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
"Speelwark"
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.

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