Tool Talk

November 21, 2017: Club Members Share Their Favourite Tools

This month in lieu of a speaker, club members will bring in their favourite garden tools and share why they are their favourites and how they are best put to work. This open forum meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn from fellow gardeners. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge and years of experience, club members can expect to come away with at least one or two tips or techniques they can use in their own gardens.

Strategically timed to ensure the gardener-who-has-everything has something to put on their Christmas list, we will also have a good selection of tools on the raffle table and door prize.

The Bee Project

We will also have a short presentation by The Bee Project, a new local enterprise which will be of interest to anyone who is interested in hosting hives in their gardens.

The Bee Project

Winter Container Design

Oct 17, 2017: Randal Atkinson - Westcoast Gardens

Known as the West Coast Gardens Plant Expert Extraordinaire, Randal is the go-to person on all plant matters, whether it be designing, selecting, growing or care.

Randal's expertise has been influenced by a life-long passion for plants. He has studied garden design and plant selection in gardens and nurseries throughout Canada, Europe and the US. He has a particular fondness for perennials, especially ornamental grasses and hosta and enjoys introducing West Coast Gardens customers to new plants for their gardens and containers.

Even in winter, Randal knows that combining plants such as carex, ornamental grasses, heathers, pansies and heuchera with twigs, berries and light can make an exciting winter container garden.

Treasures of the Shade and Pond

September 19, 2017: Gwen Odermatt - Petals and Butterflies

Treasures of the Shade and Pond details the special plants in the shady areas of Gwen’s garden, why she selected them, and what about the plants she finds attractive. She will also look at the plantings around the her pond and their role in her garden.

xGwen is a life-long gardener who, as a young child, was fascinated with plants and bugs. She became a discerning observer of how plants grow in harmony with other plants, insects and the diversity of the natural world. This led to a degree in science at the University of Alberta.

For the last 20 years she has operated Petals and Butterflies, a farm nursery that specializes in growing plants that attract butterflies and other beneficial wildlife to gardens. The nursery offers an always interesting collection of rare and unusual ornamental plants that she sells via consignment; for example, her plants can be found in the perennial section of the VanDusen Plant Sale

Gwen is on the Selection Committee for Great Plants Picks, teaches the Advanced Master Gardener Right Plant/Right Place course, is a member of the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group, and is a long-time member of the South Surrey Garden Club. Her garden has been open for local, national, and international tours, and is open to garden clubs by request. Gwen is a Langley resident, married to Paul, a mother of three, and a grandmother of five.

Ornamental Grasses in Design

June 20, 2017: Janis Matson, Shoreline Landscape Design

Janis will talk about the impact of using grasses in garden design, how grasses add movement and sound, the use of texture and colour, how to design to attract birds. She will also cover how to group grasses into vignettes, what grows well with grasses and the many varieties and sizes readily available and some favourites.

About Janis Janis Matson brings a plethora of knowledge, education and experience along with enthusiasm and approachability to her talks and classes. As the owner of Shoreline Landscape Design in Burnaby for over 20 years, she enjoys using her creativity in the challenge of making garden spaces look good and feel good.

Janis graduated from BCIT’s Landscape Design and Horticulture Diploma program and then continued her education receiving an Arborist Certificate, Organic Soil Management Certificate, Provincial Instructor’s Diploma and Floral Design Certificate. She has recently become a Red Seal Journeyman in Horticulture.

Janis is currently an instructor at VanDusen Botanical Gardens as well as an horticulture instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University , a faculty instructor with Burnaby Community Education Horticultural Residential Landscape Technician, Hardscape and Apprenticeship programs.

Pacific Northwest Wildflowers

May 16, 2017 Mark Turner, Turner Photographics

Wildflowers of the North Cascades

The North Cascades, a wild and rugged region in northern Washington, is home to hundreds of species of wildflowers. Some live in the moist forests on the western slopes while others survive tough conditions and a very short growing season high in the alpine zone. Still others live on the drier eastern slopes of the mountains.

Enjoy photographs of about 100 of the showiest and most interesting plants found in the North Cascades, both in and outside the North Cascades National Park.

Mark Turner is a freelance editorial photographer specializing in botanical subjects, especially Northwest wildflowers and gardens. He photographs extensively for books and magazines both in gardens and in a wide range of native plant environments.

Mark is the photographer of the award-winning Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest and Bellingham Impressions. His latest book, with co-author Ellen Kuhlmann, is Trees and Shrubs of the Pacific Northwest, published by Timber Press in 2014.

Mark lives in Bellingham, Washington where he also runs a successful portrait business.

Photographer Mark Turner poses with his digital camera amongst yellow Creeping Buttercup wildflowers


April 18, 2017 Fred Wein Sr, Clearview Clematis

Fred Wein is head of a family horticultural business that opened in 1980. "Our roots go back to my step grandfather who started to grow Clematis over a hundred years ago. We have grown Clearview to now having around 20 hectares of green houses in four locations and have become one of the major growers of hardy vines in the world. I have spent the last 15 years breeding Clematis some of these are now available as the Vancouver series."

Note: Clearview Clematis has moved their seasonal Garden Shop - the new location is 26350 56th Ave in Aldergrove.

Perennials on the Shady Side

March 21, 2017 Chris Jennings, President of the Vancouver Shade Garden Society

An Introduction to some shady characters for your garden. Chris will provide basic information about comparisons of shade and sun, then explore interesting and unique examples of shade loving plants from various groups of plants, including annuals, ferns, grasses, ground covers, vines, and perennials, finally showing a few examples of these plants in shade garden settings, and providing a few examples of useful books relating to shade gardening.

Chris will also provide copies of the Vancouver Shade Garden Society's Compendium of Shade Plants, which lists hundreds of examples of shade plants divided into the above-mentioned categories.

About Chris

Until I moved to Vancouver in the early 90's, I was one of those people who managed to kill every plant they touched. But I attended a show of the BC Fuchsia and Begonia Society and was intrigued by fuchsia trees. This started me off on a journey of growing plants and being part of the Executive for seven years until 2002.

In January 2003. I decided to strike out on my own and founded the Vancouver Shade Garden Society, a more generalized shade gardening group. We now have about 35 members. I have been the President of the Society for most of its 13 years. Working with the Society has been a continual learning experience and has taught me about so many interesting shade plants, not just the typical ferns and hosta. I'm always excited to be able to go out to other groups and clubs to spread the word about shade gardening.

Plants on the Shady Side
Egan Davis

The History and Distribution of Temperate Plants Around the World

February 21, 2017: Egan Davis, UBC Chief Instructor of the Horticulture Training Program

The renowned plantsman and garden designer will explore the mysteries and travels of plants through time and changes in the earth's land masses. Always passionate, always engaged with his audiences, Egan's talk will be sure to inspire.

Egan Davis is a Red Seal Horticulturalist who lives in Vancouver BC and works as the Chief Instructor of the Horticulture Training Program at UBC Botanical Garden. When he is not teaching, Egan keeps busy with his residential garden construction business. Previous gardens Egan has worked at have been VanDusen Botanical Gardens, Park & Tilford Gardens and the Mendel Floral Conservatory. Egan has been an active speaker at garden clubs, conferences and seminars. His outreach activities have also included television and radio segments on HGTV’s Gardening by the Yard, CKNW’s The Home Discovery Show and CBC’s North by Northwest. Egan loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking and botanizing on the weekends. He was born to be a gardener.

Great Dixter

Touring English Gardens: What Great Gardens Can Teach Us

January 17, 2017: Julia Guest, Garden Travel Expert

Julia Guest has travelled the world visiting gardens. As a Travel Consultant, she has designed, planned and escorted tours since 1990 to England, France & Italy, New Zealand, China & India and most recently to the United Kingdom. Over the years, working with Vancouver Landscape Designer Ron Rule and gardening personality Des Kennedy have refined her scope and now the gardens visited on her tours are chosen not only for their garden excellence but what they can tell us about the society and culture, where we have come from as well a study of English garden history and design. Ever the questions – “What are gardens for?” and “How to visit gardens?” – are being asked.

Julia loves the exuberance of the garden-makers, and will share photos and stories about some of her favourite UK gardens over the years. Some gardens will be familiar and hopefully some of the very private places to which she gains access will not.

photo credit: Great Dixter, Sussex