Summer 2022 • Vol 51
Pollinator Plants | Garden Vision | Visit a Farm
Circle of Love by Tapiwa Mapuranga
Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1 to Thanksgiving 705.939.6144
ZIMBABWEAN STONE SCULPTURE
Cover Photo: Eastern Giant Swallowtail Butterfly by Peter Shutt
S u m m e r 2 02 2 • Vo l 5 1
Sunflower Photo by Lorraine Hunter
 FROM THE TBG
Here’s to a summer of wonder and beauty  EXPANSION UPDATE A garden that inspires and delights [ 8] ADULT EDUCATION Exciting lectures, courses online and in person  TIMELY GRANTS AND DONATIONS Pollinator Power and Educational Opportunities
 BOOK SHELF
Four summer reads for all ages  PUZZLE PIECES Three distinctive jigsaws of varying challenges  SUMMER OUTINGS Visit a working farm for fresh flowers and produce  POTTING TRENDS Finding room for greenery to thrive  NATIVE PLANTS Why to choose them. Where to get them.
 THE MEXICO
LUNCH PARTY An interview with author Sonia Day  ECO FRIENDLY Old and New ideas for sustainable floral designs  INDOOR OASIS TBG lobby gets a planthappy makeover  GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING Events and activities at the TBG
 VISIT TBG BLOOM CAFÉ Now open seven days a week  HOUSEPLANT PROFILE Feathery ferns create a mysterious woodland effect  IN MEMORIAM Maneck Sattha will be missed by many  CRAFT CORNER Serviceberry Syrup for a fun garden cocktail
FRO M t h e TB G
HERE WE ARE, on the heels of summer. I savour these days as we transition into the long days of the sunny season. In June I have been known to be out in my garden from the early hours in the day into the evening, tending to the new season’s growth. My love for June days runs deep thanks to my Finnish ancestors who lived in the land of the midnight sun. May you cherish them as well. Toronto Botanical Garden is abuzz with activity these days. Our great appreciation for pollinators has inspired some key additions to this year’s plant palette. In the Kitchen Garden we are featuring annuals that support our pollinators. And in the Perennial Border we have added bushes and shrubs that attract pollinators. Learn more about these wonderful additions on page 12 and be sure to check the pollinator-friendly plantings on your next visit to the Garden. As we balance being the best Garden we can be today, while illuminating what the future holds, our Expansion Project Design Team has been hard at work on the concept and schematic design. Deeply rooted in the Expansion project is our commitment to be stewards of the land. Our responsibility to protect the environment is so much
more than what we add — or don’t add — to the earth. Stewardship extends to how we bring plants together in ecosystems. Claudia West and Thomas Rainer at Phyto Studio are great leaders in this arena and we are delighted to have Claudia and Thomas on our Expansion Design Team. Be sure to read the article on page 5 for more insights on the planning concepts for the Expansion along with a review of their book Planting in a Post-Wild World on page 14. If you, too, are eager to steward the earth, check out The Best Native Plants for Your Garden on page 22 to learn where to source your native and indigenous plants. For those of you who are gardening indoors, on balconies, patios or smaller spaces, our lobby garden planters are full of inspiration and highlighted on page 28. And, if you are seeking inspiration be sure to get your tickets for Through the Garden Gate taking place on June 11 and 12 and check out Summer Outings on page 18. Here’s to a summer of delight, wonder and beauty.
Stephanie Jutila Executive Director
PHOTO: JANET DAVIS
HERE’S TO A SUMMER OF DELIGHT, WONDER AND BEAUTY
A Garden that Inspires and Delights. By Veronica Sliva
N APRIL 19, 214 TBG members attended an online presentation that revealed conceptual garden designs for TBG’s expansion. Myles Mackenzie of PMA Landscape Architects walked the audience through the various proposed “garden” zones that include TBG’s existing four acres plus 31 acres of what is currently known as Edwards Gardens and the Wilket Creek Ravine area. In introducing the overall garden design concept, he offered an overview of the principles that are guiding the design development: • Sustainability must be at the fore front of the planning • Indigenous values must be embedded into the design • Spaces for learning must be accessible and welcoming for all. Overall, the goal is “to create a garden that inspires and delights”. Phyto Studio, the garden design team of Thomas Rainer and Claudia West, has been engaged by PMA Landscape
Architects as sub-consultants in the process. Their mandate is to bridge the gap between horticulture, ecology and landscape architecture. Rainer detailed the Expansion Design Team’s vision of a forwardlooking, modernist, urban botanical garden that connects us with nature.
« How will this be achieved?
Rainer refers to the process as ‘wilding’ the gardens and gardening the ‘wild’. In this concept, the focus is on “creating multi-layer plant systems” in interconnected communities instead of single plants growing in isolation. The plan is to use resilient native
Garden design Schematic Design 04.19.2022
A forward looking design to connect us with nature
Central gardens: Open views, iconic modern planting
RAINER REFERS TO THE PROCESS AS ‘WILDING’ THE GARDENS AND GARDENING THE ‘WILD’.
LOOSE, AIRY TREES GIVE SHELTER & UNITY WHILE ALLOWING LIGHT IN
Earth bridge garden:
A collection of woody plants arranged in habitat vignettes with companion species to show their best qualities. INTIMATE, INTRICATE, & EMOTIONAL FLOWERING THEMES
LONG VIEWS ACROSS ENTIRE SPACE
EXPLOSION OF SPRING COLOR, ROMANTIC FRAMEWORK FOR WEDDINGS
HERBACEOUS PLANTS PROVIDE A UNIFYING “GLUE”
FLUID MOVEMENT THROUGH IMMERSIVE PLANTING
NATURE INSPIRED EVOCATIVE
Toronto Botanical Garden, Schematic Design
SEE THE MEMBERS SLIDE PRESENTATION AND SURVEY AT https://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/?s=expansion+slide+presentation
CELEBRATE SHRUBS IN THEIR HABITAT BY PLANTING WITH NATURAL COMPANIONS THAT SHOW THEIR BEST QUALITIES
Toronto Botanical Garden, Schematic Design
and adaptive species selected for climate change, to choose plants with connections to indigenous culture and to create and nurture refuges for flora and fauna.
Though it is still very early days in the development process (and may change as needed moving forward) Rainer and Mackenzie shared the design team’s vision for the TBG.
Here are some highlights: The Central Gardens
This area features the Arrival Plaza and Visitors’ Centre, Core Gardens, Central Garden and the Forest Garden (adjacent to the Parking Lot). It is a large space that gives way to open views with modern plantings. Envisioned as a sequenced space with rich flowering themes and airy trees that give shelter while allowing in light. Herbaceous
plantings connect the spaces to provide a unifying effect. Here sophisticated, contemporary plantings will change with the seasons including interest in wintertime. It is anticipated that water features will be a part of the design. Moving towards the natural forest and ravine the plantings transition to becoming more natural and informal. Forest Garden
The forest garden is the transition
Timeline - Site Cultural Landscape & Wilket Creek Timeline - Site Cultural La First Nations
1600 1700 1800 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1830. Alexander Milne family purchased the area.
1919.Property purchased by Joseph Kilgour.
1943.Rupert Edwards purchased the property.
1926.Kilgour sold the property to Bay-view Height Ltd,
1920s. Bayview and Lawrence area began to develop.
1959.Civic Garden Centre established at Edwards Gardens - occupied the Milne house.
1930s.Property was leased by Dr. Frank Hodgson.
Mazina’igaziibing Misizaagiwininiwag Mississaugas the NewCredit River
1948. Toronto’s population surpasses 1 million 1870. First Residential School Opens
1876. Indian Act
1760. Start of industrial Revolution
W Forest clearing/ upland farming
Estate developments & waste disposal Suburban development and infrastructure impacts
Light Industrial Uses
1763. The Royal Proclamation
Forested banks Indigenous navigation & uses
1955.Property sold to the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.
Creek channeliz path & bridge c
to the ravine beyond the Central Gardens. Here we find edibles and medicinal plants. As a ‘productive’ forest the focus is on highlighting indigenous relationships of plants to people. It is meant to be a space for play and exploration, perhaps with a fire circle for gathering and storytelling. Woodland and Ravine
Viewing decks and boardwalks in the
woodland make it possible for visitors to enjoy the “wildness” of the forest without disturbing the natural ecosystems. The exciting possibility of a “canopy walk style bridge” weaving its way through the ravine is also being considered. Edwards Garden
In keeping with its history of ‘bedding plant style’, this new garden will include exuberant, colourful borders.
Plants will be carefully chosen to be both ornamental and have pollinator value (single vs double blooms). In conclusion, TBG’s Executive Director, Stephanie Jutila emphasized that “nothing is set in stone yet”, and it is early in the planning process. Still, the possibilities are exciting and there is much for us to look forward to in the days to come.
andscape & Wilket Creek
Truth & Reconciliation
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 1998. Children’s teaching garden opened.
1962. Milne house damaged by fire and demolished. 1964. Moriyama Pavilion constructed at former Milne House site. New Civic Garden Centre is designed by Raymond Moriyama.
zation + ravine construction
2018. Edward Gardens and TBG Master Plan.
2020. TBG Expansion Implementation Project Starts.
2004. The Civic Garden Centre is relaunched as the Toronto Botanical Garden.
1974. Addition to Civic Garden Centre - designed by Jerome Markson. 1977. The barn and greenhouse areas are renovated to include the outdoor cafe patio.
2001. Civic Garden Master Plan (First Master Plan)
2005. The George and Kathy Dembroski Centre for Horticulture opens. 1980. Awareness of Climate Change begins.
“Much to look forward to in the days to come.”
2006. 4 acres (1.6ha) of contemporary themed gardens open at Toronto Botanical Garden. 2017. City of Toronto Ravine Strategy.
2021. September 30: Toronto’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 30, 2021
Popularity + awareness of ravine systems value & restoration needs Recreation, neglect, habitat loss & flood management
Creek flooding mitigation, slope deterioration & recreation intensity
TBG Expansion p. 8 Sources: 2018 TBG Master Plan by Forrec and TBG Heritage Assessment Report by ERA.
TBG Learn News
Adult Education Exciting summer lectures and courses online and in person
In-Person Programs Yoga at TBG, Arti Meyers, yoga4good Thursdays, June 9 through 30, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Public - $80, TBG Member or Volunteer - $64 (plus fees + HST)
Join Arti Meyers of yoga4good to practice Gentle Hatha. Stretch, breathe and meditate as you take in the sights and smells of the garden in bloom. Participants must bring their own yoga mat. Forest Bathing at TBG, Emma Rooney Saturday, June 11, 1 to 4 p.m. Public - $50, TBG Member or Volunteer - $40 (plus fees + HST)
Welcome the warmer weather and join us for a unique forest bathing experience on-site at the Toronto
Botanical Garden (TBG). Certified Forest Therapy Guide Emma Rooney will lead you on a guided opportunity to stretch your sensory awareness while deepening your connection with nature. Accessibility: The walk will be a slow pace throughout, following designated pathways and trails but sometimes covering uneven terrain. Total walk distance over the three hours is approximately 2 km. The walk occurs rain or shine, so please dress for the weather. An Introduction to Horticulture Therapy, Felicity Lukace Saturday, June 18, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Public - $75, TBG Member or Volunteer - $60 (plus fees + HST)
Are you interested in learning torontobotanicalgarden.ca
about the practice and profession of Horticulture Therapy (HT)? In this full-day workshop, join registered Horticulture Therapist Felicity Lukace to understand how plants, horticultural activities and nature are vital components which improve wellbeing and quality of life. You will develop an awareness of the unique benefits of HT programs while learning about program offerings, starting a therapeutic garden program and implementing HT activities tailored to a variety of specific needs.
Birding with Beni
Tree Sketching Workshop, Alan Li Saturday, June 18, 1 to 4 p.m. Public - $60, TBG Member or Volunteer - $48 (plus fees + HST)
Discover the woodlands at Toronto Botanical Garden while learning how to sketch trees! In this outdoor workshop, our instructor will demonstrate a variety of artist techniques for creating expressive nature sketches. Individual attention and feedback will also be provided. All skill levels are welcome. Materials extra. RAIN DATE: Sunday June 19 1 to 4 p.m. Birding with Beni, Sasan Beni Sunday, June 19, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Public - $20, TBG Member or Volunteer - $16 (plus fees + HST)
Join TBG Seasonal Horticulturist Beni for a unique, fun and informative tour of the ravine and surrounding areas as you seek out birds and other wildlife that make TBG, the ravine and Wilket Creek their home. Beni will share his extensive bird knowledge, identification, and photography tips as you explore the ravine and surrounding areas. Please Note: as with any wildlife tour, the spotting of birds and other wildlife is not guaranteed and is not within the control of the tour guide. Please be patient and considerate. Yoga at TBG
The tour will not be rescheduled due to lack of bird sightings. The tour will only be rescheduled due to inclement weather. Native bee Discovery Series: Let’s Build a Bee House, Prafulla Prabhu Saturday, June 25, 10 to 11 a.m., 12 to 1 p.m., OR 2 to 3 p.m. Public - $112, TBG Member or Volunteer - $90 (plus fees + HST)
Bees are an important part of our ecosystems and our lives. From coffee, fruits and vegetables to candles, wax artworks, cotton and so much more – bees play an important role in modern life. More importantly, they are responsible for a third of the food we consume on a regular basis. With changes to our climate, our relationship with native bees is coming into sharper focus. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to make a bee house that can be placed in their backyard to attract gentle native bees. Program price includes the cost of the bee house AND 10 Mason Bee cocoons which you will take home after the program.
Yoga at TBG, Arti Meyers, yoga4good Thursdays, July 7 through September 22, 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Public - $240, TBG Member or Volunteer - $192 (plus fees + HST)
Join Arti Meyers of yoga4good this summer to practice Gentle Hatha. Stretch, breathe, and meditate as you take in the sights and smells of the garden in bloom. Participants must bring their own yoga mat. 12 classes total. torontobotanicalgarden.ca
Brilliant Florals in Coloured Pencils, Michael Spillane Saturday, July 16 & Sunday, July 17, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Public - $180, TBG Member or Volunteer - $144 (plus fees + HST)
This workshop will show students how to produce stunning effects in coloured pencil botanical work, equal to that of watercolour painting. Easy to use and convenient to store and replace, coloured pencils can be used alone or combined with graphite. Techniques such as burnishing and layering, along with accurate colour matching, tonal rendering and composition will help students to master this rewarding medium. A step-by-step floral portrait (or two) will be the focus of the two-day workshop. Day One: The first day of the workshop will focus on developing the drawing for the floral portrait and exploring the various techniques used in coloured pencil drawing. Day Two: The second day will continue in the development process working to complete a brilliant floral portrait and, time permitting, working on a second project. Forest Bathing at TBG, Emma Rooney Saturday September 24, 1 to 4 p.m. Public - $50, TBG Member or Volunteer - $40 (plus fees + HST)
Say farewell to summer and join us for a unique forest bathing experience on-site at the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG). Certified
Birding With Beni
Forest Therapy Guide Emma Rooney will lead you on a guided opportunity to stretch your sensory awareness while deepening your connection with nature. Accessibility: The walk will be a slow pace throughout, following designated pathways and trails but sometimes covering uneven terrain. Total walk distance over the three hours is approximately 2 km. The walk occurs rain or shine, so please dress for the weather. Online Programs Pollinator Gardens, Helen Battersby, Toronto Master Gardeners Monday, June 20, 7 to 8 p.m. Public - $25, TBG Member or Volunteer - $20 (plus fees + HST)
What is a pollinator garden and why should you plant one? Join Toronto Master Gardener Helen Battersby to learn about winning ways to help pollinators thrive. The presentation will cover pollinators, the needs of a pollinator garden, the distinguishing characteristics of pollinator plants, as well as recommendations for specific plants and how to care for a pollinator garden.
TBG FAMILY PROGRAM Birding with Beni, Sasan Beni Sunday, June 19, 9 to 10:30 a.m. Individual Ticket - $5, Family Ticket (up to 5 family members) - $20 (plus fees + HST)
Join TBG Seasonal Horticulturist Beni for a unique, fun and informative tour of the ravine and surrounding areas as you seek out birds and other wildlife that make TBG, the ravine and Wilket Creek their home. Beni will share his extensive bird knowledge, identification and photography tips as you explore the ravine and surrounding areas. Please Note: as with any wildlife tour, the spotting of birds and other wildlife is not guaranteed and is not within the control of the tour guide. Please be patient and considerate. The tour will not be rescheduled due to lack of bird sightings. The tour will only be rescheduled due to inclement weather. Native bee Discovery Series: Let’s Build a Bee House, Prafulla Prabhu Sunday, June 26, 10 to 11 a.m., 12 to 1 p.m., OR 2 to 3 p.m. Family Ticket (up to 5 - $80 (plus fees + HST)
Bees are an important part of our ecosystems and our lives. From coffee, fruits and vegetables to candles, wax artworks, cotton and so much more, bees play an important role in modern life. More importantly they are responsible for a third of the food we consume on a regular Native Bee Discovery Series
basis. With changes to our climate, our relationship with native bees is coming into sharper focus. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to make a bee house that can be placed in their backyard to attract gentle native bees. Program price includes the cost of the bee house which you will take home after the program.
BOOK A GUIDED RAVINE OR GARDEN TOUR
PLANTAPALOOZA Don't miss our pop-up plant markets throughout the growing season featuring specialty garden and houseplants, unique trees and shrubs, native and pollinator-friendly collections, as well as sustainable, eco-friendly products. Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned gardener, there will be something for everyone.
NATIONAL GARDEN DAY Saturday, June 18 It’s time to celebrate our Canadian Garden Moments. Visit a garden and share your favourite garden story. Visit a garden you’ve never been to before or one you love, a public one or a friend’s garden. Share your photo of a garden moment with all your garden friends and the Year of the Garden followers. #livethegardenlife #CanadasGardenRoute #YearoftheGarden
April through October Thursday through Saturday at 11 a.m. Get the most out of your visit to the gardens by booking a tour with our knowledgeable volunteer guides. These 90minute tours include a guided walk through the beautiful themed gardens along with a stroll into the expansive ravine and beloved Edwards Gardens. You’ll learn about the plants, pollinators, history, and ecological aspects of these beautiful Toronto gardens and green spaces. Admission $10-$20 per person
POLLINATOR WEEK June 20 through 26 An annual event celebrated internationally in support of pollinator health. Learn what to plant for pollinators, participate in one of our workshops, or take a stroll through our pollinator gardens. #pollinatorweek
EDWARDS SUMMER MUSIC SERIES July and August, Thursdays at 7 p.m. Eight outdoor concerts showcasing an eclectic mix of contemporary Canadian talent. Concerts will be located within the courtyard adjacent to the historic barn in Edwards Gardens (rain or shine). General seating is available on a first-come basis or guests can bring their own chairs. Admission is FREE. Generously supported by the Edwards Charitable Foundation
FOR A FULL LIST OF UPCOMING EVENTS VISIT torontobotanicalgarden.ca/events TorontoBotanicalGarden
Timely grants and donations support TBG initiatives Nonprofit organizations such as Toronto Botanical Garden depend on government and private grants and donations to help implement various programs that support their visions and mandates. “Without these revenue sources we couldn’t deliver the many programs and services we do,” says Alison Kenn, TBG Director of Development.
Here are two examples of how the TBG is using recently received grants from various sources. One is providing funding for a Pollinator Garden of annuals as well as enhancements to the Perennial Border to transform it into a Pollinator Garden of perennials and the second supports virtual educational opportunities.
Gardens to focus on the importance of native pollinators and plants
his year, grants/donations are providing the TBG with opportunities to not only increase interest in the gardens for people, but also for pollinators. Director of Horticulture Roger Gettig is working on two pollinator initiatives, one focusing on annuals, the other on enhancements to the Perennial Border to transform it into a Pollinator Garden. With funding from Ball Flora, TBG is again looking at annual displays in the kitchen gardens and along the Carpinus border (combined annuals area now called Planting for Pollinators) and the carpet beds (now called New Annuals Showcase), taking over from Edwards Gardens. These displays will provide visitors with examples of how annuals can provide pollinator sources, especially in urban settings where there are few food options for pollinators. Salvias were a big pollinator hit in the gardens last year, with many sightings of bees and hummingbirds. Salvias will be used again this year, along with dahlias and a new addition of zinnias.
With a grant from a private donor and PollinatorTO, Roger is also planning some strategic additions and removals from the existing Perennial Border. Shrubs being considered are lilacs (Syringa spp.), smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Haas’ Halo’) which, unlike many smooth hydrangea cultivars, is not sterile so it can support pollinators; buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis ‘Sugar shack’), summersweet (Clethra alnifolia ‘Sixteen Candles’) and Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘Scarlet Beauty™). The strategy is aimed at providing pollinator food sources from larvae to adult, encompassing successional blooms and providing visual interest through different flowerhead shapes and sizes. Over 300 plants will be added to create a new Pollinator Garden. The majority of plants (75 per cent) must be native but some non-invasive non-native plants will be included.
Eastern Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Educational Opportunities Blooming Sequence Examples spring
Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)
Pale purple coneflower (Echinacea pallida)
Sky blue aster (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense)
Canadian white violet (Viola canadensis)
Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
Tall tickseed (Coreopsis tripteris) Stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
Larval Host Plant Examples
Photos: Peter Shutt, Sasan beni
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Canadian violet (Viola canadensis)
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly
White turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis)
Wild Indigo Dusty Wing
Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)
In addition to the specific pollinators noted, all new plants will support other butterflies, various bees, moths, beetles and wasps. The planting will be done in large clusters or masses to enhance visual impact and to make it easier for pollinators to source food. Finally, the new additions will support the ongoing educational goals with new plant labels that will include the common and Latin name of the native plant and possibly a QR code for scanning with a smart phone or tablet. The labels will direct visitors to online information about the plant including the necessary growing conditions, bloom period, and native pollinators. Signage will describe the importance of native pollinators and native plants and may also include a QR code directing visitors to online information about pollinator gardens. Tour guides will introduce visitors to the Pollinator Garden, highlighting plants in bloom and the importance of native pollinators and plants.
Virtual programs, upgraded equipment will enhance online offerings
ike many organizations, TBG pivoted to online courses and lectures when covid hit. While Zoom sessions worked successfully, going forward TBG wanted to take a more strategic approach to online learning and create a more sustainable model. As online education is likely to stay, grants funded through multiple sources, including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, are allowing TBG to explore these possibilities. Led by former Adult Education Supervisor Lisa Der, TBG undertook a member survey to determine online learning interest and inform program ideas. For example, using grant funds TBG is exploring ‘asynchronous learning’ which will allow people to take courses on their own time. TBG hired a consultant to help design a LMS (Learning Management System) pilot program offering two modules in 2022, one on sustainable gardening, the other on garden maintenance. Initially these will be offered free to members. The pilot modules will provide an opportunity for feedback on course content, structure and presentation, which will then be applied to a full-program launch in the future. TBG is also reviewing equipment options to allow for livestreaming virtual events. This involves the purchase of recording devices that can be used to provide different angles of an event (instead of the one view Zoom room), providing a better experience for those who participate online. Both of these initiatives depend on future funding and staffing availability. These new programs could enable the TBG to tap a broader audience outside of the TBG and the gardening world, and going forward, could help form more in depth and substantive courses in the future.
TBG offered 50 programs in 2021 – 42 online and eight in person. Course enrollment tripled from 2019 to 2021. Helen Battersby’s Shade Gardening course, a model of hybrid education, attracted 50 people in person and 78 online. A total of 53 were from the general public. The general public interest in Helen Battersby’s Shade Gardening course was an encouraging sign that TBG has an opportunity to connect with more people, supporting the overarching goal increasing awareness of the gardens.
Four summer reads for garden lovers of all ages
Planting in a Post-Wild World:
Designing plant communities for resilient landscapes
Reviewed by Veronica Sliva
Photo: xxxxx xxxxxxx
n their book Planting in a Post-Wild World: designing plant communities for resilient landscapes, authors Thomas Rainer, a landscape architect, and Claudia West, a landscape designer, explain how plant communities occur in nature and how the plants within them fit together. The authors, both principals of Phyto Studio, a garden design firm, are consultants on the Toronto Botanical Garden Expansion design team. This book is a forward-thinking guide inspired by nature. It focuses on designing, planting and managing sustainable landscapes and gardens. Rainer and West guide us in designing plant communities in our gardens to create “ecological” landscapes that are diverse, resilient, often low maintenance as well as beautiful, whether the property is large or small. Throughout the book, we are coached to consider various elements that mimic nature and apply them to our plantings. For example, in nature, no bare soil is visible between the plants. Instead, the vegetation completely covers the soil. Rainer and West suggest that this layered planting is a sign of a thriving plant community that is healthier with lower maintenance needs than more traditional (and usually over-mulched) landscapes. 14
They maintain that “ecological” does not necessarily mean that plantings must be native. Rather, both natives and carefully chosen hybrids can grow harmoniously with one another. Filled with inspiring words combined with lush photography, detailed examples, and simple illustrations this book is for both home gardeners and professionals. A very good read. Planting in a Post-Wild World (Timber Press, Portland, Oregon)
Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants
Photo: xxxxx xxxxxxx
This chapter explores the destruction brought about by our contemporary “Windigo-mind”. Ultimately, we recognize it’s not the land that’s been broken but our relationship to it. How then, do we mend it? How do we defeat the Windigo mindset? Creating a culture of gratitude is the first step. But gratitude alone isn’t enough. Kimmerer makes a clear and convincing case that reciprocity must follow if we are to achieve “long-lasting, successful restoration”. Even if we might not agree with all of Kimmerer’s conclusions, she offers much wisdom and food for thought. I closed the book feeling inspired and energized by her vision for a world in which the people and the land are good for each other. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys reading about ecology, botany and indigenous culture. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions, 2013) Audiobook also available.
Reviewed by Rose Roberts
Sweetgrass is best planted not by seed, but by putting roots directly in the ground. Thus the plant is passed from hand to earth to hand across years and generations….” With these words, we’re introduced to the unifying element in Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, scientist, professor and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. From her unique perspective, the author braids indigenous teachings, western science and personal narrative into a collection of essays that asks us to widen the lens through which we view the natural world and our relationship to it. And people are responding. In fact, seven years after its original release, Braiding Sweetgrass has become a New York Times bestseller, in large part due to word of mouth. I now understand why. So, it’s my turn to share this beautiful book with you. The book’s structure follows the life cycle of sweetgrass — Planting, Tending, Picking, Braiding and Burning. In each section, Kimmerer guides us through traditional indigenous stories and their inherent lessons. Written in a voice both poetic and powerful, she brings to life witch hazel, giant cedars, wild strawberries, fragrant sweetgrass and more. Together, the essays create a cohesive picture of how we can ensure the well-being of the land for present and future generations. Three key themes emerge: gratitude, restoration and reciprocity. For example, Skywoman Falling is a creation story that teaches us about treating nature as a gift. In The Three Sisters — referring to corn, bean and squash — we learn about a Native style of gardening and the cooperation among plant communities. Defeating Windigo introduces us to this monster from Anishinaabe lore, which the author describes as “…the name for that within us which cares more for its own survival than for anything else.”
The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World
Reviewed by Lila Yorke
ature Anatomy by Julia Rothman uses art and science to present a lot of facts about nature. It is split into several sections, each one including different aspects of the natural world. There is an interactive activity at the end of each section for the reader to complete. Whimsical illustrations by the author really make this book intriguing to anyone from about the age of 10 up who would like to learn about such interesting things as the definition of a canyon, the difference between a bay and a cove or how sunsets work. There is a section all about mushrooms including the differences between them, which ones
I was particularly fascinated to learn that the “manna from heaven” mentioned in the Christian Bible is actually the waxy sap from some species of ash trees – and that it has a long history of being useful to mankind. In Scotland, manna was fed to newborn babies as late as the 19th century and it is still commercially harvested in Sicily for use in medicine. My ash-handled spade has always been a treasure. After delving into Parker’s entertaining little book, it’ll get even more respect. Ash is published by London’s Reaktion Books. Edward Parker is Director of the Springhead Trust in Dorset. are good to eat and which ones are poisonous. Another is all about the universe including stars and planets. Nature Anatomy could be very useful as an educational guide for school projects for students from Grade 7 to university. The overall content and the activities at the end of each section could help to improve your general knowledge on all aspects of nature. Nature Anatomy (Storey Publishing)
Sonia Day is a former gardening columnist for the Toronto Star. Her ninth book, The Mexico Lunch Party, A Sisters of the Soil novel. With Recipes is being published this spring by Olympia.
Lila Yorke, 13, is a Toronto student entering high school in September.
Unremarkable to look at but amazingly tough
Reviewed by Sonia Day
Photo: xxxxx xxxxxxx
ow I love my old garden spade. The metal bowl is rusty, but ah, the handle. Still as straight and unwarped as the day I bought the spade years ago at an ordinary hardware store, this length of wood has endured much abuse – from heavy clay, piles of rocks, brick pathways, even hardening cement. But it has never snapped, or even split, on me. That’s because – I presume – the handle is made of ash. Its amazing toughness is one virtue of the species Fraxinus that gets lauded in a new book entitled simply Ash. British author Edward Parker laments that ash trees don’t get much respect from any of us because they are unremarkable to look at and “tend to just quietly go about their business blending into the landscape.” Not one famous writer or poet has ever penned a tribute to this tree, he notes. Even so, the species (there are about 48 kinds) have been central to many different cultures for thousands of years. Norse tribes, for instance, believed that the first man was fashioned from an ash log, while in Greek mythology, Zeus is said to have created humans from ash trees. The Celts associated them with magic (witches fashioned their wands from the wood) and the green ash F. pennsylvanica, is still sacred to the Omaha and Ponca people of North America. 16
Puzzle Pieces Three distinctive puzzles of varying challenges
Reviewed by Lila Yorke
Reviewed by Sue Hills
Reviewed by Walter Sliva
Challenging but satisfying to complete
An absorbing, fun to finish project
This painting by illustrator Michael Storrings captures the beauty of cherry blossom season in Washington, DC. As a 1,000-piece puzzle it was very challenging. The walkway and grass through the middle of the scene was a good place to start because of the distinctive people and pets along the pathway and on the grass. The cherry trees, however, across the top and in the two bottom corners all looked the same so you really had to examine each piece very carefully to fit them into the right places. This puzzle took several hours to finish with two people working on it but was very satisfying to complete.
If you like books and jigsaws, then this 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle by Workman, is the puzzle for you! This puzzle has good quality pieces in a variety of shapes and colours, and comes with a handy mini poster. The design extending to the edges helps completion of the outer frame and from then on it is finding the right book for the right shelf. An absorbing project, fun to finish and satisfying to peruse the result. Along the way you may even find a few more book titles for your reading list!
A wonderful variety of flora and fauna This 500-piece puzzle by Julia Rothman, author of the book by the same name, made by Storey Puzzles, depicts a wonderful variety of flora and fauna. Putting it together is a relaxing exercise in locating the pieces needed to build the distinctly unique illustrations. Relatively easy to put together, and because of the focus on nature, this puzzle is well suited to children.
Summer Outings Visit a Working Farm for Fresh Flowers and Produce By Lorraine Hunter
hat could be a better time than this Year of the Garden to visit a working farm? We in the GTA are lucky to be surrounded by all kinds of farms that make ideal family outings, photo locations, picnic sites and pick-your-own bounty destinations. Whether it’s sunflowers, lavender, strawberries, apples or pumpkins you are after, here are a few such places within an easy drive from the Toronto area. Be sure to check websites or phone ahead for hours and directions. Sunflower Festival at Davis Family Farm, last week of July to first weeks of August. Explore the Field of Dreams including 40 acres of bright and beautiful sunflowers. Adults $13.50. Kids under 12 free, 15770 Mountain view Rd., Caledon East, ON L7C 2V2 905 9658201. www.davisfamilyfarm.ca Proceeds from sale of Sunflower Seeds, $4 per pack, go to help the Canadian Celiac Association.
Terre Blue Lavender Farm offers bath and body, skincare and essential oil products, selfguided tours through 200 acres of 10 varieties of lavender. 75,000 plants all bloom at different times from late June through August. Call ahead for hours and ticket information. 2501 Sideroad 25, Campbellville, On L0P 1B0, 519 512-0522 info@ terrebleu.ca www.terrebleu.ca Stems Flower Farm is a small family farm outside Cookstown offering cut flower and vegetable seeds as well as pick-your-own bouquets. One person can cut up to 20 stems for $35 while touring the farm. Touring without picking is $10 per person. Kids under 13 are free. Specializing in dahlia tubers as well as assorted cut flowers. 5130 6th line, Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0, 416 522-7229 https://stemsflowerfarm.ca Robintide Farms Pick your own strawberries, raspberries, vegetables, flowers, pumpkins. Look at the website to see what’s in season at https://robintidefarms.com/ pick-your-own. Visitors are encouraged to bring your own containers. 2720 King-Vaughn Rd., Maple, ON, 647 988-2720
Brantview Apples and Cider. The orchard has been in production for 200 years and is currently run by 7th and 8th generations of the original Howell family. The pick-yourown farm has up to 22 varieties of apples available throughout the season September through October. There is also a scratch bakery, cidery and events pavilion popular for weddings and other events. 225 Howell Rd., St. George Brant, ON https://www.brantviewapples.ca 519 448-1323 Reesor’s Farm Market offers seasonal eating from early June to the end of October. Pickyour-own strawberries then raspberries and vegetables give way in fall to fresh picked corn (eight varieties), a fun-for-thewhole-family corn maze and pickyour-own pumpkins. 10825 Ninth Line, Markham, ON L6B 1A8 https://reesors.ca 905-640-4568. Reesor’s Market and Bakery is located at 5758 Main St., Stouffville. 905 640-2270.
Head shaped containers are popular for fluffy or spiky plants
Raised pots leave no water ring to destroy wood or tile.
Toronto’s horticultural scene is changing. Young, environmentally conscious gardeners are growing in tight areas such as high-rise condos, porches and tiny backyards, and they’re becoming highly selective about what to bring home. Today’s consumer has specific needs and challenges. Finding room for a growing number of irresistible plants requires creative use of space. Constantly moving them around in order to provide better growing conditions and viewing angles can be strenuous work, and it’s sometimes inconvenient to prune and water at floor level. In 2022, effective display is every bit as important as finding a suitable place for greenery to thrive. Beautiful Areca palms, Snake plants and African violets provide companionship and fresh air, so they deserve appropriately gorgeous lodgings. Here are some of the latest container trends. torontobotanicalgarden.ca
Look for fabric pot holders made from recycled plastic bottles in the TBG Garden Shop.
Plant caddies come with their own saucers.
Photos: Georgie Kennedy, Veronica Sliva
Finding Room for greenery to thrive By Georgie Kennedy
2 1 Mobile and accessible Metal and wood planter boxes on wheels allow for easy transfer from room to room or indoors to out. You can even find plant caddies complete with saucers. Raised pots leave behind no nasty water ring to destroy wood or tile. Numerous retailers are now selling adorable threelegged containers and cache pots that sit on tripods.
4 What else is trending? • Head-or animal-shaped containers for fluffy or spiky plants. • Edibles: herbs and veggies in among the ornamentals. • DIY: YouTube has instructions on how to make anything imaginable, from hanging rope planters to selfwatering tubs to cloth planters made from landscape fabric. • Creativity! Repurposing keeps baskets, jars, basins, chests, drums, boxes, barrels, and jugs out of the landfill.
Save time, energy and the environment Wise gardeners can make an ecological impact by seeking out alternatives to traditional plastic. Recycled ocean plastic offers the benefit of cleaning up our polluted seas. Fibreclay is a blend of glass fibres and clay…looks like ceramics but not heavy. The artistically designed EcoPot brand is durable enough to withstand frost, heat and rain better than metal, which rusts, or plastic, which dries out and chips or cracks. It’s available in all sizes, shapes and even self-watering options. You can leave your Ficus in safe hands while you go on vacay or need to focus on work or family.
Browsing for plant stands online results in hundreds of images of tables and shelving units of every shape, size and material. You’ll find complex indoor greenhouses and simple glass brackets, metal racks and repurposed tree trunks.
Native Plants Why to choose them. Where to get them. By Veronica Sliva The following chart from the City of Toronto website lists plants native to the Toronto area by their preferred habits
Nati v e s fo r D ry Soil Full Sun
Black Oak (Quercus velutina) White Pine (Pinus strobus) Smooth Rose (Rosa blanda) American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) Wild Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
Full Sun/Partial Shade
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Maple-leaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) Round-leaved Dogwood (Cornus rugosa) Big-leaved Aster (Aster macrophyllus) Bottlebrush Grass (Elymus hystrix) Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus) Zig-zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulus)
Black Oak (Quercus velutina) White Pine (Pinus strobus) Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana) Snowberry (Symphoricarpos alba) Smooth Aster (Aster laevis) Common Wood Sedge (Carex blanda) Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis) Cylindric Blazing Star (Liatris cylindracea) Hairy Bush-clover (Lespedeza hirta)
ative trees, shrubs and plants are those species that occur naturally in a particular region. Because they have evolved over generations, they have adapted to local conditions such as variations in moisture and temperature, making them more coldhardy and drought tolerant than introduced cultivars. For gardeners this means less watering and lower maintenance. Using locally adapted natives instead of nonnative species increases biodiversity and contributes to the local ecosystem by attracting local pollinators and wildlife.
Choose the Right Plant: Plant for success.
The rule is the same when choosing any plant for your garden…right plant, right place. Just because a plant is native doesn’t mean it will grow anywhere. Be sure you know a plant’s natural habitat and be mindful of the conditions you can offer in your garden, then choose accordingly. If you have a dry, sunny location and plant a native that prefers a shady, damp spot you will be disappointed. It will not thrive.
These days more and more commercial nurseries and garden centres are offering native plants for sale. Often these plants are propagated from cuttings that may or may not be from local plants. Because native plants are adapted to specific locales, it is important to know where your plants originate. Be sure to ask the retailer where they source their plants. Note: Plants will do better in your garden if they are grown from seeds collected locally. Nurseries Specializing in Native Plants • St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre: https://stwilliamsnursery.com/ Located in St. Williams, Ontario
• Return the Landscape: https://www. returnthelandscape.com/native-plant-greenhouse Operated by the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, in southwestern Ontario • Kayanase Greenhouse: https://www.kayanase.ca/ Based on the Six Nations reserve in Ohsweken outside of Brantford, Ontario • Ontario Native Plants: https://onplants.ca/ Plants are grown at the nursery in Hamilton, Ontario • Native Plants in Claremont: https://www.nativeplants.ca/ Located in Pickering (Claremont), Ontario
Photos: Native Plant Nurseries, Lorraine Hunter
Sources for Native Plants
Nat ives fo r Ave rage Soil Full Sun
Full Sun/Partial Shade
Trembling Aspen (Populus tremuloides) Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) Grey Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana) New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) Evening Primrose (Oenathera biennis) Showy Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense) Pale-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus strumosus) Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
White Ash (Fraxinus americana) Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Virginiana Creeper (Parthenocissus vitacea) Smooth Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) Common Wood Sedge (Carex blanda) Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense) Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) Starry False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum stellatum)
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) Alternate Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) Soloman’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) Zig-zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulus) Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra) Virgin’s Bower (Clematis virginiana)
Nat ives fo r M oist Soil Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Blazing Star (Liatrus spicata)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Full Sun/Partial Shade
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana) Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis) Dense Blazing-star (Liatris spicata) Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) Green-headed Coneflower (Rudbeckia lacinata) Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
• Native Plant Nurseries: https://www. nativeplantnurseries.ca Located in Zephyr, Ontario www.amtelecom.net/~edentree Online catalogue available. Type of Material: trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Additional Resources • North American Native Plant Society - NANPS hosts excursions, workshops, seed exchanges and plant sales. https://nanps.org/ • Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance focuses on collaborative seed conservation and supports habitat restoration http://www.opra.ca/
Yellow Birch (Betula alleghaniensis) Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) Common Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) Nannyberry (Vibrunum lentago) Wood Rush (Luzula multiflora) Thin-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus) Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) Turtlehead (Chelon glabra) Bebb’s Sedge (Carex Bebbii)
Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) Black Maple (Acer nigrum) Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) Black Currant (Ribes americanum) White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra) Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis) Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis) Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)
Toronto Master Gardeners https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/guidecategories/ native-plants/ https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/ gardeningguides/gardening-with-native-shrubs-atoronto-master-gardeners-guide/ Native Plant Resource Guide for Ontario http://frontyardrestoration.com/ uploads/3/5/5/3/35532620/guideon_30_03_22.pdf On Facebook Ontario Native Plant & Seed Exchange https://www.facebook.com/groups/OntarioNativePlantsSeeds
The Mexico Lunch Party
The Mexico Lunch Party
Gardening can blossom into lifelong bonds says author Sonia Day By Lorraine Hunter
Writer Sonia Day has always marveled at how many lasting friendships she has made through gardening. Perhaps it is no surprise that her ninth book and second fiction novel The Mexico Lunch Party interweaves the themes of friendship, gardening, travel and food. “Gardening is a great topic for people of any age,” says the former Toronto Star garden columnist, author of several gardening books and torontobotanicalgarden.ca
Photo: Gordon Harris
The Mexico Lunch Party is Trellis book reviews, artist and aimed at gardeners, food lovers longtime TBG supporter. “The and women of a certain age. Everyfriendships last forever because thing is thoroughly researched. “I there is always something to talk know how picky gardeners can be,” about even if just to discuss the says Day. merits of peat moss versus coir. “I wanted to set the story in It’s wonderful to share this pasMexico which has had such bad sion. Age doesn’t matter. I belong press. I love Mexico; the people, to the Fergus Horticultural Society the colour, the plants are amazing. and meet people in their 90s who I also wanted to incorporate some love talking about their gardens Spanish words and sayings and and gardening in general.” explain what they mean. Sonia’s story concerns four “My intent was to write a book mature women, one each from about Mexico that didn’t mention Great Britain, the U.S., Canada the Day of the Dead or a middleand Colombia, who meet up in aged white man hooking up with Mexico for fun times and good a young Mexican beauty.” food. All passionate gardeners and Sonia went to Mexico to start employed in various areas of the writing the book three years ago horticultural industry, ranging from to Ajijic (pronounced Ah-heegarden writing to running a flower HEEK), a charming mountain farm. They first met at a special town situated on the shore of event at the Brooklyn Botanical Lake Chapala and inhabited by Garden, to observe the rare bloomSonia will be talking about her expats from all over. It took a ing of a gigantic Corpse Flower, so book and the wonderful flowers year to complete and did not named for its nose clogging, rotting of Mexico at an Authors’ Series come easily. She was still workflesh-like stench. The friends call at the TBG in September. ing on the manuscript when themselves Sisters of the Soil and COVID broke out, finishing are reuniting to prepare a spectacit in July 2020. The pandemic ular lunch together, with everyone does enter the plot. “I was worried that it would contributing a dish from her country. But the reunion be all over and forgotten before the book came out goes askew when an unwelcome guest joins the party. and yet, here we are,” she said. Thus, the author is able to meld the four main Depending on the success of The Mexico Lunch themes of the book right from the start. Beginning with Party, it could become the first of a trilogy with sequels the Corpse Flower (Amorphophallus Titanum) which likely to be set in Newfoundland and England. means “Misshapen penis of Titanic proportions” in Often asked if individuals in the book are based on Latin on the first page, Day manages to insert intriguing real people, Sonia asserts “All the characters are ficfacts about different plants from all over the world on tional but there is a bit of various people I know and almost every page of this engaging story. myself in each of them. I wanted them all to be very The lunch party with dishes from each of the Sisters’ different.” And, they are. homelands is of course one of the main events. Day agrees that the plot will probably appeal mostly Recipes for Cod Cakes from Newfoundland, Ajiaco to avid gardeners, particularly women and that’s fine (Colombian Chicken, Corn and Potato Soup) from with her. “Some of the best times I have enjoyed in my Bogota, Black Beans with Epazote, Jicama Slices life were with my women friends.” with Lime Juice and Chili Powder and Capirotada Mexican Bread Pudding from Mexico as well as The Mexico Lunch Party, A Sisters of the Soil Novel with Capresi Chocolate Cake from Italy, are all featured Recipes (Olympia Publishers, London) at the back of the book.
e c o
Pin-holders & Chicken Wire
F r i e n d l y
Old and New Ideas for Sustainable Floral Designs By Ursula Eley
Another sustainable mechanic that I like to use often is sticks. They can be used in so many ways. In the square container pictured, I have dogwood from my garden, birch branches from a corner flower shop, and some peeled willow sticks that I purchased years ago. Basically, any sticks will work, even bamboo skewers. The sticks are cut to be a little higher than the rim of the container. A square or rectangular baking tin could be substituted for the container. To make it easier to get the sticks to stand up in the container, hold them in bundles and tie with elastic bands. Then just place the bundles, instead of individual sticks. Water is added to about 1 cm under the rim and then the flowers are added. Just cut the flowers with about 5 cm of stem and insert between the sticks. Carnations, roses, mums, statice and hydrangea are good choices. Some gnarly oak branches were just laid across one area to contrast with the flowers. The idea is to create areas of colour and texture. After use, the sticks can be composted or spread on a baking rack, dried and stored for next time.
Photos: Ursula Eley
f I had to choose between gardening and floral design, I am not sure I could. Both bring me much joy plus unlimited opportunities to continue learning. When I am playing with flowers, I can be creative, have fun, and escape into a calm, more beautiful space. Today more than ever, I also try to be more thoughtful in my approach and use more sustainable ways of designing. It has taken a while, but in recent years more and more floral artists have come to realize that we need to keep the health of our planet in mind when working with flowers. We have to find alternatives for the use of floral foam which as a single use synthetic plastic does not biodegrade and disintegrates very easily into microplastic. This means returning to methods commonly used half a century ago, as well as looking for new ways to arrange plant material. Here are a couple of ideas for sustainable design that are favourites of mine. torontobotanicalgarden.ca
Mid-20th century, pin-holders and chicken wire were the mainstays of holding flowers in a design. They are re-usable and long-lasting. Yard sales and charity shops are good places to hunt for kenzans (pin-holders). I have accumulated several. The first photo shows a Parallel design, where flower stems are inserted so that they form groupings that are parallel to each other. I have used three pinholders to support the flowers and foliage in a shallow container filled with water. This style reminds me of flowers growing in a garden, particularly when garden flowers are used.
Ursula Eley is an award-winning floral designer, educator and horticultural judge. 27
ith the horticultural team back together and pandemic restrictions coming to an end, we thought it was an opportunity to give our lobby a much-needed makeover. And, what better way to spruce up our interior than with an array of indoor plants. The layout of our lobby, with its floor-to-ceiling windows facing south-east and west, provides the perfect combination of lighting for everything from sun-loving to shade tolerant plants. This space allows us to showcase a wide selection of species that can suit varying growing conditions that our visitors might experience in their own homes. Some have themes like the succulent planter, packed with drought-tolerant specimens. Succulents can survive periods of little to no precipitation due to their ability to store water in their fleshy leaves, stems, or roots.
Planted in gritty, sandy soil, this grouping of Echeveria, Gasteria and Kalanchoe looks almost otherworldly. Other plants enjoying our brightly lit windowsills include our herb planter box. Herbs grown indoors will require at least six hours of bright sunlight, good quality potting soil rich in organic matter, and moderate watering needs (don’t let the soil dry out but be sure to avoid waterlogging). If successful, your reward will be delicious fresh herbs available right at your fingertips! The west-facing windows and shady ceiling shelves hold plants with complementary growing needs and visual aesthetics. Some combine contrasting colours, leaf shapes or textures, and even growth habits. We hope these new designs inspire you to green up your indoor living space and provide you with some ideas on how to start or expand your collection. Be sure to check the Garden Shop which will be selling some of these options!
Photos: Sasan Beni
TBG lobby gets a plant-happy makeover By Seasonal Horticulturists Megan Blacquiere and Sasan Beni
After a two-year hiatus, Toronto Botanical Garden will once again host its annual Through the Garden Gate tour highlighting the beautiful private gardens in the midToronto neighbourhood of Wychwood, known for its Arts & Crafts architecture, artistic and entrepreneurial residents and some pretty amazing gardeners! Through the Garden Gate presented by Cullen’s Foods is Toronto’s largest tour of private gardens. This self-guided walking tour has been showcasing the unique gardens in Toronto’s diverse neighbourhoods for over 30 years. The tour is organized by a dedicated volunteer committee in partnership with the Toronto Master Gardeners for the benefit of the Toronto Botanical Garden and is generously supported by Cullen’s Foods and #ShowLoveTO. Tickets are available online at torontobotanicalgarden.ca
TBG joins inaugural cohort of IDEA Center for Public Gardens
Toronto Botanical Garden has been accepted as a Member of the inaugural garden cohort of the IDEA Center for Public Gardens, an initiative of the American Public Gardens Association. Board Member Margareth Lobo Gault, Director of Horticulture Roger Gettig and Executive Director Stephanie Jutila will represent TBG in the cohort but it is expected that TBG staff, volunteers and board members will all be engaged in the project. “It is an honour for TBG to be part of the inaugural cohort of gardens, making a commitment to do the vital work to be inclusive, diverse, equitable and accessible (IDEA) gardens,” said Jutila. “Gardens and plants are essential to human and planetary well-being and as an organization we have lots of room to grow to be safe, welcoming and representative of our communities.”
Photos: SVP Media. Photos (opposite): Peony, Rick Matsumoto; Allan Gardens, Veronica Sliva
Good Things Are Happening
Through the Garden Gate June 11 & 12
P. Sorbet peony
Edwards Summer Music Series is back
The Edwards Summer Music Series includes eight FREE outdoor concerts showcasing contemporary Canadian talent, within the beauty of the Toronto Botanical Garden. The concerts take place Thursdays at 7 p.m. in July and August within the courtyard adjacent to the historic barn in Edwards Gardens. Concerts are held rain or shine (they move indoors in the case of extreme weather). Admission is FREE. General seating is available on a first-come basis. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chair. Generously Supported by the Edwards Charitable Foundation.
New book highlights Canadian public Gardens
Toronto Botanical Garden and Edwards Gardens are featured along with public gardens from across Canada in Gardens Canada – Live the Garden Life, a new coffee table book from the Canadian Garden Council to Celebrate 2022 Year of the Garden. The publication highlights some of Canada’s most popular gardens, designs, trends and innovations from Memorial University Botanical Garden in St. John’s, NL to Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island. The TBG is featured along with other Toronto sites including High Park, Corktown Commons, Allan Gardens and Guild Park. Available in English and French, the 160-page book sells for $39.95 through Indigo/Chapters/Coles stores, on the Year of the Garden website https:// livethegardenlife.gardenscanada.ca/ and at the TBG Garden Shop. Proceeds help support various Year of the Garden initiatives.
Save the Date: TBG AGM June 9
Photo: xxxxx xxxxxxx
Toronto Botanical Garden’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 6 p.m. in person at the Garden. Current members in good standing will receive an invitation via email. If you have any questions or comments about the Annual General Meeting or the status of your membership, please contact the membership office or call our reception desk at 416-397-1341.
More Good Things TBG Tours Popular with Visitors
TBG Eco Market Marks Earth Week More than 500 people attended the TBG Eco Market April 23. It was the first in-person event of the season. Volunteers were happy to be back “at work” and vendors were delighted. As one vendor put it: “Great vibe. Everyone was happy to be there. TBG is a beautiful venue for events.” The event also brought lots of shoppers to the Garden Shop.
Thanks to our talented tour guides the formula of offering small group (10 people) prebooked pre-paid tours enabled TBG to successfully (and safely) offer tours to many visitors during the past two challenging years. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so we are looking to build on this successful formula — now with groups of up to 15 people. We are now offering tours of: • TBG and a portion of Edwards Gardens – 90 minutes (note steps, slopes, uneven terrain) • TBG only – 60 minutes, a fully accessible option • And, Wilket Creek Ravine – discover the beauty of and challenges faced by these beautiful spaces. • Tours cost $20 adults, $10 seniors and students, children 4 and under are free. All revenue goes to support the gardens. For those living further afield or who simply cannot get to the gardens we have an option for you, too! Building on a successful partnership with HeyGo tours (see article in Winter issue of Trellis for more on this virtual touring platform) we hope to offer virtual tours of our gardens throughout the year. –By Sue Hills, Head of Volunteer Services and Tour Guides
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Garden Obelisks Make use of vertical space in your garden with a 4 or 6-foot obelisk. Made in Toronto exclusively for the Toronto Botanical Garden, these obelisks are superb structures for showcasing and supporting vines and vegetables. Black, powdercoated steel ensures that these towers remain rust-resistant and durable for many years to come. Available throughout the year at the Garden Shop. Available in two sizes: 4 ft $99.99; 6 ft $124.99. GARDENING HELP NEEDED: Mainly weeding in flower beds and trimming iris leaves and small shrubs. Location: Lawrence and Pharmacy. Tel: 416 757 8214. For salary and details please call Ms. L. Liivamagi from 3 to 10 p.m.
- TREE & SHRUB PRUNING -INSECT & DISEASE CONTROL - PLANTING & TRANSPLANTING - TREE & STUMP REMOVAL - DEEP ROOT FERTILIZING
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I.S.A. Certified Arborist #ON-0129A
TREE CARE INC.
Visit TBG Bloom Café now open daily
Photos: Jacqueline Zhang; Illustration: June Anderson
The TBG Bloom Café, located in the historic barn in the Edwards Gardens Courtyard, is now open seven days a week. By Lorraine Hunter Jamaican patties
roprietor Maria Nikas, who ran the iconic Wheatsheaf Tavern in downtown Toronto for 18 years, is now into her second year running the café. “We’re excited to be back,” she says. “I’ve been coming to the Gardens for more than 40 years. I brought my kids and now my grandkids. There is something magical about the place, a feast for the eyes and the soul.” Maria worked over the winter months cleaning, painting and sprucing up the café with lots of luscious greenery. Her staff from last year – Shannon, Hannah and Jacqueline (who does all the social media for the shop) have all returned for another season. Veronica and Jas have joined the team this year. The café serves specialty coffees, cold drinks, light snacks and lunches, baked goods and more, including some gluten-free and vegan options. New this year are fresh fruit smoothies, Jamaican patties and spinach pies. “People want food they can hold in their hands and walk around with in the park,” says Maria who is constantly on the lookout for unique products such as her lavender drinks including lavender lemonade and lattes. She enjoys meeting the customers and is getting to know lots of the regulars, some of whom drop by in the morning and again in the afternoon. “The family of a woman who used to visit often, but who has now passed away, still come to see us,” says Maria. “They say they can feel her presence here.” TBG Bloom Café is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends and holidays, and to 5 p.m. weekdays for the summer season. For the most up-to-date information follow the TBG Bloom Café on Instagram @tbgbloomcafe
Houseplant Profile Ostrich Ferns
15,000 species may be in existence, most abundant in equatorial rainforests, but also found throughout the world sprouting from the bottom of ponds, hugging trees and peeking out of stone crevices. They range in size from microscopic filmy ferns (most have tissue which is only one cell thick, making them somewhat translucent) to gigantic primitive tree ferns (Cyatheales). Exotic Species
The popular Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), a parlour feature since Victorian times, had a grand resurgence in the 1970s, when it dangled from hand-woven macrame hangers, but it’s not the only game in town. The latest batch of houseplant afficionados and influencers has adopted several exotic ferns with strong personalities and delightfully descriptive names. Let me introduce you to a few: • Crocodile Fern: (Microsorium musifolium ‘Crocydyllus’): twisty chartreuse leaves, no fluff • Rabbit’s Foot Fern (Davallia fejeensis): adorable fuzzy tendrils creep out of the pot • Button Fern (Nephrolesis cordifolia): untamed yet compact dotted fronds • Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus): leathery tongues of green
Feathery fronds create a mysterious woodland effect By Georgie Kennedy Garden designers know that ferns have the power to “lively up” an empty space. Their feathery fronds create a mysterious woodland effect, especially when sharing a corner with other shade loving tropicals. They require little maintenance indoors, and most are adaptable to life outside
in the summer months. Ferns are quite happy in their own individual pots but they play well with other annuals and perennials as thrillers, fillers, or spillers in veranda containers. Fern (Polypodiopsida) is a class of ancient non-flowering vascular plants that reproduce by spores. As many as
Most readers will be familiar with Ontario forest ferns such as the majestic Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), but have you considered including these in your shade gardens? • Lady in Red (Athyrium filix-femina ‘Lady in Red’) has upright lacy fronds. • Northern Maidenhair Fern (Adiatum pedantum) has black stems that unfurl in early May. The frothy green lasts until fall. • Japanese Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum) has intriguing purple and silver highlights.
Photos: Pexels, Veronica Sliva
Ontario Forest Ferns
Caring for ferns is almost intuitive if you can keep in mind their natural habitat: low light and high humidity. While we can offer general guidelines, just remember to research your particular variety for specific advice. • To avoid sunburn, place in a north or east window location. • Keep the humidity level high with regular weekly watering. My editor, who has a wondrous way with ferns, gives hers a fortnightly shower and soak in a deep sink using the spray function of the faucet. • Prune dead fronds off at the base to avoid unsightly brown spikes. • Divide your potted fern every couple of years to avoid overcrowding and give it fresh potting soil. • Ferns need space to grow so be generous with your container size. If roots are growing out of the drainage holes of the plastic nursery pot, give it a larger one and add more soil. • A concrete head-shaped container can suit a fern with long fronds. A round one would be perfect for the Rabbit’s Foot Fern. A long fronded fern is best displayed at eye level in a hanger or on a tall stand. Bird’s Nest Fern needs no soil so be adventurous; tie it to a piece of wood and hang on a wall.
Rabbit’s Foot Fern
Read more about the science of ferns at Britannica: https:// www.britannica.com/plant/fern
If you’re interested in exploring Ontario’s ferns in the wild or for more photographs, visit http://www.ontarioferns.com/
In Memoriam Maneck Sattha will be missed by many By Sue Hills, Head of Volunteer Services and Tour Guides
“He was so devoted to the TBG and always ready and willing to help with countless and often ‘fiddly’ tasks.” Joanna Joyet, former Horticultural and Retail Administration.
n February 20 we learned with profound sadness of the passing of long time TBG volunteer Maneck Sattha. Maneck will be remembered by many for his quiet dignity, gentle manner and ready smile. His volunteer contributions not just to TBG but to other organizations earned Maneck multiple awards at both Federal and Provincial levels. These awards reflected not just his loyalty and length of service (Maneck volunteered for TBG for over 30 years), but also his practical contribution in a variety of often behind-the-scenes activities. Always willing to provide help where it was needed, “Maneck can you fix…?” “Maneck can you make…?” Maneck could be found filling in at Reception, making buttons for a special event, fixing items in our Garden Shop and supporting Maintenance in myriad ways. Often a daily presence in the building, Maneck will be missed by many.
“Maneck loved volunteering with programs for kids and families. He chopped fruit for the smoothie bike on Earth Day, gathered potatoes for the food bank on Harvest Day, started seeds for summer camp kids, and made sure the nature classroom was always in good repair. Families that frequented TBG camps and events became familiar with Maneck’s welcoming smile and generous ways. He truly seemed to love and care for everyone, but most especially children.” Colleen Cirillo, former TBG Education Director. “He was a fixture in the garden and known by many visitors to our garden as he ‘reported to work’ seven days a week and loved to engage with the public. He was very proud in the knowledge that he raised the most money week over week on concert evenings when he held out the watering can to collect donations. He was the ‘go to’ guy at the weekly farmers’ market, helping vendors load and filling in wherever needed. He loved the gardens, staff and volunteers as this was his second home and family.” Jenny Rhodenizer, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Maneck always looked happy to see you, no matter when you crossed paths. My family appreciated the gentle humour that he used to connect with people”. Jody Hitchcock, Rentals Accounting. “He was so proud of his family and shared photos of his grandchildren with me. He always connected with visitors to the garden making them feel welcomed.” Patricia Chevers, Rentals Supervisor.
• Rest in peace, Maneck •
DYI Craft Corner Serviceberry Syrup for a fun garden cocktail By Jenny Rhodenizer Director of Marketing & Communications
If you’re selecting a native tree or shrub for your edible garden that gives four seasons of interest, consider a Serviceberry. It offers early, white spring flowers, edible berries, and outstanding, orange fall foliage. The fruit ripens gradually in late June through early July. Even though the red berries are edible, the best flavour comes when they ripen to a dark, purple-blue. Serviceberry fruit is delicious straight from the tree and can be used as a substitute for blueberries. But if you can resist, collect a few cups of berries to create a delicious syrup for a gardeninfused cocktail.
For the syrup: • 2 cups serviceberries • 1 cup sugar • 1/2 cup water • 1 tsp lemon juice Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on medium-low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and berries start to pop. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for five minutes then pour over a fine-mesh sieve that is over a heat-proof bowl. Once strained, transfer it to a lidded glass container, label and store in the refrigerator for up to three months. Turn the syrup into a fun garden cocktail
• 1 oz gin • 1 tbsp serviceberry syrup • 2 tsp lime juice • Sparking water
Combine the above in a vintage cocktail glass, top with ice, and stir. Clip an edible flower or herb to the side of the glass, and enjoy! torontobotanicalgarden.ca
Photos: Tree branch, Veronica Sliva: berries and cocktail, Jenny Rhodenizer
How to Make Serviceberry Syrup
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Board Chair: Gordon Ashworth. Members: Barb Anie, Dianne Azzarello, Michele Chandler, Adeline Cheng, Ben Cullen, Tony DiGiovanni, Lisa Ellis, Margareth Lobo Gault, Sue Grundy, Abdullah Hamidi, Harry Jongerden, Nicole Leaper, Janice Winton. Ex Officiate: Christina Iacovino (City of Toronto), Marg Wilkinson (Garden Club of Toronto), Ingrid Smith (Milne House Garden Club).
About The Toronto Botanical Garden The Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG) is a volunteer-based, charitable organization that raises more than 95 per cent of its operating funds through membership, facility rentals, retail operations, program fees and donations. The organization relies on its partnership with the City of Toronto and on the generosity and financial commitment of individuals, foundations and corporations to support the many beneficial services we provide to the community. Our mission: Toronto Botanical Garden connects people to plants, inspiring us to live in harmony with nature. Our vision: Toronto Botanical Garden will be renowned for its display of nature’s beauty and as a dynamic hub for plant-centred learning, conservation and research.
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