By MARY FRAN McQUADE
I’ve always been glad of the start of a new year: new calendars, new plans, clean slate (more or less). For gardeners, we also have a rebirth of our gardens to look forward to.
Dates have already been set for several key gardening events, and here are some dates to mark:
Get the Jump on Spring on Feb. 22. This free event ($2 donation if you can) will introduce you to dozens of garden societies and commercial exhibitors featuring plants, bee products, worm composters and more. Check out the free talks and demos and the used book sale, too. There’s also a bonus Seedy Saturday exchange/purchase as part of the event. Bring your own seeds to trade, if you have them, or check out the commercial exhibitors to try something new. Location is the Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E. at Leslie Street. Pay parking available; free for members. For more information, visit www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca
On March 12-22, the Canada Blooms garden and flower show takes place. Admittedly, it’s not the big extravaganza some of us remember, but if you’re starved for bloom and colour in March, as I am, it’s a fun day out. Theme this year is Birds of a Feather, which should spark the imagination of participating garden designers. Location is the Enercare Centre on the CNE grounds, and early bird tickets are already available online at discounted prices of $17, adults; $14, seniors 65+; and $13, youths 13-17. For more information, visit www.canadablooms.com
More Seedy Saturdays
If you want to stock up on seeds cheaply, especially for vegetable growing, seed exchanges will be popping up throughout February and March. Here are some of them:
• Feb. 22, at the Toronto Botanical Garden (see above).
• March 30, 11 am to 4 pm. Scarborough Seedy Saturday & Green Fair at Blessed Cardinal Newman H.S., 100 Brimley Rd., south of Kingston Road. There will also be workshops, vendors, a kids’ area and free parking.
A sad goodbye to Beach GHS
I was saddened to see that the Beach Garden and Horticultural Society (Beach GHS) recently announced it’s dissolving the club.
Members of the board of directors and other long-time members have been serving in a variety of positions for several years, and no one new came forward to volunteer at the final meeting in 2019.
Time constraints, work and family commitments, and health issues all contributed to the shortage of volunteers.
The club took action to address these concerns by shifting its focus from indoor lectures and meetings to more active events like tours, workshops and private garden visits. This sparked new interest, but didn’t save the club.
The Riverdale Horticultural Society, which has had several joint ventures with the Beach GHS, will be welcoming former members of the Beach group. Riverdale will also continue to support ongoing work in three local gardens founded and maintained by Beach GHS volunteers: the Beach Library garden, the Main Street Library garden and the Girl Guides garden near Kew Beach school.
The Riverdale Horticultural Society meets the second Wednesday of the month, September through June, from 7 to 9 p.m., at Frankland Community Centre, 816 Logan Ave.
Another area garden group is the East York Garden Club, which meets the third Thursday of every month, from 7 p.m. to about 9 p.m., at the Stan Wadlow Clubhouse, 373 Cedarvale Ave. For more information, visti www.eygc.ca