Plant Faire

Saturday, April 29; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
David Braley & Nancy Gordon Rock Garden


RBG is proud to present its first annual Plant Faire, a great way to get a head start on the gardening season, find unique plants for your home garden, and speak to passionate gardening professionals.

  • Vendors featuring unique seeds, specialty plants and native plants
  • Educational presentations on the hour and half-hour
  • Displays by plant societies and horticultural groups
  • Children’s activities
  • Expert information about gardening and plants
  • Food and drink

We value your feedback. Let us know what you thought about the first annual Plant Faire and take this survey.



Lotsa Hosta

FOR SALE: Hostas and perennial plants

Verbinnen's Nursery

FOR SALE: Sales of native trees, shrubs and perennials

B Sweet Honey Nature Co

FOR SALE: Growers of local native trees and shrubs and butterfly plants

Tree and Twig Heirloom Vegetable Farm

FOR SALE: Organically grown heirloom vegetables and herb seedlings, specializing in tomatoes

Sassafras Farms

FOR SALE: Native Plants

Talondale Farm

FOR SALE: Native perennials, raspberry and blackberry canes

St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre

FOR SALE: Local Ontario native plants

Whistling Gardens

FOR SALE: Dwarf conifers and peonies

The Potting Shed Garden Centre

FOR SALE: Hostas, perennials, trees and shrubs

Vineland Nurseries

FOR SALE: Ornamental plants such as dwarfs and usual conifers, Japanese Maples, Rhododendrons, bamboos, flowering shrubs and trees.



Halton Region Master Gardeners

Got Questions? Come for free gardening advice!

Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. is an independent non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping home gardeners. They provide free expert horticultural advice to the general public, so come check them out.

Hamilton Naturalists' Club, Pollinator Paradise Project

Learn about Hamilton Naturalists’ Club (HNC) and their outings or activities with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and their Pollinator Paradise Project.

Hamilton Naturalists’ Club is a volunteer-led, charitable organization that has been working to protect and restore natural areas in Hamilton for almost 100 years.

Ontario Hosta Society

Learn all about the fundamentals of growing and fostering the proper care of your hosta plants.

Ontario Hosta Society is a volunteer based organization that has been in existence for more than 20 years. If you are interested in joining, meetings are twice a year which include speakers and auctions, OHS also hosts a day long Hosta forum.

Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System

Learn about the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System’s local stewardship and natural land conservation in.

Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark system has collaborated with nine local governments, conservations, non-profit and university partners, that have united together to protect, restore and connect natural lands through stewardship or acquisition.

Ontario Horticulture Association, District #6

The Ontario Horticulture Association, District #6; which is made up of Brant Norfolk, Wentworth and Hamilton areas are always looking forward to recruiting more volunteers and educating the public.

The Ontario Horticulture Association (OHA) is a volunteer, charitable organization whose mission is to provide leadership and assist in the promotion of education and interest in all areas of horticulture and environmental issues in Ontario, through horticultural societies dedicated to their community.

Ontario Invasive Plant Council

Come get your pamphlet on the “Grow Me Instead Program”, a guide to identifying invasive garden plants and suitable native or non-native alternatives for home gardens.

The Ontario Invasive Plan Council (OIPC) is a multi-sector, non- profit group committed to the collaboration of organizations and citizens in order to more effectively respond to the threat of invasive plants in Ontario.

Greater Toronto Water Garden and Horticultural Society

Your answers all and any water-gardening related questions, don’t miss out.

The Greater Toronto Water Garden and Horticultural Society, will be providing additional information to their early June plant sale and their water garden tour in the GTA.

Bonsai Society at RBG

Home to the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Bonsai Horticultural Club is onsite for knowledge of growing and fostering the Bonsai plant.

The Bonsai Club promotes the art of bonsai through shows, workshops and regular monthly meetings. Experienced bonsai artists exchange knowledge and opinions with people of all skill levels. Anyone can create and enjoy bonsai, and our society is the place to learn.

Hamilton & District Chrysanthemum & Dahlia Society

Think it’s as hard as it is growing your own Chrysanthemum and Dahlia, then come talk to the experts who are here to help you grow and care for them.

The Hamilton and District Chrysanthemum & Dahlia Society (HDCDS) is dedicated to assisting fellow gardeners in getting the most out of these beautiful plants.

Ontario Daylily Society

Learn about the future of hybridizing and the production of Daylilies, or stop by to purchase seeds for crosses as well as plants.

Ontario Daylily Society was created for promotion of product, hybridizing and sale of daylilies.

Hamilton Pollinators Paradise Project

Come support the project goals, certificate programs, and their Monarch awards that the Hamilton Pollinators Paradise have obtained throughout the years.

A project of Environment Hamilton and the Hamilton Naturalists' Club with a goal to build a "pollinator highway", an uninterrupted haven of native plants that will provide food and shelter for pollinators across the city of Hamilton.

North American Native Plant Society (NANPS)

Don’t miss out on the North American Native Plant Society information sheets on various native plant seed packets, and the promotions of their upcoming native plant sale.

North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) is dedicated to the study, conservation, cultivation and restoration of our native flora. Through education and promotion, we look to increase awareness of biodiversity and love for our natural heritage as well as increasing native plants in our gardens and landscapes.

Canadian Peony Society

Do you need more information of how to plant, grow and divide peonies, then make sure you check out their station, where you can ask questions and get expert answers.

The objective if the Society, a not for profit organization, is to encourage and improve the cultivation and enjoyment of Peonies in Canada.

Hamilton and Burlington Rose Society

Don’t miss out on the information of Rose care and culture from the Hamilton and Burlington Rose Society.

Ontario Rock Garden & Hardy Plant Society

Interest is spreading since the opening of the RBG Rock Garden, this society offers memberships and seed packages for hardy plants to grow in suitable Apline environments.

Focus is alpine plants and related hardy perennials, creating rock gardens and establishing suitable environments for alpines and all hardy plants. Seedex attracts members from around the world. Major plant sales in early May each year.

Canadian Iris Society

Learn about the importance and uses of Irises in our home gardens, or come to learn more about this society and what they have to offer.

The Canadian Iris Society is a non-profit organization with the objective to encourage, improve and extend the cultivation of the genus Iris.

Ontario Regional Lily Society

Interested in the cultivation of lilies in the garden and the various lilies available to the home gardener, then don’t miss out in conversation with this society.

Dedicated to the promotion of the public interest in lilies as fantastic garden plants and further to the promotion of the knowledge of the genus Lilium and its cultivation and preservation.

Hamilton Naturalists Club

Learn more about volunteerism and supporting our land preservation, sanctuaries' restoration, school programs, youth education and nature study outings.

Volunteerism, support our land preservation, sanctuaries' restoration, school programs, youth education and nature study outings.


Excellent plants currently in the RBG collection having a number of desirable characteristics such as quality of bloom, long season of interest and ease of maintenance. Many of these outstanding plants are underused in the home garden.

ROYALSELECT™ plants offered in 2017 are:

Geranium cinereum ‘Ballerina’

An award winning dwarf geranium producing a neat, compact mounding form covered with greyish leaves and numerous purple veined lavender pink flowers. Admired for its low maintenance and long bloom from mid spring into summer. Perfect as a groundcover or in a rock garden, it prefers well-drained average to moist soil in sun or part shade but dislikes hot afternoon sun. Height 20 to 25cm. Spread 25 to 30 cm.

Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’

This eye catching prolific spring bloomer displays clusters of dark lavender blue, star shaped blossoms extending over a long period. A low maintenance erect perennial with attractive narrow dark green foliage, it prefers rich well drained, moist but not soggy soil, in sun or part shade. Disease and deer resistant. Excellent edging plant or in mass plantings. Height 35 to 40 cm. Spread 40 to 45 cm.

Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’

This very robust bloomer produces rose lavender flower spikes in mid summer above a very attractive compact rosette of decorative foliage. A bee magnet but resistant to deer and rabbits, it prefers full sun with good drainage. Removal of dead flowers will prolong the bloom period. Chicago Botanical Garden rated ‘Hummelo’ an exceptional Stachys, best of 22 cultivars studied. Height 30 to 50 cm. Spread 40 to 45 cm.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Coral Sunset’

Recipient of the American Peony Society Gold Medal. Large, ruffled, semi double blooms are an intense coral with rose overtones. One of the best in this uncommon colour for peonies. Emerging in late spring, fragrant blooms are borne in profusion on strong stems that don’t need staking. Foliage remains attractive until fall. Full sun, well-drained fertile soil. Height up to 80 cm. Spread 60 to 75 cm.

Clematis texensis ‘Princess Diana’

A small flowering clematis featuring deep pink tulip shaped flowers 5 to 7 cm. long. Profuse blooming lasts from midsummer to early fall and is followed by attractive silky seed heads. It must be pruned back hard every year in early spring and will rapidly reach a height of 2 to 4 metres and spread of 1 to 2 metres. Attracts bees and butterflies. Prefers sun or part shade, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soil. Keep roots cool and shaded.

Iris ensata ‘Crystal Halo’

Huge (15cm. across) flat, open-faced deep purple flowers with a white edge and vibrant yellow throat create garden drama in mid to late summer. When mature, three flowers per stalk are produced. Iris ensata (Japanese iris) will grow successfully in ordinary garden conditions but prefer a heavy rich soil with ample organic matter in full sun. Height 60 to 90 cm. Spread 40 to 50 cm.

Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’

A lovely variegated clump forming grass. It is medium size and produces green and creamy white striped leaf blades that form a distinctive fountain like effect. Requiring virtually no care, tall arching spikes of dainty flowers appear in late summer and attractive seed heads last from Sept. to frost. Prefers moist rich soil in light shade or full sun. A useful medium size for a perennial border or waterside. Height 30 to 50 cm. Spread 30 to 60 cm.

Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’

An easily grown medium size deciduous shrub with arching branches valued for its fragrant tiny white flowers in cylindrical drooping racemes and outstanding red fall foliage. It prefers moist humus rich soils but tolerates a wide range of conditions, is adaptable to clay soil and best of all will grow in sun or shade. However heavy shade will reduce fall coloration. No serious insect or disease problems. Height and spread 90 to 120 cm.

Viburnum plicatum ‘Popcorn’

‘Popcorn’ grows somewhat smaller than typical Viburnum plicatum plants, usually maturing 2 metres tall and 1 1/2 metres wide. Rounded popcorn like clusters of white flowers 5-8 cm. in diameter completely cover the shrub in a profuse spring bloom late April to May. This beautiful upright shrub with red to burgundy fall foliage was a favourite of the late Dr. Leslie Laking. Prefers moist well-drained soil and full sun.

Syringa vulgaris ‘Krasavitsa Moskvy’ (Beauty of Moscow)

A stunning lilac aptly named. Mauve pink buds open to full double white florets, and the rich scent is perfection. The remarkably abundant blooms are long lasting and the fragrance strengthens as the flowers mature. This top rated lilac should be in a prominent location where the dense flower clusters and remarkable scent can be fully appreciated. Full sun and neutral to alkaline soil will ensure best performance.

Speakers and Activities

10:30 AM

The Great Canadian Seed Challenge

St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre is located near Long Point, and works to enhance and restore native plant populations through wild seed salvage and propagation of over 350 species that are used by biodiversity agencies for habitat restoration projects.

Stefan Weber is a plant ecologist with SWNEC, founder of the Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance, and is a PhD candidate at McMaster University, studying local adaptation and native plant restoration. 

11 AM

Bonsai! A Short Intro to Small Trees

Find out what you need to get started with this fascinating plant art form. 

Mike McCallion has been passionately creating bonsai for 17 years and has studied with internationally recognized bonsai masters. He is a past president of Canada's oldest bonsai club and is the current president of the RBG Bonsai Society.

11:30 AM

Hamilton's Pollinator Paradise and the Monarch Awards

Learn about how you can help pollinators by adding native plants to your garden, and find out about the Monarch Awards, recognizing gardens for nature.

Jen Baker works with the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and id the lead for the Pollinator Paradise project, working to build Hamilton’s Pollinator Corridor. Glenn and Kim Barrett created the garden that won Hamilton’s first Monarch Award.

12 PM

Heirloom and Open Pollinated Tomatoes

Let’s talk tomatoes - a look at specific varieties, their stories, how to grow and save seed and more.

Linda Crago owns Tree and Twig Vegetable Farm in Wainfleet (Niagara). This is her 20th year growing and selling heirloom seedlings, seeds and produce.

12:30 PM

Lilies in the Perennial Garden:

Time to highlight some of the best lilies for the perennial garden, featuring the enduring older lilies as well as what is new and different.

Brian Bergman has been at the forefront of hybridizing new lilies for the last 15 years, and his plants have won many awards from Ontario-wide to continent-wide shows.

1 PM

Grow Me Instead! Invasive Plants and Your Garden

Learn more about the Ontario Invasive Plant Council's popular Grow Me Instead program and find out how you can keep invasive plants from spreading. Launched in 2011, this program highlights the important role the horticulture industry and gardeners play in keeping invasive species out of natural habitats.

Kate Powell leads many outreach initiatives for the Ontario Invasive Plant Council including the Grow Me Instead program outreach initiatives, organizational communications and a variety of invasive plant training workshops.

1:30 PM

Hostas:  Dispelling Myths and Discovering New Developments

Learn about what is happening in the hosta world, why hostas are the most popular of all perennials and explore and debunk some hosta myths.

Glenda Bargeman is the owner and designer of Lotsa Hostas.

2 PM

Are you pollinator-friendly?

Gardening is great way to connect with nature, but is your garden and property pollinator- friendly?  Explore some simple plants and projects that will help endangered pollinators. 

Marion Robertson is co-owner of B Sweet Honey and Puslinch Naturally Native Trees. She is an lifelong beekeeper who also grows and sells native and Carolinian trees and shrubs, and pollinator-friendly plants.

2:30 PM

Peonies: From the Saguenay to Green Bay

Take a quick tour of the world of peonies in this area and beyond, from Wisconsin to northern Quebec.

David Maltby is a past president of the Canadian Peony Society who has been growing peonies of all types for twenty years.

70th Anniversary of Education

This year marks the 70th anniversary for education programming, and we’re celebrating today!

Join our education team at RBG Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and explore our world of learning. We offer programming for people from three to 103, and you’re invited to try out some activities, meet our instructors and enjoy a piece of anniversary cake! Visit us in the Camilla and Peter Dalglish Atrium and in Hendrie Park.

In 1947, we launched our adult education workshops and lectures, and a gardening program for children. We continue to grow - 120,000 people of all ages took part in RBG programming in 2016!

Explore RBG Experiences!

GARDENING programs share information on the newest trends and plants, and the details on how to care for your garden sustainably.
Karin Davidson-Taylor, RBG Education Officer, answers questions about gardening to support pollinators and sustainability.

NATURE programs provide hands-on opportunities to learn more about biodiversity in our area.
Nadia Cavalin, RBG Field Botanist, is leading short wildflower tree walks on the hour.
Jackson Hudecki, RBG Special Programs Officer, is leading short bird walks on the half-hour.

ARTS courses take their inspiration from nature or incorporate natural materials. Over the course of today, two of our art instructors are demonstrating their craft:
Botanical Illustrator Karen Logan
Watercolour Artist Julie Donec

WELLNESS programs focus on the healing properties of nature, plants and healthy outdoor lifestyles. Come and find out more from:
Meillyn Kelly: Essential Oils
Katie Cyr: Tea
Leo Johnson: Drumming (10AM to noon)
Nancy Lee-Colibaba, RBG Public Programs Coordinator: Plant Therapy (*takes place in Hendrie Park)

KIDS and FAMILIES programs provide outdoor fun and learning for all. Here’s what’s happening:
Visit our childrens’ gardens in Hendrie Park and find out about our kids and youth programming. Our Youth Environmental Science Alliance teens will also be selling heirloom tomato seedlings. In the Atrium, our staff are on hand to answer questions about our School Programs, Camps, and kid’s clubs.

Meet Ruby the Red-eared Slider and learn about invasive species and RBG’s turtles, and go on a wetland micro-safari. (Atrium)

Interactive Videoconference - Travel to another botanical garden, and visit Alaska via live videoconference. Times and location will be posted on the digital signage in Stedman Hall.

Discovery @ the Gardens (Hendrie Park) - Meet our garden interpreters in Veggie Village (to explore the world of tomatoes) and the soon-to-be-renovated Rose Garden (to find out about roses and our new garden plans).

Explore Hendrie Park on your own with our new TaleBlazer app. Download it for free at the Play Store or App Store, and look for the family-friendly Tree Connections tour.