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Read more about our presenters and events. Each month we will post all you need to know here.

We are thrilled to have Mary Jane Pilgrim share her knowledge and wealth of information with us.  We are sure to learn many ways to improve our gardens and save us unnecessary steps and money for a plentiful edible garden.  

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Mary-Jane Pilgrim joined the Peterborough Hort Society and the Peterborough Master Gardeners over 10 years ago and loves getting out and meeting other gardeners to “talk plants”. The love of gardening is probably hereditary as she grew up in a large farm family with Dutch immigrant parents.  She definitely was not a fan in those days of weeding rows and rows of vegetables, but loves the colour and fragrance of her garden today.  MJ has been the president of the society in Peterborough for the last 8 years, and was an assistant director for OHA District 4 in 2021-2023.

While not too applicable to this talk, she has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics/Computer Science and a Master's degree in Educational Technology.   She also enjoys cycling, playing squash and making/fixing stained glass windows.  

  • Basic Botany:  A little latin, some discussion on plant families and classification, and a few skills to be able to determine a plant’s family tree.  (spoiler alert *quizzes*)

  • Horticultural Trivia:  A lighthearted but challenging evening of “test your knowledge” on all things horticulture. Great for challenging your group to put their minds to the test, either individually or in groups.

  • Tips, Tricks & Slips:  After many years and thousands of plants, I sometimes think I’ve seen it all — but I clearly haven’t! Learn how to skip some of the biggest challenges and make your (mostly perennials) gardening journey a little easier.

  • Fertilizer 101: Fertilizing is an important step in maintaining the health of our plants. In order to grow and thrive, plants need essential nutrients typically found in the soil. What’s NPK?  Are fertilizers the gardeners “bandage”? A practical guide for flower and veggie gardeners alike.

  • How Do They Do That?:   How do they make weeping trees? What is and why would I buy a “standard” tree? What’s up with grafting? What’s a witch’s broom?  What is tissue culture and why should I care? What’s an espalier? Learn about horticultural techniques(?) at their finest.

  • Garden Myths Debunked: Learn the facts behind some common folk wisdom to better your odds of gardening success. Many homegrown garden tricks simply don’t live up to their hype when tested. Don’t let these classic superstitions waste your time or harm your plants!

  • Christmas Gardening Trivia — a light-hearted horticulturally-related evening of fun with a Christmas theme!

  • The Dirt on Soap and Home Remedies — Home recipes abound for ridding your garden of every single bug, but do we really think that’s wise? What should we use for bugs that we know are not beneficial? A light-hearted look at frequently used household chemicals and what you may want to use instead.

  • Getting your Gardens Ready for Spring — So much to do, in so little time! Take advantage of the late winter window to get your garden ready for an even more glorious spring.

  • Planning a Successful Flower/Veggie Garden — A beautiful or productive garden takes time, effort, money and maintenance. Starting with a good plan can help cut down on all of those things. Thinking about your flower or veggie garden before getting to work can help!

  • Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter — Although gardening is most closely associated with the sunny weather and colorful blooms of spring, this process is actually heavily influenced by actions gardeners take during the fall of the previous year

  • Things I Learned — A collection of facts about random bugs, plants, seeds, etc.  Sure to amaze.

seed Swap

- The seed swap provides a chance for us to exchange a variety of seeds.

- Participants can bring their surplus seeds and trade them for new and diverse varieties.

- It promote biodiversity, preserving heirloom and rare seeds that might otherwise be lost.

- It's a fantastic opportunity to engage and share knowledge, discovering unique plant varieties.

- Seed swaps contribute to sustainable gardening practices.

- Join a seed swap event and unlock a world of possibilities for your garden!


Label all envelopes clearly and provide any necessary growing details.

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