- Price of $70.00 per person
- All transportation, stops as outlined, lunch, taxes included
- Coach Departs Bloor & Keele Subway at the Indian Road Side
- 8 am departure with an estimated return of 6:45 pm
- Wear comfortable shoes, bring a sun hat, sun screen, a rain coat, water and spending money if you like
- Tour is on rain or shine
- Sorry no refunds
- Start as early as possible—early April is good. Even if shoots are up only an inch or two, you can dig or divide it. (This presupposes you remember which plants are which in your garden.) It is better to pot up smaller, younger plants as, with less top growth, there is less set-back to the plant. Roots, once out of the ground, warm up faster. The main benefit of early digging is that the plant has time to overcome transplant shock and become established, resulting in a happier, better-looking plant in time for the sale.
- You can dig up the whole plant and divide it or chop pieces from the edges of a clump using a spade. If you decide to dig up the whole plant there are various ways of dividing it. You may be able to tease the root apart by hand (e.g. day lilies). A large woody or dense fibrous root will need to be chopped or cut apart using a spade, sharp knife, secateurs or small tree saw.
- Larger divisions are preferable to very small ones, however this is relative. Try to avoid potting up very large ones (or large whole plants); these can be difficult for people to carry home. Besides, if you can create two or more divisions from one plant, we will have more plants to sell. (Share the wealth.)
- You may need to trim the root ball to fit the pot. I use my secateurs for this but sharp scissors may also work. Ideally, there should be a minimum ½ inch space around the root ball, to be filled with potting soil.
- Please try to avoid having roots showing or hanging over the top of the pot. This causes the plant to dry out, and just looks bad. If the plant ends up sitting a little high in the pot, remove it and trim some of the root off the bottom! Or use a larger pot.
- Each new division should have some foliage (or shoots) and lots of roots. If the plant appears too top heavy trim some of the growth off! (Don’t be afraid, it will grow back.)
- When dividing iris or other rhizomatous plants, use a sharp, clean knife to cut the rhizomes into pieces, each containing two or three bud eyes. Allow them to air dry for about an hour to heal wounds before potting them up. If dividing peonies, a larger piece of root with more eyes is better, as they take longer to recover. Ideally, peonies should be divided in the fall. If you plan to donate a peony, consider potting it up whole, unless it is very large.
- Please, just donate your plants and not your garden soil. By using a light weight potting soil, compost or a mixture of these, you will end up with a lighter pot, while retaining your own good garden soil. Fill the space around the root ball with soil mix and tamp down with your fingers to eliminate air pockets and to firmly settle the division into the pot.
- Once potted up, water your divisions thoroughly and place in a sheltered spot, out of sun and wind which can quickly dry out newly dug plants. Water as required, especially if the weather turns hot. After a couple of weeks, you can move the pots into sun for part of the day (early morning sun is best) to harden them off.
- It is not necessary to fertilize your new divisions; in fact it is probably better if you don’t. It’s best to fertilize after they have been planted in their new home.
There you have it—in 10 easy steps! Think of the benefits: you will have finally got out into the garden to enjoy a lovely spring day; you will have thinned out your plants; and your Hort will benefit from receiving your divisions. I call this a win-win situation. Happy digging.
One sunny Saturday in September 2011 the Hort took patrons on a tour of many productive vegetable and herb gardens in the Parkdale-High Park area. Well known Toronto garden writer Lorraine Johnson gave a talk and signed copies of her book, City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Gardening. There were also speakers in some of the gardens, including Carolin Taron who has helped create several public gardens in West Toronto.
The inaugural 2011 tour was a great success, due no doubt to the fine weather ordered in advance by Beth Kapusta. (You don’t have to take my word, she told me she did it!) We saw great gardens, ranging from the 19th century heritage vegetables at Colborne Lodge to a thoroughly 21st century garage-top planting.
For more Vegetable Garden Tour photos click here.
Can it be true? Yes, 40 years have sped by since Prague Spring, the Paris Student Riots, and Monterey Pop. Now we’re all so sedate, swaning around all in black with our opera tickets and yoga mats. Well, I say let’s get back the esprit of that exciting, anything could happen era. Only this time around, instead of Sex, Drugs and Rock’n’Roll, we’ll say it with flowers (well, maybe a bit of Advil….). So, get in touch with your inner soixante-huitarde/’Flower Child’ and, using (legal) plant material from your own spring garden, create an arrangement that revisits the Sixties, riotous colour, rules made to be broken, Jimi and Janis and the Age of Aquarius. Have your creation ready for admiration and judging by 6:45 PM. Peace, brothers and sisters.
Yes, the Hort (Toronto & Parkdale together) is now (gasp!) 20 years old. Will it have to cut its hair and get a job? Or will it simply carry on in its charming and idiosyncratic way, offering a warm welcome and wide range of ‘growth’ opportunities to any and all who enjoy the delights of the garden? We can only hope… In this year’s spring Flower Show we pay tribute to ourselves and this thing we call the “HORT”.
1. WE BRANCH OUT
An exquisite flowering branch or vine as an expression of our history when (deep breath), The Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto were finally entwined. Note: therein lies, I think, the origin of the term ‘Hort’ as our common name, with the other more unwieldy title representing the true botanical nomenclature, as it were.
2. A MATTER OF TASTE
A flavourful gathering of herbs and edible flowers to give honour to Kathy Andrachuk and Bill Cheng for their thoroughly enjoyable annual BBQ at St Christopher House (not to mention every thing else they do).
3. SIZE DOESN’T MATTER
Your carefully thought out miniature arrangement is the perfect metaphor for our celebrated Newsletter, an artful giant-killer in annual competition! Bravo to Editors past and present and to all contributors.
4. GARDEN VARIETY
A big, boisterous gathering of perennials, annuals, roses, bulb flowers and foliage. It’s May in the garden and thus we are able to offer a reflection of our wonderfully varied and always scintillating lecture series. Always something for everyone. Thank-you to Mari-Lise Stonehouse and Barry Parker.
5. IN OUR THOUGHTS
For those who cherish the memory of Barbara Bell and Connie Maurice, an opportunity to express their particular grace in floral tribute. And, if you include a bloom from a plant they gave you, why, so much the better.
As usual, the plant material used must be from your own garden. Please enter any and all categories to ensure the acclaim you so richly deserve. Have it all ready for judging by 6:45 pm.
VIVE LA HORT!
Come on everybody, let’s dance! And I don’t mean the hokey pokey (as much fun as that may be). Back in the sixties, when New York’s Village Voice was probably the only newspaper I ever so much as glanced at, Jules Feiffer’s lanky, seemingly boneless beatnik performing her annual “Dance to Spring” bore witness to winter’s last gasp (among other things). In our Spring Flower Show, we pay floral tribute to her gazelle-like grace and the endearing habit she had of collapsing suddenly in a little pile of limbs. Because spring is like that: all surging energy and growth in the garden with the gardener a spent force at the end of the day from just trying to cope with it all.
So, come on let’s dance! We’ll improve by leaps and bounds…
Bring your entries early so we can have more time to take in the nuances of your creations.
1. PAS DE DEUX
Two achingly lovely bulb flowers in effortless and graceful contrast to each other.
2. LET’S TWIST (AGAIN)
Lavishly flowering vines and/or curvy blossoming branches will have us humming “Love me tendrils…”
3. (EVERYBODY) SALSA!
A gourmet gathering offers spicy colour and lively flavours that dance on the palate.
4. (SAVE ME) THE WALTZ
A ravishing confection of sumptuous spring flowers inspired by the elaborate gowns and elegance of the ballrooms of Vienna.
5. MODERN MOVEMENT
A dramatic and mystifying construct whose meaning, while not immediately apparent is nonetheless thought-provoking…