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Russell & District Horticultural Society

Stop by for some sage advice or just some interesting reading on all things horticultural.


Do Trees Talk?

Here are some links to learn more about how trees communicate.

TED talk video by Suzanne Simard on how trees talk to each other

Nature of Things with David Suzuki (article and video) about what trees talk about

Smithsonian Magazine article about the whispering trees

CNN article about the secret life of trees

The Guardian article about Peter Wohlleben who has written a book about trees talking to each other

More reading - Book “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben ( website)


Grace Stapper found this great article on how to grow milkweed. Check it out here:

Trees Native to Eastern Ontario

We have had Owen Clarkin as a guest speaker and he has written a very interesting paper about trees that are native to eastern Ontario. You can read the paper here.


At our regular meeting on May 15, 2017, our guest speaker Richard Hinchcliff, presented a history of the ornamental gardens at the Central Experimental Farm. He spoke about his two books Blooms and For the Love of Trees, A Guide to the Trees of Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm Arboretum. For more information on the CEF, you can visit

Invasive Plants

At our meeting on Monday, March 20, 2017, Iola Price of the the Ontario Invasive Plant Council spoke to us all about dog strangling vine, garlic mustard, and buckthorn. She talked about how to recognize these three invasive plants as well as how to combate them. To learn more you can go to the Ontario Invastive Plant Council website.

Starting seeds

At our meeting on Monday, February 20, 2017, guest speaker Telsing Andrews shared a lot of information about starting seeds. Telsing mentioned some helpful websites.

Aster Lane Edibles (Telsing's own website) (information on how to winter sow seeds)

Rob's Plants (a personal journal of one man's adventures in seed starting - great resource)

Make your own yogurt and sauerkraut

At our January 2016 meeting, guest speaker Margaret Vant Erve spoke to us about fermented foods. Here are the recipes for yogurt and sauerkraut that Margaret shared with us.

Tips for attracting beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden

1. Always have something flowering. Plant for staggered flowering throughout the growing season so that pollinators always have some food. Clovers are great for providing fairly continuous flowering.

2. Keep a water source available.

3. Become familiar with good identification websites or books so that you know whether something is neutral, a pest or a beneficial for your garden goals.

4. Let cilantro, dill and parsley go to seed.

Herb Presentation by Fran Dennett

You can find the notes on Fran Dennett's presentation on herbs here.

Here is a document on how to build a herb spiral.

Seeds of Diversity

The cold dark days of winter are a great time to start planning your beautiful garden for next year. If you find yourself looking at magazines, catalogs and websites as you plan what to plant next year, a great place to check out is the Seeds of Diversity website.

Noxious Weeds

In Ontario, the Weed Control Act was introduced in order to reduce noxious weeds that have a negative impact on agriculture and horticulture lands. The Act is also aimed at reducing plant diseases by eliminating plant disease hosts as well as health hazards caused by poisonous plants.

There are 25 plants that have been designated as noxious weeds in Ontario as part of the the Act. As of January 1, 2015, some plants have been added to the list, and some removed, for various reasons. One reason for the removal of some species is that they are considered to ba a food source for pollinators, such as bees (e.g., wild carrot, goat's-beard, scotch thistle, nodding thistle, yellow rocket, and tuberous vetchling). For a full list of these plants plus more information on the Ontario Weed Control Act, you can visit the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website.

Living Locally Fair Article "Recipe for Success"

We've had a lt of questions about how the Living Locally Fair has been such a great success. The two ladies that started it all, Pegi Holtz and Lindley McPhail, have written an article that describes what they feel is their "recipe for success". You can read all about it here.

Seed Swap Information

If you would like to learn more about how to collect seeds, here are a couple of excellent resources.

How to Save Seed by Lindy Sharpe

How to: Seed Saving by the American Community Gardening Association

Other Past Articles

Growing Sweet Potatoes by George Bushell (October 2011)
Time to Get a Handle on Things by Pat Stachon (September 2010)
Tips and Techniques by Margaret Helliker (May 2010)
Counting Lambs, Spring Bulbs and Planting Petunias by Pat Stachon (April 2010)
Hostas by Marcel Beauchamp (April 2010)
Living Locally Fair 2010 by Pegi Holtz (January 2010)
Soils, Fungi and Plant Partnerships by Marcel Beauchamp (April 2009)
What's New at MacDougall Park - Rebuilding the Bridge by Lindley McPhail (March 2009)
Magnificent Magnolias by Marcel Beauchamp (March 2009)
Agapanthus Lily, a Noxious Weed! by Pat Stachon (February 2009)
When to Prune Trees by Marcel Beauchamp (February 2009)
The Winter "In" Plants by Pat Stachon (January 2009)
Fall Preparation by Pat Stachon (November 2008)
Peonies in the Fall by Pat Stachon (September 2008)
Spring Flower Show and Plant Auction 2008 by Robert Auger (June 2008)
A Father's Gift by Jean Williams (June 2008)
Plant Sale 2008 by Robert Auger (June 2008)
Peonies by Pat Stachon (June 2008)
Think Organically by Robert Auger (June 2008)
Rhubarb by Pat Stachon (May 2008)
Bleeding Hearts by Pat Stachon (April 2008)
Shrubs by Ginette Valin (April 2008)
Dwarf Conifers by Robert Auger (April 2008)
The Winter Blahs! by Pat Stachon (March 2008)
Starting Seeds Indoors by Mary Rowsell (March 2008)
Ponder It Well! by Robert Auger (March 2008)
Conifers by Pat Stachon (February 2008)
The Chicken News by Pegi Holtz (February 2008)

We are always looking for more articles to add, so if you would like to write something, please send an e-mail to


Here are some links that you might find interesting.

If you are interested in learning more about organic gardening, the Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL) has produced a very interesting publication called "Practical Tips for Organic Gardeners". You can also visit their web site at

George Bushell came to our meeting on Monday, April 15th and gave us all kinds of great tips and advice for looking after our yards. For more information, you can go to George's web site

flower shows

junior gardeners

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