News

Monday
Nov212016

November 28, 2016 Meeting and AGM

Please click on the image to view information about the meeting.

Monday
Nov212016

John Alexander & Peter Kaellgren - Weird, Wild and Wonderful Carnivores, Parasites and Other Unusual Plants

November 28, 2016 Meeting and AGM

Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Doors open at 6:30pm. This meeting will start earlier than normal - at 7pm. We are having a brief AGM to vote in our board and accept financial and other reports.  Arrive after 6:30pm and enjoy coffee and cookies while you check out the Hort library, chat, and ask questions!

In their quest to document wild orchids, John and Peter found many unusual and intriguing botanical curiosities. Peter (former ROM conservator) will share the plants’ characteristics and habitat, John (photographer, artist) the challenge to document and conserve them.

TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

The immediate post U.S. election period is a time for reflection on much we Canadians hold dear. This is especially true of things that may soon disappear in our neighbour to the south. Take diversity. Only Ecuador and Mexico can boast a higher diversity per square kilometre than Canada—of orchids, that is! Yes… Canada, and Ontario in particular, is home to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which helps in the conservation of over sixty of Canada’s total of 70 endemic varieties. They are the wild and wonderful part of this month’s presentation.

The presentation, by Peter Kaellgren and John Alexander, will feature photographs of a dizzying array of orchids, and that doesn’t mean those specimens, cloned by the 1000s, that can be purchased at the supermarket. These two men are serious plantsmen who chanced upon orchids and consequently a community of experts (lay and otherwise), aficionados, and even the Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival.

“Chance upon” is perhaps the wrong description for John’s relationship with orchids. He was first introduced to them in Fredericton by a grade 1 classmate whose family had a greenhouse full of them. In his teens he took an interest in photographing plants and trees, which grew into a career in photography. During their travels throughout Ontario, John and Peter, a retired Decorative Arts museum conservator who has developed a special skill in identifying flowers in the many forms they are represented, learned about Ontario orchids while exploring nature near the town of Purdon.

John and Peter have developed highly choreographed expeditions wherein John carries his camera and Peter, the ‘Sherpa’, carries the accessories, such as a sun diffuser and kneeler pad. Together they scour the trails they walk, each fixing their eye on one side, looking, not just for the sometimes minute blooms of our indigenous orchid species, but more often, their less showy, but uniquely identifying foliage. On the return, they maintain their gaze, which now falls on the opposite side of the trail. With a different set of eyes, together with a change in the way light falls, they are sometimes able to identify plants they missed on the first pass.

Such dedication has paid off in their having become respected speakers, not just at horticulture and orchid societies all over Ontario, but at conferences as well. This month they’ll share photographs of their discoveries and stories about the experience as well as the issues that these delicate plants raise. And that’s where the post U.S. election period comes in. Should climate change agreements be cancelled or brazen political disdain for environmental protection creep into legislation during the Trump presidency, it’s quite certain that these wild and wonderful plants might suffer. As to the weird ones—well, they won’t be any better off.

Maria Nunes

Wednesday
Oct192016

October 24, 2016 Meeting

Wednesday
Oct122016

Gayla Trail - Backyard Ethnobotany

October 24, 2016 Meeting

NOTE: Our meetings are normally on the last Monday of the month, however since Halloween falls on that Monday we are holding the meeting one week earlier.

Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Doors open at 6:30pm. Meetings start informally around 7:00pm and the meeting starts at 7:30pm. Arrive after 6:30pm and enjoy coffee and cookies while you check out the Hort library, chat, and ask questions!

Gayla, of YouGrowGirl.com, will take us through the unusual plants she grows and the muriad ways she makes use of them - growing and foraging plants in urban spaces to be used as edible and medicinal foods, natural dyes, tools for art making, distilled floral waters (aka hydrosols) and so much more.

TRAIL BLAZER

This month’s speaker first addressed our Hort nearly a decade ago and already then, she was showing signs of interest in unusual plants. She told me about growing a pineapple in a corner of her bedroom—and it produced fruit! Since then, YouGrowGirl.com’s auteur, Gayla Trail, has kept as busy as the pollinators in her garden.

Gayla has now written four books and recently launched a kickstarter campaign for her fifth book; she’s traveled far and wide giving talks on gardening and the topics that flow from that. Her most recent book is Drinking the Summer Garden about the various and creative ways we can eat and imbibe the fruits of our gardening labour. Her writing and photography have taken her to gardens and natural landscapes that have piqued her interest in the many intersections that plants have with our lives—from their beauty to their deliciousness, to medicinal uses, to the way they help us dress ourselves with scents (hydrosols), as well as clothes (made with natural dyes) and other creative adornments.

Gayla’s journey through the world of plants and gardens has always been fueled by an interest in the unusual and she will also speak of the unusual in our urban surroundings—or rather, how to make what we think of as unusual a part of our lives.

Maria Nunes

Wednesday
Sep142016

Dugald Cameron - Bulbs For the Small City Garden

September 26, 2016 MEETING

Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Doors open at 6:30pm. Meetings start informally around 7:00pm and the meeting starts at 7:30pm. Arrive after 6:30pm and enjoy coffee and cookies while you check out the Hort library, chat, and ask questions!

Looking to find the most beautiful and unique flowering bulbs for his own garden, Dugald Cameron started Gardenimport. Now that it’s closed, he’s been travelling and enthusiastically photographing gardens. He’ll bring inspired suggestions for planting wonderful bulbs in your garden.

Wednesday
Aug312016

This Year's Meeting Schedule

Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Doors open at 6:30pm. Meetings start informally around 7:00pm and the meeting starts at 7:30pm. Arrive after 6:30pm and enjoy coffee and cookies while you check out the Hort library, chat, and ask questions!

We’ve got some great speakers lined up for our monthly meetings this year. Check it out by clicking here to see the speaker list.

If you are a member please feel free to bring a friend to attend a meeting - we want to encourage newcomers and hopefully future membership.

If you are a non-member please come and attend a meeting to check us out.

Click here to download our meeting & event schedule.

 

Tuesday
Aug302016

Tulip Time Cruise - March 2017

To download the information sheet in pdf format for this cruise, please click here.

Friday
Aug052016

CNE Garden Show 2016

The CNE Garden Show is home to the largest flower and vegetable growing competition in Canada. In 2016 the CNE starts on August 19, and finishes on September 5. THe OHA has an information table there also.

For the show scehdule and entry form click here to go to the CNE garden show page.

Friday
Jun172016

Fall 2016 Organic Master Gardener Course

Organic Master Gardener Course – Toronto

Tuesdays, September 6 to December 6, 6:30-9:15

The Stop’s Green Barn Studio 181 601 Christie St. Toronto, ON

$720+HST Save $50 if you register by August 15 with Discount Code TorontoOMG

For more information and to register click here.

Tuesday
Jun072016

Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden Grand Opening