Friends of the Central Experimental Farm

Farm Notes - July 2024

We Wish You A Happy Canada Day!

Our 2024 Ornamental Garden Tours

Are Under Way!

The remaining tours are filling up quickly and there may be a waiting list to sign up for.

W.T. Macoun Memorial GardenJuly 16 and July 30  (rain or shine)

Rock Garden: July 23 (rain or shine)

Rose Gardens (both the Heritage Rose Garden and the Explorer Rose Garden): 

August 17 (rain or shine)

Please visit our webpage for more details and to register. If you have a group, it might be possible to arrange a private tour.

As well, a brochure featuring a Self-Guided Tour of the Ornamental Gardens is available on our website. Our e-boutique features the book Blooms: An Illustrated History of the Ornamental Gardens at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm.

A new Tree Tour on July 14:

Rare Trees of the Dominion Arboretum

This tour will show many "rare" trees and shrubs growing at the Arboretum. These are plants which are rare not only in Ottawa, but generally rare in eastern North America (e.g. rare native plants, and/or plants to-date rarely cultivated). Serving hopefully as an ambassador of such plants, your tour guide hopes to generate interest in rare plants generally, to promote a more varied and interesting cultivated landscape and also to foster conservation of rare trees/shrubs via awareness of their existence and familiarity from seeing them in person.

Tour leader: Owen Clarkin

Cost: Admission to the tour is free but registration is required. Places are limited, so first come, first served. Click here to see more details, including how to register. Registered participants will meet at 9:30 a.m.

Where: meet at Building 72 in the Dominion Arboretum. Due to parking limitations, it may be advisable to park in the Museum Parking Lot (payment required) and then walk to the Arboretum. 

Come Join the Team!

Volunteers Wanted


The Friends of the Farm is seeking volunteers for the following duties:


Communications Director. Responsibilities: direct and oversee communication, marketing and promotion; media liaison; and ensure consistency in messaging across all media (newsletters, website, social media). Experience and communications expertise required as well as effective communication skills. This is a Board position. Send your résumé and contact info to if you are interested in a new challenge contributing to all the activities of Friends of the Central Experimental Farm.

Tree Book Committee: Volunteer needed to help with the launch and promotion of a new book about the trees on the Central Experimental Farm. Anyone interested in trees, marketing and public outreach is welcome to apply. If interested, please contact

FCEF Volunteer Service Awards

On June 6, a Cake and Coffee Social was held to honor those receiving the 2023 Volunteer Service Awards. This annual event is an opportunity for the Board of Directors of Friends of the Farm to express their appreciation and gratitude for the hours of dedication of our volunteers. This years’ recipients included those celebrating 5 years of service: Carrie Bolton, Mary Jane Brennan, Elizabeth Campbell, J.C. Charron, Jocelyne Charron, Patricia Jasen, Joanne Landriault, Linda McLean, and Marie-Claude Thibault; 10 years of service : Anne Darley, Thanet Hardwick, Karen Walker, and Jennifer Williams; 15 years of service: Betty Jean O’Riordan; 20 years of service: Janet Smith and Bill Wegman; and over 20 years of service: Polly McColl and PollyAnn Sobier. Congratulations to all! As seen in this photo, most of the honourees were in attendance, along with several members of the FCEC Board of Directors.


Volunteers: the Value of One, the Power of Many!

The Summer Newsletter is Out!

The bearded iris collection at the Ornamental Gardens, in all its colours, is a tribute to iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Carol MacLeod, leader of the iris/daylily volunteer team, introduces us to the collection of bearded and Siberians in the Summer issue of the Friends’ newsletter. Among the Siberians are several historic hybrids, including some from Isabella Preston’s River series. Irises were one of Preston’s favourite flowers.

Elsewhere in the newsletter we meet our new president, Dianne Caldbick, for whom the Farm has been a part of life ever since she came to Ottawa to attend Carleton University.

Sir Charles Saunders, Canada’s first dominion cerealist, “gave Canada abundance.” Blaine Marchand tells the story of Saunders’ remarkable achievement at the Farm in finding a wheat hybrid, which he named Marquis, that was suitable to the prairie climate and soil.


Also in the newsletter, Claire Gahagan tells us about composting at the Farm, an intriguing aspect of an agricultural research site. Home composting demonstrations will be just one of many fascinating research demonstrations and fun family-friendly activities at the Research Open House and Bug Day at the Farm on September 7 (see below).

The Central Experimental Farm is Holding an

Open House and Bug Day

Saturday, September 7, 2024

Interested in learning more about the research that is happening at the Central Experimental Farm? Everyone's invited to the Research Open House and Bug Day, on September 7 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Meet with scientists and learn about the research they are doing here on the CEF and across Canada. Alongside research demonstrations and interactive activities, expert entomologists will be hosting Bug Day and sharing their love and knowledge of insects. This free all-ages event is sure to have something for everyone in the family!

The June 8-9 Used Book Sale was a great success! Thank you to all who attended and helped raise funds for the Friends of the Farm. Thank you to the many volunteers who gave generously of their time to bring it all together and thank you to the Scouts Canada Ottawa Fire Venturers, who helped us carry the heavy load of books. We are looking forward to next year and will let you know when we are accepting books in the near future.

Our Books Are Perfect Cottage Reading and

Our Summer Cards Are Stunning!

Visit our online Boutique to order your gift items today! Thank you for your orders -- the proceeds help support the valuable work we do!


Office hours in July

Please note that our office will be closing at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2.

The office will be closed on Thursday July 4 as well as on Thursday July 11.

Other than that, normal office hours apply: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Members and Supporters

We welcome your comments and suggestions on articles, events, activities, and more.

Please contact us at

or call us at 613-230-3276.

Charitable number: 118913565RR0001

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Friends of the Central Experimental Farm | 613-230-3276 | Building 72, Arboretum, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0C6 |

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