keeping our community green

Making Your Gardens Bee-utiful Plant List

Creating a Bee-utiful Garden

Master Gardener Ingrid Janssen focused her talk on the plight of pollinators living here in Eastern Canada. She gave us the good news and the bad news and showed us the simple things that we can do in our gardens to encourage and support our native pollinators.

Making Your Gardens Bee-utiful Plant List

Southern Ontario Orchid Show


2018 Bookmark Winner

We have a winner! Debi F. wins the photo contest held late 2017. Congratulations Debi!


OHA District 17 Annual General Meeting 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hosted by Bowmanville Horticultural Society



2018 AGM District 17 Spring 2018final

Master Gardeners in a Class of Their Own


by Mark and Ben Cullen - Toronto Star, November 11, 2017

When it comes to cultivating passion, energy and talent, Canada’s Master Gardeners are standouts.

Master Gardeners are dedicated to the art and science of gardening. And, with their generosity of knowledge and time — on public garden tours, at local horticulture societies, at small shows and big ones such as Canada Blooms and in various online forums — they help sustain a broader community of Canadian gardeners...

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Ornamental Gardens - How to handle the rainwater

Speaker Sean James gave a talk on rain gardens at the September 11 meeting. Click the link below for a .pdf of the presentation.

Ornamental Gardens - How to handle the rainwater

Canada's National Flower - Bunchberry


The votes are in! Canadians have spoken!

A nation-wide contest to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, sponsored by Master Gardeners of Ontario, has embraced the bunchberry, known as quatre–temps in French and kawiscowimin in Cree, as the winner.

Since the beginning of the National Flower Contest, the little white flower has held the lead with an average of 80 per cent of the on-line vote. Since it was announced in March, almost 10,000 Canadians took up the challenge to help select our national flower.

Master Gardeners of Ontario will submit an online petition to Parliament to have the winner declared Canada’s official National Flower, says Maureen Hulbert who spearheaded the project: "We all love to celebrate the wildness of Canada and its varied areas and having something that can actually grow in every part of the country pulls us together".

Earth, Fire, Water and Air: Dr. Andy Fyon

Dr-Andy-Fyon flyer (1)

Sub-Irrigated Planters (SIP's) - How-to

Steven Biggs, writer and speaker, gave a great talk at the Oshawa Garden Club about easy-to-make planters. Steven mentioned that one very important thing to remember, which is not visible in the photos, is to put a drainage hole at the level of the top of the reservoir. Included here are two pictures, one showing what’s at the bottom of the container, and then another afterwards, once he’s installed a bit of landscape fabric to keep out as much soil as possible. Thanks Steven.


No Guff Vegetable Gardening

by Steven Biggs

A fun garden is a rewarding garden. (What could be more rewarding than an enquiry about a Promethean plant?!) A practical garden fits into a hectic schedule. No Guff Vegetable Gardening is both fun and practical. Not sure where to start? Try something new (parsnip wine!) or fun—and don’t worry about failure.

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Vote for Canada's National Flower

3 flowers plus banner

Read about the three 'nominees' and then vote using the Survey Monkey link:

What’s the National Flower of Canada?

We have an official tree - the maple, but we do NOT have an official flower! Master Gardeners of Ontario thinks Canada’s 150th birthday is the perfect time to launch a campaign to get one!

Toronto Master Gardeners with help from Todd Boland, Research Horticulturist at Memorial University of Newfoundland, came up with the following three choices for a pan-Canadian flower - one that appears in every province and territory but is not already a provincial or territorial emblem:

Hooded Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes romanzoffiana)
· Unique spiraling flower spike marks this genus
· Found in open wet areas – meadows, bogs, marshes
· Fragrant flowers from July to Sept on 10 to 50 cm stems
· Food source for native bumblebees all through summer

Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)
· Delicate but tough! “borealis” – of the north
· Found in forests, wetlands all over Canada
· Reproduces mainly by spreading stolons
· Fragrant flowers on 15 cm stems for one week in June, attract native bees
· Winter forage for caribou

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
· Changes with the seasons - just like Canada!
· White flowers in spring, red berries in summer, great red-purple fall colour
· Very common in forests and wetlands all over Canada
· Creeping form, 10 to 20 cm tall, great as a native groundcover
· Pollinators include native bumblebees and solitary bees
· Berries are food source for small and large mammals, migratory birds
· Winter forage source for caribou, moose, elk, deer

Voting will close at midnight on June 30th, 2017

Vote now-it only takes a few seconds using this Survey Monkey link:

Plant Sale Video

Member Merle Cole has produced an intro video for the 2017 OGC Plant Sale to be held at the South Oshawa Community Centre (map), May 27th starting at 9am.

Hearth Place Plant Sale


The Oshawa Garden Club Plant Sale

Saturday, May 27, 2017

South Oshawa Community Centre (map)

9:00 A.M.

Come one; come all to the Oshawa Garden Club’s annual Plant Sale. Once again we will have lots of hardy perennials, veggies, specialty Geraniums, clematis, dahlias and much more at reasonable prices. Representatives from the Master Gardener’s and experienced club members will be on hand to offer advice on plant choices.

OGC Plant Sale


Sustainable Pickering Day


Club Logo Contest Winner



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. Watch for the new digitized logo here on our website.

Great work, Debi!

Blooming Oshawa Photography Contest

“Blooming Oshawa” for the Bookmark!

There are amazing public gardens throughout the City of Oshawa. Oshawa Garden Club members are invited to submit their favourite photograph of or from 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 cardstock or Bristol board with the photographer’s name and phone number printed on the back centre top. Every entrant will be required to sign the release form below, giving the Oshawa Garden Club permission to use the photo for club publications and/or on the website.

Photographs are to be submitted to Debi by September 30, 2017. The photographs will be displayed at the October 16, 2017 meeting for all members in attendance to vote for their favourite. The top choice will be printed on the 2018 Bookmark.

We look forward to seeing all your amazing entries!

release form (.docx form)

Pickering Horticultural Society Welcome to the D17 AGM


“Still Growing and Blooming”

Hosted by Pickering Horticultural Society

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4 Seasons Country Club, 1900 Concession 8, Claremont, Ontario (see map)

Doors Open: 8:00am
Hospitality: 8:30am
Entries Close: 9:00am

SPEAKERS: Lizzie Matheson and Malcom Geast

As you will see cost is $30 per person with a preregistration deadline of April 14th and then $35 at the door.


Show Schedule

2017 OGC Speaker List

2017 OGC Speaker List

Flowering Alliums Presentation

Flowering Alliums Tipsheet

Pinterest Brings Us Ideas: Powerpoint on How to Use


Pinterest is a place to share ideas, photos, links and how-to’s.

Member Merle Cole is currently administering the OGC Pinterest account and has put together a fabulous primer on how to use the OGC Pinterest.

Go here to the Pinterest How-to to learn about it.

For Ideas to Share on Pinterest Pinterest-Icon1

2016 OGC Annual Report

OGC logo

President’s Report – The Year in Review

It has been my pleasure to fill this role for this past year (and the prior two years that I held the position). It has provided me the opportunity to challenge myself, pushing that wee bit beyond my comfort zone. That is a good thing because I believe that it has helped me blossom in new ways. It has allowed me to get to know more of the garden club members and other people from related community organizations, growing friendships along the way.

It has been a busy year for the club. The Therapeutic Gardening group headed by Ann Couch worked with more residents at Hillsdale Estates, nineteen members came out to tend the gardens at Hearth Place throughout the summer, we helped over 130 children plant seeds at the Rose of Durham Picnic and we held a successful Plant Sale. Kaitlin Lawrence was our third scholarship recipient for her achievements in the Horticulture Technician program at Durham College. Our members were entertained with excellent speakers, a garden tour of members and neighbours gardens, organized by Jill and Nadia, a Christmas Social and a Strawberry Social.

Along with the fun, there was business to be attended to. Eighteen of our members attended the District 17 Annual General meeting in Whitby graciously hosted by the Brooklin Horticultural Society. The Ontario Horticultural Association’s Annual Meeting was held in Kitchener during July. Attending this meeting allows us to remain informed about what is new and exciting at our overseeing body. I was very glad to have 4 of the Executive members join me.

I was so pleased to be able to welcome back Jim Cook as our webmaster. He jumped back in without missing a beat and the website is “amazing” again. I am also excited to announce that there will be new board members providing direction to the club. They have interesting gardening and personal experiences and I look forward to their input and ideas.

Sadly we have said good-bye to members too. In May, life member Mildred Field passed away. Her daughter described how much enjoyment sharing our newsletter brought to them over the past few years. Directors Penny Tracy and Barb North have moved away from Oshawa, while Heather Miller is stepping down. They were very active members and their warm smiles and helping hands will be greatly missed.

Our members are ambassadors for the club. They contribute to many activities throughout the community. Within the club, the following are a few of the many who help to make the club such a success. Bob Kerr helps set up the audio visual equipment so you can hear the speakers and see their presentations. Maria’s and Faye’s work at the plant table provided unique, bargain priced plants and seeds to our members. The bakers organized by Margaret Woolsey and Marilyn Bilsky provided goodies to munch while drinking coffee and tea made by Diene Oegema and Penny Tracy. Pat Aasen sent out the eblasts to let you know about all these different events. Sherry Shrives has provided us with interesting articles and gardening information in the Greenleaf which is also posted on the website. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Catherine Hilge our Secretary, Iris Lucas the club’s Treasurer and our two financial reviewers Bev Kilburn and Luba Samochin for all their help and support throughout the year. The Directors have been absolutely amazing to work with over the past year. They have been extremely supportive and incredibly hard working. It has been a true pleasure to have been able to work with such thoughtful and generous people. They are a major reason the club has been so successful.

A huge thank you to everyone!

Debi Foster

see the full 2016 Annual Report

D17 AGM Show Schedule

ONTARIO HORTICULTURAL ASSOCIATION - District 17 Annual General Meeting

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

more information

Gardening Workshops

Durham College Workshops:

Sep 24 - Seed Saving & Late Season Vegetable Gardening
Oct 1 - Planting Fall Bulbs & Creating Winter Interest in the Garden
Oct 15 - Getting your garden ready for winter & Harvesting and strong vegetables & herbs
Oct 22 - Creating Rain Gardens & Xeriscaping

Register at Durham College Continuing Ed. Course No. GRDN 1904.