Tree near the greenhouses in High Park.

News

Wednesday
Aug302017

Our Award Winning Newsletter

Happy August everyone. We hope you had a great summer so far and are continuing to enjoy the rest of it. Here is something very special that we want to share with you.

On the weekend of July 21 to 23, the Ontario Horticultural Association held its yearly Convention, which is attended by members representing the 230 Horticultural Societies across Ontario. This time it was nearby, in Richmond Hill, so some of our members got to attend.

One of the features of this event is the Competition venue. It is held by the OHA to recognize the Hort Societies and their members in ways that pertain to their activities, such as Horticulture, Flower Arranging, Photography, Society Publications, Painting and Writing . We received two quite prestigious awards this year. One was in Creative Writing, in which Kathy Andrachuk entered a short composition entitled “Perfect Partners” (in the garden of course). She won a Third place ribbon plus the particular honour of the Judge’s Choice rosette. The second, Bless Us All, was First place ribbon for our Society Newsletter. We feel quite proud to say that these are significant awards as they have been won in a Province-wide competition against other Horticultural Societies and their individual members. In the case of the Hort Newsletter it is fitting not just for the Newsletter Editors to take a bow for this achievement, but for the whole team of contributors to accept this accolade, since it would not have been possible to produce this communications tool without the travel documentaries, the neighbourhood observations, the Hort projects, the comments and reports on all that we do as a Hort Society. So thank you all, and well done!

Our previous newsletters, designed and edited over the years by the creative talents of Richard Kerr, Judy Weinberg, Catherine Raven, Mary-Louise Craven, Judy Whalen, Jan Sugerman, Jonie Boyer, Jesse Kahn, Linda Reid, Len Senater, Jeff Essery, Barbara Bell, Connie Maurice, Clement Kent and Leena Raudvee was printed in black and white and distributed in paper format. It garnered much recognition and many awards at the District level. In 2012 we switched to electronic format, which enabled us to transition easily to colour. Most of our members now receive their newsletters by email but some still prefer to get paper versions by snail-mail. These are still printed in black and white. This is the same for our sibling District 15 organizations. The change to email has greatly reduced our newsletter expense; not so much due to the printing cost, but because of the cost of mailing.

The creative effort in producing this communication tool has been a wonderful learning experience. Where we go from here is to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors and do our very best to have the newsletter evolve and continue to be the voice of our collective membership by reporting the things we do and the things we should and would like to know about. With your continued help it will remain a fun and relevant read. Do any of YOU have ideas for the future? Would you like to take it the next step? We are not thinking of handing it over yet but if anyone has a burning desire…..

—Barbara Japp and Kathy Andrachuk, The Editors

Tuesday
May232017

May 29, 2017 - Merry May Meeting

Please click on the poster to find out more. 

Tuesday
May232017

Merry May Meeting - May 29, 2017

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

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT THE MERRY MAY MEETING?

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 items that include a gardener’s gift basket, books, a purse and gift certificate from Home Hardware. 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.
  • Digital photos will be presented by Hort members for your enjoyment. Clement Kent will present Sights and Sounds of Spring, a video medley he created that includes birds, bees, flowers, rushing springs, crickets, frogs, butterflies and 90 year-old jazz recordings. Abby Bushby will present photos of delight, showing the children’s tulip planting and parade to the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden. 
  • The Trivia Quiz will have you answering unusual horticultural questions in exchange for a prize.
  • The Hort’s popular Garden Gloves will be available to purchase in time for your summer gardening days.
  • Awards will be announced and presented. Congratulate your fellow Hort members.

The Flower Show Theme: Fair Enough

That acclaimed highlight of the horticultural season, the Plant Fair, has provided many of us with wonderful additions to our gardens. For this year’s Flower Show (another highlight, needless to add) create a composition using plant material all, or in part, sourced from our Plant Fairs over the years. Please have your arrangements set up for judging (and our admiration, bien sur!) by 6:30pm. All plant material used must be from your own garden. Happy spring!
—Joni Boyer 

Wednesday
Apr262017

Plant Fair - May 13, 2017

Click on the Poster to find out more.

Friday
Apr212017

April 24, 2017 Meeting

To find out more, click on the poster below.

Friday
Apr212017

Lorraine Johnson - Gardens, Goats & Greenways: An Unconventional Tour of Paris

April 24, 2017 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!

Quelle surprise…with Lorraine Johnson leading our adventure we’ll visit Paris community gardens with chickens, goats doing lawn care at Jardin des Tuileries and a 17th century peach wall being lovingly restored. Also, her new edition of 100 Easy to Grow Native Plants will be available at the meeting. 

LIFE’S NEVER DULL IF YOU CAT-SIT IN PARIS

I was mildly irritated that, in the first bio I wrote for April’s speaker some years back, I’d described the striking short- cropped hair and black and white striped leggings she was wearing the first time I saw Lorraine Johnson. Oh, well, can’t do that again. The fact is, mind you, that she hasn’t changed that much…the hair, the tall slender woman, the spoon and fork earrings, anyway. But that first meeting was over 30 years ago and I dare say, it’s really quite incredible that someone can write so many books and articles, speak all over North America on a variety of topics, and still manage to discover new things that surprise her! Good for us!

This time it’s the fledgling élevage d’animaux (animal husbandry) taking place in the City of Light. Until last year, Lorraine had an annual month-long, “best gig in the world”, cat-sitting arrangement in Paris, which is decidedly not élevage d’animaux. This gig allowed her to spend a lot of time discovering the city in a leisurely way. This past summer, she began to notice livestock in various places—goats ‘mowing’ the grounds of the Jardin des Tuileries by the Louvre, sheep performing the same task in other public parks, chickens in Monet’s garden and community gardens, and chickens and beehives on the rooftop of the four-star Pullman Hotel!

As she is sure to do, Lorraine will explain this discovery in its ecological and agricultural contexts. These were topics that informed her most recent book, City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing, and propelled her into the spotlight as one of very few outspoken champions for the backyard chicken movement.

She is herself nesting on the Toronto Islands these days, where she and her new wife, Pam, eloped while awaiting the completion of a house reno. In the insular, wintry escape, they are plotting a rejuvenation of their garden, including Pam’s idea of using vertical space, which is fitting after Lorraine’s visit to ancient, espaliered peach orchards on the outskirts of Paris. As to her previous trio of hens, they’ve gone back to the farm, but when she reconvenes the little flock, she is now considering including quail!

Lorraine has also just published a revised edition of 100 Easy-To-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens (although it is really 101 plants, she confessed), which includes botanical name changes and a bit about pollinators. She will be happy to take questions on plants after her talk.

Maria Nunes 

Wednesday
Mar222017

March 27, 2017 Meeting

To find out more, click on the poster below.

Wednesday
Mar222017

Marion Jarvie - A Tour of the Jarvie Garden

March 27, 2017 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!

Marion will open her reknowned private garden revealing this peaceful jewelbox as the seasons change and transform the fabulous combinations of shrubs, trees, perennials and her many new plants!

A GARDEN FOR ALL SEASONS

As a blustery snowstorm rattles my windows, it’s good to flip through Marion Jarvie’s webpage gallery of plants from her garden. The fresh, crisp, vivid colours of the many beautiful plants and snippets of garden beds throughout the year are a welcome distraction when Mother Nature teased us with late spring-like weather a couple of weeks ago, but then threw us one last (one hopes) volley of winter.

The computer screen is no match for the screen upon which this month’s presenter will once again treat us to bigger than life images skilfully captured by this prolific photographer. Marion has shown us images from far off lands in past visits, but this time she’s concentrating on her own garden in Thornhill—not that it isn’t as exotic!

As we’ve come to learn, Marion loves to showcase new and unusual plants discovered on her many international journeys, alongside our own natives, like our hardy orchids (remember John Alexander and Peter Kaellgren’s presentation last November?), otherwise known as Lady Slippers. There are plants of every kind featured in this garden from trees and shrubs in all shapes and sizes, including the bright rose, double-flowered prunus ‘Marion Jarvie’; to tender perennials both in the ground and in pots, like numerous varieties of succulents. From shade to sun-loving plants and bog-loving to dry rock garden plants, Marion and her husband Alex have created a living, encyclopaedic work of plant art for all seasons on their nearly 1⁄2 acre site.

Just as we get set to dig our hands back into the soil, this will provide one last shot of inspiration for the coming gardening season.

Maria Nunes 

Thursday
Feb162017

February 27, 2017 Meeting

To find out more, click on the image below.

Thursday
Feb162017

Anna Leggatt - Monarchs, Mountains and Mexico

February 27, 2017 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!
Toronto’s self-proclaimed “mad gardener”, Anna Leggatt, had a dream to see the over-wintering monarchs. She will take us on her amazing adventure to a butterfly sactuary atop a fir forested mountain in the central highlands of Mexico.
To read Clement Kent’s article about his expedition to the monarchs, please click here.