Toronto Botanical Garden For all things gardening Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:52:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Properly Remove Dog-Strangling Vine Thu, 18 Sep 2014 19:14:07 +0000

Do not ignore this invasive plant! Paul Zammit, Director of Horticulture gives you the dos and don’ts of removing this highly invasive species in Toronto.

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Learn about the monarch butterfly and what you can do to protect them Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:40:17 +0000 GLOBAL NEWS VIDEO: Toronto Botanical Garden offers an opportunity for families to discover and engage in the life cycle of monarchs

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Botanical Art Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:38:04 +0000 Introduction to Painting en Plein Air

NEW DATE: Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Public $135; TBG and OPAS Members $95
Margaret Ferraro, instructor from the Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS), leads you on a one-day exploration of the wonderful world of plein air painting—painting outdoors. Suitable for studio or new artists seeking a great new way to paint. Learn techniques for composing a live scene. Discuss some of the practical aspects of plein air painting, learn tricks and come away with a completed painting. Please bring your own materials; a list is provided.
[PG14S24A] Margaret Ferraro, Ontario Plein Air Society

Printmaking Workshop – CANCELLED
Tuesdays, September 9 to October 28, 1 to 4 p.m. (7 sessions, no class Sept. 30)
Public $265; Members $210
Be inspired by Liz Menard’s artwork currently on display in our library. Discover creative printmaking with an easy-to-use etching press and metal plates with water-based, non-toxic inks offering numerous possibilities for beautiful art, from greeting cards to handmade artist’s books! Suitable for beginners. Additional materials fee $25.
[PG14S34] Liz Menard


Botanical Art Studio Fall
Thursdays, Sept. 18 to Nov. 27 (10 weeks, no class Nov. 13), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Public $375; Members $300
Develop your own style of botanical painting in this relaxed, studio-style class with our talented instructor whose work is currently on display in the library. Individual instruction is based on your level of expertise. Bring watercolour materials and an inspirational subject. Beginners welcome, please contact the TBG for a materials list.
[PG14S37] Leslie Staple

NEW Botanical Art Studio Fall – Half Session 

Thursdays, Sept. 18 to Nov. 22 (choose 5 weeks) 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Public $225; Members $180

Creating Botanical Colour: Ecology & Aesthetics
Thursday, November 20, 1 to 4 p.m.
Public $40; Members $32
Discover how colour extracted from locally available plants is able to make natural dyes and inks for your creative art projects. Introduce yourself to the world of botanical colours through a presentation of images and hands-on approaches with local flora and natural fibers. We’ll explore the botanical properties, historical context and the excitement of seeing plant based colour transferred to fibre. Instructor Tania Love brings her international travels, multidisciplinary arts-based background and passion for ecology to this beginner’s class which welcomes all plant lovers and art enthusiasts. Materials will be provided.
[PG14DF19] Tania Love

Botanical Art Studio Winter
Thursdays, January 15 to March 19, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (10 sessions)
Develop your own botanical painting style in this relaxed, studio-style class. Individual instruction from Leslie Staple is based on your level of expertise. Work at your own pace. All levels welcome. Bring watercolour materials and an inspirational subject.

[PG15W01] Public $375; Members $300

[PG15W02] Public $203; Members $162


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How Our Gardens Have Grown Sat, 13 Sep 2014 15:33:36 +0000 Pioneers cleared the land to grow crops to put food on the table. In more modern times, we enjoy the fruits of a multicultural buffet. From pioneer roots to the diversity of contemporary urban and rural agriculture, growing our own food continues to sustain us.
A Pioneer Kitchen Garden
Early gardeners, says Jannette Porter, grew vegetables for survival.

Up until about the 1860s, pioneer vegetable gardens, or kitchen gardens as they were called, were either for survival or they were estate gardens.

Ken Willis, Black Creek Pioneer Village’s head gardener, explains that gardens tended to be walled four-square gardens. A wall provided a microclimate to protect tender vegetables and it also extended the growing season. Plots had a north/south path, which bisected an east/west path, dividing the garden into four equal squares for best sun exposure and orderly aesthetics.

According to some sources, it was most desirable to have the paths wide enough for an ox cart to turn around. While today we’re not likely to have an ox cart, much of the gardening knowledge the pioneers brought with them is still relevant. Pioneers practised crop rotation to prevent infestations of insects such as root worm, believing prevention to be preferable to treatment of an infestation. Composting, or manuring, was composed of one part mineral (ashes, lime, sand or clay depending on soil type), five parts vegetable matter (weeds, straw, bark or sawdust) and six parts animal manure.

Kitchen gardens would have been a mix of vegetables, flowers, fruit and herbs. Varieties we now refer to as heirloom were grown, including sugar pie pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) and citron melon (Citrullus lanatus). Village gardeners would blanch the stems of cardoon, an artichoke-like vegetable that is an edible thistle, by tying straw ropes around the base to prevent sun exposure. Once the white stems had been harvested, they were marinated overnight in oil, then pan-fried with bread crumbs – yum!

So nowadays when you tuck a few leaf lettuce or cucumber plants in among your roses, it won’t be for mere survival, but you will be part of a continuum of rich garden traditions in Canada.

Jannette Porter, who works at Black Creek Pioneer Village, is very thankful she doesn’t have to grow veggies to survive, but grows some anyway.

[image: tk from Pioneer Village? Waiting for response from Jannette]

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Cucumbers ready to harvest in our Groundbreaking Food Garden Fri, 12 Sep 2014 01:36:35 +0000

Paul Zammit gives a fall update on this year’s Kitchen Garden inspired by Niki Jabbour’s new book, Groundbreaking Food Gardens.


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One-Day Agave Sale in Shop Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:31:27 +0000 In celebration of the great plantsman John Massey, the Garden Shop is having a one-day Agave sale on Thursday, September 11, 2014.

Assorted Agave,  $14.99 each or three plants (mix and match) for $30**.  While supplies last. Taxes extra.

Selections include:
Agave ‘Fatal Attraction’, Agave ‘Baccaret’, Agave titanota, Agave parryi ssp. truncata, Agave gentiyi ‘Jaws’, Agave ‘Crème Brulee’, Agave ‘Cream Spike’, Agave filifera ssp. schidigera ‘Shira ito no Ohi’ (Queen of White Thread-leaf Agave) and X Mangave ‘Bloodspot’

**no further discounts apply

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Allan Gardens Tours Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:52:51 +0000 Enjoy a 60-minute tour of the historic greenhouses in downtown Toronto showcasing the fragrant spring bulb show in spring, the splendour of chrysanthemums in fall and the seasonal plantings of poinsettias in December.  Our friendly, knowledgeable, fully-trained guides will take you through the five conservatories.  Allan Gardens Conservatory is more than 100 years old and has over 16,000 square feet of greenhouse area. Step into this truly beautiful and historic indoor garden of tropical plants, from palm trees to orchids and cacti.

Available: January through March /  September through May

Tour Fee: $8 per person ($5 for seniors/children), $25 cancellation fee charged without 48 hours notice.

Custom Tours: We would be happy to custom-tailor a nominally priced tour package to fit your group’s needs.

Conditions: Reservations are required. Please book at least two weeks in advance. Minimum 15 people are required to book a private tour. $25 cancellation fee. Tours will run as scheduled unless there is inclement or severe weather.


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T. 416-397-4145

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Build it and They Will Grow Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:52:48 +0000 What would Paul Zammit’s veggie garden look like? In an interview with the TBG’s Director of Horticulture, Trellis editor Lorraine Flanigan gets the scoop on how to grow the best crop on the block.

Trellis: After reading Mark Cullen’s tips on building a vegetable plot, we know that vegetables need lots of sun and that the garden should have rich, crumbly soil and be close to a source of water, but what else do we often forget when choosing a site?
Zammit: Wind exposure: drying winds increase plants’ demands for water. And, as you say, full sun is best, but some leafy veggies will grow in part sun. However, the more sun the better – and the yummier too!

Trellis: There’s been lots of talk about not disturbing micro-organisms in the soil. Does this mean we shouldn’t dig or rototill?
Zammit: I did research in university on the impact of tilling and fertilizer on soil microbe populations – it’s a rather scary story. Whenever possible, I’m a fan of no-dig gardening. However, depending on how the area was previously used or the makeup of the existing soil, I often recommend turning over the earth when creating a new bed or expanding an old one. And I prefer the shovel/dig method rather than rototilling. It’s also important to keep soil compaction to a minimum. When working in your beds, lay down boards to avoid stepping on the soil. If treading on the soil is unavoidable, loosen it where you have stepped. To reduce compaction from foot traffic, use mulched maintenance paths.

Trellis: What’s the most important organic amendment you can add to a veggie plot?
Zammit: Don’t get me started. I have been preaching this for years: when gardening in the ground, feed the soil! Feed the worms, bacteria, fungi and everything else that lives there. These are silent workers that break down organic matter, making nutrients available to plants. Add as much composted organic matter to the soil as possible. I’m a big fan of composted manure – especially rabbit manure. It’s fantastic! If manure is not available, apply composted kitchen waste. Shredded leaves applied as a mulch in late fall can be an excellent source of organic matter. The next spring, you can hear the worms “singing” as they work the leaves into the ground. Whether it’s clay or sandy soil, the solution is the same, add organic matter.

Trellis: Is there a trick to knowing what to plant where?
Zammit: Research, experience, learning from others – including parents and grandparents – and good record-keeping go a long way to helping you plan your garden. Also, consider the mature plant size and height: avoid planting tall vegetables where they might shade shorter ones. Don’t forget to make use of vertical space. For vines such a cucumber or beans, plant an early crop underneath their supports that will grow, mature and be harvested before the vines shade them out. For example, grow a crop of quick-maturing radishes under an obelisk of cucumbers. Learn to maximize the use of your space.

Trellis: Would you recommend mixing veggies and herbs in the same plot?
Zammit: I love to mix them up. I’m a big fan of using parsley and sage as edging plants in the veggie garden – and in perennial borders. Rosemary, too. All of these are fragrant when you brush up against them, cold-tolerant so they last well into the fall, relatively pest free and just nice to look at.

Trellis: Can you grow ornamentals with your veggies?
Zammit: Why not? I’m a fan of sowing leaf lettuce or mesclun mix around spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips. This confused people at the garden centre where I once worked. I just loved it! Follow up later with a planting of nasturtiums to cover the maturing foliage of the bulbs. Get the most colour, beauty and yummy treats you can from every square inch of the garden.

Trellis: Does companion planting really work? What are the best combos?
Zammit: There a number of great lists of companion plantings available. One that works for me is planting edible marigolds (Tagetes tenuifolia) around tomatoes. The poor marigolds get devoured by insect pests, sparing the tomatoes – at least for the time being. I also just recently learned from Marjorie Mason that marigolds keep cabbage butterflies away from cabbages. Apparently they become disoriented by the scent. Fun! Garlic has the same effect. It helps keep aphids away from plants such as roses and raspberries – it’s also pretty effective in keeping people away from each other.

Trellis: It’s there an advantage or disadvantage to sowing veggies in rows?
Zammit: Planting in rows offers the best exposure to sunlight and allows for proper spacing of plants. And the spacing between rows can often help reduce the spread of some pests and diseases. Growing in rows also helps to control weeds.

Trellis: How wide should pathways be and how do you prevent them from getting muddy in the rain?
Zammit: I recommend a width of about 30 to 45 centimetres (12 to 18 inches) – enough space to allow you to move between the rows and enough space for bending down and kneeling to harvest. I like using a straw mulch, which slowly breaks down over time and adds organic matter to the soil. This also helps reduce soil compaction. Another option is shredded leaves or cedar. It’s also important to avoid walking on soils that are too wet, as it can easily cause soil compaction.

Lorraine Flanigan is editor of Trellis and a Master Gardener.

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Visit the Garden Shop for a Complete Selection of Fall Bulbs Fri, 29 Aug 2014 12:00:27 +0000 New this fall, the Garden Shop is pleased to offer a mixture of 80 spring flowering bulbs carefully selected to help support spring feeding pollinators in the garden. The bulbs are packaged in a convenient canvas carrying bag. A great hostess gift!

Save 20 per cent* on all regularly priced packaged bulbs when you purchase three or more (mix and match).

*no additional discounts apply

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Photography Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:42:02 +0000 Twilight in the Garden
Wednesday, September 24, 6 to 8 p.m.
Public $32; Members $25
Bring your tripod and flashlights and see what happens in the garden after the sun sets. Learn how to use your external flash to balance light in the shadows.
[PG14S41] Mark Trusz


Foundations of Photography
Wednesday, October 8, 1 to 5 p.m.
Public $55; Members $45
Learn to use your digital camera with confidence! Learn the basics of digital photography in a friendly atmosphere, including demos and guided exercises.
[PG14F20] Mark Trusz



Capturing Fall Colour
Wednesday, October 22, 1 to 5 p.m.
Public $48; Members $40
Take a walk through beautiful Edwards Gardens while learning how to capture the splendour of fall colour with your camera. With a mix of compositional tips and technical advice, Mark will guide you through the steps for successful autumn photographs. Prerequisite: Foundations of Photography course, or comfortable working knowledge of your camera.
[PG14F21] Mark Trusz



Scenic Snowy Photography
Wednesday, January 21, 1 to 5 p.m.
Public $48; Members $40
Make the most of winter with scenic landscapes and snow-covered plants providing many wonderful photo opportunities that you will want to brave the cold for! Learn how to prepare yourself and your camera for taking winter photographs, then head outside and discover how to take great photos in challenging winter light conditions or weather. Prerequisite: Foundations of Photography course, or comfortable working knowledge of your camera.
[PG14W03] Mark Trusz



Bring your own fully charged digital camera and its manual.

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