On a warm and sunny Saturday in September, over 50 avid gardeners from the entire Niagara region (also known as District 9) descended upon Roselawn for their annual Fall Forum.
Hosted by the Port Colborne Garden Club, the forum showcased new gardening ideas, methodologies and a flower show for the horticultural crowd. There were representatives from across the peninsula (Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Welland, Fort Erie, Dunnville, and Lincoln/Grimsby.)
While sitting amongst the delegates I heard a plethora of garden advice and many comments on the Roselawn’s pollinator-cutting garden, the fountain and the mature trees. Quite a few visitors took home seed pods from the gardens which is the typical sharing philosophy most gardeners practice.
“Such a great atmosphere, such a historic place” said one delegate from Grimsby. “We have to visit more often,” was another comment. “How about a tour of the mansion?” After about a dozen tours during the lunch break I was ready to sit down to listen to the presentations.
The afternoon speaker, Sean James a landscape consultant from Milton and an executive director of Landscape Ontario commented on the Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria) that graces the mansion on the southeast side of the building.
“I’ve never seen one quite that tall,” he said. A popular speaker who makes the rounds on the Ontario garden circuit Sean James enlightened the crowd on how native plants should be a mandatory part of your landscape design.
“Native plants feed the pollinators and quite a few pollinators keep pests like aphids among other nasty insects at bay.”
Sean also made comments on the excellent crop of milkweed growing at the box office entrance. “Milkweed is great resource for the monarch population and this planting helps their numbers,” Sean remarked during his presentation. “I even got a great shot of a Northern Blue butterfly (Plebejus idas) sitting on the cosmos flowers by the parking lot,” he said.
After his presentation Sean gave me a listing of all the plants he would recommend to further enhance the gardens. I think that the Roselawn gardens, the mansion and the event staff made a good impression on Mr. James and the entire gardening delegation.
Spread the mulch and spread the word I always say!
Master Gardener + FoRC Treasurer
Ontario Horticultural Association’s annual Fall Forum held at Roselawn, September 2017
This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2017 edition of the Friends of Roselawn Newsletter. Our newsletter is a membership benefit. If you would like to receive the newsletter early and in its entirety, simply become a member of the Friends of Roselawn. It’s a great way to support our work restoring the Roselawn mansion and promoting arts & culture in Port Colborne. Plus, our members receive great discounts from our generous local business sponsors.