Bjarnason, Harmony (September 15, 2016)
Heather Bjarnason - Climate Change and Gardening
Harmony works as a climate change adaptation planner for the BC Ministry of Agriculture - helping agricultural communities build resilience and prepare for a changing climate. She has also been trained as a climate leader by the Climate Reality Project - a non-profit organization founded by Al Gore that educates citizens about the realities of climate change and advocates for a greener, cleaner future. She holds a Master's degree in economics from the University of British Columbia and after spending nearly two decades in Vancouver, including four years in North Vancouver, has just returned 'home' to Kelowna with her husband and two children. She has always been an enthusiastic gardener, working at garden centres during high school and university and spending many years getting her hands dirty at family’s farm and garden centre in Lake Country, BC. She and her husband are in the early stages of starting a 10-acre hops farm in Kelowna.
Brown, Satya (October 20, 2016)
"Plantaholic in a Small Garden"
Satya Brown is a retired physician in North Surrey. Her hobby is garden photography and public speaking. She has had a show garden for several years. She spent 17 years gardening in Cuba. She feels that the most important issue today is saving the human race from self-destructing. Gardening is extremely important.
Cousins, Sam (January 19, 2017)
Invasive alien species are a threat to biodiversity, agriculture and infrastructure. With early detection, reporting and rapid response the impacts can by reduced before they get out of control.
Sam Cousins is the West area Stewardship Research Technician for Metro Vancouver. His work focuses on connecting the public with ecological restoration events within the regional parks system and the management of invasive species. He has gained a wealth of invasive species identification knowledge and treatment options experience from working for Brandywine Provincial Park, the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council and Stanley Park Ecology Society.
Grow me instead - This Grow Me Instead Brochure profiles BC’s most unwanted horticultural plants, along with their recommended alternatives
If you would like to volunteer you can contact the following organisations:
Dale, Catherine (May 19, 2016)
Catherine Spoke about the Eagles Estate in Burnaby.
Catherine completed the Journeyman certification in Landscape Horticulture in the early 1990’s. She worked together with the Burnaby School District to teach Gaia College’s Organic Master Gardener program, Plant Knowledge for Organic Gardeners and guest lecture in the Ecological Landscape Design program. Catherine also teaches the Residential Landscape Technician program through Burnaby School District Continuing Education.
In 2004 Catherine received the ‘Educator of the Year’ award from the BC Landscape and Nursery Association.
In 2006 Catherine received City of Burnaby’s Environmental Award for work at the Eagles Estate heritage garden on the shores of Deer Lake, and for contribution to the successful passing of Burnaby’s Cosmetic Pesticide bylaw.
Davis, Egan (November 20, 2014) (April 20, 2017)
November 20, 2014
Egan Davis, gave a fascinating talk: Pink Mountains and the Foothills of the Northern Rockies. Arctic tundra species drop down to the region and alpine tundra species overlap. The mountains are folded layers of rock, including sandstone and limestone, so layers with different nutrient levels have been exposed in folding. The rock has been broken down by glaciers and wind to create rich soil deposits. The west side is steep and glaciated, the east side prairie. Topography influences the soil deposits, with fragments collected in windy areas and deposited in still areas. Dryas octopetala commonly started growing on rock, breaking it down to soil and allowing other plants to start growing. Frost bubbles have rich soil pulled up from deeper in the earth. Silene acaulis loves to grow on the bubbles and gives the appearance of bright pink beacons. There are no bees in the area. The primary pollinators are flies, then butterflies and mosquitoes. Many of the flowers are flat and disc like as a strategy to attract pollinators; the flies like to warm themselves on the yellow flowers. Many flowers are also highly fragrant to attract more than 50 species of butterflies in the area. Pedicularis labradorica and Rhododendron lapponicum grew in the harshest exposed conditions on Pink Mountain where nothing else would. Egan’s testing of soil collected in the area showed pH 6-7 where most plants were growing. Where almost nothing was growing, the soil had pH 3; highly acidic from the seas that the mountains had arisen.
April 20, 2017
Egan Davis - Reducing water use and increasing urban ecology
Egan Davis is currently the Chief Instructor, Horticultural Training Program (HTP) from UBC Botanical Garden. The HTP is the only full-time horticulture training program in Metro Vancouver north of the Fraser River. UBC Botanical Garden provides a rich training environment for the program. Instruction is fully integrated with horticultural activities in the Garden and garden staff participate in training and mentoring.
Egan worked at Park and Tilford garden many years ago under the direction of Todd Major. Egan previously spoke to the Lynn Valley Garden Club in February 2005 on ‘Spring Gardening’ and again in November 2014.
Congratulations to Egan Davis, 2016 recipient of the BC Landscape & Nursery Association's Educator of the Year.
Hewstan, Malonie (March 17, 2016)
Malonie Hewstan made a presentation on hydrangeas.
- Adapt well to our climate
- Are disease resistant
- Have big flowers that bloom for a long time
The origin of most hydrangeas can be traced back to Asia.
She suggested "The Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas" by
Some of the hydrangeas in Malonie’s garden are:
Hydrangea Wedding Gown
Holmes, Emma (February 18, 2016)
Emma Holmes is a young farmer and soil scientist. She studied sustainable food systems (B.Sc.) and soil science (M.Sc.) at UBC, and permaculture at the Bullocks Brother's Homestead in Washington. Currently, she farms a 2-acre market garden and teaches soil and plant science for Kwantlen's Farm Schools. She spoke on the topic of Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba.
For more information on this topic click on the following links:
Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba - Wikipedia
How can Cuba's Sustainable Agriculture Survive the Peace - article in The Solutions Journal
Hooper, Wesley (September 21, 2017)
Wesley Hooper co-founder of LifeSpace Gardens spoke about the handcrafted self-watering gardens they have developed. They help people “grow the good life” on the North Shore & in Metro Vancouver - on balconies, in yards, on rooftops and in the most beautiful public spaces “We found that the biggest challenge standing in people's way was water. Remembering when to water, making sure plants have enough water, and not making a mess with water. So we developed and patented a self-watering system that over comes all of those challenges and more.”
He spoke about how the systems works emulating nature
The key to success is using the right kind of soil mix:
1/3 organic compost (worm castings, composted fir chips, organic mushroom manure)
1/3 peat moss or coconut coir
The following organizations were mentioned - they are all geared towards teaching children about healthy eating:
Sprouting chefs is a BC registered non profit organization based in the Lower Mainland who strives to support the development and cultivation of school garden programs.
Growing Chefs! Chefs for Children’s Urban Agriculture gets kids excited about good, healthy food. In their Classroom Gardening and Cooking Program, chef and community volunteers are paired with elementary school classrooms (grades 1-3 for the primary program, 4-6 for the intermediate) to give students hands-on experience growing and cooking their own food.
Project CHEF: Cook Healthy Edible Food is an experiential, curriculum-based school program aimed at children in kindergarten to grade seven that teaches students about healthy food: where it comes from, what it tastes like, how to prepare it and how to enjoy sharing it around a table.
The Edible Garden Project in North Vancouver is transforming front-yards, parks, boulevards, rooftops, and schoolyards across the North Shore into inspiring and active edible landscapes. They believe that everyone deserves to access good food with dignity, and to fall in love with fresh picked produce. They use food as a platform to transform community, address urban environmental, health, and social issues, and empower citizens of all ages to get their hands in the soil and learn to grow their own.
Community Supported Agriculture (C.S.A.) is a program of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters. It links people directly with their source of food, providing them with the most fresh, sustainably produced food; it gives farmers a source of income at their time of highest expense (early spring). Shareholders purchase a share in the season's harvest and receive a weekly package of food.
Square Foot Gardening (commonly referred to as SFG) is a planting method that was developed by American author and TV presenter Mel Bartholomew in the 1970s. It's a simple way to create easy-to-manage gardens with raised beds that need a minimum of time spent maintaining them. SFG rapidly gained popularity during the 1980s through Mel's first book and television series and since then has spread across the world, eventually going 'mainstream' with several companies offering ready-to-assemble SFG gardens. SFG advocates claim it produces more, uses less soil and water and takes just 2% of the time spent on a traditional garden.
Knight, Ron (September 15, 2015) (April 21, 2016)
APRIL 21, 2016
Make your Rhododendrons Think They Are Growing in the Himalayas
Ron Knight spoke about environmental needs for rhododendrons growing wild in Asia and spoke about how to use this information to grow them in B.C.
"Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons" was as a good resource.
Click on the following links for further information:
Ron Knight's Caron Gardens
September 15, 2015
Lum, Conway (May 18, 2017)
Topic: Insects: Friends or Foes.
· is currently working for GardenWorks@Mandeville (originally Mandeville Garden Centre located at corner of Nelson St. and Marine Drive, Burnaby) since 1988.
· started out in the nursery but is now at the garden supplies/information desk conducting most of the in-house seminars/workshops.
· is the recipient of the “Garden Communicator of the Year Award” by BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) for 2012.
· is a contributor to the “Ask-the-Pro” column in BC Living (Garden Wise) Magazine.
· is an evening instructor for New Westminster Continuing Education for gardening classes.
· is a past recipient of the “Garden Communicator Award” by BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) for 2006.
· is a past recipient of the “Environmental Star Award” by the City of Burnaby for European Chafer public education.
· previously served on the European Chafer advisory committee.
· is currently serving on the provincial certification committee for BCLNA and Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA).
· is one of the first three candidates to receive the “Certified Horticultural Technician for retail” in Canada (CNLA).
· has recently obtained “Landscape Industry Certified” technician for ornamental and turf maintenance (CNLA).
· is an environment designate (2015) as advisory capacity for the retail commodity group for BCLNA.
· is an Honorary member of “South Burnaby Garden Club”.
·is a Professional Agrologist.
· graduated from University of British Columbia with Bachelor of Science in plant science (ornamental horticulture) and botany.
Major, Todd (October 16, 2014)
Digging a square planting hole may prevent roots growing in circles and developing 'root girdle'. Slashing and cutting roots also helps prevent this. No Martha Stewart dainty teasing!
For perennials, unless you're using old stems to mark the plant's position in the garden, cut stems right down low near the crown as that's where the new growth forms.
Beneficial insects will look for large colonies of aphids to lay eggs; if you see a few aphids and they're not damaging anything, leave them.
Landscape fabric isn't great for weed control as the weeds will grow above or below, however, it is good for erosion control.
If transplanting a large bush or small tree, without machinery, the plant can be raised to ground level by filling the hole as you go. Roll the plant to one side and fill the hole a bit then roll to the other side, on to the soil that's just gone in, and do the same. Continue until hole is filled.
Bark mulch is Todd's preference to keep squirrels off bulb beds. Hemlock-Fir 3/4 inch minus (the standard bark mulch at Norgate). They don't like slivers in their faces and hands plus the smell hides the scent of the bulbs.
You can link to the NSNews to get his column all on one page by clicking here
Minter, Brian (February 16, 2017)
Garden Design, Special Interest Plants
Brian Minter began sharing his passion for plants with British Columbia's gardeners when, in 1970, he and his wife Faye purchased Country Garden Store, a garden shop that had been part of Chilliwack's community since 1957. In 1977, the Minters discovered a piece of land nestled beneath Mt. Cheam and by 1980, that passion for plants was transformed into 32-acre, world-famous Minter Gardens, which closed in 2013.
Brian, a University of British Columbia graduate (BA) and Master Gardener, quickly became BC's go-to garden expert through his experience at both the garden centre and the display gardens. As such, he has hosted countless radio and television shows, is a frequent gardening columnist and is the author of Canadian Best Seller, 'Brian Minter's New Gardening Guide - Fresh Approaches for Canadian Gardeners'.
Myskiw, Karen (June 18, 2015)
Karen Myskiw spoke about using native plants and grasses in our gardens. There are many benefits to using native plants in the garden:
- suited to growing conditions
- adapted to moisture or soil conditions
- low cost
- disease free
- low maintenance
- promote biodiversity
- support native wildlife
Here is a list of plants that were mentioned during her talk:
- Alpine Currant (Ribes Alpinum)
- Bleeding Heart (Dicentra Formosa)
- Bunchberry (Cornus Canadensis)
- Copper Bush (Elliottia Pyroliflora)
- Deer Fern (Blechnum spicant)
- Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium Ovalifolium)
- False Lily of the Valley (Maianthemum Dilatatum)
- False Solomon seal (Maianthemum Racemosum)
- Goat’s Beard (Aruncus Dioicus)
- High Bush Cranberry (Viburnum Trilobum)
- Kinnickinnick (Bearberry)
- Lady Fern (Athyrium Filix-femina)
- Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum)
- Pacific Ninebark (Physocarpus Capitatus)
- Piggy Back Plant (Tolmiea Menziesii)
- Red Flowering Currant (Ribes Sanguineum)
- Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium Parvifolium)
- Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus Sericea)
- Salal (Gaultheria Shallon)
- Salmonberry (Rubus Spectabilis)
- Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
- Sword Fern (Polystichum Munitum)
- Sweet Woodruff (Galium Odoratum)
- Trillium Ovatum
- Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera Ciliosa)
- Tuber Oat Grass (Arrhenatherum)
- Vanilla Leaf (can be invasive)
- Vine Maple (Acer Circinatum)
- Viola Sempervirens
- Wild Ginger (Asarum Caudatus)
Nakagawa, Cathy ( June 15, 2017)
I’m an experienced home gardener who has worked at Lee Valley for almost ten years, and been a customer for a lot longer. It’s a very good fit for anyone who likes to create – gardens and many other things as well! Since I was a toddler I’ve been drawn to flowers and gardens. My mother would frequently have to hunt for me and would find me “working” with an elderly neighbour in his or her garden. As a teen I helped do flowers in the church and, in my adulthood, learned from and bonded extremely well with my in-laws (a gardener by vocation, and an instructor-level Ikebana artist) over our shared interests. I have fairly recently downsized to a townhouse, so my garden is now limited to containers but includes lots of herbs, rhubarb, tomatoes and a fig tree!
Topic: Container Gardening
Nassichuk, Mike (February 19, 2015 and November 19, 2015)
Mike Nassichuck spoke about mason bees. His handout is below.
Odermatt, Gwen (June 16, 2016)
Great Plant Picks
Gwen 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 Van Dusen Plant Sale.
She is on the Selection Committee for Great Plants Picks, teaches the Advanced Master Gardener Right Plant/RightPlace course, is a member of the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group and was on the organizing committee for the Hardy Plant Study Weekend 2013, 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 four.
Olser, Betty Ann (May 21,2015)
Betty Ann Olser spoke about living walls - all the information can be found at the Living Wall website
Schulz, Margitta (December 9, 2015)
Margitta Schulz from Margitta's Flowers at Lonsdale Quay demonstrated how to make centerpieces.
Sellars, David (March 16, 2017)
Photographing Alpine Plants: A Landscape Point of View
David Sellars is an award winning photographer and is the Past 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. Their garden won the NARGS Millstream Garden Award in 2012.
He is an avid mountain hiker and maintains the website: http://www.mountainflora.ca
His particular interests are rock garden design and construction, alpine plant photography and using video to illustrate mountain landscapes and alpine plant habitats. His video page is here: http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora
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 were published in the recent book Alpine Plants of British Columbia, Alberta and Northwest North America. His images will also be included in a new edition of Arthur Kruckeberg's Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest.
Shore, Randy (October 15, 2015)
Randy Shore writes for the Vancouver Sun' Life and Food section. Link to his column page by clicking here.
He spoke about GMOs - Genetically Modified Organisms. For more information on this topic click here.
He is also the author of the book: " Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow;The Green Man's Guide to Living & Eating Sustainably All Year Round"
A book of recipes and gardening tips for living and eating sustainably and responsibly all year round. Randy Shore's father and grandfather grew up on farms, yet he didn't even know how to grow a radish. Author of .The Green Man. column in the Vancouver Sun , he spent five years teaching himself how to grow food for his family, and then how to use the resulting bounty to create imaginative and nourishing meals the year round. In Grow What You Eat , Randy reveals the secrets to creating and maintaining a thriving vegetable garden, from how to make your own fertilizer to precise instructions on how best to grow specific produce; he also offers advice for those with balcony or container gardens and others who live in small urban spaces. He then shows how to showcase your bounty with delicious, nutrient-packed recipes (both vegetarian and not), including instructions on canning, pickling, and curing, proving how easy and fulfilling it is to be a self-reliant expert in your garden and your kitchen. Grow What You Eat is primarily a cookbook, but it is also a gardening book, personal journal, and passionate treatise on the art of eating and living sustainably. In his quest for self-sufficiency, improved health, and a better environment, Randy Shore resurrects an old-school way of cooking that is natural, nutritious, and delicious.
Spears, James (January 21, 2016)
B.C. Master Gardener James Spears shared information about vegetable gardening throughout the whole year. He shared his list of recommended vegetables for the garden (posted below). For more of his tips on container gardening click here for a link to a CBC article. He also suggested the following links:
GrowVeg - garden planner app
Tracey, David – (November 17, 2016)5
Ecological Garden Design
David Tracey is a writer, designer and community ecologist based in Vancouver.
He has a master's degree in Landscape Architecture from UBC and has been a certified arborist since 2004. He is the Executive Director of Tree City, a nonprofit environmental group that aims to "help people and trees grow together."
His environmental design and consultation company EcoUrbanist works with individuals, companies and municipalities to bring ecological ideas into urban greening project.
As well as teaching part time for Simon Fraser University and Gaia College, he works as a journalist and author. His books include Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto and Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution. His most recent work, Vancouver Tree Book, became a #1 BC Books Bestseller.