For generations, green-thumbed growers have traded tips and tricks to coax blooms from Thorold soil.
A front-page newspaper article dated Feb. 21, 1929 declared “a splendid turnout at Memorial Hall for the purpose of organizing a Thorold Horticultural Society.”
“At that time, everybody was a gardener,” said current Society president Leslie Daniels, “and for years, it was all men” who were members of the organization. “They were trying to get women to join, but women were too busy,” Daniels told ThoroldNews.
Ninety years later, the Society is still growing strong, and celebrating its anniversary with a full roster of spring and summer events.
Daniels assumed the role of president six years ago, and said, “A couple years ago I lobbied to change the name to the Thorold Garden Club, to make it less formal and attract young people.”
Members have helped beautify Thorold throughout the decades, though its mandate has evolved, adapting to include reaching out to local schools, teaching students how to grow pollinator gardens, and making residents of all ages aware of their environment.
The Garden Club hosts free public sessions on a diverse range of subjects, from the plight of endangered bees to tonight's presentation of Trees with Heritage, featuring speakers from the Ontario Urban Forest Council appearing at Holy Rosary Hall at 7 p.m.
On Friday, May 3, the Society will host a Trivial for All fundraiser at the Hall, with proceeds earmarked to revamp the Richmond Street Parkette.
A silent auction, prizes, pizza and snacks are scheduled, along with the trivia portion of the event, which starts at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets cost $20.
Members will bring in plants from their own gardens, and “a flat or two of annuals” will be sold in the Holy Rosary Hall foyer when the club holds its annual Plant Sale from 6 to 6:45 p.m. on May 15. Daniels said it’s an ideal way to obtain extra plants “for a nominal fee.” The sale will be followed by a featured presentation on “Unusual Veggies” from the Vineland Research Centre that same night.
A re-dedication of the Richmond Street Parkette will take place on June 15 at 2 p.m. Designed and planted by city staff, Garden Club members have worked with city gardener Scott Walton, providing funds to help pay for plant materials. According to Daniels, “Plans have been developed to raise the gardens so they can be seen” in the mini park, located on the corner of Richmond and Pine Streets.
The planting of bushes and bench replacement, as well as renaming the parkette—accompanied by a sign installation—are also possibilities, she said.
“Our plaque commemorating our 90th year anniversary will also be unveiled on Saturday, June 15, as part of the city’s first ever Horticulture Day.”
A reception following the unveiling may be held at Holy Rosary hall, Daniels added, “but it is a (religious) Feast Day so as an alternative, our backyard will host it following the ribbon-cutting.”
The Annual Rose and Flower Show will showcase gardeners' premium plantings at Holy Rosary Hall on June 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.
More information and details about upcoming events will be posted on the Society’s website at www.thoroldgardenclub.com