Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society, Ontario Horticultural Association
Richmond Hill 
Garden & Horticultural Society
Beautifying Richmond Hill since 1914Beautifying Richmond Hill
since 1914
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2018 Program

Jan 9

AGMAnnual General Meeting and Photographic Recap of 2017

Including election of officers and flower show awards, this meeting is a great opportunity to discover the breadth and depth of our all-volunteer organization.

A photographic slideshow featuring many of our 2017 events follows the business portion of the meeting.


Feb 6

Marion Jarvie Architectural Elements in the Garden, Marion Jarvie

Leveraging her global travels, Marion will take us on a brief visual history of gardens, focusing on architectural influences, including shapes for garden beds, pergolas and other garden structures, water features, garden art and containers. This will be an opportunity to see and learn about a variety of inspirational ideas from around the world.

Marion Jarvie is a passionate plantswoman who has been gardening in Thornhill for more than forty years. Several weekends annually, she opens her beautiful garden to the public to showcase plants in spring, summer and autumn. An enthusiastic educator, Marion teaches courses on gardening subjects at the Toronto Botanical Garden, and she has lectured all over North America and the United Kingdom. For more information about Marion, including the dates that her garden will be open in 2018, visit  


Mar 6

Kevin KavanaghAzalea and Rhododendron Care and Growing, Kevin Kavanagh

With a reputation for “pushing zones,” Master Gardener Kevin Kavanagh will share techniques for the successful care of  early and late-blooming varieties of these colourful flowering shrubs.

Kevin transformed his passion for nature into a business in 2005 when he started South Coast Garden & Consulting, offering landscape design services and a garden centre specializing in native and sub-tropical plants. Earlier in his career, following post-graduate research in botany at the University of Toronto, Kevin worked in biodiversity conservation for the World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).  Visit Kevin online at


Apr 3

Paul ZammitPlants that Like it Hot: Tropical and Hardy Succulents, Paul Zammit

This water-wise and rather tough group of plants is available in an ever-increasing selection of shapes, sizes, colours, forms and textures. Join Paul for a dynamic presentation where he will share his experience and timely tips on how to grow and creatively use both hardy and tropical succulents in gardens, containers, and places you probably haven't thought of, during this seventh installment of the annual Barker Lecture
It's possible you've seen Paul on TV, heard him on the radio, or read about him in magazines. An accomplished horticulturist, Paul Zammit's enthusiasm, engaging personality and creativity contribute to his reputation as a crowd pleaser at horticultural venues. You can find Paul online at and at the Toronto Botanical Garden, where he is the Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture.

May 1

Native PlantBiodiversity with Native Plants, Paul LaPorte

Past President of the North American Native Plant Society Paul LaPorte’s presentation will focus on the definitive role that native plants have in the life cycle of insects/pollinators and the successive food chain that is supported by this relationship. He will also review the definition of a native plant, provide an example of how to establish a native plant garden and give a brief overview of the North American Native Plant Society. Engaging visuals will include photos, animation and video.

Paul LaPorte is the owner of Ephemeral Ark Nursery, specializing in native woodland species and ecological gardening and design. Paul maintains a strong knowledge of Ontario native plant species and their communities and fosters them in his own gardens. A popular speaker at horticultural venues, he is a member of the Scugog Environmental Advisory Committee and Kawartha Conservation's BlueScape Steering Committee. Following this presentation, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to purchase some of the profiled plants.


Jun 5

Julia DimakosSuccessful Vegetable Gardening, Julia Dimakos

'Gardening Girl' Julia Dimakos will take us on a photographic journey of the steps she took in creating an abundant vegetable garden on her country property.  These steps will include grading the land, building raised beds, establishing effective fencing to deter deer, soil preparation, planting techniques, and watering. Along the way, she will share lessons-learned that are sure to help other aspiring vegetable gardeners.
Orangeville and District Horticultural Society President Julia Dimakos started gardening when she became a Mom and wanted to provide her family with healthy food.  She gardens organically and tries to keep it simple, but does add new and unusual vegetables to her garden each year.  Julia, who is also working towards a horticultural degree at the University of Guelph, delights in inspiring others, showing them how easy and enjoyable gardening can be. Julia offers a number of free gardening resources on her website, including a blog, at and on Facebook at     


Jul 3

Celia RobertsHow to Enter a Flower Show & What Judges Look For, Celia Roberts
Celia’s presentation will cover the qualifications of horticultural and design judges, the three divisions of a flower show, what judges look for, and how to prepare for a show. Photos of design and horticultural entries will be leveraged to explain compliance with schedule requirements, and help flower show enthusiasts realize the differences between ‘honorable mention’ and ‘first place’ ribbons.
Celia Roberts is a highly accredited Floral Design and Horticultural Judge who teaches at the Toronto Botanical Gardens, the Garden Club of Toronto, and across Ontario to the Ontario Horticultural Association Judging Schools and Judging Update workshops. Celia has won many prestigious flower show awards and has provided her sought-after judging services as far away as Ireland and Barbados. She is also the current co-chair for Canada Blooms.


Aug 7

Scott MacIvorWild Bees in Your Garden, Scott MacIvor
Scott, who wowed 2017 OHA Convention attendees, will introduce us to some of the many types of wild bees that are native to southern Ontario.  He will explain why these “other pollinators” are important to our garden ecosystems  and  show us how to recognize, support and sustain these bees through our gardening practices.
Scott MacIvor works in research at the University of Toronto, in applied ecology and conservation. He focuses on pollination systems, biodiversity, green infrastructure and ecosystem services; and is well-known for his research on native bees.

Sep 4

Glenn BrunettiHarvesting and Cooking with Herbs, Glenn Brunetti
This timely presentation will cover the collection, preparation and preservation of a variety of herbs, including identification of those suitable for freezing as compared to preserving in materials such as salt, sugar, oil and vinegars. Glenn’s methods are anticipated to inspire us with ideas for holiday gifts, as well as identification of plants  to include in wish lists for our future gardens. To top things off, Glenn will demonstrate some culinary uses and tempt us with both sweet and savory food samples.

Glenn Brunetti is a professional herb and food educator who has developed and presented hundreds of diverse and stimulating programs for audiences across Ontario and the U.S., including the Royal Botanical Garden, Canada Blooms and Mohawk College. Attendees of his 2013 “Versatility of Herbs” presentation to our society still talk about the delicious Coriander Pesto, Lavender Pound Cake and Strawberry Dip we sampled that evening.

Oct 2

Lorraine JohnsonEdible Native Plants, City Farmer, Lorraine Johnson

Author Lorraine Johnson’s presentation will focus on native plants that are both beautiful and delicious, providing food for us, as well as for local wildlife like birds and insect pollinators. No doubt, some of the profiled plants will be a surprise – for instance, one fruit native to Ontario looks like a mango and tastes like a banana!
A Past President of the North American Native Plant Society, Lorraine Johnson is the author of more than ten books on native plant gardening, urban agriculture and environmental issues, including City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing, and the recently republished 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens.  Following the presentation, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to purchase some of Lorraine’s books.


Nov 6

Invasive Plants, Vicki Simkovic (replacing Colin Cassin)
Grow Me Instead representative Vicki Simkovic will introduce us to native plant alternatives to a number of invasive plants that escape the borders of our gardens and then thrive in nearby natural areas. As well, she will share best practices for removing invasive plants such as dog-strangling vine, garlic mustard and Phragmites.
Vicki Simkovic is the new Coordinator of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC), managing programs such as Grow Me Instead, which encourages the use of non-invasive alternatives to commonly used invasive horticultural species. More information on this subject is available at

Dec 4

Holiday CelebrationHoliday Celebration 
Celebrate the season with your gardening colleagues at this gala event,  featuring professional entertainment, a delicious dinner, silent auction and the ever-popular red bag raffle.


For more information about this special, ticketed event, click here.



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