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Greenleaf Newsletter

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January 2017 Greenleaf


Happy New Year 2017!

As we celebrate the arrival of a New Year, I would like to remind you that the Oshawa Garden Club offers a variety of opportunities to involve our members. There are various committees, community initiatives, social networking, photo and plant design competitions and more. We hope to inspire you and to provide you with the latest tips and trends from the gardening world.

All members, new and seasoned, are the backbone of this organization. We want you to feel welcome! You can identify a new member by the sticker on their name tag and welcome them. You can identify a Board member by their green name tag. If you feel shy or need information, please see Nadia or the greeter or any Board member for a friendly introduction.

We have a dynamic and dedicated group of Board members, who work tirelessly, and often unnoticed, behind the scenes, organizing our monthly meetings, special events, fundraisers and community gardening commitments. These members stay on top of all the administrative details, along with the financial and policy documents required by GardenOntario. 

I look forward to working alongside your elected 2016/2017 Board: 

Vice President Merle Cole
Secretary Catherine Hilge 
Treasurer Iris Lucas 
Past President Debi Foster  
Board Members: Nadia Bilyk, Cathy Brown, Malcolm Brown, Susan Crase, Monika Kachel, Jan Kerr, Gloria McRae, Janice McRae, Jill Snape and Margaret Woolsey.
Our volunteers are not limited to the Board and I would like to send out my thanks and appreciation to the following:
Sherry Shrives our Greenleaf Editor is responsible for keeping us all in the loop.
Webmaster Jim Cook amazes me with his technical abilities, as our website is constantly evolving with new photos and user friendly clicks and links. Communication is a priority for a successful club and we are fortunate to receive this service without cost. 
Bob Kerr does the monthly tech and sound set-up for our Speakers.
Monica Holkema stepped up, as a new member, to make the Tea and Coffee each month. 
Gord Thow and Ken Lancaster have agreed to introduce our monthly speakers.
Faye Gosling organizes the Plant table and our Big Give-Away events. 
Vida Ycas-Abell plans and coordinates the Imagination Station.
Gloria Tepfenhart passes you your draw ticket at the Membership table.
Gloria McRae and Garry Lucas coordinate the Plant Sale.
Cathy Brown, Gloria McRae, Monika Kachel coordinate our Socials.
Anne Sewell looks after our Door Prizes.
Janice McRae and Jan Kerr look after ticket sales.
Janey Dubrowsky calls the Bakers.
Susan Crase sends out our Meeting Communications.
Ann Couch coordinates the Therapeutic Gardening volunteers.
Nadia Bilyk keeps track of Membership and more.
On behalf of the Oshawa Garden Club, I will thank Robin Burns for tirelessly working year round on our Speaker List. Sherry
We have so many elves working behind the scenes toward a successful club that it is very clear why, in 2016, the Oshawa Garden Club recorded over 3,342 Volunteer Hours! 

It is my honour to serve as your new President. If at any time, you have an idea or a suggestion, please feel free to reach out to me or any Board member. Any input for the Club can also be sent through the contact us link on the website. We have a great year planned for you! Mark your calendar, get involved, and ENJOY!

Most Sincerely, Robin


This sale helps to promote our Club within the community and our partnership with plant experts and G.L.Roberts is a win-win for all. Thank you to Past President Gloria for chairing this committee for the third year. If you are a new gardener this is a good place to volunteer and learn more about plants.

BLOOMING OSHAWA is the name of our photography contest to choose the pictures for our 2018 Bookmark. Watch this newsletter for more details.

Volunteers are planning a trip to see Trish Symons garden. She hosts garden tours through her 3 acre garden in Hockley Valley to help promote diversity and organic gardening. She pots up 50 - 100 containers each year.

The Ontario government is taking action to strengthen pollinator health with a financial program to assist beekeepers, a regulation to limit neonicotinoid treated seed and the development of a Pollinator Health Action Plan.
Pollinator health is also a priority for GardenOntario and they will be promoting their Pollinator Initiative with educational material for garden clubs. Planning is in the works to create a pollinator friendly garden at Queen's Park.

Veseys Seeds, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island donated 1000 bulbs to 150 garden clubs to celebrate Canada150. They also donated 25,000 
bulbs to Niagara Falls.

Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal, created in 1998, is a non-profit organization with a mandate to create and organize international mosaiculture competitions. MOSAICANADA150/2017 will allow Canadians to discover the beauty of garden art, as it examines defining moments in our history. This horticultural exhibition is sure to amaze everyone! July 1 to October 9, 2017 - 100 days.
Jacque-Cartier Park in Gatineau, QC

Our closest National Park is the Rouge National Urban Park near the Metro Zoo. Plan a visit. 

HIGHWAY OF HEROES #150TreeCampaign
Give a birthday gift to Canada. Make a $150 donation to buy a Hero Tree, one of the 117,000 that will be planted along the Highway of Heroes. For every $150 donation, you will receive a small tree, a t-shirt and an official certificate to commemorate your gift to Canada. Certificates will be delivered upon donation and your t-shirt and 150Tree will arrive in the spring, for you to plant in the location that means the most to you! 
This $150 cost covers extensive soil remediation (remember that it is a highway), mulching, planting, 5 years of maintenance and of course the cost of the tree itself.

DeNour Tour to Wales and the Chelsea Flower Show 13 Day Tour 
May 15 - 27
Book by February 10, 2017 and SAVE $100.00
Tour Director: Marjorie Mason
Stroll through famous gardens including Sissinghurst, Bodnant and the Wales Botanic Gardens. Cared for by some of the world’s most accomplished horticulturists, the gardens vary from eclectic to traditional, with native and exotic plantings sure to spark creativity in your gardens at home. The highlight of your tour is the prestigious 
Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. For over 100 years, the show brings together foremost garden designers and cutting edge plant trends for a celebration of gardening imagination.

HNA Travels Tour to the Canadian Tulip Festival Ottawa
May 21 - 23
Book early if you are interested, as this trip always sells out.

2017 The UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
2017 Pantone Colour of the year: Greenery
2017 Perennial of the Year is Asclepias tuberosa
2017 Hosta of the Year is H. Brother Stefan
2017 National Plant of the Year is Supertunia Vista Bubblegum
Proven Winners is proud to announce the brand new Plant of the Year program beginning Spring 2017. When we asked our customers and propagators to name the easiest plant for gardeners to be successful with, Supertunia® Vista Bubblegum® was overwhelmingly the top pick.

Past President Debi had to contend with a power outage and a Speaker cancel, but the show did go on. (On November 15, close to 18,500 people were left in the dark when a transformer blew out in Oshawa at Taunton Road East and Mary Street North leaving live wires on the ground.
Merle gave us a brief overview of how Pintrest works and Debi and Robin shared tips for arranging winter greenery on a budget. 
The unusually warm fall weather did not prevent Garden Club members from getting into the Christmas spirit at our annual craft sale. We had seven club members selling a lovely selection of wares. Thank you to Sharon Chessar, Linda Cole, Monica Holkema, Anne Labelle-Johnson, Marie Huxter and Ellen Correll with Glass Art, Sharon McLaren, Sue Vanderkwaak and family for making the evening such a success. 
Rick Causten, our District 17 Director attended the meeting and stated that GardenOntario has 27,000 members.


Seventy-five members and guests were welcomed to the Social by President Robin. The hall looked festive, tables were decorated with poinsettias, and Vida worked her magic again by creating twenty-four beautiful arrangements to decorate the food tables. We played three Reindeer Games which were organized by Pat A and Jan K. People had fun and the lucky winners were able to take the poinsettias and floral arrangements home. Karen B was the winner of the Winter Basket.

Simcoe Hall Settlement House
387 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa
Joan W was the winner of the 50-50 draw. It is our Christmas tradition to donate the Club portion of the draw to Settlement House. This non-profit is dedicated to assisting lives affected by poverty and is a valuable resource in our Community. It is at risk of closing due to funding shortfalls. 
For more information or to donate, see the website.

Thank you to the members for attending and generously bringing food.
Thank you to the volunteers who helped with set-up and take-down.
Thank to Jan K for creating the Winter Basket.
Thank you to Vida for the table arrangements.
Thank you to Pat A for keeping us on the straight and narrow.
Thank you to Pat and Vida for donating the supplies for the games
Thank you to Cathy B for finding great looking poinsettias, at a price we could afford.

What a wonderful way to end the year !
Monika Kachel Committee Chair

The Oshawa Garden Club 2017 Bookmark is printed and ready to be picked up at tonight's meeting. Please pick up a few extras and pass them to your friends to introduce them to our Club and keep one to refer to for our upcoming Speakers.

VOTE tonight to select the winner of our new Oshawa Garden Club Logo Contest

Lobby Greetings: Thank you to tonight's greeter Cathy B

Speaker: We are delighted to welcome Elaine Davidson, from Durham Master Gardeners, who will speak on Alliums.

Membership and Sign-In Table: We have 175 paid members.

50-50 Draw


Imagination Station with Vida
      January's theme: Pot-et-Fleur
      Design Your Own: Name it! Create it! 
This is an open category, every month, for your own creative design, using floral and plant materials of your choice.

      February's theme: Let's try a DISH GARDEN this month.
Here are the official stipulations: A miniature landscape in an open shallow container. Plants should have similar cultural requirements. Your design may include accessories of proper scale and harmony with the exhibit. Since we are not being judged by an official, let's break some rules! The plants can be live or artificial for this month only. Have fun creating a landscape and interpret this any way you wish. Try to maintain proper scale and harmony.

Garden Club members, please stop by the Imagination Station and VOTE for your favourite design.


Word-of-the-Month: Fen
Wetlands are made up of grassy marshes, forested swamps, peaty bogs and fensFens are peat forming and usually fed by mineral-rich surface water or groundwater which is pH neutral or alkaline. Fens have been damaged in the past by land drainage and peat cutting and some are now being carefully restored. The Showy Lady's Slipper Orchid thrives in a fen. When you find this orchid, do not disturb it. DO NOT transplant it - it will not survive. This orchid is disappearing in the wild partly due to misguided attempts to transplant it, also due to habitat loss and intrusion by people who want to view these beautiful flowers.

cypripedium reginae

Access has been restricted due to the hazard of falling trees caused by the Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that kills all ash species. Since the majority of tree species within the marsh are ash, the impacts on the tree canopy will be significant. 

It is not either/or...but both!
After a four-year research project, new research from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), has found that pollinators in the UK do not always prefer native plants in gardens. Their research reveals a mixture of native and non-native ornamental plants may provide the best resources for pollinating insects in gardens, that native plants are not always the first choice for pollinators visiting gardens, and that non-native plants can prolong the flowering season providing an additional food source.
Oro-Medonte Horticultural Association Newsletter: The Bloomin News


Oshawa Garden Club members were sorry to learn of the death of Ron Bilsky. Mr. Bilsky has been a long time, hardworking member and supporter of the  Club. At a particularly difficult time in our history, he stepped into a Leadership role to keep the Club united. His wife Marilyn is one of our phone volunteers and we offer our condolences to Marilyn and family.
BILSKY, Ronald Walter, D.C. - With very sad hearts and happy memories we announce the passing of Ronald Walter Bilsky on December 18th, 2016 at the age of 85. He will be greatly missed by wife Marilyn of 61 years and son Michael (Mary), daughter Terry (Kevin), grandchildren Christine, Jeffrey and Stephanie, great-grandson Owen, and brother Raymond. Ron was a chiropractor in Oshawa for many years. He was a past president of the Oshawa Garden Club and helped start Communities in Bloom as well as the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. He enjoyed bridge and friends at the Oshawa Senior Centre on John Street. He will be greatly missed. Cremation has taken place. There will be no service. Many thanks to Nellie and Michael for all their help.


April 22, 2017
District 17 Annual General Meeting and Flower Show
Pickering Horticultural Society is hosting at the 4 Seasons Country Club, Claremont.
Theme: Still Growing and Blooming
doors open 8:00 am, hospitality 8:30 am, entries close 9:00 am 
Speakers: Lizzie Matheson and Malcolm Geast
Register with Nadia at the February or March meeting

June 10 - 18, 2017 
GardenOntario Week. Volunteer to plan an event

July 21, 22, 23, 2017 
GardenOntario Convention
Theme: GREEN From Shore To Shore
Sheraton Parkway North Hotel, Richmond Hill
Registration information:


January 25, 2017
Toronto Botanical Gardens Book Club
Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation by Andrea Wolf

February 11 and 12, 2017
Annual Southern Ontario Orchid Society Show
11:00 am - 5:00 pm, admission $12.00
Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Ave East, Toronto
Over 30,000 orchid blooms on display. Enjoy the tea room, vendors, and orchid sale.

February 18, 2017
Get the Jump on Spring
Open House for Horticultural Societies
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Toronto Botanical Gardens, 777 Lawrence Ave East, Toronto
free admission, free parking, $2.00 donation accepted.

March 10 - 19, 2017
Everybody's growing to...CANADA BLOOMS
Held at the Enercare Centre, 100 Princes' Blvd, Toronto

April 7,8,9, 2017
For the Love of Gardening: Peterborough Garden Show
Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Road, Peterborough

June 10 and 11, 2017
The Oshawa Peony Festival
Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens
Children’s Arena, 155 Arena Street, Oshawa
from 10 am – 4 pm
See the largest contemporary collection of peonies in North America.


Contact Sherry:

Contact Jim:

The next newsletter deadline is February 6, 2017 

The next meeting is February 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm