Hens, chicks, bees were topics at District meeting

District Director Dorelene Anderson wel­comed over 80 people to the Ontario Horticultural Asso­ciation District 7 general meet­ing on Oct. 24 at the commu­ni­ty centre here.

President Margaret Reidt brought greetings from the Harriston Society. She was pleased to hand out goodie bags filled with items supplied from merchants of Minto.

Jane McDonald reported on the success of the youth work shop held in Marden. The youth from the Clifford society will be presented with the Heipel-Markle trophy and youth from the Arthur society will receive the Rose Bowl. The flower show winners re­ceived their prize money. Trisha Black was the judge.

Don Matthews introduced the first guest speaker, Willa Wick, of Harriston, an avid gardener who adores lavender and sempervivums, known as hens and chicks.

Those plants can be as tiny as a thimble or as large as an outstretched hand and range in colour from light yellow to orange to green to wine. The suc­culents produce long roots that constantly search for water. They are great for arid regions and live forever, even in arctic regions.

Great for groundcover and borders or filling in stumps and hollow logs, they even were believed to ward off evil spirits, and they thrive when toss­ed upon a thatched roof of a home.

Wick loves the tapestry of colour and texture as they grow on stairs and stones. They may be fragile, but they re­produce quickly, rejuvenate in the spring, and are a delight to grow.

Margaret Reidt introduced Janna Dodds, from Drew, who is a beekeeper. She spoke high­ly of the best of pollinators, the honey bees.

Without pollination, many of foods would not grow. Bees are attracted by asters, Black eyed Susans, currants, elder­berries, lupins, blue corn flow­ers, sage, lilac, sunflowers, and willows.

Scientists believe that pesticides, mites, parasites, vi­rus­es, inadequate food supply, global warming, and even a bar­rage of cell phone frequen­cies are causing the demise of honey bees who leave the hive or die.

Medication mixed with icing sugar helps them stave off a virus and recover. Smoking the hive protects people from being stung. The bees think a forest fire is on the go, so they fill up their bellies with honey, making it difficult for them to bend and sting anyone.

Wildflower unpasteurized honey has a number of medi­cinal properties that heal wounds, protect burns, soothe a sore throat or cough and could help reduce allergens.

Be sure to read the labels when buying honey at the store. It may be mixed with honey from Argen­tina or Chile. 

  Trish Symons presented Edit-Trade Up – Do You Dare? She suggested a number of ways of using a variety of plants in the garden and in pot­ted displays using her photo­graphs.

The next District 7 meeting will be held on April 24 in Erin at the Royal Canadian Legion for the annual general meeting.