Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Word from the President

by Blaine Marchand

In some ways, winter is my favourite season. It is a time of easy gardening. Rather than slogging away through the mists of black flies and mosquitoes, rather than toiling with your brow dripping salty sweat, in this season of blowing snow, gardening in your imagination is such pleasure.
An important part of this frosty husbandry is viewing peony blooms. All really simple, it is instantaneous with no muss or fuss. No matter what the time of day, armed with a piping hot cup of tea, it is no further away than your computer. Just plunk yourself down and, voilà, the world of Google or Favourites transports you to all of the great peony sites and updated on-line catalogues. An easy-peasy feast for eyes grown accustomed to the monotone white-on-white scenery of our land-scape. Hours pass like seconds. The only long thing is the list of peonies you want to order or the information you jot down as your learn more about peony cultivation and culture. It is a time for reflection and for planning so come spring, summer and fall, your garden will benefit from all that you have garnered in these glacial months.
Winter 2012 will also be a time for the Canadian Peony Society and its members to think about what it has done in the past, what holds the Society together, and how it can improve in the future. It is increasingly clear that the world is a different place from what it used to be, even a scant 10 years ago. Things are in transition. As described above, the way people access information is different. In North America, the population is aging. Younger people with families have many demands on their time.
As reported on in the last news-letter, the CPS Board has voted to undertake a comprehensive review of our Society. A firm has been engaged to seek in-put from the Board as well as from a representative number of members across the country whose names have been selected randomly. This exercise will help set our course for the years ahead. It will build a healthy and strong organization so the CPS can continue its mandate to promote the growing of peonies from sea to sea.
I was struck by Don Hollingsworth‘s recent e-mail to which was attached his catalogue. His assistant, Lucas P. Hudson, set out a challenge that struck me as particularly pertinent. It read: ―Hello friends, I want to challenge each and everyone of you to start each day by saying these three things - Always be posi-tive, Always be thankful, and Always have a project. There's not a better feeling in the world than to get up, stretch and yell out "let's rock and roll today". Just starting your day like this makes it much more enjoy-able.
                  Let the Canadian Peony Society rise to this challenge

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