Past Speakers (by topic)

Centerpiece Creations (December 9, 2015)

Margitta Schulz from Margitta's Flowers at Lonsdale Quay demonstrated how to make centerpieces.  

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Climate Change and Gardening (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.

Eagles Estate in Burnaby (May 19, 2016)

Catherine Dale 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. 

Ecological Garden Design – (November 17, 2016)

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.

 

Edible Garden Project (April 16, 2015)

Emily Jubenvill, the manager of the Edible Garden Project , spoke about their latest project - the Sutherland Schoolyard Market.

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'.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) (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" 

 

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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.

Great Plant Picks (June 16, 2016)

Gwen Odermatt - 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. 

Holistic Garden Design (October 16, 2015)

Todd Major spoke on the topic of Holistic garden design.

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

Hydrangeas (March 17, 2016)

Malonie Hewstan made a presentation on hydrangeas.

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  C. J. van Gelderen (Author), D. M. van Gelderen (Author) as a good resource. 

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Some of the hydrangeas in Malonie’s garden are:

Hydrangea Pistachio

Pistachio

Hydrangea Coral

Coral

Hydrangea Freedom

Freedom

Hydrangea Sabina

Sabina

Hydrangea Wedding Gown

Weding Gown

Invasive Plants (January 19, 2017)

Sam Cousins spoke about Invasive Plants

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.

References available:

A Dangerous Garden Thug Exposed: Daphne laureola

Beautiful in your garden but be aware

Field Guide to Noxious Weeds

Grow me instead - This Grow Me Instead Brochure profiles BC’s most unwanted horticultural plants, along with their recommended alternatives

Introduced Species and Biodiversity Video

Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

If you would like to volunteer you can contact the following organisations:

Stewardship@stanleyparkecology.ca 

volunteer@pacificspiritparksociety.org

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Ecological Restoration

Living Walls (May 21, 2015)

Betty Ann Olser spoke about living walls - all the information can be found at the Living Wall website

Make your Rhododendrons Think They Are Growing in the Himalayas (APRIL 21, 2016)

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.

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Click on the following links for further information:

Ron Knight's Caron Gardens

Planting Suggestions

Success with Rhododendrons

How to Select Rhododendrons

Dwarf Rhododendrons

How to Move Giant Rhododendrons

The Wild Rhododendrons of Mount Elphinstone

Mason Bees (February 19, 2015 and November 19, 2015)

Mike Nassichuck spoke about mason bees.  His handout is below.

Download (DOC, 56KB)

Our Prize Winning Garden (March 19, 2015)

Carla and Wilhelm Bischoff - Our prize winning garden - One of Steve Whysall's top 10 favorite gardens in the lower mainland.

Some examples of plants growing in their garden:

Pink Mountain (November 20, 2015)

Egan Davies, 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.

Plantaholic in a Small Garden (October 20, 2016)

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.

Rhododendron Heaven – Ron Knight’s Garden (September 17, 2015)

"Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons" was as a good resource.

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Download (PDF, 66KB)

spinning wheel    rhodo hill-sun garden   gazebo-waterfall-rock garden

Sensory Garden (May 21, 2015)

Jane Webley spoke about the Sensory Garden project at the Kiwanis Care Center in North Vancouver

Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba (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 Journa

The Kitsilano Kitchen Garden – a 12 Month Larder (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:

UBC Vegetable Gardening

Royal Horticultural Society Vegetable Gardening

University of Washington Vegetable Gardening

GrowVeg - garden planner app

Download (PDF, 66KB)

Wisley Gardens (January 15, 2015)

Margaret Cadwaladr, author of "In Veronica's Garden" (a book about the Milner Gardens in Qualicum Beach) made a presentation about a visit to Wisley Gardens in Surrey, England.