Group learns of hens and chicks

The Harriston and District Horticultural Society met on March 10 at Harriston-Minto com­munity centre.
Former long time member Leonard Patterson was re­membered in a minute’s silence for his many years of work with the society. A silent auction was held to raise money for future programs. A few entries in the mini flower show were judged and awarded prizes.
Willa Wick, of Harriston, showed photos of semper­vivums, commonly known as Hens and Chicks. They are succulents that can take up and store water in their thick leaves, which makes them drought tolerant. Before the cold weather of winter arrives, the plants drain the water out, so that the leaves will not explode when they freeze.
They can be planted in stones, crevices in rock gard­ens, barn beam stairs, flower beds, and planters. They grow best in gravelly or sandy, well drained soil in full sun, and the best mulch to use is white ston­es that can accent their foliage. The plants form chicks that grow on stolons. The chicks can then produce new plants, either through transplanting, or by the wind blowing them to a new location.
The name sempervivum ori­ginates from Roman times of growing them on the thatch roofs of houses in the belief that no witch could land her broomstick on a roof on which houseleeks were growing.
There society will be holding a mystery bus tour on July 26. The next meeting will be held on April 14. The speaker will be Elroy Bartman on the topic of waterfall designs. New and former members are always welcome.
submitted by Mary Anne Connell