Speakers

We have some great speakers and interesting topics coming up!

As of September 2021, we are re-introducing in-person meetings at the same time as running a simultaneous online presentation. This new format may change from month to month, depending on both our provincial medical officer’s guidelines for COVID-19 and the preference of our speakers and members. Any updates will be posted.

In-person meetings are currently restricted to “doubly vaccinated members only”

Thank you. We look forward to welcoming guests again at a future date.

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.

2021 Speaker Line-up

Gardens + Art = Garden Therapy

November 16, 2021: Stephanie Rose

Looking for artistic ideas to add something fabulous to your home and garden for the holiday season and beyond?

Of course you are!

Gorgeous containers, living artwork, nature crafts, and holiday décor are just some of inspirational projects you will see in this lively and fun seminar by Stephanie Rose, the author and artist behind GardenTherapy.ca.

Take a peek inside the creative vault for showstopping DIYs that are easy to make but look like they should be displayed at a show garden. Many of these projects can be done in an hour but the benefit of a little Garden Therapy will provide a boost to well-being for much longer.

Stephanie Rose is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and instructor who aims to encourage healing and wellness through gardening. She is trained as a Master Gardener, Permaculture Designer, Herbalist, and Natural Skincare Formulator. Her fun and approachable persona combined with many ideas for growing and using plants creatively make her a popular international speaker and workshop facilitator.

Stephanie has written several books including Garden Alchemy: 80 Recipes and Concoctions for Organic Fertilizers, Plant Elixirs, Potting Mixes, Pest Deterrents, and More (Cool Springs Press, 2020), Home Apothecary (Leisure Arts, 2018), The Natural Beauty Recipe Book (Rose Garden Press, 2016), and Garden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden and Your Life (Roost Books, 2015), which was a Gold Medal Winner from the 2016 Independent Publishers Book Awards (the “IPPYs”).

Stephanie is a member of Garden Communicators International, the Permaculture Institute of North America, the International Herb Association, and volunteers to develop children’s gardens as a Vancouver Master Gardener. She shares stories, recipes, and projects on her inspiring website, GardenTherapy.ca.

Recent Past Speakers

Backyard Birds in our Winter Gardens

January 19, 2021: Anne Murray

Gardeners, with their deep appreciation for the natural world and the wonders found around them, are true conservationists. So, we are very fortunate indeed to present Delta’s own Anne Murray as our guest speaker at our first Zoom meeting of the New Year on Tuesday January 19, 2021. Anne will be presenting “Enjoying Birds in our Winter Gardens” and will educate us on identifying, attracting, protecting, and feeding the many types of birds we see at this time of year whether in our urban, rural, ocean-front, or riverside gardens here in Ladner and Tsawwassen.

Anne has a lifelong interest in birds, nature, gardening, history, and different cultures. Born and educated in the UK, she has a BSc in physics and geology and has taught extensively. In 2006, Anne published “A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay” and a companion book “Tracing Our Past - A Heritage Guide to Boundary Bay”. These books are still available at www.natureguidesbc.com. More information can be found on her blog: www.natureguidesbc.wordpress.com. Her two local guidebooks: “A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay” and “Tracing our Past: a Heritage Guide to Boundary Bay”, are companion guides that look at the natural history and wildlife resources of the Delta area.

Many of us know Anne as a founding member of the Delta Naturalists Society. She has also served on many boards including Birds Canada, Nature Canada, Ecojustice, Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, Delta Museum and Archives, and BC Nature. Anne is also a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Nature Canada’s Douglas H. Pimlott Award for Conservation, BC Nature’s Elton Anderson Award, and the John Davidson Award from Nature Vancouver.



Year-Round Organic Vegetable Gardening

February 16, 2021: Linda Gilkeson, Ph.D.

Gardeners in our mild West Coast climate can harvest fresh food from the garden year-round. To do that you need to choose the right varieties and plant them at the right time. Linda Gilkeson will cover the basics of growing vegetables year-round from fertilizing the soil to planting schedules for winter harvests; she will also include tips on how to make the best use of your space to grow the most food.

Linda earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from McGill University in 1986, then moved to British Columbia to work for Applied Bio-Nomics Ltd., a company that produces biological controls. From 1991 to 2002 she worked for the provincial government, promoting programs to reduce and eliminate pesticide use. She was head of the provincial State of Environment Reporting Unit for the next six years, then the Executive Director of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy until the end of 2011. Linda now devotes her time to writing, teaching and consulting.

Linda’s comprehensive gardening book, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, became a BC best seller and has just been republished in a new, considerably expanded edition. She continues to self-publish books for local gardeners, most recently Resilient Gardens: Pollinator Gardens, Garlic Diseases, Pest Update. In the past she has co-authored pest management training manuals for the provincial government and organic gardening books for Rodale Press.

As a private consultant, Linda is a regular instructor in the Master Gardener programs in BC and is busy year around giving workshops on pest management and organic gardening.

Linda has served as President of the Entomological Society of Canada, the Professional Pest Management Association of BC, the Entomological Society of BC and the Salt Spring Island Garden Club. She was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee medal in 2003 and an outstanding achievement award from the Professional Pest Management Association of BC in 2005.

Small Space Design Tips: Creating your own personal oasis on any sized plot

March 16, 2021: Laurelle Oldford-Down

Laurelle has some big design ideas to help make your small space gardens beautiful and practical. Working within a limited space such as a small townhome garden or even a deck can be a challenge. Inspired by the gardening shows and thrilled by your Pinterest garden folders, an enthusiastic gardener can feel frustrated by the limited confines of their small garden. Despair not, avid gardener, your tiny garden can pack a horticultural wallop with well chosen plants and eye-catching features!

Laurelle Oldford-Down is a Landscape Designer, local apple grower, and all-round “crazy plant lady”. She loves helping new gardeners fall in love with their own little piece of nature and has owned and operated her own design and build company for over 25 years. She has a reputation for unusual and choice residential plantings for keen gardeners from White Rock to North Vancouver. Three of her gardens have been featured in municipal garden tours.


Laurelle is a member of the BC Fruit Testers Association and has over 100 potted and in-ground heritage and connoisseur apples not seen in supermarkets. She's been helping home gardeners get excited about growing fruits and berries at VanDusen Gardens and UBC Apple Fest for years. She is an instructor for the Fruits and Berries portion of the VanDusen Master Gardeners in Vancouver.

She also writes articles for clubs and Art's Nursery website and is a sought-after speaker, often rebooked by popular demand by clubs on Bowen Island, North Van and in the valley. Some favorite topics include; Container Gardens, A is for Apple, Winter Gardening, Pollinator Gardening, Garden Design, Designing with Perennials, Edible Landscaping and Grafting.

Laurelle is a mother of two now adult young ladies, two large dogs and two rather chunky orange cats. She lives in Cloverdale with hubby, daughters and the rest of the zoo and loves playing in her gardens and sharing her enthusiasm, plants and a smile with everyone that comes by!

Are Native Species Always the Best Choice?

April 6, 2021: Dr Linda Chalker-Scott

Are native species always the best choice? Native plants are perceived as requiring fewer inputs, especially in terms of pesticides, fertilizers, and water. Introduced woody species are increasingly perceived as undesirable, primarily because they are lumped together with their invasive counterparts. How does provenance really affect the ability of plants to provide food and habitat to our beneficial wildlife? This presentation will present a more informed and successful approach to plant selection than simply looking at place of origin.

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. In 2020, she was named the new editor for the Western Arborist magazine.


Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest book is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019), which has won several national awards since its publication.

In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award.

Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

Lavender: Getting to Know You

May 18, 2021: Catherine Karpman

Catherine will share the history of her lavender farm adventure along with some of the commercial opportunities and botanical challenges of getting a farm-business underway. During her talk, we’ll learn about the varieties of lavender she grows, which ones have the strongest fragrance, best culinary uses, and greatest antiseptic properties. We’ll also learn about cultivating and caring for lavender and get tips on some related pests and diseases. Finally, Catherine will discuss whether to start lavender from seed or from cuttings and suggest different landscape uses of lavender. And if Catherine has found time to video, we might just get a quick peek at the farm plants and how different varieties are growing at this time of year.

“My adoration for plants came to me very early. As a child, I spent many summers on my grandmother’s farm in Alberta, sharing in the responsibilities of tending to the family’s two very large vegetable gardens. When I was not picking raspberries or shelling peas, my siblings and I spent our days exploring nature in the pasture, or hiding in the crab apple trees contemplating the next adventure, all the while surrounded by the well tended shrub & annual gardens my grandmother took so much pride in. Little did I know then, that my connection to this world would have a significant influence on my life."

Catherine is a lavender farmer, a designer of horticultural décor and a business woman running a horticultural products business in addition to being a mother and wife. The story of her farm-business is wrapped up in horticultural tips on growing lavender, as she tells it to the South Delta Garden Club.

Saving and Sharing Garden-Worthy Roses

June 15th Speaker: Jason Croutch

Jason will introduce some of his favorite endangered roses - and show how individual gardeners can play a vital role in preserving uncommon roses for future generations. Propagation demo as time permits.

Jason Croutch is the owner of Fraser Valley Rose Farm, a nursery specializing in those unique, hard-to-find, and historical varieties of roses that are no longer readily available on the market. Jason attended the Kwantlen Polytechnic University greenhouse production program, and then joined Valleybrook Gardens as a grower of perennials, herbs, veggies and a wide variety of other crops. Jason is also quite active on Youtube, producing videos aimed at inspiring and sharing knowledge with backyard growers, budding rosarians, and garden enthusiasts of all kinds.

Designing Resilient Gardens

September 21st Speaker: Ben Stormes

Ben Stormes is the Curator & Horticulturist for the North American Gardens at UBC Botanical Garden. He came to the garden in July of 2016 following a Master’s degree in Public Garden Leadership from the School of Integrated Plant Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Ben also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from The University of Guelph, and a diploma in Ornamental Horticulture from The Niagara Parks School of Horticulture.

His work experience prior to his current role at UBC Botanical Garden includes instructor and curator for The Niagara Parks Botanical Garden and School of Horticulture. Ben interned at both the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Ontario. Outside the botanical garden community, Ben has also worked in urban forestry, landscape sustainability program development, and public outreach with various municipalities in Ontario, as well as private sector work focused on prairie restoration, green roof installation, and ecological landscape management.

A keen gardener from a young age, Ben always has some dirt under his nails, no matter how hard he scrubs.

Learning to Know Mushrooms

October 19th Speaker: Willoughby Arevalo

This presentation from fungus enthusiast Willoughby Arevalo will help you to know and understand the fungi around you, in both gardens and wild spaces. Willoughby will share principles of mushroom identification based on features visible to the naked eye, helping you develop field ID skills to be able to recognize most mushrooms and learn skills to work towards quickly recognizing important genera and species.

Learning the basics of fungal biology and ecology will help you know where and when to look. Learn how to support the beneficial fungi in your garden and incorporate more. Learn how to collect specimens for ID and how to harvest honourably and safely. Connect with local, print and online resources for further study. Special attention will be given to some of our most common edible, medicinal and toxic species.

Willoughby Arevalo is passionate about the ecology of fungi, the ways they shape our world and the ways we shape theirs. His lifelong friendship with fleshy fungi has led him down a mycelial pathway – from a start in field identification and mushroom hunting, branching into cuisine, DIY cultivation, farming, education, writing and eco-arts. In his over thirty-year relationship with fungi, he has spent the last decade sharing mycology with people in communities across North America. This has manifested in numerous presentations, art projects, teaching tours, collaborations, gatherings, and his book, DIY Mushroom Cultivation, published by New Society Publishers.

Originally from Arcata, California (Traditional Wiyot and Yurok Territory), he lives as a grateful guest on Unceded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver, BC. His work can be seen at mycelialconnections.net and artandfungi.org.