Category: Gardening

Apples Anyone ?

Apples Anyone ?


We all enjoy apples for attributes like great flavour, crunch and versatility. Have you ever wondered where apples come from?

Dr. David Maxwell had members and guests full attention as he described his passion to help ensure heritage varieties continue to grow and produce.


He guided us along explaining the botany and history, as well as the factors determining the ascendance and eclipse of particular cultivars using visual examples of treasured varieties, many that he grows.

Apples originated in Kazakhstan where they grow as small as grapes and as large as pumpkins. They need to be humanly grafted on suitable root stock to reproduce. There are more than 12000 named cultivars that have been selected for climate, purpose, season, keeping, disease resistance, resistance to shipping, taste and modern marketing. For example a recent cultivar, the Honey Crisps, were created by market demand for large size, sweetness, colourful appearance and, of course, crispness. We all have our personal preferences for eating and cooking and some were surprised to learn that Bramleys are the premier cooking apple of the world.

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After his informative presentation on the attributes of apples, Dr. Maxwell treated members to a variety of tastes of apples, apple crisp, apple sauce, apple jelly and apple cider. Members enthusiastically took up the challenge to discover which apple tastes they preferred, choosing from over 15 varieties.

Apple anyone?



The Nova Scotia Association of Garden Clubs is an organization made up of Garden Clubs, Horticultural Societies, and Speciality Plant Societies from 7 districts across Nova Scotia. Chester Garden Club is one of seven clubs in District 6, the south shore. Each year, one club in each district takes a turn and hosts a meeting, inviting members of all clubs in the district to attend.

On October 13th , two members from our club were among 25 guests of Liverpool Garden Club. In a warm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere we were welcomed and enjoyed and challenged by two excellent presentations.



Speaker Emily Liot’s topic was Composting. Her passion is Red Wigglers. – Vermi-culture.



Mary Lou White spoke passionately about the needs in Nova Scotia regarding Food Security. She described the issues and her support and work building and encouraging Community Gardens, providing education and giving families hope for more in the future than food banks.



IMGP8183Door prizes included garden produce and other gardening related items.











Following a delicious lunch we were encouraged to visit Cosby’s Garden Centre and take a walk through the fall foliage to view the incredible work of Nova Scotia sculptor, Ivan Higgins.



Thanks to Liverpool Garden Club we had fun,we learned and we were challenged to create and also to support ways to make a difference for others in our communities and province.



The more often we see the things around us, even the beautiful and wonderful things, the more they tend to become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the sunshine, the rain, the flowers & garden produce, the trees, the animals & birds, even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.

Several garden club members and gardening friends have shared pictures and thoughts of garden gifts in the fall; a reminder to all to STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, SMELL, TOUCH, TASTE AND SHARE.

Jayne: “Love this time of year”


Jane Campbell 8th generation family farm image2

The 8th generation Campbell property today with a bounty of freshness.


Sheila: “AJ researched for the  Flower Show Victory Garden and her design later produced these wonderful Cucamelons and Peppers”


Carol:“Yum! My first cantaloupe ever and some squash.”



Myra and a neighbours 20180915_135142

Myra: “Red from my neighbour’s garden and yellow from my garden.” 


Brenda:”A collection for our favourite fall variety of dishes: cucumbers and cream, relish, jams, soups and others. 


Sheila Soestmeyer

Sheila: “I was inspired to forage for mushrooms at our September meeting. Pizza tonight”


 Shirley: “You can’t eat these but they are lovely” – Jane “Yummy Bundle” – Myra: “My Pickerel Frog”

Lets remember to give thanks

For food in a world where many walk in hunger

For faith in a world where many walk in fear

For friends in a world where many walk alone


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Gardener’s “Pot Luck”

Gardener’s “Pot Luck”



Chester Gardeners, who are usually busy with garden or flower design, occasionally shed their “play” clothes and show off their culinary design skills.

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Members and partners, looking forward to seeing gardening friends, conversation and a wonderful variety of dishes, arrived on the warm rainy summer afternoon for the annual “Pot Luck” held at Jayne & Keiths beautiful shore property.



The windows in the rainy weather allowed time out in the beautiful gardens and some found a spot with a view to enjoy their meal out of doors. The variety of beautifully displayed foods enjoyed by all were soon only empty dishes.


Thanks to all and especially our hosts, Jayne and Keith, everyone had a most enjoyable time.



Reflections of “Lest We Forget”

Reflections of “Lest We Forget”

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“Lest We Forget “


Flower Shows begin long before the scheduled date. Many gardeners begin by planting very early in order to have a plant in bloom for a show day specimen and / or planned design.


Encouragement and reminders were presented to members and guests at our regular July meeting.


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Esther’s grandson Theo planning his entry.

It takes so much thought and planning.

Each year members and community participants combine there abilities to bring everything together to produce a beautiful display. There is a schedule to prepare, a judge needed, trophy’s to polish, tea and sweets to plan and prepare, servers, set up and clean up crews. And most important “Flowers Flowers Flowers” to prepare.



There are “Welcome” flowers and welcome from members.



This year, being the anniversary of the end of the first world war, our show was entitled “Lest We Forget”. The schedule design titles were reminders to all of events during times of conflict. The legion was tastefully decorated with military and war memorabilia.


Shirley helps

Members helped as entries arrived and were placed.



The floral arrangements and specimens were especially stunning and entries showed skill in conditioning and preparation during the hot humid weather.


2018 07 26_Carol, Brenda & Pam help our Judge Jana 105634Carol, Pam and Brenda assisted Jana our judge.


Everyone is interested in the childrens entries.


Happy faces were seen everywhere from our youngest entrants and viewers, our guests form Shoreham Village and Bonny Lea Farm, those who would never miss and those who came for the first time.


We were thrilled to have our presidents mother,102 year old Margaret Harris and former president, Peggy McAlpine in attendance. Both ladies expressed their pleasure in viewing the show and meeting not only members but many from the community.



Tea Time.



The Silent Auction helps with Garden Club Community Projects.



A look at the winners from the show. Congratulations.

Thanks to Kay, Esther, Jayne, Katie & Brenda for the photos.

Looking For Inspiration

Looking For Inspiration


Jayne welcomes Niki Jabbour, to Chester Garden Clubs June meeting.

Niki Jabbour, energetic, entertaining and full of inspiring ideas, suggests we all consider plants from all over the world, hardy for zone 6 on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

Niki is the award – winning author of Niki Jabbour’s Vegi Garden Remix, The Year Round Vegetable Gardener, and Groundbreaking Food Gardens. Her work is found in Fine Gardening, Garden  Making, Birds & Blooms, Horticulture, and other publications, and she speaks widely on food gardening at events and shows across North America. She is the host and creator of The Weekend Gardener radio show. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.        


Inspired by family, Niki grows new plant varieties from all over the world, hardy to Nova Scotia’s south shore .


Niki gave us a beautiful visual presentation with suggestions for zone hardy choices “new to us” plants from many different areas of the world.


Chester Garden Club Members and Guests look forward to new reading and also new tastes from Niki’s recommendations.

What has Happend – What ‘s Next

What has Happend – What ‘s Next

June 2018: Some gardening activities have finished and many are yet to come:

Chester Garden Club Gardeners Sale: A special thank you to all who contributed to our annual Gardeners sale.

With such great team work and cooperation we all had a great time and helped to provide the community with good healthy plants for their gardens.


NSAGC Annual Convention held in the South Shore district and hosted by Bridgewater Garden Club was a great success. Watch for a follow up in the July issue of the NSAGC Newsletter. “NSAGC Scotia Gardener”.


June Community event’s reminder:


Saturday, June 9th

Bonny Lea Farm: If you are still looking for quality plants, one of our regular vendors, Bonny Lea Farm where the greenhouse instructor and crew have the plants growing, budding and “blooming beautiful” are holding their “ Annual Plant Sale & Breakfast” on Saturday, June 9th. Doors open at 8:00 and it’s wrapped up at 11:00am.


Saturday, June 16th

Halifax Garden Festival -Victoria Park , next to the Halifax Public Gardens 9am – 4pm. Free seminars with experts like Niki Jabbour, awesome local vendors: plants, seeds, tools, garden decor, face painting, garden crafts for kids & much more.


Saturday, June 23rd

Daylily Daze- Nova Scotia Day Lily Society- 1839 Hammonds Plains Rd. First Baptist Church Hall, 8:30am – 1pm There will be vendors, workshops and presentations and raffles– receive a free daylily -$5 entrance fee.


Saturday, June 23rd & 24th

Fernwood Plant Nursery- Open nursery weekend 10am – 5pm – 215 Conrads Rd., Hubbards, Nova Scotia – over 60 varieties of ferns, from ferns native to eastern North America to hardy ferns from around the world, grow in the collection at Fernwood Plant Nursery.


Chester Garden Club members are now cultivating and planning for the annual Flower Show and Tea to be held in July. We encourage everyone to check out the program.

Spring Gardeners Sale

Spring Gardeners Sale

Early preparations made for a very enjoyable and successful Chester Gardeners Sale on Saturday May 26th.

Members and vendors were well prepared and ready for the annual influx of annual shoppers.

Coffee and a variety of home made muffins, gardening related books and products were a welcome addition to all the plants on a warm, pleasant spring morning.

Many annual attendees could be seen looking for plants that are old favourites, new or unusual.

Hello’s to old and new friends and gardeners, questions being answered, or discussions made the morning a big success for all who participated or attended this annual event.

Flower Show Challenge

Flower Show Challenge


Chester Garden Club’s  Flower Show  “ Lest We Forget” A Floral Tribute will be held the 26th of July at the Chester Legion Hall. 

Expectations are high for those who participate in our annual, well attended, flower show. For several years, Myra has encouraged and helped us all to enter. The syllabus (entry guide) often has included a new design that we have received instruction and guidance from Myra. 


The parallel and the crescent designs have been included in the past two years and this years guide has included a “Duo Design”.

On Monday, May 21st, at our regular meeting time Myra, with two/four beautiful examples explained this newest challenge and again expressed her support and encouragement.

A Duo Design: ( A two sided design in one container or appearing to be in one container. Each side is different from the other and each is exhibited in a separate class)for example: “ Spring/Fall”, “ Night/Day


Thoughts are on plantings to have colours not only for our gardens but also for our flower show designs.

Check out Chester Garden Clubs annual plant sale at the old train Station, Hwy #3 Chester, this coming Saturday, May 26th , 9am until noon.

Oh Deer, Oh Deer, Oh Deer,

Oh Deer, Oh Deer, Oh Deer,

contributed by: Jayne C.

All wed, watered and fertilized waiting for the deer.

Our gardens in Upper Blandford have been ravaged over the years with deer. We just get them looking the way they should and the deer arrive at the salad bar. I plant things they don’t like but they appear to be attracted by everything. We do protect a small portion of the garden with an electric fence but it is not really a deterrent just a nuisance for them so they walk up the road and up the driveway.

Our veggie garden is not in yet but last year we pulled out what was remaining mid August.

Tried many of the commercial and homemade deer repellents. This year we are planting marigolds in many of the gardens. I understand they do not like the colour or the smell. I personally do not like the flower but will try anything to keep them out.

We have also dissolved Irish Spring in a five gallon container and spray it on daily. One bar goes a long way after it has been soaking for a few days. Dilute and use a sprayer or watering can. I am not selective. I sprinkle everything except edibles.

Hoping for the best again this year. It looks lovely right now, fingers crossed.

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