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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2021 Program

Jan 12

AGMAnnual General Meeting and Photographic Recap of 2020

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

A photographic slideshow featuring our 2020 activities follows the business portion of the meeting.


Feb 2

Wolfegang BonhamGardens of Mexico, Wolfegang Bonham

Although covid-safety protocols discourage us from traveling south, we are able to join Wolfegang Bonham on a photographic journey of Mexico’s varied ecosystems. Sure to be a welcome respite from winter, Wolfe will share images and stories with us from his 2-month motorcycle adventure through Mexico visiting incredible gardens from tropical jungles to cactus-filled deserts to sandy beaches with palms.

Proprietor of Peace, Love and Landscaping (, Wolfegang Bonham has a passion for creating peaceful outdoor spaces with an artistic flair. An honours graduate of Mohawk College’s Landscape Design and Horticultural Studies programs, Wolfe is also a certified Feng Shui Consultant, certified in Dry Stone Walling, and a self-described, “garden addict.” A popular speaker at venues that include the Toronto Botanical Garden, Royal Botanical Gardens, and Canada Blooms, this is Wolfe’s second presentation to our society. 


Mar 2

Molly and Alex ShannonSucculents, Molly and Alex Shannon      

Popular year-round as fascinating indoor container plants, and outdoors in summer for their drought-tolerance, self-described, “succulent-obsessed” sisters Molly and Alex Shannon will share the basics of succulent care with us this evening. Topics include the importance of using the right soil, how to propagate from a single leaf, and how to keep succulents thriving.

Molly and Alex Shannon are the proprietors of Canadian Succulents (, named by HGTV in 2017 as one of “The Best Canadian Florists with the Most Inspiring Designs.” The sisters have a flair for creating aesthetically-pleasing and easy-to-care-for succulent and cacti arrangements for indoor and outdoor containers, centerpieces, weddings and special events. Photos of their creations can be enjoyed on Instagram at @canadiansucculents.


Apr 6

Paul ZammitSpace Conscious Gardening, Paul Zammit

Adamant that small spaces can be “Wow” places, Professor Paul Zammit will show us in our annual Barker Lecture that it’s not the size of the garden that makes it great. Rather, it’s all about how the space is organized and functions through careful and creative selection of plants and ornamentation to maximize visual impact through the seasons.

Former Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden, and now Professor of Horticulture at Niagara College, Paul Zammit is an accomplished horticulturist and dynamic crowd-pleaser at horticultural venues. Reachable online at, we are very pleased to have Paul share his passion for gardening with us for this, his seventh visit.

May 4

Jeanne McRight

Low Maintenance Boulevard Gardens, Jeanne McRight      

Attendees of tonight’s presentation will learn how to replace high-maintenance turf with drought-proof, salt-resistant, no-mow boulevard gardens. With a focus on benefits provided by beautiful native plants, Jeanne McRight’s key message is that if we grow flowers instead of grass, we can sit back and enjoy the results! Her presentation includes plant selection, design, installation and care.

Master Gardener Jeanne McRight is Founder and President of Blooming Boulevards (, Mississauga’s exciting new environmental organization promoting native plant boulevard gardens for pollinators. Jeanne is a professional artist-educator, a Director for the Cloverleaf Garden Club, and a passionate and award-winning advocate for environmentally sustainable horticultural practices.

Jun 1

David DutkiewiczGypsy Moths in Ontario, David Dutkiewicz      

2020 was a banner year for gypsy moth deforestation in Ontario – the worst ever! This is an invasive moth that, in earlier life stages, has a huge appetite for a variety of trees and shrubs. Attendees of tonight’s presentation will learn why the gypsy moth deserves our attention, the moth’s life stages and techniques we can employ in our gardens to help reduce the population.

David Dutkiewicz is an Entomology Technician with the Invasive Species Centre (, working in the insect diagnostics lab at the Great Lakes Forestry Centre in Sault Ste. Marie. David earned a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Guelph and his professional work is focused on forest pests and invasive species, with a specialization in beetles and moth/butterfly larvae.


Jul 6

Christine GillGrowing Beautiful Delphiniums, Christine Gill

While admired for their tall, showy spikes of colourful flowers in the summer garden, delphiniums also have a reputation for being a gardening challenge. Delphinium enthusiast Christine Gill will share her secrets for success with us this evening, covering care and maintenance topics like preferred location in the garden, soil, watering, fertilization, vertical supports, pruning and common pests. As well, Christine will share tips for successfully growing this elegant perennial from seed.

A founding member of the 34-year old Ontario Delphinium Club (, Christine Gill has a passion for growing and sharing her knowledge of English Delphiniums. Christine is a popular speaker on a variety of horticultural subjects, an active member of several specialty horticultural societies, and an accredited Horticultural Judge through the RBG and Horticulture and Design Judge through the OHA.

Aug 3

Ben CullenTake Your Harvest to the Next Level, Ben Cullen      

Describing himself as a “fourth generation urban gardener,” Ben Cullen has been gardening his whole life and has cultivated a particular interest in food gardening. During this presentation, Ben will share creative ideas and inspirational tips to make the most of the gardening season and enhance our harvests of edibles.

Ben Cullen, a graduate of the University of Guelph and founder of Cullen’s Foods (, works together with his father, Mark Cullen, 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. This will be Ben’s second presentation to our society.


Sep 7

Sean JamesExtending Interest in the Garden (It Doesn't End in August), Sean James      

Denouncing the belief that gardening season starts in spring and ends in summer, Sean will show us how to ensure our gardens continue to be interesting through autumn and winter. His timely presentation includes month-by-month tips and photos of plants and plant combinations that make an impact beyond summer.

Master Gardener Sean James, owner of Sean James Consulting & Design ( is a graduate of Niagara Parks School of Horticulture with more than thirty years of experience in the horticultural industry. Named by GardenMaking magazine as one of “20 Canadians Making a Difference,” Sean is an advocate for eco-friendly gardening techniques. This will be his second presentation to our society.

Oct 5

Cathy KavassalisTrees for Small Spaces, Cathy Kavassalis      

Often called the “backbone” of a garden, trees and shrubs provide structure and form. In addition to providing year-round beauty, they offer food and habitat for wildlife. But, how do you choose the right tree for your space? Native is best for biodiversity, but fruit bearing trees may be more to your taste. Large trees can be kept small, but there are many small trees and large shrubs that may be a better fit. The possibilities for small spaces, while not endless are extensive. Come and get a few ideas for creating your own small oasis.

Master Gardener Cathy Kavassalis is a passionate gardener and conservationist. A former chemist and teacher with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from the University of Toronto, Cathy now volunteers as an educator and inspirational speaker, promoting biodiversity. Have a question about gardening? Cathy is also a moderator on the Master Gardeners of Ontario Facebook site (click here).

Nov 2

Ken BrownSpring Bulbs, Ken Brown      

Subscribers to Ken’s Dallying in the Dirt newsletter are treated regularly to humorous stories and beautiful images featuring Ken’s garden, including spring, when the garden is colourfully ablaze for months from bulbs planted during a couple of weekends each autumn. In tonight’s presentation, we will have an opportunity to virtually visit Ken’s springtime garden, as he shares images of his diverse variety of flowering bulbs and provides tips for success.

Former Toronto Zoo Superintendent of Horticulture and owner of The Plant Manager interior landscaping firm, Ken Brown shares his considerable expertise and love of horticulture through teaching, public speaking, writing and photography. Visit Ken online at This will be Ken’s sixth presentation to our society.

Dec 7

Indoor Flowering Plants, Kiki Danninger

Winter brings many things - the holidays, delicious meals, beautiful snow. It can also be rather dreary for gardeners. But take heart - we can still watch flowers bloom...indoors! In this presentation, we’ll learn how to get houseplants to bloom through winter, beginning with popular flowering plants such as Phalaenopsis orchids, peace lilies, and anthuriums, plus some unusual and intriguing bloomers. We will also cover classic holiday plants like Christmas cactus, poinsettias, amaryllis, and cyclamen. We will explore how light, water, temperature, and fertilizers contribute to the indoor success of flowering plants, and learn what each of these beautiful plants needs to thrive and re-flower.
Master Gardener Kiki Danninger is a floral and horticultural designer with an affinity for tropical plants and a keen eye for moss. Her curiosity for the earth and its interconnected place within all of our lives is what fuels her fascination for gardening. Seeking ways to make gardening accessible and to engage people in her love of "soul-to-soil,” she enjoys teaching practical, science-based techniques in plant care and propagation, with a special love for terrarium design and maintenance. This will be Kiki’s second presentation to our society



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