Looking Into Your Local Horticultural Society

Looking Into Your Local Horticultural Societies

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Local Horticultural Society’s and Garden clubs and their volunteers play a crucial role in many communities large and small and their work is often unrealized.  I have written about how my membership in my local Horticultural Society led me to a career that I love in the past but I wanted to mention it again and update you a little as well.
As a new homeowner after trying to figure things out in my own new garden and realizing that I loved doing it, I started to attend the  Pickering Horticultural Society meetings. I enjoyed their annual plant sale, the speakers and of course meeting knowledgeable people who helped me along the way – no one more than Christine Male.

Back in 2002, she was an executive on the committee and Assistant Manager at Weall & Cullen. I approached Christine for a part time job as I was very interested in learning more about the industry and excited to help others with their gardens. With a 7 and 5 year old at home, I decided to venture out of the house a little bit more now that they were in school. My short stint at Weall & Cullen turned into a longer stay at Sheridan Nurseries. While still wanting to learn more, I ended up taking the Landscape Design Certificate at Ryerson and the rest, as they say, is history…

But enough about me! I really wanted to write and inform you about the great and often un-publicized work by our local and provincial horticultural societies. Whether you have heard about them or not, they have been around a long time.

To quote the Ontario Horticultural Association:


“It is a Tree with many branches. Since 1906, the Ontario Horticultural Association (OHA) has led Ontarians in all things horticultural. Our organization is an integral part of this province’s cultural fabric. OHA was created by the Province of Ontario in 1906. It is a well-rooted tree with many branches (19 Districts); twigs (270 autonomous local societies) and leaves (over 30,000 members)!”
Now that my boys are grown, I have become more involved. I joined the Board of the Society in 2015 and agreed to be Vice President in 2017. Here in Durham Region, we are part of District 17. There are 12 groups in our area so there has to be one near to you. Check here for your zone.
As a Board member, you also get to work with members from other groups and it is always interesting to learn from each other, uniting Durham Region in landscape and garden goodness.
As a member you have the opportunity to:
  • socialize with people who have a common interest
  • participate in or just enjoy viewing flower and floral design shows which are judged by professional judges
  • receive discounts at select local garden centers
  • gain hands-on experience by participating in the maintenance of  your communities public flower beds
  • listen to and interact with knowledgeable guest speakers at all meetings
  • Enjoy your garden in the summer since there are no summer meetings
I really enjoy the talks from the different speakers monthly and I am always learning something new. The talks are always very diverse. We have learned about Planting garlic, from a local garlic farmer to more about trees from an Arborist with Davey Tree Company to Feng Shui in the Garden from a local Feng Shui Consultant and those were just a few from our Pickering meetings. Most clubs have a website and/or Facebook page. You can get involved as little or as much as you want. I encourage everyone to check out your local club for a meeting. I am very confident that you won’t be disappointed.
I hope you have learned something new in this article.  If you have any questions about an organization near you, their website will have information on speakers and meeting times and they would love to have you drop in for a meeting.

2 Responses to Looking Into Your Local Horticultural Society


    Thank you, Joanne for your article. My membership in the Pickering Hirticultural Society has led me to develop life-long friendships and to continue to foster my interest in gardening. It also led me to develop an interest in the fine aspects of judging flower shows.

    I encourage more gardeners to consider training to become a judge. This is where you really learn about plants.

    Fern Nutbrown

    I need some help with my flower beds. Have had surgery and can not do it myself. I live in Durham – please let me know if you can help me find someone to weed etc my beds.

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