Idea File: Eleven things to do May 11th

Rip me up into eleven pieces! If ever there were an excuse for human cloning, it would be so that I could attend these eleven events at once on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Here’s this week’s full-of-ideas Idea File – check the links for further details on each:

1. Helen speaks on Shade Plants at Plant Paradise Country Gardens in Caledon, 10 am to 11 am

When the chance to visit Plant Paradise to talk as a Master Gardener happened, I jumped. Plant Paradise has been on my wish list. I’ll focus on the shade plants you can find in the nursery on Saturday and/or see in the display gardens. So, get the goods and go home with the goodies. Hope to see you there!

Paul Zammit at a past TBG Plant Sale
Paul Zammit at a past TBG Plant Sale

2. Toronto Botanical Garden Plant Sale, 10 am to 5 pm (same hours on Sunday, too)

Oh, the temptations! All plants selected by TBG hort director Paul Zammit. I previewed on Thursday – veggies, container plants, natives, perennials for sun or shade, vines, and a few shrubs, trees and evergreens.

Be sure to get there early, so you can a) get a parking spot – the unrenovated section of the parking lot is blanketed with film company trucks – and b) take your time to admire the tulip display in the entry garden.

Orrrrr… book yourself a date with Mum and a tea sommelier (yes, they do exist) at:

3. The TBG’s Tea and Truffle Pairings, 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

4. North American Native Plant Society Plant Sale in Markham, 10 am to 3 pm

Native trees, shrubs and wildflowers aplenty, including harder-to-find selections. Go native and get advice from aficionados. Be early for best selection.

Native Mertensia is on the NANPS plant list
Native Mertensia is on the NANPS plant list

5. & 6. Leaside Garden Society Plant Sale and, in the same location, Greater Toronto Water Garden Society Aquatic Plant Sale, 9 am to noon

7. Scarborough Garden and Hort Society Plant Sale, 10 am to 1 pm

8. Agincourt Garden Club Spring Sale, 9 am to noon

Garden society plant sales usually feature reasonably priced selections from Ontario growers (such as Martin Galloway of Chalk Lake Greenhouses) as well as great prices on plants from members’ gardens.

The Scarborough sale is outdoors at historic Cornell Campbell Farm, which we wrote about in 2009.

9. Community Environment Day in Riverdale Park, 10 am to 2 pm

Bring in your old computers or batteries, replace banged-up recycling bins, snag some free compost and get your pet chipped – no, not in the wood chipper, Marge! Microchipped at a great price (with a discount if your pet is already licensed.) I believe Finley, our resident chat, will be there.

Skyline view from Tommy Thompson Park

10. Official Opening of the Tommy Thompson Park Birder’s Hide, 9 to 10:30 am

See what’s been happening on the Leslie Street Spit (aka Tommy Thompson Park) – new entry gates and a cool environmental centre overlooking the ponds will make our city wilderness a little more official, hopefully not officious.

Having watched the building over many months, I’m sorry to miss the opening. Tommy Thompson Park offers one of my favourite views of the Toronto skyline. Now, if we could just get some “facilities” on the outside trail, too, I’d be a happy walker.

11. Launch of the Toronto Flower Market, 10 am to 3 pm

Billed as the first outdoor flower and plant market with Ontario-grown cut and potted flowers, it begins this Saturday and continues monthly on the second Saturdays till September 14. Make your own 100-mile bouquets for Mother’s Day. Get one for me, too!

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