Monday, June 30, 2014

What's Growing On - Summer Newsletter

Master Gardeners of Ontario

Serving Ontario for Over 25 Years

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Perennial Border at Les Quatre Vents in Quebec

Canada's Anti Spam Legislation

As of July 1, Canada’s new anti-spam legislation will come into effect. We do not think that this will involve much of a change for us.

Just in case there is an issue that we overlooked, we will be sending email notices of the summer newsletter posting on our website out before the July 1 deadline. 

In this Issue....

Designing for the Future

Edythe Falconer, Ottawa

Some things are meant to be. Our Saskatchewan Farm was “organic” before “organic” achieved a higher profile. Since then I’ve continued to be comfortable with the desirability of food independence, conservation of biological resources, and avoidance of chemical sprays and synthetic amendments. Read more...

Whose Garden is it Anyway – Garden Design Gone to the Dogs

Isabel Belanger - Etobicoke

..... Design takes chaos and gives form and function to a space. 'Form follows function' – and the function of my garden has been to accommodate a succession of dogs over the years, thus dictating the form. Read more...

Deliciously Beautiful Gardens

Mary Beerman, Durham
Gardens serve many purposes. We create gardens to mimic nature; recreating what nature can do but in our own kind. It has been said that we garden to feed our souls.
To truly ‘feed our souls’ we can actually grow plants that nourish our bodies. Read more...

Ecological Design - the Macro and Micro Views

Astrid Muschalla, Etobicoke

main goals - to have the garden invite: shelter (for both humans and wildlife – including insects – think biodiversity); view(s); and rest (think sanctuary/ entertainment). Read more...

Designing the Garden Room

Alexandra Wiens, Prince Edward County

I live in a “barefoot home”. That is, a space where the inside and the outside of the house run together. When I was designing this house I gave a lot of thought to the uses of the interior rooms and that of the adjacent exterior spaces; I wanted to create a harmonious living space. Read more...

Intergrating Native Plants into the Garden Design Makes it Hum

Diane Marchese, Guelph Wellington

It always surprises me when someone finds gardening an act of frustration. Or when they devise a plan for a garden consisting of one type of plant, thinking this will ultimately cut down on their work outside. I had someone once say to me as I stood in my front yard garden, “Image a front yard filled with nothing but hostas.” “What! I proclaimed, that’s asking for trouble.” Are these new landscape aesthetics really working for us? Read more...

Serenety Garden Design

Pam Love, Durham
When you think of a serenity garden, many things come to mind. You might imagine the soft sounds of a wind chime or of a bubbling fountain. You might picture yourself seated comfortably, surrounded by lush plants, sipping a cup of tea. A serenity garden might be a place you go to pray or meditate quietly. Read more...

Planning a Garden

Sandra Goranson, Prince Edward County

John Brookes, who is considered to be one of the most influential garden designers of our times, stated that “ The preservation of our landscapes, of which your garden is part, is vital – and to do this we have to find the essence of our own particular place and work with it.“ The simple version is to work with, rather than challenge, the environment when creating your garden. Look beyond your property to the larger surroundings be they urban or rural, and look at contributing to the whole as well as your own property when designing or redesigning gardens. This does not restrict creativity; rather it asks that creativity will focus on preserving the essence of the place rather than fighting with it. Read more...

President's Message

Jane Beck, President MGOI
In response to our members, local Master Gardener groups across the province, the Ontario Master Gardener Board has established two task forces, one on governance and one on vision for the organization. Representatives, typically Coordinators or past Coordinators from across the province populate these two task forces; our goal will be to have progressive proposals/options to present to our Coordinators at the October 18th  , 2014 Coordinator’s Conference. These proposals need to support delivery of what the Coordinators told us last fall, was needed. Their focus was on policy, education, communications, partnerships and fundraising, promotion and membership, and events. The goal being that the Board may better serve all its members.
The vision task force is re-writing our vision and establishing the mission and actions to make this vision a reality. The governance task force will be establishing the functions we need at the provincial level as well as a reporting structure(s) for the organization.
The Board and the two task forces have completed a beliefs and assumptions exercise (the question being – are we thinking alike or really quite differently?) and will begin reviewing the functions and hours the Board members spend volunteering their time to the provincial organization. Board members were asked to submit their hours and activities and that report has been summarized and made available to the two task forces.
This is new territory for us, discussions that we’re not used to having and we are moving ahead thoughtfully and with attention to detail.

Insect Art 

Here is a new way of looking at insects in the garden.  Read more...

Master Gardeners in Action


Proud to be a Master Gardener

Claudette Sims, Halton
Halton Master Gardeners are very fortunate to have Marie Clarke, who is a producer with CBC radio, as a member. Last year, Marie was a driving force behind CBC Radio Hamilton using our Master Gardeners to participate in a one hour online garden chat. When Marie asked me to participate I immediately said yes! Then I said, wait: There’s CBC radio in Hamilton? Then I scrambled to find out what an online chat was! Basically panelists sit at their home computer and sign in to the website at the arranged time; readers join in online; they send in questions and panelists type in the answer. Marie, Halton MG Donna Parker and I, partnered with Carlo Balistrieri, Head of Horticulture at the Royal Botanical Gardens, to frantically reply to the gardening questions sent in via social media.
This year someone had the brainwave to do the online chat concurrently with Ed Lawrence’s popular call in show on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today. Our first chat was scheduled for June 16th. That morning the phone rang and it was CBC Radio wanting an interview. An audio clip of my interview as well as a blurb about Master Gardeners started off the Ed Lawrence garden call in. I was thrilled to hear Master Gardeners finally getting such great exposure! While Ed was busy answering questions on live radio, Marie and I, along with Jon Peter from the RBG, fielded questions via email, Twitter and the online program. What a success it was. We were overwhelmed with questions and Marie and I answered about 30 questions in 60 minutes. When you consider that you have to read the question, then formulate and type an answer all the while trying to make sure your spelling of Tradescantia or whatever plant your recommending is accurate, we did very well. The pace is exhilarating. Picture a race where you’re carrying 2 buckets of manure tea and have to run without spilling any. That’s kind of what it felt like to me.
This marriage of online chat and live radio call in proved to be such a hit that the CBC asked if we would be willing to do it on a weekly basis. I’m amazed at the exposure it’s given to Master Gardeners. That same evening my neighbour called out to me through the fence to tell me that she’d heard Master Gardeners mentioned on the radio and had said to her husband: Isn’t that the club that Claudette belongs to? When it was followed by my voice on the radio, she was so surprised.
You can actually view the online chat by following the following link:

Check out the wonderful blurb about Master Gardeners and join us Mondays at 12:30 to 1:30 for ongoing chats this summer.

North Bay

Northbay celebrates their service awards. Here is a photo of the event:
North Bay MGs - Ted Reed, Helen Tripp, Monica McLaren, Pam Hansen,
Vickie Wiemer (Helen McCombie was not present that day)


Master Gardeners with Paul Zammit, Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture
 at the Toronto Botanical Garden, at tree planting June 3rd

On Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, to commemorate 25 years of community service by the Toronto Master Gardeners, the current, the incoming and two past Executive Coordinators presided at a ceremonial tree planting at the Toronto Botanical Garden.

Several Toronto members took a turn with the spade, backfilling the planting hole in the west lawn south of Lawrence Avenue, where the new Yellowwood tree (Cladrastis kentukea) will eventually reach between 30 and 50 feet in height. This seldom-used tree, which attracts beneficial pollinators, makes a striking specimen, with smooth grey-brown bark and beautiful 30 cm lon sprays of fragrant white blossoms in early summer.

Ontario Volunteer Service Awards were awarded to:

Rachel Burrows – 20 years
Norma Evans – 25 years
Cathy Fraser – 5 years
Karen Hannisse – 10 years
Joan Harding – 5 years
Beryl Harris – 25 years


New MGiTs
Halton – Callie Cordoba, Lynn Courtney, Donna Fraser, Justin Godard, Dean Hale, Patty Noonan, Momo Pino, Kate Sault, Bill Sommers, Harold Stahl.
Mississauga – Bev Campeau, Suzanne Moreau
Northumberland – Shelley Fredericks, Brenda Harvey, Jim Henderson, Trisha Whitney
Stratford – Robyn Gallimore, Anu MacIntosh-Murray. Shelly Meyers

New MGs
Haliburton – Marg Chambers
Northumberland – Christa Bisanz, Marg Lee Tolland
Toronto –  Linda Attridge, Anne Avery, Diana Bavington, Joan Bostock, Petra Donnelly, Wendy Halse, Adrienne Hanbidge, Mary LeQuoc, Laurie Manoim, Patty McKnight, Brigitte Richter, Jacqueline Tilford, Paula Wolfson

5 Years
Simcoe County – Louise Jackson, Catherine Waffle
Peterborough – Suzanne Seryck, Cauleen Viscoff
Toronto – Josee Couture, Cathy Kozma, Alan Malcolmson, Christine March, Doryne Peace, Sylvia Sarkus, Sheila Smith

10 Years
Halton – Linda Brentnall, Cathy Kavassalis, Maureen Millar, Claudette Sims,
Haliburton – Winnie Kasepchuk     
North Bay – Pam Hansen, Monica McLaren
Quinte Tweed – Steve Airhart, Peter Hill, Susan Uddenberg
Toronto – Barbara Anderson, Jane Beck, Dawn Bell, Ellen Eyman, Georgie Kennedy

15 Years
Toronto – Catherine Park

20 Years
North Bay – Ted Reed, Helen Tripp
Toronto – Anne Kotyk

25 Years
North Bay – Helen McCombie, Vickie Wiemer
Toronto – Ann Johnson, Anna Leggatt, Alice Wikaruk

Peterborough welcomes Emma Murphy who recently transferred from Kitchener.

Moving On
Following 10 years of devoted service to Etobicoke Master Gardeners; we wish to thank now Past Coordinator Diane Pettet for her work at the helm of EMG. Diane led our group as it grew to where it is today, an enthusiastic group of individuals, with its Annual Plant Sale, Community activities, many Advice Clinics, not to mention presiding over our monthly meetings at our new, special meeting space at Montgomery's Inn.  As she passes the baton to incoming Coordinator Suzanne Zacharczyk, we can all wish Diane well and hope she enjoys the extra time to spend in her own garden, while she continues to enjoy her participation in the EMGs from a new perspective. Well done, Diane!

Elizabeth Stewart has been Communications Coordinator for the Toronto Master Gardeners for close to a decade. She has guided us through new ideas, new projects and made us all the best we can be.  Thank you, Elizabeth.

In Memoriam:  
Kevin Bergevin passed away on May 31, 2104 at the age of 58.  Kevin joined Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners on November 11, 2010.  He enrolled in the Master Gardener course at Guelph University and completed the program in 13 months. In January 2012, while still a Master Gardener in Training, Kevin took on the role of secretary to the group and continued in this role until his illness finally forced him to go on sick leave in mid- March of 2014.  Kevin displayed a vast horticultural knowledge as well as organizational skills, a willingness to support others and an ability to share freely without any sense of superiority. Our friend Kevin was a kind, generous, talented and humble man.  Many of our members have his daylilies in our gardens to remind us of his generosity.  He will be sadly missed by all who came in contact with him.


July 13, 2014, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners Garden Tour in Kingston – ‘Gardens to inspire the home gardener’ 12 gardens with unusual designs and inspiring ideas. A Master Gardener will be available at each garden to answer questions.  Tickets $10.00   Check our website  for ticket sales locations or call Jeanne Stoness 613-767-7175

July 19 and 20, 2014 – The International Herb Association presents the Herbal event of the decade: ‘Savory Sagas~Herbs for Life’, a two-day, herbalicious conference, at the Eaton Chelsea Hotel in Toronto, with Niagara Herb bus tour July 18th and optional trip to Richters Herbs July 21st.  Join herbalists, gardeners, chefs, cooks, and environmentalists to learn from more than 22 teachers sharing sagas on a wide range of herbal topics and shop for natural products at the free Herbal Marketplace (open to the public).  Register at Conference is open to non-members; one- or two-day options available.  Visit the website for conference fees, speaker and program details and to register. Don’t miss out on this rare chance to learn, share and meet others interested in herbs, natural medicine, natural skin care and gardens.

September 6, 2014 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  North York Garden Club Annual Flower Show and CafĂ© at the Edithvale Community Centre, 131 Finch Ave W, Toronto

October 18, 2014 – 8:30 - 1:00 p.m. at Harmony Centre Owen Sound, 890 4th Avenue East, Owen Sound.  Grey County Master Gardeners will host their annual FREE Fall Gardening Seminars.
Topics and Speakers:
1) "Pollinator-friendly Gardening" - Ursula Karalus, MG
2) "The Secret Life of Plants" - Shannon Wood, Saugeen Conservation Authority
3) " Twiners, Stickers, Clingers, Hookers, and Espaliers" - Brenda Sutherland-Close, Earthbound Gardens.  For more information, or to reserve a seat, please contact the GCMG co-coordinators, Rebecca Baker at or Margaret-Ann Brennan at

October 19, 2014 - all day Technical Update at Civic Garden Complex, 625 Springbank Drive, London, ON.  Exposed! Dirty Little Secrets and Plant Enemies
Cost: $50.00 for 4 academic speakers, 6 CEUs, lunch, snacks and networking
Contact: questions  or register on line at 

October 27, 2014 – 8:00 p.m. at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 3200 Bayview Avenue, Toronto. Forests of the Future: Climate Change and Your Backyard Trees – Alice Casselman - founder of ACER

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