Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Big Winners

Here they are! The big winners of our monthly and annual shows.  The winners were honoured at our Annual Members' Potluck Dinner and Awards Night in November. Thanks to Andy McCraw for taking these photos. Click on any image for a closer look.

The Claire Finch Award: Cathy Kuchynski
Annual Show:  Floral Design:  Best in Show

The Pearl Wilby Award: Christine Moore
June Show:  Floral Design:  Best in Show
The Pearl Wilby Award: Hasmik Samuelian
April Show:  Floral Design:  Best in Show
Violet Keenan Trophy & Sheridan Award: Iris Hazen
Most Monthly Points & Most Annual Show Points for Roses
The NTHS Award: John Cartmell
Annual Show: Vegetables/Fruit:  Best in Show
Monthly Horticulture Award: June Field
October Show: Roses: Best in Show
The Diane Wells Award: Mary Audia
Annual Show:  Most Points Cut Specimens exc. Roses
April Meeting:  Potted Plants: Best in Show
The Pearl Wilby Award: Rosemary Dobson
October Show:  Floral Design:  Best in Show
The Ella Irving Award
Most Points in Monthly Floral Design
The Pearl Wilby Award: Ruth Gladstone
April Show:  Floral Design:  Best in Show
The Jack Forster Cup: Julie Forbes
Monthly Shows:  Most Points: Cut Specimens exc. Roses
The Kitty Belshaw Award: Most Monthly Points Potted Plants
NTHS Award:  Most Annual Show Points Potted Plants
NTHS Award:  Annual Show: Cut Specimens: Best in Show

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Happy 85th Anniversary

On Tuesday November 8th, 2011 the North Toronto Horticultural Society celebrated its 85th Anniversary at our annual Members' Potluck Dinner and Awards Night.  The evening was a great success!  Here are a few pictures in case you missed this wonderful celebration.

The centerpieces were designed by NTHS members.

Delicious 85th Anniversary Cake

Good Food.  Good Company.

A piece of North Toronto history.

A full house at the TBG's Garden Hall.

The NTHS Choir got everyone singing.

Check back soon for more pictures of our 85th Anniversary celebration including the Horticulture and Design Winners for 2011.  A short video presentation featuring highlights of the evening will be shown at our January Meeting.

Until next time,  happy gardening.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

85th Anniversary Dinner & Awards Night

Win a beautiful centrepiece!
It has been a year of exceptional speakers, fabulous garden tours and outstanding flower and design shows. Let’s cap it off with a celebration to mark an incredible milestone. The North Toronto Horticultural Society will be celebrating its 85 th Anniversary at our annual November Members’ Potluck Dinner and Awards Night. The North Toronto Executive and the Anniversary Dinner Committee have been hard at work to make this year’s gathering extra special.

As always there will be plenty of food (everyone is welcome to bring a favourite dish). Our top Hort and Design winners will be honoured. We'll have a look back through the years and there will be some exceptional prizes. And don't forget the surprise entertainment.  It will get your toes tapping.  To accomodate all these activities, the Annual Members' Digital Show will be moved to January.

Win this landscape by Blaine Berdan

NTHS 85th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Night
Tuesday November 8th, 2011 at 6:30pm
Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Avenue East (at Leslie St.)

Please invite a friend or friends to enjoy this 
fabulous evening of food and fun!
See you there.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

October Meeting: The Oak Ridges Moraine, An Amazing Flower Show & A Special Gift

The Oak Ridges Moraine: A Ganaraska Perspective
It's home to the Ovenbird and Veery, is crawling with amphibians and home to a robust population of flying squirrels. You'll also find tall grass prairies bursting with big bluestem, wild bergamot and hairy beardtongue.  Be careful where you step, though: you wouldn't want to disturb a Hog Nosed Snake. These are just some of the diverse species and ecosystems you'll find in the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Guest speaker Mark Peacock, the Director of Watershed Services for the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, took us on a fascinating journey of this unique landscape.  It stretches from the Niagara Escarpment to the Trent River and is the source of water for many of our rivers.  In particular, Mark gave us the incredible story of the Ganaraska Forest, southern Ontario's largest forest. Hundreds of years ago it was home to majestic stands of white pine but logging and deforestation resulted in severe soil erosion and "blow sand" areas.  Something had to be done.  Under the leadership of Dr. A.H. Richardson, a conservation movement was born.  The first tree was planted in the Ganaraska Forest in 1947.  Today, the forest covers some 12,000 acres and continues to grow.

To learn more about the Oak Ridges Moraine click here. To learn more about the Ganaraska Forest, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority or to plan a visit click here.

A special thank you to our guests Lynda and Mark Peacock

An Amazing Flower Show
Autumn can be a bittersweet time for gardeners as the growing season slows almost to a halt but you would never know it from our October Flower Show.  The exhibit tables were bursting with entries from hydrangeas to roses to garlic.  Iris Hazen's "Rose Grown for Fragrance" entry was sublime.  Julie Forbes' "Love Lies Bleeding" was an attention-grabber.  And Ruth Dunn's Brugmansia brought a bit of the tropics to Toronto.  Thanks to all the members who made the last show of the year so memorable.

First Place: Hybrid Tea Any Colour 1 Bloom
Michelle Collis

A Special Gift
We are very lucky to have so many talented and generous members of the North Toronto Horticultural Society.  Patricia Cook arrived at the October meeting with a special gift for Mary Audia and Andy McCraw.  She presented them with a watercolour she painted of their garden.  Patricia has taken many photos of Mary and Andy's garden over the years.  The painting (click on the image for a closer look) is a composite of the photos featuring some of the garden highlights including the pond complete with bird sculptures, the clematis-covered archway, and Mary's stunning white lilies.  Mary and Andy were moved deeply by Patricia's gift.

"Mary's Garden" by Patricia Cook
Patricia Cook, the artist, with Geoffrey Cook
Future News to Watch For:
Claire and Ian Finch are on the move. The change to a new residence means their roses are looking for a new home too. Plans are being made to open Claire and Ian's garden to members in early November. Anyone interested in taking home a rose or two will be welcome to do so at that time.  Keep your eyes on the blog and on your email for details. 

The North Toronto Horticultural Society's 85th Anniversary Celebration is just around the corner. The evening will include a potluck dinner, awards, a fun look back at the club's history and some special entertainment. Mark November 8th down on your calendar because you don't want to miss this amazing night. Check back soon and watch the next edition of the newsletter for more details about this great celebration.

Until then, happy gardening.

Monday, 3 October 2011

October Meeting: The Oak Ridges Moraine

Important watersheds originate in the Oak Ridges Moraine

October Meeting 
The Oak Ridges Moraine
Tuesday October 11, 2011
Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Ave. East (at Leslie Street)
Everybody Welcome

With the summer garden season behind us it is time to turn our attention to the splendor of autumn and to resume our garden club activities. Mark Peacock, the Director of Watershed Services for the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, will be joining us at our October meeting. He'll present the fascinating story of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Learn all about its profound ecological importance, its enormous biodiversity, and its crucial role in sustaining the health of the many watersheds that originate there.  The October meeting is also your last chance to show off the bounty of your garden.  We're having our last hort and design show of the year.  Be sure to check your Annual Show Guide for the categories and then wow the North Toronto membership with your the results of your garden skills.

Summer may have passed us by but it is never too soon to start thinking about next year. North Toronto member Margaret Bennet-Alder will have copies of her book The Toronto Gardener's Journal and Source Book 2012 available for purchase at the October meeting so you can start planning. Margaret's book is an invaluable resource for the urban gardener and makes a lovely gift for the extra special green thumb in your life.  For more information check out Margaret's website.  

Just because it's fall doesn't mean there aren't any flowers to be enjoyed. Annual Show Director Mary Audia thought some members might be interested in the Hamilton Garden and Mum Show. There will be over 75,000 blooms and more than 200 varieties of mums on display. The show runs at Hamiton's Gage Park Tropical Greenhouse from October 21st to 30th.  The hours are 10am to 8pm daily. Admission is $6 (but seniors get in for $5). For more information call (905) 546-2489 or check out the Hamilton Garden & Mum Show website.
Check out the Hamilton Garden & Mum Show

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The NTHS Annual Show

Congratulations and thank you to all the members who brought in their garden flowers, potted plants and floral designs to make the 2011 North Toronto Horticultural Society Annual Show one of the best ever.  Altogether there were 172 entries on display.  Here are some photos in case you missed this great celebration of horticulture and floral design.  All the photographs are courtesy of Andy McCraw.

The studios at the TBG filled with Annual Show Entries

The Annual Show Team who helped make the
event a great success.

First Place: Floral Design
Mary Mordy

First Place: Garden Flowers
A Collection of 3+ Cultivars
Kitty Belshaw

Judges' Choice: Potted Plants
Grown for Foliage
Mary Audia

Judges' Choice: Floral Design
Mary Audia

Judges' Choice: Cut Specimens
Mary Audia

Best in Show: Vegetables
Beans with Calyx, Tip & Portion of Stem Attached
John Cartmell

Best in Show: Roses
Grandiflora: One Stem or Spray
Julie Forbes

Best in Show: Cut Specimens
Any Annual
Julie Forbes

Best in Show: Floral Design
Woodworking: Novice Class
Cathy Kuchynski

Best in Show: Special Exhibit
Planter With Other Than Succulents
Mary Audia

Friday, 2 September 2011

NTHS Annual Show 2011

A summer bounty from the garden of
Annual Show Director Mary Audia

NTHS Annual Show
Sunday September 11, 2011
Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Avenue East

Submissions: 9:30am-10:45am
Judging: 11am
Free Admission to Public:
Entry Removal: 4pm

Everyone is welcome to enjoy this wonderful celebration of horticulture and floral design.

Please invite a friend or friends!

The North Toronto Horticultural Society Annual Show is a fragrant, colourful and bloom-filled celebration to mark the end of a successful growing season. This year the NTHS Executive is challenging every member to submit two entries to make the show bigger and better than ever.

Entries can be submitted between 9:30am-10:45am. Please don’t be late. The doors to the exhibit rooms will be locked precisely at 11am for judging. Members and the public are invited to enjoy the show between 1pm and 4pm. 

This show is a great chance to show everyone what our garden club is all about. Tell your friends and bring a few along to experience this once-a-year horticulture and design extravaganza. 

Details of all the competition categories are in your 2011 Show Guide. Mary Audia is the Annual Show Director. Contact her with all your questions.

The North Toronto Executive is hoping for a big turn out.  Let’s all help to make it happen.

Annual Show Protocols:
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2010 newsletter.
It’s easy to get swept up in the thrill of competition, but it’s important to remember a few simple protocols that will ensure the show is the best it can be for participants and visitors alike.

Submission of Entries:
Don’t Be Late
Members can submit entries between the hours of 9:30am and 10:45am.  Please respect these times, as they will be strictly adhered to. 

The show room door will be closed and locked at 11am sharp. No entry will be accepted after this time and no excuse will be compelling enough to convince the Show Committee to make an exception! A last minute rush to get entries on the tables makes us all look like amateurs. Judging will begin at 11:15am.

In order to help participants manage their time, announcements will be made at regular intervals to remind everyone of the time left to make a submission.

Entry Placement:  Hands Off!
All participants in a flower show want their entries to look as fabulous as they can. A great deal of care goes into placing submissions on exhibit tables in such a way that their best features are showcased. If you see an entry on the table, proceed with care.

Please, please, please do not touch or move any entry that has already been placed.

It can get very crowded very fast on some of the exhibit tables. If you are having trouble finding a spot, ask for some help.  The Show Chair or Clerks will be able to assist you.

Missed Deadlines: Don’t Be Miffed!
What happens if, despite all your best efforts, you miss the submission deadline? Please don’t try to sneak your entry through the door and please don’t get mad at the Show Chair.

Believe it or not, there is a lot of work to be done between the time the show door closes and the judging begins.  If last-minute entrants insist on lingering in the show room, the Show Committee can’t do its job.

The Show Committee needs time to review the entries and make sure they have been placed in the appropriate category. Categories sometimes need to be further subdivided and entries carefully moved. There are prize ribbons to be placed and paperwork to be organized.  And last, but certainly not least, the Show Committee needs to welcome the judges.

All of these protocols exist for one reason: to produce the best flower show possible so that YOU can enjoy it.   Do your part by arriving early, listening for important announcements, asking for assistance in placing your entry, and most important, enjoying the show.  

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Member Question

Hello North Toronto Horticultural Society members.    Bonnie Ford has a problem with her weeping larch and hopes someone can help.  Bonnie writes:

"My weeping larch dropped most of its needles around the time of that terrible heat wave.  Since then, I've given it a huge watering.  Is there anything else I can do to make sure it doesn't die?  Maybe one of our Master Gardeners could help out?"

If you can help Bonnie with her problem send us an email and we'll be sure to post your advice.

Reminder:  The NTHS Annual Show is just a few weeks away.  Take a look around your gardens to see what will be in bloom in time for this great showcase event. Every member is encouraged to submit two entries.  Stay tuned for details about the Annual Show in the upcoming newsletter and new blog post coming soon.

Friday, 5 August 2011

The Gardens at Spadina House

It's always exciting to discover new and interesting garden spaces in the city.  In July members did just that as they toured the gardens of Spadina House as part of North Toronto's Annual Members Garden Tour.  Here are a few of the highlights. Click on any image for a better look.

A pierced stone wall decorated with flowers and
vines at the entrance to the Spadina House grounds 

Potted flowers sit in one of the openings of
the pierced stone wall

A heritage rose grows along the
Carriage Drive at the front of the house

Urns sit on the piers of the Ornamental Stone Wall (1912)
right off Spadina Road

An urn sits atop the Ornamental Stone Wall

The pillars of the Beehive Gate (1912) are
made of stones found on the property and
picked up by gardeners, staff and children

Tennis, croquet and golf were all played on
the Spadina House lawn which dates back to 1905

One of four ornamental urns that were
placed on the Spadina House grounds
in the early 1870s

The perennial border features plants that were
available in Toronto in 1915

The kitchen garden was bursting with
several varieties of lettuce

The oldest trees in the apple orchard were planted
around 1900.  Varieties include "Snow", "Red",
"Astrachan" and "McIntosh Red"

The greenhouse (1913) is still being used, as in the old
days, to grow plants for the house and to start seeds
for the garden

In case you missed the gardens on the day of the NTHS tour don't despair.  The Spadina House Gardens are free to the public.  Go to the gift shop for a map and take the self-guided tour.  It's a wonderful way to spend a few hours in a beautiful garden while learning a few things about Toronto's history.

Stay tuned for more blog posts coming soon.  Member Bonnie Ford has a problem with her weeping larch.  Can you help?  The Annual Show will be here sooner than you think.  NTHS is challenging all members to contribute at least two entries.  Stay tuned for more details.

Until next time, 

Happy Gardening!