Garden of Dreams May 4,2013

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Monthly Meeting

St. James the less Church, 1760 Rothesay Rd.

Speaker: Jim Wilson - Naturalist (speaker originally booked is ill)

Topic: Living in Harmony with Wildlife on Your Property

Display Table Theme: Spring Bulbs!

Show and Tell Table – please share any interesting blooms/happenings in your gardens; any new seed catalogues, etc.

50/50 Draw

Fundy Gardener's Bus Trip - June 23-25 - DON'T FORGET - your final payment (unless you have paid in full) is due no later than May 24, however I would encourage you to bring your $$ to Wednesday's meeting. Post-dated cheques for May 24 will be accepted. Balance owing is: $235.00

* This month thanks to Joanne Thompson, Karen Savoy and O'Rida Savoie there will be refreshments -PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGE
* As the minutes will not be read at the meeting, please follow the link to access them.
* Don't forget to wear your name tag!
* Memberships available: $20 single; $30 couple

Hope to see everyone on May 3rd.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

If you enjoy gardening

If you enjoy gardening and have a love for learning here's a wonderful opportunity to work with  Dr. Kate Frego who we all know makes everything educational FUN! Here's Kate's message to Fundy Gardeners:

I am planning to offer a non-credit “basic botany” course through the College of Extended Learning this summer?  The tentative dates are:  Sundays, 1-3 PM, from May 28-July 9.  Location and registration fee TBA.  My plan is to structure it as a mixture of “lecture”, outdoor walks, and examining plant material closely (sometimes with a microscope).  If this works out, I would be looking at more specialized botany topics in the future.

I’m pretty excited about this!  I hope there are folks who want to participate….


Dr. Katherine A. Frego
Professor (Biological Sciences) (retired) and 3M National Teaching Scholar
Honorary Research Professor
Director of Graduate Studies, Biology Graduate Academic Unit
University of New Brunswick
PO Box 100, Saint John, NB  E2L 4L5
Phone:  506-648-5566
For information on the Biology Graduate Programme, please see:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fundy Gardeners Meeting - March 1st, 2017 at 7 PM

Fundy Gardeners Meeting -  March 1st, 2017 at 7 PM
St. James the less Church, 1760 Rothesay Rd.

  • Speakers: Bonnie & Russ Weir/MacKay Blueberries

  • Topic: Bonnie & Russ will speak on bee Keeping. ( Beekeeper, Sharon Richard, will also be there to answer any questions. ) The Weir's will have products for sale: frozen blueberries, jams, jellies, honey.

  • Solitary Bee Nests: Halifax Seed will offer a discount on these nests. Including taxes, the price to members will be $19. Pat McGill will have a nest there for you to examine. You may order and pay for your nests at either the March or April meeting. Pat will place the orders after each meeting; the sooner you order the sooner you get one. For more information, go to

  • Display Table Theme: It's ALL About the GREEN! …get creative!

  • Show and Tell Table – please share any interesting blooms/happenings in your garden; or perhaps a garden related statue, etc.

  • 50/50 Draw

  • Fundy Gardener's Bus Trip - June 23-25 - if interested in joining us -your $50 deposit will secure your seat!

Memberships available: $20 single; $30 couple

  • This month thanks to Bonnie, Karen & Yolanda there will be refreshments and beverages too!! Thanks, Ladies!
  • As the minutes will not be read at the meeting, please follow the link to access them.
  • Don't forget to wear your name tag!
  • In the event of stormy weather and you're wondering if the meeting has been cancelled, please check either our Fundy Gardener Blog  -  or the Fundy Gardener Facebook page.
If the meeting has been cancelled it will be posted at both sites by 6 PM.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Guest Speaker Feb 1,2017

Jamie Floyd has become a “shiitake guru” and shares his knowledge and passion teaching anyone interested in the techniques and processes of growing mainly shiitake mushrooms on hardwood logs.  Once people find out how easy it is to do, the medicinal value and the great taste of the mushrooms, they are very eager to try this in their backyards or woodlots.  

On February 1  he will not only provide you with the knowledge of how to grow your own shiitake mushrooms but he will also be taking orders for anyone who wants to purchase spawn to try it on their own.  For anyone that wants to try just one log (already inoculated and ready for this spring), he will also have these for sale. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Fundy Gardeners Meeting January 4th, 2017 -7 PM

St. James the less Church, 1760 Rothesay Rd.

PLEASE NOTE - Due to a previous booking at the Church Wednesday night, please do NOT use the front door but rather the side door - found at the end of the building on the right-hand side -near the dumpster. This opens into the kitchen.

  • Speaker: Fundy Gardener
  • Bev Irvine England

  • Topic: "Overlooked Miracles" - a collection of close-up and macro photographs by Bev England  - if interested Bev will have a limited # of calendars made from her show photos for sale - $28.00

  • Display Table Theme: Your favorite photo from your garden – People’s Choice Award
  • Show and Tell Table – please share any interesting blooms/happenings in your garden; or perhaps a garden related special Christmas gift; book, etc.
  • 50/50 Draw

Memberships available: $20 single; $30 couple

  • Wear your name tag as we have many new members and this is how we get to know one another.
  • We're still looking for volunteers to organize our monthly refreshments - please consider helping us out!
  • As the December minutes will not be read at the meeting, please follow the link to access them.
  • In the event of stormy weather and you're wondering if the meeting has been canceled, please check either our Fundy Gardener Blog  -  or the Fundy Gardener Facebook page.
If the meeting has been cancelled it will be posted at both sites by 6 PM.

Hope to see everyone on January 4th.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Harvey Wrightman of Wrightman Alpines Nursery

We are saddened by the sudden death last week of Harvey Wrightman of Wrightman Alpines Nursery. Fundy Gardeners members recently visited their gardens last summer. I personally enjoyed his hospitality as he took the time to explain and show how the tufa planter boxes were made. Our condolences to his wife Irene and their daughter Esther and her family.
CBC did an interview in 2014 with Harvey Wrightman

t is with sadness that we have learned of the passing of Harvey Wrightman -owner of Wrightman Alpines Nursery. Harvey died at his home in St. Andrews on Friday. Many of us have bought alpines from Harvey over the years and in August Fundy Gardeners visited his nursery in St. Andrews. He, with the help of his wife Irene and daughter Esther have developed wonderful display gardens along with 2 greenhouses for growing and propagating his treasured alpines. Harvey was a wealth of knowledge and passionate about his plants - he will be truly missed.
Harvey's life work will continue as Esther and Irene will run the business. Below is a wonderful tribute to Harvey, written by his daughter Esther.
RIP Harvey!

The Life of Harvey Wrightman
by Esther Wrightman Dillon
December 10, 2016
My dad was born in a garden, or pretty near to it. His parents were of the same breed and even had a rockery back in the day. As a boy he built his own natural spring water garden and bog, complete with orchids and other treasures he would order by mail. That he reverted to gardening after university, then teaching, seemed like the only appropriate thing for him to do. I knew him only this way, working with hands as a stonemason and gardener. In recent years he told me that the nursery was the best job he could imagine. And he’s right - all of his children saw this and followed in his footsteps. Dan and Maria are stonemasons, and I took to the plant nursery.
Thirty years ago he and my mom Irene published the first catalogue for Wrightman Alpines. It was a hobby, or more like a passion that was clearly running wild and the only way to make sense of it in the real world was to create a small business from scratch.
The gardens of my childhood were always changing, from just a sandy scree with grapes and California poppies sprinkled about, to granite fieldstone terraces, stone walls, troughs, and eventually his favourite — the crevices gardens. To my child eyes they became a land of fairies. We played every imaginary game in them, hopping from stone to stone, crouching down to examine each flower, imagining what it would be like to wear each one as a pretty dress.
Just as he experienced as a child, my dad would let me build a garden anywhere. At four years old I remember scattering zinnia seeds in a triangular patch, and watching them magically grow. Then there were playhouse gardens full off every kind of cosmos and cottage annual.  My dad never scoffed at other types of gardens. They were all part of exploring, and he’d encourage it by buying some wild collected scented stocks to add, or fresh loads of rich topsoil, or a liner for a pond and bog (“How big do you want it?”).
By the time I was eighteen I had worked my way though multiple gardens. Unbeknown to me — this was my education. That year I walked out on university after only two weeks. To be honest I was always reluctant to go, my grades were good but being in a school was always difficult for an outdoor cat. He picked me up the next day with never a question of whether I was out of my mind. He had left medical school, though rarely talked of it. From what he said, it was what everyone expected him to be, a doctor. But with the freedom of leaving, he was finally able to start doing what he loved again. The autumn I came home was the most poignant and exhilarating season I had ever experienced; I didn’t know that the sweet long days of autumn went on for so long. I hadn’t felt them since before I went to school. This was the year I started working with my dad full time with plants. Up to that point, we had spent many summers on stonework job sites. I was basically the 5' scrawny cement mixer for the sidewalks and walls he built. We worked well together and this just drifted over into plants quite naturally.
But the nursery was different. This was something we both dreamt about.
Harvey (I called him this, never Dad, that’s just the way it was) never thought I was incapable of anything. He didn’t start me off with easy plants like sedums and sempervivums to propagate, like most would with a new employee. There was a bed of saxifrage that he had given up growing, not because he didn’t want to, but because they had suffered under the conditions we had them in. He had just learnt that our water had three times the 'normal' salt content and this was slowly killing treasured plants like gentians and saxifrages. I could tell this was depressing him but he faced it a different way. “Do you want to propagate those Saxifraga? They’re yours. See what you can do.” And that’s how it started. He gave me total authority along with the responsibility to a novice eighteen-year-old to rejuvenate a collection of Kabschia saxifraga. This was how he was.  Not once in my life did he doubt what I thought I could (maybe) do, and he always gave me the tools and knowledge to make it happen.
If there was one thing he loved most, I'd say it was growing seedlings. The spurt of new growth was pure joy for him. To an outsider they'd think he was crazy, excited over a ziplock bag of tiny green sprouts. Or showing the smallest of plants in the crevice garden, with just a flower or two on it.
I know that the one thing he always wished to see was what he called a "democratization" of growing alpines. He wanted everyone to have the opportunity to grow and enjoy them. Seed collectors started this by selling wild, normally unavailable seeds to the general public.  And nursery growers like Harvey continued it in plant form.
When the cancer returned this fall we started to make the transfer of the nursery happen. It was bittersweet — not something I wanted to announce or speak happily of. Hard reality was hitting us fast. In the greenhouse one day he asked me with such sincerity, “Do you like to do this? Does this make you happy?” It does, incredibly!  It’s the best job in the world. That’s all that he cared, that I was happy. Then he quietly went about ordering supplies and setting up the nursery to be transferred, without any bumps or upsets. He even knew that the digging fork’s handle would break soon, so he had a spare one hanging in the shop, ready to be put on when the time came.
Yesterday I was up the hill in the shop, holding a jar of gibberellic acid. Over seventy cups of seeds were sitting there on the workbench, and all I could think was: if I pour the GA3 on these seeds then I have to plant them tomorrow, and what if my dad passes away, maybe I won’t be able to plant them. I should wait. Or no, Harvey would not want me to. Smiling, I knew what my dad would ask as soon as I walked in the house, if he could still hear and speak, “Did you get those seeds soaked?” I poured the GA in the cups and went down to check on him. After two weeks in palliative care and three weeks at home with us he was beyond frail, but the night before he managed to half smile at me and that’s all I needed to keep up the day and night care.
He passed away peacefully on Friday afternoon [December 9, 2016]. Mom had gone into town for medication and I was sitting with him as he lay in bed. I'd played him some Irish airs on the concertina (which he always liked, I'm not sure could hear, but I was hoping he could feel them). I picked up the seed lists on the side table. I was looking at the three of them (Czech collectors: Holubec, Piatek, and Jurášek) and thinking how he had ordered the seeds from one a few months ago, another he ordered half and I picked out the other half while he was in the hospital, and the last one I had to pick out the seeds on my own. There was a huge snow cloud coming across the bay at Brandy Cove — dark, but a bright white top from the blue sky behind it and the snow was just gently starting to fall. Gulls were splashing along the shore; it looked like they were almost playing. I heard him make two quick breaths in. I put down the papers and went over to him, called to Dan upstairs, felt his still chest. He gave one sweet long exhale, and I knew he had slipped away.
I know I shouldn't say this, but it was a very gentle death, not a bit of anxiety on his face, and his eyes were closed. He was very much at peace. I cried, but it was not painful. I'm so glad he is at rest now. At some point it will hit me again, but for now I'm so glad I was able to be with him to the very end like this. For all of my thirty-five years he has been by my side, daily. Essentially I spent my entire life heavily intertwined with him — because we 'got' each other. We didn’t even have to speak to one other as we worked together, because we knew what the other was thinking.
He was the best of dads.
Today I’m going back out to the shop to plant all those seeds.  For him. He needs to know — everything keeps growing.
Harvey lived to 67 years of age, with his wife Irene; children Dan (Kim), Maria (Jeremy), and Esther (Daniel); and grandchildren Kassandra, Angelica, Rita, Adele, Thomas and Clara 

Friday, December 2, 2016

FUNDY GARDENERS last meeting of 2016 - December 7th , 6:30 pm -note TIME CHANGE
St. James the less Church, 1760 Rothesay Rd.

As this will be our Christmas party please bring a potluck item to share - salad, casserole, dessert...whatever you choose to make. As in the past, we will provide sliced turkey, ham and pork roast. There will be 2 serving tables, so if possible please divide your food item into 2 containers so we can place one on either side of the room so everyone gets to enjoy a broad sampling of treats.
Also bring your own table setting (plate, cup, silverware) and perhaps a table decoration to add some cheer.
If you'd like to bring a door prize that will add to the fun as we'll do a Yankee Swap….please wrap it up to keep the mystery going.
We'll have our 50/50 draw and Paula will be open for membership renewals.
If you're able to help with the room set up, please meet at the Church Hall by 4:30.

Christmas  Tabletop Arrangement Workshop
Wednesday, December 14, 6:30 – 8:30 pm ( storm date, December 15, same time )
St Augustine Anglican Church, 239 Quispamsis Rd. ( corner of Quispamsis and Pettingill Roads )
PARTICIPANTS ARE TO BRING THEIR OWN CONTAINERS.  If you have  any greenery, natural or artificial decorative items that you wish to use and /or share with others, please bring them.
We will provide wet foam and a variety of greenery and natural decorative items and, hopefully, some flowers.
This will be a communal effort of people getting together to have fun and to create something beautiful for the season – there will not be an expert leading the group but there will be friends sharing and helping each other!!
You must sign up and pay the fee of $10  at the meeting/ Christmas potluck on December 7 so that we will know how much material we will need.