Dates and Topics

March 24                   Speaker:  Cliff Robertson                    Topic:  Zoom Functions 

April  28                     Speaker:  Donna Lewis                        Topic:  Trumpeting the Return of the Swans in Ontario

May  26                      Speaker:  Terry Kennedy                     Topic:  Amazing Orchids 

                                                                                                                 Flower Show

June  23                      Speaker:  Julia Dimakos                       Topic:  Successful Vegetable Gardening 

July  28                        Speaker:  Kristen Martyn                     Topic:  Gardening for the Birds 

                                                                                                                   Flower Show

August 25                                                                                    Photo competition slide show


September  22          Speaker:  David Phillips                         Topic:  Not Your Grandparents' Weather
                                                                                                                    Flower Show

October  27               Speaker:  Helen Battersby                     Topic:  Meet the Plants You'll Wish You'd Never Planted

2021 Speakers Profiles:

April 28th - Donna Lewis

​Donna Lewis has been working at Adena Springs North as the Swan Keeper since 2005. Not originally hired as such it was an interesting learning curve. The Trumpeter swans are now a passion project that has been going on for 16 years. The swans are also the passion of hundreds of regular people involved with their restoration. Learn how everyone can help in the swans' continuing expansion in Ontario and the ongoing trials and tribulations of this ongoing odyssey.

​May 26th  -  Terry Kennedy

Terry lives in Vandorf, Ontario.  During the cold and snowy winter, the greenhouse full of thousands of orchids offers Terry and her husband Doug a little bit of the tropics in the midst of the frigid weather.  Terry and her husband Doug are avid orchid collectors and orchid show competitors having exhibited their plants in numerous shows from coast to coast and attended shows worldwide. Terry is a longstanding accredited judge with the American Orchid Society (AOS), immediate past chair of the AOS Toronto Judging Center outside of the outside of the U.S.A. Her website is  

Phalaenopsis orchids have become common place in the retail market. However, they represent only the tip of the orchid iceberg. You will get a glimpse into the wide and wondrous world of orchids in the plants that Terry will bring to tell you about. Not only will she answer any questions you have about your orchid, but you will learn that you can grow some of the ones that are really quite exotic. Feel free to bring your orchid if you have concerns about it. 

Terry will be bringing orchids for sale and orchid supplies. 

 June 23rd - Julia Dimakos

Julia Dimakos is a garden blogger with a 7000 square foot kitchen garden in Mono, Ontario. She has been writing about gardening, with a focus on edibles, for over seven years. She gardens organically and always looks for the simplest ways to do things. In her spare time she has been working towards her Horticulturist Diploma from the University of Guelph and is President of the Orangeville & District Horticultural Society, and a member of the OHA District 7 Board.

Julia will discuss all the steps involved in building her raised bed kitchen garden.  this includes gardening a section of our field, installing a deer fence, building raised beds, fertilizing and proper watering techniques. She will include transplanting tips, sowing and planting techniques, trellising, crop rotation, etc. which she successfully employs in her own garden.

 July 28th -  Kristen Martyn
Kristen Martyn is a Birder, Naturalist, Tour Leader, presenter, photographer and Bird Feeding Specialist. Her strong passion for the natural world led her to pursue a BSc. in Zoology and complete a Post-Graduate course in Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Management. Kristen leads bird watching and wildlife tours both in Canada and abroad. She is also the Owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Barrie and Newmarket. Kristen greatly enjoys teaching people about our natural world.

Kristen will explore how you can create a garden for the birds and other wildlife to enjoy. This presentation focuses on the four key elements of attracting wildlife as well as the use of specific types of plants (with emphasis on native plants) and is packed full of photos of local backyard birds and wildlife.

September 22nd - David Phillips
David has been employed with Environment Canada's weather service for 50 years. His work activities relate to the study of the climate of Canada and to promote awareness and understanding of meteorology. He has published several books, papers and reports. e was the originator and author of the Canadian Weather Trivia Calendar. David frequently appears on national radio and television as a commentator on weather and climate matters. He has received many awards and is he recipient of three honorary doctorates. In 2001, David was named to the Order of Canada.

We can no longer assume that conditions in the past will apply in the future. It is clear that even slight warming can have a significant impact on biodiversity and the loss of life-sustaining habitats. The lowering of lake and stream levels, as well as the reduction of wetlands, forests, and snow cover are expected under a warmer climate. Existing plants and animals are already experiencing the effect of an altered climate and are trying to adapt to environmental change. Gardeners can expect to see new and exciting cultivars from different climate regimes. One thing seems certain: the future is not going to look like the past.

October 27th - Helen Battersby

Despite being a grad of Ryerson's Landscape Design program and spending over a dozen years as a volunteer with the Toronto Master Gardeners, Helen Battersby has her own garden of regrets - and she's sure you can relate. A member of the Association for Garden Communicators (now called GardenComm), Helen has been published in print and online. Her words and pictures can be found in the award-winning blog, which she creates with her sister, Sarah. Helen and her sister are now also the publishers of Toronto & Golden Horseshoe Gardener's Journal & Source Book.

Helen will help us to learn how to avoid plants you will wish you hadn't planted, to live with them (if sadly, you have them), or how to love them (if you must). A highly visual traipse through the world's saddest garden.

Speaker Program – 2021