Farm Notes - August 2020
The Hosta Garden
Soothe your soul and enjoy the shade

Photo: Linda McLaren
The Summer edition of the Friends of the Farm quarterly newsletter featured two articles on the Hosta Garden at the Farm. This beautiful retreat offers a rare chance to sit in shaded serenity at the Farm (while observing physical distancing protocols, of course). 

The Hosta Garden is located about halfway between the two parking areas on the Arboretum's Circle Road (identified on Google maps as the National Capital Commission Scenic Driveway). In effect, there are two garden areas. On the Circle Road, under a group of trees on the right side as you drive along, lies one garden that was re-located in 2018 because of construction in its former site in 2019. Through an opening in the fence and just a short distance along the road is the entrance to the main garden, a rockery, and a terraced area. 

Photo: Linda McLaren

I f you have mobility challenges, you'll find the roadway garden easier to visit, as it is on a flat surface, while the other garden is on the hillside and down a short stairway constructed of large flat rocks. 

Photo: Linda McLaren

Hostas are grown primarily for their beautiful and varied foliage. Though they do produce flowers, some say their blooms lack the spectacle of other flowers in the Ornamental Gardens. The Farm's vast collection features many sizes, shapes, and colourations of this beautiful perennial. The hostas should be fully developed and at their peak in summer. 

So come and enjoy the shade in which hostas thrive!

Friends of the Farm Annual General Meeting
Join us September 16, 2020, for our virtual AGM

The Friends of the Central Experimental Farm's board of directors cordially invite you to attend our FCEF 2020 AGM on Wednesday, September 16, at 7:00 p.m. Membership is not required to attend, however only fully paid members can vote.


The AGM will take place virtually, on a platform soon to be announced. Details to follow soon. The meeting will be followed by a fascinating virtual presentation by the NCC's Tina Liu. 


Please register if you plan to attend. The attendance link will be sent only to registered attendees. 


Please make arrangements to renew your membership to be eligible to vote. You can do so via mail with cheque payment by printing the membership form, (please allow at least 2 weeks for mail delays) or you can renew online, (preferably more than 24 hours prior to the meeting).


Tina Liu is a landscape architect at the NCC and the design manager of the Capital Floral Program and Christmas Lights Across Canada project. She leads the design of year-round floral display in Canada's Capital, which includes the Canadian Tulip Festival in the spring, and annual and perennial displays from summer to autumn. Liu's presentation, entitled  The Tulip Legacy and 75 years of Tulip Design in Canada's Capital, will explore how design strategies constantly evolve and adapt to various cultural, social, economic, and climatic changes throughout the year, and how the NCC lives up to being the world's largest spring flower show destination in public parkland and home of the largest Tulip Festival in North America.

COST: Admission is free.  Registration is required to obtain the link to the meeting's platform.

Join us and become a Friends member today!
Help us in our mission to protect and preserve the Farm 

At Friends of the Central Experimental Farm we bring people together. 

Join the Friends of the Farm  to help preserve the integrity of this cherished National Historic Site and its exceptional setting in the heart of Ottawa.

Becoming a member today,  or giving a friend or family member the gift of membership, supports the Friends' mission   to bring the Dominion Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens to their full potential . Membership benefits include quarterly newsletter, discounted events, discounts at some local nurseries and garden centres, free admission for one adult member of a group or family per visit to  the  Canada Agriculture and Food Museum,   and more.

Please note, we suspended  renewals during Covid-19, but have resumed them now. More than ever your support of the Friends of the Farm is critical and much appreciated. Current members should receive a mailing soon with details regarding their own renewal. Please consider rejoining us if your membership has lapsed. We'd love to "see" you again! If you have questions regarding your membership, please contact

Membership has its benefits!
Now you can support the Friends and local plant vendors too

We are pleased to announce the following nurseries are offering discounts to our Friends of the Farm members.
Thank you for supporting these local businesses! 

Established in 1994,  Stoneridge Gardens and Nursery  is a family-owned and operated nursery located at 1851 Galbraith Rd RR 2 in Clayton, ON (near MIddleville). Stoneridge Gardens is offering  a 10%  * discount to all FCEF members  upon presentation of a **valid  FCEF  membership card. 

Beaux Arbres Native Plants  specializes in plants native to the Ottawa Valley, and garden-worthy wildflowers from eastern North America. Beaux Arbres welcomes all current members of the Friends of the Farm to their location at  29 Ragged Chute Rd, Bristol, QC, and  is offering a 10% *discount  on Farm Sales only  upon presentation of a **valid FCEF membership card. 

Since 1987,  Whitehouse Perennials , located at  594 Rae Road in Almonte, ON, has been a destinatio
n for Ottawa-area gardeners. Whitehouse Perennials is offering a  10%  *discount on all regularly priced plant materials at their nursery location upon presentation of a **valid FCEF membership card.

*Some restrictions may apply. 

**FCEF has resumed membership renewals as of July 24, please contact

Due to Covid-19, p lease call first or visit their websites as interprovincial travel restrictions for certain members may be in place.

Our annual non-dinner event is back!
Popular annual fundraiser ends December 31

Please join the Friends for our Annual Non-dinner Event happening right now. 

Not a single person will show up,
and we will be delighted!

You can help the Friends of the Farm just by
staying home.

By purchasing tickets to this fundraising event that will never take place, you will help the Friends sponsor numerous activities in support of the Ornamental Gardens and Dominion Arboretum on the Central Experimental Farm. 
Individual seats $25    Couples $50    
Family $100    Table of Six $250    
Community $500

Your support is greatly appreciated and your donation is tax deductible. 

You can contribute by using our new online fillable form for cheques or PayPal 
The fundraiser ends December 31, 2020.

News from the Agriculture and Food Museum 
Doors reopen on August 1!

The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum reopens its doors on August 1, once again welcoming visitors and offering a unique opportunity to to learn about the food we eat and see the diverse breeds of farm animals important to Canadian agriculture. 

In addition to breeds common to Canadian agriculture, such as Holstein dairy cows and Angus beef cows, the museum is home to Canadienne and Milking Shorthorn dairy cows and Tamworth pigs. You can also see many other breeds of dairy and beef cattle, along with pigs, sheep, horses, poultry, goats, rabbits -- and even honeybees to round out the collection.

The Museum's exciting programs and exhibitions explore food literacy, Canada's agricultural heritage, and the benefits and relationship of agricultural science and technology to Canadians' everyday lives. 

Plus those animals are so darn cute!

Visit their site for information on how to get advance tickets.

Discover the Fletcher Wildlife Garden
Say hello to our neighbours and support their work

In case you've missed it, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden (FWG) is located only a few minutes walk from the Ornamental Gardens and Dominion Arboretum, and it is truly is one of Ottawa's hidden wildlife gems. 

N amed after James Fletcher, the first Dominion entomologist and a founding member of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club (OFNC), the FWG  encompasses a variety of natural habitats. Its volunteers work tirelessly to restore and enhance the wild spaces needed to provide a wide range of homes for local wildlife. 

Photo: Christine Hanrahan

In partnership with Friends of the Farm, the FWG's mission is "to demonstrate to residents of the Ottawa area how to create or restore wildlife-friendly habitats and gardens in their neighbourhoods, emphasizing the use of plants native to this region."

Photo: Christine Hanrahan

You can visit their website to learn how to make a bug hotel or to find a series of "how to" sheets on wildlife gardening geared towards local conditions. You can also read up on local flora and fauna, invasive species, and a whole lot more. 

Photo: Laura Conrad

Follow the FWG's  Facebook page to enjoy the many, many breathtaking photographs shared by local photographers who visit regularly. 

Photo: Sandy Garland

Better yet, visit the Fletcher Wildlife Garden in person -- and don't forget to wear your mask and follow social-distancing protocols! 

Follow us on Social Media!
We're on Facebook and Twitter

We're active on social media platforms promoting the Friends' activities, events, and products. We also re-post interesting gardening tips, awe-inspiring garden photos, and general garden and Farm information. Stay up to date by following our Facebook page or catching our tweets

Volunteer Spotlight  
Over 10,000 volunteer hours donated each year

Did you know that Friends volunteers donate more than 10,000 hours every year  to support our mission and activities? Every month we celebrate a different volunteer on the Friends website. We invite you to celebrate with us and read the stories of volunteers like  Randy Taylor our Volunteer of the Month

Previous spotlights are also available on our website.  Each of these generous people has an interesting story to tell and a unique connection and commitment to the Farm. Their efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire community, and we thank them wholeheartedly!

Update on our 2020 events
We'll be back!

The following Friends of the Farm events have been cancelled or rescheduled for 2020, but stay tuned! We'll be back next year!

Please check our events page on the website for events that may pop up between Farm Notes!
Annual General Meeting SEPTEMBER 16, 2020
Please note: our AGM will be held virtually. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for more details.

Art on the Farm  (originally scheduled for Saturday, August 15)

Master Gardener Series lectures  (originally scheduled for September 15 and 29)

Used Book Drop-off  ( originally  scheduled for October 24)