Toronto Botanical Garden For all things gardening Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:56:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Media Release: Margaret Atwood and Dr. Paul Hebert to Receive Aster Awards Wed, 01 Oct 2014 23:51:32 +0000 Toronto Botanical Garden honours three Canadian stars for inspiring a passion for nature

Toronto, ON October 1, 2014— Toronto Botanical Garden is pleased to announce its second annual Aster Awards event on Thursday, November 20 at 6:30 p.m. “Aster” is inspired by the Greek word for “star”. Three of our Canadian stars, whose achievements in arts and science inspire us to preserve nature, will be honoured during the evening’s cocktail reception ceremony. The event will be hosted by one of Canada’s leading garden writers, Marjorie Harris, along with honourary chair renowned artist Charles Pachter. Tickets for the 2014 Aster Awards are $125 each ($1000 for 10), available online at or by phone 416-397-1321.

The recipients of the 2014 Toronto Botanical Garden Aster Award come from varied disciplines, but they share a common theme with the botanical garden world: a passion for nature. From exploring the consequences of human interaction with our environment, to DNA barcoding of all living organisms, the work of these extraordinary individuals has inspired us to embrace and defend the natural world.

This year’s Aster Award honourees are Margaret Atwood, renowned Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist and environmental activist, and Dr. Paul Hebert, Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life project, Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity, University of Guelph. The “Rising Star” Award recipient will be announced soon.

“Upon first hearing of Dr. Hebert’s visionary Barcode of Life project almost 10 years ago, it sounded straight out of science fiction to me”, says Harry Jongerden, TBG Executive Director. “If Dr. Hebert hadn’t envisioned the Barcode of Life, perhaps Margaret Atwood would have imagined it. The author and creator of imagined worlds, and of characters the likes of ‘God’s Gardeners’, connects us emotionally to nature, while the scientist provides us with the rigour to understand nature. We believe the pairing of this year’s recipients is very fitting, if not inspired.”

“The answers you receive from literature depend on the questions you pose. The same could be said of the answers you receive from learning about the environment”, says Margaret Atwood. “I am honoured to receive this award and hope to inspire many others to seek out ways to live in harmony with the natural environment and to preserve it for our future generations.”

What:              Toronto Botanical Garden Aster Awards
Who:               Margaret Atwood, Dr. Paul Hebert, Marjorie Harris, Charles Pachter
When:             Thursday, November 20, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Place:              Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto, ON
Tickets:           $125 each ($1000 for 10)
More Info: or 416-397-1321

About the Recipients:

Margaret Atwood is recognized at one of Canada’s most prominent and prolific contemporary writers. Greatly influence by her father’s occupation in entomological research, she discovered her interest in nature at a very early age. She actively supports numerous nature and conservation groups both in Canada and internationally. Ms. Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), the MaddAddam trilogy and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000.

Dr. Paul Hebert is best known for leading the development of DNA-based identification systems. In 2003 he propose barcoding as a way of distinguishing and identifying species with a short standardized gene sequence. He is now the Scientific Director of the International Barcode of Life Project, the largest program ever undertaken in biodiversity science and one involving researchers in 25 nations. His 400 publications have received more than 25,000 citations. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity at the University of Guelph where he is Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has honourary degrees from the Universities of Waterloo and Windsor.

About the 2014 Aster Awards
Toronto Botanical Garden recognized the achievements of three recipients who have made remarkable contributions using innovative expressions that not only support the mission of TBG, but support plants as natural capital for the greater good – ultimately, our well-being and survival.

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Toronto Botanical Garden offers a complete range of year-round, innovative, indoor and outdoor learning experiences for all ages, including programs, courses, classes, lectures, concerts, farmers’ market, garden tours, nature day camps and so much more. Our LEED Silver-Certified Building, with its energy-efficient sloping green roof, houses Canada’s largest private horticultural library, unique rental facilities and Garden Shop.  Visit our website:

Media Inquiries:

Jenny Rhodenizer, Director of Marketing & Communication
T. 416-397-1351 E.

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Fall and Winter in the Garden Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:56:24 +0000 Enjoy a  fall and winter photography tour of the Toronto Botanical Garden. All images Copyright Janet Davis 2008-2012.

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Summer in the Garden Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:55:26 +0000 Click on the images below to enjoy a captioned summer photography tour of the Toronto Botanical Garden. All images Copyright Janet Davis 2008-2012.

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Spring in the Garden Wed, 01 Oct 2014 21:01:20 +0000 Click on the images below to enjoy a captioned spring photography tour of the Toronto Botanical Garden. All images Copyright Janet Davis 2008-2012.

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Paul’s Plant Pick: Guests in the Garden Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:08:14 +0000 There has been  great deal of media attention regarding selecting plants for ones garden to attract and support pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies. Last week I caught a glimpse of another busy garden guest feeding on the vibrant tubular blue flowers of Salvia guaranitica Black and Blueplanted in one of the circular beds close to the Kitchen Garden. More of this eye catching annual can be seen in the black metal window boxes around the spiral mound. When I am asked to share tips on container gardening, I like to remind people that the plants we chose to combine in our containers should do more than just look good. As is the case with Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’, beautiful to look at and much loved by hummingbirds. Consider joining me of one of my upcoming container classes where I will share with you more of my timely tips on creating dramatic seasonal containers.

Pelargonium 'Balcon Pink', Balcon Pink Geraniums

I have also seen hummingbirds feeding on the blossoms of the Pelargonium ‘Balcon Pink’, Balcon Pink Geraniums planted in the window boxes lining the walking path to the top of the mound.

pineapple sage, Salvia elegans

You might also catch a peek of these busy little creatures sipping nectar from the brilliant red blossoms of the pineapple sage, Salvia elegans planted in both the Kitchen Garden and the Teaching Garden. Be sure to join us in the Teaching Garden this weekend for Harvest Day. Who knows, you might also catch glimpse of this guest in our gardens.

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Fun Selection of Pumpkins available at Harvest Day Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:50:49 +0000 VIDEO: Director of Horticulture Paul Zammit goes pumpkin hunting to get ready for our Harvest Day event this weekend.

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Floral Hall Wed, 24 Sep 2014 23:51:11 +0000 The Floral Hall is the largest space available. It features a soaring 20-foot ceiling and a series of skylights that offer a view of the passing clouds. The interior of pale oak woodwork, dark tiled floors, grey dry-stacked stone and neutral walls provide a blank canvas that is complemented by any décor. A stage, screen, sound system, lighting options and a convenient loading/receiving area accompany this unique and elegant space as well as a change room/green room and washrooms.

The hall has its own private garden courtyard, accessible through double glass doors. Walls of acid-etched glass, natural stone and espaliered fruit trees encircle this secluded space. Fragrant shrubs and white, flowering perennials make this elegant area ideally suited for evening enjoyment.

Area: 3,400 ft2
Minimum ceiling height: 16′
Maximum ceiling height: 20′

Theatre style seating: 350 people
Cocktail events: 350 people
Dinner seating (10 person round tables): 240 people
Dinner seating with dance floor: 200 people
Ceremony seating on patio: 120-140 people

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TBG Lecture Series Wed, 24 Sep 2014 20:15:38 +0000 The Big Reveal
Wednesday, November 5, 7:30 p.m.  (Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Gary Smith
TBG has been working on plans to create a sweeping new botanical garden that includes the glorious topography of Edwards Gardens. Join W. Gary Smith, lead consultant in this exciting development who will reveal TBG’s vision of a botanical garden worthy of a great city’s public support.

Lost in the Garden
Thursday, December 4, 7:30 p.m.
(Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
Paul Knowles
Join author, storyteller, mainstay of the Stratford Garden Festival and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal winner Paul Knowles in a celebration of the joy and delight of gardening. Welcome winter with helpful insights on how to cope during the toughest time of the gardener’s year and hear true confessions of Paul’s ridiculous gardening mistakes and mishaps as the finale to TBG’s Holiday Open House.

Come early to grab a light dinner or visit the shop for great member discounts. Dinners available at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Lecture begins at 7:30 p.m.
Members FREE (Bring a Friend for $10); Public $25; Students (with ID) $15. Door sales only.

All TBG lectures are generously supported by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and The S. Schulich Foundation.

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TBG Organic Farmers’ Market Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:01:58 +0000 The market takes place YEAR-ROUND on Thursdays, 2 to 7 p.m. (The market moves indoors during the winter).
Join us to meet organic farmers and buy local produce, bread, meat, cheese, honey, prepared food, and more! Come for your groceries, stay for dinner with your family. Free parking is available on site. Toronto Master Gardeners are also on hand, providing an Advice Clinic. The library wheels out a cart of previously loved gardening books for you to browse and buy.

Farmers Market web


The Backyard Urban Farm Co. (BUFCO)
The Backyard Urban Farm Company is a Toronto based, family-run business that serves the greater Toronto area and surrounds. We design, build, install and maintain organic vegetable gardens for homes, schools, corporate spaces, daycare centers and retirement facilities. There are so many ways you can grow your own food and we can show you how! It’s a fun, easy and relaxing activity for the whole family.

cookstown greens

Cookstown Greens
Located an hour north of Toronto, Cookstown Greens grows the very best vegetables, lettuce and seedlings and has been growing organically since 1988.  We are a family run business, and grow certified organic produce for chefs, food shops and farmers markets in and around the Toronto area. We pride ourselves on the quality and flavour of our vegetables and greatly appreciate the support of our customers.

good food for good web
Good Food for Good

We believe food should be made with only real ingredients found in a kitchen and should be consumed fresh and NOT several months after manufacturing! We also believe that the goal of a business is more than just the pursuit of profit. All of our products are handmade in Toronto using fresh and mostly organic and local ingredients, and contain absolutely no additives or preservatives – real or artificial. Our products are always made from fresh and whole ingredients and not powders, extracts or concentrates.

Golden Bless
With more than 100 years of experience in the production and trading of olive products, Karras Estates Produces Golden Bless extra virgin and organic extra virgin olive oil. Golden Bless is a blend of what believe is the finest olive oil varieties. Manaki, Koroneiki and Athenolia. The olives are hand harvested for quality and not quantiy. The oil is produced by cold extraction methods to maintaining organoleptic and anti-oxidant characteristics to produce EVOO with acidity well below 0.8.

game and poultry_web
Grand River Ecological Growers
We grew from the idea of connecting our communities with local, sustainably grown, organic food from family farms in the Perth, Waterloo and Wellington Regions of Southwestern Ontario. We began offering a seasonal box of organic produce grown by a few local farmers in 2009. Since then we have extended to offer a year-round box with an increasing variety of local fruits and vegetables from an expanding group of organic growers within the Grand River watershed.

green gate
Green Gate Farms
For over 96 years we have raised cattle on our farm outside Kitchener Ontario and even today we retain the same principles; ethically and naturally raised animals leading to a better quality product. We work with local suppliers to make as well as growing a large porton of our own feed to make sure our animals are getting the best  most balanced feed. We believe that being so involved in every  step of our animals lives ensures that our animals are happy  and healthy providing a healthier  product and peace of mind knowing that  our customers are contribting to sustainable and ethical food source.

hearty catering

Hearty Catering
Using the finest Seasonal and Organic ingredients, Hearty Catering’s innovative cuisine delights the senses and nourishes the body.  At Hearty Catering we emphasize Vegetarian, Vegan and Raw Cuisine, using local, seasonal vegetables and fruits, as well as dairy. We offer catering for a variety of events, including weddings, office lunches, conferences and it is our pleasure to work with you to create the perfect menu and event; we are happy to accommodate special dietary needs.

Intaba Mountain
This cosy and comfortable room is the smallest of the guest rooms at Epic Guest House and has a Queen size bed. Other features are a built-in wardrobe, desk and the accessible bathroom is across the passage, right outside the room. The bathroom has non-slip tiles, a roll-in shower with shower seat, grab-rails and complementary eco friendly bath products.

Marché 59
The new specialty food shop and bakery, marché 59 showcases certified organic, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables from P & H Farms in Ward II, Port Hope, and artisanal “daily bread”, baked on site.  The initial inspiration, to have much of the organic produce of the farm make its way to Port Hope and its surrounding communities, led to its location on historical Walton Street. Shopping throughout the week for bread and fresh fruit and vegetables is now within reach of a quick walk into town, as in the old days. The bakery, open all year, offers fresh artisan breads integrating farm ingredients into a wonderful worldwide variety of grains, some gluten free. 

Meadow Sweet Farm
We are a certified organic, four season vegetable, herb and mixed livestock farm located on some of the last prime agricultural land in the GTA. We firmly believe that if more Torontonians ate organic food we would be much healthier individuals and be a healthier community.

molly b's

Molly B’s Gluten-Free Kitchen

At Molly B’s, we are driven to create gluten-free tastes that remind us to take pause and enjoy the small things in life … like one of our delicious pizza crusts, thick flax seed or thin crust – piled high with our favourite toppings, or a slice of our crusty pumpernickel bread, thickly slathered with cream cheese and smoked salmon, or digging into a stack of crepes, dripping with organic butter and maple syrup, sizzly and melt-in-your mouth – or one of our brownies, chocolatey rich, moist and chewy…We could tempt you further by rambling on about our amazing array of baked goods, but we invite you to try us instead.Molly B’s is a gluten-free commercial bakery, with a variety of products available in stores and restaurants across Canada.

monforte dairy

Monforte Dairy
In a world gone mad for innovation and change, it’s the small pleasures that keep us sane. And in the constellation of small pleasures that salve the mind and nourish the body, what trumps the sheer sensual deliciousness of a well-crafted cheese? At Monforte, we’re convinced the small things do indeed make a difference, that agriculture is best practiced on a human scale, and that our cheeses, each in its own way, reflect something a  little deeper than the technology behind mass manufactured food – a little of the poetry and passion of life itself.

Ogao trading

OgaO Trading
OgaO Trading is a Toronto based import-export company, specialising in sale of herbal products. The Company was founded with over 20 years of herbal products sales experience and profound holistic medicine research. Our Company sells high quality health and beauty herbal products at great prices. Most of our products and ingredients originate from Mediterranean countries and Southern Europe. All our products have applicable certificates and attestations. Every product is diligently selected and tested before sale.

Osoleo Wildcrafters

p&h farms
P & H Farms

200-acre farm located on the high plains just northeast of the beautiful town of Port Hope. In 2009 the farm received organic certification. Its vegetable harvest includes Beans, corn, lettuces, melons, peas, radishes, spinach, and squash. In addition to vegetables, we also sell bread and other bakes good. P & H Farms is the operator the Toronto Botanical Garden Cafe located in the historic barn, adjacent to Edwards Gardens.

potager du kanada

Potager DuKanada
Potager duKanada is proud to be one of the Urban Farms to protect the land, trees and the environment, practicing Organic Methodology for a sustainable local fresh produce. Potager duKanada, within its means vows to help in cleaning the air we breathe, render the soil healthy and the water clear for the future generations to come.

Simplicité Foods
Thai and Indian influenced prepared foods: salads, stews, soups, chutneys and sauces

trillium farm

Trillium Organic Farm
Certified (ProCert) Organic. Market vegetables, herbs, some raspberries, ketchup from their tomatoes, sauerkraut, frozen chicken, eggs.

The Bee Shop

Our principal beekeeper Oliver Couto is a member of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-op and one of the instructors of the introductory beekeeping course at the Toronto Botanical Garden. We are distributors of Dutchman’s Gold and Annie’s Apitherapy. We have been involved in beekeeping for over 11 years. We promote urban beekeeping and give talks on Apitherapy which is healing with bee products.

master gardeners

Toronto Master Gardeners Advice Clinic
Get your questions answered at the free Toronto Master Gardeners Advice Clinic. The Toronto Master Gardeners are volunteers committed to providing the public with horticultural information, education and inspiration. The resources and services available through this site are designed to help Toronto residents use safe, effective, proven and sustainable horticultural practices to create gardens, landscapes and communities that are both vibrant and healthy.

Village Kanteen
At Village Kanteen we strongly believe that since we’re all going to eat for the rest of our life, why not eat well. We also feel that the spirit in which the food is cultivated, harvested and prepared is as important as the food itself. We are committed to transforming your relationship with food into a holistic and sensual experience, where taste does not have to be sacrificed for the sake of nutrition. Our team of Urban Farmers, Community Workers, including a Holistic Chef who is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, considers the practice of food cultivation, preparation and serving a sacred art. Only natural ingredients as they occur in nature mostly sourced from our gardens or local farmers are utilized; free of chemical additives, dyes, preservatives, artificial flavors or sweeteners. Our African inspired dishes are created with specially selected herbs and spices, with particular attention paid to taste, scent and texture, creating a deep and diverse range of flavors from sweet to savory and everything in between.


Wyndvale Heights Farm
We own a small farm in the lovely Beaver Valley area north of Toronto which borders Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment.  Our goal was to design a strong stake for my garden, something that would not break or easily bend. It was to have a simple, pleasant appearance and not be distracting from the beauty of the garden. We were so happy with the product that we decided to manufacture it and share this remarkable new stake that we named the PermaStakeTM.


Tawse Winery
Tawse is a family-owned estate winery situated on the lower slopes of the Niagara Escarpment.  At Tawse we unite traditional winemaking techniques with state-of-the-art technology to create wines of exceptional elegance, depth and character. Our fruit is harvested from old-growth, low-yield vines and gently handled using natural gravity flow and geothermic energy. We apply rigorous organic and biodynamic methods to every aspect of our wine production and Ecocert and Demeter seals now appear on all Tawse vintages made from our biodynamic vineyards.

Frogpond Farm
As Ontario’s first certified organic winery we take pride in crafting premium organic wines using only environmentally sustainable practices.  Since opening in 2001 we have expanded our product line, but remained true to our belief that harmony in nature is the prerequisite for great authentic wine.

Reimer Vineyards
Quality wine hand-crafted by winemaker, Art Reimer, a man passionate about his organic vineyards and his award-winning wines.


Collective Arts Brewing
We are a grassroots beer company fusing the craft of brewing with the inspired talents of emerging and seasoned artists, musicians, photographers & filmmakers. Our brewery is dedicated to promote artists and raise creative consciousness through the sociability of craft beer.

Black Oak Brewing Co.
Ken started the brewery back in 1999 in Oakville, Ontario. We then headed east to Etobicoke in 2008 and have been at our current facility ever since. We really, really care about the beer that we produce. We are sticklers for quality and are extremely careful with the production of our beer. We use premium ingredients, traditional brewing processes and lots of hard work to create our award winning beers. We want to provide you with fresh, hand crafted, local beer that matches the best in the world. Not only are the majority of our ingredients Canadian, but we also strive to ensure that the materials used are environmentally friendly.

If you are interested in participating as a vendor, joining our volunteer market committee, or performing as a musician, please contact the Market Manager


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Call for submissions: Gladstone Grow Op 2015 Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:00:54 +0000 Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel is pleased to announce the 3rd annual Gladstone Grow Op, a ten day exhibition celebrating innovative ideas and conceptual responses to landscape, gardens, art and place making under the theme: culture of landscape.Grow Op 2015 will facilitate a cross-disciplinary forum across a broad range of creative practices within the vibrant setting of Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood.

Grow Op 2015 seeks proposals from across North America ranging from horticultural initiatives to experimental and innovative landscape, art and community engagement projects. We seek proposals from individuals and/or new and existing collectives whose work engages with landscape, place and/or the natural world with the ultimate goal of creating an immersive exhibition that is both provocative and boundary pushing.  Grow Op 2015 offers an exciting venue to engage a large audience in a dialogue about the qualities and meaning behind the designed landscape both in the private garden and in our civic spaces.

Call for submissions for Gladstone Grow Op 2015 is now open. Click HERE for details.

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