Robert Parker guest speaker at garden club meeting

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PICTOU – Westville and Area Gardening Club met in the cafeteria of the Walter Duggan Elementary School on November 20. 

There were 20 members in attendance, including three visitors. President Bill Dewtie welcomed everyone to the meeting and there were two birthdays to report – Basil McCann and Isabel Kennedy.

The evening began with a demonstration of an unusual annual grown one of the club’s members. It is called a “Millet” and has yellow flowers and a very unusual spent flower with the tiny seed attached.

The correspondence was read by Anne Palmer that included a thank you from the family of the late Lawrence Thompson for the club’s donation in his memory.

The financial report was delivered by treasurer Jim Notley who reported the balance was the same as last month’s because he had not had a chance to get the online banking set up yet.

Plans are being finalized for the annual Christmas party to be held December 14 at the Westville Recreation building. The club will meet at 4 p.m. and members will eat at 4:30 p.m. This date coincides with the Annual Parade of Lights in Westville.   Two members will pick up the key Friday and some members will go to the rec centre around 3:30 p.m. to set up for the party.  A menu was formulated by club members.

The club also observed a moment of silence for its past president Edgar Hart who had recently passed away.  Dewtie also reported that Ross Cameron was not in attendance because he had a death in his family.

The guest speakers for the evening were Bob and Colleen Parker, owner and operators of West River Greenhouses.  Bob’s presentation was regarding new and interesting plants – the promise of season – love colour!

Bob noted that there were several changes and some of the flowering garden stables are being discontinued. There will be no more impatiens plants due to mildew that is killing the plants. To date there is no cure. However, in their absence, the new guinea and sun impatiens will be the suitable replacements.

There are aphids that are attacking the strawberry plants and there will be noticeable decline in the produce.  He said there is a bore that is infecting the ash trees.

Bob is noticing a great need to protect and attract more bees for the benefits to the gardening of all plant, trees and shrubs.  He also noticed an increase in the interest and marketing of organic fertilizers to replace the chemical products offered in the past. His business, West River Greenhouses, sells a wide selection of Fafard products that are organic and very beneficial to the gardens. They do not act quite as quickly, but are effective.

Sea boost is another of the products available at West River Green houses . This product is shipped by truck load to California from the home base of Cornwallis.  Irish Moss is always useful, but it is making a comeback as being high in calcium, gypsum, boron and iron.  This is great for turnips and if carrots split, this is a sign that boron is missing from the soil.

The meeting was adjourned until the Christmas party on December 14.


Organizations: Westville and Area Gardening Club, Walter Duggan Elementary School, Bob and Colleen Parker

Geographic location: California, West River, Westville Cornwallis

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