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



Monday October 1 - Unlocking the Power in Soil Microbial Life

Limited space! Click on the image to go to the Eventbrite page to reserve your space.


Urban Ravine Symposium - November 2, 2018 

Urban Ravine Symposium: Explore, Restore and Celebrate      

At the Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto.

Urban ravines provide us with a quick escape from the stresses of city-living. Shady trees, flood-protecting wetlands, colourful songbirds and bejeweled butterflies are just a few of the many natural treasures offered without cost. Ravines also provide numerous free recreational opportunities. However, decades of taking, and not giving back, have taken a toll on these treasured landscapes.

Urban ravines are experiencing erosion, invasive species, flooding and encroachment at unprecedented levels. These challenges and creative solutions to them will be discussed at TBG’s symposium. Learn how to restore wildlife habitat, discover how earthworms impact restoration, hear from experts on plant invasions and the lessons they provide us, and help the city celebrate ravines in a big way.

Through talks, displays, tours and networking, this event will contribute greatly to the growing enthusiasm and expertise for urban ravine restoration.

Toronto Botanical Urban Ravine Symposium 


John Bacher - Two Billion Trees and Counting

September 24, 2018 Meeting

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

John Bacher’s book, Two Billion Trees And Counting, details the legacy of Edmund Zavitz (1875–1968) who, in the early 1900s, rescued Ontario from the ravages of powerful floods, erosion, and deadly fires. Wastelands were taking over once-flourishing farmlands due to extensive deforestation. One man made a difference.

Re-Foresting Ontario, One Tree at a Time

Some things are just not what they seem to be. See that forest in the Oak Ridges Moraine? Looks ancient doesn’t it? Guess what? NOT! Ever walked the Bruce Trail up on the escarpment above, say, Hamilton and environs? Ancient rock formation, ancient forest, right? WRONG!

See that photo of Dr. Bacher, PhD, academic, hair all short and neat, suit and tie…. mild mannered braniac prof, right? NOT QUITE!

When trying to track down contact information for our next speaker I was rather confused about who the real John Bacher was. In some photos he was as described above, neat, respectable, the kind of prof who welcomes his students to office hours because it shows they’re interested! But in others, there was this man with long trails of salt and pepper hair draping over his shoulders, large mutton sideburns, sometimes a baseball cap, but always, loose fitting clothing. When I finally found an “in-between photo” I decided they were one and the same. Blame his Mohawk Turtle Clan friend Danny Beaton who’s encouraged the shaggy look.

Dr. John Bacher is a tireless campaigner for the Thundering Water Forests who works for the Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society, and is also President of the Sierra Club of Ontario and a respected environmentalist and expert on Ontario’s natural history.  He is a much sought after speaker and contributor in the many important environmental battles in Ontario.

He will be speaking to the Hort on Monday, September 24th about his acclaimed book Two Billion Trees and Counting; The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz, and the history behind the trees many are now desperately trying to save.

- Maria Nunes

Here is a link to the publisher’s website about the book Two Billion Trees and Counting.


Parkdale Community Gardens Walking Tour


Schomberg Horticultural Society Garden Tour - June 24, 2018


Merry May Meeting - May 28, 2018

Our next meeting will be on Monday May 29, 2017 at St George the Martyr Church, 197 John St at Stephanie and John Streets. 


Merry is the theme of this last meeting of the season.
- Arrive early and enjoy a stroll in St. George’s garden, which is one of the Hort-funded garden projects.
- Refreshments, as usual, will be available in the kitchen.
- Raffle tickets will be sold for your chance to win books, and gifts. Purchase tickets at the meeting to win—$2 for one or $5 for three
- The Spring Flower Show. Enter your design or simply enjoy the show.
- There will be two speakers; Aamar Khwaja and Clement Kent.
- The Hort’s popular Garden Gloves will be available to purchase in time for your summer gardening days.
- If you have divisions that never made it to the Plant Fair, bring them along.

THE FLOWER SHOW THEME: Floral Hope and Resilience

It was a drawn-out winter and a slow spring. Events happened around the world, in Canada, and in our own city that may have shaken you. Create a bouquet to present to someone you want to cheer up and give a sense of hope to. Your tribute will fittingly include plant material from your own garden that miraculously survived our bitter and prolonged winter. Yes, we are resilient and we will ultimately come through our sadness and loss.
Please have your composition ready by 6:30 pm for our admiration and judging. In the fall show we will return to my more frivolous approach, c’est promis.
—Joni Boyer

Evergreen Brickworks - Volunteers Wanted for Urban Ecology and Agriculture - Compost Crew

Letter to our Hort, sent May 17, 2018:

My name is Christopher Boyle and I am the Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement with Evergreen. I am reaching out to you from Evergreen Brick Works; an environmental charity located in the Don Valley (Toronto). We are currently looking for volunteers to join our Compost Crew to help support Evergreen’s onsite composting initiatives, and we wanted to share this opportunity with your group.

We are looking for community members who are interested in learning more about composting, waste management, community outreach, and urban agriculture. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two volunteer shifts per month from May -September 2018. If you were able to forward this information to your contacts/community members, it would be greatly appreciated! Feel free to copy and paste the information below:

Evergreen is looking for volunteers to join our Compost Crew at the Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue) to help advance our waste management initiatives year round! Volunteers on this team will be supporting a variety of onsite compost initiatives including vermicomposting, compost systems maintenance, and engaging with the public as educators/ambassadors. The application deadline for this role is Monday, May 28th. For more information about this role and how to apply, click here:

Thank you very much for your support and assistance in promoting this opportunity within your community. We greatly appreciate it. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at


Garden Days - June 16 - 24, 2018


With the middle of June fast approaching, the Canadian Garden Council invites the country’s gardens, garden centres, horticultural societies, garden clubs, schools, libraries, wineries, BIAs, individuals and garden experiences of all types to plan activities, or re-schedule existing events, to coincide with the dates Garden Days 2018.

What is Garden Days?

Starting on June 16 with National Garden Day, Garden Days is the annual, country-wide, nine-day celebration of everything to do with gardens and gardening.
Garden Days is an opportunity for Canadians to get outside in their own garden, enjoy a garden tour, visit their favourite public garden, stop in at their local garden centre or travel to a nearby garden destination to enjoy their favorite experience.
It’s simply about creating awareness of our cultural garden landscape and underscoring the importance of our public and private gardens. It’s also about celebrating and bringing awareness to what you do within, and for, your own community.
To view the email we received about Garden Days, please click here.
Check out the Garden Days website by clicking here.

Kathy's Memorial Grove and Pollinator Garden Planting



November 2, 2018 Planting with school kids.


Paul LaPorte - Building Biodiversity With Native Plants

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

Living in the GTA’s Greenbelt, our April speaker Paul LaPorte has had the opportunity to steward and study numerous native plant communities. Being past president of The North American Native Plant Society he will bring tempting natives from his nursery, Ephemeral Ark, and tell us why and how to establish a native-plant garden.

PALEOECOLOGY FOR THE HOME GARDENER or Why It’s Good to Grow Native Plants

African violets are probably the species furthest from one’s mind when anticipating this month’s presentation. But it was in fact Paul LaPorte’s mother’s exotic house plants like Saintpaulia that first drew him into the vortex of the plant world. And, oh, how he’s been drawn in!

Initially plants were a welcome respite from his computer monitor. Paul is a graduate of the Sheridan computer animation program and has worked in that field and graphic arts for fifteen years. Although Paul had always been intrigued by plants in general, his first intense focus was on invasives, particularly dog-strangling-vine. Describing its winter form where it had completely colonized an area as a cobweb over the earth (a rightfully terrifying description), this plant “ignited a significant fire” in him.

Invasive species raised the dichotomy of desirable vs. undesirable plants, so Paul’s focus evolved in the direction of natives. In particular, his focus is on woodland native species of Southern Ontario. Through his nursery, Ephemeral Ark, he propagates the many plants that can be found in our untamed forests, from Hepatica to Bloodroot, Trillium to Wild Leek, providing plants that are not easily found in garden centres and can be very tricky to propagate through seeds.

Being an entrepreneur, and rather than abandon his animation career entirely for the nursery, he is slowly developing animations to bring his presentations to life. His study of plants continues to evolve, pulling him back out of the vortex of the plant world to explore paleoecology, the study of the interaction between organisms. Paul considers photos of plants without the insects that/which are such a crucial a part of their survival as somehow incomplete. He hopes this awareness of biodiversity will inspire us to garden with native plants.

Paul is more interested in disseminating what he’s learned than anything else. So come out to hear, see, and be infected with his passion for natives. And with your own passion sufficiently ignited, take home some of the plants Paul will have available for purchase.

Maria Nunes