Spring/Summer 2018 Instructor Bios

Ada Hirschler
Teaching: Sogetsu Ikebana



Alan Colley’s spirit name is Whooping Crane and he is Wolf Clan. Alan is the creator of Toronto Aboriginal Eco Tours, a company which honours the traditional Indigenous way of life and also allows for mainstream concepts of tourism and experiential learning. His goal is to bring together – in a traditional way – elders, adults, youth and children to make a difference while applying the seven Grandfather Teachings, 13 Grandmother Moon Teachings and the Medicine Wheel Teachings. Alan is the father of three young active boys and an avid fisherman. Teaching:  Indigenous Learning in Wilket Creek Ravine



Alan Li is an artist with a focus on nature. He supports conservation efforts through the sale of his artwork and is active in volunteering. Alan believes that drawing can open people’s eyes to the planet’s wondrous diversity and show them that it matters. Alan grew up near the Niagara Escarpment and spent much of his childhood exploring the cliffs and forests. Those early encounters with nature have influenced both the direction of his life and choice of subject matter for his art. He currently pursues his own projects, teaches nature drawing workshops and collaborates with grassroot environmental groups. www.alanlidrawings.com
Teaching: Garden Sketching 101 and Smartphone Nature Photography for Beginners



Cathy Kozma is a Toronto Master Gardener and chair of the Toronto Beekeepers Co-operative, is a popular speaker in both beekeeping and horticultural society circles. http://www.beesarelife.ca/
Teaching: Honey Tasting



As an accredited Garden Clubs of Ontario Floral Design Judge (06),  and an accredited Horticultural Judge of the Royal Botanical Gardens School for Horticultural Judges, Instructors and Exhibitors (11), Celia  Roberts has given many workshops. She teaches at the Toronto Botanic Gardens, the Garden Club of Toronto, and across Ontario to the Ontario Horticultural Association Judging Schools and Judging Update workshops.  Celia also teaches and demonstrates and gives workshops at many Garden Clubs and Horticultural Societies.  She is an exhibitor at Canada Blooms and at the World Association of Flower Arrangers. Celia won a Silver Award at the 2014 World Association of Floral Artists show in Dublin Ireland.  This year she was honoured to represent Canada as a Judge at the World Association of Floral Artists flower show in Barbados.
Teaching: Modern Floral Design



Danette Steele is a professional herbalist and is registered to practice with the Ontario Herbalists Association. She has a clinical practice in Toronto and Halifax and teaches widely throughout Ontario and Nova Scotia. Danette has been planting gardens and farming since she was 3 years old – and she loves to plant beautiful, edible gardens filled with plant medicines for people and pollinators! http://www.danette-steele.com/
Teaching: Springtime Herbal Delights



Donna Deboehmler
Teaching: Balcony Gardening



Fergus Garrett has been head gardener at Great Dixter in East Sussex since 1993, and took over as CEO of The Great Dixter Charitable Trust in 2006. He is passionate about sharing garden knowledge and skills and does so through internships offered at Great Dixter, writing and lectures, which he gives around the world. Fergus is especially interested in ecology and how an ornamental garden and biodiversity interact. Among other awards, he has won the Royal Horticultural Society Veitch Memorial Medal for outstanding contribution to the practice of horticulture. Teaching: Designing with Plants, the Great Dixter Way



Gabriela Delworth is a Toronto Lifestyle Blogger, DIY Author and Designer. http://www.gabrieladelworth.com/
Teaching: Flower-pressed Bracelet



Hannah Hunter is Fresh City’s Farm Manager. She loves spreading her excitement about growing food by hosting visitors to the farm. Dee Buryk is Fresh City’s Certified Nutritional Practitioner. Dee loves inspiring people to understand how simple changes in our lives can make major changes in how we feel about our bodies.
Teaching: Fresh City Farms Tour



Heather Allen is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and real food advocate. She helps simplify the confusing world of nutrition via 1-on-1 consultations, workshops, group programs and seminars. She is a super smart nutrition warrior with a contagious spirit and an all-encompassing, real-deal approach to health & wellness. Heather acknowledges that community and social interaction is an important part for living your most awesome life. As a result, she co-founded ByNature where she hosts workshops, events and retreats to help people connect “offline” while learning new skills such as DIY natural body care products, fermentation 101 and so much more. For more information about Heather, check out her website.
Teaching: Eating for Energy and Making Sense of Food Labels



Jane Hayes, M.E.S., B.A., PDC is a permaculture designer, regenerative community developer, and entrepreneur. Through Garden Jane, she coaches communities and leaders,
helping them establish projects, programs and livelihoods. Through Hoffmann Hayes, Jane helps condo developers and dwellers to grow healthy food and garden communities. Some of
Jane’s earlier work includes establishing the City of Toronto Children’s Garden and contributing to the improvement of the City’s Community Garden program and Evergreen’s Learning Ground program.
Teaching: Intro to Permaculture



Jessica Gale owns and runs Sweet Gale Gardens a small-scale, ecological flower farm near Hamilton, ON that offers unique and heirloom blooms for weddings, markets, wholesale and by subscription. SGG also offers garden design services, farm and garden workshops and performs on-farm research from Ecological Farmers of Ontario.
Teaching: Hand-gathered Bouquet and Seasonal Urns



Leslie Staple is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art. While majoring in textiles, her love of colour, pattern and texture inspired her to take up painting the plant world! Leslie has been exhibiting her botanical watercolours in numerous group shows since 1998, has had two solo shows and won two first place awards. She has been instructing botanical drawing and watercolour courses, community workshops and private lessons since 2001.
Teaching: Botanical Art



Lil Taggart is an accredited Design Judge, Instructor and Demonstrator and has had ribbon winning Floral Designs exhibited at W.A.F.A., (World Association of Flower Arrangers), Successful Gardening, GCO Triennial Show, O.H.A. Conventions, Canada Blooms, Regional Lily Show, etc. She continues to take classes and assist with or organize various workshops. Like many, she is an addict and loves to share the beauty of Floral Art.
Teaching: Classic Design Fundamentals I and Classic Design Fundamentals II



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
Teaching: Horticultural Therapy Module Four: – Horticultural Therapy Management & Community Development



Margaret Taylor is the coordinator of the floral design certificate program at TBG. Margaret has been involved in floral design for 18 years and is an accredited floral design, horticulture and rose judge and has taught, demonstrated and judged internationally. 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.
Teaching: Advanced Modern Design, Fun with Flowers and Classic Design Fundamentals II



Mark Stewart is a librarian specializing in horticulture. He is currently the Knowledge Resources Manager at Toronto Botanical Garden and has previously worked in the library of Longwood Gardens. He is the proud care-taker of well over 100 houseplants (and counting).
Teaching: House Plant Propagation and Care



Michael Spillane has a broad and eclectic background both in the arts and natural sciences. Together with his early interests in botanical science and the natural world, Michael pursued his love of the arts. He studied botanical art and classical drawing and painting techniques and holds a diploma in illustration and design along with other academic qualifications in horticulture, botany and music. Michael has held positions of editor and art director for two Canadian national magazines and has written over 300 articles worldwide. He is a former editor of Canada’s Plant & Garden magazine. Michael teaches botanical drawing and painting at his studio in Mississauga – Spillane Studio of Fine Arts. His own work includes detailed and accurately rendered botanical paintings and classical still life vignettes. Michael works in oil on canvas on a fairly large scale and also paints smaller still life subjects on linen canvas and wood panels. He also uses watercolour and various drawing mediums in his botanical drawings and paintings.  http://www.spillane-arts.com/
Teaching: Drawing Plants



Dr. Michelle Pobega, ND has been successfully treating patients in Toronto since 2009 and runs an independent private practice with a focused interest in digestive health and stress management. Michelle hopes to inspire patients to better understand their bodies so they can find their unique balance, and not just survive but thrive. https://drmichellend.ca/
Teaching: Naturopathic Medicine 101 and Love the Skin You’re In



Nancy Lee-Colibaba, Royal Botanical Garden
Teaching: Horticultural Therapy Intensive workshop



Oliver Couto is an urban beekeeper and one of the co-chairs of the Toronto Beekeepers Collective and one of the instructors of the introductory beekeeping course at the TBG. He is producing The Sacred Bee film series and is owner of The Bee Shop in Toronto.
Teaching: Hive Apitherapy



Pat Ware has enjoyed teaching a number of different Floral Design Courses at the Toronto Botanical Gardens. She is a Design, Horticulture and Rose Judge. Pat continues to participate in and learn about Floral Artistry at local, Provincial and international levels.
Teaching: Classic Design Fundamentals I



Paul Zammit is the Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden. A graduate of the University of Guelph, Paul was formerly employed at Plant World, a large retail garden centre where he was the perennial department manager. He is a regular speaker at garden clubs and horticultural trade shows across Canada and in the United States. He has appeared both on television and in print.
Teaching: Container Gardening: Drama for Every Season



Gardening as been Sean James‘ hobby and profession for over 30 years. A graduate of Niagara parks School of Horticulture, a master gardener, writer and teacher, Sean focuses on eco-gardening techniques, which makes sense since he grew up surrounded by nature near Crawford Lake. He sits on several environmental committees and has appeared on several television and radio shows. Sean ran Fern Ridge Landscaping & Eco-consulting for over 20 years, recently handing it over to his leadership team. He now owns “Sean James Consulting & Design” focusing on teaching, speaking, writing, designing and consulting.
Teaching: Bringing Back the Nearly Dead: Renovating an Existing Garden, Ornamental Ways to Handle Rainwater and Rocks, Blocks and Wood: Understanding Hard Landscaping



Writer by profession and planting designer by passion, Tony Spencer is the creative force behind The New Perennialist, an award-winning blog exploring the frontiers of naturalistic
garden design. Deeply inspired by the work of Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf and others, Tony is a puckish ringleader in social media helping to capture the zeitgeist for a growing international and intergenerational community of plantspeople. He’s currently at work on experimental planting design projects at his country property in the rolling hills of Mono, Ontario. http://www.thenewperennialist.com/ http://www.thenewperennialist.com/
Teaching: Find your Inner Oudolf



Ursula Eley has been playing with flowers for over 20 years. She is an accredited judge of floral design and of horticulture. Floral design is a particular passion because it is always evolving, with great opportunities to try new techniques and ideas. Sharing that passion with others makes it even more special. Ursula’s designs have been featured in international journals. Recently, she won a 1st prize at the World Association of Floral Artists Show, 2017, in Barbados.
Teaching: Manipulating Foliage

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