The Columbine

Newsletter of Gardening Kingston

March 2021


President's Message

By Suzanne Maranda

I’ve heard some people say that this winter feels like a perpetual Groundhog Day…do you remember that movie with Bill Murray? The day repeats itself over and over…however I find that’s it’s been a lovely winter, not too cold, lots of snow, i.e. good ground cover, right? And now, the days are different: it feels like spring is just around the corner. So, before we all get super busy in our gardens, I’m thinking maybe this would be a good time to ensure that you are all aware of the importance of tracking your volunteer hours, even while the pandemic restrictions are still in effect.

The total hours are submitted to the Ontario Horticultural Association, our umbrella group. This is what the OHA says about the hours:
  • Your volunteer hours’ statistics are an important piece of the information about your society. They are an easy reference that illustrates how valuable your society is to the community.
  • Your volunteer hours are added to those from all the societies across Ontario, and the resulting total is used by your OHA Board to negotiate with fundraising or governmental agencies. The cumulative number of volunteer hours certainly displays to others the value of Horticultural Societies in Ontario.
From, retrieved March 1, 2021

I 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

Here are a few of the ways you volunteer for Gardening Kingston:

The numbers in parentheses refer to the category number of the form to be completed and submitted, monthly if you can, but anytime you have enough compiled is also great.
  • Helping a neighbor, a friend or a family member in their garden (5)
  • Helping at the Paterson and/or Pollinator Gardens (5)
  • Conservation and environmental activities (5)
  • Dividing & potting plants for a plant sale (even a members-only sale) (1)
  • Contributing articles to our newsletter, the Columbine (7)
  • Contributing photography, preparing videos or presentations (7)
  • Maintaining the website, Facebook (7)
  • Participating (virtually) in planning committees or fundraising activities (4)
  • Any activities related to horticulture (9)
And, much more if we were able to meet in person. But stay tuned for the possibility of more virtual activities, and maybe:
  • Planning, preparing and working on flower show schedules (4)
  • Preparing specimens, planning designs for flower shows (4)
So, print the form, keep it handy and jot down minutes and hours – they all add up! Instructions on ways to submit it are on the form.
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.

From the Archive... first published March 2018


Seed Starting Indoors

By Roland Boegman

Even though another polar vortex may be coming our way, I have noticed that the days are getting longer and more importantly, a number of seed catalogs arrived in the mail, so spring can’t be far away.
Here are a few things to consider when you think about starting seeds indoors:

 My Front Yard Little Forest - Zoom Meeting


Thursday, March 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Joyce Hostyn, Master Gardener, will share her personal connection with the land in a presentation titled "My Front Yard Little Forest".
She introduces it this way:
"My front yard Little Forest is an ever-changing conversation with the land. I designed a little. Squirrels and birds designed a lot. I negotiated with the land. Serendipity brings in something new. A harsh winter brings death. Wild plants otherwise known as weeds are often welcomed when they show up on their own. Nursery plants that turn out to be misfits are weeded out. I've altered my perspective over time on what a garden is and what it means to be a gardener."

Registration required by Wednesday, March 10th
After registering you'll be sent an email containing a web-link to the Zoom Meeting.

 Not comfortable asking questions in a group?
Submit your questions in advance using the link below.

Learn, Grow, Share

Register Now
Submit Questions in Advance

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.

Introducing: Urban Agriculture

Are looking for a way to give back to your community, and maybe even get your hands dirty while doing it?
For details, check out the latest issue of
News From the Spoon.

Seedy Saturdays 2021

Presented by: Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI)
Please join us for four Seedy Saturdays via Zoom every Saturday in March at 1:00 pm.

Want to know more? Click hear
To Register Click here

Membership Report

By Denise Owsianicki

Last month we welcomed 5 new members putting our total number at 93.

As gardening season approaches, remember to use your membership card to get discounts on live plants. The list is posted on the website however other nurseries often give garden club members discounts, so it never hurts to ask. I’ve even received discounts when I presented my card while shopping in Toronto!

Hardy Oriental and Asiatic Lilies

By Alita Battey-Pratt

This year Gardening Kingston is offering our members the opportunity to purchase bulbs for spring planting and future summer blooms. We started the offerings by featuring the bulbs that gardeners plant each spring and dig up for storage each autumn because they are not hardy during the Canadian winter. However, there are also bulbs that may be planted in the spring or fall which are hardy enough to remain in the ground year after year with little care. Among these bulbs are the species lilies, and their Oriental and Asiatic hybrids which are beautiful, exotic, and long-lasting. The terms ‘Asiatic’ and ‘Oriental’ are often used in a broad, descriptive sense, to distinguish their ‘habit’. Asiatic lilies form large sturdy masses of gorgeous blooms in June and July, whereas Oriental lilies are taller, often noted for their fragrance, bloom in July and August, and expand, over the years, into large clumps.
Photos: Alita Battey-Pratt

Summer Bulbs

By David Kelly

Over the next few months, in preparation for our first on-line sale of Summer Bulbs, we will bring you articles about the selections we've made and how summer bulbs can be incorporated into your garden plans. We've tried to bring you a broad selection, focusing on shorter varieties that can easily be accommodated in smaller gardens, and in most cases, patio and garden planters.

In the two previous issues we showed you these:

Here are a few more...

Chasmanthe floribunda 'Saturnus'

A member of the Iridaceae (iris) family, Chasmanthe is a small genus of only three species and is closely related to Crocosmia. The resemblance can certainly be seen in the sword-like folliage. C. floribunda is endemic to Cape Province in South Africa and is also known by the common name African flag.

Gladiolus Glamini 'Eva'

While many of the summer flowering bulbs available on the market today still seem exotic in a Canadian garden, gladioli would have been a mainstay even in our great grandparents’ gardens. Of course, that doesn’t mean to say that they haven’t changed since then. Recently introduced Glamini dwarf hybrids are about half the height of traditional glads.

Lilium 'Rio de Janeiro'

While the word, lily, makes its way into the common name of so many plants that are not true lilies, the Asiatic lily truly is part of the Liliaceae family and the genus Lilium. The genus consists of some 100 species of bulbous, herbaceous perennials and the Asiatic varieties are the result of hybridization between some of these.

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