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Speaker Series

Each year, Cloverleaf Garden Club hosts talented gardening, horticulture and other experts, promising to engage us, teach us and amuse us. From gardening myths to tips and tricks, from flowers to veggies, we work hard to showcase a variety of topics that will help you with your gardening dreams.


Presentations are on the third Wednesday of the month from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at 1389 Cawthra Rd., Mississauga.

We are now holding in-person events only.


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Maureen Hulbert 
Reno Your Garden

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
7:30 pm

Faced with an overgrown garden and don't know where to start? Been gardening for years and your garden needs rejuvenating? Learn a straightforward approach to tackling that garden space you need to renovate. Maureen will show you a step-by-step method that covers everything that might be lurking in the garden, from vines and overgrown shrubs, to weeds and grass growing where it shouldn't.


As a Toronto Master Gardener since 2008, Maureen enjoys speaking to community groups to share her love of the always fascinating world of plants. She ran Down to Earth Gardens and Design in Toronto for 12 years, installing unique plant-focussed design for clients. Her own garden on Taylor Creek ravine in east Toronto helped foster her particular interests in trees and pruning, plant id and native plants. Currently, she teaches plant identification at George Brown College’s Garden Design Program.

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Ursula Eley
Members Only Make & Take Christmas Centrepiece

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
7:30 pm

Hands-on workshop with award-winning floral design & horticultural judge Ursula Eley where members will create a beautiful Christmas themed centrepiece with fresh greens and floral accents

Ursula says: “I’ve enjoyed designing with flowers for over 20 years now. In 2006 I graduated as an accredited judge of floral design, and 5 years later as a judge of horticulture. COVID brought the international community of floral design clubs closer together, with new opportunities to compete in virtual shows and judge with fellow judges from distant places like India, the UK, South Africa, and Australia.Lecturing and teaching allows me to share my passion for plants and design. It’s been a real pleasure to teach in the floral design program at the TBG as well as at clubs around the province and beyond.”

Upcoming Speakers



Tena Van Andel
Garden Disasters – Prepare, Survive, Thrive

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
7:30 pm

Gardening is fraught with the potential for disaster. Some are natural – Japanese beetles, squirrels, and  weather. Some are manmade – wrong plants in the wrong place, monocultures, and an intolerance for anything other than the perfect garden. Yet, with a little

knowledge we can learn to prepare for these disasters, survive and yes, even thrive.


Tena van Andel has volunteered with the Toronto Master Gardeners since 2003. She writes and lectures on anything gardening. Yet, if you ask her favourites -- orchids, large trees and the exotic bring a special gleam to her eye. Her latest adventures include rewilding a 19th century Northern Ontario farm and teaching a functional fitness class just  for gardeners.

Past Speakers

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Charlie Dobbin
How to Garden Better
in a Changing Climate

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Learn tips, techniques and much more from this lively presentation by Charlie Dobbin. Every year in the garden presents new winners and losers - Charlie will help dispel some of the myths about why this happens. Plus, she'll steer you in directions that will help with future garden challenges

Charlie Dobbin is a well-known horticulturalist and landscape designer with professional gardening experience world-wide. She operates her own landscape design and horticultural consulting company, ‘Garden Solutions by Charlie Dobbin’. 


Currently, Charlie hosts the Garden Show on AM740 every Saturday at 9am. She also teaches horticulture at Durham College and fits in garden consultations when she can. When she’s not providing garden advice to clients, Charlie can be seen delivering practical and entertaining gardening tips on a variety of television stations.


Charlie moved to Prince Edward County in 2019 where she’s taken on the challenge of creating a garden paradise on a 2-acre lot, including a brand-new custom home. 

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Larry Hodgson
Garden Myths

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Every gardener knows that you can keep slugs at bay by surrounding plants with ground eggshells. That sand will lighten heavy clay soil. That newly planted trees need to be staked. Except that… none of that is true. Learn the truth about many useless and wasteful garden practices and save yourself time, effort and money.

Larry Hodgson is a freelance garden writer living in Quebec City. He is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines, speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout North America and appears regularly on television and radio. His daily gardening blog,, attracts more than 2 million visits a year. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade and Perennials for Every Purpose, as well as over 60 other titles in English and French.

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Helen Battersby
Garden of Regrets

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

In this info- and image-packed presentation you’ll meet the plants you’d wish you'd never planted – and learn how to avoid them (before you do) or to live with them and, perhaps, even love them (if you must).

For 30+ years in her small city garden, Helen Battersby has battled one of a gardener’s toughest challenges – dry shade, on sandy soil under giant Norway maples. This has, unfortunately, caused her to make many a regretful plant choice, and she hopes to save you from that misery. Helen is a grad of Ryerson’s Landscape Design program and has spent 15 years as a volunteer with the Toronto Master Gardeners. A member of GardenComm, the Association for Garden Communicators, she has been published in magazines such as Garden Making and, with her sister Sarah, writes the award-winning In 2017, the sisters took over publishing of a long-standing book – which in 2019 was renamed the Toronto & Golden Horseshoe Gardener’s Journal and Source Book. In fact, it has loyal users from coast to coast.    


Jill Bishop
Backyard Urban Farming

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Learn about the many benefits, (and of course some challenges) of growing food in an urban setting, including an abundance of fresh hyper local food and the opportunity to build relationships within your community while you grow! 


Jillian Bishop is a long-term urban farmer/ seed saver. She is a Community Food Cultivator with the Nourish project where she helps support communities in coming together to start and grow community gardens. She operates urbantomato, a local heirloom seed business, and organizes her local Seedy Sunday.  She believes there are many benefits to growing your own food and saving seeds in urban settings.  After growing seeds on borrowed land for over a decade, she now happily grows and saves seeds on her urban farm in Peterborough Ontario Canada.

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Niki Jabbour
Growing Under Cover: Techniques for a more productive, weather-resistant, pest-free vegetable garden

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Join award-winning author Niki Jabbour as she shares her secrets to growing more food, reducing pest problems, and dealing with unpredictable weather in her vegetable garden. She’ll spotlight a wide variety of season extenders like shade cloth, row cover, cold frames, and polytunnels, as well as show you how to use garden covers to prevent damage from deer, flea beetles, and cabbageworms. Put Niki’s techniques to work in your garden so you can enjoy a year-round harvest in any sized space. 

Niki Jabbour is the Halifax-based author of four innovative vegetable gardening books and a two-time winner of the prestigious American Horticultural Society Book Award. Niki is the host and producer of the long running radio show The Weekend Gardener. Her writing can also be found in magazines like Fine Gardening and Birds & Blooms. She is the co-owner of and reaches thousands of gardeners every day on her social media. You can find her @NikiJabbour on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

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Anna Leggatt
The Basics of Pruning: Keeping plants in order

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

In this presentation with lots of visuals and a short video, Anna will share why to prune; when to prune; tools needed; how to prune and when not to prune. Using lots of examples from her own garden, Anna will help us make the right cut!

Anna Leggatt, a Toronto Master Gardener, is a former High School teacher in Botany, Chemistry and she worked for 30 years at the Kortright Centre for Conservation. She is the Past Chair of the Ontario Rock Garden Society and former editor of its Journal; Past Director of North American Rock Garden Society; a member of GardenComm; and a former Program Director for East York Garden Club. Anna has written articles for Toronto Life Gardening, Landscape Ontario and The Globe and Mail as well as Plant Portraits in Trellis (the Toronto Botanical Garden’s publication) and others in The Journal of the Ontario Rock Garden Society, NARGS, the Dutch Rock Garden Society and other non-profit organizations. Anna won the NARGS Marvin Black Award in 2017, a Silver Award from GARDENCOMM in 2016 and prizes for photography. Anna is basically a mad gardener, gardening in a comparatively large garden in Toronto with lots of shade and visiting mink, deer and groundhogs. She loves shrubs, bulbs, rock gardening, wildflowers, Japanese effects, working with stone and changing her garden design. Anna wants to grow vegetables. However, deer and groundhogs would like her to as well.

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Robert Pavlis
Gardening Tricks

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

There is no such thing as a maintenance free garden, but there are many tricks that reduce the effort needed to maintain a garden. This presentation will present a number of ideas that will make garden maintenance easier. Topics include things like edging a bed, keeping your twine from getting tangled, what to do with rocks, propagation drainage and eliminating stakes.


Robert Pavlis is a well-known speaker, and educator with over 40 years of gardening experience. He is the author of several books, Building Natural Ponds, Soil Science for Gardeners and Garden Myths and publishes the popular gardening blogs; and As the owner and head gardener of Aspen Grove Gardens, a six-acre botanical garden, he grows 3,000 varieties of plants.

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Lorraine Johnson
Rogue Gardens and the Weed Police

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

In this light-hearted and unconventional look at how and why we garden, author Lorraine Johnson challenges us to consider the role of gardens in an era of ecological and social change. Highlighting examples of gardeners who push against neighbourhood norms—and who are often subject to bylaws and other forms of social sanction—this talk encourages us to celebrate landscape diversity and the gardeners who challenge deeply held notions of garden convention.


Lorraine Johnson is the author of 10+ books (Green Future: How to Make a World of Difference; 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants for Canadian Gardens; Grow Wild!; The New Ontario Naturalized Garden; Tending the Earth; The Real Dirt; among other titles); founding editor of the magazine Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly; a patron of Toronto Botanical Garden; a former president of the North American Native Plant Society; former Board member of LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests); former Board member of Wild Ones!; a community gardening activist and an activist for legalizing backyard hens; and a frequent speaker on topics related to gardening and environmental and social issues. Lorraine's most recent book is called "A Flower Patch for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee: Creating Pollinator Habitat for Native Pollinators in the Greater Toronto Area" and is available as a FREE download from:

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Darryl Cheng
An Engineer's Approach to Houseplant Care

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

If you follow traditional houseplant advice, you'll be left with disappointment because your plant is no longer "perfect". Darryl's approach breaks down the barriers to true, long-lasting enjoyment of houseplants - when you understand how plants work, you can gain a deeper appreciation for their character and more acceptance of how they'll grow.  It's a healthy dose of science and realistic expectations!


Darryl Cheng is the author of 'The New Plant Parent' and creator of House Plant Journal. Darryl’s passion for plants and engineering approach to plant care have turned him into one of the most trusted houseplant resources on the internet! What was initially a hobby Tumblr page has turned into an Instagram account with over half a million followers, a go-to website for anything houseplant related, his very own houseplant care book, and plant time-lapse videos that have gone viral around the world.

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Sean Smith
Hot Composting

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Learn more about improving microbial soil health to better support thriving vegetable gardens, perennial beds, or backyard urban farms during this workshop hosted by Sean Smith of Crooked Farmz. This program will cover the basics of creating 'hot compost' yourself to improve soil health organically, using techniques relevant for the urban context. We will discuss types of composters; the all-important Carbon:Nitrogen ratio; aeration and moisture; feedstocks and amendments; fungi, worms, and other non-human partners. You will also spend time developing a personal plan for generating compost in your own gardening context.


Sean Smith is the owner of Crooked Farmz, a microbrewer of fresh aerobic compost teas for home gardens, urban farms, and landscaping projects. His interest in developing a local CSA subscription service for composting and compost tea brewing emerges from deeper underlying concerns about soil health, microbial life, climate change, and our relationships with land and water. For the past three years he has won the Innovation category in the Best in GrowTO urban gardening competition for various techniques concerning backyard compost and compost tea production. He is originally from Kingston, ON, but has been growing vegetables in the East York area for the past 17 years.

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Jeanne McRight
Design Your Own Pollinator Garden

Wednesday, June 15, 2022
7:30 pm

Learn all the best ways to provide food and shelter for native pollinators, while delighting your family and neighbours with textures, shapes and colours. You will learn to assess site conditions and create a beautiful garden design that meets pollinator, plant and your own needs. The challenges of tough sites such as boulevards and balconies will be addressed.


Jeanne McRight is the president of Blooming Boulevards, a Mississauga not-for-profit environmental organization she founded in 2019. As an artist-educator, Jeanne taught visual arts for 21 years at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, was a founding Director of Artspace and a Program Advisor for the Ontario College of Art and Design and Sheridan College. A gardener since childhood, Jeanne holds a Diploma in Horticulture from the University of Guelph, is a Mississauga Master Gardener and a former member of Cloverleaf’s board. She focuses on biodiversity conservation, specializing in native plants, woodland restoration and naturalized landscaping. She is the recipient of three Environmental Awards from the Credit Valley Conservation Authority. In 2015 she initiated an amendment to Mississauga’s Encroachment By-Law, permitting residents to create boulevard gardens. Gardening is Jeanne’s joy and passion, but more than that, she is a deeply committed advocate for environmentally sustainable horticultural practices.

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Rob & Chris Croley

Our Journey in Urban Homesteading

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
7:30 pm

Have you ever dreamed of having a more self-reliant lifestyle and attitude? Have you ever wondered if this is even possible in an urban environment? Join our guest speakers, Rob and Chris Croley, who will share their experiences in urban homesteading, the steps most people take on their journey, and learn what it takes to live a homesteader’s lifestyle.


With 35 years of experience growing & preserving their own food organically, Rob & Chris Croley have taken this knowledge and are passing it on to others. Embracing the homesteader’s creed, they honour traditional methods while incorporating new ideas and techniques. Growing and preserving their own fruits and vegetables; raising chickens and quail for both eggs and meat; bee keeping; raising dairy goats, baking bread, making cheese, bacon and sausage, and producing their own cleaning and body care products all comprise part of the lifestyle they hope others will embrace. 

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Rav Singh

Organic Vegetable Gardening

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

At the end of May, gardeners will be hitting the dirt to get their gardens started for the year. In this workshop, we will introduce new gardeners to organic gardening techniques and go through the steps of successfully planning and planting your garden. We will explore how to select your plants, where to buy seeds and seedlings, common gardening mistakes, and more! 


Rav (she/her) is a young farmer and climate educator in Mississauga. She runs a food and climate justice organization called Shade of Miti where she supports sustainable food systems that are rooted in justice and sovereignty, and not threatened by climate change. As a farmer, Rav specializes in growing local and organic bitter melon, okra, eggplant, and hot peppers.

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Lorraine Roberts
Spectacular Plant Combinations
for the Perennials Garden

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Lorraine Roberts artistically uncovers the colours, shapes and design techniques behind the spectacular plant combinations that have drawn visitors to her award winning 24-acre botanical garden and organic perennial nursery Plant Paradise Country Gardens in Caledon Ontario.


Lorraine Roberts is a lifelong organic gardener, environmental advocate and educator for sustainable organic gardening methods. She is a perennial expert, garden designer, photographer and author of two books, Spectacular Plant Combinations for the Perennial Garden and A Recipe for Continuous Bloom. Every spring you'll find Lorraine in the greenhouse potting the thousands of perennials she grows and sells at 

For inspiration visit her Instagram page at:

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Cheyenne Sundance
Sundance Harvest and Centering
Equity in Agriculture 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

In this workshop, Cheyenne Sundance will talk about how she started Sundance Harvest- a 1.5 acre diversified cut flower and vegetable farm that focuses on ecological growing in harmony with the existing ecosystem around and inside the farm.  She will speak about her not-profit that takes place at the farm, Growing in the Margins, and the future she envisions for agriculture and how to get there.


Cheyenne likes growing food because of the independence it brings her and her community. She is a self-taught farmer out of necessity due to the lack of equity centered farms in Ontario. She has extensive skills in workshop facilitation and project startups which is why she loves running Growing in the Margins, a not profit which strives to provide a diverse agricultural education to BIPOC youth. Cheyenne started Sundance Harvest from nothing but stubbornness, a nurturing love of the land and a drive to see true equity in agriculture. She sits on the Ontario board of the National Farmers Union as the Youth Advisor. 

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Pat Crocker
Six Essential Herbs for the Culinary Herb Garden: how to grow them; popular cultivars; and ways to use them in the kitchen

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

So many helping, healing little thyme! Pat takes you through the essential needs of herbs for success in growing them and she shares tips, insights, and exceptional qualities of six of her favourite culinary herbs. Join Pat as she shares over 4 decades of loving, caring for, photographing and cooking with the humble yet oh, so helpful species.   


As a professional Home Economist (BAA, Ryerson U., Toronto) and Culinary Herbalist, Pat’s passion for healthy food is fused with her knowledge and love of herbs. Her wellness practice developed over more than four decades of growing, photographing, and writing about what she calls, the helping plants. In fact, Crocker infuses the medicinal benefits of herbs in every original recipe she develops. An award-winning author, Pat has written 23 herb/healthy cookbooks, including The Healing Herbs Cookbook, The Juicing Bible, and her latest books, Cooking with Cannabis and The Herbalist’s Kitchen.

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Paloma Plant
Reflecting on Bird Window Collisions

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Over 1 billion birds die each year across North America from colliding with glass surfaces. Contrary to popular belief, it's not lights and tall buildings where most birds die. Are your windows a pain in the glass? Learn why this happens and how to prevent it with simple and affordable solutions.


 This presentation will be presented via ZOOM only and will not be available at the seniors centre. 


Paloma Plant is a co-founder and project coordinator for Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) Canada, a migratory bird rescue and advocacy group. She is one of 4 full-time staff and is responsible for all the public outreach and education programs, as well as coordinating the more than 100 volunteers and all rescue activities for the building collision monitoring programs that FLAP has pioneered since its inception in 1993


She has been working with wildlife in one capacity or another for over 30 years, and is also a founding member of OWREN, the Ontario Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Network.

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Darren Heimbecker 
Whistling Gardens Then and Now

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Join Darren as he will discuss the past 10 years (2012-22) of operation of the Whistling Gardens focusing on perennials and woody plants that have been a success or others that went the way of the compost pile.  


After receiving a degree in Outdoor Education,  Darren Heimbecker worked at a nursery as a propagator, shipper and field manager for 18 years before purchasing a 56 acre farm in Wilsonville, Ontario just south of Brantford. In 2006, Whistling Gardens Nursery and Garden Centre was first established, attracting plant collectors from across Canada and the United States. 


May 26th 2012 marked the official grand opening of “Canada’s Newest Horticultural Playground” as the botanical gardens features 20 landscaped acres.  Guests explore classical garden styles, some of which are inspired by the old Renaissance gardens of Europe including the Palace of Versailles.  Most gardens are surrounded by natural man made plantings, streams, ponds, and cascades, as well as cottage garden strolls. The conifer collection approximately 1,300 different species and cultivars and a donated peony collection features approximately 1,300 varieties.  Both are considered to be the largest public collections in North America! In total there are nearly 5,000 different plants in one of Ontario’s only privately operated Botanical Garden.

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Anna Leggatt
Growing Clematis

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Back by popular demand, Anna Leggatt will discuss Clematis - the Queen of Flowers.

The presentation will cover different groups of Clematis, planting, growing, pruning and propagation.

Anna Leggatt, a Toronto Master Gardener, is a former High School teacher in Botany, Chemistry and she worked for 30 years at the Kortright Centre for Conservation. She is the Past Chair of the Ontario Rock Garden Society and former editor of its Journal; Past Director of North American Rock Garden Society; a member of GardenComm; and a former Program Director for East York Garden Club. Anna has written articles for Toronto Life Gardening, Landscape Ontario and The Globe and Mail as well as Plant Portraits in Trellis (the Toronto Botanical Garden’s publication) and others in The Journal of the Ontario Rock Garden Society, NARGS, the Dutch Rock Garden Society and other non-profit organizations. Anna won the NARGS Marvin Black Award in 2017, a Silver Award from GARDENCOMM in 2016 and prizes for photography. Anna is basically a mad gardener, gardening in a comparatively large garden in Toronto with lots of shade and visiting mink, deer and groundhogs. She loves shrubs, bulbs, rock gardening, wildflowers, Japanese effects, working with stone and changing her garden design. Anna wants to grow vegetables. However, deer and groundhogs would like her to as well.

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Dr. David Galbraith 
Dreamers, Schemers and Builders: 
An Introduction to the History of Royal Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Royal Botanical Gardens is both Canada’s largest botanical garden and a group of important natural areas totalling over 1,000 ha. Its origins are a complex and fascinating story with roots in plans to beautify Hamilton in the early 20th Century. Thomas Baker McQuesten, a Hamilton politician and lawyer, developed the concept for a botanical garden of national significance in Hamilton after visiting RBG Kew and RBG Edinburgh in 1924. The city’s Board of Park Management promoted the idea, acquiring the first land in 1927. By 1934 Hamilton had more land in parks than any other city in Canada; much of it would later become RBG. Following completion of the first gardens in 1932 and incorporation in 1941, new gardens were built, new programs added, and additional natural areas protected. As a not-for-profit organization RBG promotes education, culture, science, and the protection and appreciation of plants and nature. We will stroll through the last century as we look at RBG’s antecedents in Canada, the formation of RBG itself, and the trends and personalities that brought the gardens into bloom.


David completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at University of Guelph, and Ph.D. at Queen’s University at Kingston, in wildlife biology. After two years in the UK and another two in Quebec he joined RBG in 1995 to develop conservation projects among botanical gardens across Canada. In 2006 he was named head of science, overseeing the library, archives, and herbarium, RBG’s own research, and use of RBG’s lands and resources by outside researchers. Since 2007 he has led the development of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System park alliance, for which he was named Hamilton Environmentalist of the Year in 2010. David has always had a deep love of biology, history, cultural heritage, and the arts. Through his work with RBG’s own archives he’s become the institution’s informal historian. David is an adjunct biology professor at McMaster University, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and a Fellow International of the Explorers Club


Paul Zammit
Rethinking Beauty: Inspiring Gardeners in a Changing World

Wednesday, June 21, 2023
7:30 pm

“Rethinking Beauty: Inspiring Gardeners in a Changing World” will

challenge us to ask, and maybe answer the questions: do you ever

wonder how and why you garden? Are we just striving for something that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye? With 30 plus years of experience in the horticulture industry, Paul now finds himself questioning some traditional gardening practices as we face both climatic and biodiversity challenges. He believes we must have a closer look at the important role both private and public gardens play beyond their property lines.


Paul Zammit, a graduate of the University of Guelph is a professor of Horticulture at Niagara College. Prior to joining the faculty, Paul held the position of the Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden for 10 years. He is a passionate and energetic gardener and lover of nature who has been delivering presentations across Canada, throughout the US and internationally in countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Bermuda and South Africa for over 30 years. Paul is also an avid photographer. For the past seven years, Paul has been providing gardening advice on the CBC Here and Now radio program. Recently he has taken over for Ed Lawrence on CBC’s Ontario Today program each Monday. In 2017, Garden Making magazine selected Paul and his wife as two of Canada’s top 20 people shaping gardens across Canada. Paul has been the recipient of a number of awards including the 2019 and the 2021 Garden Communicator of the Year award from Landscape Ontario.

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