DMG Bios

Ingrid Janssen - Coordinator
Ingrid has been an avid gardener for most of her life. She and her husband owned and operated a small nursery/garden centre for a number of years. She has been a Master Gardener since 2012 and also runs her own gardening business, Simply Great Gardening. She is currently completing her Horticulturist certificate and diploma at the University of Guelph. Her main interests are plant identification and propagation, pollinator and vegetable gardening, and growing native plants. She is passionate about naturalized gardening and providing habitat for wildlife in her own country garden.

Elaine Davidson
Elaine has been gardening for over 60 years. Her first plants were Nasturtiums that she grew for the flowers and were used by her mother in salads to add flavour. Since that time she has kept a keen interest in using the herbs and flowers grown in her garden for cooking, taking many courses along the way to help improve her herbal knowledge. Elaine’s garden while small, is a mixture of flowers, vegetables and herbs all grown alongside one another. Elaine is a member of 5 regular garden clubs including Durham Master Gardeners and over 7 specialty garden clubs serving on the Boards of several of them.

Sherry Dodson
Sherry has completed the Horticulturist Certificate from the University of Guelph, and has been an active member with the Durham Master Gardeners since 2011. Sherry completed a Certificate in Horticultural Therapy in 2016. She is committed to gardening in harmony with nature, supporting birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. Her interests include native plants and creating therapeutic and sustainable landscapes.

Karen Durnin
Karen has been with the Durham Master Gardeners since 2011 and has a Certificate in Horticulture from the University of Guelph. Her passion for gardening began early. She grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario where she learned how to grow, harvest and preserve a large variety of fruits and vegetables. She has carried this tradition on in her own gardens, growing many heirloom vegetables and a wide assortment of herbs. In the last number of years, her focus has expanded into the area of naturalized gardens and a love of native plants. She has become increasingly aware of how essential it is to provide habitat for birds and pollinators in an urban setting. As a master gardener, Karen has enjoyed the opportunity to help new and experienced gardeners learn how to grow their own food and create pollinator friendly gardens.

Jessica LeBlanc
Although Jessica grew up in a home with extensive gardens, a real passion for gardening didn’t ignite until she and her husband became homeowners in 2005. Like so many new gardeners, Jessica gained much of her initial knowledge and experience through trial, error, research and practice. Though the learning curve was a steep one, her efforts have since been recognized by members of her community as they enjoy her award-winning gardens. Gardening has been a wonderful catalyst for connecting with her community and she enjoys educating and encouraging new gardeners as a Master Gardener in Training. As a Pilot and former Flight Instructor, gardening offers a great way of decompressing and nurturing a more artistic side. Jessica’s main areas of interest are teaching youth about sustainable gardening, growing vegetables and herbs in harmony with flowers, formal gardening with annual and tropical plants, and spring gardens.

Katherine Mathewson
Katherine joined the Durham Master Gardeners in March 2014. Since then she has joined the Master Gardeners of Ontario executive as the Central Region Director, acting as representative for Durham, Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga Master Gardeners. As a person committed to social change and environmental sustainability, she finds the Master Gardeners a perfect fit for her current goals. The focus of her interest is gardening with native plants, creating wildlife habitat and sustainably growing food for personal use. She works seasonally at Native Plants in Claremont, a local native plants nursery where she learns new and exciting ways of appreciating nature every day. Of course she loves working in and experiencing the glorious refuge of a thriving ornamental garden, too. Who doesn’t love a magnificent peony?

Pam Love
Pam has been an active member of the Durham Master Gardeners for over 10 years and serves on the Board of the Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. as well as on the Durham College Advisory Committee. Pam loves to learn and has completed the Horticultural Certificate at the University of Guelph. Pam describes herself as a “generalist” gardener. She gained practical gardening experience operating her own gardening services business until 2014. Now Pam concentrates on sharing her gardening expertise with others and finding ways to make her garden easy to manage.

Gini Sage
Gini has over 30 years of gardening experience in urban and country settings. She is an active Master Gardener, volunteering with Master Gardeners of Ontario, Inc. for over a decade, as well as a member of local garden societies. Her primary interests are expanding the use of native plants in the urban landscape, as well as the incorporation of vegetables and herbs in ornamental gardens. Gini graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry, and earned an Ontario Diploma in Horticulture Certificate in Landscape Design from the University of Guelph. After retiring from a full time career in Automotive Engineering, she now operates her own business, Spirit of Spring Design, which provides garden design focused on developing creative solutions for landscape problems, and aims to help bring gardening knowledge to the home gardener in their own environment.

Tracey Smyth

Tracey is a passionate gardener who lives in Oshawa, Ontario, and is one of two Coordinators of the Durham Master Gardeners. She is also a member of the Atlantic Master Gardeners. Tracey is a certified Master Gardener and continues to upgrade her horticultural and design skills through seminars and online courses with Guelph University and with the Dalhousie Agricultural College in Truro, Nova Scotia. Recently retired from a successful policing career, she is a partner in Durham Garden Coach, a company providing garden design, maintenance and assistance to gardeners with horticultural problems.

Sheryl Snowden
Sheryl has been an enthusiastic gardener for over 40 years. She joined the Durham Master Gardeners in 2016 to learn from the other members and to pass knowledge along to the residents of Durham Region. With very little formal training, most of her experience has been from learning hands on. She has landscaped several of her own homes as well as helping neighbours and doing a few small professional jobs. Sheryl is very interested in broadening her knowledge and looks forward to working through the Master Gardener courses to become a full Master Gardener.

Cori Whittington
Cori has been with Durham Master Gardeners since 2013, and has loved gardening and caring for nature and the environment since childhood. After a career in teaching she is enjoying spending her days outside volunteering and working at a stable, farm and native plants nursery.

Isia Yeo
Isia has a love for the outdoors; hiking, camping, canoeing and or course gardening. Gardening offers her the opportunity to create and share her knowledge of plants with her grandchildren. She has her Sustainable Landscape Certificate from Guelph University and is working on completing her Horticultural Certificate.