keeping our community green

Greenleaf Newsletter

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February 2017 Greenleaf


Many people believe that Canadian gardeners spend their winter months pondering, planning and seeding for their next season of gardening. Well, I am pleased to report that your Oshawa Garden Club has been doing just that for YOU!

Behind the scenes we are a busy group! I have compared us 
to a colony of bees working hard to provide our members with sweet rewards. There is no time to linger and lounge during these long and cold winter days. A lot is happening in our gardening community and I am pleased to share with you some of the upcoming events and activities.


Three of our District 17 Horticultural Societies, Cannington, Beaverton and Georgina-Brock are working together and hosting a Seedy Saturday. Support our sister clubs to the north, Take and Swap some seeds, and enjoy this activity-packed day!


Faye is planning another Big Give-Away for our April Meeting. Bring in your gently used gardening tools, garden décor objects, and related items for give away and also, feel free to pick up something that catches your eye.


Pickering Horticultural Society is hosting the District 17 AGM in Claremont. This is a day filled with garden interest, dynamic speakers, lunch, a silent auction, and amazing flower and photo displays. This is also your opportunity to be creative if you choose to enter a competition! Come out and enjoy this relaxing, garden-themed day.


Gloria, Gardening Guru Garry and our Plant Sale Committee have been hard at work planning the 2017 sale. The sale will be held at the South Oshawa Community Centre and we are pleased to be continuing our partnership with the staff and students of GL Roberts CVI School of Environmental Studies. This school offers a Horticulture Program with a focus on landscaping. These keen students sell their greenhouse plants and artwork, while offering us some much appreciated man power. Our friends Peter Keeping, a Clematis expert, Robert Young a Dahlia expert and the Durham Master Gardeners will also be joining us. The success of this annual fundraiser is largely dependent on you, our members. We will need your plant donations, helping hands in potting-up plants in advance, as well as helping to spread the word! This is our biggest fundraiser of the year – please support your Oshawa Garden Club!


Cathy and her team have come up with a great new format, as we host the Strawberry Social on the same evening, as our regular June meeting. Oshawa Garden Club is proud to celebrate GardenOntario Week by offering this free-to-members event.


We are planning a Bus Tour this summer to visit the gardens of Trish Symons in Hockley Valley, along with some other garden stops. Watch the Greenleaf for the final details.

Mark your calendars! Details will be in the Greenleaf, on the website, and current information is announced at the monthly meetings.

I look forward to seeing you at the meeting! Robin 

8, 255 total visitors clicked on our website in 2016.
Webmaster Jim continues to post important information and resources on the homepage under Garden Journal. This month you can find the Speaker List 2017, the Allium information hand-out posted by Elaine Davidson, our January Speaker, and the District 17 Annual General Meeting Show Schedule. Merle's Tips on how-to-use Pinterest can also be found here.

Member Robert shared an interesting album of pictures from our November meeting, posted January 19 on the Oshawa Garden Club Facebook Page. Also, keep your sense of humour and see Merle's February 2 post, your cups runneth over...mmm? 
Impressive re-purposing!


E-blast: An e-blast is an e-mail message that is sent out to many recipients. Pat sends out the e-blast for the Oshawa Garden Club and this involves time to enter member e-mail addresses into a database, maintaining this database, and sending out an e-blast to notify members about Garden Club business. Pat is stepping down after more than 15 years of volunteer service. Pat has been a Board member and she worked on the Planning Committee for the Oshawa Garden Club's District 17 Annual General Meeting in 2013, a job that required a significant amount of time and effort. She has worked at Hearth Place, chaired our Christmas Social Committee, and coordinated our November Craft Sale. On behalf of the Club, the Board members would like to THANK Pat for her many volunteer hours spent in support of our Club and we hope she can now relax and enjoy the meetings without the pressure of a To-Do list! 


As many of you know, Faye and Maria have been faithful volunteers at the Plant Table for many years. They started working together when the Club met at Northminster United Church and then continued working together for the past 10 years at LVIV Hall. Faye and Maria are both knowledgeable gardeners, indoors and out, and have been assets to our Club. Maria did not renew her Garden Club membership this year and we will miss her. The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Maria for her many years of service to the Club and to wish her well in all her future endeavors.


The Oshawa Garden Club is continuing this project at Hillsdale Estates. We are looking for volunteers to join our group from 09:45 to 11:30 on the 4th Thursday of every month from January to November. There are 12 Hillsdale residents, who join us to use plants and other materials as therapy. If you are interested and able to participate during some of these times, please contact Ann 905-725-1015

For more information on Therapeutic Gardening, please see the February 2015 issue of the Greenleaf.


There are amazing public gardens throughout the City of Oshawa. The Oshawa Garden Club Board is looking for your photographs of an Oshawa public garden to grace the front of the 2018 Bookmark that lists our programs for the year.
We will accept one 4” x 6” photograph per participant, so choose your best shot! Photographs should be taken within the April 2016 to September 2017 time period. The photograph is to be mounted on a 5” x 7” piece of white card stock or Bristol board with the photographer’s name and phone number printed on the back centre top. Every entrant will be required to sign a release form, giving the Oshawa Garden Club permission to use the photo for club publications. Photographs are to be submitted to Debi F by September 30, 2017.  The photographs will be displayed at the October 16, 2017 meeting and we ask those members in attendance to vote for their favourite. The photo with the most votes will be the winner and will be printed on the 2018 Bookmark. We look forward to seeing all your amazing entries!

The Ontario Horticultural Society is looking for a Marketing and Communications Coordinator. If you are interested, pick up an information sheet at the Sign-In table. The deadline for your cover letter and resume is February 20, 2017

Congratulations to Debi for receiving the most votes and winning our New Logo Contest. The peony celebrates our partnership with the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens and their annual, award winning Peony Festival. This free event displays 300 types of peonies in the gardens and is one of Canada's largest contemporary peony collections.

Thank you to tonight's greeter Margaret

Mary Olaveson is a lecturer at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology - Biology Department 

Topic: Native Gardening and Adapting to our Climate Change

Thank you to Ken for introducing our January Speaker

See Nadia for any garden club information

Bookmarks 2017 can be picked up here
Gloria S. passes out the draw tickets here


We have 179 members to date. Debi will be at this table to take any membership forms or to answer any volunteer inquiries. If you are interested in making connections at the meeting remember that Oshawa Garden Club Board members are identified by a green name-tag and they encourage you to approach them with any question, suggestion, or comment. To welcome our new members, please share a welcoming hello with any member wearing a name tag with a sticker.

Thank You Faye for your many volunteer hours and for continuing to share your gardening knowledge with our members! Faye is running a Seed Exchange in March. Please bring in the seeds that you gathered last summer and share them with other club members. Questions for Faye? It is always a fun night and we thank you for your participation.
🔺Remember to LABEL your seed packets


See Jan to support our fundraiser. A loonie $ is all you need for one chance, but a twoonie $$$ will buy you three chances. Good luck!


February's theme: A Dish Garden

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.

March's theme: Celebrate Spring! Create an arrangement to celebrate spring's arrival. Use plant material and colours of your choice. Accessories may be included.

Thank you to Monica for preparing the tea and coffee and thank you to the Bakers...the treats are always delicious! Lug-a-Mug!


If you read any gardening articles, you will see the following two words regularly!
Sustainability suh-stey-nuh-bil-i-tee
Practicing Reduce, Reuse, Recycle to protect the environment, our natural resources, and the balance of nature for the long term. 
Biodiversity bahy-oh-di-vur-si-tee
This word has been around less than 20 years and it is about protecting our environment to support a wide VARIETY of plants and animals in their natural environment.
Whether we know these fancy words or not, we are leaders in these practices, as we follow the words of our Garden Pledge. The pledge was written by Life Member Betty Warnica 1922-2013.


  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Seeds can be found on the Seeds of Diversity website.
  • Brooklin Horticultural Society  Gini Sage, a Durham Master Gardener is giving a talk Starting From Seed at The Brooklin Horticultural Society meeting, February 22 at 7:30. Guests are welcome. Meeting is held at the Brooklin United Church on Cassels Road. For information on planting seeds, look up the article on page 4 of the Feb/Mar/Apr 2017 Issue of their newsletter.

    To gain more knowledge about seeds, consider attending one of the Seed Exchanges listed below. Seedy Saturdays are organized by community groups, in low-cost venues, to exchange ideas and seeds. You will find information on heritage seeds, organic gardening, and native plants. Knowledgeable speakers, local vendors, environmental organizations and workshops are often part of the day.

    Cannington, Beaverton and Georgina-Brock are pleased to present their first Seedy Saturday on February 25 from 10 - 3 at Cannington Lions Club, 24 Laidlaw Street South, Cannington. Heritage and open pollinated seeds, paper pot making, activities for kids, sustainable gardening tips, a soil biologist, a commercial compost maker, a native plant specialist are all part of the day.

    Pickering Seedy Saturday has been discontinued this year.

    Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair on April 1 from 11 - 4 at Blessed Cardinal Newman High School,100 Brimley Road South. The focus is on Biodiversity and Saving Our Bees. There will be 60 tables showcasing heirloom seed vendors, green exhibits, bee products and more. Kids are welcome. A drop-off area will be provided for used electronics.

    Toronto (Central) Seedy Saturday on February 25 from 10 - 3 at the Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto

    Toronto (Central) Seedy Sunday on March 5 from 10 - 4 at the Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto

    Toronto North York Seedy Saturday on April 29 at Fairview Mall, 1800 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto


    April 22, 2017
    District 17 Annual General Meeting and Flower Show
    The Pickering Horticultural Society is hosting the meeting and they cordially invite you to attend at the 
    4 Seasons Country Club, 1900 Concession Road 8, Claremont

    Theme: Still Growing and Blooming
    doors open 8:00 am, hospitality 8:30 am, entries close 9:00 am

    Lunch is included
    Speakers: Lizzie Matheson and Malcolm Geast


    Pre-registration is done through our Club. A Registration Table will be set up at the February, March and April meetings and Monika will be available to answer any questions. Please make your cheque out to Oshawa Garden Club, $30.00. Payment is accepted at the door, $35.00.

    Join The Design Challenge!
    Every year there is a Club/Society Design Challenge held at the District 17 Annual General Meeting. Entries in this division are meant to be artistic endeavours by a group. The group must consist of a minimum of three (3) exhibitors from the same Club or Society.
    Theme: First Nations - create a design inspired by Native Art.
    • The design is to incorporate plant material
    • The size is to fit within a 22" x 22" x 60" space  
    • Soil and/or potted plants are permitted  
    • Accessories are allowed
    • A photo of the art work that served as the inspiration for the design should be included. 
    • Do NOT use dyed or sprayed fresh plant material
    Join The Fun with Oshawa Garden Club members!
    The group that worked together last year had no prior experience and had a lot of fun working together. If you are new to flower design, this is a good opportunity to learn, as Debi has experience with GardenOntario competitions and she is more than willing to share with you and encourage you. It is a great way to meet other members of the club and have some fun interpreting art with flowers. If anyone is interested in participating, as part of a group, in creating such a design, please contact Debi 905-720-2642


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

    June 12, 2017
    Strawberry Social
    Oshawa Garden Club GardenOntario Week Event
    Doors open at 6:00 pm, strawberries served at 6:30 pm, followed by our
    regular June meeting at 7:30 pm. We are looking forward to dynamic speaker Paul Zammit. This Garden Club Event will be free for members, but tickets must be signed for ahead of time, to assist the Committee in planning for food and set-up. Guests are most WELCOME and the fee is $5.00.
    Volunteer: If you can spare a small amount of time to assist with the berry-prep or the clean-up, please see Cathy or Monika or any Board member.

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


    The bankrupt, half-vacant city of Detroit has become a symbol of urban renewal over the last few years. Grass roots volunteers and organizations are addressing food insecurity by turning abandoned properties into urban farms and producing 1000's of pounds of organic produce. Foundations of abandoned homes have been waterproofed and turned into water cisterns. The local zoo is doing its part by sending zoo poo to be turned into compost and then distributed to urban farms and community gardens. Google urban farming in Detroit to view photos and read inspiring stories. Also, it will warm your heart if you click the following link for photos and descriptions of 10 interesting Detroit gardens.


    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.

    February 20, 2017 Family Day

    Complimentary admission to Parkwood Estate
    tours 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
    270 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa

    February 28, 2017
    Toronto Botanical Garden Book Club
    Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden by Alexandra Risen. A book about the healing power of nature.

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

    March 12, 2017
    Daylight Saving Time. Clocks spring forward

    February, March, April 2017
    Richters Free Seminars
    Held at Richters Herbs, 357 Highway 47, Goodwood 
    Richters is offering 14 free seminars this year and I will list a few here, but for more information and especially those gardeners interested in herbs, visit their website at
    February 26  The Modern Home Healer with Marianne Beacon
    March 26  Surrender to Succulents with Paul Zammit
    April 9  Tasty Herbs and Edible Flowers for Small Spaces with Sara Katz
    April 23  Mixology: Herbal Cocktails and Mocktails with Laura Gilmour
    April 30  is Herb Day. Cilantro Secrets Revealed with Sonia Day

    March April, May 2017
    Whitby in Bloom Garden Seminars

    Whitby in Bloom Garden Seminars are offered in partnership with the town of Whitby and the Brooklin Horticultural Society.
    Brooklin United Church, 19 Cassels Road East, Brooklin at 7:30 pm
    Cost: Admission is free with the donation of a non-perishable food item.

    March 22
    Helen Battersby: Shade Gardening
    April 26
    Dawn Gollohar: New Easy Care Perennials
    May 24
    Collin Casin: Invasive Species

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

    May 27, 2017
    Oshawa Garden Club Plant Sale
    South Oshawa Community Centre, 1455 Cedar Street South, Oshawa

    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

    June 12, 2017
    Strawberry Social Oshawa Garden Club GardenOntario Event
    Pre-register for a ticket to this FREE event. Guests $5.00
    Contact a Board member:
    Communications: Susan
    E-blast: Pat
    The next newsletter deadline is March 6, 2017
    The next meeting is March 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm