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Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

“We Do It Too” a poem by Barbara Villy Cormack

In Alix, Alberta, author, Farming, Flowers, Gardens on May 5, 2021 at 10:00 AM

‘ “We Do It Too” by Barbara Villy Cormack’

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Written shortly after the Cormacks moved to Edmonton in 1950 [after nearly 25 years in the Alix area.]

We’ve been out inspecting gardens,

George and I, just here and there,

Round about the block we live in,

And we’ve found some good – some fair,

At first glance all the lawns look velvet,

And we gasp at glads and roses,

But why shouldn’t they be lovely,

For they one and all have hoses?

And we marvel at the roadside

Beds of gorgeous masses bright,

All unfenced and unprotected, –

For there’s not a pig in sight!

   My neighbour’s on the other side

Just as fine as any man’s-

Trim gay beds, no fault, unnoticed,-

Tidy, bright, like WOLFERSTAN’S.

On the other there is redroot,

Shepherd’s purse, and all the rest, –

But a goodly show of asters,

And some glads, the very best.

But in all the blaze of colours,

Scarlets, russets, golds and tans,

We have yet to find the dahlias,

Up to Alice’s and Anne’s.

Flower List from Irene’s Garden

In 1930s Depression, Gardens, Irene Parlby on April 30, 2021 at 7:18 AM

Spring Song – by Minn Thorp

In Alix, Alberta, author, Gardens on April 23, 2021 at 12:09 PM

Spring Song – by Minn Thorp

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

With tomatoes tall on my window sill,

With catalogues scattered nigh,

Tho’ the snow is gone the winds are chill

Yet my spirits soar on high.

I have dreams and schemes of petunias frilled

Of cabbages round and green

Of rows and rows of potatoes hilled

And many a tender bean.

As I sit and dream such rosy dreams

The cutworm does the same

The wire worm so long and mean

Will play his little game.

But to work, to dig and hoe,

For to make our dreams come true

For we must work, if we’re to grow

Our flowers old and new.

For Petunia’s red – There’s the fire chief

In every garden add

New peas and beans may come to grief

But our little fun we’ve had.

Alix Residents of the Past (3)

In Carpenters, Farming, Gardens, Genealogy, Pioneer Medical Health, Pioneer tools & Machinery, Railway, World War !! on April 20, 2021 at 7:48 AM

From “People of Alix – as suggested by Gordon and Flora Wilton” part 3

Gleanings after Pioneers and Progress. Alix=Clive Historical Club, 1981

Page, Floyd and Irene: The Pages owned the corner Drugstore, Floyd was a qualified druggist and Irene Page nee McBean was a nurse….

Peacock and Picard kept the general store on the corner in the late twenties and early thirties.  Later this became the Deen’s restaurant.  Wally Peacock was a god amateur carpenter and electrician.  The son’s name was Harvey.

Shepherd: Lee or “Dad” Shepherd was Mrs. Alex Bissett’s father.  He was a man of many parts.  He had been a member of the Royal North West Mounted Police in his younger days. While in Alix, he was by turns shoemaker and harness repair man, caretaker of the livery barn and town policeman.

Spelman, Harvey: Spelman bought the hardware from Bob Toepfer.  He was very tall and rather thin. At one time he had had his arm tattooed with his name, which was the fashion at the time. …

Sailor, Ted: Sailors lived for a few years on the old Tallman place a few miles west of Alix.  Their family consisted of two boys and two girls….

Woods, Wally: He was one of our most enthusiastic hockey players.  Wally married Irene Straub, who was our chief operator in the Telephone Office for many years.

Dr. Hart came to Alix about 1910.  He lived in the tall old house … on the north side of the railway tracks. Elmer Primus recalls Dr. Hart setting a broken leg for him….

Dweaks had a long underground mine with rails and a coal car for bringing the coal to the surface.  Three of the daughters, other girls remember at school, were Jessie, Loretta, and Dolly.

Prokopuk, Joe and Annie:  Joe came from the Ukraine.  Annie was born in Manitoba, a sister of Jake Pidherney.  Joe was a section foreman for the railway at Joffre.  Then he was transferred to Coghill where Annie passed away. Annie … did all kinds of fancy work, grew flowers and gardened industrially.  They had no children.

Zimmerman: The Zimmermans lived near the Free Methodist camp.  Mr. Zimmerman looked after the railway switch called “The Diamond” for years.  They had a large family of seven children:  Jay, Mandy, Vern, Fred, Sam, Jim, and Jennie. Jennie is now [1981] Mrs. Melvin Ripley, and she has three sons.  Some of the Zimmerman boys worked on the railway.

Wilton: During World War II the three brothers, Rex, Ray and Gordon were all in the services.  Duncan had an injury to one eye as a little boy which impaired his vision so that he could not join up.  Roy Pears and Cliff Brookhart joined up at the same time.

SCHOOL GARDENS

In Alix, Alberta, Gardens, Organizations, Pioneer Farming, School, U.F.W.A. on April 18, 2021 at 5:21 PM

“Children’s Gardens- By Alice Nielsen”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix-Clive Historical Club, 1974

Before 4H groups were formed in Alix, I thought of having small gardens for children.  Since I belonged to the local U.F.W.A., I presented my idea to the Ladies and they went along with it whole heartedly.  So in the spring of 1947 we bought packages of seeds and portioned them out in small envelopes. That first year the age limit was 14 years and under but the next year it was lowered to 12 years and under and somewhere along the way it was changed to under 12 years.

The D.A. gave us advice but now [1973] 26 years later plans are being made for improvements in the general set-up.  Last year we gave extra plaques to winners as 25th Anniversary mementos.

The first year the gardens were divided into town and country as the country gardens had so many hazards and no water sprinklers, as the town gardens were so much better.  Some of the country hazards were pigs, gophers, and even a gosling. Of later years the gardens have reversed and the country gardens are of far better quality.

The winners of the first gardens were – town – 1st Ross Lyle, 2nd Hugh Thorp, 3rd Connie Lyle. Country – 1st Larry Primus, 2nd Elaine Primus, 3rd Walter Hopkins. There were 47 children that took seeds, the youngest was Alder Nielsen.  True, he did get weeds and plants mixed up much to his older brother Eric’s disgust.

Seeds have been distributed to as many as 90 children, then in the fall teams of women and children drove around eliminating the poorest gardens so the judges had less to do. After a few years it was decided to have a Children’s own Show with a tea, bake sale, and a raffle to help with expenses, the last week of August. These made them pretty well self supporting. The raffle has been a stuffed toy that the Lacombe Globe gave away with subscriptions, and Mrs. Rouse has kindly gotten the necessary subscriptions.  With the higher cost of seed, it has been harder.  There has always been a set of rules with cultivation given 25 points so an industrious youngster can win more points even if one of its plants didn’t grow.  However, this hasn’t stopped ambitious little folks, all through the times, from going home and planting their seeds period. No one knows just where.

All through the years since 1950, trophy cups have been given to the aggregate winners.  Also shields with the winner’s name for each year are kept for display. In 1964, Alberta Nurseries and Seeds presented the F.W.U.A. with a marble-based, silver rose bowl with nine shields to be used each year.  The winner keeps it for a year and gets the privilege to polish the bowl before returning it. 

Now daughters and sons of mothers and fathers that had gardens earlier have won many prizes in these later years.

[Some of these prizes can be seen at the Alix Wagon Wheel Museum.]

Article by Minn Thorp, Gardener

In Alix, Alberta, author, Clubs & Associations, Gardens, Organizations on April 6, 2021 at 12:01 PM

Minn Thorpe , Gardener

From Alix Horticultural club – By A. Neilsen, Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Horticultural club, 1974

Mrs. Thorpe, a very enthusiastic gardener, wrote “Notes on Gardening” every week in the Lacombe Globe. Here is one that anyone can understand and enjoy.  August 13, 1953.

Quote:

“  ‘Hoe! Hoe! Hoe!” cried the gardener.   It is too late to hoe and those energetic weeds just grow, grow, grow – until it’s cooler.  Happily, one of the nicest things about gardening is that if you put it off long enough eventually it is too late.

The best way to get real enjoyment out of your garden on a hot day is to put on a wide straw hat, cool clothes, hold a trowel in one hand and an iced lemonade in the other – and tell someone else where to dig.

If you have no one to dig, you still have a full yard of industrious helpers.  Every little winged bug and crawling insect is busy pollinating your flowers.  With the continual battle against the bad bugs, we forget the good ones. But watch a while and in a few minutes, you are lost in the spell of little things.

Over your garden, flooded with sunshine, the carefree and easy-going butterflies flutter like wind-tossed leaves, while the dragonflies are like streaks of blue light.  The heavily laden bees buzz by in their deliberate and tireless search for nectar.

We are told that bees are almost as much a part of some flowers as are stamens and pistils. If it weren’t for the bees, half our most beautiful flowers would disappear.  The honeybee does the most work and covers the greatest territory.  According to estimates a bee must visit 210,000 flowers for every ounce of honey it makes.

Monkshood, columbine and delphinium depend on bumble-bees for cross-pollination.  The common red clover is another bumble-bee flower; its mechanism does not operate for any other kind of insect.

Your eye catches a bit of brightness and a ladybug, dainty and quaint in her red and black crinoline, is quietly disposing of the aphids.  Then with startling suddenness, lemonade forgotten, ice cubes melting,  you stare breathlessly as with a rapid fire beating of wings a humming bird poises over the stately spires of delphinium, sips from the hidden nectar chalice; then is gone absolutely, leaving an empty stillness.” (end of quote)

Alix Wagon Wheel Museum is fortunate to invite you to 2 Gardening Zooms in March:

In Gardens, Horticulture, Soil on March 9, 2021 at 3:30 PM

1.) On March 17, 6:30 tp 8:30 p.m.:Mike Dorion, Aka the Compost Kid, loves talking about soil.  Starting with a Gardening class put on by the Calgary Horticulture Society, he became immersed. It continued with his Permaculture Design Certificate, SPIN Farming, Greenhouse Design, Compost Facility Operators Certificate, and mentoring in Regenerative Soil Systems and Soil Microbiology. He is currently working on his Soil Food Web Consultant role with the Soil Food Web put on by Elaine Ingham, and sits on the board of Calgary Permaculture Guild.  It all starts in the soil.  Anyone who has ever grown anything knows this, but do we really have a clear understanding of what is actually going on down there.  Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of it all and learn about how to care for the life in the soil and what they need.  With that in mind we can increase our health of the soil and help mitigate the list of problems that get in our way.

2.) On March 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Elaine Rude will present on drought tolerant perennials.. :Elaine is a Master Gardener, instructor, garden designer and obsessed gardener.  She gardens on a large property outside of Calgary where she indulges her passion for home grown produce, fruit and flowers.  No stranger to the challenges of country gardening Elaine is working to develop a gorgeous country garden with plants well adapted to her conditions.

Contact alixmuseum@gmail.com for information.

FREE ZOOM TALK with MIKE DORION March 17, 2021 @ 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

In Alix, Alberta, Farming, Flowers, Gardens, Soil on March 5, 2021 at 11:55 AM

Alix Wagon Wheel Museum Presents: A ZOOM Talk With Mike Dorion

It All Starts in the Soil

Wed. March 17, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Elaine Meehan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. (free)

Topic: It All Starts in the Soil with Mike Dorion

Time: Mar 17, 2021 06:30 PM Edmonton time

Join Zoom Meeting Please contact alixmuseum@gmail.com

Meeting ID: Please contact alixmuseum@gmail.com

Passcode:: Please contact alixmuseum@gmail.com

Mike Dorion, Aka the Compost Kid, loves talking about soil.  Starting with a Gardening class put on by the Calgary Horticulture Society, he became immersed. It continued with his Permaculture Design Certificate, SPIN Farming, Greenhouse Design, Compost Facility Operators Certificate, and mentoring in Regenerative Soil Systems and Soil Microbiology. He is currently working on his Soil Food Web Consultant role with the Soil Food Web put on by Elaine Ingham, and sits on the board of Calgary Permaculture Guild.  

It all starts in the soil.  Anyone who has ever grown anything knows this, but do we really have a clear understanding of what is actually going on down there.  Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of it all and learn about how to care for the life in the soil and what they need.  With that in mind we can increase our health of the soil and help mitigate the list of problems that get in our way.

Garden Planting Signs

In Gardens on March 3, 2021 at 12:22 AM

“Garden Planting Signs – By A.N.”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Historical Club, 1974

Mrs. Cora Nielsen planted her garden by the moon signs and, whether you believe it or not, she had beautiful gardens and house plants. Of course, too, it might be because she loved them.

This is her list of the signs she went by, “Plant beans in the crab, the 4th sign, or the full of the moon.  Peas the day following the new moon. I have never had a failure.  The time to slip and plant your flowers is the 6th sign, of Virgin. The rest of the garden, Scorpion, and on, down to the feet, so I am told.

Alix Horticultural Club

In Alix, Alberta, Clubs & Associations, Entertainment, Fairs, Flowers, Gardens, Organizations, U.F.W.A. on February 15, 2021 at 11:09 AM

From “Alix Horticultural Club – by A. Nielsen”

Pioneers and Progress, Alix Clive Horticultural Club, 1974

In the spring of 1947 Mrs. Minn Thorp, an ardent gardener, thought it would be a good thing to have a Horticulture Club in Alix.  So on the afternoon of April 12, 1947, about forty people gathered in the U.F.A. Hall.  Mr. Gordon Sterling, District Agriculturalist from Lacombe, was present, and after showing an interesting film he gave some very helpful advice on organizing a horticulture club.

The newly elected officers were: Honorary President, Mrs. Irene Parlby; President, Mrs. C. Thorp; Vice President, Mrs. Ashley; Secretary-Treasurer, Mrs. O. Lundberg; Directors, Mrs. Ed Jennings, Mrs. M. Schnepf, Mrs. M. Nielsen, Mrs. W.D. Clarke and Mrs. A. Mann.

The membership started at $1.00 per year…. They took over the Flower show from the U.F.W.A. as it was pretty much the same women who were active in both groups…. then the children’s garden project….

They oversee the landscaping of the Alix Cemetery… all through the years they have tried to demonstrate and teach better ways of gardening.  Therefore, experienced persons were asked to demonstrate pruning, grafting, flower arranging, dividing roots, informative slides and films….

In 1947 the Flower Show was put on by the U.F.W.A. and the Horticulture Society under the convenorship of Mrs. Olive Allan and Mrs. Thorp. There were forty-six classes…. A new feature was the presentation by the Royal Bank of an engraved silver tray to the exhibitor from the Alix district who won the largest number of points.  It was won by a large margin by Mrs. M.V. (Anne) Schnepf….

That fall was fabulous for vegetables, mammoth varieties, as we didn’t have a killing frost until October 3rd, so they decided to have a Vegetable Heavy-weight Championship Contest and Display, everyone to bring in large or odd vegetables…. The prize list had forty classes, all kinds of vegetables, sheaves of grain and grass, canned fruit, vegetables, pickles, and jellies, several classes for dahlias and gladioli, winter bouquets, and herbs….

Lacombe held the Provincial Show in 1961, and Alix Club assisted…. Then Alix held a Flower Tea in the U.F.A. Hall with 14 classes….

 Alix Horticulture Club affiliated with the Alix Athletic Association to be able to take advantage of the grant by the Government for fairs, so it became the Alix Athletic and Agriculture Association….

Mrs. C. Mansbridge and Mrs. D. Hayes were on the Board of the Provincial Horticulture Society for several years….