Ripley and the District Horticultural Society Celebrate Earth Week with Gardening for Wildlife Showcase

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Spring may be a little slow in coming, but the Ripley and District Horticultural Society (RDHS) is eager to grow, as evidenced by a packed agenda that included an informative presentation on gardening for wildlife during the April 20 afternoon meeting held at the Ripley-Huron Community Centre.

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Twenty-three members and two guests answered the call, “signs of spring”.

RDHS member Joan McLaughlin’s presentation, Transforming Gardens for Wildlife, and the abundant information it contains, stems from her realization while landscaping her Bruce Beach retirement property that widely accepted horticultural practices not only did not meet the needs of pollinators, insects and birds, but were actually contributing to the decline of biodiversity. With her usual energy and enthusiasm, McLaughlin embarked on a personal research project to identify appropriate native tree and plant species for her ecoregion and source materials.

McLaughlin’s seminar featured lists of key plants, invasive plants, planning resources, tips on gardening to fight climate change and promote wildlife, and where to buy native plants. She finished with photos taken at her home and provided take-home resources for the audience. Attendees enjoyed his talk and appreciated his tremendous efforts to share his passion for aboriginal gardening.

Reports from Treasurer and Goodwill Officer received.

Tryntje Eisen reported on the group’s future plans for For Our Youth, which include the first in-person meeting in mid-May when members repot seedlings of tomato and marigold ‘buddy plant’; seeds for which they received delivery earlier in a mailbox. The six meetings scheduled for the 2022 season include educational sessions with the Bruce Botanical Food Gardens and the Pine River Watershed Initiative Network.

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The rest of the meeting focused largely on the company’s many upcoming activities, planting schedules and ideas for new projects.

Responding to awareness, RDHS volunteers plan to work with the Township of Huron-Kinloss and Ripley-Huron Community School to plan, plant and maintain gardens at the school and a new garden in Ripley’s cemetery in plus public gardens at the public library, Ripley-Huron Legion, township offices, cemetery and many large seasonal planters already maintained by the society.

The traditional Spring Flower Show will return with minor modifications on Wednesday, May 18, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ripley-Huron Community Center in the arena foyer. Admission is $5 and will include refreshments.

Another traditional throwback event is the Lewis Park Plant Sale, from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 21. Members of the youth group will also have plants for sale.

Other events still in the planning stages are a 95th anniversary garden party and a summer garden tour.

The Ripley and District Horticultural Society welcomed several new members this year and invites anyone interested in gardening and community beautification to learn more by attending a meeting or contacting Dianne Simpson, [email protected] .

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