We are currently meeting virtually, via Zoom, with our guest speakers. Please note we have a new start time: 7:00 PM

December 6, 2021. Monarch Ultra. Carlotta James
Carlotta James will talk about the Monarch Ultra 2019 journey from Peterborough to Mexico, as she and fellow runners followed the same route as the Monarch butterflies! She will also give us an update on the relay that ran through southern Ontario this fall, and the many ways we can support monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

2022 Meeting Topics

March 14, 2022 – Europe’s Allotment Gardens: The original urban farms. Marianne Lepa
Dating back as early as the 6th century AD, allotment gardens have been a vital part of Europe’s culture and landscape. Today, the allotment still provides urban dwellers with a place for food growing, flower gardening and outdoor recreation. But, the allotment is coming under increasing pressure from expanding populations and dwindling available land. We will take a look at the history of allotments through to today and see how allotment associations are innovating to meet modern challenges.

April 11, 2022 – Going Grassless: Meadowscaping the front yard. Julianne Labreche

Learn the how’s and why’s of how one Ontario gardener decided to remove the turf grass from her front yard property and transform it into a ‘meadowscape’ for pollinators, including bees and butterflies. This talk will guide you through a brief history of the North American lawn and give you ideas and inspirations for plant alternatives to sod.

May 9, 2022 – Bog Gardens. Robert Pavis

What is a bog garden? How do you build one? Why would you want to build one? Do they attract mosquitoes? What plants grow best in a bog garden? Do they need sun or shade? This presentation will answer these questions and many more. Bog gardens are environmentally friendly, use very little water, and can be created in any kind of garden.

June 27, 2022 –
‘Tale of Two Gardens’: Quebec’s Famous Gardens! Lynne Melnyk
Les Quatres Vents or The Four Winds and Reford Gardens, also known as Jardins de Metis, are world renowned. These two Quebec gardens are located on the St. Lawrence River north of Quebec City, one on the north shore and the other on the south. Join Lynne as she recounts the history of these fascinating gardens, a part of Canadian heritage.

August 8, 2022 – Cut it Out! The Basics of Pruning! Anna Leggatt

This talk will cover why we might need to prune trees, shrubs and even perennials. Hedge pruning is briefly covered. I explain what tools are best and how to use them. Timing is important.

September 12, 2022 – Light! Most Important, Least Understood. How to Care for your Houseplants! Darryl Cheng

Outdoor gardeners generally have a good sense of their sunlight exposure and indoor grow ops have well documented instructions to follow – but houseplant owners are left with vague, hand-wavy directions like “bright indirect light” – which leads to dramatically different interpretations and results. In this talk, Darryl will introduce a more systematic way to understand light with particular focus on how it applies to houseplants. You will finally be able to make sense of light!

October 24, 2022 – Annual General Meeting & Open Meeting. Trial Gardens at University of Guelph. Rodger Tschanz

Rodger will talk about the latest and greatest performers from the 2022 Trial Garden Season at the University of Guelph. Between 400 and 500 new annuals for the landscape and containers, new perennials for the multi-year Ontario Perennial Trial and vegetables for small urban spaces are evaluated every year and the best of those will be showcased in this highly visual presentation.

November 7, 2022 – Christmas Design Workshop

December 5, 2022 – Preventing Invasive Species. Julia Ruhl

Julia will guide us through the role of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in respect to preventing the introduction of invasive plant pests into Canada, what they are and their significance to the environment, and how to prevent this from occurring.

2021 Past Meeting Topics

March 8, 2021. Soil – and the living things in it. Sean James
We are learning much about soil and its importance to plant health and climate change. Sean, a Master Gardener, writer, and teacher, will discuss the latest information and research. How do we steward the soil microbiome? What are the beneficial bacteria and fungi? What activities harm the soil and plants? And much more. It’s a dirty topic but someone has to cover it!

April 12, 2021. Hydrangeas are so much fun! Joanne Rachfalowski
Hydrangeas have become a summer staple in gardens across the country. With suitable growing conditions their care can be quite easy. Learn some tips on how to plant, identify, care for, prune, dry, and design with hydrangeas.

May 10, 2021. Tending the six-month vegetable garden. Ron Lewis
Ron is an Ontario Horticultural Association member from Sudbury. He has been an organic vegetable gardener for several decades as well as fruit trees. Ron loves to learn and to pass on his gardening knowledge to others.

June 28, 2021. Planters with a Twist! Catherine McGill
Catherine is an Ontario Horticultural Association member and District 6 Director from Caledonia. Catherine says “humour runs through all I do and my theory in life is if you can’t see the fun, why are you doing it?” She has fun using unconventional items such as planters and also plantings that are not traditional.

August 9, 2021. Bulbs! Dugald Cameron
You too can have flowers from March to June! Discover the many beautiful bulbs that will give you a cascade of flowers through the season. Learn what they like and where to place them.

September 13, 2021. Winter Hardy Cactus. Sharon and John Bowler
They will share a little Canadian Cactus horticultural history and explain how you too, can source, landscape with, propagate, and enjoy cactus outdoor and all season long.

October 25, 2021. Fabulous Ferns. Cathy Kavassalis
A fern is a quintessential plant: charming, elegant, graceful, delicate yet strong and adaptable, or so the Victorians thought. The fern craze of the 19th century was well-founded. Come learn about weird and wonderful ferns from the desert to the Arctic. See the fascinating potato ferns and the iridescent ferns that glow in the dark. What makes a fern? The answer may surprise you. For your garden or home, there is a fabulous fern for you. Let’s start a new fern craze together.”

December 6, 2021. Monarch Ultra. Carlotta James
Carlotta James will talk about the Monarch Ultra 2019 journey from Peterborough to Mexico, as she and fellow runners followed the same route as the Monarch butterflies! She will also give us an update on the relay that ran through southern Ontario this fall, and the many ways we can support monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Past Meeting Topics
2020 (shortened due to Covid-19 restrictions)

Capturing your Garden – Don Komarechka
Don, nature, macro, and landscape photographer, will start with basic photography concepts and build from there: how to capture plants in the garden without moving them inside, how to isolate one subject in a crowded area, how to apply simple lighting tricks, etc. Don will also explain the differences between how we see and how a camera operates so that we can understand what the final image will look like.

Wildflowers in Simcoe County – David Hawke
Simcoe County boasts several incredible natural habitats, from wetlands to woodlands, pasturelands to rocklands, each with a unique floral community. David (naturalist, photographer, and news columnist) takes us on a pictorial tour of our county, with intimate visits to each of these special wild places to discover some of the legends and lore of our wildflowers.

Birding in a Garden Wonderland – Natasha Barlow
Natasha is involved in creating a resource with Birds Canada that helps us all ‘garden for birds’ including thinking of designing a garden that provides critical life-saving resources for birds year-round (including in fall and winter). She will also give us ideas about what we can do today to support our feathered friends this winter.


It starts with bees! – Brian Scott
Brian Scott of Innisfil Creek Honey General is a commercial beekeeper operating over 600 beehives. He will discuss the origins of honey bees in North America, housing requirements, and how to integrate bees into your garden.

No work, low work – Diane Greenfield
Moving towards a low-maintenance garden, Diane Greenfield, a Simcoe County Master Gardener Emeritus, will help us revision our gardens so they require less work and can gracefully age along with us so we can all garden forever!

Japanese Garden Design – Wolfe Bonham
Wolfe Bonham of Love, Peace, and Landscaping will show us how to bring a touch of Zen to our gardens.

Heritage Trees: the What, the Where and the Why – Edith George
Edith George presents the need for identifying and preserving this special part of our history that is often overlooked and even taken for granted.

Food for All: The Power of Food and Community – Jacob Kearey-Moreland
Jacob Kearey-Moreland of Bass Lake Farms brings stories and visions from the front lines of food insecurity, from Parliament Hill to the hills of Oro-Medonte.

Mystical, Magical World of Mushrooms! Bob Bowles
Bob Bowles will inform you about the species of mushrooms that grow in our area and many interesting facts about them.

Weeds—The Treasures We Toss – Anna Van Maris
Anna Van Maris of Parklane Landscapes will explain the medicinal properties of weeds, and demonstrate how to make tinctures and oils from garden plants and weeds.

Operation Grow! Kathy Willis
Kathy Willis is the Executive Director of Huronia Transition Homes (HTH), a charitable organization in Simcoe County working to end all violence against all women. Find out how a vertical farm and accessible cutting-edge technology help these women blossom.

Oro-Medonte 2021 Calendar