January 15, 2019: Howard Wills Fernwood Nursery

Howard Wills is a life-long gardening enthusiast (plantaholic!) and the owner of Fernwood Nursery in the UK specializing in  Sempervivums (Houseleeks) and related plants. 

At Fernwood, Howard holds N.C.C.P.G. (Plant Heritage) National Collections® of Sempervivum and Jovibarba species and cultivars (Alpine Houseleeks) and previously, National Collections® of Phormium species and cultivars (New Zealand Flax) and Rosularia species. 

Howard has exhibited these plants at all the major Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows and the exhibits have been awarded RHS Gold Medals at Chelsea Flower Show, Hampton Court Palace, Gardener’s World Live, Tatton Park, Malvern and RHS Wisley Flower Shows. 

The nursery is managed in an environmentally sensitive way and Howard is also very keen on watching, recording and studying native fauna and flora. 

Howard Wills Fernwood Nursery Sempervivums


February 19, 2019: Gary Lewis Phoenix Perennials

Phoenix Perennials has become famous for its annual Hellebore Hurrah! Weekend each February which offers one of the largest selections of Hellebores offered in North America. 

In this presentation you’ll learn about the botany, ecology, and distribution of hellebores as well as their history in western gardens and the complex breeding required to arrive at the stunning array of modern forms. 

Gary will tour you through the best of what’s available today and speak to new directions in breeding.

Gary Lewis Hellebores

Fertilizer - What, Where and When

March 19, 2019: Marilyn Holt

Marilyn Holt is a gardening enthusiast, international speaker who once owned and operated Pelargonium Nursery, exporting plants internationally.  

She was Editor of the B.C. Council of Garden Clubs "The Bulletin" for seven years.  Marilyn is currently the Garden Center Manager for the Abbotsford Buckerfield's store and is also a Horticultural Judge.  

Marilyn Holt - Fertilizer: What, Where and When

Spring Container Design

April 16, 2019: Randal Atkinson from West Coast 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.   

Jason Vandermey Westcoast Gardens

Grow Your Own Superfoods - Build Your Own Supersoil 

May 21, 2019: Lucretia Schanfarber

Lucretia (Lu) Schanfarber is a dedicated organic gardener and author of "How to Grow Your Own SuperFoods" and “How to Build Your Own SuperSoil".

She is a writer for "Alive magazine" and a contributing editor to the award-winning "Encyclopedia of Natural Healing." 

Her talk blends her expertise in natural healing and organic gardening to deliver an entertaining, educational and uplifting presentation.

Lu proclaims the power of plants to HEAL!  Learn what easy-to grow foods prevent. and even reverse disease.  Kale prevents age-related macular degeneration. Blueberries prevent dementia and improve cognitive health.  Grow and use herbs such as rosemary and oregano; they provide concentrated sources of antioxidants to improve immune functions, promote healthy aging, protect visual health and prevent many forms of cancer.  Recent research also praises the power of soil's own natural probiotic bacterial for mental health.  

There are so many healthy reasons to garden!

Lucretia Schanfarber Super Soil Super food

Small Trees for Urban Gardens

June 18, 2019: Janis Matson

Janis Matson brings a plethora of knowledge, education and experience along with enthusiasm and approachability to her talks and classes.

Included in her long list of certificates and degrees Janis boasts a Red Seal Journeyman in Horticulture and is currently an instructor at VanDusen Botanical Gardens, a horticulture instructor at Kwantlen and a faculty instructor with Burnaby Community Education Horticultural Residential Landscape Technician, Hardscape and Apprenticeship programs as well as the owner of Shoreline Landscape Design.

Janis Matson Small Trees for Urban Garden

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:

Brian has been given a number of awards with the most recent being:

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.

Website:  www.mintergardening.com

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