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.
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
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
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