In addition to its open monthly meetings with speakers, the OHS offers a number of activities for members, with some open to the public.


Plant Sales

We usually have three plant  sales each year:

  • a booth at the Friends of the Farm sale on Mother’s Day
  • a Plant auction and sale at our regular May meeting
  • a September sale as part of the Old Ottawa South Porch Sale

The sales are a great way to pick up reasonably priced plants that have been grown and donated by OHS members, and are known to do well in our climate.  The funds raised at the sales support all OHS activities.  Details of each sale will be included in our events listings.


Community Planting Projects

As part of its mission to create a beautiful community, the OHS usually takes on one or two community projects each year, using funding generated by memberships and plant sales.  Over two or three weekends, members volunteer their time to work on a gardening project in support of a local organization.  

Past landscaping projects include gardens at:

  • a Daybreak home on Flora;
  • the Plant Community Centre;
  • the Hospice at May Court;
  • Ottawa Little Theatre; and
  • Peter D. Clark Long Term Care Home.

All OHS members are invited to join our merry band of community-minded gardeners. We do a lot of sweating, have a lot of fun, and get to know each other a lot better, all while contributing to the beauty and comfort of our city.  Non-OHS members are also welcome!

If you are interested in helping out with a community project, or if you have a project that you would like the OHS to consider, please contact us at

Garden Tours

Garden tours are organized for members on two or three evenings in the summer.    The tours can be of public gardens with a guide, or of members gardens.  This is a great opportunity to be inspired by what others have done, and also to mix informally with other members.

Details of upcoming tours are provided directly to members.  You can check out photos of our 2019 tour here.

Flower Shows

The OHS holds two flower shows each year, one in June and one in September, which are open to members.  The shows are judged by an OHA qualified judge and there is also voting by members for a people’s choice award.   The classes for each show are published in the OHS Yearbook  and can also be found here.  During the pandemic two shows have been held virtually, and the results of the Fall 2020, June 2021,  Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 shows can be found online.

Annual OHS Photography Competition

The Ottawa Horticultural Society (OHS) hosts an annual Photography Competition that is open to its members. The competition allows members to share their photographic captures of flowers, plants, and horticultural-related subjects. There are a total of 7 classes (or themed categories).

Judging and Awards
All qualifying entries will be judged under the categories of “Judge’s Choice” and “People’s Choice”. The call to competition is typically announced in late summer followed by the entry deadline around late October or early November. This year’s (2024) deadline date was set for October 24th, 2024. Judging and placements are based on horticultural merit (40%), photographic quality (40%), and subject interest (20%). The judge’s decision is final.

  • Judge’s Choice:  best image entries for each class are evaluated by a Judge, external to OHS for the rankings of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.
  • Best in Competition: entries are evaluated by a Judge, external to OHS for an image that, in the view of the Judge, shows exemplary artistic quality and technical excellence..
  • Judge’s Choice & Best in Competition Awards: plaques and monetary prizes will be announced and awarded at the annual OHS Annual General Meeting (AGM) held each December.  The winning images and photographers will be featured on the OHS website, newsletter, and FaceBook splash page.


  • People’s Choice: entries are evaluated by OHS members.  A deadline for members choices in each class by rankings (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) will be submitted by a specified date (typically 3 weeks before the OHS AGM date).
  • People’s Choice Award: the overall winner as voted by OHS members will receive a plaque of their winning image and a $25 cash prize. They will also have their winning photograph featured on OHS website, newsletter and FaceBook splash page.

Additional Info

Photo Credit: Larry Chamney, Daylily “Medusa” (Winner of the 2021 Photographic Store Trophy).

Special Projects

In 2017 the Ottawa Horticultural Society (OHS) joined with the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm on a special project to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Confederation and the 125th Anniversary of the OHS.   The project recognized the importance of hybridization in the development of plants for the Canadian climate and how the Central Experimental Farm played an important part in promoting horticulture in the last hundred years.

The project recognized significant achievements in hybridization, and specifically the work of three hybridizers: Isabella Preston (lilacs), Felicitas Svejda (Explorer roses), and A.P. Saunders (peonies).  Plaques recognizing the work of each of them, as well as the importance of hybridization in Canada, were installed at the pergola in the ornamental garden at the Central Experimental Farm and include QR codes that link to more information on each of the hybridizers as well as the importance of hybridization.

In addition, historical perennials and bulbs were planted in parts of the Macoun Memorial Garden. Located at the north end of the ornamental gardens, this garden was opened in 1936 to commemorate William T. Macoun, Dominion Horticulturist from 1910 until 1933, on the site of his former house. He was also President of the OHS in 1899.

Full details of the project can be found here.