15 Societies attended Horticulture meeting

The Spring Ontario Horticultural Asso­ciation’s District 7 annual general meeting was hosted by the Mount Forest Horticultural society here and was held in Holstein.

Dorelene Anderson, of Harriston, was nominated as the new OHA District 7 Dir­ector.

All 15 Horticultural Soci­eties were represented at the annual spring meeting at the Optimist community centre in Holstein on April 12.

District Director Monica Skinner wished everyone the best in the coming years as she said farewell to her position on the board. Don Matthews ex­pressed his appreciation to Skinner on behalf of all the Societies in District 7.

Elections were conducted, with Dorelene Anderson being chosen District Director and Jane McDonald her assistant. Jean Phillips will be continuing as secretary, with Peter Phillips staying as treasurer. Ken McManus and Laurel Strachan join board members Stephanie Burke and Bonnie Whitehead.

Past President of the OHA Liisa Wolfgram was pleased to be able to visit each society, praising their unique person­alities and initiatives. She announced that the OHA now owns the rights to the slogan Keeping Ontario Beautiful.

McDonald announced that a youth workshop would be held in Harriston on June 21. Burke announced there would be a design workshop for adults on Sept. 6 in Erin. McDonald awarded the prizes from the flower show.

Guest speaker Dr. Jonathan Schmidt, of the University of Guelph, discussed the role of colour in the ecosystem. He explained the theory of light and colour to explain why birds and bees are attracted to dif­ferent flowers. Those insects and birds await the arrival of spring for colours to turn into a riotous harmonious mix of Spring blossoms.

His experi­ment that chang­ed red cabbage juice to blue, then to a foaming pink fountain gave an interesting perspective to the dynamics of environ­mental biology.

Guest speaker Shannon Wood, of the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority observ­ed that people like flowers because of their name, stur­di­ness, heartiness, colour, struc­ture, rarity, wildness, scent, taste, or sentimental value.

Humans need plants for existence as most food is polli­nated by wind, insects, and birds. Honey bees are number one in their field for polli­na­tion. They are attracted to yellow and see the flowers as runways and landing pads. Dandelions call them all out of hiding.

Did anyone know that bana­nas are pollinated by bats? Plants develop tricks to lure polli­nators. Some use scent; others use light.

Wood finished with a story about God talking to Saint Frances about how people follow the cycle of paying to enrich their lawns – only to mow down the grass. 

Mount Forest Society President Marilyn Hodgins and co-organizer Rosemary Tanner were pleased to be able to host this event and provide a soup and sandwich luncheon to the participants.Fruit and muffins were plentiful along with coffee.

Skinner closed the event saying with the pandemonium of life, gardening becomes infec­tious to provide calm and healing to a day.