Several area horticulturalists attended the Ontario Horticultural Association convention on the weekend of August 22 in Brampton.
Elisabeth Keursten, Willa Wick, Bonnie Whitehead, and Margaret Reidt, of Harriston attended the 102nd Ontario Horticultural Association convention in Brampton Aug. 23
Following opening ceremonies, greetings, business, and keynote speakers, it was time for competitions, vendors, bus tours, seminars, a silent auction, variety night, a buffet dinner – and that was just Friday.
Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield, shared her views on conserving Ontario’s bio-diversity. Protecting wetlands, heritage lands, endangered species, sustainable resources, and globally significant species is essential to Ontario’s diverse eco system. Continuing to play a role in combating climate change is necessary. Establishing partnerships and creating responsible stewardship programs like turning tobacco crops into fields of prairie grass will go a long way in preserving the land.
A whole sense of community commitment can be felt when someone follows the United Nations initiative to plant one tulip tree, nurture its growth, and care for its health and longevity. There is a need to focus on native species to diversify and modify existing standards to keep invasive species from landing in Ontario. Cansfield found the flower show quite impressive and thanked the 17 societies of District 15 for inviting her.
Liz Primeau, founding editor of Canadian Gardening spoke on transforming immaculate, lovely, green, but barren lawns into front yard gardens and tapestries of perennial pageantry. Each garden reflects the personality of the home owner and the commitment of time needed to maintain the project.
Start with a simple plan. Check the bylaws and boundaries and be sure to include your neighbours who may or may not share your views on nature and what indeed is a vision of beauty.
A variety of seminars held the interest of hundreds of delegates. Garden design, gardens around the world, water gardening, orchids, hand-tied bouquets, fabulous foliage, pesticides, and insects were all on the agenda.
Christina Sharma, of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, is committed to Project CHIRP. It is designed to help individuals create certified backyard conservation areas to supply safe havens for songbirds on their migratory journeys. The birds will gravitate to the sound of running water, find shelter from stormy weather in the branches of a tree, and feed on berry laden shrubs, but will need to be protected from natural predators like cats. This requires a year round commitment and an area even as small as 12-feet by 12-feet is a good start.
Dianne Woodruff, a professional dancer and educator, showed a variety of stretching movements to rejuvenate and restore vitality to winter weary gardeners just in time for spring planting. She literally had everyone on the edge of their seats gently and correctly stretching 30 seconds at a time. Start with the hands, wrists, and forearms and gradually incorporate the whole body with balance, resistance, and weights. Go garden. Repeat stretches.
Her DVD provides instruction on a total program of integrating exercise, not excuses into every day.
A banquet and awards ceremony rounded out the evening with a business meeting and closing ceremonies on Sunday. Next year, the convention will be held in Peterborough.
For more information, on the Ontario Horticultural Association visit the website www.gardenontario.org.