Join a Horticultural Society

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Lee Boltwood park maintained by Stittsville Goulbourn garden

Brian Beattie – Lee Boltwood Park, the project for Stittsville Goulbourn Horticultural Society

This week, Judith reveals the merits of joining a horticultural society, how to prepare fairy gardens for winter, and thoughts on recycling pots.

On Saturday I helped with a project that has been ongoing for almost two years. Our horticultural society has adopted a park and we are filling it with native plants. We are hoping to create a great environment for birds and pollinators and other creatures as well as making it special for the people who live in the area. There were a number of volunteers planting the plants on Saturday and the park has started to become a beautiful space. 

Join a Horticultural Society

As our world prepares for winter, it can be a sad time for gardeners. Joining a horticultural society can help with that. Societies meet once a month and usually have speakers that explore interesting gardening topics. There are opportunities to volunteer on the executive or participate in projects and plant sales. It depends how involved you want to be. The primary reason I recommend that you seek to join a society is that you will meet other gardeners. Each society has multiple levels of gardening experience, there are brand new gardeners and sometimes even master gardeners. I find the societies that I belong to keep me up to date with what is going on in the gardening world and give me the opportunity to meet lots of great people. The Ontario Horticultural Association ( has lists of societies, giving you the opportunity to find one in your area. 

How I Put Fairy Gardens to Bed

Well, it is time to put those fairy garden planters to bed. I have a few of these scattered about just to keep my visitors on their toes. A lot of fairy garden accessories can be used and reused if they are sturdy. Most of the ones that I want to keep are made of clay or ceramic. I carefully clean them and keep them wrapped in newspaper in a box inside. I recommend that if you have any ceramic or clay pots that they should be cleaned and placed in an area where they will not freeze. Clay pots break when they freeze or when they thaw out. I have several clay pots along with a lot of plastic ones.

Fairy Garden ready to be put to bed
  Little fairy garden accessories heading for storage

Recycle Pots

The old chicken coop is now a potting shed where I store all of my pots and at this time of year, I start to empty them. As you remove the soil from your pots and give them a quick wipe, check for damage, you can assess them and decide which ones to keep. A lot of plastic pots will show weakness after a while in the form of UV damage or too much use. If they are weak or broken, put them out for recycling.  

My potting shed is a work in progress. For a while it was lovely but then it was vandalized by some sort of creature (probably a raccoon) who knocked everything to bits. I am in the process of reshelving everything. I have also found that people who do not wish to dispose of their pots have been dropping theirs off to add to the pile. This gives me more pots to share. 

The potting shed with pots for the wnter
  The potting shed 

The too-many cats are pacing back and forth in front of the woodstove. The sky is grey and there is a nip in the air so perhaps a fire is in order. Enjoy your week. Judith. (Email:  Veggie Bites are available at or

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