The Columbine

Newsletter of Gardening Kingston

May 2021


President's Message

By Suzanne Maranda

I am delighted to report that many tulips have survived in my garden this year. Some did fall prey to the rabbits and squirrels, but they did not disappear one by one, as in past years. What seems to be the trick? After trying many things, I resorted to the unappealing option of using clipped human hair stuck in the ground close to the flowers. My hairdresser obliged, in fact she told me I’m not the only one who gets a bag from her regularly. Unfortunately, I was not very scientific in my approach because I also offered a bowl of water, since I was told that squirrels cut the flowers because they are thirsty. So, I will have to continue with both tricks, since they seemed to bring results. I would love to hear if you have had successes in your gardens too – critter related or not!

I want to thank everyone who participated in the voting at our last meeting. We have changed our by-laws to allow us to continue with online meetings, as needed. Of course, it will be great to come together in person, but it may be possible to incorporate online meetings in our programming even post-pandemic. Maybe a speaker would be of interest but lives too far to make the trip to Kingston. Or perhaps, it would be nice to stay home on a cold winter evening…
But, let’s first enjoy the spring and summer, happy gardening!

Spring Plant Sale - Cancelled

It is with much regret that we must announce that our spring plant sale will be cancelled this year. The Ontario re-opening plan will not allow us to function easily for this event, so we are choosing to be safe and follow the rules. We will try again in the fall, hoping that by then the COVID variants will be at bay and that we will all be fully vaccinated.
We also share garden related information on Facebook. So, if you aren't following us already, consider connecting with us there.
We also share garden related information on Facebook. So, if you aren't following us already, consider connecting with us there.

  Zoom Meeting

Feed Your Soil. Fuel Your Family.
Fight Climate Change


Thursday, June 10th at 7:00 p.m.

It's all about the microbes! Learn why Jocelyn's Soil Booster Worm Manure is a healthy alternative to chemical fertilizers and how regenerative growing with microbe-rich worm castings feeds your soil, so you can fuel your family — and help fight climate change.
Jocelyn Molyneux, founder of Wastenot Farms Inc, developed Jocelyn's Soil Booster Worm Manure as a healthy alternative to chemical fertilizer. She holds a master’s degree in applied environmental science and management. Jocelyn has more than a decade of experience in waste management, sustainability, and regenerative growing and is truly passionate about finding and implementing solutions to the planet’s most pressing environmental issues.

Giveaway: Webinar attendees will be entered into a giveaway for one 800g bag of Jocelyn's Soil Booster Worm Manure, which would be shipped directly to the lucky participant after the presentation.

Registration required by
Wednesday, June 9th

Learn, Grow, Share

Register Now

Never Zoom'd before and don't know where to start?
Check out these resources:
  1. Zoom FAQ's
  2. Step-by-step Guide (PDF)
  3. Video and Tutorial
  4. Or send us an email and we'll try to help you out

OHA's Trillium Newsletter

Interested in seeing what other societies in the province are doing? Stay updated with the latest OHA news. Follow the link to the latest issue of the OHA’s Trillium newsletter.

OHA 2021 Convention & AGM

This year the Ontario Horticultural Association Convention will be hosted virtually by District 10, Thames Valley, on July 16, 17, and 18th. This means that anyone can register and attend from home with no travel costs!

Registration provides access to all the following great features:
  • Speakers
  • Video tours
  • Garden walk tours
  • Vendors and Exhibitors
  • Friday night District-run event including Silent Auction
  • Saturday evening Awards Presentation
  • Saturday evening Keynote Speaker
Member Rates:
Early Bird Rate ends June 21st at 11:59 pm – $100.00 + HST
Regular Rate begins June 22nd at 12:00 am – $115.00 + HST
Registration closes on Monday, July 5th at 11:59 pm
To register click here
For more information, including competition details click here

Ticks and Lyme Disease

Tuesday, June 8th, 7:00-8:00 pm - Friends of the Napanee River will host this virtual event on Zoom. Dr. Andrew Peregrine from the University of Guelph will speak on "An upTICK on Ticks and Lyme Disease in Eastern Ontario."
For further details click here
To register click here

Summer Bulbs - Donation

We had intended to sell any remaining bulbs at our Spring Plant Sale, but since we have had to cancel it, and they won't last until the fall, we have decided to donate the remaining packages to the Fairmount Home in Glenburnie, just north of Kingston. They have a very active resident gardening group and a lovely sheltered, courtyard garden for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Nursery Discount Program

Please check that you have the most up-to-date version of our Nursery Discount Program.
click here

Make sure that you review the list of participating retailers before you shop.

Raised Bed & Container Vegetable Gardening

By Rebecca Kelly

At April’s Zoom meeting, Mabel Fuentes gave an informative presentation on raised bed gardening. I thought I would share my experiences and what can be accomplished using raised beds and containers. There are many reasons to choose to make a raised bed to grow, our reason was simply that we are on the Canadian Shield and there is nowhere you can make a garden bed without adding copious amounts of topsoil, so you might as well make a raised bed.
My husband, David, spent many hours researching the best options, and we ended up with a system based on hardware purchased from Lee Valley, combined with some lumber and patio stones. It is very versatile, and, as it turns out, it is also easy to fashion various methods for protection. You will notice there seem to be many different covers for the beds. This is because there are different “pests” to protect against. The insect netting protects the kale bed from caterpillars and is also a physical barrier against any deer that may pass through. The tomato and strawberry beds have the equivalent of Fort Knox for protection as the racoons are ruthless and very destructive when they turn their attentions to our ripening fruit. The runner and barlotti beans also need to be protected to about 3 feet as the ground hog makes short work of their tender shoots.
Other vegetables we grow in containers on the deck. Mostly because they require a lot of heat, no competition, and more water than we can give them in the raised beds. Fortunately, they don’t seem to be bothered by wildlife so we don’t need to give them protection.
You may wonder if it’s all worth it. Take a look at the video. All my vegetables are all grown from seed, and grown organically. As anyone who has grown their own vegetables can attest, they are delicious. Despite all the setbacks over the years, we still believe it is worth the effort.

Gardener's Journal

Gardening Kingston Members tell their stories.
Learn along with them.

Visit our Website

Penelope's Iris Story

The Canadian Iris Society website inspired me to attend one of their sales held at the Royal Botanical Gardens near Aldershot, Ontario in the summer of 2018. They have a wide variety of lovely irises for sale in August so it is important to become familiar with the different varieties when making a selection.

Your Story

Do you have a story to tell about your garden? Share something you've learned or some project you're working on, so that we can all grow together. Contact me at

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