Category Archives: News

Water Gardens on March 6

Farlee See from Moore Water Gardens in Port Stanley will be the guest speaker at the March General Meeting of the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society scheduled for Tuesday, March 6. For over 80 years, Moore Water Gardens has specialized in the growing of water lilies and aquatic plants. Their outdoor ponds are devoted to hardy lilies and the ever-expanding greenhouse provides facilities for the propagation of strong and healthy plants.

Farlee says that a lily pond requires little maintenance, and special gardening experience is not necessary. Water plants succeed under the most trying conditions, as they are not affected by severe heat or drought.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Auditorium at the Tillsonburg Community Centre. 2018 memberships will be available at a cost of $15 per person. All Welcome.

Carson Arthur at Garden Gate

by Penny Esseltine

Television personality, speaker, landscaper and gardener Carson Arthur visited Tillsonburg this week to address an enthusiastic gathering of both young and experienced gardening enthusiasts at Tillsonburg Garden Gate. Arthur is a friend of Garden Gate owners Matt and Linda Fenn. It’s Arthur’s contention that the number of true gardeners (those who share interests in  things like planting to attract hummingbirds, creating winter interest in gardens, growing multi-coloured perennial gardens, large varieties of plants and flowers, and such) have been on the decline for a decade or more. Professional landscaping has taken over the places and spaces no longer filled by gardeners.

Carson Arthur presents to enthusiastic gardeners (Photo courtesy of Shelley Imbeault)

Carson Arthur presents to enthusiastic gardeners (Photo courtesy of Shelley Imbeault)

“Everyone has a landscaper,” Arthur says. We’re filling outdoor spaces with immense concrete patios and decks, water features, fountains, luxurious outdoor rooms, large furniture, and repetitive plantings. Plantings that require minimal maintenance for maximum impact are popular and stocked in huge quantities in big box stores. Containers for plants are popular. When a plant dies you can pop it out and put in a new one. Low maintenance is key.

Arthur says that true gardening is really a lot of work. True gardening involves identifying and choosing to grow many varieties of plants and flowers in different environments and helping them to survive and thrive. A wider variety of perennial and annual plants can most commonly be sourced in local gardens centres and nurseries.

Using today’s demographics Arthur says it’s the Baby Boomers (60 somethings) who are gravitating toward low maintenance spaces and outdoor rooms, even outdoor TV sets. Full landscapes with plants are just too much work.

Generation X (40-50 somethings) don’t want to do the back-breaking work that large gardens require. They’re looking for outdoor escapes, often with price tags exceeding hundreds of thousands of dollars. He says elaborate barbecues in outdoor kitchens can commonly cost $25,000 plus.

The future for gardening is in the hands of the Millennial generation (20 to 30 somethings). Men and women in this age group make up about 25 per cent of the population and gardening is their number one hobby. Millennials are looking to understand what attracts butterflies and bees to our gardens and to learn how to design and grow beautiful spaces. Vegetable gardens are must-haves in their backyards.

If there is hope for gardening making a comeback it will come by way of Millennials and their children. They’re looking for balance between beautiful outdoor places and the plants that make them look fantastic.

Arthur cautions that we can’t lose sight of the bigger picture. We need to love gardening for what it contributes to our homes and our lives, and how it can impact the world and the lives of those around us.

Tillsonburg Garden Gate is generously donating half of the proceeds of the Carson Arthur event to the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society to support our gardening work in the community.


Tillsonburg Garden Gate staff with Carson Arthur. (Photo courtesy of Shelley Imbeault)

Wildflowers Tea – As Natural as it Gets

Jane Magri, Clinical Herbalist from Wildflowers Farm will be the guest speaker kicking off our 2018 Tillsonburg Horticultural Society schedule of speakers on Tuesday, January 2 starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Auditorium at the Tillsonburg Community Centre. Jane says Wildflowers Teas are as natural as it gets – straight from the earth to your cup. She will talk about how simple yet effective herbal teas can help us improve our health.

Wildflower Farm is a nine acre family farm that focuses on sustainability and community. The farm is located on Fruit Ridge Line near St. Thomas. For information visit wildflowers

2018 Memberships will be available at $15 per person. As well newcomers are always welcome. There is a minimal charge of $2 per person for non-members for each meeting.

Members Christmas Pot Luck

The members only Christmas Pot Luck dinner is fast approaching, scheduled for Tuesday, December 5, just a couple of weeks ahead of Christmas. As is years past, members are asked to bring a vegetable dish, salad or dessert or anything that will provide a nice accompaniment for the turkey and gravy provided by the Horticultural Society. The Horticultural Society will also provide beverages including punch and coffee and tea. If you would like water with your meal please remember to bring your own.

Vocalist Marilyn Cecil Smith and her guitar accompanist Larry Smith will entertain both following dinner/ before dessert as well as after dessert. Organizer Barb Hunter says that they will play upbeat, age-appropriate music for our group and that there will be a bit of a Christmas sing-a-long near the end.

Doors will open at 4:00 for those who are interested in helping to set the tables and dinner will start at 6:00 for everyone. So far Barb expects there to be a crowd of over 140 people.

Cash donations for the Helping Hand Food Bank in Tillsonburg will be collected at the close of the festivities. We will look forward to seeing everyone there.

Beyond the Garden Gate – July 8

garden gate poster online

The Tillsonburg Horticultural Society and the Station Arts Centre are partnering to present Beyond the Garden Gate, a garden tour with artists featured at some of the gardens. Enjoy the gardens and see some talented works offered by members of the Station Arts Centre. Tour participants can enjoy discounted admissions to Annandale National Historic Site as well as discounts on plants purchased at Tillsonburg Garden Gate with their tickets to the garden tour. The tour goes rain or shine. Purchase your tickets in advance at the Station Arts Centre, Annandale National Historic Site, or Tillsonburg Garden Gate for $10. Day of tour tickets are $12 and will be available as well at the each garden on the tour. Call 519-842-6151 for information.

Wildflowers – June 6

The Tillsonburg Horticultural Society meets on Tuesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Auditorium at the Tillsonburg Community Centre. Guest speaker Nadia Cavallin’s presentation will focus on Wildflowers in Southwestern Ontario. Nadia in a Field Botanist at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. All welcome.

All About Hostas – May 2

Stephen Douglas, Past Director for District 10 of the Ontario Horticultural Association will be the guest speaker on May 2 when the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society meets in the Senior Centre Auditorium at the Tillsonburg Community Centre.

Stephen is active in the Southwestern Ontario Hosta Society and a self-confessed hostaholic. He will talk about new varieties of hostas and has promised to bring along several plants to be given away.

The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. All welcome. 2017 Tillsonburg Horticultural Society memberships will be available at a cost of $15 each.

Volunteer Award Recipients Named

Volunteer Awards 2

Tillsonburg Horticultural Society members recognized in March for their years of service to the organization and the community were Sandra Carson, 15 years; Monique Booth, 10 years; Jean Mann, 10 years; George Stier, 10 years; Jan Torrell, 10 years. and Monique Trepanier, 10 years.

Pictured above at the Provincial Awards Presentation Ceremony in Aylmer are Horticultural Society President Christine Nagy, Monique Trepanier, Oxford County M.P.P. Ernie Hardeman and Jan Torrell.

What’s New in 2017? – April 4

Matthew Fenn of Tillsonburg Garden Gate will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, April 4 meeting of the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society. His presentation will focus on What’s New in the Gardening World for 2017. Matt will help us to get ready for the new gardening season. Come and learn how to update your gardens and get excited about the arrival of spring!

The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Auditorium at the Tillsonburg Community Centre. 2017 memberships will be available at a cost of $15 per person.

Also coming up later in April is the Kelsey’s Fundraiser for the Tillsonburg Horticultural Society. Scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, supporters of the Horticultural Society who enjoy dinner at Kelsey’s that day will see 10 per cent of their food bill donated back to the Society.

2017 Society Board of Directors

Tillsonburg Horticultural Society 2017 Board of Directors Front Row, left to right: Albert Acre, Marian Smith, Christine Nagy, Judi Misener, Richard DeRoo. Back row, left to right: Juanita DeRoo, Diana Thompson, Jami Stephenson, Jan Torrell, Dena Luyt, Marie Smith, Penny Esseltine, Angela Lassam, Chris Suttie, Karen Pritoula, Barb Hunter, Catherine Burke. Absent: Monique Booth, Jean Mann, Sandra Rohrer, Woodingford lodge

Tillsonburg Horticultural Society 2017 Board of Directors
Front row, left to right: Albert Acre, Creative Services; Marian Smith, 2nd Vice-President+;  Christine Nagy, President+; Judi Misener, Speakers+; Richard DeRoo, Membership. Back row, left to right: Juanita DeRoo, Membership; Diana Thompson, Legion Gardens; Jami Stephenson, Annandale Gardens; Jan Torrell, Treasurer; Dena Luyt, Greetings; Marie Smith, Scrapbook/Sunshine+; Penny Esseltine, Website; Angela Lassam, Publicity+; Chris Suttie, Junior Gardeners; Karen Pritoula, Competitions; Barb Hunter, Social; Catherine Burke. Secretary+;  Absent: Monique Booth, Senior Centre Gardens; Jean Mann, Station Arts Gardens; Sandra Rohrer, Woodingford Lodge Gardens.