outside the Crystal Palace this year. The Alpaca joined us, thanks to Chetwyn Farms.

Vendors both inside and out enjoyed the day, and over 50% already confirmed for 2016.

The Flower Show featured 125+ competitive offerings and was officially opened by Penny Stewart, OHA District 3 Director.

The popular Victorian Tea had tables full from 11:30 onward. Demand was once again high for this Silver Service luncheon.

This year, the Blue Bird Room featured 4H celebrating 100 years, along with featured floral designs. A book sale, Ikebana display, Food Bank booth, Music Festival booth (with music provided!), the Master Gardeners, and CLIC rounded out Blue Bird Room presentations.

Our Raffle boasted more prizes and more tickets sold than in previous years, with all proceeds going toward County projects.

Thanks once again this year to Vendors, Sponsors and an exceptional Team of Staff and Volunteers!

Anne Reeves

The County Garden Show … Not Just for Gardeners.

The Flower Show results can be seen here – [192 kb pdf]









Photographs © by Bert Jenkins

Society Meeting for May 28

hortsoc_spkrThe meeting opened at 7pm with the President Colleen Green introducing the speaker for the evening, Dawn Tack from Gardens Plus, Donwood ON. Dawn has operated Gardens Plus since 1997 and concentrates on easy-care perennials.

Dawn defines easy-care plants as plants that have low water requirements, a resistance to bugs and disease, that do not require frequent division, or support, and above all are hardy through the winter. Dawn recommends the following plants for a reliable garden: heuchera, monarda, salvia, daylilies, coneflowers, Siberian Iris, sedum, hardy geraniums and buddleia. She feels getting the plant’s light requirements right is most important, and recommends planting in an almost overcrowded fashion to restrict weed growth. It was an interesting talk with a colourful slide-show. She then answered questions from the members. Plants were made available for members to buy.

Announcements, etc.

Signs were distributed for the Garden Show.

Applications are available for $50 for the Civic Gardens. Volunteers are need for the Hospital Gardens. Please contact John Garside if you can help, or show up at the hospital on Tuesday mornings between 8 AM and 12 noon. There was some discussion about who pays for the plants for the Hospital Gardens. John Garside will be making some calls to see if the Hospital Auxiliary will give us the money.

Mary Jenkins will be calling people for help with the Garden Show, baking for the Victorian Tea, helping with the Flower Show, or the set up on the Friday night.


Angela Palmer won the mini-show “Woodland Magic” with her wildflower entry.

Plant Sale – May 16

PEC Horticultural Society fund raising plant sale will be held on Sat May 16th, Wellington Farmers’ Market, 8 AM to 1 PM.

You can support this event by bringing us plants (in pots) to sell, and of course by staying and buying some plants to take home with you. You can drop off plants at Gayla Campney’s house, 67 Main St Wellington, on May 15 the day before the Sale.

Society Meeting for April 29

Mini Show

The mini-show theme for April was ‘Spring Ahead’.

In the Design Category – ‘a timely design’ – first place went to Pat Stuckey (arrangement upper left); second place went to Mary Jenkins with Colleen Green taking third place (bottom row left and right images respectively). In the Horticultural Category – ‘3 forced branches any variety’ – first place went to Angela Palmer (arrangement upper right).



Click the images to see larger versions.

photo credits: Bert Jenkins

Society Meeting for February 25th

The first meeting of the year was well attended, with a handful of new faces in the crowd. Welcome!

Colleen Green introduced the speaker – Kathleen Lang – and her topic was Drought Tolerant Gardening.

Kathleen hails from the Lanark County Master Gardener group, and has been a member for 11 years. She gardens on a tiny lot on the banks of the Rideau River. Many of her tricks were learned while gardening in South Africa. She managed to
established a landscape at her new home during a 4 year drought. Today, with many having to pay for water, these same techniques come into play.


So-called drought-resistant plants are, by definition, tolerant of low-water conditions. But while the definition is straightforward enough, we find that it’s not so easy to implement a plan that will get our landscapes through periods without rainfall (in the absence of artificial irrigation). That’s because, in practice, there are numerous factors that have a say regarding whether or not a plant will receive adequate water.

For example, what type of soil do you have? Something that qualifies as a “drought-resistant plant” in a wonderfully loamy soil may struggle during a dry spell if it’s growing in a sandy soil (through which water pours quickly, as through a sieve).

Then there’s the issue of competition for resources. The most extreme example is encountered when we plant under trees. Only stubbornly tough plants can compete successfully with massive trees for water. But on a less extreme level, even various types of weeds can pose a challenge to landscaping specimens during dry periods, siphoning off much needed water.

Thankfully, using garden mulch correctly can mitigate some of the above challenges. Mulch shields the ground from the pounding sun, helping to keep it from drying out. It also suppresses weeds, thereby reducing competition for water. But even after mulch breaks down, it continues to work hard for you. As it decomposes, organic mulch adds humus to the soil, promoting water-retention.

Always pay attention to sunshine requirements and/or tolerance when planting. You may think of full-sun plants when you hear mention of drought resistant plants, but there are also suitable plants for dry shade. Moreover, not all sun-lovers tolerate excessive dryness (and there are varying degrees of such tolerance).

Vegetation that tolerates dry soil includes stalwarts such as cacti and succulents, as well as native plants. The latter have adapted to your local climate over the ages, so they should work well as drought resistant plants if you can mimic their natural habitat soil type, amount of sunshine or shade, etc.). Not everyone will like the look of a landscape planted purely with cacti and succulents, although new cultivars such as ‘Chocolate Drop’ sedum may generate significant excitement. And sometimes natives simply don’t offer enough color choices for a particular season of the year.

Seedsavers blog: Drought strategies for vegetable gardening


Howard Hunter brought the revised Constitution and By-Laws forward for a vote of acceptance. On motions duly moved and seconded, the society’s Constitution and Bylaws as amended were adopted. You can read them or download a copy here[88kb pdf].


The meeting closed outwith a series of announcements from Colleen (aided by the audience).

There are a couple of notable fund-raisers from the OHA (details to be on the web site).

John Garside will be in charge of the Society’s efforts with the Picton Hospital Garden for this year.

Members were reminded about the plant sale to be held in Wellington on May 16 (Saturday).

Member benefits this year are 10% discounts at Walker’s Greenhouse in Milford, and Connons in Trenton will donate 10% of member purchases back to the Society. Watch for details soon our web site.

Seedy Saturday was ‘very well done’ and raised some money for the Society. Congratulations to Bert and Mary Jenkins, Howard Hunter, and Anne Reeves.

Mini Show

The mini-show main category – ‘arrangement is a tea cup’ … First place went to Mary Jenkins (arrangement at left below) and second place went to Pat Stuckey.

Pat Stuckey was the only entrant in the ‘Garden Picture’ mini-show category.


Click the images to see larger versions.

photo credits: Howard Hunter

Garden Tour – yours, for a great cause!

If you would like to open your garden for a tour to raise money for APPEC (a group fighting to keep out Industrial Wind Turbines from the South Shore). The planned date is June 27 and APPEC needs to know by the middle of February if you would like to volunteer your garden for this event.

Please call Johanna McCarthy at 476-0240 or send an email to

Society Meeting for November 27 – AGM

More food, more variety, more goodness! The annual meeting got off to the traditional start with a great meal produced by member volunteers.



After the meal, president Colleen Green addressed the 40+ members present. The first order of the AGM’s business was to solicit approval for the minutes (provided to members beforehand) for the 2013 AGM. On a motion duly moved and seconded, the minutes were adopted.

Colleen then gave the President’s Report in the form of a recap of the year’s significant events: the January and February meetings cancelled due to weather; the Garden Show which attracted over 600 people; the volunteer appreciation picnic hosted by Dave and Norma Crichton; the fund-raising efforts of Hedy Campbell’s workshops; and the social media team’s efforts (website by Andy Bowers and Twitter/Facebook by Connie Graham).

Howard Hunter presented the Financial Report, noting that there had been a slight drop in revenues caused by a decline in paid memberships and that expenditures had marginally exceeded income. The Society maintains a strong financial position. On a motion duly moved and seconded, and following several clarification requests from the floor, the Financial Statement was accepted.

On a motion duly moved and seconded, the Auditors were confirmed (same auditors as last year).

Howard continued with a brief presentation on the revised Constitution and Bylaws and explained the rationale for the changes (principally housekeeping and bringing the organization into line with OHA requirements). He advised the members that if they had any suggestions or concerns they should contact him with details.

Penny Stewart announced the members standing for the executive and invited further nominations. There being none, the 2015 executive was elected.

Your 2015 Executive

Your 2015 Executive [L to R]: Howard Hunter, Sheila Simmons, John Garside, Anne Reeves, Liz Bowers, Darlene Johnston, Gayla Campney, Mary Jenkins. Connie Graham, and Colleen Green

Penny Stewart brought greetings to the group and discussed some of the OHA future programs: an upcoming “Gardening Week” in June which would go much ‘deeper’ than just the Horticultural Societies bu would extend too encompass society member friends, neighbours, seniors, etc. and also a program designed for youth engagement in gardening and horticulture.

Colleen thanked the members of the 2013 Board for their work.

Marianne Malachowski brought greetings to the members with thanks for all their work with the Hospital Gardens.

Mary Jenkins concluded the meeting by announcing the recipients of various society trophies, and presenting the winners present with their trophies. This year’s winners were:

  • Pat Stuckey: Red Rose Tea Trophy (Best Rose)
  • Pat Stuckey: Mayor’s Award for Floral Arrangement (Best Design)
  • Pat Stuckey: Bankers of Picton Special Award (Most points in 2014 mini-shows)
  • Sandra Dowds: Phyllis Turpin Trophy (Floral Excellence)
  • Logan Harrington: Society special award (Novice Exhibitor)
  • Shannon Langridge: Best Vegetable Plaque
  • Maggie Lindsay: Junior Gardener Award



Click the images to see larger versions.

photo credits: Bert Jenkins

About Us

The Horticultural Society is a not-for-profit branch of the Ontario Horticultural Society, located in Prince Edward County ... read more >

County Garden & Flower Show

When: Saturday 17th June 10am - 4pm

Where: Inside Wellington Town Hall & St Andrew's Anglican Church, on their grounds and the front lawns of CML Snider School.

Schedule and Events
  • Flower Show: Judging takes place 9am to 11.30am. Open to the Public 11.30 to 4pm
  • Victorian Tea: Open to the Public 10.30 to 4pm
  • Silent Auction: Items generously donated by Carson Arthur
  • Master Gardeners: Creating a planter/container. Demonstrations at 11.30 and 1pm
  • Tree The County Pavilion: Find out more about county trees
  • Stuff for Kids

Vendors: See the complete list of vendors planning to be at the Show, click here.

Rules & Information: All the rules you need to know about the Flower Show and Classes, together with information and tips about how to prepare for showing. Click here for the download [375 kb pdf file].

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Newsletters from previous years can be found here


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