Friday, 11 January 2013

The Awesome Gardens of South Africa: January Meeting

And we're off!  The first North Toronto Horticultural Society meeting of the year and our Annual General meeting were a big success. It was a chance to meet dear friends, chat with new members of the executive, listen to a fascinating talk, and renew memberships. The munchies, as always, were delicious!

Signing up for another year with
Membership Co-Directors Geoffrey & Patricia Cook 

Incoming NTHS President Don Beard

Our guest speaker Gloria Broks gave a very interesting talk on The Awesome Gardens of South Africa.  Last year, she had the opportunity to attend Rosafrica 2012 , the 16th World Rose Convention, in Sandton City near Johannesburg.  While the roses and gardens Gloria saw were indeed awesome, her observations on life in the suburb were surprising to some.  

South Africa has so much beauty to offer to visitors but, according to Gloria, a preoccupation with safety and security is a major drawback.  Her garden tour group was not allowed to travel anywhere alone.  They were to remain on their tour bus at all times.  Any pictures of Sandton City were snapped through bus windows.   The gardens themselves were lush and overflowing with blooms but climbing vines and large shrubs disguised a different reality.  

Gloria described gardens enclosed within fortresses: tall walls topped with electrical fencing and barbed wire. There are no quaint garden gates to welcome you. Instead, heavy steel doors slide open to admit visitors as security cameras keep watch the entire time.  It seems, says Gloria, the post-apartheid era has bred a climate of fear and paranoia among the country's white population.

On a hopeful note, Gloria says there are signs that things are changing.  At the conclusion of the convention, awards were handed out for top roses. A young white woman in her thirties won a prize.  Rather than accept the award, she instead announced that she was not the one who cared for and nurtured the gardens that produced the award-winning blooms.  Then she invited her gardener, a young black man, to accept the accolades.  Perhaps this one small moment is the beginning of change.

Incoming Program Director Shari-Lyn Safir
and guest speaker Gloria Broks
The 17th World Convention of Rose Societies is just a few years away.  Click on the link to plan your getaway to France in 2015.

11 Months and Counting Until Christmas!
Okay, okay.  We're not really counting down to Christmas.  But we do want to look back at Christmas 2012.  A wreath designed by NTHS members Mary Audia and Dorothy Cartmell was auctioned off in support of the Toronto Botanical Garden.  It was snapped up by a lucky supporter for $70.  Congratulations to Mary and Dorothy on their beautiful design!  We are very proud to have you represent the North Toronto Horticultural Society.

This wreath designed by NTHS members Mary Audia
and Dorothy Cartmell raised $70 in support of the
Toronto Botanical Garden

Events Members Might "Dig" 
The North Toronto Horticultural Society posts these not as an endorsement but for informational purposes only.  Please confirm details for yourselves before attending. Click on links for more info.

February 27th, 8pm-10pm
David Tomlinson, owner of Merlin's Hollow, gives his last public presentation. 

Includes tours to the Chelsea and Tuileries Garden Shows

And, of course, don't forget about our February meeting.  NTHS Member Myint Gillespie will get us all in the mood for some gardening with her presentation "Chasing Spring." Check back soon for details to be posted in the blog. 

Until next time, happy gardening. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

North Toronto Horticultural Society 2013 Program

Welcome to another exciting year of programming at the North Toronto Horticultural Society.

Garden Inspiration in January and Beyond

The year kicks off on Tuesday January 8th with our Annual General Meeting.  It's a chance to look back at the year that was and to look ahead to the upcoming year. Members of the North Toronto Executive Committee will be on hand. Be sure to share your ideas for the club and find out more about how to get involved.  Then settle in for the first exciting guest speaker of the year. Gloria Broks will introduce us to the Awesome Gardens of South Africa. It all starts at 7:30pm at the Toronto Botanical Garden at 777 Lawrence Avenue East.

2013 includes a long list of interesting, informative and inspiring guest speakers as well as all our favourite club events including flower shows, the annual plant and garage sale, members' garden tour and potluck party and year-end dinner and awards and digital show.

If you are already a member, please be sure to tell your friends about the fun we have.  Invite them to a meeting as a guest. If you are not a member but curious to find out more about our club, please feel free to join us at any of our meetings.  We hope you'll decide to return time and time again.

North Toronto Horticultural Society
2013 Program

January 8
Annual General Meeting
Awesome Gardens of South Africa:
Gloria Broks

February 12
Chasing Spring: Myint Gillespie

March 12*
Mae Wests of the Garden: Trish Symons
*Photo Competition Night

April 9*
Edible Flowers and Herbs in the Garden:
Glen Brunetti
*First Flower and Design Show of the Year

May 14*
From Garden to Vase: Nicole North
*Plant and Garage Sale

June 11*
A Passion for Peonies: Judy Denny
*Flower and Design Show

July 9
Members’ Garden Tour: Locations TBA

Sunday September 8
Annual Flower Show

October 8*
Plant a Spectacular Spring Garden Now: Dugald Cameron
*Flower and Design Show

November 12
Awards Night Gala and Annual Digital Show

See you all in 2013.  Happy Gardening!