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May 27, 2019 Meeting 


Our much loved Merry May Meeting is just around the corner! It's a special, informal gathering that celebrates the growing season and leads us into our summer break (regular meetings start up again in late September 2019 - see below for our new speaker roster).

At this year's Merry May, we will be:

  • Recognizing & Celebrating our Society's Volunteers — NONE of what we do would be possible if it wasn't for these individuals!
  • Marvelling at our Community Garden Projects & Personal Gardens — Through a colourful photo display, we will share, learn, and explore the beauty of the gardens that we have supported over the past year through countless hours of effort! Have photos that you'd like to contribute? Please bring them along with you on a USB memory stick.
  • Swapping Plants — This year's late spring meant that some of us weren't able to get at our plants in time for the Plant Fair since they simply hadn't peeped out of the ground yet. But perhaps now they have! We are welcoming any members who now have plant divisions or extras that they'd like to swap (or sell, with proceeds donated to our Hort) to bring them to the Merry May. We know we all have the best plants, so let's take advantage of this opportunity! 
  • Eating Well — Our usual meeting room will be transformed into a comfortable seating area with tables, where we can relax, connect, and enjoy one another's food and company. All are invited to contribute to this community pot luck!

Meeting Details

Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West.

Doors open at 7pm.
Meeting starts at 7:30pm.

Venue Update

Our Merry May meeting has traditionally been held at St. George the Martyr, a church with which our Hort has had a long relationship. This year, however, we are trying something new — hosting it at our usual meeting place: Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church.

Why the change of venue? The changes at St. George, including the adjacent condo construction and the falling bricks from the bell tower, have contributed to the Anglican congregation moving to a different venue. In addition, the logistics involved with transporting our refreshments and supplies back & forth from Bonar Presbyterian to St. George has made us rethink the need for hosting the Merry May meeting at St. George this year. Relations between our Hort and St. George remain very positive though, and we are exploring ways to possibly utilize this beautiful space again in different ways in the future. 

What about the gardens that we have maintained at St. George? With the changes at St. George, including the Anglican congregation no longer meeting there, the church and garden are now rented and used for various private functions. The gardens, long tended by Hort member volunteers, have been in flux for the last year due to staff turnovers and miscommunication on both sides. But good news! Fellow member Heather Matthews is attempting to assemble a team of volunteers who wish to continue the care of the St. George gardens. Thank you Heather Matthews!

Helping Hands at Our Meeting

We're still looking for people to help with some small tasks to ensure the smooth running of our Merry May Meeting — Monday, May 27, 2019.

Simply click here to see what tasks are available, and to sign yourself up to lend a hand. This is all done via a free, external website called Signup. 

Alternatively, you can also send Maria Nunes an email at and let her know that you'd like to help.

Plant Fair Success!!!

A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who supported our 2019 Plant Fair!!! It was a smashing success.

We had more attendees visit than ever before, and the community as a whole is truly recognizing our event as a must-visit, annual favourite.

Special thanks to:
  • Plant Fair Committee members Anne Karpynczyk, Barbara Japp, Mary Mosser, Maria Nunes, & Jessie Olivier;
  • Roncesvalles United Church's Reverend Anne Hines & custodians Joan & Paul;
  • Sweetpea's flower shop for generously donating a $100 gift card as a door prize! Shop local. Support Sweetpea's;
  • Pollocks Home Hardware for generously donating two fabulous Mark's Choice tools ($100 value) as a door prize! Shop local. Support Pollocks;
  • Wild at Heart Design owner (and Hort member) Sara Katz for providing a one hour on-site garden consultation as a door prize! Support our members. Hire Sara;
  • The backbreaking efforts of our student volunteers from Harbord Collegiate high school;
  • All of our fabulous vendors and exhibitors!

Approved Garden Projects for 2019

We are proud to announce that the following public community gardens have been approved for funding by our Hort for 2019!

Congratulations to:
  • St Martins in the Fields Garden 
  • The Garden Party
  • West Lodge Pollinator Garden 
  • Roncesvalles United Church (RUC) Garden
  • Colborne Lodge Restoration Garden 
  • The Laneway Garden Project 
  • Pollinator Garden in Charles G Williams Park (deferred approx. 2 years due while adjacent playground upgrades take place)
  • Corridor Pollinator Project (comprised of 72 participating front yard gardens which will connect High Park to Sorauren Park)
  • Christie Pits Community Garden
We look forward to seeing these gardens come to life and grow.

Volunteer Opportunities

Hort Outreach Table at Roncy Rocks 2019!

The Roncesvalles Village BIA has generously granted our Hort a shared table space during Roncy Rocks on Saturday, June 8th, 2019, in front of St. Vincent de Paul's Church, with tables, chairs and umbrellas, at no cost for us to reach out to the community.

We're looking for a few member-volunteers to sit at our table and speak about our Hort with interested passersby, and provide people with some handouts. You will have company as you will be sharing the table with a member of the Peace Garden and a member of RoncyWorks.

Specifically, we are looking for:
  • One person to bring in our supplies (there won't be much - just a few handouts) and to be present at our shared table from 12 noon to 2pm.
  • One person to relieve the first and stay at our shared table from 2pm until 4pm, at which time they will be responsible to package up any remaining materials and take them away.
If this sounds like something you can help with, please send our volunteer coordinator, Maria Nunes, an email at

Kathy's Grove — Keeping it Going

By Clement Kent

I visited Kathy's Grove several times in April and early May. The good news is that most of the plants from last year are returning in fine form, supported by the abundant rains we're having. The bad news is that that weeds also like the rain, and weeding in the mud is no fun. (Serviceberry trees in bud & bloom - photos above)

Last year, some very dedicated volunteers helped keep the garden going. This year, we'll need one big turnout later in May for an initial weeding, and some weekly work the rest of the gardening year. The Camassia bulbs planted by schoolchildren from Niagara PS should be blooming then! (below illustration)

If you'd like to volunteer some time over the summer to help us keep this special garden in check, please send our volunteer coordinator, Maria Nunes, an email at

Kathy's Grove Volunteers' Appreciation Event & Dedication

Double bloodroot, planted by Bill Cheng in Kathy's Grove, originally from Kathy and Bill's home garden.

You're Invited!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 22 — 2pm.
Join us in Kathy's Grove (northwest corner of Stanley Park) for the official dedication of the benches and plaques that will accompany this beautifully transformed space.

In appreciation of the many volunteers (from our Hort and outside of it too) that made and continue to make this garden possible, we will be offering plant and animal identification sessions so that you can learn to name the wildflowers, shrubs, and trees that we've planted in Kathy's Grove, as well as the birds, butterflies, and bees coming to them.

What better way to celebrate the official beginning of summer?

Our 2019/2020 Speaker Roster

Mark your calendars now for our incredible new season that'll kick off in September.

September 30, 2019
Presented by guest speaker Clement Kent

Rewilding is an idea and a movement that aims to bring nature back into human-occupied lands. We've eliminated so much of nature it's time to start bringing it back! But how can each of us help? Pollinators and their plants can be brought back by gardeners. In this talk we'll see how we’ve been renovating and rewilding some of our parks and neighbourhoods and what the benefits are for people, pollinators, plants, and other wild cousins we don't normally think about.
October 28, 2019
Presented by guest speaker Barry Parker

The adventurous gardener can enjoy succulent plants year 'round and will find great rewards in easily propagating them and combining the infinite variety of unusual plants with exquisite pots. We will be offering an array of common and uncommon succulents.
November 25, 2019
Presented by guest speaker Lorraine Johnson

Lorraine will share her thoughts on the connections between reconciliation and the garden, and offer reflections on native plants in the context of reconciliation. She will also explore some of the ways that gardening is tied to settler-colonialism, and present a number of projects that point to paths forward.
January 27, 2020
Presented by guest speaker Wolfe Bonham

Have you ever noticed that some garden spaces just feel right, even if they aren't the nicest looking gardens? While others that are immaculate, well designed, and down right spectacular just don't feel right? Wolfegang Bonham of Peace, Love, and Landscaping will help us understand why some garden spaces truly resonate with our souls, and how to make sure the new ones we create do.
February 24, 2020
Presented by guest speaker Becky Ellis

Permaculture can be an important tool for the creation of socially-just and ecologically regenerative urban commons. In this talk, Becky Ellis will explore the transformational possibilities of urban permaculture with a focus on several exciting projects in Toronto and London, ON, including the Dunn St. Food Forest in Parkdale.
March 30, 2020
Presented by guest speaker David Leeman

Looking for just the right shrub for your small oasis? Let David Leeman show you what the nurseries offer, what he has discovered, where to place your new purchase in combination with what you have and finally what pruning tips you need to keep your new shrub looking its best.
April 27, 2020
Presented by guest speaker Sara Katz

Singapore, the Lion City of Southeast Asia, is also called the Garden City for a very good reason. From Changi airport to the Botanic Garden to Gardens-by-the-Bay it is a paradise for gardeners. Join me for a tour of the most fascinating gardens in the world.
May 25, 2020
Presented by us all!

The perfect end to our Horticultural Society's year. This special meeting is an informal gathering that celebrates the growing season and leads us into our summer break. It often includes various presentations by special guests and members alike, plus gifts, prizes, special refreshments, and more!

Community Events & Announcements

NANPS 2019 Native Plant Sales

The North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) has two upcoming native plant sales for you to get excited about, stocked by ethical growers approved by their society. As always, they will have their knowledgeable volunteers there to assist your purchasing decisions and answer questions.

Hosted by The North American Native Plant Society and The Riverwood Conservancy.

 Sunday, May 19, 2019 — 12 noon to 4pm.
WHERE: Riverwood — 4150 Riverwood Park Lane, Mississauga, ON L5C 2S7.

COST: FREE. And free parking too!
Click here to see the plant list for the Riverwood Sale.
Click here to visit their Facebook Event Page for this sale.

 Sunday, May 26, 2019 — 12 noon to 4pm.
WHERE: Christie Pits Park — 750 Bloor St W, Toronto (conveniently beside Christie Subway Station).

Click here to see the plant list for the Christie Pits Park Sale.

The Life of a Dead Tree

MOCA will be hosting a series of workshops, talks, and dead tree walks (guided walks in appreciation for dead trees and the myriad life forms they support), all in tribute to their summer exhibition, The Life of a Dead Tree by Mark Dion.

Trees and forests have long populated Dion’s imagination and a particular body of production. He is well-known for artworks that question how we experience, study, display, and think about the natural world.

Hosted by MOCA.
WHEN: The exhibit runs from May 24 to July 28, 2019.
To learn about when various workshops, talks, and dead tree walks will be taking place, please visit their website here. 
There are lots of dates and times to choose from!
WHERE: The exhibit is in the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (Floor 3) — 158 Sterling Rd, Toronto, ON M6R 2B2. The workshops, talks, and walks connected with this exhibit may be located in various other places.
COST: They vary depending on what exactly you're interested in. Please visit MOCA's website or call them for details at (416) 530-2500.

Oshawa Garden Club's Spring Plant Sale

Our friends at the Oshawa Garden Club are hosting their annual plant sale! Get there early for the best finds. Great locally grown plants at bargain prices.

Click here to visit their Facebook Event Page about the sale. They're beginning to post photos of what they'll have on offer.

Hosted by the Oshawa Garden Club.
WHEN: Saturday, May 25, 2019 — 9am to 2pm
WHERE: South Oshawa Community Rec Center — 1455 Cedar Street, Oshawa, Ontario L1J 0A8.

COST: Free!

Wildflower Tour with Karen Sun

The City of Toronto is pleased to present free one-hour tours and workshops on designated Saturdays (May through September) at the Don Valley Brick Works Park.

This tour with City of Toronto's Karen Sun will educate you on wildflowers and help you identify native and non-native wildflower species in the Don Valley Brick Works Park.

Follow Nature in the City on Facebook to learn about more of these events coming up. 

Hosted by Nature in the City - Toronto and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.
WHEN: Saturday, May 25, 2019 — 11:15am to 12:15pm.
WHERE: Don Valley Brickworks — 550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3X8.

Meeting location: Meet at the blue City of Toronto tent, near the entrance to the Weston Quarry Gardens, at 11:15am sharp! Please keep in mind the park is very busy and parking may be limited.


Music in Bloom

The Garden Clubs of Ontario are hosting a huge, judged, floral design and horticulture show, entitled Music in Bloom, that will span two days at the Royal Botanical Gardens and use all three auditoriums. 

Click here to see the full show schedule, plus all of the rules and specifications are outlined for those of you interested in submitting a floral design!

Hosted by The Garden Clubs of Ontario.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 — 10am to 8pm
& Thursday, May 30, 2019 — 10am to 4pm.
WHERE: Royal Botanical Gardens — 680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4.

COST: Entry to the Show is free with paid admission to the RBG (roughly $10-$18 depending on your age).

Toronto Cactus & Succulent Club Annual Show & Sale 2019

The Toronto Cactus & Succulent Club, a non-profit group of enthusiasts who share a passion for cacti & succulents, will be hosting their annual show and sale! Come and see beautiful plants from private collectors, and buy some of the uncommon plants that they'll have on offer. This event was soooo popular last year, they've expanded it to two days this year. 

Hosted by Toronto Cactus & Succulent Club, Allan Gardens Park and Conservatory, and Friends of Allan Gardens.
Saturday, June 1, 2019 — 11am to 4pm. 
& Sunday, June 2, 2019 — 10am to 3pm.
WHERE: Allan Gardens Park and Conservatory — 19 Horticultural Ave., Toronto, ON M5A 2P2.


Swansea Horticultural Society's Bus Trip

The Swansea Hort invite you on a full day of garden fun! Here's the schedule:

8:30am: Depart Swansea Town Hall.
9:00am: Arrive at Marion Jarvie private garden in Thornhill.
Spend 1.5 hours here.
Marion is a passionate plantswoman who has been gardening in Thornhill for over forty years. She is an accomplished photographer and teaches regularly at the Toronto Botanical Garden.
10:30am: Depart Thornhill.
11:30am: Arrive at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
Spend 1 hour here.
Discover thousands of freely flying exotic butterflies in a lush tropical garden.
12:45pm: Arrive at Grain of Salt Indian restaurant. Ranked #1 out of 240 restaurants in Cambridge on TripAdvisor.
Enjoy a relaxing 1.45 hours for lunch and coffee. Plenty of non-spicy food will be available along with traditional Indian items.
2:30pm: Depart restaurant.
3:00pm: Arrive at Lost Horizons Nursery in Acton - an independent specialty nursery and leading source for hard-to-find perennials, ferns, ornamental grasses, and woody plants. Operated by expert plantsman and garden designer Larry Davidson for over two decades. Featuring extensive display gardens showing mature plants in situ.
4:45pm: Depart for home.
6:00pm: Arrive back at Swansea Town Hall.

Hosted by the Swansea Horticultural Society.
WHEN: Saturday, June 8, 2019 — 8:30am to 6pm.
WHERE: The coach will be departing from Swansea Town Hall — 95 Lavinia Ave, Toronto, ON M6S 3H9.
COST: $85.00 per person, which includes lunch!

Questions can be directed to lead organizer Marcia Smith at

Through the Garden Gate — Private Gardens of Toronto's Beaches Neighbourhood "The Beach"

Mark’s Choice "Through the Garden Gate", is Toronto’s largest tour of private gardens. The self-guided tour enables participants to discover 21 beautiful private gardens at your own pace following a map and that contains descriptions of each featured garden.

Complimentary shuttle buses are available for participants to “hop on and hop off” along the route.

Not only will participants enjoy walking the streets of this iconic neighbourhood, while skipping in and out of gardens, you’ll have a chance to ask questions and learn something too! Knowledgeable Toronto Master Gardeners will be stationed in each garden to answer questions about the plants and the design features. Each garden highlights interesting plants and garden design lessons.
The Food Dudes will also be onsite offering a variety of delectable vegan, gluten, & dairy-free options for guests... and back again this year: Augie’s Ice Pops will be stationed in two gardens serving their locally made, handcrafted, all natural fruit juice ice pops in killer botanical flavours.

Hosted by Toronto Botanical Garden and sponsored by Mark's Choice Better Gardening.
WHEN: Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 2019 — 11am to 4pm.
WHERE: Various locations (private gardens) throughout Toronto's Beach Neighbourhood.
One-Day Pass: 
Public $45 / TBG Members $40 / Students $25 (With ID, One-Day Pass Only). 
Two-Day Pass: Public $65 / TBG Members $60.
Tickets are limited, advance purchase recommended.
Tickets are available nearby at Pollocks Home Hardware (347 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto) or online at

RoncyWorks Garden Tour 2019

Come and enjoy the gardens along Roncesvalles!

This unique tour kicks off at the
Peace Garden (north end of Roncy) and works its way down to the south end, stopping at 23 gardens along the way. En route, the all-volunteer team of gardeners who attend to each individual plot will be on-site to speak about their special little patch of green. Hear about their successes and learn about the challenges they've faced and overcome when growing plants in such a hyper-urban setting.

This event is being hosted as part of Garden Days, a nation-wide Canadian program organized by the Canadian Garden Council, to celebrate the vital role of gardens and gardening in our communities and our lives.

Hosted by RoncyWorks, the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden, and the Roncesvalles Village BIA.
WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 2019 — 1 to 3pm.
WHERE: Meet at the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden (located at the intersection of Dundas & Roncesvalles) at 1pm.

COST: Free!
For the most up-to-date info about this event, please follow/visit the Roncesvalles Village Facebook Page and the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden Facebook Page.

2019 Long Branch Garden Tour

Toronto’s biggest free garden tour is back! — consisting of over 40 gardens for you to explore, free expert talks, and various children's activities throughout the day, all taking place in what was once Toronto's early cottage community, the neighbourhood of Long Branch.

The day's events will kick off at The Branch Church at 9am with guest speaker Sean James describing ways to assemble your very own spectacular summer containers. Gardens will then be open to the public from 10am to 4pm. At 12 noon, Jeff Mason will be sharing all of his wisdom to transform us into proud pruners. And all the while, children can participate in garden planting, garden games, craft making, scavenger hunts and more!

Hosted by a bunch of enthusiastic gardeners in the Long Branch community, and supported by the Long Branch BIA.
WHEN: Saturday, June 22, 2019 — 9am to 4pm (rain or shine!)
WHERE: The Garden Tour Headquarters (and official 9am kick-off point) will be at The Branch Church —  85 Thirty First St, Etobicoke, ON M8W 3G1. Kids activities and both expert talks will be at The Branch Church.

COST: Free!
Official website: 
Questions can be directed to lead organizer Eugene Knapik at

Garden Walk Buffalo — Celebrating its 25th year!

Don't forget about this one!

America’s largest garden tour is free — no tickets are required — with free hop-on/hop-off shuttle buses. More than 65,000 guests from the U.S., Canada, and beyond, will visit around 400 creative, urban gardens.

If you make a donation to their organization online before June 30, 2019, they will mail (snail mail) you a copy of this year's garden map! To make a donation and get your map, go here:

Hosted by Gardens Buffalo Niagara.
WHEN: Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28, 2019 — 10am to 4pm.
WHERE: 400+ gardens throughout Buffalo!

COST: Free!
Official website:

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Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto · 1938 Bloor St West, PO Box 30023 · Toronto, On M6P 4J2 · Canada

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