Tag: Daylilies

Advance Planning for the Flower Show

Advance Planning for the Flower Show

Gardeners in the Chester area are anxiously scouting their gardens as the countdown for the annual Flower Show and Tea approaches. The schedule for competing entries has been published for  months (click on the Flower Show heading above) but some things cannot be rushed.  Mother Nature has the last word as to which plants will be at their best as the date draws near.

A rambling rose swarms over a fence it shares with a rosa rugosa.
A rambling rose swarms over a fence it shares with a rosa rugosa.

The extreme range of temperatures and weather this year has made it difficult to predict which plants will be in bloom on the date of the Flower Show, the 25th of July. Following a long spell of cool rainy days, last week we experienced three days of very high temperatures with high humidity, which was hard on the gardeners let alone their plants.

The early day lilies are suddenly blooming.
The early day lilies are suddenly blooming.

The rapid growth of shrubbery, vines and ferns on the berm in the photo below is an indication of the effect of this year’s heavy rainfall.

Pink Spirea in full bloom
Pink Spirea in full bloom
This rose appears to climb above its own support post.
This climbing rose appears to shoot up above its own support post.
A  portrait of a delicate New Dawn rose
A portrait of a delicate New Dawn rose

Chester’s climate is kind to many varieties of roses. It is the maurauding deer who wreak havoc on our gardens.  As nocturnal visitors, the deer dine on such delicacies as the developing flower buds of roses, phlox, hydrangeas, and even the occasional iris. Many a local gardener has been dismayed to discover, after weeks of anticipation, that the growing tips of a particularly prized specimen have been devoured overnight by deer.

Goat’s beards’ feathery plumes wave above strong green stalks.
Clematis Piilu, puts up a brave showing in its first summer.
Clematis “Piilu”, puts up a brave showing in its first summer.

As is the custom in many locales, Chester gardeners welcome the return of hummingbirds and so, in addition to special feeders, we plant honeysuckles to attract the tiny spirited creatures.


Astilbes are popular perennials in our area.

To help members prepare for the Flower Show,  the Club’s July 15th meeting will focus on tips and advice for creating successful entries in both the horticultural and design classes –  Learn the Basics!

Climbing hydrangea
Climbing hydrangea
Astilbes come in many shades of pink.

Members of the Flower Show Committee  have also  scheduled a two-hour children’s workshop  to encourage participation among the youth in the area. The organizers are delighted that 18 children have signed up for the workshop, which will focus on creating fanciful floral displays in accordance with this year’s theme “Hats Off”. The particular themes for the children’s classes are: “A Hat for a Cat” for children under the age of eight, and “Hockey Night in Canada”  for youth between ages eight and sixteen.

Water lilies add a touch of colour to the dark  surface of a pond.
Water lilies add a touch of colour to the dark surface of a pond on a rainy day.
Spring Cleaning at the Cove Garden

Spring Cleaning at the Cove Garden

After a cloudy start, another warm spring day brought out volunteers to tidy up the Club’s own Cove Garden.  One group set up their tools beside the rosebed that borders the seawall at the head of the harbour.  The photo in the banner above was taken during last year’s spring clean-up, which occurred later in the season when the roses were actually in bloom.

working at edging of rose bed by seawall

Others stopped to catch up on local news before choosing a patch of garden to weed.

Particular care was taken to ensure that the three young fruit trees planted last year were nicely situated and that the bordering grass was neatly trimmed. 

Of course with the warmer weather over the last few days,  a healthy crop of dandelions can be seen on Chester gardens and lawns. As a result,  today some members found themselves on their knees dealing with these invaders as well as re-setting sod where a bench that was recently moved had left a lasting impresssion.

Dates for your calendar

Club members will be meeting a week earlier than usual in May because of the holiday on Monday of the forthcoming “long weekend”. The guest speaker on May 14th  will be Peggy-Anne Pineau, who will talk about her speciality: growing roses in Nova Scotia.  The program committee has also indicated that she will bring some plants from her greenhouse for sale to members. The meeting is slated for its usual time –  6:30 for 7 PM –  at St. Stephen’s Parish Community Centre .

The club’s annual Gardeners Sale will be held on Saturday, May 26th, and will include quality perennials from members’ gardens and commercial growers, plus shrubs and garden accessories. 

Looking farther ahead, the Nova Scotia Daylily Society has announced that it has the honour to be the first Canadian group to hold an Accredited American Hemerocallis Society Exhibition. The event is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st, this summer at the Glooskap Arena in Canning, Nova Scotia. More information on entries, and workshops on how to prepare an exhibit for judging, is available at http://www.nsdaylilysociety.com/Flower_Show.html

From Orchids to Daylilies

From Orchids to Daylilies

Having left the sub-tropical climate of southern Florida, with its large colourful bromeliads  and crotons, as well as the huge variety of delicate orchids, we’re back in Chester to face a different reality.  Despite the welcome warmth of a sunny day (13° C ),  a quick tour of a Chester garden reveals that Spring is a fickle friend and won’t be rushed. The tender green shoots of poppies and the red knobs of rhubard that were evident in late February have since disappeared, withdrawn perhaps to await a more reliable period of warmer days and nights.  

While memories of orchids linger in a tourist’s mind …

… the difficulties of  growing exotic plants in a temperate zone (5b) means that, for practical purposes, we tend toward hardier specimens. But we do like colour and extended blooming seasons.

Thus, local gardeners, impatient to begin another season, will be interested in the Chester Garden Club’s meeting on March 19th, which will feature guest speaker Allan Banks, of Harbour Breezes  Daylilies. The enormous variety of cultivars now on the market, and the success achieved in growing both daylilies and Japanese irises in our area, means that this meeting has sparked keen interest.  Some members have already taken advantage of the opportunity to view the Harbour Breezes catalogue (over 750 varieties of daylilies and over 60 varieties of Japanese iris) and have placed advance orders for particular cultivars to add to their gardens.  Photos of most of the cultivars are on Allan’s Facebook page, and members will be able to order plants at the meeting. See you there!