Friday, February 21, 2014

A Bit About Me...

Photograph by Paul Gellatly "Golden Wing"
Photograph by Trystin Lewis (2014)
It occurred to me that I've been writing this blog for a couple of years now, and haven't really given much background on my horticultural experience.  For as long as I can remember I have been gardening. My father is a gardener, growing up we had flower and vegetable gardens, a rhubarb patch, and an asparagus garden, along with various fruit trees. I remember my grandparents garden, a long rose garden, in front of a rockery with snow in summer (Cerastium tomentosum) that used to ramble over the rocks... and lilac's and a mock orange who's magnificent scents would fill the air.  So I guess you could say I came by my love of horticulture naturally!

Photo by Paul Gellatly
When I was a teenager, I became a member of the Waterloo Horticultural Society, and subsequently ended up becoming a Director of the Waterloo Horticultural Society for a couple of years.  I entered flowers in the flower shows, my garden in the city competition, and attended many conferences and training opportunities.

Photo by Paul Gellatly My garden 2013
I started a small horticultural group that met at a local church monthly, arranged speakers, and often did presentations on various horticultural topics and workshops.. the group grew from a couple of members to a great group of 30 or more people in the matter of a couple of years.  I arranged trips to Rochester, New York to the Lilac Festival, and various gardens throughout Ontario, including the Royal Botanical Gardens, Niagara Botanical Gardens, and Lark Whistle Gardens.  We had a progressive supper each year where we visited different members gardens, and ate some amazing food along the way, and shared our love of horticulture.

I joined the Kitchener -Waterloo Bonsai Society after taking several courses in the art of Bonsai, attended regular Orchid Society meetings, and was a chairman of the Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society.  I surrounded myself with plants in as many aspects of my life as I could.
Photograph by Paul Gellatly

In high school, I became the Environment Controller, on our schools Board of control, and organized the school's tree planting day (planting 100's of trees and shrubs) and local park clean-up.  I was awarded the Rotary Environment Award, presented by David Suzuki.

Photo by Paul Gellatly "Chicago Peace"
I have been lucky enough to travel to the West Coast of Canada and visit several of the public gardens there, Butchart Gardens, Minter Gardens, UBC Botanical Gardens, Vandusen, and Stanley Park, and to the east the Montreal Botanical Gardens, and the Biodome in Quebec, and the Public Gardens in Halifax Nova Scotia.

Photo by Paul Gellatly
Photo by Paul Gellatly 
About 5 years ago I decided to make horticulture my career. And began working multiple jobs; I started working at an amazing garden center (Plant World in Toronto, Ontario) (  Starting in sales and information, then moving to the Perennial Department.  I assist at Stephanie's Country Greenhouse in Cheltenham, Ontario (; getting the greenhouse set up, and annuals and perennials planted for the upcoming season.  I  work as a gardener for the City of Toronto; working in various parks and gardens throughout the city. I also do Landscape Consulting, and have worked on both small and large scale projects. I am very lucky to work with an amazing group of people who have such vast knowledge and varied experiences, I can't help but learn a lot along the way.  I am truly blessed to be working, and making a living, in the field that I love.

About a year ago I started a horticultural networking group on Facebook, that has just passed 1100 members... and continues to grow daily!  If you're on facebook and want to join. here's the link...

Photograph by Paul Gellatly 
I have immersed myself in the field of Horticulture, and have been walking along the path...  Enjoying every moment, learning, teaching, and networking.  This past year I moved into a house in Mississauga, (only renting) and immediately started planning my garden.  This past summer my garden became an unofficial stop on a local garden tour, and gathered lots of interest and comments from everyone who passed by.

I continue to walk along the path of horticulture and invite you to follow along and enjoy the view!

This blog has now been viewed over 140 000 times, in over 90 countries! Thank you for following along, sharing it with family and friends and making the blog so successful!  

Photograph by Paul Gellatly "Abelmoschus Manihot"


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