Of all the native trees, none is more enchanting in flower than the redbud (Cercis canadensis), shown here in full bloom in late May in Nature’s Garden. Once the small pea-like flowers wither and fall, large, heart-shaped leaves emerge. They turn bright gold-yellow in autumn.

Instructor Bios

Veronica Callinan is the chair of the Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society and past president of the East York Garden Club. She’s a Toronto Master Gardener and is involved with the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. Her East York garden is a Certified Backyard Habitat, recognized by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. www.torontomastergardeners.ca

Ellen Clark is an experienced floral designer who has entered shows locally, nationally and internationally. She is an accredited Horticultural Judge, and is in the process of becoming a Floral Design Judge. She prefers to use flowers and plant material from the garden whenever possible, and likes to gather plant material  along the wayside or in the woods. She is a member of The Garden Club of Toronto, the North Toronto Horticultural Society, and the American Ivy Society, Ontario branch.

The Compost Council of Canada is a national non-profit, member-driven organization with a charter to advocate and advance organics residuals recycling and compost use. It serves as the central resource and network for the compost industry in Canada and, through its members, contributes to the environmental sustainability of the communities in which they operate. www.compost.org

Marilyn Cornwell is a photographer who explores two realms—the magic and wonder of plants and gardens in the natural world and the everyday decay in the urban environment. The highlight of her Toronto garden was an antique conservatory greenhouse which she took with her to her new location in Grimsby. www.marilyncornwell.com

Oliver Couto, an urban beekeeper with the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative, specializes in apitherapy, healing with bee products. www.thebeeshop.net, www.torontobees.ca

Janet Croken has been practising yoga for 25 years and teaching it for 13 years. In addition to more traditional yoga practices, her classes are informed by extensive studies in movement explorations, continuum, developmental and authentic movement and contemplative dance. As a registered massage therapist with 31 years of experience, Janet brings a wealth of musculoskeletal knowledge to her classes. Her lifelong passion in working with the body either on the table or on the mat is evident in her teaching. Her classes encourage a balance between strength, endurance, flexibility and, most important of all, a quiet mind and calm even breath.

Lee Earl: Lee is a knowledgeable naturalist, wildcrafter and educator who plays and teaches in the wild spaces of southern Ontario. She has played a key role in both formal and informal programming at Evergreen Brick Works and will share some of her inquiry-based approaches which ensure fun, hands-on experiences.

Darren Heimbecker is the owner of Whistling Gardens. Darren worked at a nursery for 18 years as a propagator, shipper and field manager before branching out on his own. Whistling Gardens nursery and garden centre got its official start in 2006. Since then, he has attracted garden savvy plant collectors from across Canada and the United States. www.whistlinggardens.ca

William Ho is an internationally renowned artist, Goodwill Ambassador of Love and Hope, Founder of the One Heart Beat around the World movement, thinker, speaker, writer, humanitarian and environmentalist, famous for his poetic art creations and passionate speech. Mr. Ho creates world class art for international organizations, including the UN. His art has been exhibited and installed in international museums, galleries, public venues such as the UN Headquarters, Parliament Hill of Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Museum of Nature, Royal Ontario Museum,  Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as in important private and public collections around the world. www.williamhoart.com

Maureen Hulbert is a Toronto Master Gardener and enjoys speaking to community groups to share her love of the always fascinating world of plants. She also designs and installs unique plant-focused gardens for residential customers in Toronto with her company, Down to Earth Gardens & Design. Her own garden on the Taylor Creek ravine in east Toronto helped foster her particular interests in trees and pruning, plant identification and native plants. www.downtoearthtoronto.com

Connie Hunter is a member of Toronto Master Gardeners, trained horticulturists who volunteer their time to provide free advice and guidance. Master Gardeners have successfully completed university horticultural studies and engage in continuous learning through monthly lectures, an annual conference and ongoing training and research. Connie has both large mixed borders and vegetables gardens at her home on top of the Niagara Escarpment northwest of Toronto.  www.torontomastergardener.ca

Marion Jarvie is a passionate plantswoman who has been gardening in Thornhill for more than 30 years. She loves plants and invites any and all to her garden where you will find the hardiest of varieties side by side with plants from all over the world. Marion has been involved with both the Toronto and international gardening communities. Marion is an accomplished photographer and enthusiastic educator. She teaches regularly at Toronto Botanical Garden and has lectured across North America and in the United Kingdom.  www.marionjarvie.ca

Lisa Kates, a.k.a. A Food Gypsy, creates, cooks and delivers delicious batches of soup around Toronto. Her soups aren’t planned months in advance but rather take their cues from the produce available at the market. Lisa’s soups are 100 per cent vegetarian with local ingredients, no trans fats and no dairy.

Frank Kershaw is an award-winning horticulturist with more than 30 years of experience in the parks, environment and horticultural fields. He has both a master of science degree from the University of Toronto and a diploma in horticulture from the University of Guelph. A popular garden presenter at many garden shows and special events, Frank has led numerous garden tours to various parts of the globe and has photographed several thousand gardens. In addition to his work at George Brown College, he is actively involved in teaching horticulture and gardening programs at Toronto Botanical Garden. In 1997 he received the Award of Honour from the Garden Club of Toronto for his outstanding contribution to horticulture.

Cathy Kozma, a Toronto Master Gardener and chair of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative, is a popular speaker in both beekeeping and horticultural society circles. www.torontobees.ca

Anna Leggatt, Master Gardener Emeritus, has been a nature interpreter at the Kortright Centre for Conservation for more than 20 years and is a longtime TBG instructor. www.torontomastergardeners.ca

Jim Lounsbery has been active in the horticultural field for the past 25 years. He is the manager and instructor of the horticulture landscape and design certificate program at Mohawk College and has taught horticultural courses at Niagara Parks, Niagara College and Humber College. A certified arborist and past supervisor of arboretum and trails system at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Jim has lectured extensively throughout North America on numerous garden topics. He is the co-owner of Vineland Nurseries, which specializes in unusual plants. www.vinelandnurseries.com

Moira Mudie studied oriental art techniques with a master in Hong Kong more than 40 years ago. Since then, her focus has been on Canadian subject material but incorporating the Lingnam philosophy of capturing the “spirit” in her paintings. She works on rice paper using bamboo brushes, ink she grinds herself and transparent washes. In recent years, she has taught at the University of Toronto, Toronto Botanical Garden and privately at her Rainbow Bridge studio, as well as giving workshops at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. She has exhibited at numerous galleries and has written and illustrated the book The Chi of the Dragon, which explains the symbolism and philosophy of oriental art. She is a member of the Ontario Chinese Artists Association and serves on the executives of the Sumi-e Artists of Canada, the Sumi-e Society of America and the Toronto Heliconian Club.  www.moiramudie.com

Natalia Nekrassova, the curator of collections and research at the Textile Museum of Canada, holds a masters degree in art history from Moscow State University. She has more than 30 years of experience as a museum curator. Before joining the Textile Museum in 2002, she was a senior researcher, keeper of rugs and decorative art collections at the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow. She has curated many exhibitions of traditional art and textiles in Moscow and abroad in collaboration with museums in Europe and Asia. She was an expert/consultant on oriental rugs with the Russian Ministry of Culture and lectured on Islamic art at the Moscow Islamic University. www.textilemuseum.ca

Margaret Nevett is a Registered Horticultural Therapist. Her company, Gardening For Life, provides Horticultural Therapy consultation and individualized programs in long term care and rehabilitation facilities. Margaret’s passion for garden making developed through studies in horticulture from the University of Guelph, garden design with international garden designer John Brookes, and Horticultural Therapy training in Ontario and British Columbia. www.GardeningForLife.ca

Mylee Nordin, a staff beekeeper for the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative, learned her skills as an apprentice and inspector for Manitoba Agriculture. www.torontobees.ca

Zachary Osborne is the head librarian at TBG’s Weston Family Library. He has a master of information studies in library and information science from the University of Toronto and has worked in many types of special libraries such as the Royal Ontario Museum Library and Archives, the University of Toronto Libraries and De Beers Canada Inc. He is passionate about special collections and social media in libraries and is currently developing a healthy obsession with collecting houseplants.

Dr. John Oyston is a physician in Scarborough, Ontario, and a landowner with a 100 acre property in Northumberland County between Port Hope and Peterborough. He has planted a three acre prairie and more than 2,500 native trees, including more than 120 different native Ontario trees and shrubs. He battles with buckthorn and other invasive species on his property. He has the ontario diploma in horticulture from the University of Guelph and is a director of the North American Native Plant Society. www.nanps.org

Hoda Paripoush, director of the Sloane Tea Company, is a certified tea sommelier, having studied at the Tea Sommelier Program of Canada and the Tea Council Specialty Institute of the Tea Council of the U.S.A., and is a member of the Tea Association of both Canada and the United States. She is passionate about tea and makes it her mission to educate and delight the public via tea education and tasting events. www.sloanetea.com

Nellie Sue Potter lives in Ontario where she studies and paints the plants of the oak savannah habitat of the Great Lakes. She teaches botanical art across Toronto including at TBG and the Royal Ontario Museum. She has an extensive background in studio art and holds a degree in art history from the University of North Carolina. As a botanical artist for the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG), Nellie Sue illustrated a trail guide for an area of North Carolina which had escaped glaciation and was unique in its biodiversity. Nellie Sue received awards for her artwork in the First and Second Annual Juried Exhibitions of the Botanical Artists of Canada. She has served as programs director, exhibition director and president of that organization. She is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation and the American Society of Botanical Artists. www.natureartstudio.ca

Paul. B. Redman is the director of Longwood Gardens. In addition to his duties at Longwood, Paul is president of the board of directors for the American Public Gardens Association and serves on the boards of The Garden Conservancy and Greater Philadelphia Gardens collaborative. He is also a member of the advisory board for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Delaware, an honorary member of The Garden Club of America and serves on the executive committee for the Longwood Graduate Fellowship. Paul has been working and studying in the field of public horticulture for more than 20 years. Prior to his appointment at Longwood, he served as the executive director of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio. He received his B.S. and M.S. in horticulture from Oklahoma State University. www.longwoodgardens.org

Tom Shields came home with his first orchids, three Cymbidium hybrids, in 1985. Encouraged by a friend in the florist trade who assured him that “you can’t kill the things,” Tom nevertheless managed to dispatch two of them over the winter. Not easily discouraged, Tom set about researching what went wrong. He soon realized that orchids require different care than typical houseplants. He devoured books, talked to horticulturalists and suppliers, joined the Southern Ontario Orchid Society (SOOS) and built better growing areas. The surviving Cymbidium responded, and soon Tom started adding other orchids to his collection. In 2007, 22 years after rescuing it from his own naiveté, Tom entered his Cymbidium in the Toronto Artistic Orchid Association show, where its 122 flowers won it Best Cymbidium in Show. Today, Tom grows hundreds of orchids, mainly species. He is also a longstanding member of SOOS’s Conservation Committee, which works to ensure the protection of native orchids and their habitats.

Zak Smith has been a nature interpreter for the past three years with the High Park Nature Centre and completed his teaching degree at OISE/U of T in 2010. Zak teaches nature education programs for the Toronto District School Board as well as working at the High Park Nature Centre where he guides family nature walks that explore the flora and fauna of Toronto’s biggest park. Zak feels that all people have the ability to connect with the nature around them, even in the urban jungle. His has a particular passion for the millions of birds passing through and over the Toronto landscape during migration seasons, and he has led workshops introducing people to birding. He looks forward to introducing his love and enthusiasm for the natural world to others at TBG.

Leslie Staple is an award-winning botanical artist and founding member of the Botanical Artists of Canada. Leslie has exhibited her work in numerous group exhibitions in and around Toronto and with the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York City. She is also involved in putting on workshops and critique nights and organizing botanical art shows for groups such as the Canada Blooms Annual Juried Botanical Art Exhibition and the John B. Aird Gallery. In addition to giving private lessons and community workshops, Leslie has regularly taught botanical drawing and watercolour classes at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Botanical Garden. Her awards include first place at both the Southern Ontario Orchid Society Show and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Her work can be found in private collections across Canada.

Danette Steele, M.A., R.H. (OHA), has more than 25 years of experience as a wise woman/clinical herbalist. Danette has a busy private herbal clinical practice in both Toronto and Halifax. She consults and teaches widely on self-sufficiency and sustainable practices for health and wellness using medicinal plants. Danette brings a participant-focused approach to her teaching and is committed to a joyous and rigorous herbal learning experience — whether through workshops, city weed walks, herbal intensives or on-line courses.

Vera Stern was drawn to learn more about Qi Gong and found Master Teresa Yeung of Wu & Yeung ® Qi Gong Wellness Institute. Practising Qi Gong daily help her greatly. She started feeling even better and the pain improved so much so that she eventually stopped taking medication. With this personal health achievement, she was drawn to help share this ancient healing power. “Qi Gong to me is opening a direct path to healing with use of the creative Qi energy. I am glad to share and teach others who are in need and interested.” www.masterteresa.com/vera-stern.html

Margaret Taylor is the coordinator of the floral design certificate program at TBG and is responsible for all courses and materials used in the program. Margaret has been involved in floral design for 15 years and is an accredited floral design, horticulture and rose judge and has taught, demonstrated and judged internationally. She has won awards for her designs at major shows and represented Canada at the last World Association of Flower Arrangers held in Boston in 2011. She is a member of the Garden Club of Toronto, the North Toronto Horticultural Association, the Canadian Rose Society and Ikebana International. She has a huge love of gardens and floral design. She has been involved with Canada Blooms for many years on the show committee and chaired the 2013 triennial show of the Garden Clubs of Ontario called Made In Canada.

Mark Trusz is a photographer and an enthusiastic photography instructor at TBG, the Toronto District School Board, as well as offering his own workshops. As long as he can remember, he’s had a camera in his hand and used to find peace in his darkroom all hours of the day or night. For 10 years, he has been learning all about digital imaging technologies. Mark is past president of Gallery 44, a non-profit artist-run centre in Toronto. Gallery 44celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2000 as a leading supporter of Canadian contemporary photographic artists. www.gallery44.org

Pat Ware is a design, horticultural and rose judge. She is a former president of Milne House Garden Club and is an active member of the North Toronto Horticultural Society.

Paul Zammit is the Nancy Eaton director of horticulture at TBG and a graduate of the University of Guelph. He was previously the perennial department manager for almost two decades at Plant World, a large retail garden centre. He is a regular speaker at garden clubs and horticultural trade shows across Canada and in the United States and has given presentations in Germany, Switzerland and Bermuda. He has appeared both on television and in print. www.paulzammit.ca

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