Crown Point Garden Club

Growing in East Hamilton

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Pipeline Pollinator Paradise– what we’ve learned

Pipeline Pollinator Garden Aug 8 2017

Pipeline Pollinator Paradise, August 8, 2017.

The Pipeline Trail native plant garden, now in its third season, is in full “yellow daisy” display. It’s turned into a beautiful, lush, and remarkably garden-like feature on the west end of the trail. Here’s what we’ve learned about planting and maintaining a large garden, with volunteer labour, on public land, on terrible hard-packed clay.

  • Mulch mulch and more mulch. Plain old woodchips, at least three inches, will turn the clay into something plants can grow in. We are seeing worms, soil-dwelling insects and micro-fauna, and the beginnings of hyphae networks. Life is emerging, starting with the soil
  • weeding is very important. We stayed on top of the weeds for the first two summers. Now we can be less vigilant–soil disturbance is low so buried seeds don’t germinate.
  • Heliopsis helianthoides / Smooth Oxeye Daisy

    Heliopsis helianthoides / Smooth Oxeye Daisy with ripening berries from Sambucus canadensis / Elderberry shrub

  • Deadhead. Yes we want the birds to enjoy the seeds but we also have to consider that allowing volunteer seedlings creates a huge amount of work for us. The Coreopsis tripteris, wild geranium, and asters have been the most pesky. These plants need special attention
  • Be prepared to treat the space like a “real” garden. Plants will flop over (especially this year with all the rain and rampant growth) so staking and tying is necessary. Move and spread things so the garden looks good from several angles. Make sure species receive the sun they need. Add and rearrange plants so that something is in bloom in every area, all the time.
  • Monarda, Heliopsis, Pycnanthemum, Rosa virginiana

  • People are pigs. Yes, they throw pop bottles, cigarette butts, and all manner of garbage into the garden. We found a tray of cat litter. Also, some donations: hostas and morning glories. Be prepared for the work and always bring trash bags to a weeding session.
  • The wild strawberries (Fragaria virginica) do not play nice. They are easily the most aggressive plant in the garden and they should be given their own space. They completely overran the Carex they were planted with, requiring a rescue mission for the sedge.
  • Take photos and teach volunteers how to distinguish seedlings from weeds.
  • Pipeline Pollinator Garden, from west, Aug. 8, 2017

  • Keep an eye out for species that are struggling. We lost the Pearly Everlastings in the first winter and have not managed to re-establish them. The Liatris cylindracea never got established at all. We lost some native grasses, too.
  • Note which species are doing better than expected. The Penstemon hirsutus is thriving so we introduced Penstemon digitalis.
  • Fill in the bare areas or nature will do it for you.


Road Trip to Whistling Gardens

Mark your calendars and RSVP for the next garden club road trip. On Saturday July 22 we’ll be travelling to Norfolk County to visit the amazing Whistling Gardens. Car pool departure time is 12 noon from the H.G. Wallace parking lot at 151 Ottawa St. North. We’ve secured a group rate so the entry fee is only $11 per person– best to bring cash. Also there is a retail area for people who want to buy plants.

Time permitting we’ll be dropping by at least one garden center on the way home.

RSVP please to crownpoint.gardens@gmail.com. All neighbourhood gardeners are welcome to join in, even if this is your first garden club experience.

Shade Plant Presentation

Kirengeshoma (Yellow waxbells) in top left, fronted by Digitalis lanata and flanked by Itea virginiana, another great shade plant.

Thank you to club member Gerry and his former RBG Auxiliary “potting” crew Judy and Denise for their presentation on shade plants at our April 2017 meeting. Some, like Hellebore and Hosta, were familiar and some, like Kirengeshoma and Mukdenia, were not.

For your reference and further research. here is the pdf of their presentation (opens in new tab).

Next up: Shade Plants!

shade plants on MoBot web site

“Problem Solver Plants for Heavy Shade” on Missouri Botanical Garden Web site

The best reason to NOT miss the April meeting (on Wednesday the 26th) is the peer coaching topic: “shade plants” presented by Gerry Cragg and his crew from the RBG Auxiliary. Club member and Crown Point resident Jerry was team leader for the dedicated group of volunteers who propagated shade-tolerant plants for the RBG’s annual plant sale. The plant sale no longer happens (it’s morphed into the “Plant Faire” see link below) but Gerry and the shade gang have stayed in contact. They will be joining us to share, via powerpoint and discussion, their knowledge about plants that grow best in low light.

Plant Faire graphic

Click to visit the “Plant Faire” page on RBG site


The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at 151 Ottawa Street North (the L.G. Wallace Funeral Home building, in the second floor lounge).

Stratford Road Trip

stratfordgardenfest2017Saturday March 4 will be our first road trip of the season! The Stratford Garden Festival is a truly excellent event with great speakers, a ton of vendors, and all supporting the Lung Association. For details about the program and vendors, visit https://www.on.lung.ca/stratfordgardenfestival.

We’ll be car-pooling. Departure time is 9 a.m. sharp so please arrive early so we can arrange passengers/drivers. The meeting spot is the parking lot at the back of the Perkins Center, 1429 Main St. East, just east of Kenilworth on the north side.

You must RSVP– we are arranging a group discount and we need to know how many are in the group. Please confirm by sending an email to: crownpointgardens@gmail.com. If we have 12 people signed up, the ticket price will be $7. If less than 12, the ticket price is $9. In either case it is payable at the door.

The return time is flexible. Some people may want to stay until 2:30 in order to catch Sean James’ presentation on flowers for bees and butterflies.

Winter Sowing Workshop 2017

Want to learn how to winter sow? Check out these online resources:
www.wintersown.org
Video on YouTube

In partnership with Hamilton’s Pollinator Paradise Project we’ve scheduled the 2017 winter sowing workshop. It’s a hands-on, open-to-the-public event on Wednesday Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Evergreen’s Collaboration Station at 294 James St. North, just south of Barton on the east side of James. Parking is on the street. The Evergreen space is just right– big, with lots of big tables to work on. The event is free but pre-registration is required, through EventBrite. Please register EARLY– the space is big but it is possible that we’ll need to cut off registrations if there’s a huge response.

Here’s the registration link:eventbrite link

Winter sowing

Winter sowing

You need bring your own seeds and supplies. Suggested supplies include:

  • clean containers (clear plastic litre-sized pop bottles, translucent gallon-sized milk jugs, mushroom tubs with a clear plastic bag)
  • potting/seeding mix (available for sale at the event for $5 per bag, free for Crown Point Garden Club volunteers)
  • a bucket, bin, or large bowl
  • a water bottle
  • scissors or a sharp knife
  • a permanent felt marker and/or plant markers (for labelling your containers with the species)
  • seeds! If your seed is not in retail packets you’ll need to research (in advance) sowing details (seeding depth and any special requirements such as soaking or nicking)
  • a means to carry home your filled tubs/containers. Remember, they’ll be heavy

If you’re new to winter sowing, please check out www.wintersown.org for information. Or watch this video: https://youtu.be/SO_KKbGYTEM

Remember to dress for mess. Bring seeds for swapping/sharing if you have extras.

Although the event is free we’ll be requesting donations to the Pollinators Paradise Project (PPP), our organizing partner on this workshop. PPP is behind so much of the work being doing in Hamilton for pollinator awareness and habitat creation.

Delta Craft & Vendor Sale– Sat. Dec. 3 2016

plants getting ready to spread holiday cheer. Plectranthus, Coleus, Hibiscus acetosella, and more!

plants getting ready to spread holiday cheer. Plectranthus, Coleus, Hibiscus acetosella, and more!

The Garden Club has accepted Delta United Church’s kind offer of a table at their second annual “Get Your Shopping Done” craft and vendor sale on Saturday December 3. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. and the event runs until 2:00 p.m. $2 admission includes your door prize ticket!

More than 40 vendors, direct sales, and many craft and one-of-a-kind artisans will be there. There will be everything you need to finish (or start!) your Christmas shopping! A large bake table and lunch items will also be available for purchase.

Our new photo / promo display!

Our new photo / promo display!

The Crown Point Garden Club will have several items for sale:

Acti-Sol pelletized hen manure, excellent organic fertilizer with the added bonus of deterring squirrels 5-3-2 on the NPK. It’s a Canadian product, very popular and difficult to find at retail outlets. Visit Acti-Sol web site in new tab

PLANTS! We’ve taken cuttings of our best and favourite plants for you to keep as permanent houseplants or save for your summer garden as fillers for containers and those annoying bare spaces after the spring bulbs fade. Several varieties of Coleus, two varieties of Plectranthus, Hibiscus acetosella (the “Instant Maple Tree”), spider plants, and more surprises. All nicely potted in sterile mix.

2x3" cells for sale as fundraiser  (oops spilled some)

2×3″ cells for sale as fundraiser
(oops spilled some)


Seed-starting mini-trays and mix. We have super-fine Premier PGX seeding mix, a peat and vermiculite based medium for seed starting. If you’ve had trouble starting seeds indoors, this could be the solution to seedling success in 2017. Sold in home-gardener sized bags. This is not available at retail, so give it a try.

New Meeting Location

After a year of meeting at the ARCH (1429 Main St. E.) we’ve switched to a spot on Ottawa Street. L.G. Wallace Funeral Home at 151 Ottawa Street (just south of Cannon) has a comfortable lounge/meeting room that holds 35 and is free of charge. There is ample parking available. L.G. Wallace had advertised in The Point as having meeting rooms available, so I phoned and received a warm response. Staff person Jessica will also be attending our meetings, so double bonus!

Funeral homes are becoming more than the traditional end-of-life “sad” places. They are starting to reach out to the community, offering their spaces for service and connection to their neighbourhoods. We are glad L.G. Wallace is there for us every month on the fourth Wednesday, at 7:30 pm.

The next meeting is on Wednesday October 26. See you at 151 Ottawa Street, at 7:30 pm.

Our new meeting space

Our new meeting space

Road Trip! Seeds and Gardens and Rain

Back Row: Erin, Sue, Fran, Anne, Diane, Ben, Jordan Front Row: Scherrie, Bev, Cathy, Kathleen

Back Row: Erin, Sue, Fran, Anne, Diane, Ben, Jordan
Front Row: Scherrie, Bev, Cathy, Kathleen


Say "CHIVES"!

Say “CHIVES”!


The back row saved this one.

The back row saved this one.


Wm Dam Road Trip

On Wed. Aug. 17 we joined the Flamborough Horticultural Society and friends on a guided tour of Wm. Dam Seeds in Flamborough. The rain DID catch us but no one minded– after this summer’s terrible drought we gardeners were happy to see a nice gentle drizzle.

The display gardens had not been irrigated since mid-June (vegetable fields were given priority) so the plants were not as tall or robust as they normally would be. Still, there were many interesting varieties and we got to taste some fresh-picked tomatoes.

Tour of Wm. Dam Seeds

On Wednesday August 17 we’re joining the Flamborough Horticultural Society for a guided tour of the display and trial gardens at Wm. Dam Seeds. Carpool meets at 6 pm in the parking lot behind the Perkins Center at the northeast corner of Main and Kenilworth. If you’d like to go, please rsvp to crownpointgardens@gmail.com There is no charge for the tour.

trial gardens at Wm. Dam Seeds

Photo: Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Project


link to Wm. Dam web site

The tour starts at 7 pm. If you are driving DO NOT rely on your GPS. Most GPS systems will not find this place. Use the map on the Wm. Dam web site: Map

Here’s a great blog post from our friends at Hamilton Pollinator Paradise Project on the gardens at gardens at Wm. Dam

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