Oshawa Garden Club

keeping our community green

Archived .pdf editions from January 2012 to February 2014 are here. Questions, suggestions, or articles for the newsletter can be sent to the . Please consider our forests if printing.

November 2016 Greenleaf

The Annual Report 2016 is now available
President Debi's year-end message is in the Annual Report
Thank you to Secretary Catherine for this document
Thank you to the members who have agreed to step up and make sure that all Board positions are filled, as we are now qualified to receive our $1500.00 grant from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. 

This year we are pleased to welcome seven of our members, as merchants to our November Craft Sale.  They will have a collection of high quality items that we know you will be proud to share with friends and family during the holiday season.  Be sure to bring your pocketbooks! The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and shopping will continue until 7:30 when our meeting begins.  

We are looking for a volunteer for Meeting Set-up and the Environmental Table. Also, we
need a volunteer to make tea and coffee in January, as Monica H is away. See Nadia at the sign-in table to volunteer to support your garden club.
REMINDER: Society Volunteer Hours Form
This is an important reminder to all Board members and Committee members and Volunteers of Oshawa Garden Club. Please submit your volunteer hours to President Debi F, as our grants and standing in the OHA depend on this information. If you do any garden work in the community, outside of OGC, you are also eligible for volunteer hours. Print the form from the website, fill it in and pass it to Debi at the November meeting.
For questions or to submit by email, contact Debi at president@oshawagardenclub.ca

Barb North
Thank you to Barb for her many years of service to the Oshawa Garden Club. She is passionate about conservation, the environment and her community. Barb is moving west to be closer to her family and we send our best wishes for happiness in her new home. We will miss her contribution to OGC. Barb won the REAL DIGGER AWARD last year.

Penny Tracy
Thank you to Penny for her many years of service to the Oshawa Garden Club. She arrived at each meeting, 2 hours early, to set up the tea and coffee for our enjoyment. She is a very friendly person, served on the Board, helped with the Plant Sale and other events. Penny and her husband have moved to a new community and love their new home. She continues to be generous with her time and is volunteering at the local hospital. Past President Gloria will present Penny with the REAL DIGGER AWARD at tonight's meeting.



Lobby Greetings
Thank You to tonight's greeter Merle C


Noelle Rees will demonstrate design ideas for your outdoor winter arrangements and help us get into the holiday spirit

We have 140 paid members. One of the benefits of membership is the 10% discount card. Remember to use your card, as the discounts apply year round on regular priced merchandise.

Winter Basket Jan K

Feeling lucky? This is the last chance to buy a ticket on the Winter Basket. 

Tickets cost $3.00 each or $5.00 for 2 tickets. 
The winning ticket will be drawn at the Christmas Social on December 5.

50-50 Draw  Janice M
1 ticket is $1.00 and 3 tickets are $2.00. Cheers to our October winner Monika

Plant Table
Many thanks go out to all the members who donated plants and bulbs at our October
meeting. The Seed Exchange was very successful. We are looking forward to another one in the Spring.  Faye

The deadline for the winter edition of the Trillium is November 21, 2016. Bernice Green has retired after 3 years and Malcolm Geast is the new editor. He is a member of the East York Club, is the historian for the OHA and he is a frequent speaker on Insects in the Garden.


January Theme 2017: January 10th is Houseplant Appreciation Day, created by the folks at The Gardener's Network. To show houseplants our appreciation (after all, they give off oxygen😊) let's create a POT-ET-FLEUR.

A pot-et-fleur is a style of flower arrangement, which combines rooted or growing plants and cut flowers, all in one container.

Official directions for a pot-et-fleur from the Ontario Judging and Exhibiting Handbook: 
page 75.....An exhibit of growing plants, in or out of pots, packed tightly, with moisture-retaining material (ie. soil), plus cut flowers in tubes of water, oasis or other material, all assembled in one container. Moss, decorative wood and rock may be included. No cut foliage is permitted. However, cut flowering and/or fruited branches may be used. 
(No artificial plants are allowed)If known, please name the plant material on a slip of paper. 

We also welcome Design Your Own ...your own creation and arrangement of plant material. Cheers, Vida





Monday, December 5, 2016, at 6:30 pm
Please stop by Monika's table to sign-up for a delicious night out with garden club friends. Please bring an appetizer or a dessert. Lug-a-Mug for tea or coffee. Feel free to bring a guest for the small fee of $5.00.



The Bowmanville Marsh is declining and degraded. Water quality, aquatic vegetation, and amphibian populations are very poor. Fish and bird populations are fair, but data shows they are declining. The Bowmanville Marsh Habitat Restoration Project hopes to increase the health of the wetland by installing a berm and a water level control structure. 
CLOCA is now working to find funding for this project.

A proposal has been made to rezone a heritage forest in Uxbridge for the construction of a 52 unit condo-townhouse development. Uxbridge, known as The Trail Capital of Canada, has community members trying  to STOP the destruction of this forest. Trees clean our air and water, prevent erosion, reduce flooding, and provide important habitat for wildlife. Extensive research shows that the more forested a watershed is, the healthier it will be.
Uxbridge is part of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

Vineland is located in Canada’s Niagara Region and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is a world-class research centre dedicated to horticultural science and innovation.

  • This research centre was mentioned last year at the D17 meeting by the Highway of Heroes Tribute spokesman. He stated that their research found that soil compaction is the biggest problem for trees along the 401 and not salt damage, as was previously thought.
  • Vineland is receiving a $920,000 federal investment to develop new disease resistant apple and greenhouse tomato varieties. Greenhouse tomatoes bring in $516 million annually at the farm gate, as well as $311 million in exports (2015).  Apples are Canada’s second most valuable fruit after blueberries, earning $181 million at the farm gate, as well as $50 million in exports (2015). 
  • The Canadian Hardy Rose Breeding Program focuses on the development of black spot resistant roses and the breeding of cold hardy roses.
  • Canada Blooms is excited to announce that it has chosen for its flower of the year, the new Canadian Shield™ rose. The Canadian Shield™ rose has been selected from the Vineland rose breeding program. This new variety of rose, branded and marketed by Vineland will make its debut in gardens next summer in time for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration. It’s the first rose in a curated collection to be released in the 

GETTING TO KNOW NEW MEMBER MONICA HOLKEMA                                                 
Member Interviews with Merle Cole


Introducing Monica Holkema, our new tea and coffee volunteer. Monica is a very new member, as of September, and at her first meeting, she heard Debi ask for help to make the coffee and tea at our meetings and she decided there and then to put her name forward. It was a natural fit, as Monica has been a consultant in the Steeped Tea business, part time, for the past two years, and is now a group leader for their home parties. Sorry, Monica will not be bringing their full line of 100+ tea varieties to our meetings but she will certainly be available to talk about the quality of loose leaf tea and the art of tea making and drinking. She may also have some samples available from time to time. Some of you may have seen the company owner, Tonia Jahshan, from Ancaster, making her pitch on CBC’s Dragons’ Den a few years back. Two of the Dragons liked the tea so much that they invested in her company.

Understandably, our interview happened over a cup of tea. It was served after I was introduced to her three friendly rescue dogs, Trigger, Ellie and Gabi, who spent several minutes checking me out. Her day job, as well as lots of nights and weekends, is working as a Veterinary Technician at a local clinic. She provides nursing care to animals, pre and post op, as well as intake and lab testing to assist vets with diagnostics and assessments. Part of her work is in emergency services that can often involve trauma.

Monica also enjoys people in her life. One of the special ones is John, her boyfriend, who also partners with her in their gardens. They have lived in central Oshawa, in their current home, for three years and are working hard to master gardening skills. Their first venture involved vegetable gardening, that quickly led to an over-abundance of certain veggies, that led to canning and preserving, experiments with salsa and how to work many tomatoes into their shared cooking. Monica’s forte is meal planning and organization which allows John to be the more creative cook. In their gardens, he is the worker bee and strong on the technical end, while Monica is more the planner and experimenter. She finds that their skills and interests in the garden complement each other very well.

It was her research into plant sales, as an economical way to acquire new plants, that brought her to the OGC. This was recommended by one of the vets at her clinic and lead her to our Plant Sale last May. Like a true millennial, she used the internet to access our wonderful OGC website and Facebook page to find out what was happening, when and where. At this point, she is still experimenting with ideas in her gardens and she found the talks on gardening for shade and ornamental grasses to be very helpful. Monica indicated that she would like to experience some hands-on workshops to learn more about splitting plants and winter maintenance for her gardens. While two jobs keep her very busy now, Monica hopes to become more active in the garden club over time and looks forward to participating in OGC projects in the community. She has an interest in Community Gardens.

She is a professionally trained flutist and belongs to a Flute Choir from the Courtice area that features alto and base flutes, along with piccolos and C flutes. I can just imagine how relaxing and therapeutic it would be to sit in her garden with a cup of specialty tea, listening to flute music. Life can be all that you imagine!

Getting to know Monica and learning about some of the finer things in life offers new prospects. Look for Monica at the meeting and make her feel welcome in the OGC, as you get to know her.



Preheat oven to 350º


2 cups hot brewed Steeped Tea Traditional Earl Grey tea

1 cup raisins

2½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves

¼ tsp black pepper

½ cup butter

Method: Pour 2 cups hot Earl Grey tea over raisins and set aside to soak. In medium bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices. Cut in butter until blended thoroughly. Add tea with raisins and stir until smooth. Pour into a greased or parchment lined loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes, when a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan.

Icing: Stir together 2 Tbsp tea with 6 Tbsp of sifted icing sugar and brush over loaf.

This recipe comes from Tonia’s Steeped Tea website. www.steepedtea.com


November 21, 2016
Toronto Botanical Gardens Lecture Series
Topic: What to do with a Downpour - Ornamental Ways to Handle Rain Water
Our cities are largely covered by impermeable surfaces - roofs, parking lots, roads, even compacted soil - which contribute to water pollution, flooding and bank erosion in urban ravines. Sean James will demonstrate how gardeners can help turn the tide on this troubling situation with beautiful water-protecting landscapes.
Bistro opens 5:30 pm. Doors open 6:30 pm. Lecture 7:30 pm. Cost $15.00

November 30, 2016
Toronto Botanical Gardens Book Club
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms by Amy Stewart

December 5, 2016, at 6:30 pm
Add this date to your holiday social calendar!
Sign-up for the Sweet and Savory Potluck Social and enjoy food, fun and friendship with garden club members.

January 1, 2017

January 9, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Oshawa Garden Club January Meeting

You will receive the contact information for your new Board of Directors and the list of Speakers for 2017. This meeting will have a workshop-style format on a variety of topics. The vote for a new OGC LOGO will take place.
Start your New Year 2017 surrounded by gardeners!

April 22, 2017 
District 17 AGM and Flower Show (GardenOntario/OHA event)
Theme: Still Growing and Blooming. Hosted by the Pickering Horticultural Society

July 21, 22, 23, 2017
GardenOntario Convention in Richmond Hill (OHA event) 

October Meeting

Website: www.oshawagardenclub.ca
Please submit ideas, comments and questions to greenleaf@oshawagardenclub.ca
Contact Jim: webmaster@oshawagardenclub.ca
Kudos to photographer Merle C
The next newsletter deadline is January 2, 2017