MosaiCanada 150: Canada’s leading horticultural event of 2017

“It’s big, beautiful and billed as the largest horticultural event in Canada this summer. Gardeners and non-gardeners alike will appreciate its artistry. The opening in late June – close to Canada Day – celebrated 150 years of confederation. It attracted as many crowds as the fireworks and the rock concerts organized for Canada’s big birthday bash. Over the course of its run, the event is expected to attract about 1.2 million visitors in total.

These 33 gigantic sculptures are situated just across the river from Ottawa’s Parliament Hill. They meander through one kilometre of stone-dust pathways through the forested parkland in Jacques-Cartier Park, located in Gatineau, Quebec. It’s easy to spot – just follow the crowds lined up outside the gate.

MosaïCanada150 celebrates everything Canadian. Approximately three million plants have been used to create these sculptures, planted one by one by almost 100 gardeners into massive metal supporting frames sandwiched between layers of geotextile. This living exhibit celebrates Canada’s history, stories, legends and myths. All ten provinces and three territories are represented, as well as the country’s indigenous peoples…..

Read more at Source: Lee Valley Tools – Gardening Newsletter

Master Gardeners Contribute to Mind Body and Soul Workshop, Brampton

Mississauga Master Gardeners Phyllis Hall and Susan Quirk represented our group at the Mind Body and Soul workshop in Brampton last month.

Funded by the Employment Social Development Canada’s New Horizon for Seniors Program, the project is designed to prepare the South Asian boomer  population for their social life after retirement, including gardening. Phyllis and Susan held a gardening advise clinic there and spoke to attendees about their gardens and how to become a Master Gardener.

Over the next 10 months, the group will bring experts and professionals to run as many as 20 workshops, seminars, and other events within the cities of Mississauga and Brampton to socially engage South Asian baby boomers in many ways.

On Sunday, June 18, the Mind, Body & Soul hosted its inaugural workshop at Brampton’s Loafers Lake Recreation Centre, where residents over the age of 50 took part in a picture day and networking event. Councillor Gurpreet Dhillon and Brampton-East MP Raj Grewal were also in attendance.

You Know You’re Addicted to Gardening When… 

  1. You have a nagging desire pull out weeds in other people’s gardens.
  2. You steal the bags of leaves your neighbors put out on the street to use as compost or mulch.
  3. You can never get your fingernails clean
  4. You arrive early so you can be first in line when the botanical garden holds its rare plant sale.
  5. Your vacation plans are largely based on garden visits.
  6. Every home remodeling project includes more space for plants.
  7. When you get home after a hard day at work, you visit your garden before saying hello to your spouse.
  8. Total strangers recognize you as the person they saw wandering in a garden in pajamas holding a cup of coffee.
  9. There are always pots of unplanted plants at the end of your driveway.
  10. You have more pairs of gardening gloves than socks.
  11. You insist that every guest leave your house with a cutting or a division.

Read more below: there are a total of 50 counts in all; we gardeners are guilty of most of them!  Too funny!

Source: You Know You’re Addicted to Gardening When… – Laidback Gardener

Master Gardener Technical Update – Sunday Oct 15,2017 , London Ontario

Sunday, October 15, 2017

9:00 AM – 3:30 PM  

This event is open to all Master Gardeners. The full day session will qualify for 6 Continuing Education Credits. Space is limited to a maximum of 60 people. We will hold all spots for Master Gardeners until Sept 15th and will offer to the public after that.

We’re Going Native – 3 great speakers and topics!

Native Plant Guilds  – Ben Porchuk:   Ecologist, Carolinian Canada Coalition, Director: Restorative Nature Experiences

Native Trees and Shrubs – Kyle McLoughlin:  Climbing & Consulting Arborist, International Society of Arboriculture, Writer

Using Native Plants to Transform the Urban Landscape “In the Zone”  –  Michelle Kanter :   Carolinian Canada Coalition-ED, Biologist.

Location

London Civic Garden Complex 625 Springbank Drive, London, Ontario, N6K 4T1

Price

– Early bird registration by Sept 15th – $ 50 

– After September 15th – $60 

– Price includes morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, hot and cold beverages.

REGISTER HERE:

Source: Master Gardener Technical Update – Sunday Oct 15,2017 in London Ontario

Why you Shouldn’t Till Your Garden if you Love your Soil 

Tillers seem to be that go-to tool we’ve always used for what it was made to do – break up the earth. We till to clear a plot to start a garden, turn weeds under, or just mix up the soil.

But is tilling really the best way to get your soil in shape? While it might be the easiest and fastest way to start, it’s NOT the best way. No-till gardening is where it’s at. If you love your soil, ditch the tiller!

To understand why no-till gardening is the best thing we can do to prepare and maintain an area for planting (and fewer weeds), we need first to understand the consequences of tilling.

The Problems with Tilling

THOUSANDS OF WEED SEEDS ARE BROUGHT TO THE SURFACE. Seeds that were buried and dormant due to a lack of sunlight are brought to the surface and exposed to the light of day. Ironically, we often till to turn under existing weeds. But in the process, we’re bringing up thousands more to take their place.

SOIL INTEGRITY IS DESTROYED. When tiller tines tear into the soil, they destroy nature’s infrastructure to a healthy soil food web. The undisturbed soil consists of a network of billions of beneficial organisms from bacteria and fungi, nematodes, arthropods and insects, and of course earthworms. Collectively they form a thriving, nutrient-rich, yet fragile ecosystem.

PROPERTIES THAT CREATE SOIL DRAINAGE, MOISTURE RETENTION AND AERATION ARE ELIMINATED. In a healthy (undisturbed) soil food web, material that helps soil particles bind together to improve aeration, water holding capacity, and drainage is created. Tilling destroys all of that.

SOIL NUTRIENTS ARE LOST. As the rapidly turning tines mix up soil like a blender, much of the stored carbon and nitrogen is quickly eliminated. The rapid introduction of oxygen sets off a process where sequestered carbon is lost and valuable nitrogen is consumed in the process. The post-tilled soil is far less nutrient rich than before.

No-Till Gardening is the Soil-loving Weed-Hater’s Alternative to Tilling

In a no-till garden, we still have the same objectives: a garden with fewer weeds, improved soil, and continued improvement.

But in a no-till scenario, nature does the soil prep for you. The key though is that it takes more time initially. Ideally, you want to plan ahead, at least by a season. That’s enough time to allow nature to prepare the top surface for planting. From then on it only gets better and better after that.   Read more here

Source: Why you Shouldn’t Till Your Garden if you Love your Soil | joe gardener® | Organic Gardening Like a Pro

Alan Skeoch, “Seeds are Tiny Miracles” Talk July 9th

Alan Skeoch, a local agricultural historian, will be a guest speaker at the Mississauga Garden Festival on Sunday July 9th.

Join us at Speaker’s Corner at the Bradley Museum at 11:30 am and again at 1:30 pm  for Alan’s talk “Seeds Are Tiny Miracles”.

Alan’s talk and all activities at Bradley are free to the public, 10 am-4 pm.

Mississauga Master Gardeners will hold an advice clinic 10- 4 at Bradley Museum, so bring your garden questions along on  July 9th

For more info, see MGF  Festival Highlights:

 http://www.mississaugagardenfestival.ca/festival-highlights/

Source: Alan Skeoch, “Seeds are Tiny Miracles” Talk @ MGF 11:30 am – Mississauga Garden Festival

Pollinator Week: In The Zone Canada

This is Pollinator Week across North America and what better way to celebrate it than to create food and habitat  in our own gardens for the wildlife, birds and insects who make up our garden ecosystems.

“In The Zone” is a new program to help homeowners to protect and foster  the biodiversity of our own Carolinian zone ecosystem.

“By planting a single native oak, a patch of milkweed or growing an entire native plant garden, you’ll be taking the first step to creating an ecosystem in your yard that offers food and shelter to a diversity of bees, caterpillars, butterflies and birds. Explore strategies for transforming your garden for native wildlife.

The Carolinian Zone in southern Ontario is a hotspot for biodiversity, with more species of rare plants and animals than anywhere else in Canada, including the Blanding’s turtle, southern flying squirrel, rusty patch bumblebee and monarch butterfly.

Not only is the Carolinian Zone home to one-third of Canada’s at risk plants and animals, it’s also home to a quarter of our human population. With the region’s population projected to grow significantly, so will our impact on nature and the health of wildlife.

If you live in the Carolinian Zone, your garden is a critical piece for restoring lost habitat and creating a healthy future for the region and the wildlife that call it home. Please join us in making your garden part of the solution – together we can grow life-sustaining habitats and resilient landscapes, one yard at a time.”

Source and for info on how you can sign up:  http://www.inthezonegardens.ca/ 

MMG Visit to Royal Botanical Gardens

 

We had  glorious weather for our outing to Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens
and our visit to the iris & peony heaven that is RBG’s Laking Garden in late spring.

Time permitted a stopover  at  the award winning RBG rock garden as well.

After the horticultural delights came the gastronomic delights of Easterbrook’s
Hot Dogs with their legendary foot-longs & amazing toppings.
All in all, a great day out & about!                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                       

MMG Member’s Prize Winning Roses

 

MMG Member Marie Pearson is a rose consultant and judge, as well as  a rose grower and an exhibitor in Rose Society exhibition classes.
Her “Rosey Visions” won a class prize in the 2016 competition for  the  class “one spray of any rose originating in Canada”.
Marie’s single spray of Rosey Vision  filled the table at the show!
Marie also won this class in 2013 at the Huronia Rose Show.

Rosey Vision is a  very prickly shrub about five feet tall that  produces beautiful bright pink sprays.  

Using soil to sink carbon may be our planet’s best hope to combat climate change

Agriculture, with its unique ability to sequester carbon on, as Carl Sagan might say, billions and billions of acres, is the only industry poised to reverse global warming. Improved management of cropping and grazing heals land, boosts soil fertility, prevents flooding, enhances drought resilience, increases the nutritional content of food and restores wildlife habitat — while sequestering carbon.

Reforestation, too, plays a key role in the biological solution for clean water and climate change. Trees are an integral part of the water cycle and lock up carbon that would otherwise be warming the planet. As well, they provide habitat to birds and mammals.

For too long, we’ve been diminishing the quality of our land, waterways and atmosphere through agricultural practices that degrade soil. Fortunately, alternatives are available. The growing scientific and policy consensus is that improving soil to retain rainfall and capture carbon makes sense for everyone. Vermont’s leadership in this agricultural revolution, capitalizing on the environmental and market opportunities it provides, makes ecological and fiscal sense.

Read more here Rutland Vermont Herald : http://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/using-soil-to-fight-climate-change/

Growing Delphiniums from seed

Larkspur (Delphinium elatum)

When starting delphinium seed: freeze the seeds  for 2-3 days in the freezer and then scatter then in a 5 inch pot with damp promix.  

Keep them at 15 degrees C and cover them.  Do not let them dry out.   The cool temperatures start the germination process.  They do not like bottom heat.

  In about 21-30 days sprouts appear, transfer these to 4 inch pots until the leaves grow to the size of a looney.   When the roots appear at the bottom of the pot its time to harden plants outdoors on a deck.  Plants may be planted in the garden while temperatures are still cool.  

  The Ontario Delphinium Club is inviting growers to offer garden space to secure seed production locally for the future as seeds from England may decline.  Web site: www.ondelphiniums.com   Email:  info@ondelphiniums.com     

Thanks to Marie Pearson for this post.