MGOI News Blog
Master Gardeners at the CNE
Master Gardeners will host an Advice Clinic at the CNE daily, from opening day Friday August 19th to close of the CNE on Monday September 5th, and staffed with trained Master Gardeners to answer all your gardening questions.
Be sure to look for us in the Enercare Centre, Heritage Court area near the Garden Show and the Topiary Garden.
St. Marys Garden Fair – 19th Annual - June 4th, 2016
Free parking and admission; refreshments on site. The event runs 8:30am-1:00 pm.
Location: Milt Dunnel Field (The Flats), Water Street North, St. Marys, On.
Email for more info: email@example.com
Phone: (519) 284-2382
Find St. Marys Horticultural Society on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StMarys-Horticultural-Society-618979411489966/
Garden Days - June 17 to 19
This three-day program of activities and events is for gardening enthusiasts, families, schools and tourists alike. Garden Days is an opportunity for Canadians to enjoy their own garden, visit or take part in their favourite garden experience, get inspired at their local garden centre or travel to a nearby destination to enjoy their favourite garden.
10th Annual Coordinators’ Conference
The 2016 Coordinators Conference and MGOI AGM will be held at the Landscape Ontario facilities in Milton on October 15th, 2016.
More information coming soon!
A Day for Gardeners - Peterborough Master Gardeners
When: Saturday, March 19, 2016
Peterborough Garden Show
MGOI Logo Clothing
There is a $4.95 processing fee on each order so make a group order to save money! Order before March 7th. Orders will be available for pick up at the Canadian MG Conference during registration.
Shaw Guild Garden Tour
When: Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
A spectacular garden tour in Niagara-on-the-Lake you won’t want to miss. This year’s tour features a formal knot garden with beautifully shaped boxwoods on an amazing acre of manicured property. You will also visit a Japanese inspired garden in a private courtyard with a pond surrounded by wisteria and clematis. Other gardens feature outdoor living areas, ponds, pools with waterfalls, many varieties of perennials and trees including Japanese Larch, Japanese Pea tree, Ginko, and magnificent tree peonies. Both small and large gardens are awaiting your visit.
Tickets $25.00 at www.shawfest.com/gardentour
Summer 2016 Workshop
Stratford Garden Festival
The Stratford Master Gardeners, who have been there from the beginning, will again welcome winter weary gardeners with plenty of free advice.
For details and a list of exciting speakers, check out: Stratford Garden Festival - Ontario Lung Association
Inside MGOI Newsletter January
Read the new Inside MGOI Newsletter here.
Toronto MGs Tech Update: Permaculture
Where: Toronto Botanical Garden
Don’t miss this event…
New Ontario Master Gardener Websites
We welcome the following new group websites:
Etobicoke Master Gardeners
Cochrane District Master Gardeners
Guelph-Wellington Master Gardeners
Grey County Master Gardeners
Mississauga Master Gardeners
Prince Edward County Master Gardeners
Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners
Please see our MGOI Groups page for more great websites.
2016 Canadian Master Gardeners Awards of Excellence
Date for eligible award projects extended back to the date of the last convention which is April 2013. Projects may now be from April, 2013 to November 30, 2015.
At the 2nd Canadian Master Gardener Conference scheduled for the spring of 2016 (April 8 - 10), we will again be presenting Awards of Excellence to local Master Gardener groups throughout Canada. This will recognize and encourage outstanding projects or programs that demonstrate excellence in the delivery of Master Gardener services to the public.
Group projects or programs in 2014 and/or 2015 are eligible as long as they meet the criteria outlined in the document below. Please review the guidelines for the specifics.
Groups are also encouraged to enter their 2014 projects for the International Awards of Excellence as well, which has a deadline of January 1, 2015 (see 2015 Int'l Master Gardener Search for Excellence).
Start documenting the projects you would like to submit now.
If you have any questions please contact Pam Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Canadian Master Gardeners Awards of Excellence Info & Guidelines
Sound the Trumpets!! Prize money for the 2016 Awards of Excellence
2016 Canadian Master Gardener Conference Awards of Excellence page
Grey County MG Fall Gardening Seminars
First United Church
435 21st Street West, Owen Sound
Speakers: Ed Lawrence: Tips, Tricks & Techniques to Gardening without Pesticides; Ursula Karalus: Life Underfoot
Mississauga Master Gardeners Fall Plant Sale
Location: Port Credit Library, 20 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga, L5G 1C8 (Just west of Hurontario)
Two free presentations: Care and Overwintering of Garden Tools (11:00) and Putting the Garden to Bed (12:00)
We'll have a variety of spring bulbs, perennials, and houseplants for sale.
The Port Credit Library also has a seed library that accepts donations of heirloom and non-GMO seeds and dispenses same.
Grey County Master Gardeners - Fall Seminars (Technical Update)
SATURDAY, October 24, 2015
Annual Fall Seminars
Ed Lawrence - Tips, Tricks & Techniques to Gardening without Pesticides
Ed Lawrence has provided practical, down-to-earth advice that has become the final word in gardening for more than half a million loyal listeners and fans.
Ursula Karalus - Life Underfoot
2015 is the International Year of Soils. Soil is a thin skin covering planet earth and is often taken for granted. Ursula will give a glimpse of why soil is important to human survival.
St. Marys Garden Fair – 18th Annual
Date and Time: Saturday June 6, 2015 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Location: Milt Dunnell Field (The Flats) – Water St. North St.Marys, ON
Guelph-Wellington Spring Plant Sale
2013 MGOI Annual Report
read it here
New Website: Lanark County
Container Gardening with Paul Zammit
[PG14F05] Wednesday, October 1, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
OR [PG14F06] Thursday, October 2, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
[PG14F07] Materials for a second planter. Order by Sunday, September 28.
See more at: http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/learn/adult/container-courses/#sthash.3tPDrtxc.dpuf
New Website: Sudbury
They want everyone to know they have a new website, which includes information about the group and a link to Event information at: sudburymastergardeners.ca
Enjoy the great new site!
New Website: Lake Simcoe South
They love to impart their knowledge, be challenged with interesting questions, be pushed to research what they may not know, and most all love to chat with you, the home or aspiring home gardener. Or join them and become a Master Gardener.
They're using a great web service called Weebly (weebly.com) to design and maintain their website. There's a free version, but for a few dollars a month you get a domain address and some other features.
Log in to lssmgoi.ca, check out the new site and ask away.
Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticides Ban
The provincial ban supersedes local municipal pesticides bylaws to create one set of rules across the province.
Burlington Garden Tour: July 13
Live Chat with Expert Gardeners: June 23 at 12:30 p.m.
Get your garden growing with a live call-in conversation with Ontario Today's Ed Lawrence at 12:30 p.m.. On Monday June 23rd we'll have expert gardeners Donna Parker, Claudette Sims and Marie Clarke-Davies ready to help. Join us online or by phone at 1-888-817-8995 or do both. Either way, your weeds don't stand a chance!
With this impressive arsenal of gardening talent be sure someone will have a bright solution for any problem your garden can throw at you. Don't think so? We dare you to try and stump our panellists.
Every Monday at 12:30 p.m. our experts can help you with everything from the right way to get rid of bindweed, how to fertilize your roses, how to grow tomatoes in containers and much more. Listen live to Ed Lawrence on Ontario Today right on this page at 12:30 p.m. and and join the online conversation too.
Gardening call-in show
Live Chat with Expert Gardeners: June 16 at 12:30 p.m.
With this impressive arsenal of gardening talent you can be sure someone will have a bright solution for any problem your garden can throw at you. Don't think so? We dare you to try and stump our panelists.
Starting on Monday at 12:30 p.m. our experts can help you with everything from the right way to get rid of bindweed, how to fertilize your roses, how to grow tomatoes in containers and much more. Listen live to Ed Lawrence on Ontario Today right on this page at 12:30 p.m. Monday and join the online conversation too.
Meet the gardeners
Our group of online panelists will include Jon Peter, Curator and Manager of Plant Documentation
Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton master gardener Claudette Sims and master-gardener-in-training Marie Clarke.
Go here for the live chat.
2015 Int'l Master Gardener Search for Excellence
All Master Gardener of Ontario Groups are invited to submit their projects, programs, workshop, presentations and/or research for consideration in the 2015 International Master Gardener Search for Excellence Awards. All our groups have worthwhile projects and we encourage you to take the time to submit. Last year our Thunder Bay group received an award under this program.
2015 Search for Excellence Application & Guidelines
St. Marys Garden Fair – 17th Annual: June 7th
Date and Time: Saturday June 7, 2014 8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Location: Milt Dunnell Field (The Flats) – Water St. North, St. Marys, ON (see map)
Contact Name: Ron Hunter
OBA: Bee Health and the Ontario Election
The upcoming Ontario election is an important one for bees and other pollinators. The Ontario Beekeepers Association is actively engaging with the Leaders from all parties in order to provide you with information about their plans to solve Ontario's bee crisis.
The press release "Ontario's political parties express positions on bee health", published yesterday, will provide you with the most current information on each party's platform.
Please check out the website at www.ontariobee.com/neonics for more information and updates.
TBG MY BIG FAB GAY GARDEN WEDDING
Once confirmed, a Wedding Planner, from Imprint Weddings will be available to guide couples through the process. From handheld bouquets, to large-scale installations, a BIG FAB team of Toronto's top florists, including Berries & Blooms, eco| stems, Opening Night Flowers and Sweetpea's, will be bringing the "wow factor" through stunning floral combinations. Personalized, eco-friendly bouquets and boutonnieres will be provided for each couple.
The BIG FAB photographer, from Kate Hood Photography, will be on-site to capture the "I do's", along with a social media concierge who will share TBG’s PRIDE with the world. A stylish, festive and FAB outdoor reception will follow the ceremony sponsored by a trio of caterers, à la Carte Kitchen, Entertainment and en Ville.
“We have been overwhelmed by the stories we have received from the couples already registered for My Big Fab Gay Garden Wedding, as well as the incredible support we have received from our event partners”, according to Liz Hood, Director of Education at Toronto Botanical Garden. “We know that the ability to marry the person you love is a human right that many couples in our global community cannot access. We’re proud to share the beauty and diversity of our gardens with the beautiful diversity of our LGBTQ family.”
The first couple to sign up was Carrie Ann and Lindsay who live in a small town outside Belleville. They fell in love in 2009 and have been inseparable ever since. “Wow!” exclaims Carrie Ann, when informed that her application had been accepted. “What a once in a lifetime experience! Marrying the love of my life in such a beautiful venue at World Pride!!! Can it get any better?”
Engaged couple, Randy and Jason are in the process of relocating to Toronto and are thrilled to participate in this mass wedding. “The surroundings, with all of the beautiful flowers, along with the fact that this is World Pride, makes this occasion such a milestone in our life,” writes Randy. “We love meeting new people, and to share our special day with other couples would make memories that last a lifetime.”
To add a lasting legacy, Toronto Botanical Garden will be planting a Venus dogwood tree to mark this special occasion. All guests will be asked to write “love notes” and “personal wishes” on white cards to tie onto the “wish tree”. The wish tree concept was first created by Yoko Ono as an interactive installation for peace, and has been reinterpreted by cultural institutions all over the globe.
ABOUT THE EVENT & APPLICATION FORM: http://bit.ly/bigfabwed
PROMOTIONAL VIDEO: http://bit.ly/fabwedyoutube
FACEBOOK EVENT: http://bit.ly/gaygardenpin
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/TBG_Canada #TBGPride
GAY GARDEN WEDDING PINTEREST: http://bit.ly/gaygardenpin
ABOUT TORONTO BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Toronto Botanical Garden offers an array of 17 award-winning themed gardens spanning nearly four acres, designed to educate and inspire. You’ll also find a complete range of year-round, innovative, indoor and outdoor learning experiences for all ages, including programs, courses, classes, lectures, concerts, organic farmers’ market, garden tours, nature day camps and so much more. Our LEED Silver-Certified Building, with its energy-efficient sloping green roof, houses Canada’s largest private horticultural library, unique rental facilities and Garden Shop.
Webinar: Change and Evolution in the Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada
Title: Change and evolution in the Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada
Presenter: Dan McKenney
There is no cost to join this English-only presentation, and pre-registration is not required. This webinar is brought to you by the Great Lakes Forestry Centre (GLFC). GLFC is one of five Canadian Forest Service (CFS) research centres. The CFS is one of six sectors within Natural Resources Canada.
Date/time: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
1:30-2:30 p.m. Eastern time
10:30-11:30 a.m. Pacific time
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Mountain time
12:30-1:30 p.m. Central time
2:30-3:30 p.m. Atlantic time
3:00-4:00 p.m. Newfoundland time
Location: Great Lakes Forestry Centre,
1219 Queen St. E., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Those who cannot attend in person can join online by following these three steps:
1. Go to http://tinyurl.com/GLFC-May2014
2. Click "Join Now"
3. Dial-in phone number: 1-877-413-4790 (required for audio)
Conference ID (Attendee access code):1958186 #
All lines will be muted by the host during the presentation. Participants will be asked to mute their lines during the question period, unless asking a question, by entering:
*6 = self mute on
*6 = self mute off
Participants may contact the GLFC Publication Assistant via e-mail at publicat@NRCan-RNCan.gc.ca if they experience difficulties during the presentation. There will be a question period following the presentation. Questions may also be submitted afterwards to the email address above.
Within one week of the webinar, the slide presentation and audio recording will be posted for download at: ftp://ftp.nrcan.gc.ca/cfs/glfc/. All previous Webinars are also archived there.
Etobicoke MGs: Annual Plant Sale & Advice Clinic
Saturday, May 24, 2014, 9 am - 11:30 am
Includes: Plant Sale, Experts on hand to get your garden/plant questions answered!
Location: #8 and #10 Bethnal Ave. (Prince Edward Drive & Berry Rd.), Etobicoke, ON
Plantwatch Newsletter: March 2014
Hello Ontario Master Gardener PlantWatchers:
I realize as I write this, that even with the sun streaming through my study window, there is still an awful lot of snow out there!
Like you, I am hopeful that Spring is already around the next corner and her habitual struggle with Winter is over, at least for this year.
Plantwatch Newsletter: March 2014
Canada Blooms 2014: MG Speakers
Astrid Muschalla, PHEc
Etobicoke Master Gardener
Friday, March 14 at noon Foundation of a Healthy Garden – the Wild Soil Inhabitants
A journey through the interdependent web of life called the soil foodweb. The plant you see above ground is actually in a complex symbiosis with soil microbes in the root zone. If you don’t know what organisms are present in your soil and on your plants, much of your garden management is being left to chance. This is all about the garden we see and more importantly, don’t see.
Astrid is a Certified Organic Land Care Professional with over 20 years working on private and public lands. She teaches the Organic Horticulture Specialist and Plant Knowledge – Natives courses in the Sustainable Landscape Design Program at Humber College. She’s passionate about exploring the interconnectedness of all things growing and how we can support nature’s intelligence and create healthy environments. Her gardens have been featured on Doors Open, various community garden tours, and CTV's Garden of the Month. She’s worked as a design judge for Communities in Bloom and is on the board of Society of Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL), and a member of Landscape Ontario.
Lanark County Master Gardener Friday,
March 14 at 1:00 p.m. Gardening with Children
The theme of Canada Blooms this year is ‘Wild’ and what can be wilder than Gardening with Children? It seems that whenever I talk to people and urge them to get out into the garden with their kids or grandkids, that they look at me with, I don’t know, fear? We as gardeners, need to get out there with kids more. If we don’t teach them how to grow things like vegetables and flowers, then who will?
Friday, March 14 at 3:00 p.m. Poison Ivy and Other Thugs
Kathleen is back to talk about “Poison Ivy and Other Thugs.” This topic is becoming more important as reports of people suffering from exposure to invasive toxic plants such as Wild Parsnip appear in the media. Learn how to identify and safely remove these “thugs” from your garden and avoid potential health problems. Kathleen is a long time gardener who presently resides along the Rideau River in rural Eastern Ontario. She graduated from the Horticulture and Landscaping Program at Algonquin College in 1993 and has worked in the industry in garden centers, golf course maintenance and residential design and maintenance. She joined the MG group in Lanark in 2004. Her gardening style can best be described by this quote: “I’m a collector—I have one of those and one of those and oh… is that a new colour of …?
Brantford Master Gardener
Friday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Landscape Design Tips for the Beginner and Seasoned Gardener
Are there simple and inexpensive landscape techniques you can use to upgrade and improve the value of your home? YOU BET THERE ARE!!! In this presentation, you’ll discover tips and tricks for the beginner and seasoned gardener that boost the curb appeal to your home: How to create a simple site plan, how to identify eye popping colour combinations, how to create a beautiful, simple and elegant landscape and gentle seasonal transitions in your gardens. By the end of this interactive talk, you’ll have a solid grasp on the principles that professional designers use every day to create beautiful landscapes AND at the same time, possibly increase your home’s value.
Grant has been gardening since he was 10 years old and is the founder of Outdoor Home Staging: a unique take on Landscape Design/Build/Maintenance. He works with homeowners and realtors who are looking for ways to increase curb appeal and their home’s value by changing, upgrading, or simplifying their landscapes. Grant sponsors and judges water wise landscape recognition programs, speaks on a wide variety of topics, publishes gardening articles, and is often quoted in the Homes Section of Sun Media Newspapers and on Chatelaine.com.
www.outdoorhomestaging.com. Like him on Facebook at Outdoor Home Staging or follow him in Twitter @outdoorstaging.
Pat de Valence
Lake Simcoe South Master Gardener
Friday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m. Go Wild! Make Your Garden a Habitat
Creating a wildlife-friendly garden is easy and fun, and is beneficial for both wildlife and you. It’s even easier to maintain than the more traditional turf grass. Habitat gardens enable you to play an important role in environmental stewardship, by actively supporting the complex system of animal and plant life. Perhaps best of all, a habitat garden provides a lot of entertainment, all through the year, with the beauty of local fauna, and their antics! Target audience: beginner, intermediate and advanced gardener.
As a new gardener, Pat came to appreciate gardening’s unique combination of science and art, and its big contribution to physical fitness and stress management. Now she’s a serious addict- gardening in Toronto for 23 years and a member of Master Gardeners since 2005, she has graduated from a small townhouse garden, to a large suburban garden, to an even larger garden on a ½-acre plot on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Her long time love of bird watching and her passion for gardening, naturally evolved into gardening not only for birds, but more broadly for all wildlife.
Promo blurb: Creating a garden that is friendly to wildlife is easy, is much less work to maintain and provides endless entertainment, all year round! Even if you don’t live & garden in Ontario, where cosmetic pesticide use is banned, this talk will give you some key principles and integrated pest management tips.
Etobicoke Master Gardener
Tuesday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. Taming the Wild...Making Decisions in Your Garden
Ideas for establishing your garden's function, structure and individual site. Create a garden action plan that tames the overgrown and wild. Discuss what to edit and what to add to make your garden more successful. Favourite plants will be featured for form, foliage and texture. Target audience: beginner, and introduction to expert
Marsha is a graduate in Fashion Design from Ryerson University and studied horticulture at University of Guelph. She has worked in marketing, sales, and commissioning design work for interior designers, movies and theatre. She has taught part-time at Ryerson University, OCAD University and the Haliburton School for the Arts for 25 years. Marsha lectures on garden design, low maintenance, edibles and roses and operates Marsha Gettas Design for residential garden planning, consultation and coaching. Her award winning gardens have been featured on many garden tours in Toronto and Etobicoke. In 2011, she was awarded "The Best Use of Plant Material" in the City of Toronto West District Garden Contest.
Lanark County Master Gardener
Tuesday, March 18 at noon Love Growing Flowers? Sell Them at the Local Market and Share Your Pleasure
“Five years ago I turned my large vegetable garden into a cutting garden and started to sell flowers at the local farmers’ market. During this talk I will discuss the triumphs and pitfalls of venturing into the commercial world, and the what, how and when of selling plants and flowers in bloom.” Target audience: anyone who grows flowers
Ankaret has been a Master Gardener since 1997 and is a veteran speaker who has given many talks on varied topics such as container gardening, making willow fences and much more. Following her graduation from The School of Crafts and Design, Sheridan College in 1975, she pursued her interest in the use of natural materials. Ankaret has combined her love and interest in gardening with her interests and talents -- weaving, basketry, spinning, raising sheep and most recently selling flowers!
Toronto Master Gardener
Tuesday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m. Say yes! To a Lush and Lively Shade Garden
• Types of shade and how to identify them
• Why shade is an opportunity
• Bringing more light into the garden
• Improving soil to enhance plant vigor
• Choosing the right plants for your garden
• Perennials, groundcovers, grasses and woodland natives for the shade
• Over 25 plant suggestions to help you get the shade garden you’ll love
Thursday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m Go Wild for Fabulous Ferns
Fascinating facts about ferns. To know them is to love them.
• Ancient pedigree and how they reproduce
• Get to know fern structure – where to find the fertile fronds
• Places they grow – forests, bogs, fields, rock faces, shade borders
• Where and when to plant them
• Advice on maintaining and dividing ferns
• Dealing with pests and problems
• Over 18 individual ferns with pictures and growing information
• Learn how to enhance your garden with ferns
Helen Battersby is wild about shade because she has to be, having gardened under giant Norway maples for over 25 years. A volunteer with the Toronto Master Gardeners, she is an award-winning graduate of the Ryerson University Chang School Landscape Design certificate program and holds The Horticulturist Certificate from the University of Guelph. She comes from long lines of English gardeners. Along with her sister Sarah, Helen writes the popular blog TorontoGardens.com.
Halton Master Gardener
Tuesday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m. Berrylicious - Growing Fruits for Food, Fun and Wild Friends!
Berries and berry-like fruit can make wonderful additions to any landscape, terrace or balcony. Strawberries for pots or as edible ground covers can provide fruit from spring to fall. Grape or kiwi vines can offer privacy, vertical interest and shade along with a tasty treat. While raspberries and blueberries are berry good, you might also consider growing currants, elderberries or the more unusual honeyberries, goji berries or goumi. Come and learn the basics of berry culture and get the names of a few trusted varieties. I am sure you will be berry happy to include these delicious and easy to grow plants in your gardens.
Catherine Kavassalis is a passionate gardener and conservationist. A scientist, educator and inspirational speaker, Catherine endeavours to stimulate interest and awe in the living world. She is member of the Halton Master Gardener group, the Past President of Oakville Horticultural Society and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Royal Botanical Gardens. Catherine loves to garden and has had her own eclectic organic garden featured on several tours.
Durham Master Gardener
Tuesday, March 18 at 3:00 p.m. Gardens and Spirituality
During this presentation we will share on the themes of reflection, sowing, connection, nurturing, mindfulness, serenity and peace and discuss how they relate to both gardening and spirituality. While we are Master Gardeners with respect to the gardening aspects of this presentation, we are not “master” spiritual leaders. The spiritual aspects of this presentation are our personal observations, opinions and beliefs. Target audience: Novice
Pam Love is a Director for the Master Gardeners of Ontario and a member of the Durham Master Gardeners. She volunteers on the Horticulture Advisory Committee for Durham College and has completed the Horticultural Certificate through the University of Guelph. Being passionate about gardening and helping others, after retirement from a banking career, Pam started her own business “Loves to Garden”. Loves to Garden provides gardening services to people who do not have the time, ability or knowledge to do their own gardening in Durham Region.
Toronto Master Gardener
Thursday, March 20 at 11:00 a.m. Top Tips for Top Vegetables
Find out about growing your own delicious vegetables, with must-have advice on:
• Specifics of producing beans, cucumbers, leafy greens, onions, garlic, peas, peppers,
potatoes, root vegetables, squash and tomatoes
• What these vegetables need to thrive
• Importance of hardening off and critical growth period (CGP)
• Preventing problems and optimizing yields
• Even how to grow these vegetables in containers
Target audience: Anyone wanting to learn how best to grow the most popular vegetable crops, whether in ground or in containers.
Growing up on the farm in Saskatchewan, Elizabeth considered 'gardening' a hateful word, since it meant hours of dusty, backbreaking, hoeing, weeding and harvesting the vegetable garden in the blazing sun. To her surprise, many years later in Toronto, she found herself living in a funky, rented, Queen Street West studio in a renovated factory building - with a garden! More specifically, 80 feet of shady terraced beds rising steeply skyward from a basement walkout. Over the years, she graduated from petunias to polyanthus and from an avowed non-gardener to an addict, with more books on gardening than the Toronto Reference Library (almost), several magazine subscriptions and eventually - frustratingly - not a single square centimetre of earth left unplanted. Since relocating to a tiny bungalow in the same neighbourhood, she has transformed her back yard into what she calls a 'working farm'. The successor to that back-breaking Saskatchewan vegetable garden is a beautiful and bountiful urban mini-farm, which has been featured in Canadian Gardening magazine. She's also become an active member of Toronto Master Gardeners, where she serves as Communications Coordinator and a frequent speaker.
Toronto Master Gardener
Thursday, March 20 at noon If You Build It, They Will Come: Providing Pollinator Habitat in Your Garden
The idea for this talk grew out of the Pollinator Scarecrow Contest at the National Master Gardeners' Conference last April. Maureen will introduce you to her “hot” winning scarecrow “Marilyn”, and both will explore how "Some Like It Pollinated"! Whether you want to grow native plants for monarchs, bees and other butterflies or you choose to go wild and attract moths, bats, ground beetles and more, “Marilyn” and Maureen will explore the conditions, colours and plants needed. Maureen also hopes to give this talk more of a "workshop" feel by having samples of different materials that make pollinators happy. Target audience: beginner to medium level gardeners, young gardeners, with an emphasis on DIY'ers.
As a Toronto Master Gardener, Maureen enjoys speaking to community groups to share her love of the always-fascinating world of plants. When not sharing and learning with the Master Gardeners, she designs and installs unique plant-focused gardens for residential customers in Toronto with Down to Earth Gardens & Design, the company she started in 2004. Her own garden on Taylor Creek ravine in east Toronto helped foster her particular interests in trees and pruning, plant id and native plants.
Ottawa-Carleton Master Gardener
Thursday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m Whispers In The Wind-Designing with Grasses
Designers are wild about grasses and no wonder! With their dramatic architectural form and easy maintenance, they are great garden performers. Learn how to identify grasses and use them to create stunning garden designs. Target audience - all gardeners
Edythe grew up on a Saskatchewan farm and still enjoys the country life. After 34 years of teaching, she retired and became involved with the North Gower Garden Club and Kemptville Horticultural Society. Edythe joined the Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton in 1999 and became a certified Master Gardener in 2001. Edythe has written many articles for The Ottawa Sun and Lee Valley Tools and is involved in all aspects of the Master Gardeners program.
Tena van Andel
Toronto Master Gardener
Thursday, March 20 at 3:00 p.m The Orchid -- Evocative Evolutionary, Daunting Diva or Humble Houseplant?
Explore the fascinating world of the exotic orchid. Orchids grow on every continent in the world except Antarctica. Some are rare and mysterious, but many are happy gracing our homes. Come find out which orchids are easy to grow and how to look after them to keep them blooming.
Tena van Andel is delighted to have been a Toronto Master Gardener since 2003. This year she is privileged to serve as Coordinator for Toronto and on the board of the Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. She enjoys talking to anyone and everyone about anything horticultural, although orchids, large trees and the exotic bring a special gleam to her eye.
Rideau Thousand Islands Master Gardener
Friday, March 14 at noon How to Grow Old and Not Break Your Back Gardening
John Montague & Mary Beerman
Durham Master Gardeners
Saturday, March 22 at 1:00 p.m. Grow Great Plants - Understand Your Soil
As farmers and gardeners of all sorts we all rely on soil to grow our plants. Today there are as many soil products on the market as there are plants. How do we choose effectively? It all begins with the soil. Learn about soil properties, how to identify your soil type, how to do a hand-test and introduce yourself to the Life in the Soil. Knowing your soil will enable you to grow great plants year after year using ecologically sound practices.
Mary has spent over 18 years in interior design. Throughout the years of bringing the ‘outdoors in’ Mary realized how much she needed to further her understanding of the great outdoors. Her apprenticeship and subsequent work in Landscape Design and organic farming have promoted her landscapes to the forefront of sustainable design. Mary’s focus is on the importance of native plants as a necessary support for a truly sustainable landscape. She currently works in landscape design and construction, as a curator of native plants on a certified organic farm and as a professor of horticultural practices and soil management.
John has been involved in landscape design, construction and project management for over 40 years. As an avid outdoorsman his interests are in sustainable landscapes, incorporating native plants, trees and stone. He has a certified organic farm which produces certified compost, potting mix, garlic and hay. John’s specializes in soil management. His current studies focus on soil biology and sustainable land use. He believes that you should feed your soil organically and that there should be a microscope on every farm!
Halton Master Gardener
Friday, March 14 at 3:00 Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden
Are you interested in attracting hummingbirds to your garden? When should you put out your feeder? When should you take it down? What plants do they like? Claudette will share her own “top 10 hummingbird plants” and outline how to create a space that will nurture these fascinating jewels of the garden.
Claudette, a retired educator, has been a member of Halton Region Master Gardeners since 2005 and is now proud to be Vice President of Master Gardeners of Ontario, Inc. She is passionate about gardening and loves to attract and observe wildlife in her garden. Over the years, she’s gained a better appreciation of the role and beauty of native plants in our gardens. Claudette also enjoys line dancing, travelling and playing the ukulele!
Toronto Master Gardener
Saturday, March 22 at 3:00 p.m. Helping Your Trees Recover After the Ice Storm
The January ice storm wreaked havoc with trees all over Ontario. Learn what we know about the devastation and some strategies to heal our beautiful and valuable trees. Cathy will cover spring clean up, basic principles of tree care to help your trees recover, basic pruning (and when to call the professional), and what insects and diseases to watch for. Your tree didn’t survive? Let Cathy make some recommendations for tree selection for storm hardiness and show you the mechanics of planting new trees.
A realtor by profession and a lifelong downtown Torontonian, Cathy Kozma is an avid gardener, a Toronto Master Gardener and the founder of Garden for Good. Cathy noticed dwindling honeybee and native bee populations in her own Annex area garden and decided to do something about it! She started urban beekeeping as a hobby in 2004 and is a member of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative. The co-operative manages 24 beehives throughout the City, including beehives at Downsview Park, at the Toronto Botanical Garden and on the 14th floor rooftop of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel!
Etobicoke Master Gardener
Saturday, March 22 at 3:00 a.m. A Children's Guide to Gardening
Children love to get involved, and get their hands dirty. A Children's Guide to Gardening outlines why we encourage children to get involved in the garden, and how their imagination & creativity helps them learn by both watching and participating in the garden. The presentation will cover tips for nurturing the budding gardeners and will provide ideas for activities with children, while keeping safety in the garden a consideration. Whether you have children, or simply love to encourage budding gardeners it will be a fun and learning experience for both you and the children. Target Audience: Parents / adults / teenagers, who care or educate children between the ages of 5 – 12
Suzanne Zacharczyk, an active member of the Etobicoke Master Gardeners since September 2009, currently supports the group as Co-Coordinator, and more recently as Zone 6 Director for Master Gardeners of Ontario. A full time Project Manager, she also continues part time studies in Horticulture and Landscape Design. Suzanne has been gardening locally for many years, and her interests in foliage plants and hostas as reflected in her personal garden which was featured in a Community Garden Tour in 2012. As an active community member, Suzanne has been involved with multiple events including coordinating of fund raising plants sales. Suzanne also volunteers for, and is past President at the Applewood Garden Club where she lives in Mississauga.
MGOI Reference Manual
The Education Committee is pleased to announce that the Reference Manual for Ontario Master Gardeners is now available.
It has taken several months to have the manual retyped but this is now complete. Some editing has been done, and more will be done in the future, but we hope that you will agree that it is an excellent resource for all Master Gardeners. We also feel that it will be an ideal manual for those Master Gardeners in Training who wish to follow the self-study route.
International Master Gardener Conference 2015
The 2013 conference was a huge success and we’re looking forward to the 2015 Conference.
Bookmark our MG Conference webpage with links to the conference Facebook page and info.
International Master Gardener Conferences are held every two years & provide an opportunity for MGs, EMGs & Extension specialists to come together & learn through seminars and tours, while also convening committee meetings & exchanging ideas and concerns. The 2015 Conference is sponsored by the Iowa and Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners.
See great photos of the 2013 conference here.
7th Annual MGOI Summer Workshop
Guelph-Wellington MGs: A Day in the Garden: Feb 23
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Victoria East Golf Club, Victoria Road, Guelph
$45 for the day includes: 3 speakers - catered lunch - demos - vendors and more!
Join us for a lively day of learning!
Frank Kershaw - Small Urban Garden Design
Sean James - English Cottage Gardens, A Canadian Perspective
Robert Pavlis - Lesser Known Perennials
Women's Arboriculture Conference March 5-7
Please visit the conference website at www.womenarborists.ca.
Garden Design Guru visits Toronto: Feb 18-25
The designer of over 1,200 gardens, John Brookes’s list of achievements over the past fifty years is impressive. He has been awarded four gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2004 for garden design and services to horticulture. Also in 2004 he received the Award of Distinction by the American Association of Professional Landscape Designers. He has been Chairman of the Society of Garden Designers and runs the Clock House School of Garden Design in the UK, in addition to his active lecturing and workshop tours.
John Brookes has often been described as the world’s most influential garden designer, both because of the gardens he has created for clients, and for his over 30 books on garden design. His pioneering designs can be found at both private homes and public gardens, including the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Samares Manor in Jersey, the College Garden at Westminster Abbey and Zespol Palace Park in Poland. From his home in Denmans in southern England, John Brookes’s international practice extends to the US, Russia, France, the Middle East, Australia, Japan and Canada.
John Brookes teaches us that a garden is far more than a space for growing flowers. In his new book, John Brookes Garden Design Course, he writes, “Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, we are increasingly adopting a stance that we are not superior to nature, and forcing a plan upon it, but that we are part of it and are becoming more and more sensitive to it.” Garden lovers and designers of all levels have an opportunity to meet and learn from this inspirational designer at Toronto Botanical Garden through three very special events during the week of February 18 to 25.
Special Lecture: The Gardens of John Brookes
Monday, February 24
Widely regarded as an innovative and inspirational designer, John Brookes will take us on a tour of some of his favourite and most influential landscape designs, explaining his practice and process. The design principles that inform his extensive body of work apply to any garden.
Doors open: 6:30 p.m. | Lecture: 7:30 p.m.
Public $35; Members $30
- See more at: http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/news/john-brookes-coming-tbg-february/#sthash.djleWI77.dpuf
Welcome to PlantWatch: A First for Master Gardeners
Welcome to PlantWatch, a vital and integral part of NatureWatch. For those of you who are joining for the first time, and even those who have been with us, this is an exciting time. This is the first time that Master Gardeners have been part of NatureWatch (PlantWatch) as a group.
The whole idea of the new Nature Watch vision is to get as many Canadians involved as possible in nature monitoring to get us back into nature. This will have the effect of promoting nature and environmental awareness and bridging some of our lost knowledge about the environment in which we live, especially with younger generations who may spend most of their time in the virtual world with cell phones, TV and the internet.
We need to pull volunteers out of the woodwork as it were. It is essential for us to promote this as much as possible. Let our families, friends and neighbours know what is coming in the near future with the launch of Nature Watch 2.0 (new look, easy input, free smartphone apps, educational software and development of curriculums from kindergarten to high schools and beyond).
Our vision is to observe, click and submit, to be part of this vision and become citizen scientists. This is the way we can change policies regarding the use of nature for profit-only purposes.
Our partners are, and have been, working hard to make this happen for the past two years and we should be able to launch Nature Watch 2.0 later this year. Our partners include the David Suzuki Foundation, Nature Canada, Desire-2-Learn, the University of Ottawa Centre for e-Learning, and The University of Ottawa and Wilfrid Laurier University.
It will be shaky at first, but if we all work hard in the next year, then future and larger funding of this initiative will follow. Keep up the good work.
Part of what this means for those of us observing is that the website itself is being overhauled, which may mean a few glitches. Some of the glitches are not fixable, but we are working on ways to go around them. Now, let’s get started...
Print off several copies of the Observation form:
Contact information: plantwatch.ca and email me
It is difficult for all of us to take our computers outside while we observe. Fill in the information long-hand and when you have a few moments, you can enter the data on the website. Don’t worry so much about the site, but spend your time observing your plant. The information can be put onsite when you come in. Observe first, submit, second.
Find your latitude and longitude - essential for tracking bloom locations- latlong.net ￼(or use the link inside the registration module)
REGISTER by following these directions:
(We made a modification on the front page of PlantWatch to ease registration for NEW participants. It is on the very top of the page and says - "new participant, register here”. Click that and when the page comes up:
-Enter your email address
-Choose a password
-Click register (this will create your account)
-Click on PlantWatch at the top of the page
-Then click on submit observations
-Choose option 1 (enter email and password)
-Now you can proceed to add your location and submit your observations
When it asks you to name your location, enter johnny’s garden (add the letters MG - only if you are a Master Gardener - at the end - example: johnny’s gardenMG)
If you have any trouble, please contact me. We are working on making this easier, but have a bit of a way to go. Suggestions are welcome, always.
Contact information: plantwatch.ca or email me
Approved: Tiny wasps that kill emerald ash borer
Canada has approved the release of two tiny wasps from China to eat the tree-killing beetles, which otherwise have no natural enemies in North America.
Now the Canada Food Inspection Agency has approved both a eulophid wasp and a braconid wasp. A third candidate won’t be released because there isn’t enough information to know whether it would be harmful to insects we want to keep.
Lily Leaf Beetle Tracker
A great new site to report the Lily Leaf Beetle in your garden (or your neighbours). The main reason for the site is to gather information on the beetle’s distribution as it spreads throughout North America. If you have lily beetles in your garden, or if you have seen them on native lilies or even on other plants, please let them know.
The site was started by Naomi Cappuccino, Associate Professor, Department of Biology at Carleton University. She will offer basic information about the lily leaf beetle and will be blogging regularly about research on biocontrol as well as observations and results from other projects involving the beetle.
Search for Excellence Awards: Thunder Bay
Congratulations Thunder Bay!
Thunder Bay Master Gardeners are receiving international acknowledgement for their work: 2nd Place in the Search for Excellence Awards at the International MG Conference.
From Tena on the Holland America Cruise line...
'Reporting live from somewhere near Alaska - congratulations to the Thunder Bay MGs who won second place in the Search for Excellence Awards at the International Master Gardeners Conference. We Canadian MGs in attendance applauded long and loud.'
Poetry Fun at the 2013 MG Conference
The MGOI Conference held in April 2013 was educational, informative and great fun. Master Gardeners are very talented people it seems, in and out of the garden. Here’s a gardener’s poem written by MG attendee John Craw (pictured):
Ode to a Master Gardener
I’ve always been a gardener,
From the time I was a little tyke,
But when I got a bit older,
I had a bigger goal in sight.
Oh to be a Master Gardener,
Wouldn’t that be nice,
I’d be meeting lots of people,
And giving lots of advice.
Finally I made it,
Much to my surprise,
I’ve given lots of advice,
But sometimes a few little lies.
When you get a bit older,
Your memory is not quite that sharp,
I keep hearing music,
It sounds like someone with a harp.
So if you want to be a Master Gardener,
Keep all of this in sight,
And don’t forget to water,
Before you say good night.
Master Gardener attendees came up with a great selection of limericks, too.
A Look Back at the 2013 Canadian MG Conference
The first annual Canadian Master Gardener Conference was held April 5 - 7, 2013 at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario, and was a resounding success.
Pictures are worth a thousand words and we’ve got quite a few for you to look over.
There were numerous contributors (Helen, Nancy, Josee, Alessandra, Gary and Cathy, to name a few) and we’d like to thank all of you for sending us the photos. Wayne Hugli was kind enough to organize them in this excellent online slideshow for your enjoyment. (YouTube 20 mins.)
Credit: Numerous conference attendees, Wayne Hugli.