We have some great speakers and interesting topics coming up!

Guests are welcome ($10 each)

For any In-person meetings masks are requested due to a number of our members are high risk for Covid. We hope you understand.

Doors open at 7 pm. Speaker presentations commence at 7:30 pm so please arrive at least 15 minutes early to sign in.  After the presentation there will be a short meeting/announcements followed by some socializing over refreshments. This is a good time to check out the show and share table, raffle prizes and learn about upcoming outings. 

2023 Speaker Line-up

The Drought-tolerant Herb Garden

April 18, 2023:  Andrea Bellamy 

With our increasingly hot, dry summers many gardeners are aiming to reduce or even eliminate the need to water. Whether through xeriscaping (gardening with water conservation foremost in mind) or by choosing more drought-tolerant plants, we can reduce our reliance on irrigation and build more resilient gardens. Many herbs—particularly those of Mediterranean origin—are naturally drought tolerant. What’s more, they’re typically easy-care plants that attract pollinators and are useful in the kitchen or craft room. In this talk, we’ll look at a variety of drought-tolerant herbs as well as suitable companion plants with an eye to creating beautiful, more resilient gardens.

Andrea Bellamy is the author of two books on creating small-space edible gardens (the latest: Small-Space Vegetable Gardens: Growing Great Edibles in Containers, Raised Beds, and Small Plots) and the gardener behind HeavyPetal.ca, a blog devoted to urban organic gardening. She was the garden columnist for Edible Vancouver for several years, winning a Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for her work. She has been gardening since childhood and has grown food on rooftops, balconies, boulevards, and patios, and in community garden beds, window boxes, traffic circles, and front and backyards. She lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and children, where she grows a wide range of edibles, native and woodland plants, as well as blooms for Small Patch Flowers.

Topic to be announced soon

May  16, 2023:  Pam Erickson 

Details to be posted soon.

Let’s Talk Hydrangeas

June 20, 2023:  Jill Wright 

Hydrangeas are an integral part of the summer garden with new cultivars introduced every year.  During this talk we will look more closely at identifying and pruning several species of this genus.  We will discuss some of your favourites and which of the cultivars are pollinator friendly.

Jill Wright is a long-time member of the Richmond Garden Club and previous Chair of the Vancouver Master Gardeners Association.  This will be her 15th year leading the volunteer group that maintains the perennial gardens in Paulik Park which is located in central Richmond.

Recent Past Speakers

All You Need to Know to Design, Build and Maintain Water Features in Your Garden 

January 17, 2023: Chris Schmidt

Whether your goal is to attract more pollinators, create a visually appealing focal point, a relaxing ambiance or even simply to block out noise, a water feature can offer both obvious and unexpected garden delights. In this presentation Chris discusses fountains, waterfalls, bubblers, ponds and streams and takes us on a journey from concept to completion and maintenance – the A to Zed of water features. 

I started in the water feature industry 18 years ago in Edmonton. I learned the trade with a company called Water Works Ponds and worked with them for two full seasons. By the end of my time there I had progressed to Site Foreman, seeing jobs through to completion. I loved trying to recreate nature and I really enjoyed seeing projects take shape and making my clients happy. Others recognized my knack for building waterfalls and creating natural landscapes and I also had fun doing it. Along with a passion for the work came expertise and the confidence to launch a business of my own.

The next year I started Pristine Ponds and Water Features Ltd. and ran this company successfully for 11 years. In 2018 I sold it to a larger landscaping firm trading it for more security and less stress. This also allowed me to move into a more managerial and teaching role, a position for which I was now ready.

Low Maintenance Garden Techniques 

February 21, 2023: Amanda Jarrett 

Looking for ways to reduce the workload in your garden? Then you’ll appreciate our next speaker and her topic... 

Reduce your workload with common sense tips and techniques that work with nature. Learn how to reduce watering and fertilizing with methods that encourage plant health and improve soil. You'll be surprised at what you can do to make gardening more efficient so you will have more time to enjoy it. 

Originally from England, Amanda Jarrett is a professional Red Seal Horticulturist and Organic Land Care Professional. After many years of instructing at Langara College, Douglas College, Vancouver School Board and Gaia College she has retired as the instructor and Coordinator of Organic Master Gardening, Residential Landscape Technician and Ecological Landscape Design courses. She now runs her own garden consulting business, Amanda’s Garden Consulting and has an informative website: https://www.thegardenwebsite.com. She is also the author of Ornamental Tropical Shrubs.

Low Maintenance Garden Techniques 

March 21, 2023:  Marilyn Holt 

Soils sustain life. Most life on earth depends on soil as the primary source for production of food, feed, fuel, forage, fibre and pharmaceuticals.  The combined acreage that home gardeners manage is equal to or exceeds acreage that commercial farmers manage. Therefore, healthy soil in the home garden is extremely important. In this presentation you will learn about types of soil gardeners encounter, characteristics of healthy garden soil, steps to improve your soil, organic matter to add and when to add it, soil superfoods, trace minerals, what not to do that disrupts ecosystems in your garden, winter crop covers and the best ways to make new garden beds. 

Marilyn Holt is a gardening enthusiast, international speaker and past owner and operator of a Pelargonium nursery, exporting plants internationally.  Her interest is strongly oriented to organic gardening without the use of pesticides.

For seven years Marilyn held the responsibility as Editor of ‘The Bulletin’, the B.C. Council of Garden Clubs newsletter. She also held the position of Garden Centre Manager for the Abbotsford Buckerfields store for 12 years. 

Today, she shares her knowledge by putting on workshops and seminars for Buckerfields throughout the year while also speaking to numerous garden clubs and groups on a variety of gardening-related subjects.

“My interest in gardening started when I was in the 7th grade.  My family had just moved to a house on a small acreage and it was winter so the flower beds were bare. In spring, as little bits of green started poking up here and there in different shapes and shades, my curiosity was engaged as I wondered what would become of these green tufts.”

“In those early days, books were the only source of research so I joined the library where I got to study all kinds of gardening books to identify and learn about what was planted in our garden. My parents had no interest in the flower gardens so I was the one that took care of it, with my limited experience.” 

“Those experiences were what started me on my horticultural journey, and to say I was captivated would be an understatement as I can remember my father saying that if I got any more plants, he would need a machete to get through the door of my first apartment. Enough said.”

Brugmansia Australian Pink Rosebud Geranium

Brugmansia rooted cuttings

Brugmansia 'Abbey Sunset' - my new interest and growing them on a balcony