Garden Views: Shake off the winter blues at these events

You can often find unusual plants at specialized sales. PHOTO: Contributed

Are you feeling garden-deprived? Me, too. February seems at least 98 days long, and then there’s tiresome March.

Good thing we can spend our time filling in the calendar with garden-y gatherings to enjoy. You don’t even have to scour the Web for what’s on – I’ve done that for you and listed all the best below. Clip and save this column for easy reference. The Beach is a bit bleak in the gardening department until the Beach Garden Society’s Plant Sale in May, but all these events are east of the Don.


» 1 – Know Maintenance Perennial Garden presentation by super-gardener Roy Diblik, Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG)*, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.; members free, guests $10, public $15. Diblik has been quietly influencing gardening design and practice for at least a decade. His presentations bring the lofty idea of natural design based on plant communities down to earth and simple for the home gardener.

Plant sales and shows can help fill the time until spring.

» 9 to 18 – Canada Blooms national flower and garden show, Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place, open 10 a.m., closing times vary; $16 to $20, but cheaper online in advance. The annual extravaganza offers 10 feature gardens, from formal to whimsical; a cluster of balcony and small gardens; gardening marketplace; and a packed schedule of speakers and events.

» 18 – Seedy Sunday, Evergreen Brickworks, 550 Bayview Ave., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $2 donation or pay what you can. Vendors, workshops, hands-on activities, food and live music.

»  24 – Scarborough Seedy Saturday and Green Fair, Blessed Cardinal Newman H.S., 100 Brimley Road South, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $2 or pay what you can. Seed exchange, heirloom seed vendors, gardening booths and advice, workshops and green living ideas.


» 21 – Earth Day Family Celebration, TBG Teaching Garden*, 12 noon to 4 p.m.; free admission. Garden planting, nature crafts, nature story telling and more.


» 5 – North American Native Plant Society native plant sale, TBG*, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; free admission. Huge selection of ethically-grown native plants, organized by best growing conditions. On-site gardening advice from members. Note: Come early to avoid disappointment.

» 10 – TBG Spring Plant Sale members only day. TBG*, 12 noon to 5 p.m.; free admission. Top-quality flowering and foliage plants, edibles, shrubs, vines and small trees. On-site gardening advice.

» 11 to 13 – TBG Spring Plant Sale, TBG*, 10 to 8 and 10 to 5 Sat. & Sun.; free admission (See description above)

» 19 – Beach Garden Society Plant Sale, Adam Beck Community Centre, 79 Lawlor Ave., 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.; free admission. Perennials and other choice plants specially selected to thrive in the Beach environment and to support pollinators. On-site gardening advice. Note: Come early to avoid disappointment.


» 10 and 11 – Through the Garden Gate garden tour: The Gardens of Windfields Estate. Includes 20 fabulous gardens in the area once occupied by Windfields Farm racing stable (roughly bounded by Lawrence Ave. East, York Mills Rd., Leslie St. and Bayview Ave.). Organized by the Toronto Botanical Garden, this year’s theme is gardens that express their owners’ passion for plants and gardening. Many owners will be in their gardens to talk about their special features and focus – water features, art/sculpture, shade, woodland/naturalism and pollinators, for example. One-day tickets $45 public, $40 members and two-day tickets $65 public, $60 members; available March/April online, at the TBG* and other locations.

* The address for Toronto Botanical Garden is 777 Lawrence Ave. East.

Mary Fran McQuade is a local writer specializing in gardening and lifestyle.

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