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