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.

September 2016 Greenleaf


South Patch Neighbourhood Garden in Cordova Park

What a summer it has been! Heat, humidity, drought, crazy mad gardening, gardens, art
school, more gardens, a major meeting, a little more gardening, tours of local towns and even more gardens--all with a few summer reads thrown in between.  I have had a wonderful summer and I hope that the rest of you have as well.

I am pleased to report that 99% of the plants that I installed in my new backyard garden during that wretchedly hot first week of July have survived, although I dread seeing my water bill despite judicious watering. Many have done very well, while others, like me, have struggled through the heat.

One thing that I observed on my travels and garden tours, is that we have public and private gardens nestled around Durham Region that are as amazing as some of the most heralded gardens in other regions. We have much of which to be very proud!

One of the most inspiring garden tours, I had the pleasure of partaking, was the Urban Farm Tour right here in Oshawa.  The gardens I visited were not necessarily neat, prim or weed free, as is so typical of most gardens I see on tours, though some were.  Yes, there were unique and interesting plant varieties to be found.  (I must have been offered 10 different types of cherry tomatoes to taste--all delicious.) But the plants are not what have me so pumped. I am excited about the gardeners themselves. 

In the private gardens I toured, the primary gardeners are young, mostly male and for them, it is all about just growing things.  In large part, their crops are vegetables and fruits, but they do have flowers scattered throughout to attract pollinators.  First and foremost, they want to know the provenance of the food they eat.  They are fearless about trying new things.  They are informed and want to learn more about things like permaculture and seed saving.  They understand the importance of what they are doing and why.
Each of the community gardens on the tour had a slightly different focus. The one that impressed me the most was the South Patch Neighbourhood Garden which is in its second year of production. This garden is being managed primarily by one family, but it is open to everyone in the community.  Gage, who gave us our private tour, was between 8 and 10 years old.  He was extremely knowledgeable about the crops being grown and some of the problems they were experiencing, such as tomato blossom end rot. Each plot is labelled with what the crop is and a green “Ready” sign or a red “Not Ready” sign.

The rules of the neighbourhood garden are simple: 
1. Please follow the signs 
2. Harvest only enough for one meal for your family 
3. No Smoking 
4. Children must be supervised 

The garden is not big but has a wide range of vegetable crops grown in a combination of raised beds and on the ground.  There are also raspberry canes, strawberries and apple trees growing as part of the plot.  The group holds educational sessions on gardening and they have had some cooking demonstrations courtesy of Carol from The Table. An extra “shout out” must be extended to Carol because she is certainly one of the driving forces behind the We Grow Food group.  Her passion and devotion are truly amazing.

I am extremely heartened by what I saw and I think that the future of gardening is in good hands.

Delving in the dirt,


We need a volunteer to phone the list of Bakers each month. Your Board members will supply the treats for the September meeting, but we are very anxious to find a volunteer by October...to keep those treats coming!

Barb N has managed the environmental table at our general meetings for several years and recently it has morphed into the Repurposing Table. If we can think of new and creative ways to reuse household items we can decrease our garbage stream. Barb is hoping someone will come forward with renewed energy and new ideas and continue this interesting project. Researching sites like Pinterest can be fun! Projects can be displayed, but photos or pictures are often easier to set-up at the meetings. The goal is to make this an interactive table and we encourage our members to contribute and exchange ideas. Please consider volunteering at the Environmental Table. Barb suggests that you start small and go from there.

Heather M is stepping down and we are looking for a person to communicate with LVIV hall. Your job is to contact the hall each month and let them know how many tables we need set-up. For more information and a job description, please see Nadia

We are looking for 3 new Board members. We receive an OMAFRA grant if all our Board positions are filled. Our club will thrive if we attract new members to our Board with a variety of viewpoints. Board meetings are held the last Monday of the month, at the Northview Community Centre, and the meeting is generally a little over one hour. Does this interest you? Speak to any Board member or President Debi for more info.

We invite our members to showcase and sell any arts and crafts that they create. We need a coordinator for this event and it is a small commitment of time. You are volunteering to be the contact for the sellers and to speak to the meeting set-up volunteer to make sure we have enough tables for the vendors. There is no cost to the vendors, but we ask for a donated item for the draw table. For several years now, members have displayed quality work and the timing is perfect to get a little head start on Christmas shopping. Until we have a volunteer, pass your name to Nadia, so that we have an idea how many people are interested in selling their crafts at the November meeting.

The Highway of Heroes Living Tribute goal this fall is to plant 9,000 more trees. (10% of the total goal) They are looking for volunteers who will help plant, mulch and water trees on October 1, 2016 at St. John's Anglican Church in Whitby.

Thank you to Susan C for volunteering to look after Communication & Publicity

Thank you to President Debi and her 14 volunteers for keeping the Hearth Place Gardens weed free over the summer 

Thank you to Nadia B and Jill S for organizing the July garden tour

NOMINATE a Volunteer for the President's Award
If you know a member who has made a significant contribution to the club and has been a member for five years or more,  please pass the name to President Debi. 

The 2016 Annual Report
This is a large document that needs to be assembled by Secretary Catherine by the November meeting. Please submit your reports ASAP. Deadline: the October meeting.

Reminder: keep track of your volunteer hours, as our OMAFRA grant is based on your hard work promoting gardening. You will be asked to submit them at the year end. Print the Volunteer Hours form from our website. On the top ribbon, click Membership and click download the form found at the bottom of the page. Once you have the form, start thinking about your hours. For example Garry accumulated 61 hours watering, digging, and potting up for our Plant Sale. Each Hearth Place volunteer accumulates 4 hours for travel time and weeding per visit. If you have questions, please see President Debi as she has all the information.


MONARCH BUTTERFLY www.monarchwatch.org.

Habitat loss is the main factor in the decline of the monarch butterfly, but weather conditions may be a factor in this year's decline. An unprecedented rain/sleet storm occurred at the overwintering sites mid-March, 2016. The storm was accompanied by strong winds that knocked down trees and buried large numbers of monarchs under sleet. Fortunately, many monarchs had left the area ahead of the storm, but the status of the monarch population is uncertain.

INVASIVE SPECIES Continuing the Conversation

On September 28, the Toronto Botanical Garden Book Club will be discussing Fred Pearce's new book, The New Wild: Why Invasive Species will be Nature's Salvation. The Economist named it one of the best books of 2015. It is a provocative exploration of the “new ecology” and why most of what we think we know about alien species is wrong. For a long time, veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce thought in stark terms about invasive species: they were the evil interlopers spoiling pristine “natural” ecosystems. Most conservationists and environmentalists share this view. But what if the traditional view of ecology is wrong—what if true environmentalists should be applauding the invaders? These remarks are just a few from the book jacket. Food for thought for sure.


The September Equinox in the northern hemisphere is September 22, 2016 
Days and nights are the same length

Lobby Greetings
Thank you to tonight's greeter Margaret. Margaret will also be passing out draw tickets.

Helen Battersby will speak on Shade Gardening. Her award-winning website www.torontogardens.com is well worth a visit

RENEW your Membership   Nadia
50 people have paid their membership fee.
Volunteers are ready to accept your dues and answer any questions you may have at the hall entrance. A Single Membership is $20.00. Family Membership is $30.00.
Make your cheque payable to the Oshawa Garden Club.

Plant Table    Faye and Maria
At the September meeting, we will be selling the remaining plants from the Plant Sale with bargains galore! Bring $ cash.
At the October meeting we will be holding a Seed Exchange. This is your chance to pick up seeds for next season or donate some from your fall garden. Remember to label your small containers or envelopes.
At the April 2017 meeting, we will hold our Big Give-Away. We think this free exchange of gently used garden items will be most popular when we are all excited to get back in the garden. If you have gently used garden tools or you know someone is downsizing, collect 

these items for our April meeting.

Imagination Station    Vida
All members of OGC are en
couraged to enter a floral design at the Imagination Station. This is a way to enjoy your creative side, learn from others, gain confidence, and enjoy a little friendly competition. All members are encouraged to VOTE for their favourite design. Your VOTE shows support to your fellow members, who have spent some time and money and imagination on their creation. Vida has a great deal of knowledge and she is willing to share.

Congratulations to our May winners:
1st Nina K 2nd Debi F 3rd Cynthia H

September Theme: A Knight's Night
September 13 is Scooby Doo’s birthday. Scooby debuted in 1969 with the first episode, What a Night for a Knight. The design must show something related to both the knight and the night.

October Theme: Food for Thought
Oct 16 is World Food Day. Design should incorporate three of the materials used for food containers. Glass, tin and paper. Do not use plastic or food. Plants should compliment 
the colour of the containers.

Thank you to the Board for providing tonight's treats. 

50/50 Draw Tickets Janice Mc 

Word Of The Month: WATERSHED
Mark Cullen reports that we have had the driest summer since 1962. With that in mind, the word of the month is watershed. A watershed is an area of land drained by a creek, river, or lake. Conservation Ontario represents the 31 Conservation Authorities in Southern Ontario and delivers services to 5 in Northern Ontario. 13 million people, 90% of Ontario's population, live in a watershed managed by a Conservation Authority. Since 1958, CLOCA (Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority) has managed our watershed. The CLOCA watershed covers 627 square kilometres of land that is drained by 18 watersheds.
Do you know what watershed you live in?


We sold 90 tickets to the Social this year and we thank the members for their continued support. Thank you to the volunteers who make this event happen.
Committee Co-chairs: Cathy B and Gloria Mc

25 members enjoyed a beautiful day in July touring member's gardens. Thank you to the organizing team and to Monika for preparing a delicious picnic.

Plans are underway to organize a visit to Trish Symons' extensive garden in Hockley Valley. The challenge is to find a date, as she only shows her garden for a limited time.TBA

We are extending the deadline to the year end, December 30, 2016. If you are interested in designing a new club logo, please see the link on the homepage of our website. It is important to follow the guidelines printed there.

If we can iron out the details for this workshop, we will send out a Club email with the information.


The OHA is selling an 18-month For the Love of Gardening Calendar for a cost of $20.00. The pictures have been submitted from garden club members in Ontario.  Also, the first order of OHA license plate covers sold out, but they have been reordered and the cost is $10.00. President Debi will take your order. The deadline is October 10, 2016.

Read the OHA fall newsletter. Webmaster Jim makes it easy  to find on the homepage.

287 OHA members attended the Kitchener Convention, including 5 members from the Oshawa Garden Club. This is a very inspirational weekend, as you visit gardens, listen to speakers, shop, eat, and meet amazing gardeners from across the province. 
Suzanne Hanna, our OHA President and Rose Odell our Vice-President are both hardworking women with strong leadership and speaking skills. They have agreed to stand another year, as they started the process of upgrading the OHA website and they would like to see this project through to completion. Suzanne kept her promise to show us how Guerrilla Gardening works and she accompanied "troop 39" armed with trowels and plants to the House of Friendship, a community service building in downtown Kitchener. A complete downpour started soon after the work was in progress, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the volunteers. Mark Cullen spoke briefly and thanked the OHA and their generous members for their cheque of almost $28,000 in support of the Highway of Heroes. Dr. Ken Shonk received a standing ovation for his excellent talk on the value of laughter. 
Speaking of laughter, click this link to see the Chicken Dance Champs at the Convention.

Dinner at Langdon Hall Resort and Spa

CANADA 150 IN 2017

The much anticipated Canada 150 tulip has left Home Hardware's Distribution Centre in St. Jacobs, Ontario and is making its way into Home Hardware Stores and Home Hardware Building Centres across Canada. This limited edition bulb, created as the official tulip of Canada's 150th anniversary is available exclusively at Home Hardware in limited quantities.


September 9, 10, 11
Camp Samac. (FREE)
Oshawa Art Association
10 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Camp Samac Grounds, inside Council Hall building. Enter at Conlin Rd. gate.
Local artists participating in oil, acrylic, watercolour, drawing, pastel, and pottery.

September 14, 2016
Plant Hunting in China with special guest speaker Bill McNamara 

from Quarryhill Botanical Gardens, CA
no charge
Brooklin United Church, 19 Cassels Rd, Brooklin at 7:30 pm.

September 18 - 24, 2016
Theme: True North Strong and Green
For very interesting reading about Toronto's urban forest, follow this link.

October 17 meeting
Promote the Oshawa Garden Club and bring a friend ( no charge ) to our next meeting.

October 27-28, 2016
2-day workshop in Peterborough. Cost $300.00

November 14 meeting
Doors open at 6:00 pm, as this is a very busy meeting. We will have a short business meeting and vote on President Debi's resolution. Your new Board members for the 2017 season will be introduced. We always enjoy the Craft Sale and the speaker will demonstrate a floral design for us.

December 5

April 22, 2017
Theme: Still Growing and Blooming
Hosted by Pickering Horticultural Society
4 Seasons Country Club, Claremont

July 21, 22, 23, 2017
Theme: Green From Shore to Shore

Hosted by OHA District 5
Sheraton Parkway North Hotel, Richmond Hill
Please read President Debi's resolution. You will be asked to vote on this at the November Annual General Meeting. For more information about the AGM, please see the website.

It is important that all facets of the Oshawa Garden Club Constitution are met by the Board of Directors. Finding volunteers to fill all the positions presently listed for the Board of Directors is becoming increasingly difficult. It is the opinion of the Executive and the Directors that the Resolution noted below will help ensure that all the necessary positions are filled and there is compliance to all aspects of the Constitution.

Resolution to be Voted Upon at 2016 Oshawa Garden Club AGM

Be it resolved that: Article 5, 5.2 be amended as follows:

Current wording:
5.2 The Board of Directors, herein called the Board, is composed of the Executive, consisting of the President, Past-President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, and ten elected Directors.

Amended wording:
5.2 The Board of Directors, herein called the Board is composed of the Executive (consisting of the President, Past-President, First Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and a minimum of eight (8) to a maximum of ten (10) elected Directors.

1. The role of the Second Vice President in an official capacity is rarely required and people are reluctant to fill the position because it infers that they would be willing to move up the executive chain. The Board believes that removal of the position of the Second Vice President will not reduce the strength and effectiveness of the Board.
2. Allowing for some flexibility in the number of elected Directors will ensure that the Constitution is being adhered to as written, even when a wide range of candidates is not available. 

Please submit your ideas, comments and questions to greenleaf@oshawagardenclub.ca.
The deadline for the next issue is Tuesday, October 11
Webmaster Jim: webmaster@oshawagardenclub.ca
Greenleaf Team: Merle, Sherry, Val
Our next meeting is Monday, October 17, 2016