keeping our community green

Greenleaf Newsletter

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April 2018 Greenleaf

April Fool's Day is past, but goodness knows, if anyone needs to keep a sense of humour, it is the Gardener. There are several theories about the origin of this day, but for our purposes, the Encyclopedia Britannica theory works best. The timing of this day of pranks seems to be related to the arrival of spring when nature "fools" mankind with fickle weather. Well, ain't that the truth!
Warning: Parts of this Greenleaf are meant to tickle your funny bone!


We are here because of YOU!
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize the important role our member volunteers fill in the success of the Oshawa Garden Club. Without our volunteers, the OGC would not exist. Founded in 1931, our club has grown and flourished because of the vision and commitment of each and every member throughout the years.
In 2017 we tracked 3,226 volunteer hours. Each hour makes a difference to the organization, activities, funding, fundraising, social, education and communication aspects of our club. The impact of your efforts is priceless!
I joined the Club in 2003 with a friend. We shared a mutual interest in gardening and looked forward to the monthly meeting, as a social and educational outing. My family, work and other Community Board commitments limited my volunteer time with the Oshawa Garden Club to specific events. Over the years, I have enjoyed learning and expanding my knowledge, meeting new people, and applying my skills, abilities and experiences. If you are new or have found you have more time available for the Oshawa Garden Club we have opportunities for you to get involved.  Reach out and join us, as there is no downside to volunteering.
Although Winter is having a hard time letting go, be patient, the Gardening Season will soon be upon us! 

I hope to see you Monday! Robin

We 💗 volunteers!
April 15 - 21, 2018
Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections and community.


Speaking of the rewards of volunteering, the Garden Club is looking for members to step up to judge the BEST GROWN POT GROWN POT competition. This is a new initiative to celebrate those gardeners with a green thumb. Volunteers will experiment to find the best strength before declaring the winning plant. Also, we are looking for special bakers to provide the treats for this meeting.

Saturday, May 26, 2018 
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
South Oshawa Community Centre/GL Roberts CVI
1455 Cedar Street South, Oshawa

As we longingly wish for warmer weather and the chance to get back into our gardens, give thought to our Annual Spring Plant Sale. This is our major fundraiser to help subsidize the cost of Lviv Hall rent and the cost of quality Garden Speakers. You can help us by donating time, talent or treasure for this event. Please stop by Judy's Table for information and to let her know if you have plants to donate or if you have time to volunteer.
  • If you have plants that are getting too big for their spot in your garden, spring is the time to divide and donate. Pick up a copy of How to Divide Perennials for the Plant Sale
  • If you need help digging or dividing, see us at the meeting or contact us at
  • If you have extra plastic pots, we are looking for pots larger than 4 inches and square pots are preferred, as they are easier for Garry to water. To avoid passing on any pests or diseases, wash pots with warm water and a little bleach. Drop them off at the meeting or call Garry for more information 905-668-6368.
  • If you have a lawn, take a sign to help us spread the word about the Sale. Pick up a sign at the May meeting and place it on your lawn Sunday, May 20th. Return the sign at the June meeting. 
  • If you can volunteer in May, we need help to pot up plants. 
  • If you can volunteer on the day of the Sale, shifts are 8:00 am-noon and noon – 4:00 pm. We need help to organize and move plants.This is a great way to give back to the Club, get to know other garden club members, and meet our community partners.
  • If you would like to join the Plant Sale Committee, the next meeting is Monday, April 23 at 10:00 am. 
  • If you need more plants, and who doesn’t, shop at the Sale for great local plants, at bargain prices, that grow well in our zone. Pick up a list of other local Garden Club Plant Sales. 
I am looking forward to working with you! 
Plant Sale Convenor Judy 
Contact me at


Start with a hat that has passed through the compost heap twice. Choose a jacket with absorbent sleeves for those runny nose days. Holiest clothing is best, as gardening is a spiritual exercise and always wear a good tank top, appropriately named for what it is covering.
Gardening Chic Rule: never go to the front yard!


Felix Flisch and 4 workers started making quality tools in Switzerland in 1945. FELCO continues to make high-quality pruners. They fit every size hand, are right and left-handed, have easy to find red handles and all parts are replaceable. They also make a pruner with a rotating grip for those with weak hands. For a demonstration from Lee Valley follow the link.


          May 13, 2018 
Frog jumping was made famous in a short story by Mark Twain, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. This event is held in the US and Manitoba, always on May 13. The contest has strict rules regulating the frogs’ welfare, including limiting the daily number of jumps and mandating the playing of calming music in their enclosures. 
Could this be your new hobby?!

President Robin recommends this garden how-to channel on YouTube. Laura LeBoutillier was working in her parents garden centre, Andrews Seed Co in Oregon, and her husband Aaron was working at the local cable company. Their lives changed when Aaron bought a new camera and taped a garden video with Laura. They launched their Garden Answer channel in 2014 and Proven Winners heard of their success and offered them an income to quit their day jobs and commit to making garden videos. The couple controls the content of the videos and their focus is to promote and teach gardening.
How To Clean Out A Flower Bed is recommended this month.
Proven Winners was started by two leading US plant propagators and two Canadian licensees in 1992. At a retail sales level, Proven Winners and Proven Selections sales are greater than a half-billion dollars annually. Their plants are available from just about every garden centre in North America. Our local nurseries carry Proven Winners at a 10% discount, with your membership card on regular-price plants.
$1.00 from the sale of each Invincibelle Spirit II Hydrangea, hydrangea arborescens is going to Breast Cancer Research. One million dollars has been raised to date. If you are interested in a pink-Annabelle-type hydrangea, follow the link to does worldwide research

A title like this has Merle's sense of humour all over it, but the thank you goes to Ann Sewall for this unique story! Plant a pair of new, white, 100% cotton underwear in the garden, six inches deep. Dig them up in 60 days and there should be nothing left but the elastic. If they are partially need to amend your soil. For more on this exciting science experiment go to and look up her November 3, 2017, Toronto Star article.

Canada Blooms donated 600 plants to long-term care residents and Meals on Wheels clients. Heartwarming.

Monday, June 11, 2018
Doors open at 6:00 pm
Strawberries served at 6:30 pm 
June meeting starts at 7:30 pm

This event is FREE, but you need to sign-up for a ticket as your RSVP. 
Guests are welcome for a small cost $5.00
This is a Celebrate GardenOntario Week Event for our Club
We are looking forward to speaker Peter Green, as he will give us the latest tips on creating summer containers. Peter owns Greenhouse on the River (the Otonobee River) just south of Lakefield. This is a must see Garden Centre. 
Volunteer: If you can spare a small amount of time, help is needed to prep the berries, to bake a cake, or help with serving and clean-up. Consider joining the committee. Cathy Brown will have a Table at the meeting with information and tickets.

Our lobby greeter tonight is Monika


Hosta grower, Kevin Elchuk, from Giboshihill Hostas will speak on his gardening passion. It is worth the drive to 3631 Kennedy Road, Camborne to see his display gardens and buy yourself a quality hosta. 


Faye and Sharon will have houseplants and a seed exchange and a Big-Give-Away this month. Members have requested a repeat of our free exchange of gently used garden items. If you are downsizing or cleaning out your shed, keep us in mind.
*If your donated item is not picked up, we kindly ask you to take it home, as we have no storage or other means of disposal.


Participate and create a plant material arrangement to Celebrate Spring!


Janice will be selling 3 tickets for a twoonie. Good Luck!


The OHA Convention is celebrating Gardening Rocks on July 27 and the invitation says: Be There Or Be Square and Get Out Your Tie-dye and Bell Bottoms. 

Merle Cole has agreed to assist members with any questions on what to wear for a Best 60's Party Outfit.
Excitement is building, as a date for a tie-dye workshop is coming soon!

Thanks and best wishes to Monica H, our tea-lady. Monica has accepted a new veterinary assistant position in Whitby and her working hours have changed. Please say hello and thanks and welcome to our new member Jenn Merlin, who has agreed to be our new coffee/tea volunteer.

Thanks to President Robin for representing our interests at the D17
President's Meeting this past Saturday in Cannington.

Saturday, May 5, 2018. 8 am-noon
Lakeview Park parking lot, Kluane Avenue, Oshawa.
Best practice...amend your soil...add compost!

Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad
Philosophy is wondering if that means ketchup is a smoothie


Leave your name at the Sign-In Table if you are available for any of the following...
  • Jill Snape is looking for member gardens to show on our Sharing Gardens Members Tour this summer. 
  • Debi Foster is looking for volunteers to help with a Youth Workshop on June 12 or 14, after school, at the Eastview Unit of the Boys and Girls Club. The focus is seed planting and pollinators.
  • Debi is looking for volunteers to help with a Youth Workshop at the Rose of Durham Picnic on June 2 from 11am-3:00pm. A new partner this year is the Carea Community Health Centre. It is always a hit to help the children plant a seed in an ice-cream cone.
  • Oshawa Pitch-In Week is April 21-28, 2018. We are looking for a group of OGC members to meet and pick up litter at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. Leave your name at the Sign-In Table.


July 27, 28, 29, 2018
Ambassador Hotel & Conference Centre, Kingston
Early registration with discount is due by July 1, 2018.
Registration is done by mail.
See all convention information here:


At best, this thing looks like the plants you'd find in some hostile alien world. At worst, it looks like eyeballs on bloody stalks, tied together by their stems like the deranged trophy of some serial killer, used to mark the grave of half a dozen victims. It's called the doll's eye plant, also known by the equally unsettling name white baneberry. Just in case you were actually thinking of eating this thing, those eyeballs are highly poisonous. Obviously.


Plant Hardiness Zone Oshawa 5b
Contact Sherry:
Contact Jim:
Contact a Board member:
The next newsletter deadline is May 7, 2018
The next meeting is May 14, 2018, at 7:30 pm