By Cheryl Harrison, Master Gardener
Winter in Ontario, Canada, is a time for gardeners to relax, plan, learn and become inspired…..so let’s explore!If you are new to gardening and want to learn more and/or would like to connect with other gardeners then joining one or more local horticultural groups might be of interest. The Ontario Horticultural Association divides Ontario into districts. District 4 lists horticultural groups for Bobcaygeon, Brighton, Campbellford, Coboconk, Cobourg, Cramahe, Ennismore, Fenelon Falls, Grafton, Lakefield, Lindsay, Minden, Omemee, Norland, Norwood, Peterborough and Port Hope.. For more information check Ontario Horticultural Association / GardenOntario.
For those who have been gardening for awhile, you may wish to become a Master Gardener. Master Gardeners inform, educate and inspire others to create healthy and vibrant gardens, landscapes and communities. We promote horticultural practices that are safe, effective, proven and sustainable. For more information check Master Gardeners of Ontario and Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners.
There are many Horticulture related educational opportunities….some offered on-line and some in-person. Both the University of Guelph and Dalhousie University offer on-line courses that will fulfill the requirements for a Master Gardener certificate. The Horticulture and the Master Gardener groups all have an educational component to their meetings and some may be accessible on-line. The Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners are again offering, on March 4, 2023, the inspirational and in-person “A Day for Gardeners” after a 2 year hiatus. Watch the web site, Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners, for registration and more information.
Plan for next summer with catalogues, books and on-line research. We are fortunate to have many seed companies in Canada. A list of “Home for the Harvest’s” top 25 may be found here. Please save room in your garden plans for plant shopping at your local nurseries too. Local nursery staff are able to provide you with invaluable information on growing in your region. Your local library is guaranteed to have some gardening books that you could borrow. On-line research will also provide a wealth of information…..try a search for “Gardening in Ontario” and you will see what I mean. A really great source of information is a fellow gardener. Ask any gardener a gardening question and they will be thrilled to give you some guidance.
And last but not least, please make time in your day for fitness. You need to keep yourself fit for all of the gardening activity that you have planned for next summer. Gardening is an excellent way to maintain a good level of fitness, both mentally and physically. Read more about the benefits of gardening as exercise here . There are YouTube videos that can get you started. I particularly liked the video located here. The presenter demonstrates some exercises and some things that you can do to prevent injury while gardening. You might consider just getting together with a couple of friends to practice yoga, do some strengthening and flexibility exercises or go for a walk.
The world of gardening is immense. Keep track of your ideas and resources so that when gardening season returns, you will have the information readily available. I hope that this medley of gardening choices will help you to relax, plan, learn and become inspired during the upcoming Ontario winter!