Author: Armstrong (Linda Armstrong)

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Whistling Gardens Botanical Gardens
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Whistling Gardens Botanical Gardens

In celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, 150 gardens and garden experiences across the country were selected to receive the ‘Canada 150 Garden Experience’ designation – highlighting Whistling Gardens as one of 150 garden ways to celebrate Canada’s birthday year.

Elevated Park in St Thomas, Ontario
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Elevated Park in St Thomas, Ontario

Canada's first elevated park, 30 feet wide and 850 feet long, is being redeveloped as a park with flower beds, trees, benches, public art and a trail for walking, running and biking. A great place to wander, sit, walk the dog, take photos, host art shows or busker festivals.

Quinte Botanical Gardens opened in 2018
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Quinte Botanical Gardens opened in 2018

Ontario's newest botanical garden near Frankford has six acres of unique garden displays with extraordinary plant combinations. Each garden offers interesting insight to the world of plants. Connect with nature, learn about horticulture, or journey through the gardens at your own pace.

Invader of the month – Wild Parsnip
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Invader of the month – Wild Parsnip

Wild parsnip spreads quickly as its seeds are easily dispersed. Like giant hogweed, it produces sap containing chemicals that can cause human skin to react to sunlight, resulting in intense burns, rashes or blisters. Learn how to identify this plant and deal with it.

The Arboretum, University of Guelph – 400 acres, trails, workshops and more!
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The Arboretum, University of Guelph – 400 acres, trails, workshops and more!

The Arboretum, University of Guelph, encompasses 400 acres of plant collections, gardens, walking trails, natural woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. The Arboretum is home to more than 2000 different taxa of woody plants, organized into collections that include a synoptic World of Trees collection, as well as a Native Trees of Ontario collection, and noteworthy collections of Oaks and Beeches, Maples, and Conifers. Adjacent to the university's main campus, The Arboretum is free to the public and open dawn until dusk - Visitors are very welcome!

Ugly leaves may mean disease -Onions, Cucumber, Melons, Tomatoes and more!
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Ugly leaves may mean disease -Onions, Cucumber, Melons, Tomatoes and more!

Many of our vegetable diseases first appear to us as ugly leaves with blotch marks or a white coating. These marks can warn you about a big problem you should correct quickly or may just be relatively minor blemishes. The trick is to know which is which and what to do about it! Here are three great infographics to help you understand foliar diseases that affect edibles such as Onion, Squash, Zucchini, Melon, Cucumber and Tomatoes.

Water Wise Gardening
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Water Wise Gardening

Reduce your costs. Don't waste a precious resource. Stop dragging garden hoses around for hours every few days. Here are some steps we recommend to conserve water and still have a great lawn and garden!

Six basic steps in lawn care
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Six basic steps in lawn care

Your lawn will have some different requirements, depending on the size, composition, and another factors but here are six basics that every lawn needs. Thanks Nick for sharing your blog!

Saving Seeds – What, When, Why, How?
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Saving Seeds – What, When, Why, How?

Whatever our reasons to save seeds, here's a great article that will help you know what to save (Hint - not hybrid seeds as they won't breed 'true'). Most importantly we want to be sure we do it the right way so our carefully saved seeds will germinate! Read more here about when and how to save seeds.

Invader of the Month – Japanese Knotweed
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Invader of the Month – Japanese Knotweed

To prevent the further spread and introduction of this unwanted invader in the province, Ontario has regulated Japanese knotweed as restricted under the Invasive Species Act. Find out more about how to identify and manage this invasive bully.

Invader of the month – Garlic Mustard
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Invader of the month – Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard has rapidly become one of the most invasive plants we've ever seen in Ontario. It spreads aggressively by seed so the time to deal with it is in spring before more seed is distributed!
Check out the Best management Practices with great information about how to control this invasive plant.

London Clean and Green – Saturday April 21st – Pitch in!
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London Clean and Green – Saturday April 21st – Pitch in!

This year, the London Clean & Green Community Cleanup Day is scheduled for Saturday April 21st, mark your calendars London!  Get out in your neighbourhood between 9am - 12 noon, pick-up litter, remove graffiti, plant a tree.  Check the website and let the event organizers know on the map where you will be cleaning up and if you'll need the garbage collected on Saturday April 21st. Need Supplies?  Pick up garbage bags & disposable gloves before your cleanup at City Hall, 8th floor, Monday to Friday between 8:30am - 4:30pm.

Plants, Tools & Compost Sale, Saturday May 19, 2018, 8am til noon
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Plants, Tools & Compost Sale, Saturday May 19, 2018, 8am til noon

This is the annual spring plant sale and compost sale that many in the London area wait for! Come out to buy flowers for beds and containers, veggies, herbs, perennials and small shrubs. Don't forget to also get some compost to help everything get off to a great start.
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Eastern Star Temple 800 Fanshawe Park Road E

Great Lawns begin with a few key tasks in Spring
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Great Lawns begin with a few key tasks in Spring

Since herbicides came off the market in Ontario in 2009, many homeowners puzzle over the right strategy to keep their lawns healthy. Fear not! All the turf management tools you need follow and proper lawn care techniques, done at the right time, can make your lawn greener than it's ever been!

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Seeds to Table (8 Week Course) – now FULL

Course is now FULL. 8 weeks of classroom instruction and hands-on workshops covering everything from soil preparation and seed selection to planting, maintaining, harvesting and preserving. Focus is on gardens you can EAT as well as colourful and helpful companion flowers.

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Sunday Oct 15, 2017 – Master Gardeners hosting Native Plant & Gardening Workshop

The London Middlesex Master Gardeners are hosting a workshop in October and this year we are Going Native! The full day session, offered at the price of only $60, will be of interest to any level of gardener interested in learning the many benefits of native and sustainable gardening practices. For Master gardeners this event will qualify for 6 CEU's. Hope you will join us!

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Forest Festival @ Harris Park, August 19 2017

ReForest London is excited to invite you to our first ever Forest Festival in Harris Park on Saturday, August 19th! From 11 am to 3 pm, this family-oriented event is all about celebrating trees, forests, and our identity as the Forest City! A BBQ picnic from Growing Chefs will be offered by donation to the first 500 attendees, where every dish includes an ingredient grown from a tree!

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Gardening Apps

For those gardeners who have smart mobile devices, there's a massive amount of information now available to you 'on the go'. This can be particularly helpful when trying to identify plants, pests or weeds.

Here are a few links to applications to get you started. Do your research to find the best and least expensive options. Most apps have been tested and reviewed or rated by other gardeners so that's a good place to start.

Canada’s National Flower – Bunchberry was the choice …but it won’t be official.
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Canada’s National Flower – Bunchberry was the choice …but it won’t be official.

The Master Gardeners of Ontario launched a search for a Canadian flower that appears in every province and territory, and is not already a provincial or territorial emblem. You voted for Bunchberry. Our petition to have it adopted as our national flower was rejected, however, we can certainly recommend this little gem as a great plant to grow in gardens across the country.

Dandelion – Weed or Wonder?
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Dandelion – Weed or Wonder?

The dandelion has more nutritional and medicinal uses than any other common garden weed. It flowers at a time of year when bees need help the most. It requires no water or special care and yet stays vibrant green.

Rain Gardens
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Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens are an excellent way to use rain water for our own plants and avoid runoff. Learn about the basics - it's easier than you'd think!

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Attracting Birds to your Garden

Why would you want to attract birds into your garden? What is needed to make them want to move in? Which species might set up residence in your yard? What can you plant to make them want to stay?

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Spring is in the Air!

Spring is in the air and it's time to plan, buy seeds and do a few tasks that will get us ready for a great growing season. Here's a checklist of spring tasks and links to great sites for more ideas. Are your green fingers and thumbs just twitching with anticipation? Ours are!

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Beneficial Bacteria in the soil

Soil is alive and biologically complex. By considering this, we realize the importance of not just being on alert for the presence of pathogens, but also the presence of beneficial microorganisms which are transferable to create more "good" soil.

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Gardening Questions

Have a gardening question? Email us your question, include pictures if available and one of the Master Gardeners will answer your gardening question.

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Japanese Beetles in Ontario

Japanese Beetles are most active from July to early September. These voracious little pests damage many species of plants. Let's understand the life cycle and options to help control this beetle and reduce the damage in the garden.

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Renovating a Garden

Help Please - my garden needs a makeover. It is full of invasive plants, is now too big and too much work for me and is so heavily shaded by the trees that my sun-loving plants are desperate. Where do I start?

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Black Spot on roses

My roses are covered in spots, the leaves are turning yellow and dropping rapidly. I know it's Black Spot but what am I doing wrong and how do I help my beautiful roses?

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Plant, Weed and Pest Databases

What plant should I grow where? What plant is this in my garden? What types of plants grow well in shade or in certain soils? What bug is that? Why are my vegetables not thriving? All these questions and more can often be answered by searching a reputable plant database. We suggest you try one of these

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Horticultural Groups

Want to join a group to learn more about gardening, get involved in community garden projects, learn about floral design or simply benefit from the camaraderie of talking about gardening with other enthusiasts? If so, a horticultural society or garden club might be for you. Here are some local groups

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Master Gardener University Extension Resources

Many universities across Canada and the USA offer courses for master gardeners and are excellent resources of unbiased information that has been well researched. The northern USA sites typically offer lots of free information for agricultural uses and home gardens and their information is often geared to the same zones as we encounter in our Ontario gardens.

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Attracting Pollinators

Pollination is not just fascinating natural history. It is an essential ecological function. Without pollinators, the human race and our ecosystems would not survive.

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Starting Seeds

Seed packages usually identify how many weeks ahead of average last frost date to start the seeds. Count back from that frost date for each type of seed. Start hardening off for 1-2 weeks after this date and keep a close eye on the night temperatures. May 24 is a safer date for actually planting out.

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Spring is NOT the time to deal with grubs

Ignore all the ads for grub control in spring. It's just about the least effective time to try to control grubs, insects then so close to maturity that they're next to impossible to reach and kill. Baby grubs, that's what we should go after.

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Top Ten Myths about Tree Care

Most homeowners treasure the trees on their property but know little about how to care for them. Much of what we have heard about tree care is actually incorrect, based on myths and misconceptions.

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When is the best time to apply Horticultural Oil?

Horticultural oil is an ideal remedy to deter overwintering pests. The best time to apply it to woody plants and shrubs is before the buds break and leaves open but you also want the little pests to be active, not hiding, so wait until temperatures warm up to above zero for at least 24 hours.

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Book a Master Gardener

London Middlesex Master Gardeners are a non-profit group of volunteers operating locally since 1985. Our mandate is to provide unbiased gardening advice and expertise to encourage successful and sustainable horticultural practices for home gardeners.

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Become a Master Gardener

Would you like to become a Master Gardener? London Middlesex Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who provide unbiased advice and expertise to encourage successful and sustainable horticultural practices for home gardeners.

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Pruning Hydrangeas

Can I prune my hydrangea bush now or should I wait until spring? First it's important to know if its the type of hydrangea that blooms on new wood or old.