August 15, 2011
Denis Flanagan CLD
Director of public relations and membership services

Denis FlanaganAs part of my job description, I represent Landscape Ontario on several boards and committees with other organizations. One of those organizations is the Ontario Horticultural Association (OHA).

Founded in 1906 by the provincial government, the OHA has grown to 270 societies boasting over 30,000 members across Ontario.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of giving presentations to many of those societies. I have often met LO members at these meetings who have formed local partnerships with the society. Not only does this make good business sense, but it demonstrates that we support the principles of the OHA.

Those principles simply state:
  • Love of gardening
  • Deep enjoyment in sharing your knowledge
  • Commitment to preserving and restoring Ontario’s natural environment
  • Dedication to making the community we live in beautiful, sustainable and livable

Successful partnership

A recent example of a successful partnership was when the Ayr Horticultural Society approached me to help with a special garden they were installing to celebrate the organization’s 90th anniversary.  

They were looking specifically for assistance to locate a mature-sized native red maple. They made contact with one of our members ,Phil Dickie of Fast Forest in our Waterloo Chapter. Phil was able to supply a beautiful wire basket specimen for the Society’s dedication ceremony.

Another great example of our successful partnership with the OHA is our relationship with the local Milton society. Many of our members have worked on projects with the local society. Sean James of Fern Ridge Landscaping was the society’s president for several seasons. These connections have resulted this year in several volunteers helping to maintain the University of Guelph trial gardens on your Milton site.

Landscape Ontario provided lots of information for the annual OHA convention in Sudbury this July. Several hundred members participated in workshops, networking sessions and planning for the future.

In 2012 the provincial association is planning to hold the 106th annual convention in the Niagara region. The theme will be ‘Gardening Then and Now, 1812-2012.’ It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase the wonderful history of our industry and celebrate the benefit of partnerships.
Denis Flanagan may be contacted at