2016 marks the 95th anniversary for the Almonte and District Horticultural Society (A&DHS). A special event and gardening projects are being planned to celebrate this occasion so this would be a great year to become a member. The Society is an excellent resource to answer your gardening questions. Whether a beginner or master gardener you are certain to enjoy the benefits of A&DHS membership. We provide a supportive environment for gardeners of all levels by encouraging the use of eco-friendly practices to promote the production of food, flowers and plants, and to conserve our environment.
A&DHS presents expert guest speakers at monthly meetings. In January, landscape designer and bonsai practitioner, Cornelius Berg, from Blakeney will talk about bonsai fundamentals and design, as well as developing bonsai for our climate zone. Other Society benefits include: Networking opportunities with Lanark County Master Gardeners; A monthly newsletter (The Garden Grapevine) to keep you informed of current events; Field trips, garden tours and flower shows; Member discounts from numerous local gardening businesses; Access to the Ontario Horticultural Association; and An annual plant sale offering vegetables and plants at discount prices. In addition, following each meeting, you’ll enjoy refreshments and sharing your gardening experiences. Raffles at each meeting provide a chance to win useful garden-related items.
A&DHS volunteer members plant and maintain public gardens at the Cenotaph, Almonte Library (including Albert’s Garden), Peace Park, Veteran’s Walkway, Arena, and the downtown barrel and urn planters. High school students are most welcome to join us and can apply their volunteer hours toward the 40-hour Ontario community involvement requirement. With the cooperation of the Mississippi Mills Beautification Committee, Society members assemble thank-you gifts, and select, photograph and submit winners to the Canadian Gazette and Millstone News for the ‘Yard of the Week’. We hope to continue our partnership with Naismith School and Erica McKay by continuing to plant flower and vegetable seeds with the Junior and Senior Kindergarten classes and one of the senior classes in the spring. These seedlings are then planted in the kindergarten play area and, when the students return to school in September, they enjoy fresh vegetables. Last year, seeds were planted by three Naismith students who chose to grow vegetables for the Lanark County Food Bank as their social justice project. The seedlings were planted in planters constructed by volunteers in front of the school and in a plot in the community gardens at the Almonte Library. Over 75 pounds of food were delivered from their gardens to the Lanark County Food Bank in Carleton Place.
Meetings are held the 4th Monday of the month (except July and December and except adjusted dates due to statutory holidays) at 7:30 p.m. at the Cornerstone Community Church (next to the Almonte Roundabout at the corner of Conc. 11A and County Rd. 49). Pot luck suppers are held at the meetings in August and November. Membership is only $10 per year. Registration for the 2016 season will take place at our first meeting on Monday, January 25 from 7:00 to 7:30 P.M. and throughout the year.
A&DHS members will also be in attendance at a ‘Seedy Saturday’ event organized by local Society member Johvi Leek on Saturday, February 20 at the Almonte Civitan Hall to accept registrations and answer questions. For information regarding Seedy Saturdays, check out the Seeds of Diversity website.