We are meeting virtually, via Zoom in March with our guest speaker. All other dates will be in person.

In Person Meetings Location – Oro-Medonte Community Centre, #71 Line 4 N at Highway 11

2023 Meeting Topics

March 13, 2023 via Zoom – Paul Gellatly: Designing Gardens with an artistic eye.
How to make every spot in your garden look stunning with clever companion planting and pairing combinations

April 17, 2023 In Person – Graeme Davis: Simcoe County Forests
Conservation and Management of County Forests: History and current practices.
 Everything you need to know about Simcoe County Forests.

May 15, 2023 In Person – David Hawke: The Oro Moraine
Irreplaceable water, native plants, animals and wetlands: the importance of protecting moraine ecology.
David Hawke is a well-known naturalist who combines his writing and photography to teach others about the out-of-doors. His weekly nature column has appeared in various media for the past 33 years, (currently and Lake Simcoe Living blog).
His book Wetlands has won the Best Book Award from Outdoor Writers of Canada.

June 26, 2023 In Person – Dee Ayotte: Making Art to accent your garden.
Choosing design, colour and fabrication techniques in the process of making custom metal art for the outdoor garden or indoor space.

July 16, 2023 – Garden Tour – more information to follow.

August 14, 2023 In Person – Hazel and Joe Cook: Delphiniums with British roots: Blossom Hill
Propagating and enjoying Delphiniums with sturdier stems and larger flowers.

September 11, 2023 In Person – Clement Kent, Ph.D.: Planting for Pollinators
Scientific strategies for pleasing bees and other important pollinators: what the research tells us we need to be doing to create permanent habitat for pollinators, both on public lands and in our own gardens.

October 16, 2023 In Person – Molly Shannon: Designing with Succulents: Indoors and Out
How to make the most of your succulent plants, including planting and propagation.

November 13, 2023 In Person – Helen Battersby: Designing Gardens with Edible Plants
Feed your family while enjoying creatively designed veggie gardens.
 Helen Battersby has shared inspiration and images from her travels in Canada, the US, UK, and Europe as an engaging speaker and since 2006 as an award-winning blogger on
In 2017, Helen became co-publisher of The Toronto & Golden Horseshoe Gardener’s Journal; 2022 marked its 30th Edition. In 2021, she was elected National Director (Canada & International) for GardenComm, the industry association for garden communicators

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.