Beautiful arrangements
Heidi Oesschger stands with the arrangements she made as door prizes for the Russell & District Horticultural Society monthly meeting. Van Dusen photo

Upcoming event rules
Louise Houle lays out the rules for March It On Out, an event to take place this weekend at St. Thomas Aquinas.
Van Dusen photo

RUSSELL – The weather is far from cooperating but the calendar says spring is arriving today (March 20). To help get members in the mood for what’s to come, the Russell & District Horticultural Society presented a flower power demonstration Monday evening during its regular monthly meeting.

With several deft snips and skillful plant placement, master florist Heidi Oesschger whipped together half a dozen arrangements, later taken home as door prizes by some among the 50 strong green-thumb crowd gathered at Russell Meadows. A “People’s Choice” mini flower show was also presented, with participants invited to vote for their favourite display.

But that’s not all. To help members with their spring cleaning allowing them more time for spring planting, the society confirmed plans for its annual “March It On Out” event this Friday and Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School.

As Louise Houle explained, area residents are invited to drop off unwanted household goods and clothing from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the school. Almost anything goes, Houle indicated, with photos of items that can’t be easily moved to be posted for pick up at the location in question. But it’s not a garbage drop-off, Houle insisted; for example, paints and chemicals won’t be accepted.

In addition to spring cleanup, the concept is about reducing, reusing, decluttering, trading and “upcycling”. Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., for a $10 fee, shoppers can attend at St. Thomas and leave with an unlimited amount of anything that was dropped off the day before. Theoretically, one could back a transport truck up to the door and fill it for $10.

At the end of the day, Houle explained, everything not purchased will be collected by the Diabetes Association for its charitable work… another winning aspect of the event.

In other announcements, president Lindley McPhail described a 30 per cent discount for members at Beyond the House garden centre in Russell Village for the purchase of trees as part of the society’s project to plant 100 of them in honour of its 100th anniversary which occurs this year.

McPhail also provided details of the district annual general meeting April 13 hosted by Gloucester Horticultural Society at Greyhawk Golf Club; registration fees will be covered by the Russell chapter for any of its members planning to attend.

In connection with that meeting, Hub and Grace Stapper built a “pollinator hotel” and smaller outbuilding to be included in the silent auction fundraiser.