Bumble Bee on Native Cup Plant



Maria Nunes - Around Town - Front Yards of Toronto

February 25, 2019 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 chat, and ask questions!

Toronto’s traditional Kentucky bluegrass lawns edged with cookie cutter foundation beds and the odd city-planted tree of yesteryear have given way to a myriad of interpretations of the all important front yard. From stalwart traditionalists to food growers, ‘naturalized’ to meticulously curated plantings,Toronto’s cosmopolitian status is reflected in its home gardens.


Helen Battersby - Garden Walk Buffalo 2019


January 28, 2019 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 chat, and ask questions!

Helen grew up with the Eye-Witness News version of Buffalo (Fire in North Tonawanda! News at 11). Her first visit to Garden Walk in 2010 opened her eyes. Let her show you a new side of our near neighbour—and dedicated garden city. Come see what you’ll miss if you don’t catch the 25th anniversary of North America’s biggest, free garden tour. Helen is a garden writer, photographer and, with her sister Sarah, a blogger at the award-winning TorontoGardens.com


AGM and speaker Tony Spencer - Splendor in the Grasses

November 26, 2018 Meeting - NOTE start time is 7PM

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 chat, and ask questions! The brief AGM starts at 7:00pm, followed by the speaker.

The Power to Shock Me Out Of Myself

Tony Spencer has hosted the award-winning “New Perennialist” blog exploring naturalistic planting design for over five years. But it’s been in the last three that he’s taken on the massive project of revisioning the landscape of his new country property in Mono on the Niagara Escarpment. He is creating a series of gardens there that reflect the many design ideas, plant materials, and experiential results he’s learned and written about after years of visiting famous gardens all over the world and learning from their creators. Among them, Piet Oudolf, with whom he consulted when planning the first of two gardens on this property. His goal? To create a wild-ish garden “for the experience of not only getting closer to nature, but climbing right insideSource courtesy of Tony’s blog The New Perennialist  it”.

The property has two very defined terrains and the first, the pond garden, was starting to come into its own this past summer, so that Tony was planning how and when to reveal it to the world. All those plans evaporated during a late August morning walk. As his blog tells it, he was spellbound as he entered the garden “suspended in a halo of fog”, “transported into another dimension” that made him “shiver with delight at the prospect of life in a garden with the power to shock me out of myself”.

Tony will share photos of his creation in the context of gardens he’s visited, been inspired by, and learned from. Over the last decade or more, attending lectures and symposia, visiting great gardens, and meeting renowned garden designers, he has built international relationships with kindred spirits in the New Perennial movement. He began the Facebook group “Dutch Dreams” in 2013 and through it has created a web of plant and gardening enthusiasts from all parts of the world. His transition from student to teacher is evidenced by the people who recognize and approach him at gatherings now.

And this month, after our Annual General Meeting, Tony Spencer will reveal the fruits of his learning and labour with our Hort. A night not to be missed to elaborate on the gobsmacking photos of “Fogbound: Inside the Veiled Garden”.

- Maria Nunes


Stefan Weber - Adventures in Seed Conservation

October 29, 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.

AGM before the speaker at the November 26 Meeting

There will be a short AGM meeting before the speaker at the November meeting. The AGM will start at 7pm.

At our October 29 meeting, Stefan Weber will share his passion for collecting wild seed and studying the re-assembly of prairie grasslands. A restoration biologist, he is Cofounder and Director at Ontario Plant Restoration and St. Williams Nursery & Ecological Centre.

Gardening and horticulture might experience new highs with the legalisation of marijuana, but this month’s speaker got hooked through a different gateway plant: an orchid—” a magenta coloured Dendrobium”. A young Stefan Weber was drawn in by it at a Home Depot while shopping with his parents and promptly fell in love! The plant produced a craving for knowledge about plants and he joined his local Norfolk County Horticulture Society at the tender age of 14.

This love of horticulture led to the beginning of Horticulture studies at the University of Guelph. But when he found the plant most commonly discussed there, corn, wasn’t stimulating enough, Stefan switched his focus to a double major in Ecology and Geography, and later completed a Masters Degree in Evolutionary Biology!

He is currently working on a PhD at McMaster. His research is three-pronged, relating to using seed to recreate native meadows along “civic infrastructure corridors”, tailoring seed mixes to fight back against alien invasive species, and studying genetic diversity of native species vis-a-vis their ability to adapt locally. Whewh! But that’s not all!! He’s also still working at the St. Williams Nursery and is a co-founder of Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance (OPRA). 

Stefan has found time in his busy life to give us what I’m sure will be an inspirational talk on how to ensure the longevity of the native species we’ve come to love, and what the best way is to propagate them.

There will be non-mind altering cookies although the meeting is after October 17th

- Maria Nunes


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