For almost a century, the Stouffville Horticultural Society has been a mainstay of the social calendars for the residents of Stouffville and the surrounding area. The Society was organized in 1924 under the authority of the provincial Ministry of Agriculture. With the focus on both horticulture and gardening, the early years membership included many local farmers as well as gardeners. Gradually, interest shifted to gardening. In the 1960’s and 70’s women entered the full-time workforce in greater numbers, often in jobs far from Stouffville leaving little time to spend on the upkeep of large gardens. The focus of the Society again changed to reflect that reality.
At the present time, our mission is to educate our members and members of the public, adults and children, on the benefits of maintaining native habitats by planting native trees, shrubs, perennial grasses and flowers while avoiding the need to plant invasive species. With a view not only to attracting and providing sustenance to our native and beneficial insects, but also to create sustainable and time-saving gardens that beautify our community.
Each month, from March to November, on the third Monday of each month, we invite experts to speak on topics of interest to our members. We also offer various “how-to” workshops, flower show and design competitions, a photography competition, a yearly plant sale, bus trips to visit gardens around southern Ontario, and hold our occasional “Happy Place” event to honor gardeners who have created outstanding gardens, large or small.
We invite you to come and join us.
Greenwood Community Garden
With the help of several wonderful volunteers, we grew a small allotment garden at the Allotment Garden on Greenwood Avenue. All the proceeds went to the Stouffville Food Bank. We grew spring onions, cherry tomatoes, beans (pole and bush), beets, Swiss Chard and Calalou (a Caribbean vegetable a lot like spinach).
We had a lot of trouble with weeds. The beans were spotty – (I don’t think the soil was good enough). After some trouble with powdery mildew on the tomatoes, which I sprayed with a weak solution of skim milk powder, they produced pretty well. The Swiss chard was terrific after the usual problems with flea beetles. The best results were the spring onions and the beets. The Calalou did well, but I don’t know if the Food Bank knew what to do with it.
We are hoping to do it again this year with improved results and have asked for another allotment if there is one available. Any help with this small project would be most appreciated.
Before & After Canada 150 Anniversary Garden
In 2017, the Stouffville Horticultural Society in collaboration with the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, created a garden at the corner of Park Drive South and Booth Drive (across from Memorial Park) to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday! Focusing entirely on mostly native perennials and shrubs that will support native birds and insects, the garden has grown substantially from its first year, and this past year it finally came into its own with a lush and colourful display throughout the spring, summer and fall. A continuing and evolving project and with the help of willing volunteers, we hope to see it remain a beautiful Town attraction for many years to come.
A special thanks to those maintaining our beautiful gardens.
Margaret Grant, Donna DiCostanza & Karen Manchak.