We have some great speakers and interesting topics coming up!

Guests $5 unless indicated below

Speaker presentations commence at 7:30 pm so please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in for the door prize and get settled. After the presentation there will be a break for some socializing over refreshments. This is a good time to check out the show and share table, raffle prizes and learn about upcoming outings. A brief business meeting is held at approximately 9 pm.

2020 Speaker Line-up

Choosing the Right Plants

January 21, 2020: Gwen Odermatt

Without the seasonal pressures of cultivation, the month of January gives gardeners a perfect opportunity to stand back and assess the best features in their gardens and those that need revision and improvement. With that in mind, we are delighted to present Master Gardener Gwen Odermatt, a speaker whose horticultural chops are unparalleled when it comes to expert knowledge and experience with garden design linked to plant choices for the Pacific Northwest region.

In her presentation, Choosing the Right Plants, Odermatt plans to share plant updates, well-researched recommendations and new stories with prepared visuals in time for South Delta gardeners to implement useful information into their 2020 woodland gardens, ponds and sunnier-sited beds.


Odermatt is a member of the international Great Plant Picks Selection Committee whose work informs the horticultural industry and consumers alike on the right plants to choose for a thriving garden in maritime BC, Washington and Oregon. As a member of this authoritative Committee, Odermatt is a valuable resource to South Delta gardeners providing education in outstanding plant choices according to growing conditions. 

In past years, South Delta gardeners have participated in a group visit by appointment to Odermatt’s five-acre farm nursery, Petals and Butterflies in south Langley where she propagates species for the various micro environments and sells her plant progeny. 

Chaos in the Rock Garden

February 18, 2020: David Sellars

David Sellars is an award-winning photographer and a former President of the Alpine Garden Club of British Columbia. 

Together with his wife, Wendy, he is developing an extensive alpine and woodland garden in coastal British Columbia. He is an avid mountain hiker and maintains the website www.mountainflora.ca. David’s particular interests are rock garden design and construction, alpine plant photography and using video to illustrate mountain landscapes and alpine plant habitats. 

David has given talks on rock gardening and alpine plants across North America and in the UK including the North American

Rock Garden Society (NARGS) Discussion Weekend in Portland, Oregon and the 2016 International Saxifrage Conference in Oxford, England.  In 2018 he was invited to give two lectures at the Scottish Rock Garden Club Annual Discussion Weekend in Pitlochry, Scotland.  

He has written articles on rock garden design and alpine plant explorations for the NARGS Rock Garden Quarterly, the International Rock Gardener, and the Saxifrage Magazine. A selection of his photographs was published in the recent book Alpine Plants of British Columbia, Alberta and Northwest North America.  His images are also included in a 2019 edition of Arthur Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest and will be included in a new book on Crevice Gardening to be published in 2020.

In his presentation David focuses on rock garden design and how it relates to natural landscapes and preferred plant habitats. The principles of chaos theory are introduced together with the way nature can be described by fractal geometry and the principle off self-similarity.  The talk is illustrated with images from the European Alps, the Pyrenees and mountain ranges in North America. The presentation concludes with a practical application of chaos theory in the Sellars Garden. Join us for a fascinating and beautifully illustrated expression of how nature behaves and adapts to its surroundings. 

New and Unusual Plants

March 17, 2020: Leanne Johnson

Leanne will present SDGC members and guests with inspiring tips and tricks for small garden design, as well as with ideal flower and veggie selections for flourishing tiny garden spaces, whether on a balcony, in a townhouse garden or on a limited sized residential lot.   

Leanne is president of BC’s largest, independent retail garden centre company, GardenWorks.  A self-proclaimed “plant nut”, she is passionate about connecting people to the natural world through gardening. In 2019, the BC Landscape and Nursery Association recognized her as the Garden Communicator of the Year.  Most recently, Leanne engaged audiences at the BC Home and Garden Show where she was a featured speaker. 

Horticultural enthusiasts can see Leanne regularly on Saturday mornings on Global TV’s upbeat gardening segment or join her in seminars on growing vegetables at the Balcony Garden exhibit at Science World. 

Leanne also enjoys puttering in her backyard greenhouse growing lemons, limes, unusual succulents, tropical plants and nutritious, not-always-perfect veggies.

Growing a Cutting Garden

April 21, 2020: Kristin Crouch

Details to follow

Indigenous Healing Plants

May 19, 2020: Lori Snyder

Details to follow

Preserving Urban Trees

June 16, 2020: Mike Nugent

Details to follow

Past Speakers

Food Gardening

September 17, 2019: Brian Minter

Brian is a Horticulturist, Entrepreneur and Businessman.  Since 1972 he has been President/Co-Owner with wife Faye of Minter Country Garden Ltd. in Chilliwack, BC.  But he doesn't stop there!  Brian has had an amazing career and he hasn't stopped:
- Syndicated columnist for local newspapers and columnist for BC, national and international garden magazines
- Radio columnist and gardening open-line host with CBC Radio
- Former guest commentator on BBC’s open line garden show in Britain
- International speaker on gardening, tourism and business trends
- Author: 'Brian Minter's New Gardening Guide’, June 1998, Canadian non-fiction best seller.
- Writes weekly gardening column for the Vancouver Sun, B.C.’s  largest newspaper group.

Brian has been given a number of awards with the most recent being:
- Perennial Plant Association ‘Award of Merit’ 2014   (The association’s highest honour) 
- Garden Writers Association ‘Hall of Fame Award’ 2014  (The association’s highest honour)
- Person of the Year (2015) from Canadian Garden Council
- Recipient of the Order of B.C. (2018)

Brian has been involved with different service organizations including his latest as the Co-founder of Plant a Row, Grow a Row Un Rang Pour Ceux Qui On Faim – a national program supplying food for Canadian food banks.

Brian is an extremely popular speaker.  He is very entertaining and knowledgeable.  His topic will include veggies, planting and growing fruit trees, particularly in small space gardens and containers.  Two issues:  Ladner has clay soil and  Tsawwassen has gravelly soil and both areas have a water table that rises and falls with the tide.  Our members are interested in what fruit and berry varieties can tolerate these conditions.

Private English Gardens

October 15, 2019: Thomas Hobbs

NOTE:  $10 guest fee (may not be applied to membership)

A lifelong interest in plants led Tom first into floristry, then into the nursery business when he and partner Brent Beattie acquired Southlands Nursery in 1991.Together, they transformed Southlands into a ‘retail fantasy’ of curated plants and garden accessories. ‘Shocking Beauty’, Tom’s first book, was published in 1999, and his second book ‘The Jewel Box Garden’ followed in 2004. Together the publications have sold over 50,000 copies.

Tom’s home garden and much-published Mediterranean-style house was sold in 2008 when he and Brent bought a very modern condo overlooking Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver and a twenty-acre spread in Langley, B.C. According to Tom, ‘Bel’Occhio’ farm, whose namesake means ‘beautiful eye’ in Italian is the perfect moniker for the groomed bucolic setting. Tom still heads into work every day and can be described as both a workaholic and a plantaholic. Tom’s work, his previous home and current farm have all been featured in popular style magazines including Canadian House & Home, Martha Stewart Living, and Traditional Home, among others.
Much admired for his plant knowledge and trendsetting garden design Thomas Hobbs also delights audiences with his humorous presentation style and gardening adventures. The former Kerrisdale florist and current co-owner of Vancouver’s Southlands Nursery is on a tear. He has recently returned from Britain where he led a private tour group through English gardens.

Hobbs and partner Brent Beattie have been serving Vancouver gardeners at Southlands for 28 years. Sourcing plants and garden antiques and accessories around Great Britain and the US has always been a part of their business. More recently, however, private tours have added a new twist to Hobbs’ travels. 

Hobbs will talk about his visit in 2018 to both private and public English gardens and discuss new style and plant trends relevant for Canadian gardeners.  Attendees will be interested to learn if he is planning another garden tour to Great Britain in the months ahead.


November 19, 2019: Fall in Love With Unusuals

By popular demand, the Botanus owners and plantswomen Elke, Wendy & Pam will be back. Visit their website www.botanus.com to find out more about this dynamic trio who have grown their small bulb ordering company into one Canada's best known resources for bulbs and bulb gardening knowledge.

On their website, they have a number of videos with lots of gardening tips https://www.botanus.com/garden-club/welcome-to-the-club