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Home > Convention > Upcoming Convention > Speakers and Schedule

2018 Convention Program: Bus Tours & Speakers

112th Convention

Bus Tours

Thursday, July 26 - Noon to 9:00 p.m.

Pre-Convention Tour - Selected gardens from the 1000 Islands and Rideau Canal Garden Trail and dinner at the Ivy Lea Restaurant. Click here for details and further information

Friday, July 27 & Saturday, July 28 - 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. (Click on the individual tours for more information)

  1. Tour 1 - West **SATURDAY CANCELLED
  2. Tour 2 - North & East **SATURDAY SOLD OUT
  3. Tour 3 - Gananoque
  4. Tour 4 - 1000 Island Cruise and Garden Tour **FRIDAY SOLD OUT
    **Tour 4 note: Due to a last minute cancellation by the garden/home owner, we have substituted Wilstead Manor Gardens as the garden on this tour. If you are taking the Thursday pre-convention bus tour, this garden will be a duplicate from that tour.

Registration, pricing and deadlines for the above tours will be on the convention registration form.

Please note that, for those who are signing up for a tour, a Bus Waiver Form needs to be completed and sent in with the registration form.  The form can be obtained here: (pdf), (doc/Word).


A full listing and description of the speakers can be downloaded here (pdf opens in new tab).

Friday Morning Plenary Speaker (Ballroom)

Pat Webster - Creating a Personal Paradise: The Story of Glen Villa - Pat Webster is a garden maker and the garden she has created is a landscape unlike any other. The layout is naturalistic but the site is permeated with history and is punctuated with stunning vistas, the discovery of hidden treasures and moments of pure delight. Pat is an artist whose sculptures, garden installations and photographs explore the landscape and history of Quebec’s Eastern Townships. She is also a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardener.

Friday Seminars 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Ballroom: Suzanne Brant - Preservation of Indigenous Knowledge - Traditional Medicinal Plants and their positive influence on health, and the role culture plays in the preservation of the natural environment. Suzanne Brant is a Mohawk from the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory situated on the Bay of Quinte. As President of the First Nations Technical Institute, she is focused on ensuring that Indigenous knowledge is woven through all aspects of education at the Institute.

Lisbon Room: Iain Jack - Ferns in Garden Design: from the height of fashion into the shadows and back again - Ferns complement and enhance any garden style - an essential element for every garden. Iain Jack is owner of Fernwood Plant Nursery - and a fern nerd. Located on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Fernwood is a mail-order nursery specializing in hardy ferns for Canadian gardens. Iain's fernery began after the deer ate all his other plants - but left the ferns!

Toronto Room: David Cybulski & Colleen O'Connell - Maitland Garden of Hope: award winning garden with a mission - A delightful variety of theme gardens, including a wildflower garden, daylily garden, butterfly garden, culinary garden, fragrance garden, and magnolia garden sited on 1.5 acres. David Cybulski and Colleen O'Connell own Maitland Garden of Hope, which they have operated for the past seven years. In 2016m they were awarded the Community Artistic & Cultural Contribution Service Award presented by the South Grenville Chamber of Commerce.

Ottawa Room: Cathy Hooper - Edible Landscape: food-producing plants in the residential landscape - Combines fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, vegetables, herbs, other ornamental plants into aesthetically pleasing designs. Saving money never looked and tasted so good! Cathy Hooper is certified as a Master Gardener and Permaculture Designer. She homesteads on five acres in Warsaw where she is implementing permaculture design. She also teaches community groups and helps connect local farmers to local consumers.

Friday Seminars 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Ballroom: John Shaw-Rimmington - Dry Stone Walls and Other Creations - Using stone in landscaping and building traditional dry-stone walls, including the restoration of the walls at the entrance to a local church. John Shaw-Rimmington (Dry Stone Canada) spent many years specializing in restoring historic stone and brick buildings and eventually extended his focus to using stone in landscaping and building traditional dry-stone walls. He designed and built the 12-foot-high dry stone `Cheese Wedge' at the Niagara Botanical Gardens.

Lisbon Room: Walter McGee - How History Changed Plants and How Plants Changed History - Find out how some plants have shaped the course of history. Walter McGee is a long-time and very knowledgeable gardener from Prince Edward County. Plants and history a fitting talk for Kingston with its historic sites and beautiful gardens.

Toronto Room: Joyce Hostyn - Food Forests - Whether you have a small space or a large lot, you can have a beautiful garden and eat it too. Edible forest gardens mimic natural forests, but edibles are prioritized in plant selection. They're a natural, sustainable method of growing food for yourself, providing a habitat for wildlife and beautifying your home. Joyce Hostyn is a Master Gardener, designer and writer who creates beautiful, resilient and ecologically functional landscapes to re-nature cities.

Ottawa Room: John Madden - Tree Pruning, Hands on Demonstration - Pruning to prolong the health, vitality, and vigour of your tree. John Madden is the owner of Eco Tree Care and a Certified Arborist. He is dedicated to providing personalized, professional tree care and is committed to environmentally sensitive and safe practices.

Saturday Morning Plenary Speaker (Ballroom)

Susan Sutter - Hidden Treasures in your Garden, an Overview of Contemporary Canadian Floral Art - The best place to look for truly Canadian hidden art treasures is right in your own backyard and garden. While exploring trends in contemporary botanic art, and with the help of her lighthearted Haldimand Hort. Society crew, Susan will reveal her most current work, “From Shore to Shield”, which is made entirely of recycled and botanic material. Susan Sutter is a World Association of Flower Artists (WAFA) Gold Winner and Judge, an educator, speaker, demonstrator, Garden Clubs of Ontario Design Judge, an OHA Design and Horticulture Judge, a certified Secondary School Principal, Canada Bloom’s Designer and an award winning Contemporary Botanic Design Artist.

Saturday Workshop 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Ottawa Room: Butterfly House Workshop with Lee Valley Tools - Build a butterfly house and help the pollinators. Details and space availability to follow.

Saturday Seminars 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Ballroom: How To Grow Floral Designers: Start With Your Seedlings - Susan Suter will be joined by three accomplished award winning Canadian Floral Design Artists, in a discussion and demonstration on how to encourage member’s participation in Society’s Design & Hort. Competitions. A handout on “Start With Your Seedlings” will give attendees material to take home and aid them in encouraging participation of their members and the growth of their Design and Horticulture Competitions. Susan Sutter is a World Association of Flower Artists (WAFA) Gold Winner and Judge, an educator, speaker, demonstrator, Garden Clubs of Ontario Design Judge, an OHA Design and Horticulture Judge, a certified Secondary School Principal, Canada Bloom’s Designer and an award winning Contemporary Botanic Design Artist.

Toronto Room: Elizabeth Churcher & George Thomson - Gardening For Nature: attracting & keeping wildlife in your garden - The butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators attracted to the gardens lend beauty to this peaceful setting and ensure bountiful crops. Elizabeth Churcher and George Thomson live on one hundred acres amid beautiful rolling fields and wooded hillsides. They work in harmony, caring for the land and the creatures that inhabit it. When not digging in the gardens, they are writing about nature or collecting data for citizen science projects.

Lisbon Room: Website 101 Join the OHA Webmaster, April Davies, and explore the new and much improved OHA website. Come test drive the site, ask questions, and get a feel for how to explore this wonderful new resource. Joining April will be Charles Freeman, Chair of the OHA Constitution, By-Laws and Resolutions Committee and he will answer your questions on governance, Constitutions, Bylaws, Policy and Procedures and how they are all linked.

Saturday Seminars 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Lisbon Room: Astrid Muschalla - Soil Health: the key starting point on how gardeners can help mitigate the effects of climate change - Astrid Muschalla is a community activist, educator and garden designer promoting biodiversity and conservation of indigenous plants in the home landscape and public areas.

Ballroom: Deanna Groves and John Riedl - Quinte Botanical Gardens: Creation of a new horticultural site - Deanna Groves and John Riedl Deanna and John have created about 255 gardens with their landscaping businesses over the last 10 years. Creating 28 themed gardens in one place, as a tourist attraction and learning centre is new to them, however!

Toronto Room: Kathryn Lindsay & Jim Mabee - Judges on Judging - An update opportunity for OHA Judges and Exhibitors. Come learn what is new in shows and exhibits from OHA Judging Committee members Kathryn Lindsay and Jim Mabee.

Saturday Evening Banquet Speaker (Ballroom)

Carson Arthur - Understanding & Embracing the New Gardeners: Intro to the Millennials and how to attract them to your Society - How can we enhance our future success as an organization: Carson Arthur is partial to wild foraging on his property in Prince Edward County, as well as growing wildflowers and vegetables and keeping bees. Sound idyllic? Carson tells us about being not at all retired in The County. “I work in TV. I'm a garden guy on HGTV, I do outdoor makeovers.” 

Sunday Morning Plenary Speaker (Ballroom)

Tony Spencer - The New Perennialist – Wildish at Heart - Tony Spencer is deeply involved with a global group of designers and gardeners who are part of what is loosely called the New Perennial Movement currently taking the zeitgeist by storm. See his blog The New Perennialist for more.


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