Farm Notes - May 2018
Master Gardener Lectures
The tradition
expands with new fall lectures!

Every year the Friends partner with the Master Gardeners of Ottawa Carleton to offer timely and informative presentations. This year's Tuesday night lectures include:

with Julianne Labreche (photo)

All presentations are from 7pm to 9pm in Building 72 just east of the Prince of Wales roundabout with free parking.  Lectures can be purchased individually $12 members and $15 non-members.  For more information, email or call 613-230-3276.

NEW this fall - two added lectures!
October 16 Bulbs for Year Round Enjoyment with Mary Reid

November 6  History of English Country House Gardens with Heather Clemenson

Friends' Plant Sale
Sunday May 13 from 9am to 1pm

Get everything you need for your garden at our spectacular Friends' Plant Sale (formerly known as Rare and Unusual Plant Sale). N ew and returning specialty growers and nursery vendors offer hundreds of beautiful plants. Garden accessory vendors will add that touch of inspiration.

Master Gardeners are once again on hand to answer any gardening questions. The 'plant coat check' service under the Friends' canopy keep you 'hands free'. Drop off your plants at the canopy and when you're done shopping, our volunteers help carry the new treasures to your vehicle.

The sale is located in the K.W. Neatby Building  parking lot  at Maple and Carling Ave. Free admission however any donations to Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted. A refreshment table with Bridgehead coffee and delicious baked goods will keep you nourished while shopping.  Don't miss this chance to add an unusual plant to your collection, purchase a stunning hanging basket, discover the perfect garden accessory or find the right perennial for your hard-to-grow area.

If you are a plant vendor who would like to participate in this unique event experience, please download the Participant Agreement or ENTENTE DU PARTICIPANT.  

Call for Plants and Baked Goods
Drop donated materials on Sat May 12

Take stock of your garden this spring and share your extra plant material. The Friends will have a table with donated perennials as part of the Friends' Plant Sale. Plants should be potted (not in bags) and labelled. No house plants please.

We are also looking for "snack size" treats that can be sold to our vendors and visitors. Squares, muffins, cookies, tarts, fudge or any other sweet treat would be perfect for this event.  If possible, it would be appreciated if your goodies are ready to sell in  plastic wrap or sealable baggies.

Please bring your donated plant material and baked goods on Saturday, May 12 from 9am to 11am at Building 72 in the Arboretum just east of the Prince of Wales roundabout.  Thank you all for your continued support in our fundraising efforts!
Guided Arboretum Tree Tours
Explore this urban gem with tour leaders

Sunday May 13 at 2pm Tree Identification 101
Our guides help you get started with identification and knowing how to find out more about the trees.  The emerging flowers and leaves of Spring are an added bonus for this tour.  Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance.
Sunday June 10 at 10am  Trees and Damaging Agents

Why do trees usually not live much more than 2 or 3 human lifespans, if lucky? Our guides will explore many damaging agents and other causes of tree mortality via a tour of the Dominion Arboretum. Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance.

Thursday July 12 at 3:30pm Canadian Institute of Forestry Tour (Ottawa Valley Section)

Saturday July 14 at 8pm Got Bats?

Friday July 20 at 8:30pm A Night With the Moths


All tours start at Building 72 in the Arboretum. Although the tours are free and open to the public, please register in advance on each tree tour website page. Donations to the Friends of the Farm are gratefully accepted during the tour.

Lilac Walk Garden Tour
Saturday May 19 at 2pm

J oin Friends of the Farm Lilac Team for a free guided tour of over 200 lilac varieties in the Lilac Walk of the CEF Ornamental Gardens. The tour is free and open to the public.

Did you know that lilacs, native to the European Balkans, were carried along the spice route and the history of lilacs traces the first collection to the Austrian court in 1563?

Meet at the Macoun Garden, park in the lot at  Canada Agriculture and Food Museum (Pay and Display) off Prince of Wales and follow the signs. Donations are gratefully accepted during the tour.

Friends' Used Book Sale
Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, from 10am to 4pm


Thousands of the best used books in Ottawa are for sale at the Friends annual Used Book Sale. Enjoy browsing outstanding selections culled from the home libraries of friends and families from around the region. It's a 2-day sale for a reason!

Stock up now for your summer reading, find that very special elusive title, and don't forget to bring a friend. All fiction is alphabetized with 18 categories of non-fiction plus vintage books. Great selection, great prices - $1 for paperbacks, $2 for trade paperback and hardback, $3 for new releases.

Your support in donating books at our annual book drop-off makes it possible for this to be our biggest event every year. Heartfelt thanks to all our generous donors and tireless volunteers who sort and stack them! Have more books to donate? Hang on to them for the Fall Used Book Drop-off on Saturday October 20 (mark your calendar).

June Blooms Garden Tours
Stroll Through Garden History on June 24

A gem in the heart of Canada's Capital, the Central Experimental Farm's Ornamental Gardens have enchanted visitors for more than a century  on this National Historic Site
Friends of the Farm invite you to  June Blooms  Saturday June 24 from 10am to 2pm,
with 1pm launch of the historic replanted portions of the Macoun Garden.

Join the  Friends' expert garden volunteers for free guided tours of the CEF Ornamental Gardens.  Although there is no charge for the tours, donations are always gratefully appreciated. 
Park at the Agriculture Museum parking lot (Pay and Display). The Friends will be at the Farm entrance near the parking area with additional information on garden tours. 
Light refreshments will also be available.
** Event will be cancelled in case of rain, check at **

The Ottawa Society of Botanical Artists will send 5 to 10 artists to the gardens
during June Blooms as part of their summer Sketching Program.
This year, the Society is supporting two upcoming botanical art exhibitions, Art of the Plant, hosted by the Canadian Museum of Nature, May 10 to October 14, and Plant Portraits: Native Plants of Canada, hosted by Canadian Agricultural and Food Museum, May 18 to October 31.

Fletcher Wildlife Garden - Native Plant Sale
Saturday June 2 from 9:30am to 12:30pm

Visit the Fletcher Wildlife Garden for their  Annual Native Plant Sale. Hundreds of beautiful local wildflowers grow in the Ottawa area. These native plants attract and support local wildlife, including pollinators such as birds, bees, and butterflies. Loss of natural spaces has resulted in the decline of many species.  FWG encourages growing native plants so that pollinators and other wildlife can find shelter and food.  A wide variety of native plants creates a garden that flowers throughout the summer and whose ecological balance makes herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers unnecessary.

Volunteers will be on hand to advise about which plants suit your garden.  The sale is located at FWG building on the east side of Prince of Wales Drive, just south of the Arboretum.

You are invited to exhibit at Art on the Farm 
Saturday August 11 from 10am to 4pm in the Arboretum
Rain Date: Sunday Aug 12

Friends of the Farm's premier summer event Art on the Farm showcases local and regional artists. There isn't a more beautiful and peaceful setting in Ottawa than under the luxurious canopy of the Arboretum next to Building 72 on the Central Experimental Farm. A wide range of original media is accepted.  The event is FREE to the public and runs from 10am to 4pm Saturday August 11  with a rain date on Sunday August 12 (10am to 4pm). 

If this natural setting is the place for your artwork, please visit  Art on the Farm for information and registration material or call 613-230-3276 or email

Volunteer Spotlight  
Over 10,000 hours donated each year

Did you know that Friends' volunteers donate over 10,000 hours every year  to support its mission and activities? Every month a different volunteer is highlighted on the Friends website. We invite you to read the stories of our volunteers such as  Diane McClymont Peace our Volunteer of the Month

Previous spotlights are also listed.  Each volunteer has an interesting story to tell and a unique connection and commitment to the Farm. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by the entire community! Thank you.

Merivale Shelterbelt
 Last opportunity for plaque inscription is July 31!

Thousands of trees once marked the northern and western boundaries of the Central Experimental Farm. The Friends of the Farm have been working diligently on the Merivale Shelterbelt to recreate a boundary forest at the western edge of this National Historic Site. It beautifies the surroundings, provides a recreational path, protects the fields from salt and soil erosion, and helps clean the air at the Farm and neighbourhoods nearby.

The project is almost finished, thanks to a major contribution by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, so this year will be the last opportunity to help complete this important project.

Until July 31, 2018 you can donate to this beautification project in the name of someone or something you care about. An inscription on a plaque will acknowledge your contribution. Plaques are on a commemorative wall in the plaza or rest area on the pathway. The wall acknowledges the official opening of the Shelterbelt and pavilion by the Governor-General of Canada in 2005.

Thanks to many generous donors, the Friends' volunteers have planted new trees and shrubs each year.  We have room for one more year's donations. Help us build this beautiful green space and place a personalized inscription to a loved one or a special cause. Donations must be made by July 31, 2018, to be included in the final annual celebration in September 2018. For more information please visit the Shelterbelt page.

Are You a Member? 
Join our mission to protect and preserve the Farm 

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

The future of the Farm as we know it is more important than ever. Over the past number of years, there has been continued pressure on research projects and jobs from budgetary constraints. While the core research areas remain, the Farm lands, Dominion Arboretum, Ornamental Gardens and historical buildings still need constant care and protection. If lost, this jewel can never be replaced.

Become a member today and support the Friends' mission  to bring the Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens to their full potential. Membership benefits include  free admission to the  Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, a quarterly newsletter, discounted events, and more

Blooms for your Garden
 For the Love of Trees Companion Book  

Friends of the Farm presents Blooms, a book about the Central Experimental Farm's Ornamental Gardens, introducing these heritage plants and the fascinating stories behind their creation. 

Localize your garden this year with made-in-Ottawa flowers, shrubs. By local author, Richard Hinchcliff, this book makes a great gift all year, and is the perfect read to prepare for spring. Cost is $35 plus GST. Take a peek inside for a preview. 

How do you get a copy?  Come to the Friends office in Building 72 weekdays Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 9am to 2pm and purchase with cash, cheque, or credit and take it home!  Or purchase it online on our website with a credit card and pick up at the Friends' office in Building 72 or have it shipped to a location of your choice . For local booksellers, please see BloomsFor the Love of Trees and Ottawa's Farm are  also available for purchase in the Boutique for $25 each plus GST. Need more information? Call 613-230-3276 or e mail .

New Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9am-2pm

We are now open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 2pm.
Learn more about the Friends' eventsvolunteer and membership opportunities, or check out our assortment of greeting cards and  books by local authors featuring the history of the Farm, Arboretum and Ornamental Gardens.
You can reach us by phone at 613-230-3276, email
or stop by in person for a visit during office hours.