This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Celebrating Ontario Gardener’s 18th year

est. Manitoba, my home province, was the base for our magazines designed to meet the local needs. While Canadian Gardening was well established, it spent a lot of time catering to gardeners


across the country and the local content seemed to be all about Toronto — there wasn’t much room for the rural gardens. So in 2000, I created Ontario Gardener, based on my experi- ence with Manitoba Gardener. In Ontario, we made it our mission to focus on the smaller communities throughout the province. I was lucky that my daughter Shauna, a wonderful writer, lived in Toronto and was will-

ing to invest her tireless efforts (and that of her husband, David, and little daughter, Julia, at times, too) in making the publication work. They traipsed all over the province attending local garden shows and introducing the magazine. We launched Ontario Gardener at Canada Blooms in 2000. We couldn’t keep up with the

orders. When we started the magazine, it was a vastly different world. Weal and Cullen were still

dominant in Toronto, but many of the garden centres were small and many gardeners still relied on annuals done up in six- and even nine-packs of seedlings. Shauna and I started her own little garden with some plants from home — ferns and

lamium, I recall, but Bill’s Garden Centre was our main source of product. I reveled in his store which offered many plants I couldn’t buy at home. I was jealous of the climbing roses which seemed to grow everywhere and envied Ontario

gardeners plants such as Aubretia. That there were such things as tulip trees was an amaze- ment. There were more perennial varieties than in the West and hostas were much in vogue, but the varietal pickings were still limited. The frenzied development of hybrids hadn’t yet reached its peak. Still, every year brought something new and exciting to our local stores. We had an editorial board back then that included people like Janet Anderson, Susan

Antler, Trevor Ashbee, Mary Ann Bastin, Ted Blowes, Wendy Chrystian, Sarah Holland, Lorraine Hunter, Jennifer Moore, Matthew Morris, Martin Quinn, Nancy Sim, Richard Taylor, Gene Threndyle, Celine Tower and John Valleau. I also have to mention Molly McIn- erny our sales manager for many years. These folks and the others who followed were invalu- able in providing expertise and ideas and we thank them. John and Judith Perrin were our partners then and they spent countless hours diligently

promoting the magazine and helping with all the endless detail magazine publishing takes. Along the way, Prolific Graphics became an equity partner and Al Alexandruk and Tom Wilton have been tremendous associates and supports. But really, Ontario Gardener owes its heartbeat to Shauna and I take off my hat to her

creativity and energy in making it a wonderful publication. So here we are, about to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. We are thrilled to be able to

present this special edition to honour our nation and our province’s history in the garden. We have tried to mention as many of our pioneer gardeners and gardens as possible. If we have inadvertently left a significant player out – it has not been easy to source some of the critical information — please let us know because we plan to do a return edition next fall, looking toward the next 150 years.

t was 1997 when I first decided to create a series of local gardener magazines. The reason was simple. There was no information about local gardening to be had on the newsstands and I was a novice gardener, eager to learn about what was becoming a passionate inter-

Dorothy Dobbie Founder and President Pegasus Publications Inc.

6 • Fall 2016

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