Weeds, Seeds, and Garden Deeds: Celebrating 50 years of the Florenceville-Bristol Garden Club

by | Jun 1, 2024

The 1990s: Big Hair and Big Gardens

Neon. Tie-dye. And, ooh, the neon tie-dye leggings for that hip-hop look! Gardens were just as colourful in 1990!

Starting with 21 members that year, President Don Wolverton, Vice President Shirley Reid, Secretary Janice Crawford, and Treasurer Audrey Tompkins held the reins. Members were still contacted by telephone (the old one with the dial (there were no cellphones then!), and club activities were planned monthly.

The club year started with guest speakers, Mr. and Mrs. Hayward from Hayward Potato and Green House, who brought seeds for the members.

As an early gardener, I visited their greenhouses and learned much about my own early successes and failures!

There was a potluck on May 1, and a fresh trout brought by Don (auctioned for a fundraiser). For those who don’t remember, Don was involved in the Trout Farmers Association and an avid gardener.

The field trip outing that year was to the Lieutenant Governor’s House in Fredericton for a tour of the gardens and the house. Two other gardens were visited along the way (they were not named in the minutes), but as all good club meetings do, it ended in a great dinner – somewhere in Burton.

Meetings were still being held at member homes. That year, there was a workshop at the Fredericton Motor Inn on learning how to judge flowers, which I am sure helped out with the annual flower show in August. At the June meeting, there was even some discussion about forming a “New Brunswick” Garden Club.

The year ended as it began – with a potluck at the November meeting! Planning again for the next year of garden dreams.

Still, there is much to do THIS year in our own gardens after that trip a few years back.

Spring Garden – It’s Time TO DO:

— Transplant seedlings and young plants from the greenhouse after hardening off. Simply move plants into increasingly exposed sun and wind over the course of a week or two while being prepared to bring them indoors when nighttime temperatures dip. Don’t let them get sunburn!

— Apply some hen manure (pelletized is a great option), which is rich in nitrogen, to garlic, and around the drip line of trees and shrubs (No – it doesn’t stink!). Compost other plants around the drip lines.

— Mulch perennial beds. Dark/ natural bark mulch on perennial beds helps keep in moisture and reduce weeds. Don’t cover crowns of herbaceous plants or tree trunks, as this will promote rot and harm wood

— Stake peonies and other plants needing support. It’s easier to stake them now before the plants get unmanageable.

— Fertilize raspberries/ blackberries/ blueberries. Balanced 10-10-10 or good aged compost will help fruit-bearing plants.

What’s most impressive is how much we continued to grow as a club, young gardeners with a keen interest in planting and growing — even our April 15 club meeting was met with an overflowing room. Perhaps George, Jenny and Colton Scott drew the crowd (wink, wink)!

I enjoy hearing from readers about their garden adventures, and I love hearing about your gardens!

FOREST FIRE INDEX – click image for current status

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