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Pine Ridge Garden Club News

HELEN NICOLAU, Special to The Standard

We have weathered the snowstorms of January. I hope everyone has been keeping safe and haven't experienced any winter-related injuries. The days have been getting longer, and moods are lifting as we get ready for another exciting gardening season.

I am looking forward to our first meeting at the Nestleton Community Hall, Tuesday, March 14th, at 7:30 p.m. The evening will include a "Sweet and Savoury" potluck tasting to enjoy during the meeting. Provided by our talented members, the food must be easily served with no heating required. Libbi Hood will be sharing a visit of her trip to Kent, England's historic Scotney Castle.

The District 17 AGM is being held on April 29th, hosted by the Cannington Horticultural Society. The theme for this year is "Embracing Diversity," A World of Variety for the Future. Tickets are available to purchase at the meeting. Reserve your seat for an informative day of speakers and floral and photo competitions; lunch is included.

The Board has been working diligently to confirm this year's speakers. The 2023 yearbook is being completed with updated schedules for flower, vegetable and photo classes. The flower schedules can help you focus on new plant choices. When planted in your garden, they can be the perfect complement to summer bulbs and perennials which are already established and in need of some annual summer brilliance. The second benefit is selecting those specified annuals or vegetables in this season's competitions. Keep your camera ready just in case a photo opp unexpectedly presents itself while you happen to be on an outing. Ensuing photos can be submitted to this year's photo competition.

On a recent trip, I attended The Venice, Florida Orchid Show. I was in awe of the variety and how elaborate the tropical hybrid orchids are. With 400 members overall, they certainly put on an impressive show and club display this past weekend. The Florida climate is perfect for growing orchids outdoors, throughout the year, and the variety of orchids available at the show could only be appreciated in person.

And amongst mature orchids for sale was an educational table showing the steps on growing orchids. The process starts with a seed pod, then germination within a flask, three stages of replanting, then separating the plants after approximately 18 months into community pots and in the final stage, the orchids are then transplanted into individual pots for another 12-18 months. The entire process takes 4-7 years from germination to finally seeing the germinated seed produce a flower. So remember this when you buy that beautiful orchid in full bloom, from your favourite garden centre, the process involved in nurturing an orchid till it is ready for purchase and display to enjoy in your home.

Orchid enthusiasts are aware, but only a few know there are over 50 native species in Ontario. Over 74 and three exotics are known throughout Canada, growing in terrains from mountains, prairies, wetlands, farmlands, forests, and tundra. Some are quite showy, like the Pink Lady's Slipper, while others have small but delicate flowers, like the Ladies Tresses, with fragrant scents of spice, vanilla and raspberries. To view and appreciate these exquisite wonders in nature, some research is required from the orchid website: Native Orchids of Canada. Best to book a local naturalist guide on an educational outing, as orchids are on the endangered list. When observing native orchids, care is needed as extensive root systems are easily damaged by foot traffic or from heavy backpacks placed a metre away. Stay on trails and capture the beauty with a camera and telephoto lenses. These species are extremely vulnerable and are threatened due to poaching, development, pesticides and climate change. Hybrids exist today due to the diverse species in the wild.

Pine Ridge Garden Club of Scugog

- Where gardeners come to Bloom

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