Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society, Ontario Horticultural Association
Richmond Hill 
Garden & Horticultural Society
Beautifying Richmond Hill since 1914Beautifying Richmond Hill
since 1914
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2020 Program

Jan 14

AGMAnnual General Meeting and Photographic Recap of 2019

Including election of officers and flower show awards, this meeting is a great opportunity to discover the breadth and depth of our all-volunteer organization.

A photographic slideshow featuring many of our 2019 events follows the business portion of the meeting.


Feb 4

Stefan WeberAdventures in Seed Conservation, Stefan Weber

Mr. Weber was unable to attend our meeting due to a personal emergency, and has been rescheduled to July 7.

Due to the unexpected absence of Mr. Weber, our quick-thinking Vice President organized a Garden Question and Answer session.  


Mar 3

Tara NolanRaised Beds, Tara Nolan      

Whether you have a tiny patio or a large yard, raised beds are a great option as compared to gardening directly in the ground. Benefits include improved accessibility, an extended growing season, and the opportunity to work with a better growing medium versus struggling to amend poor clay soil. Attendees of this presentation will learn more about best practices for raised bed construction and location, soil and plants; and be inspired with ideas to apply in their own garden spaces.

A gifted communicator, Tara Nolan is the author of Raised Bed Revolution, Gardening Your Front Yard, and the co-author of Gardening Complete. She is also the co-founder of the popular gardening website, Savvy Gardening ( As well, she is a popular speaker at venues such as Canada Blooms, Royal Botanical Garden and Toronto Botanical Garden.


Apr 7


As a precaution against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, for the safety of the speaker and our members, our April 7th General Meeting has been cancelled, and speaker Conrad Richter has been rescheduled to our August 4th General Meeting.


May 5

Liana D'Andrea

Designing Your Yard with Native Plants, Liana D'Andrea      

Native plants are beautiful and easy-to-grow options for any space that also provide environmental benefits such as food for pollinators. This online presentation includes many photos and ideas to inspire and provide attendees with the resources to plan their own natural garden oasis..

Liana D’Andrea (Honours BSc in Biology and Environmental Sciences), is a Coordinator in Community Learning with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). During her six-year tenure with TRCA, Liana has organized gardening workshops, nature walks, community tree plantings and other activities to connect residents to their local watershed. She says the best part of her job is getting people as excited about nature as she is!  

Jun 2

Darryl ChengEssentials of House Plant Care, Darryl Cheng      

Author of The New Plant Parent book published in 2019, Darryl Cheng aspires to improve our knowledge of house plant care, thereby improving the health of the plants and our enjoyment of them. Noting that internet searches for plant care advice tend to leave people with more questions than answers, Darryl endeavors to provide a fresh perspective and clarity. His science-based, practical approach has helped thousands understand the essentials of house plant care and become confident “plant parents."

In addition to authoring The New Plant Parent, Darryl Cheng is the creator of the popular blog and Instagram account, House Plant Journal. Darryl’s commitment to excellence, passion for plants and thirst for knowledge have transformed him into one of the most trusted sources of information about house plants on the internet. His Instagram account has more than 350,000 followers, and his plant time-lapse videos have gone viral around the world.  


Jul 7

Stefan WeberAdventures in Seed Conservation, Stefan Weber

Interested in learning more about native plant conservation / restoration projects? If so, you are in for a treat, as Stefan Weber has much to share.

Stefan Weber is a plant ecologist with a keen interest in native plants and seeds, with more than fifteen years of experience working in horticulture and field botany. He has collected and propagated more than 300 native species from local seeds over the past seven years with the St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre and is the Director of the Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance, an NGO dedicated to native seed conservation. And, yes, if you have attended the Toronto Botanical Garden's annual plant sale, you will likely recognize Mr. Weber, who has been a prominent figure at the event these last few years.  

Aug 4

Conrad RichterA Half Century of Herbs, Conrad Richter      

When the founders of Richters, Otto and Waltraut Richter, started growing herbs for personal use in the 1960s, they never expected anyone to take an interest in the odd-looking plants growing in a corner of a greenhouse filled with flowering geraniums, petunias and marigolds for sale. But people did notice those strange plants and started to ask about them. Not knowing the English names, Waltraut would try to explain how to use the herbs just as her mother used them back home in Germany. And so a seed sprouted and grew into what Richters Herbs is today.

For our 10th annual Barker Lecture, second generation owner, Conrad Richter, will recount the stories of the many herbs first introduced to Canadian gardeners through the Richters catalogue. A few lucky attendees of tonight's gathering will have the opportunity to go home with some of the herbs featured in this presentation.

Conrad Richter, President of Richters Herbs ( is a Botanist and leader in herbal research and development. Through his efforts, many herbal discoveries and plants of international origin are now available to North American gardeners.


Sep 1

Antonio ValenteGrowing Cut Flowers, Antonio Valente      

Antonio Valente will inspire us with the evolving story of his successful business, share his favourite cut flower varieties and describe the gardening techniques he uses for small scale/high output flower farming without the use of harmful chemicals.

A frequent guest on CTV’s “Your Morning” show, Antonio Valente is a Thornhill flower farmer specializing in a wide range of specialty and heirloom cut flowers and foliage for high-end floral shops in the GTA. His website,, includes gardening advice and an online shop selling seeds and bulbs for specimens great as cut flowers. Antonio also maintains an Instagram account ( with many beautiful images of the flowers he grows and sells.

Oct 6

Emma BiggsTrials and Tribulations of a Teenage Tomato Grower, Emma Biggs      

Fifteen-year old gardening dynamo, Emma Biggs, is passionate about tomatoes, growing more than 100 varieties at home in Toronto. In this presentation, Emma will share her many gardening challenges, including limited space, abundant pests, and a neighbor’s black walnut tree; and let us know how, despite all this, she ended up with more tomatoes than even she could possibly eat.

Emma Biggs, recent honoree of the 2020 Emergent Communicator Award, is the daughter of horticulturist and author, Steven Biggs. She is co-author of the book, Gardening with Emma, writes a monthly Gen XYZ blog for Harrowsmith magazine about growing fun edible crops, is co-host of The Food Garden Life Radio Show and Podcast, and a speaker at events both big and small. Emma is reachable through her website, and her Instagram account,

Nov 3

Mark and Ben CullenBirds of a Feather, Mark and Ben Cullen      

Gardening Guru, Mark Cullen, along with his son and fourth generation gardener, Ben, will share one of the joys of gardening with us this evening – attracting birds! Originally intended for the cancelled 2020 Canada Blooms gardening event, Birds of a Feather includes recommendations for plants to provide food and shelter to attract and support a variety of birds, including Mark’s and Ben’s favorites…which they will reveal to attendees of our virtual meeting.

Mark Cullen, Order of Canada recipient, broadcasting personality, and best-selling author of twenty-three books, can be found on the web at, on Instagram at @markcullengardening, and on Twitter @markcullen4.

Ben Cullen, Mark’s son and founder of Cullen’s Foods (, works together with Mark on a number of gardening-related endeavors, including authoring of a weekly article for the Toronto Star, and production of the monthly Green File podcast.

Dec 1

Kate SeaverFestive Floral Designs, Kate Seaver

With our thoughts turning to the holiday season, talented floral designer Kate Seaver will inspire us with ideas for seasonal plant combinations we can use for festive outdoor and indoor decorating. During this evening’s presentation, Kate will demonstrate the “how to’s” and complete the creation of one festive outdoor and one indoor container, which will then be won by two lucky attendees of our virtual meeting!

Owner of Kate’s Garden ( in Markham, Kate Seaver is a horticulturist, garden designer, florist, professional organizer and exterior decorator with an artist’s eye and creative flair. When she’s not busy running her award-winning business, Kate can be found speaking at horticultural venues, quoted in the pages of prominent home and garden d├ęcor magazines, and making guest appearances on television programs.



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