The Five “Horts” of Lanark County - theHumm December 2021
The Five “Horts” of Lanark County - theHumm December 2021
By David Hinks
I reserve a special place in my heart for our Lanark County Horticultural (Hort) Societies. These are groups of enthusiastic gardeners (some might even say obsessive) who in their own quiet ways make our communities come alive. In the gardening season, Hort members can be seen planting tulip bulbs at the Cenotaph in Almonte, adding some plants at the Victoria School Museum Garden in Carleton Place, taking care of gardens at several historic properties in downtown Perth, planting flowers at the Legion and Library gardens in Smiths Falls, and planting flowers at the Five-Span Bridge in Pakenham.
I learned early on when I first joined a Hort that these are tough gardeners with very high standards. One of my early experiences as a member of a Hort was a very humbling one. In “normal” times, Horts hold a couple of Flower Shows — very competitive events that are professionally judged pursuant to the Ontario Judging and Exhibition Standards Rule Book. At the very first Flower and Vegetable Show I competed in, I was quickly brought down a peg or two: in a couple of classes I was the only entry, yet my entries only garnered second- and third-prize ribbons. Obviously I had missed a rule or two.
We are extremely fortunate to have five Horts in Lanark County. These Horts belong to The Ontario Horticultural Association (OHA) was created by the Province of Ontario in 1906 via an Act in the Ontario Legislature that split the Agricultural and Horticultural Societies into the Ontario Agricultural Fairs Association and the OHA. The OHA, directly or through local horticultural societies, promotes education about horticulture and greater community involvement in local beautification. The OHA is divided into 19 Districts with 270 autonomous local societies and over 30,000 members. Lanark County societies are part of District 2, which includes 19 societies in central-and-western Ottawa as well as Lanark and Renfrew Counties.
Notwithstanding the fact that Hort membership is open to all genders, my experience is that there appears to be a pronounced gender imbalance. Back in 2015 I wrote a bit of an irreverent article called “Bums in the Air” — I had taken a few photos of one of our Hort Society ‘Work Teams’ (composed exclusively of women) bent over weeding flower gardens — the implication being that men are not capable of that sort of flexibility. Curiously, I still get a bit of grief if I approach a Hort work party with my camera in hand!
I don’t need to remind you that Covid restrictions have severely curtailed the activities of many groups and in many cases even threatened their survival. So, I contacted some of our local Horts to find out how they are faring.
On the very positive side, Covid has had a limited effect on the number of members; in fact, a couple of clubs have even seen a slight increase in membership. I think that the level of interest is there since the Horts have been able in large measure to continue their outdoor garden projects (maintaining social distancing of course). A measure of social connection was safely maintained while members were able to get some exercise and enjoy gardens and nature. A limited number of tours of members’ gardens were held, along with some outdoor plant sales, as these are important fundraisers for many clubs. Communication was maintained with members via email and newsletters.
Many Horts have been around for a long time — Almonte was able to celebrate their 100th anniversary in the Library Garden this past summer, outdoors and maintaining all Covid protocols!
On a less positive note, regular in-person meetings have been sorely missed. While Zoom presentations filled some of the gap, as did virtual flower shows, participation was far less than it would be at in-person meetings. Sadly, Pakenham had to cancel their public-school veggie garden club since volunteers were not allowed on school property, and Perth had to cancel their tremendously popular grade three junior garden program. Horts are cautiously looking forward to the possibility of resuming in-person meetings and are busy lining up interesting and knowledgeable speakers.
Local Horts are also looking forward to hosting the 2023 OHA Convention at the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. This is a really big deal — planning is proceeding full speed ahead!
Go to gardenontario.org — the website of the OHA — to find a Hort in your area. What is amazing to me is the number of societies that are within easy driving distance. Within a fifteen-minute drive from the Almonte Old Town Hall there are four societies to be found, and if you’re willing to drive 45 minutes you have a choice of an additional ten societies.
So please stop and plant some roses (or a tree, or potatoes…). Come and meet a lot of experts and learn more about what Horticultural Societies have to offer!
By Kris and Rob Riendeau
Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. All of them add their own particular flavour to the delicious mix that is small-town Ottawa Valley.......
Carleton Junction in Carleton Place will come alive from December 10 to 12 with the sights and sounds of a Winter Wonderland! The Winter Wonderland Festival encompasses a variety of outdoor winter activities, live entertainment, music, food vendors and more. Tickets are on sale now online at Tickets Please (ticketsplease.ca or 485–6434), or in person at the Carleton Place Arena at 75 Neelin Street.
Friday’s kick-off will have the crowd amazed with a fire show by Brant the FireGuy at 5:2......
Peggy Schenk — She’s A Sketch! - theHumm December 2021
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
Peggy Schenk is delighted that postcards are making a comeback. This Perth artist creates picture postcards that feature her whimsical hand-drawn sketches. Captured in pen and ink with watercolour accents, her sketches celebrate the beauty of the everyday mundane. From a hockey rink scene to a tangle of Christmas tree lights, her sketches warm the cockles of your heart.
It’s inevitable that as photography becomes more accessible and ub......
Lanark County Interval House and Community Support (LCIHCS) is bringing back their Angel Tree campaign again this year. Much like last year, the Angel Tree is available virtually at lcihvirtualangeltree.com . The website allows donors to select a person to support this holiday season from the comfort of their own home. To encourage shopping local, LCIHCS has paired up with twelve local businesses to bring The Twelve Days of Christmas Giving to Lanark County. More details will follow on LCIHCS’ social media!
By Heather Phaneuf
There I was, ear pressed up against a wooden door in the Almonte Library listening in to a Sketchy Santa rehearsal — around me the sounds of a vacuum clearing up the day. I leaned in closer. What? Sure, it was a frosty night, and yes, I had my mask and gloves on, but still a chill set in. The things I heard. The marvelous, perturbing things I heard!
Don’t even ask me about the power of the Clayton Rhombus… I tremble as I type this… you’ll just have to buy a ticket and find out. Let......
By Sandy Irvin
It’s been a minute, as the kids say. After shutting down partway through our last season and missing a full year, it’s been over 600 days since Folkus held a concert or even a sound check indoors at the Almonte Old Town Hall. We miss you, and we miss having live concerts. With the recent provincial announcement about concert venues, it looks as though we can indeed hold a series this winter. And we are so glad to be back!
It will be still Folkus, but things will necessarily ......
ABBA Revisited is North America’s #1 tribute to ABBA, and its members have been dazzling audiences across the globe since the year 2001. ABBA Revisited recreates the magic of the band with authentic costumes, spectacular harmonies and note-perfect musicianship, taking their audience on a musical journey back in time.
From Vegas to Bermuda, Mexico to Dubai, ABBA Revisited has recreated the show-stopping look and sound that fans around the world can’t resist! This must-see show will be live o......
The Art of Gift at Strévé - theHumm December 2021
“The Art of Gift” is the new show of fine art and fine craft at Strévé Design Studio Boutique and Gallery in Downtown Perth!
Consider giving gifts to your family and loved ones that are handmade, artful, made by only one person, and infused with soul and love. Every item in the main floor boutique and in the second-floor art gallery at Strévé Design is meant to be collected, cherished and then passed down to the next generation. Call this way of thinking old-fashioned and the way people used to l......
By Robert Betcher is the President of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust
Each holiday season, if we are lucky, we surround ourselves with the people and things we love most. A lucky few, like Paul and Cathy Keddy, awaken each day in a place that brings them wonder and joy — their forest.
The study and love of nature is a lifelong journey. Each foray into the forest can bring delightful discoveries and wonderful curiosities that send us searching for field guides and pique our desire to share with friends.
Paul and Cathy Keddy are MMLT members, eco......
A Tale of Two Tales - theHumm December 2021
If you’re looking for wonderful local gifts for children, you can’t get much more local than books written and illustrated by authors in our area. Here are two that are available right here in Lanark County!
Wendy Healey has been a stay-at-home mom, a daycare worker and an Early Childhood Educator. Her first book, Felicity Mouse and her Farmhouse Adventures, is based on her experiences growing up in Carleton Place — specifically on Glen Isle. When h......
A Creative New Spark in Perth - theHumm December 2021
By Kris Riendeau
One of the best parts of running an arts paper in these parts is getting to know the creative movers and shakers in our community. Over the years, theHumm has written about several different initiatives undertaken by Heidi Stepanek and Peter Dixon — including the Orion Theatre Company (whose production of The Rocky Horror Show blew our minds and made us life-long fans) and the Perth Academy of Musical Theatre (PAMT — more recently known as the Academy for Musical Theatre). So we were delighted to hea......
Rock, Gravel & Sand - theHumm December 2021
By Susie Osler
The rain is pelting down — splashing, seeping, excavating, and running through the soil around my home. Rain-made rivulets, originating atop the hill in the gravel road I live next to, weave small watersheds that wiggle downhill, becoming jagged channels that wind into even bigger canyons carved from the soft sediments of the road’s shoulder. Following the path of least resistance, the flow curves down our laneway — a tumbling migration of water and accumulated d......
Give the Gift of Nature - theHumm December 2021
By Vickie Walsh
In a year that has highlighted both our need for nature and the very real impact we have on the environment, a meaningful approach to gift giving this holiday season includes all things nature-related.
It is the perfect year to allow values to lead the way in our traditions. That can include shopping for products that are sustainable and made from recycled or eco-friendly material. It can mean prioritizing local and Canadian stores. More businesses, such as mine ...more
Feeding Hope Together - theHumm December 2021
By Claire Marson
Towards the end of the summer, at St. Paul’s in picturesque Almonte, we spent a lot of time at parish council meetings struggling with whether or not to put on our annual Harvest Supper. Each year, many meals and a portion of the ticket sales from the Harvest Supper went to the Lanark County Food Bank and those struggling with food security as well as to those at Interval House, an emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Other churches and organizations were sta......
“Just In Time” Studio Sale - theHumm December 2021
On Saturday, December 11, everyone is invited to a wee day-long, open hearted, open-doored offering of nourishing goods for the soul. This special studio sale will feature an eclectic assortment of ceramics and drawings from Susie Osler, hip handmade leather goods from Willa Murray Design, and a host of nourishing herbal products from Clarendon Herbals. 5% of sales will be donated to a local Indigenous-led organization or project.
This pop-up sale will take place from 11am to 5pm at 2501 ......
For three weekends in December, incredible local makers, bakers and artists will come together for an annual Holiday Maker’s Market at North Folk Café in Perth. This free event is happening on December 3–5, 10–12, and 17–19.
Dasha, the owner of North Folk Café and organizer of the Maker’s Market, wanted to create a relaxed shopping atmosphere for customers and take pressure off the makers’ shoulders to have to “man their booth”. The market’s format is a fun pop-up with booths set up like a......
As the holidays approach, the festive celebrations continue in Perth. Perth Tourism welcomes you to experience the magic that our charming town has to offer, and to explore the numerous events taking place during the Christmas season.
As you wander the streets checking off your holiday shopping list, you might encounter The Grinch or Santa and his elves, all of whom will be making appearances as part of our event series called Weekends in Perth. Precious Moments Carriages will be provid......
The Carleton Place & District Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Smiths Falls and Perth Chambers, is launching a Think Local shopping contest to support local businesses during the holiday season.
The Think Local “Have a Lanark County Christmas” contest launches invites residents to submit their receipts for any purchases made within Lanark County between November 20 and December 24. For every $20 in purchases submitted, one ballot (to a maximum of ten ballots ......
Is it Christmas Already? - theHumm December 2021
By Glenda Jones
How did this happen? I’ve hardly got the plants put away when suddenly I hear rumblings of Christmas shopping. Not so much shopping maybe, but rather Christmas searching, since all those container ships moored mid-ocean or wherever are holding us hostage for merchandise. It’s strange that the stores have stuff at all — could be it’s all last year’s stuff dusted off and dressed up to be new again. The thing is, being denied in-store shopping last year makes us all the more eager to get our hands on real live stuff, so we see it as new and exciting. However, this doesn’t take into account t......
By John Pigeau
It should be argued, and perhaps rather vigorously, that to liven up any boring old dinner party you only need to invite a rural historian. They are, after all, brimming with knowledge of the most delightful, interesting and often unusual facts. On subject matters that please, as well. Typically, they are gifted storytellers too — awash with charming anecdotes told only to them, and snatches of odd and little-known tales, those delicious morsels of lore and stories of times gone by th......
By Kris Riendeau
When the world seems to be changing incredibly quickly, it’s good to know that some things are made to last. In the case of Family Pastimes, those things come in colourful boxes and contain imaginative and cooperative games! Owners Jim and Ruth Deacove have been running this delightful business in Brooke Valley for 50 years and are now into their eighties. I have fond memories of playing such games as “Sleeping Grump” and “Max the Cat” with my own kids (who are now aged 27 and 30), so when I h......
By David Hinks
I reserve a special place in my heart for our Lanark County Horticultural (Hort) Societies. These are groups of enthusiastic gardeners (some might even say obsessive) who in their own quiet ways make our communities come alive. In the gardening season, Hort members can be seen planting tulip bulbs at the Cenotaph in Almonte, adding some plants at the Victoria School Museum Garden in Carleton Place, taking care of gardens at several historic properties in downtown......
By Chandler Swain
The holiday season is following hot on the heels of the final word from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) in Glasgow. The final declaration was cobbled together and a tad disappointing to say the least. Young activists who know our futures depend on aggressive action on the climate crisis are telling the world that it’s up to each and every one of us to do our part since governments still aren’t acting sufficiently or quickly enough to keep the climate in a safe p......
May 1 - 31 Exhibition: Jeweller Anne-Marie Chagnon
May 2 - Jun 20 Exhibition: Visible Mending
May 22 - Sep 5 Head Over Heels
May 23 The Co-conspirators
May 24 - Sep 6 Eric Uren
May 26 Greg Ball
May 27 - 28 Carole King/James Taylor Tribute Dinner+Show
May 27 Rag Bag Cabaret
May 30 Matt Dickson
- Patrick John Mills — An Artist to Look Up To
- Perth’s First AnnualShort Film Festival
- Return of the Rag Bag Cabaret!
- This Year, Next Yearat Studio Theatre
- TNIM PresentsDrinking Habits
- Art in the Attic — Close to Home
- Vintage Market Trunk Sale at MERA
- Summer Fun that’s Good for Your CV
- Classical Concert for Refugee Resettlement
- Catch the Blues Bossat The Cove Inn