The Columbine

Newsletter of Gardening Kingston

October 2021


President's Message

By Suzanne Maranda

I was happy to hear that several members enjoyed the Scavenger Hunt. I did enjoy visiting the gardens and walking around to try to come up with the questions. Something interesting, not too hard, not too easy, something that would still be around for a few weeks, and is unique to that garden. I should have taken a picture at each garden…note to self to do that next time. I do hope that there will be a next time, when it will be easier to visit the gardens without the Covid rules. There are over 40 community gardens in Kingston, so many more to visit! The one photo I did take was apparently a bit of a challenge for participants. The gardeners created a little haven for themselves at the Calvin Park Community Garden, but the chairs proved difficult to find.
It was also very nice to see people in person at the plant sale. Thank you again to our hosts, Nalini and Cherrilyn, and thank you to all the helpers: everything worked like a charm! Baby Rupert went from arms to arms and was less fussy than some plants I know! We raised a bit of money, but the point this year was more about connecting with our members and it was great to meet new members. Thank you all!
Unfortunately, we only received one submission for the Best Planter Competition. We therefore cannot hold the people’s choice award as planned.
I now have confirmation that our previous in-person meeting location, the Ongwanada Resource Centre, will not be renting rooms in the near future. We will need to continue to meet online for a while yet, and potentially look for another location. Any suggestions? Please contact me.
I’m looking forward to enjoying beautiful fall days. I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving, safe and healthy.

Gardening Kingston

Volunteer Opportunity: KHS Board Member

Qualifications: Enthusiasm and a desire to get things done!

Truth be known, attracting new board members feels like pulling teeth. Many of our long-term members have taken a turn in the past and some of our current Board members have already served multiple terms and feel it’s time to “retire”. Any board needs new blood to bring new ideas and keep the organization moving forward.  Now is the time to seriously consider adding your voice to the KHS Board and help shape the future of our society. We are looking for 2-3 new board members.
New members may feel hesitant to commit to the Board, feeling they don’t have the expertise required, but keep in mind that you have the support of other board members and you work together with separate committee members to get things done. It’s only through the commitment of our members that we can continue to deliver the program and events that you value most as well as develop new ways of doing things in these challenging times.
Election of officers is scheduled for our AGM November 11, 2021.  Interested members may apply by sending an email to before October 15th. You may volunteer yourself or nominate someone else (provided the nominee agrees). Someone from the nominating committee will contact you to answer any questions you may have about the commitment involved.
Satisfaction guaranteed…as in, you reap what you sow!
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

Garlic is Easy to Grow


Thursday, October 14th at 7:00 p.m.

Just in time with planting advice: Zoom in with us to learn from an experienced garlic grower. Carol Hegadorn was raised and worked on the family farm which grew vegetables, fruit, herbs, and perennials. She has been a member of the Collins Bay Horticultural Society from age 12, and is now in her 30th year with the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners.

Why Garlic? Carol explains that she was inspired by Italian neighbors who grew their own garlic and provided her first hardneck bulbs to grow. She hasn’t missed a year planting garlic since.

Registration required by
Wednesday, October 13th

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.

The Autumn issue features two KHS members:
Adrian Cooper, 2021 OHA Honour Roll Award (Page 20)
Ann Levison, 2021 OHA Award of Merit (Page 18)

114th OHA Convention

Notes from a Virtual Meeting
By Suzanne Maranda

This summer I attended the virtual convention of the Ontario Horticultural Association. There were plenary and concurrent speaker sessions as well as bus-tour-videos of several locations around London, On., the host city for the convention. I thought I would share some of my notes with you:
  • Every space matters. Conservation efforts in the past focused on areas where humans were not present. However, 72% of Southern Ontario is privately owned and 35 % of Canadians live in this area. The newer thinking is to save nature where we are. One way to do this is to increase the native plants in our own yards. The goal would be 70% native plants, as long as the other 30% are non-invasive plants.
    If you are interested in learning more about native plants for your garden check out The site includes many resources, including a tool to track your progress. This summer there were 4,100 gardens registered ‘in the zone’ supporting 219,123 native plants.
  • A study has shown that chickadees feeding their young get caterpillars every 3 minutes within a range of 50 metres from the nest. This means that to raise one brood, they need 14,000-22,000 caterpillars! Where are they all? Oak trees harbor 534 species of caterpillars; willows, 456 species; and cherry or plum trees have 456 as well; while a gingko tree (non- native) has only 3 species. 96% of land birds eat caterpillars because they are nutritious and soft for baby birds to swallow.
  • There are 4,000 species of bees in North America, but the honey bee is not a native.
  • Canada is warming at twice the global average, and in the Arctic, it’s three times the average. Since the 70’s, Canadian species have declined by 59%. Southern Ontario represents only 1% of Canada’s landmass, but we have 25% of the species.

  • Insects are already impacted by climate change:
    • If the weather is warmer, some insects would have 3 generations a year instead of two, but the last one may not survive if it comes too late in the season.
    • Flower nectar gets more viscous in hot temperatures: the insects cannot suck it up. The heat also reduces the plants’ odors and their hormones, so insects are not attracted to them and pollination is reduced.
    • Mosquitoes carrying Dengue fever have been found in Ontario.
    • The mountain pine beetle has been able to migrate east of the Rockies because the winters have been warmer.
Other sessions I attended presented fusion gardening and details about native trees. If a road trip is in our possible future, the next convention will be hosted in Guelph in July 2022.
Photos: Bryan Williams, Kingston, 2021

Fall Task List

As fall is closing in around us, the garden tasks to be completed before the first heavy frost are starting to mount up. Here is a list of tasks that I plan to work through:

Show Your Love!

Art by People for the Planet is back this Nov. 6 -13 with a virtual art auction in support of Pollinator Partnership Canada's Bee Friendly Farming program! Five feature Canadian artists have donated 10 beautiful, original artworks up for bid!  All proceeds will help willing farmers implement pollinator-friendly practices like creating much needed, pesticide free, native habitat for bees and butterflies!
Register early
Artist bios and gallery
We hope to see you there - for the love of all pollinators everywhere!

Volunteer Hours

Remember to submit your Volunteer Hours to Veronica Butler. So far she has only received hours from 2 members!
Did you know that the following activities can be counted as Volunteer hours?
  • Working in your family’s, friends', or neighbors’ gardens
  • Digging, preparing, and potting plants for the plant sales
  • Preparing and submitting an article or taking photos for the newsletter
We hope you will contribute to our grand total – every hour counts!

The form to be completed is on our website under the Membership tab or, click a button below to download your copy now.
Volunteer Hours Form - Word version
Volunteer Hours Form - PDF version

Orchidarium Update

By David & Rebecca Kelly

Back in September of 2020, I showed you the start of my Orchidarium Project. With pandemic restrictions it wasn’t easy to source materials, but eventually I was able to purchase everything I needed on-line. Even some of the plants were ordered on-line. Overall, Rebecca and I have been very pleased with the results. Especially during the winter months, and periods of lockdown, we found the indoor garden a welcome distraction. Although the original plan was to fill it with orchids, the humid environment has proven to be ideal for ferns and air plants as well. Once we were satisfied that we had created a healthy environment, we also expanded the orchid collection beyond the common phalaeonopsis hybrids to include more unusual species, and also started to experiment with different growing techniques like mounting on slabs of cork.

The video below, starts with a view of the orchidarium back in February. You can see and hear the 'rain' from the automated misting system as it kicks-in because the doors have been opened. Following that, there is a collection of photos taken throughout the year as plants were added, moved around, or came into bloom. It concludes with a tour of the orchidarium as is is now.
  • To read the original article showing the start of the project click here
  • For a further update on the materials that were used in the project click here

Gardener's Journal

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

Watch my amaryllis as it progresses over 39 days from bud to bloom.
Hippeastrum 'Elvas'
Visit our Website

Suzanne's Story

Last Christmas I received an amaryllis bulb and some of you may have watched the little video I prepared with pictures I took to document the growth of this amazing flower. I decided to try saving the bulb and I had understood that the leaves would continue into the summer and then, when they died, the bulb would go dormant and I would start watering it again in November or early December to encourage the blooms to come back. This is not what happened. By May, the leaves had died completely. I removed the bulb and placed it in my shed outside. Prompted by a friend of mine who also had a few of these bulbs, I had to go check, and yes, mine had also started to grow. It was a bit behind hers, but there was no denying the little green shoots. I planted it properly and in no time, the beautiful red and white blooms were back… in early September! The mystery continues: will it bloom again in December?

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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