Horticultural Societies started in the last century as branches of Agricultural Societies. In 1863 there was a society in Kingston. In 1889 Kingston formed an Independent Horticultural Society making it one of the oldest Horticultural Societies in the province. Kingston was the site of the first botanical garden in Canada on land that is now part of Queen's University. In 1897 an act of the provincial legislature was passed which supported Horticultural Societies in Ontario "to encourage citizens to beautify their communities as well as their properties".

The Kingston Horticultural Society is affiliated with the Ontario Horticultural Association, which was formed in 1906. The Kingston Horticultural Society is subject to the Constitution of the OHA and the provisions of the Horticultural Societies act, R.S.O. 1980, c.204. This organization gives guidance and support to all it's members.


The objectives of the Society are:


The Kingston Horticultural Society has been involved with many beautification projects over the years, such as maple tree plantings at the Frontenac Court House and the yearly planting and maintenance of flower beds at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library Central Branch and the Calvin Park Branch, the restoration of the Paterson Memorial Rock Gardens at the City of Kingston Greenhouses on Norman Rogers Drive, the Lemoine Point Native Plant Nursery and the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum Pioneer Garden Beds. Community involvement totalled 11,482 volunteer hours in 2006 with the major projects being Communities in Bloom Kingston and the Kingston Lung Association Garden Festival. Every year the Kingston Horticultural Society awards the Paterson Award to owners of outstanding gardens throughout the city and surrounding area. These individuals are presented with a Trillium Award to place in the garden, and a certificate.

The society was recognized by the City of Kingston for their outstanding volunteer service and beautification projects. KHS was also honoured by the province with the June Callwood Award for Outstanding Achievement in Voluntarism. Participation in the Lung Association Garden Festival and Communities in Bloom Kingston was a major portion of 2007's logged 13,387 volunteer hours resulting in the CIB National Winner designation. Kingston will be one of the stops on the new VIA Rail Corridor Garden Tour, starting with the station, where Frontenac HS students built cement planters and Elginburg PS students planted them with KHS supervision. The students were provincial winners in the Schools in Bloom program and also competed locally under the "Kingston Blooms" umbrella, where many KHS members not only volunteer, but also judge school landscapes, residential front gardens and business window displays. See Kingston Blooms for details and photos.

We have over 200 members with a variety of backgrounds from master gardeners to brown thumbs.