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2023 Speakers

March 20, 2023

Allendria Brunjes, Acting External Relations Manager, Rouge National Urban Park

What's New At The Rouge National Urban Park


Rouge National Urban Park is a national urban park in Ontario, Canada. The park is centred around the Rouge River and its tributaries in the Greater Toronto Area. The southern portion of the park is situated around the mouth of river in Toronto, and extends northwards into Markham, Pickering, Uxbridge, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

April 17, 2023

Michael J. McTavish - PhD, B.Sc. (Hons.)

Controlling Invasives

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, S.M. Smith Forest Health Lab

Institute of Forestry and Conservation, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design

Dr. Michael J. McTavish is a postdoctoral research fellow working with the Smith Forest Health Lab at the University of Toronto. His ongoing research examines the implications of ecological novelty and invasion for restoration, the ecology of non-native earthworms, and biological control of weeds including introduced Phragmites and garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). 

May 15, 2023

Dugald Cameron 

Spring Flowering Bulbs 


My gardening career began at an early age in my English Grandmother's garden where I'd occasionally help out with weeding & digging. I must have "caught the bug" then, because I've been interested in plants and gardens ever since. My wife Lynn Pashleigh, Father and I started Gardenimport, a mail order nursery in 1983 because we couldn't find the quality or selection of plants we wanted for our gardens. Offering a top quality selection of the latest seeds, flower bulbs and plants to Canadian gardeners from a catalogue and website. After 32 years of business Gardenimport was closed in 2014.

June 19, 2023

Julia Dimakos 

Succession Planting and will be selling and signing books 


Each year that I garden, I learn more and find easier ways to do things. I believe in simple gardening. It’s something that should not be stressful or scary. Mistakes are learning experiences to do things better the following year. I believe gardening is fun and relaxing, although physically challenging, at times. But the results are satisfying. My gardening tips are for all gardening levels, beginner to advanced and I hope my tips will provide knowledge and inspiration to all levels of experience.


July 17, 2023

Kathy Vatcher

Introduction to Mushrooms


I love to take people on mushroom forays, walks and talks in the woods.  I’ve been leading and co-leading forays for the Mycological Society for the last few years and have taken over teaching the mushroom ID course there. I’ve given talks, walks and workshops at the Kortwright Conservation Centre and Rouge National Park here in Toronto and led fungi collection walks at Bioblitzs. I have a passion for fungi and love to share what I’ve learned with others. I’ve been a keen forager, know my edibles and enjoy cooking with them. I am interested in medicinals too and regularly use Chaga and Turkey-tail that I collect.


Judy Zinni

Introduction to Gesneriads. 


Judy Zinni gardens in the west end of Mississauga on a typical suburban lot and under lights and on windowsills in her home.  Outdoors, she is particularly fond of roses, lilies and perennials.  Indoors, she grows many gesneriads, pelargonium, cacti, succulents and aroids.  She is a member of 18 different horticultural-based groups.  Yes, she really likes plants! 


Judy is a certified OHA judge, an accredited RBG judge of horticulture and Garden Clubs of Ontario judge of floral design.  She is also a Canadian Rose Society Judge and a Senior Judge of the Gesneriad Society. 



October 16, 2023

Leonard Teengs

Fall and Halloween Arrangements

Leonard is President of Leonards’ Design Systems, founded in 1987, which specializes in all forms of creative floral design, visual merchandising, product presentation, and special event coordination. He has taught floral design in Canada at Durham College, University of Guelph and Seneca College. He has also taught at the Hong Kong Floral Design School.

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