The Buzz on Pollinators. Planting with Purpose
Interview with Master Gardener of Niagara’s Betty Knight
Shaw Garden Tour June 2022
The weather was perfect on June 11th for the annual Shaw Garden Tour. There were 8 Niagara-on-the Lake gardens featured with over 860 people attending under sunny skies. Master Gardeners of Niagara were stationed in the gardens and answered the attendees various garden questions. Included in the tour were a number of artists stationed at each property showcasing their talents. The following shots were taken at the 27 Delater Street garden. This home has been family-owned since 1882 and features an uninterrupted panorama view of the Niagara River and historic Fort Niagara. The perennial garden was a show stopper.
Ask a Master Gardener Rice Road Greenhouse
Every Saturday from April 30th to June 11th, the Master Gardeners of Niagara have been assisting the public with their gardening questions at Rice Road Greenhouse in Welland.
Owned and operated by the Moes family, it is Niagara’s largest garden centre offering a wide variety of plants ranging from perennials, annuals, vegetables, fruits, shrubs, trees and even pool palms. Pictured below are Jerry Moes, owner and Jennifer Qusen representing the Niagara Master Gardeners.
With the cancellation of all in person meetings the Master Gardeners of Niagara have depended on digital platforms like ZOOM to interact with one another. It has been a learning experience and has shown to be an effective communication tool during the government restriction orders and lockdown. We continue to keep informed and up to date with all things horticultural. Keep safe friends!
Hospice Niagara Workshop January 2020
Participants enjoyed creating the attractive terrarium below. Thank you to Emily for her creative ideas.
Master Gardeners September 2019 Plant Sale
The Master Gardeners had another successful plant sale on Saturday, September 7th.
Many varieties of plants were sold and distributed. Thank you Niagara!
Master Gardeners Summer Workshop 2019
This years summer workshop held at the Niagara School of Horticulture saw a large number of enthusiastic MG’s eager to brush up on their horticultural skills and studies.
The three seminars offered this session were “Tricky Traits and Formidable Features” taught by Darrell Bley, “Developing Defences for Diabolical Diseases” by Sue Clarke and “Scoundrels and Scourges:Profiles of Ontario’s Pesky Plants” by Kris Mahoney,PhD.
Stereoscopes were used in Darrell’s class to help give the students a better understanding of morphological and structural features in plants that we cannot see too clearly with the naked eye.
Examining up close the irritating modified hairs of a leather file viburnum that can cause allergic reactions when handled improperly.
Participants in Sue’s course learned how to make basic diagnostic assessments of plants affected by disease, pests or unfavourable environmental conditions. Here Sue points to cracks and seepage in a London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) caused by pressure from within the tree. The exposed sap is attractive to airborne bacteria which can further damage the tree if it is allowed to persist.
Sue also spoke about the various roses in the garden that are both resistant and non resistant to various diseases and afflictions.
Examining a healthy spruce branch and the protective waxy surface on the needles.
There were also many opportunities to photograph some of the lovely plants which were in full bloom. Both days saw plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures.
June Streadwick, Director of Education and Event Organizer with MGOI President Claudette Sims.
Hospice Niagara Summer Craft Session
Delightful summer-time arrangements were created by all participants in the Master Gardeners creative workshop on June 12 at Hospice Niagara. MG Emily even brought along some pussy-willows to enhance the bouquets.
Shaw Garden Tour
The Niagara Master Gardeners helped showcase the Shaw Guilds 14th annual garden tour on June 8th. Seven magnificent gardens in the historic village of Niagara-on-the-Lake were on display this year with each having an interesting layout. Luckily the weather held out and the sunshine was abundant.
Master Gardener volunteers were busy helping to create Easter arrangements with participants at Niagara Hospice. Bunnies and flowers always welcome.
Freeman Herbs Tour April 9, 2019
It was a sunny April morning when a group from the Master Gardeners of Niagara were treated to a tour of the Beamsville facility of Freeman Herbs on 4075 North Service Road.
Once a former cucumber operation this greenhouse grows 12 varieties of certified organic herbs. Freemans also grows 65 conventional varieties of plants.
With 16 acres under glass we had a lot of touring to do. The first area of plants consisted of rows of Boston ferns suspended from the glass ceiling in pots.
We passed acres of herbs planted in small pots that are made from rice which can be composted and recycled.
Ready to eat herbs are a favourite for any time-pressed consumer who would like to cook with the freshest herbs possible. One of the interesting Freeman offerings consist of combo packs of sage, thyme and rosemary for turkey and ham dinner seasonings.
Special glass is being used to control the spectrum of light that reaches the plants. This technology converts any unused yellow and blue spectrum to the frequency of red which is the growing plants preference. Students from Niagara College take part in measuring the effect of the different light frequencies on the crops. Mini-satchets on a stick are used to distribute beneficial insects to minimize development of harmful pests such as spider mites and thrips. Special “banker plants” are located throughout the greenhouse. These plants host specific bugs that are the food for the biological control agents (parasitic wasps) that don’t feed on the primary crop grown.
Before the herbs are shipped they are run through a water bath so that they are adequately hydrated before packaging and shipment.
Freemans also grows popular succulent plants for the retail market.
Thanks to our tour guides Kari, Andy and Rhonda the herb experts!
If you’re ever in the Beamsville area check out Freeman Herbs. Their product is sold at most major retailers across Canada.
Master Gardeners Seedy Saturday March 23, 2019
Another successful seed exchange was held at St.George’s Anglican Church in St.Catharines. Approximately 400 visitors ventured out to buy and trade naturally pollinated seeds for their gardens. The Vendor Marketplace offered numerous garden products for sale. There were morning and afternoon sessions with speakers who spoke on a variety of garden related topics. Many questions were answered by the Master Gardener volunteers. Radio personality Matt Holmes from 610cktb interviewed exchange organizer Leigh Anne Legault on whats involved at a seed exchange (interview link) Great job team!
Niagara School of Horticulture Workshop January 2019
Another busy morning at the greenhouses helping prepare over 50 trays of cuttings for the gardens. Suzette our supervisor and instructor showed us the proper size clipping to harvest from the growing trays and how long to dip into the rooting hormone
Suzette demonstrating the “3 second” hormone dip and sizing.
June gathering trays. Finding a friendly slug.
Hospice Niagara January 2019
Our Master Gardener volunteers hosted a gardening workshop at Hospice Niagara. Small planters were created in a variety of flowers and colours. A great day to spend on a wintery afternoon with friends.
Master Gardeners Summer BBQ June 14th at Bob Martin’s
Good food, good friends and good fun was had by all as we celebrated the summer in Bob Martin’s beautiful outdoor garden. Thank you Bob!
Summer Workshop 2017 Niagara Parks School of Horticulture
The past MG summer workshop was well attended and enjoyed great July weather. Three courses were offered: Creating Gardens (A Designers Approach), The Carolinian Zone and Urban Agriculture. Our instructors were Darren Schmahl, NPD, Darrell Bley, Instructor/Curator of Woody Plants and Kris J.Mahoney, PhD. Thanks to June Streadwick and Yvonne Causer for organizing this years event. We had a terrific weekend, made some new friends and learned something new at the same time.
Hospice Niagara Gardens 2017
Karen, Barb and Alan completed the refurbishment of the Hospice Niagara Gardens. Great job fellow masters!
Master Gardeners of Niagara deliver gardening information to the public at various events throughout the year.
Hands on Horticulture: Niagara School of Horticulture
Workshops Speaking Engagements