Master Gardener, Sonia Day Speaks Before The Horticultural Society

Sonia Day

Renowned author, artist and Master Gardener, Sonia Day, was in town Monday night when she was the keynote speaker at the Southport Horticultural Society meeting.

Day writes two columns for the Toronto Star, for the Canadian Gardener magazine and has also books on gardening including The Plant Doctor, Urban Gardener - Indoor Plants and Urban Gardener - Container Gardening.  In addition to her own personal gardens, Day conducts workshops and still finds time to also paint.

When she and her husband moved to a 48 acre property outside of Arthur, Ontario, she had to deal with many challenges, including trying to turn what was a soccer field into gardens.

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 Supported by a slide show, Day took the audience through the steps that, after more than 10 years, saw the field become a garden filled with vibrant colour.

"We also learned that the county was spraying the terribly toxic 2 4-D to kill weeds so we made several signs that said 'No Spraying' and posted them," she said.  "We then cut the weeds by hand to control them."  In addition, the Days deeded approximately 16 acres of wetland to the local Conservation Authority in perpetuity so that, "No developer can ever come in, backfill and then build on this environmentally sensitive area."

Day's dry British humour entertained the many gardeners from throughout the area who are members of the Society.  They maintain many parks in the area and promote community gardening and outdoor beautification.  The group also arranges fields trips, competitions and exhibitions related to horticulture and distribute seeds, plants, bulbs, flowers, trees and shrubs with a focus on promoting the benefits of 'therapeutic horticulture'.

The Society's Annual Garden Tour has become a highly attended event that acts as a fundraiser for the group and this year's tour will be held on June 28th with eight homes in the area opening up their gardens to the public.