Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sissinghurst Garden: April Meeting

Eloise Crabtree Carmichael
For a garden whose name means "a clearing in the woods" Sissinghurst is certainly bursting with blooms. This internationally renowned English garden, created by writer Vita Sackville-West and her diplomat husband Harold Nicolson, has numerous garden rooms that are exciting through all the seasons. Rose lovers might be especially delighted with the collection of old-fashioned roses that climb the walls and fill the air with fragrance.  One rose at Sissinghurst is said to be more than 400 years old. Sissinghurst also delivers on variety:  Vita made it her mission to plant every flower ever mentioned in Shakespeare. A special thank you to our speaker Eloise Crabtree Carmichael for introducing us to this special garden.

Preparing for the Show

The first Flower Show of the year was a big success but some last minute adjustments were needed.  For example: there were no crocus entries.  Due to our unusually early spring and exceptionally warm late winter, the crocus were done blooming long before our April show.  On the other hand, there were so many daffodil entries one of the Sections had to be subdivided.  The daffodils are apparently loving the spring of 2012.  Here are some more pictures from the show.

Ruth Dunn prepares Euphorbia Milii
A design by Christine Moore
Detail from a design by Mary Audia
A design by Ruth Gladstone
Daffodils await the attention of the judges

There's lots to look forward to in the weeks and months ahead at the North Toronto Horticultural Society.  Here are a few dates to keep in mind:

On Saturday April 28th, members of the North Toronto Horticultural Society will be representing the club at the OHA District 5 AGM 2012.  This is always an exciting day for members.  Our designers have done very well at past gatherings and we wish them all the best as they aim to repeat that success. Go North Toronto!

We want to see your garden.  The Annual Members Garden Tour and Potluck Picnic is on Tuesday July 10th. Any member who would like to open their garden for a few hours should contact Program Director Diane Wells.  Don't be shy.  Members who have participated in the past have been thrilled by the reaction to their green thumbs. So, please show us your garden.

On Tuesday May 8th it's time for the Annual North Toronto Plant and Garage Sale.  Share your surplus plants or find an exciting new plant selection or garden treasure.  How exciting you ask?  How about "Fern-Leaf Peony" exciting.  Members Cathy Kuchynski and Mary Audia will be sharing divisions of one of the most sought-after of garden plants.  Volunteers are always needed for this great event.  Contact Financial Services Director Cathy Kuchynski if you can help at the sale.  Check the blog again soon for more details. 

Guests are always welcome at North Toronto meetings.  Please invite a friend to enjoy all that our club has to offer.  Send us an email for more information on any of our events and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Until next time, happy gardening.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

April Meeting: Sissinghurst Garden

Sissinghurst Garden.  Photo by: Eloise Crabtree Carmichael
April Meeting: Tuesday April 10th, 2012
Topic: Sissinghurst Garden
Speaker: Eloise Crabtree Carmichael
Plus the First Flower Show of the Year
 Toronto Botanical Garden
777 Lawrence Avenue East (at Leslie)
Everyone Welcome!
Please invite a friend to explore our garden club.
For more info:

Tour the famous Sissinghurst Garden in England designed by Vita Sackville-West in the 1930s. Sissinghurst is one of the special gardens our speaker Eloise Crabtree Carmichael has recently visited. Eloise is a Landscape Designer with special interests in horticultural history and garden travel. She teaches the European Gardens course at Ryerson University's Life Institute.  She visits gardens in Europe whenever she can and when she's not consulting with clients in their own gardens, can usually be found puttering in her own.  Sissinghurst is one of Eloise's favourite places to visit.

It's also time for the first flower show of the year.  Be sure to show off your blooms as the garden season kicks into high gear.  Here are the categories.

1  Any flowering perennial: 1 stem
2  Crocus:  3 stems
3  Iris:  3 stalks
4  Any other spring flowering bulb, corm or tuber:  1 stem
5   Herb named
6   Pelargonium (geranium)  grown for bloom
7   Pelargonium (geranium)  grown for foliage
8   Pelargonium (geranium)  grown for scent
9   Pelargonium (geranium)  pot 4" & under
10  Gesneriad grown for bloom
11  Gesneriad  grown for foliage
12  Succulent (including cacti) pot 4" & under
13  Succulent (including cacti)  pot over 4"
14  Topiary plant trained or pruned to a form or shape
15  Any plant not listed above - grown for bloom
16  Any plant not listed above - grown for foliage
17  Planter with different plants - artistically grouped ***
18  Planter with succulents - artistically grouped ***
***Pot not to exceed 50 cm (+/- 18") in any direction)
19  Open Water:  Water viewing design using spring flowers
20  Open Water (NOVICE):  Water viewing design using spring flowers
21  Little Peepers:  Miniature design using fresh plant material.  Staged in a white niche dimensions 5" width x 4.5" height x 3" depth.
22  Small Treasure: Small design using mini clay pot.  Space alloted 16" width. Small designs must not exceed 10" in any direction.
23  Stormy Weather:  Abstract design.  Space alloted 23" width.
24  Roots:  A design incorporating decorative wood.

If you have any questions about the April Flower Show contact Show Chair Mary McLean. See you all at the April meeting. Until then, happy gardening.