Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What’s Growing On – MGOI Winter Newsletter

Master Gardeners of Ontario

Serving Ontario for Over 25 Years

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In this Issue....

Pruning Shrubs – Should they be pruned after flowering?

Robert Pavlis, Guelph
The standard advice is to prune spring flowering shrubs right after flowering and to prune summer flowering shrubs in winter or early spring. Pruning spring flowering shrubs after flowering ensures that the shrub has time to develop next year’s flower buds. Summer flowering shrubs develop flower buds in spring on new wood so they are pruned before flower buds are formed.

This is not bad advice for maximizing flower production, but is it the best advice for the vigour of the shrub? Read more..

Pollarding: Is it Sensible Management for Street Trees or Just Plain Tree Abuse?

Gary Westlake, Peterborough
I have always thought that topping a tree was a bad thing to do but this might be just my North American bias. Where we grow most trees, we have the luxury of space to allow them to do their own thing, but this is not always the case in Europe and elsewhere.

Carrying on the centuries old practice of pollarding has permitted trees to be used in urban locations where they would quickly outgrow the available space if left to their own devices. Read more..

Pruning for Table Grapes

Mary Beerman, Durham Master Gardeners
Pruning for grapes has a number of adaptations depending first on the grape selection, and second on the type of training the vine has undergone.

There are 3 basic types of grapes that can be grown: Vitis vinifera, European wine grapes and the ‘Thompson’ seedless, Vitis labrusca, includes the hardier American hybrid grapes and Vitis rotundifolia, includes the Muscadine grapes best suited for southern gardens. Carefully select a cultivar appropriate for your climate as well as for your training and pruning preference. Some cultivars are best suited to specific training and pruning.  Read more..

Here is an Excellent Video on Grape Pruning - http://youtu.be/0LdNwRbUYtI

Everything Under One Cover

Edythe Falconer, Ottawa-Carleton
The Ultimate Practical Guide to Pruning and Training – Richard Bird – Hermes House – 2005 The author has put together the most comprehensive reference on pruning that I’ve ever encountered in many years of gardening. Read more..

Message from the MGOI Provincial Administrator

Charlotte Vostermans
As most of you have already heard, I will be leaving the position of Provincial Administrator at the end of December 2013.  It has been six years and it is time for a change and to look for other challenges.  I have enjoyed my time as PA and I will miss the interaction with you but not the work!

Thank you for your support, patience and kindness during these six years.  It certainly has been interesting and a tremendous learning experience.   I will still be attending conferences, tech updates and the like, so no doubt I will see many of you.

Kelly Noel is taking over the portion of this position that deals with name badges, pins, exams and certificates for the next year so please welcome her as you welcomed me. 

Thank You Charlotte

Dale Odorizzi, Lanark
On behalf of the Coordinators, I would like to thank Charlotte Vostermans for all of the help and support she has given to us during her term as MGOI Provincial Administrator.  Charlotte, we really appreciate your efforts and wish you great gardening success. 

How Do You Replace a Long Standing Provincial Administrator?

Claudette Sims, MGOI Vice-President
When I first became a Master Gardener and later a coordinator, I must admit to being somewhat in awe of the “Provincial Administrator”. Who was this all-knowing person who sent out badges and had answers to my crazy questions about volunteer hours, annual dues and advice clinic numbers? Charlotte Vorstermans has been the go-to person for the numerous tasks that allow our provincial organization to run smoothly for as long as I have been a member. She announced her retirement and resignation as PA this fall.

Much has changed since the role of the PA was first created and the MGOI Board of Directors felt the position vacancy was the ideal time to re-evaluate it. The review will take place over the next year (2014) and the Board will examine the findings and make recommendations. Considering how much technology has changed in our present day communication, in our jobs and our personal lives, what skills are now needed for this role? How can this role best support our members? What needs to change and what should stay the same?

For the coming year the duties of the PA will be covered by a volunteer committee consisting of Kelly Noel (Ottawa-Carleton, Zone 8), Claudette Sims (Halton Region, Zone 5), Connie Hunter (Toronto, Zone 10) and Tena van Andel (Toronto, Zone 10).   These changes will take effect as of January 1st 2014 and continue until further notice.

So how will this committee work? Basically, we’re all playing to our strengths:

  • Kelly Noel, who has been the “Policy Potentate” for some time will add “Database Duchess” to her titles. She’ll keep track of member lists and information. So make sure you let her know of new members and group membership changes. If you have a question about policy, ask Kelly. She is the person who makes all board-approved changes to the Handbook, which is basically our MG “How To Be” book, so she knows it well. She will also take requests for badges, certification exams, etc. She has set up an online phone for MGOI. You can actually call us and your message will be directed to the correct person - just like magic! Check it out by dialing 1.705.466.2458. 

  • Connie Hunter, our Provincial Treasurer, is the Money Mogul and will deal with anything monetary-dues, donations, receipts. As corporate secretary, she will take care of documentation for the AGM.

  • Claudette Simms, who loves nothing more than to put things in tabular format and obsess over font, font size and font colour, will be the “Document Dauphine”. Her domain will be the annual review that is due by February 1st and the MGOI Annual Report which is based on the information that coordinators submit. Check with her if you have problems understanding or submitting your annual review. She will also deal with minutes of meetings, and be the person who communicates board decisions to the coordinators. And last but not least,

  • Tena van Andel, the “Lady of Logistics” and her committee of “Events Elves” will be handling all bookings of rooms and event planning such as the coordinators’ conference in the fall.

Reference Manual for Ontario Master Gardeners

June Streadwick, Chair Education Committee
Earlier this year, the Education Committee became aware of a gardening manual which was produced in 1999 by Lenore Ross, a Master Gardener with the Guelph and Wellington County group in conjunction with the Maryland Master Gardeners, the Home and Garden Information Centre, the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.   The manual covers a broad range of gardening information and the Education Committee feels that it would be an excellent resource for all Master Gardeners, whether they are in training or have completed their studies.

The manual is in the process of being retyped and some editing is being done, but the original text has been kept as much as possible, adjusting only for outdated material.  The most obvious changes required are those in the area of herbicide and pesticide use.  The graphics, which are black and white drawings, have been scanned from the print version and inserted into the revised manual.  They are not as good a quality as the Education Committee would want.  These will eventually be improved and replaced over time, and as we are not as restricted as the original authors were to black and white, colour illustrations will be added. 

The committee has been working on the manual for the past few months and it is hoped that it will be completed early in 2014.  It will be made available to everyone probably through the MGOI website, but this has yet to be confirmed.

Look for the “Reference Manual for Ontario Master Gardeners” in the New Year – you will not be disappointed!

Canadian Awards of Excellence: Projects completed January 1, 2014 to November 15, 2015

Jane Beck, MGOI President
I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2014.  Knowing that much planning and effort goes into your volunteer projects every year, you need to know that we are hoping to have our 2nd Canadian Master Gardener Conference in April 2016. That date sounds like a long way off, but in reality it means that projects that you start this year will qualify for the Canadian Awards of Excellence to be completed by November 15th 2015. While we have not established the details for the Awards of Excellence, they will quite likely change little from our past awards standards. Our first Canadian Conference created a level of interest that drew 10 projects from Ontario; expect even broader interest for the 2nd Awards of Excellence. There were many out of province attendees at our first conference, we are most hopeful all provinces will be submitting projects for these next awards. The competition begins!

Draw for prizes at  the Toronto Technical Update

Master Gardeners in Action

Toronto Tech Update

Elizabeth Stewart
It was cold and slippery outside but warm and friendly inside, as a large number of Master Gardeners from all over, came to the Toronto Botanical Garden for the technical update the Toronto Group hosted. We met with old friends, had a few laughs, put on a few pounds and enjoyed three talks by very knowledgeable speakers: Lorraine Johnson, well-known city farmer and self-proclaimed guerrilla gardener, Charles Hunter, the Superintendant at Niagara Parks Commission Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture, and Paul Zammit, the Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden, all speaking about Urban Agriculture.  If you have not been to this event before, we would suggest trying to get there next year. You will not regret taking the time to travel to the TBG.

Master Gardeners Offer Courses to the Public

In case you have not noticed, a number of Master Gardener groups are offering gardening courses to the public. These very successful and informative sessions are bang on with respect to our mandate, they fill a need that assists with the resurgence of gardening, particularly in growing food, they provide a means of fund raising, and they help to resolve the issue of the sometimes dwindling interest in our hot-lines and web contacts. See the events for some examples.


January 14 – February 18 – London Middlesex presents Garden Variety Pack (six sessions) for intermediate to advanced gardeners.  Cost is $100.00 or $20.00 per session. All sessions will be held at the Civic Garden Complex. 625 Springbank Drive from  7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  For details and registration visit www.londonmiddlesexmastergardeners.com

January 30 – February 2 – 33rd Annual Guelph Organic Conference, Guelph University Centre – seminars, workshops, trade fair.  An amazing experience for everyone who attends! http://www.guelphorganicconf.ca/

February 3 – March 24 – Peterborough and Area presents An Introduction to Gardening – Six sessions – Cost: $50.00 at Auburn Bible Chapel, 911 Armour Road, Peterborough.  For more information:  http://peterboroughgardens.ca/courses

February 8 – 9 – Annual Southern Ontario Orchid Society Orchid Show at the Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Avenue, Toronto.  For more information:  http://www.soos.ca/Show/index.htm

February 22 -  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get the Jump on Spring – TBG’s Annual Horticultural Open House presented by a the Ontario Horticultural Association, District 5 and the Toronto Botanical Garden.  FREE ADMISSION A $2 donation is appreciated. Visitors who choose to donate have the opportunity to win great prizes! For more information: http://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/enjoy/special-events/jump-on-spring/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jump-on-spring#sthash.DwK4Zjnj.dpuf

February 22  – Seedy Saturday Mississauga held at Unitarian Congregation, 84 South Service Road from 9.30 – 4:00. Includes a seed exchange, workshops, vendors and organic cafe.

February 27 to March 3 – The 14th annual Stratford Garden Festival where the Stratford Master Gardeners' booth will again welcome winter weary gardeners with plenty of free advice. For details and a list of exciting speakers, check out: http://www.stratfordgardenfestival.com/

March 6 - 9 – Successful Gardening Show in its new location, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building.  Details:  http://www.internationalhomeandgardenshow.ca/the-essential-garden-show/

March 7, 13, 20 and 27 at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Port Hope – Big Brothers Big Sisters Garden Speakers Series. Speakers include Kevin Elchuk, Darren Heimbecker from Whistling Gardens, Lana Taylor-Mills with Paul Zammit.  For more information contact Helen Lackey 905 377 9803 or helen.lackey@gmail.com

March 8 – Brampton Seedy Saturday, Century Gardens, 340 Vodden Street East from 10:00 – 3:00.

March 8 – Seedy Saturday – Carling Heights Community Centre, 656 Elizabeth Street, London, For more information   www.londonmiddlesexmastergardeners.com

March 9, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Seedy Sunday Peterborough – George Street United Church, Peterborough.  For more information: http://urbantomato.blogspot.ca/2013/02/seedy-sunday-2013.html

March 14 to 23 - Canada Blooms at the Direct Energy Centre, Toronto For more information see www.canadablooms.com

March 18 and 19 – London Middlesex presents ‘From Seed to Your Table’, an eight-week course for beginner and intermediate gardeners.  Cost is $100.00.  All sessions will be held at the Civic Garden Complex. 625 Springbank Drive from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  For details and registration visit www.londonmiddlesexmastergardeners.com

April 8 – September 9 – Master Gardeners of Ottawa Carleton are offering a Lecture Series on selected Tuesday evenings at the Central Experimental Farm. See their website for details http://mgottawa.mgoi.ca

April 11 – 13 – Peterborough Garden Show at the Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road, Peterborough.  Speakers, Demonstrations, Vendors, Children’s Garden and More.  Admission: $7.00.  Presented by the Peterborough Horticultural Society and the Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners.  For more information visit:  www.peterboroughgardens.ca

June 21 – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners’ 25th Anniversary Garden Tour – 10 gardens in Peterborough.  Cost: $20.00.  For more information: http://peterboroughgardens.ca/tour 

July 19th and Sunday, July 20th - The 7th Annual M.G.O.I. Summer Workshop will be held on Saturday, at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture.  If you have not yet tried one of these practical “hands on” workshops, why not do so this year?  The topics are still being discussed and further information on these will be available soon.  If you have any questions contact June Streadwick at streadwick@sympatico.ca, or by telephone at 905-934-6137.

July 19 – 20 – The International Herb Association Presents Savory Sagas ~ Herbs for Life at Eaton Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street West Toronto.  For more information:  Pat Crocker pcrocker@riversongherbals.com


New MGiTs

Durham – Katherine Mathewson, Cori Whittington
Etobicoke – Lynn Barber, Elaine dos Santos, Agustin Gonzalez
London – Lee Anderson, Krys Anton, Dorothy Bingham, Cheryl Losch, Brenda Scott
Niagara – Judy Cook, Sovann Muon, Jeff Nielsen
Peterborough – Chris Freeburn, Pat Freistatter
Quinte Tweed – Kathy Densham, Marion Mathany, Susie Meisner
Toronto – Nighthawk Bain, Marion Comper, Nina Jenkins, Judith Lavin, Alexis Yanaky

New MGs

Durham – Mary Beerman, Sherry Dodson, Karen Durnin
Etobicoke – Anja Lowrence, Lana Shvedov
Stratford – Michele Hoffle-King, Susan McLennan

5 Years

Durham – Beth Cook, Pam Love
Kitchener – Elaine Baldwin, Rhonda Grein
London – Julie Dorssers, Dorothy McGee, Mychelle Primeau, Tony Rudd, Rosemarie Szalich
Mississauga – Diane Rogers, Michelle Wilson
Niagara – Yvonne Causer, Wendy Fletcher, Tricia Golob, Linda Wade
Quinte Tweed – Barbara Fowler, Marlene Phillips

10 Years

Durham – Kim Pileggi
London – Lynne Campbell, Bob Worthy
Niagara – Diana Jones, Diane Turner
Peterborough – Chris Tewsley, Mary Witalis
Quinte Tweed – Diane Savage, Steve Storms

20 Years

Mississauga – Shirley Daniels, Errol Falconer, Marie Pearson, Philip Stuart
Niagara – Bonnie Priest
Peterborough – Rachel Burrows

25 Years

Kitchener – Mary Ann Gilhuly
Peterborough – Norma Evans, Beryl Harris
Retirement: We thank the following members who retired this year:
Brantford –Heather Dutton (21 years of service), Alex Kucharew (12 years of service)
Toronto – Katy Anderson, Grace Andrews, Carole Bell, Sonia Day, Joan Hodges, Sara Katz, Sonia Leslie, Linda McCrossan, Grace Muncaster, Lucy van Wyk


Niagara – Dan Cooper (from Toronto)
Peterborough – Sylvia Green (from Toronto)
Stratford – Lisa Courtnage (from Calgary), Leslye Glover, (from Renfrew)
Toronto – Georgie Kennedy (from Lake Simcoe South)

Celebrations in 2014:

In March, the Mississauga group will celebrate its 20th Anniversary with a dinner for group members.
Peterborough celebrates its 25th Anniversary

MGOI Board of Directors

President: Jane Beck – president@mgoi.ca
Vice President: Claudette Sims
Treasurer: Connie Hunter – treasurer@mgoi.ca
Corporate Secretary: Connie Hunter – secretary@mgoi.ca
Past President: Ralph Bullough - pastpresident@mgoi.ca
Zone 1: Wyoma Fauconnier – zone1@mgoi.ca
Zone 2: Dave Kechnie – zone2@mgoi.ca
Zone 3: vacant - zone3@mgoi.ca
Zone 4: Anna Peterson - zone4@mgoi.ca
Zone 5: Claudette Sims – zone5@mgoi.ca
Zone 6: Suzanne Zacharczyk – zone6@mgoi.ca
Zone 7: Kelly Noel (interim)
Zone 8: Anna Sipos – zone8@mgoi.ca
Zone 9: Pam Love - zone9@mgoi.ca
Zone 10: Tena Van Andel & Connie Hunter - zone10@mgoi.ca
Zone 11: Kevin Van Andel - zone11@mgoi.ca
Newsletter: Dianne & Gary Westlake – editors@mgoi.ca
MG List-serve: Kelly Noel – listcoordinator@mgoi.ca
Website: Jim Cook - webmaster@mgoi.ca

OMAFRA Representative: Helen Scutt – omafra@mgoi.ca
Provincial Administrator:committee – info@mgoi.ca
Landscape Ontario Rep: Denis Flanagan – landscapeontariorep@mgoi.ca

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