Are you ready to have the best garden on your block? Here's how: Ask an expert. Be part of our award-winning live chat with expert gardeners. Also listen to the call-in show with Ontario Today's Ed Lawrence. Call in by dialing 1-888-817-8995 on Monday May 16, 2015.

Congratulations to the CBC's gardening team for winning 1st place in the Innovation Category at the Canadian Master Gardener Awards this year. It's just the most impressive collection of gardening expertise ever assembled. Your weeds don't stand a chance.

Join Ontario Today's live call-in with Ed Lawrence or be a part of the live chat online. Upload your photos and videos. Share the stories of your best and worst gardening adventures.

Post your questions on this page or Tweet to @CBCHamilton or send an email to Conrad Collaco. In 2015, our team answered hundreds of questions from gardeners in need. Follow along below. On mobile? Click here.

Meet the gardeners

Our rotating group of online panelists includes Jon Peter, Curator and Manager of Plant Documentation at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), Alex Henderson Curator of Collections at the RBG, Hamilton and Toronto-area Master Gardeners Claudette Sims, Tena Van Andel, Tina Cesaroni and Donna Parker as well as Master-Gardener-in-training Marie Clarke. 

Jon Peter

Jon Peter

Jon L. Peter has diplomas in horticulture from the University of Guelph and the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture. Jon worked at some of the finest botanical institutions in North America, including the Arnold Arboretum, The Morton Arboretum & the New York Botanical Garden. Jon is Curator & Manager of Plant Documentation at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Claudette Sims

Claudette Sims

Claudette Sims, a retired educator, has been a member of Halton Region Master Gardeners since 2005 and is the President of Master Gardeners of Ontario. She is passionate about gardening and loves to attract and observe wildlife in her garden. Over the years, she's gained a better appreciation of the role and beauty of native plants in our gardens. 

Donna Parker

Donna Parker


Donna Parker, a retired educator with a background in Environmental Science, has been a Master Gardener since 2000.
She has worked with woody plants at Sheridan Nursery and had her own garden design and consultation business. She volunteers on the gardening hotlines at the Royal Botanical Gardens and for Halton Master Gardeners. Donna gardens in Ancaster and loves the challenge of designing and creating beauty among the wonderful old trees.  

Marie Clarke-Davies

Marie Clarke-Davies

Marie Clarke-Davies, an executive producer at CBC News and has been involved with Halton Master Gardeners since 2011. Her passions are creating bird — and pollinator— friendly gardens and working with native plants, though she admits to a weak spot for the garden designs of Japan and Italy. 

Tena van Andel

Tena van Andel

Tena van Andel has volunteered with the Toronto Master Gardeners since 2003 and serves as Director of Events on the Master Gardeners of Ontario Board. Tena enjoys talking to anyone and everyone about anything horticultural. Although, if you ask her for favourites -- orchids, large trees and the exotic bring a special gleam to her eye.

Tina Cesaroni

Tina Cesaroni

Tina Cesaroni studied horticulture and garden design while living in England. She is an active Toronto Master Gardener. and past Best Practices Coordinator. Always learning, she loves to share reliable resources that will help urban gardeners develop a eco-friendly garden space.

Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson has studied horticulture, curatorial practices for botanic gardens, plant sciences and museological studies in the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States. He worked at Royal Botanic Garden's Kew, in the UK before becoming Curator of Living collections at Royal Botanical Gardens. He is Chair of the Plant Collections Professional section for the American Public Gardens Association.

Did you know?

Master Gardeners in Ontario are experienced gardeners who have studied horticulture extensively and continue to upgrade their skills yearly through technical training. Master Gardeners start out as master gardeners in training until they complete the educational and volunteer component of the mandate. Master gardeners and master gardeners in training provide free garden advice to the public by participating in volunteer activities such as garden advice clinics, answering questions via email and now in online chats!

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