Crown Point Garden Club

Growing in East Hamilton

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TreeMobile set for 2018

The 2018 TreeMobile program is underway. TreeMobile is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization that makes perennial food plants, mostly fruit trees, available (at excellent prices) to people in and around the GTA. The TreeMobile web site has comprehensive information on tree planting and care, although the species information is sometimes sketchy.

Orders can be made online and the closest pick-up location to Hamilton is Guelph, on May 12 only. We may be organizing a collective pickup if several club members order. Stay tuned for details– we’ll try to find a coordinator/driver.

Here’s the web site:

RBG spring 2018 courses for gardeners

Posting this to make it easier for our members and followers to learn about the RBG’s course offerings this spring.
RBG logo Royal Botanical Gardens has wonderful programs coming up for the gardener. Register online at or call 905-527-1158 ext. 270.

PERENNIAL PLANT COMMUNITIES “The Know Maintenance Approach”

Friday, March 2; 7 to 8:30 p.m. at RBG Centre
Fee: $18; Members: $6

Roy Diblik’s thoughtful way to design perennial plantings welcomes fresh contemporary styles and plant diversity integrated with responsible maintenance methods. By using a selection of regionally dependable perennials and native plants, endless natural plant patterns can be constructed, each respecting time and cost to maintain. Roy discusses the developing partnership between the gardener, plants and nature, always knowing that the beauty is in the doing.


Friday, May 4; 7 to 8:30 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $18; Members: $6

Expanding beyond standard garden crops like tomatoes, spinach, and string beans can be intimidating for some vegetable gardeners. Join bestselling author, Niki Jabbour, to shake up your garden and discover unexpected flavours and textures in husk cherries, amaranth greens and yard-long beans (to name a few). Niki outlines dozens of plants for you to consider for your garden.


Wednesday, March 21; 7 to 9 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $35 (Members 10% off)

We often look at our garden design with only plants in mind. Hardscaping can be as important but is often given little thought. Ben Bushmuller, certified horticulturist, points out various materials to use, what is involved in the installation and why it will enhance your garden design., 905-527-1158, ext. 404. Weather updates are posted before program start time and in the event of weather postponement or cancellation, participants are notified via email at the time of posting.


Tuesdays, February 27 to March 6; 7 to 9 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

Join Andrea Weddum, certified horticulturist, in this two-part program to help enhance your gardens. She teaches basic techniques in design to help with colour, form, lines, scale and textures. She provides assistance with your garden plans that work with your style and property. Get a jump on the gardening season.


Mondays, March 19 to 26; 7 to 9 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $60 (Members 10% off)

No two gardens are alike and some are shady. This can create challenges but with the right plants and knowhow, a shade garden can be a lush thriving oasis. Andrea Weddum, certified horticulturist, introduces plants, design concepts and one-on-one assistance so your garden can be transformed this spring.


Saturday, March 24; 2 to 4 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $50 (Members 10% off)

Heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated, non-hybrid cultivars that often have the best flavour. Linda Crago from Tree & Twig Farms provides all you need to know to grow the best heirloom tomatoes. Participants sow their own tomatoes seeds to germinate and plant in their own gardens.


Thursday, April 5; 7 to 9 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $35 (Members 10% off)

Lawns do require a lot of maintenance and Ben Buchmuller, certified horticulturist, points out a sustainable way of keeping your lawns healthy. Often grass is an important part of our garden designs and the maintenance can be daunting. A healthy lawn doesn’t mean lots of fertilizer and a chemical routine.


Tuesday, April 10; 7 to 9 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $35 (Members 10% off)

Tara Nolan, award-winning author of Raised Bed Revolution, discusses the fastest growing strategy for gardening — in containers. Tara reviews types of containers, materials to use and how to utilize a small space with maximum results. She showcases her lettuce table, suitcase planter and many other ideas that suit anyone with limited space. Enhance your gardening techniques.


Saturday, April 14; 2 to 3:30 p.m. at RBG Centre.
Fee: $40 (Members 10% off)

A standard grown plant is a single straight trunk topped with a round or weeping mass of foliage. Chris Tarrant, plant propagation and production manager at RBG, demonstrates the pruning process and care. Each participant has their own plant (a Fuchsias approximately 18″ tall and in a 6″ pot) to set up as a standard, and goes home with another rooted cutting to create a standard on their own.

Seedy Saturday 2018

This year’s Seedy Saturday was held on the mountain at St. Marguerite d’Youville School. It was great to see the “regulars” from Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds and Urban Harvest and Anything Grows. Some new faces this year: Anita from Annelid Cycle and Alyson at Cottage Botanicals. Matchbox Seeds was back but I don’t recall seeing Hope Seeds in the past.
Our little table for the Crown Point Garden Club had lots of visitors. It was great to meet some of our Facebook friends in person. We sold out completely–all the Acti-sol, PGX seed starting mix, and Bee Friendly fertilizer. Proceeds go to supporting the community work of the club.

Here’s a shot of Fran and Bev on duty. More photos to come…

Seed Starting 101

Here is the two-page handout used at the Indoor Gardening seminar on Jan. 29 at the Hamilton Central Public Library. It will give you enough information to get started and introduce you to the main concepts.

Roses 101

Roses! The quintessential beauty of the garden. We love them, but sometimes we struggle with them. But they don’t have to be difficult or finicky. Learn how to choose, site, plant, and care for roses. Good choices and improved knowledge will result in a long-lived, robust and, of course, gorgeous display in your garden.

On Wednesday November 22 our special guest speaker is Elizabeth Schleicher from the Hamilton & Burlington Rose Society. Elizabeth will talk about growing roses. Elizabeth is an accredited judge of horticulture and design. Her passion for roses inspired her to become an accredited Canadian Rose Society rose judge.

She is past president of the Canadian Rose Society and her local club, the Hamilton and Burlington Rose Society.

Currently Elizabeth is Flower Show chair for Burlington Horticultural Society and Secretary for Garden Clubs of Ontario, Judges’ Council. She also is an active member in numerous other societies.

In her free time she enjoys the hobbies of photography, gardening, travel and jewellery crafts.

All are welcome to attend this presentation. There is no charge but there will be a donation box at the door if you’d like to support the work of the club.

Our logo, banner, and holiday sale

At our September meeting we approved a design for a club logo. Here it is:

The logo was used for our club banner, to be unveiled at our vendor table at the “Get Your Shopping Done” craft and vendor fair on Saturday December 2, 9:30 – 2:00 at Delta United Church (Ottawa St. just south of Main). Mark your calendars!

Our table offerings will include:

  • Acti-sol fertilizer and squirrel deterrent in trial-size bags (~2 lbs)
  • bags of Premier PGX seed starting (soil-less) mix. This is a super-fine mix that will increase your germination success, especially with tiny seeds
  • PLANTS! Lots of coleus, plectranthus and other house plants, grown and potted by club members

Attack of the Invasives!

Attack of the Invasive Plants graphicOur next meeting features a special guest speaker and a topic that vexes so many gardeners. Claudette Sims, President of the Master Gardeners of Ontario and area resident, presents “Attack of the Invasive Plants: Identify, Counter-Attack and Eliminate”. Her talk will be followed by the regular meeting of the Crown Point Garden Club. Everyone is welcome to attend one or both– come for the educational first half and stay for the action-packed second half.

The event is on Wednesday October 25 at 7:00 p.m. The location is the L.O.S.T. storefront at 148 Ottawa Street, right across the street from our usual meeting spot. The L.O.S.T. organization has a lovely renovated space that is used for yoga classes and this will be their first time hosting a public event. We are glad they’ve offered their space to us. Visit their web site at

Here’s the event poster as a pdf to view or download: Attack of the Invasive Plants PDF

Claudette Sims is a retired educator and has been a member of Halton Region Master Gardeners since 2004. After serving as coordinator of her group, she was proud to continue working as Zone 5 Director and is presently president of Master Gardeners of Ontario. She loves to attract wildlife to her garden and has increasing knowledge and admiration for our beautiful native plants. Her “Fifty Shades of Shade” blog posts support her appearances on local Cable TV. Other interests include travelling, line dancing, singing, ukulele and most recently trying to learn to play the harmonica.

Attack of the Invasive plants: Identify, Counter Attack and Eliminate
We are under attack from alien species, but they’re not from outer space. Learn how to counterattack and save your part of the planet. What’s an invasive plant? How’d it get here? How do I get rid of it?

Pipeline Pollinator Paradise– what we’ve learned

Pipeline Pollinator Garden Aug 8 2017

Pipeline Pollinator Paradise, August 8, 2017.

The Pipeline Trail native plant garden, now in its third season, is in full “yellow daisy” display. It’s turned into a beautiful, lush, and remarkably garden-like feature on the west end of the trail. Here’s what we’ve learned about planting and maintaining a large garden, with volunteer labour, on public land, on terrible hard-packed clay.

  • Mulch mulch and more mulch. Plain old woodchips, at least three inches, will turn the clay into something plants can grow in. We are seeing worms, soil-dwelling insects and micro-fauna, and the beginnings of hyphae networks. Life is emerging, starting with the soil
  • weeding is very important. We stayed on top of the weeds for the first two summers. Now we can be less vigilant–soil disturbance is low so buried seeds don’t germinate.
  • Heliopsis helianthoides / Smooth Oxeye Daisy

    Heliopsis helianthoides / Smooth Oxeye Daisy with ripening berries from Sambucus canadensis / Elderberry shrub

  • Deadhead. Yes we want the birds to enjoy the seeds but we also have to consider that allowing volunteer seedlings creates a huge amount of work for us. The Coreopsis tripteris, wild geranium, and asters have been the most pesky. These plants need special attention
  • Be prepared to treat the space like a “real” garden. Plants will flop over (especially this year with all the rain and rampant growth) so staking and tying is necessary. Move and spread things so the garden looks good from several angles. Make sure species receive the sun they need. Add and rearrange plants so that something is in bloom in every area, all the time.
  • Monarda, Heliopsis, Pycnanthemum, Rosa virginiana

  • People are pigs. Yes, they throw pop bottles, cigarette butts, and all manner of garbage into the garden. We found a tray of cat litter. Also, some donations: hostas and morning glories. Be prepared for the work and always bring trash bags to a weeding session.
  • The wild strawberries (Fragaria virginica) do not play nice. They are easily the most aggressive plant in the garden and they should be given their own space. They completely overran the Carex they were planted with, requiring a rescue mission for the sedge.
  • Take photos and teach volunteers how to distinguish seedlings from weeds.
  • Pipeline Pollinator Garden, from west, Aug. 8, 2017

  • Keep an eye out for species that are struggling. We lost the Pearly Everlastings in the first winter and have not managed to re-establish them. The Liatris cylindracea never got established at all. We lost some native grasses, too.
  • Note which species are doing better than expected. The Penstemon hirsutus is thriving so we introduced Penstemon digitalis.
  • Fill in the bare areas or nature will do it for you.

Road Trip to Whistling Gardens

Mark your calendars and RSVP for the next garden club road trip. On Saturday July 22 we’ll be travelling to Norfolk County to visit the amazing Whistling Gardens. Car pool departure time is 12 noon from the H.G. Wallace parking lot at 151 Ottawa St. North. We’ve secured a group rate so the entry fee is only $11 per person– best to bring cash. Also there is a retail area for people who want to buy plants.

Time permitting we’ll be dropping by at least one garden center on the way home.

RSVP please to All neighbourhood gardeners are welcome to join in, even if this is your first garden club experience.

Shade Plant Presentation

Kirengeshoma (Yellow waxbells) in top left, fronted by Digitalis lanata and flanked by Itea virginiana, another great shade plant.

Thank you to club member Gerry and his former RBG Auxiliary “potting” crew Judy and Denise for their presentation on shade plants at our April 2017 meeting. Some, like Hellebore and Hosta, were familiar and some, like Kirengeshoma and Mukdenia, were not.

For your reference and further research. here is the pdf of their presentation (opens in new tab).

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