Camissia and native columbine at Kathy’s Gove, Spring 2019



Anne Dondertman - A Collection of Rare Horticultural Books

February 25, 2013 Meeting.

Anne Dondertman is Acting Director of U of T’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and curator of the recent exhibition, How Does MY Garden Grow: The Education of a Gardener. She will focus on the evolution of our knowledge of gardening and horticulture from Greek and Roman times up to the twentieth century.

It is rare indeed that people give. Most people guard and keep…

James A. Baldwin, a great American writer of the second half of the twentieth century, was addressing a far deeper subject than collections of books on plants, gardens and horticulture in the quote above; still, the sentiment of his quote does apply quite nicely to our own Anne Dondertman—in the most positive light possible. She is a keeper of sorts, but like most librarians, she takes great pride in sharing treasures, rather than guarding them for herself. This month, for those like me who missed the exhibit she curated, How Does MY Garden Grow: The Education of a Gardener at U of T’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library last year, she is sharing it yet again at our meeting.Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris “Park-in-Sun’s Terrestrial Paradise” John Parkinson, 1629

Anne is a long-time member of the Hort, who loves gardening. She thought to indulge this love by combining it with her love of books; she thought it would provide some fun at work where she was Assistant Director and Department Head of Rare Books at the venerable library.

Since there was no specific horticulture collection, she had quite a task ahead of her to curate the whole exhibit from “a lot of interesting material” in the collection. It was intense work that took a number of years to compile. While on leave to complete the exhibit, fate deemed that she would not only return to work, but take on duties of the Acting Director of the library on top of her own roles as Assistant Director and Department Head! It is a testament to her love for this project that it was so successfully completed.
The basis of the exhibit was an exploration of three different historical phases in our relationship with plants and how we learn about them and gardening. These include the dissemination of information in books and other forms of print, and today, through other media. Some members of our Hort visited the exhibit, receiving personal tours, and Anne also hosted tours from the RBG.
Although the exhibit has ended, it is still being shared through the History of Horticulture Exhibition catalogue that was published, which can also be accessed online here. It is full of wonderful illustrations, the fruit of Anne’s effort in mining the Fisher Library collections for this labour of love. You can watch her describing the exhibit in this video.
Anne believes gardening in her small Toronto garden keeps her sane. Thank goodness for that and for her perseverance in shedding light on the rich collection she helps keep, but is happier to give.
—Maria Nunes

Get the Jump on Spring 2013

February 23: Get the Jump on Spring will be back again this year at the Toronto Botanical Garden, as a joint effort of the TBG and OHA District 5. There will be horticultural societies and environmental organizations in the Floral Hall, a marketplace, a full complement of speakers in the Garden Hall, demonstrations in the upstairs studios. To see the Flower Show Competition Schedule click here.  A new feature this year will be Winter Garden Tours, with Paul Zammit. To see the poster for Get the Jump on Spring, click here.


Marilyn Cornwall - Explorations in Garden and Flower Photography

Gardeners want to portray their garden’s beauty—the flowers, the plants and the garden composition. Travel along with Marilyn Cornwell, garden photographer, to learn ways to capture the images that you are seeing with your eyes and heart. 
A Photo a Day Keeps Full-Time Work at Bay
If you recently made a New Year’s resolution that you’ve already broken, you will be very impressed with Marilyn Cornwell. In 2006 she embarked on a project to take one photo per day and not only was she successful, midway through she discovered that she really enjoyed what she was doing. She liked it so much she’s made a second career of photography.

Click to read more ...


Ontartio Horticultural Association Newsletter

The Ontario Horticultural Association is a volunteer, charitable organization whose mission is to provide leadership and assist in the promotion of education and interest in all areas of horticulture and related environmental issues in Ontario, through an expanding network of horticultural societies dedicated to the beautification of their communities. Our Hort is a member of the Ontario Horticultural Association, District 15.

The OHA has publishes a newsletter named “Trillium” several times a year. To view newsletters we have click here.


Water Wise Gardening with Toronto Master Gardeners

January 12, 2013 Members of the public are cordially invited to join the Toronto Master Gardeners in a day of exploring ways to become more water wise gardeners!

Highlights of the day include a keynote address by Chris Denich on The Damage Urban Development Creates and presentations by Beth McEwan on Effects of Extreme Weather and by Jeff Mason on Practical Solutions and ways to garden without draining our water resources.

Cost of admission ($50) includes a delicious lunch! Advance registration required.

To find out more, click here.

To download the registration form, click here.


Parkdale Toronto Hort New Board Members Elected

At the AGM in November the Horticultural Society of Parkdale and Toronto elected a board consisting of both old and new board members. We held a brief board meeting in December and elected the officers that would take positions on the board. To see the full list of who is on the board please click here.


Save the Oak Trees in the High Park Buffer Zone

There is a petition to save the oak trees in the block that is being developed into high rise apartments just across from the park.  To find out why these oaks are worth saving click here.

To read more about the petition and sign it if you want to, click here.


Parkdale Toronto Hort 2012 AGM and Speaker

The AGM of the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto will take place prior to the speaker at the November 26, 2012 meeting. The AGM starts at 7:00pm sharp with refreshments. Speaker starts at 7:40. Social time will commence after the speaker. The meeting is at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Doors open at 6:30pm.

As determined by our Constitution, the Society must hold an AGM. Reports from the President and Treasurer, and other business will be presented and discussed. The 2013 Board of Directors will be elected. Members of the society are asked to participate at the AGM to ensure that a responsible board of Directors is elected and to provide an opportunity to volunteer for all Board positions. Please give some consideration as to whether or not the time is right for you to fill one of the upcoming board vacancies.

Remember, your presence and vote are both valued and required to elicit future change or positive forward development.

After the AGM, our speaker Wolfegang Bonham will show us the hidden gardens of Kyoto and Nara. With a strong art background, Wolfe had two previous careers before horticulture claimed him. Two years ago he fulfilled a career-long goal of going to Japan to study Japanese Garden Design, a style of garden he favours over all others. Please scroll down to the article  below or click here to read more.


Wolfegang Bonham - The Gardens Of Kyoto And Nara

November 26, 2012 Meeting.
To call Wolfegang Bonham a Renaissance Man is to conflate irony with understatement. It is ironic that Bonham’s obsession with gardens and gardening began when he was forced to deal with the unsightly concrete footings of his jewellery “booth” at Medieval and Renaissance shows. It is an understatement to call his mastery of jewellery, audio engineering, music, garden design, garden knowledge, and certification as a dry stone wall builder (sometimes while wearing a kilt), simply being a Renaissance Man. Perhaps, Post-Renaissance Man?
This month’s speaker undoubtedly has one of the most multi-faceted and fascinating pedigrees of anyone to address our Hort. Not to take away from our President, Clement Kent’s computer genius turned fruit fly and bee expert with an engaging talent for a dramatic turn at the sensation of a top hat upon his head, of course. Wolfe does, however, command attention in his own right, if not simply because of his unusual name. In fact, it’s a former stage name from his rock’n’roll days which he adopted for its immediate recognition. Wolfe has spent his life expressing himself by applying his unquestionable artistry in progressively more tangible media: from the aurality of music, to the beauty of jewellery, to the substantial complexity of garden design.
His knowledge and artistic sense is influenced by his years of study, both formally at Mohawk College where he received certificates in Horticulture Studies as well as Landscape Design, and his travels to experience gardens all over the world.
This month, he will present on his exploration of Japanese gardens, his favourite style, sharing the secrets of gardens in Kyoto and Nara.
─Maria Nunes

Frank Kershaw - Creative Small Garden Design

Frank Kershaw. Photo credits to Ellen Novak.
October 29, 2012 Meeting.
As we put our gardens to bed, it’s probably not a bad time to take note of (if we haven’t already) what worked and what didn’t and consider changes and new landscaping projects. If you squint hard enough, you might even be able to ‘see’ a vision of a renewed and refreshed garden and property. This month’s speaker will be able to provide informative photographs and engaging ideas for interesting plant palettes and landscape concepts to bring your squinted vision into focus. Frank Kershaw’s 35+ years of experience are steeped in green stuff… the kind that does grow on trees.
Seven years ago, Kershaw retired from his position at the City of Toronto as Director, Policy & Development Division, Economic Development, Culture & Tourism. Doesn’t sound green? Well, like our evolving gardens, City departments’ names and purviews, and jobs themselves, change over the years. But what is important is that throughout his career with the municipality, Kershaw has been involved in the fields of parks, horticulture, and the environment, having sat on numerous steering committees and task forces over the years related to the development of Toronto’s green space system. So he can pronounce on large sites, but he is also quite well versed in the small inner city yard. As house renovations may see expanded houses on small lots, Kershaw says, the owners are often drawn to creative garden design solutions while still being mindful of maintenance implications. In his own backyard, he has a collection of hypertufa trough gardens much like our own Barry Parker’s. And it is with teaching about how to creatively bring gardens of all shapes, sizes, and situations to life that Frank has filled the last seven years of his ‘semi-retirement’.
Although he cautions that he’s not a Landscape Architect, Kershaw is teaching garden design and horticulture at the H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, and Landscape Architecture and Design at the University of Toronto and at George Brown College. He has taught at and lectured for many years at the RBG, the TBG, and at countless garden clubs, garden shows… you name it! Frank Kershaw is a much-sought-out, award-winning horticulturist with a wealth of knowledge about “garden design, various sizes of properties, [and] hard and soft landscapes, including all kinds of plant material”. He also writes an incredibly informative column in the Lee Valley & Veritas e-newsletter.
On October 29th, have your pencils sharpened; class will be in session and you won’t want to miss it!
— Maria Nunes