Annie’s Orchard (June 21, 2018)
Topic: Annie's Orchard: 35 years of Growing and Selling Apples and Pears in the Fraser Valley.
Jim Rahe is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University. Until his retirement in 2004, Jim taught mainly courses in plant biology and in the Department’s Master of Pest Management program where he was the Department’s specialist in orchard, farm and specialty crop pest management. The focus of his research specialization was biology of plant disease interactions. Jim was an active member of the B.C. Professional Pest Management Association (past President), the Canadian Phytopathological Society, and the Fraser Valley Farm Direct Marketing Association (past President). He is knowledgeable about plant propagation and crop production methods, and pest management for a wide range of specialty crops. He and his wife Mary Ann live near Aldergrove, B.C,, and own and operate Annie’s Orchard. Annie’s is a small, high density orchard specializing in direct sales of more than 50 varieties of fresh apples and pears.
Some tips from Jim Rahe about growing apples in the home garden:
- Apples do best with full sun and good drainage
- More damage can be done by over fertilizing than under fertilizing
- Most apple trees need a genetically different tree that blooms around the same time in order to be pollinated
- Apple tree don't come true to seed. In order to obtain the same tree it needs to be grafted.
- It is difficult to get an apple tree cutting to root
- Some of the pests and diseases of apple trees are the coddling moth, the apple maggot, the apple leaf curling midge and the anthracnose canker
Beauty and the Feast (April 11, 2019)
Mike Lascelle has a 38-year background in horticulture including experience as an estate gardener, landscape foreman, garden designer and his current position as the nursery manager at Amsterdam Garden Centre in Pitt Meadows. He holds a Diploma of Horticulture from the University of Guelph in urban forestry, is an ISA certified arborist and a BC red seal landscape technologist. Mike has written three gardening books including his latest, Extraordinary Ornamental Edibles. Below is a list of 29 ornamental plants from his book chosen for their aesthetic and edible appeal, as well as food preparation suggestions.
The Bees of your backyard and how you can support them with flowers (November 15, 2018)
Elizabeth Elle is currently Vice Provost for Learning & Teaching at Simon Fraser University. She has been at SFU for 19 years, and studying pollination for over 25 years. Her main areas of interest are the biodiversity and conservation of pollinators in natural areas, and the importance of our wild pollinators for crop production on farms. Some of her conservation work has taken Elizabeth and her students into the gardens and parks of southern BC; resulting in useful information she enthusiastically shares with municipal government and the general public. She lives in Lynn Valley and is looking forward to shared some very interesting information.
Did you know that
- One of three bites you eat is thanks to a bee
- 90% of flowering plants need pollinators
- 1/3 of birds and mammals are dependant on pollinators
- there are 20,000 species of bees – 800 species in Canada and 450 species in BC
- pollinators are declining
- bumblebees a great tomato pollinator
- the western bumblebee is close to extinction
- there are bees that look like wasps and flies that look like bees but they can usually be identified because of the following characteristics:
4 wings 2 wings
long antenna short antenna
usually hairy big bulgy eyes
- most bees are solitary – apart from the honey bee only the bumblebees have a queen and workers
- Wasps are pollinators – the adults eat nectar – they do not collect nectar – they prey on other insects such as caterpillars to feed their young
- Flies, wasps, beetles, butterflies and birds are also pollinators
- There are three causes to the decline of bees – disease, pesticides and habitat loss
- Habitat loss in the number 1 reason for this decline
What can you do in your garden to encourage pollinators? See a list below of plants to consider. Think in terms of extending the bloom times by having early and late flowering plants. Many plants of one kind is better that only one of each.
Elizabeth Elle’s website is a great source of information - www.sfu.ca/people/eelle
Other good website to consult:
Bonsai for the Novice or Learning to Manage Expectations (March 21, 2019)
Speaker: Jim Morris
I am a (mainly) retired Doctor and long-suffering husband of Jackie Morris, responsible for endless weeding and moving plants from place to place on her whims. I have also been collecting and trying to train/grow Bonsai trees since 1986, but with more enthusiasm than dedication to the discipline. I have only been to four workshops and conferences in all those years.
So, to be clear, I am emphatically not a Bonsai Master, but I have known several people who were/are accomplished in the field and I have (slowly) learned to keep small trees alive and healthy (no small task!). In addition, I have long enjoyed collecting trees in the mountains and, on occasion, I have actually produced a relatively attractive tree that I'm not ashamed to show friends and colleagues.
I am excited to share what I have learned over these 33 years of trying, and I hope my words will encourage some members of the LVGC to take up the hobby.
Jim shared his passion for Bonsai with members of our club.
- Bonsai is the process of training and maintaining small but healthy and attractive trees in containers.
- It involves design and horticulture.
- It involves patience
- Jim suggested that anyone really interested in taking this up should join a club where it is possible to learn with and from others - do not try to do this alone.
- Below is a list of dates for The West Coast Bonsai Society meeting - anyone is welcome
- Below is also a list of Bonsai events in the Pacific Northwest Region 5 for 2019
Centerpiece Creations (December 9, 2015)
Margitta Schulz from Margitta's Flowers at Lonsdale Quay demonstrated how to make centerpieces.
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.
Daylilies and Hostas (May 16, 2019)
Pam Erikson is an award-winning daylily hybridizer, photographer, instructor and lecturer from Langley. In 1991, she became the first American Hemerocallis Society judge in Canada. Also in 1991, Erikson started the first daylily club in Canada in affiliation with the AHS and is still its president. The one-acre display gardens at Erikson Daylily and Perennial Garden gardens now contain over 3,000 varieties of daylilies and other lilies, over 600 varieties of hostas and hundreds of other specimen trees and perennials. Pam will be talking about daylilies and hostas.
Pam Erikson shared her passion about Daylilies and hostas:
- Daylilies are flowering plants in the genus Hemerocallis and will thrive almost anywhere.
- Daylilies are rugged, adaptable, vigorous perennials that endure in a garden for many years with little or no care.
- Daylilies adapt to a wide range of soil and light conditions. They establish quickly, grow vigorously, and survive winters with little or no injury.
- They are drought tolerant and profuse bloomers.
- They are best in full sun but will tolerate part shade.
- Dark color daylilies can have afternoon shade as long as thye have 4-5 hours of sun in the day.
- Hemerocallis Kwanso goes back to the 1500’s.
- No two seeds will ever produce the same flower.
- Hybrids are hard to do – from 5000 seeds at the end of 8 years you might keep 5.
- Deadheading daylilies is mostly for aesthetic reasons.
- The buds can be steamed like sweet peas, the flowers can be eaten and are great garnishes for salads and deserts.
- The leaves however, when used as a tea are a potent tranquillizer.
Some of Pam’s favorites are:
- Hemerocallis Rock Solid - cream with plum violet eye and edge above green throat
- Hemerocallis Outer limits - red blended bitone with yellow edge
- Hemerocallis Red Volunteer - clear candle red self with gold yellow throat
- Hemerocallis Strutters Ball - black purple with very small silvery white watermark and silky halo above small lemon green throat
- Hemerocallis Boundless Beauty - ruffles pastel white blend with gold edge above green throat
- Hemerocallis Tour of Langley – miniature apricot cream with rose eye above yellow throat
- Hemerocallis Kaleb David Erikson - ruffled cream ivory with bleeding red purple eye and picotee edge
- Hemerocallis Sublime Seduction - cream pink with purple eye and gold edge above yellow lime green throat
- Hemerocallis Royal Extravaganza - purple with lighter watermark above green throat
- Hemerocallis Thin Man - bright red self above yellow green throat
- Hemerocallis Parade of Peacocks - rose peach spider with rose eyezone and cream throat
Some of her favorite lilies:
- Dwarf Asiatic Lily Tiny Padhye - White Other: Maroon tipped in white
- Asiatic Tango Olina - Dark red with darker near black around center and margins (spots)
- Orient pet lily Black Beauty – Red late bloomer in September
- Orient pet lily Shocking - Bi-Color: greenish yellow, red
- Orient pet lily Conca D’Or - Yellow will get to 8-9 feet tall
Some of her favorite Hostas:
- Hosta Sun Power - Unusual foliage color - Cupped, Wavy, Corrugated. High sun tolerance, its gold coloring is most intense when grown in sun
- Hosta Potomac Pride - Unusual foliage color
- Hosta Stain Glass - Leaves are heart shaped, Wavy, Slightly Shiny, Med.Green & Golden Yellow with Med.Green margin.
- Hosta Midwest Magic – slugs do not like it
- Hosta Spartacus
- Hosta Canadian Blue
- Hosta Dancing Queen – brightens up a dark area
- Hosta Empress Wu Spo – huge
- Hosta Paul’s Glory – Wavy and Corrugated, Color is Chartreuse & Golden Yellow with a Blue-Green margin.
- Hosta Sagae - Huge thick, nearly triangular leaves are frosted blue-green, Leaves have wavy, yellow margins which turn creamy-white with more sun.Semi upright, Slug resistant.
- Hosta Ben Vernooij - Very thick blue leaves have a wide feathered creamy yellow border.
- Hosta Plantagenet – species hosta – fragrant
- Hosta Frozen Margarita – fragrant flowers that stay upright
- Hosta June Fever – small glossy leaves – slugs don’t touch it
- Hosta Appletini
- Hosta Raspberry Sundae – red stems
- Hosta Gypsy Rose
- Hosta Summer Breeze - Dark green leaves with wide, irregular, chartreuse to yellow margins, thin broadly ovate leaves. Slug resistant and Sun Tolerant.
Downsizing the Dream: from Killara Farm to Grand Folly (October 18, 2018)
Christine Allen - Downsizing the Dream: from Killara Farm to Grand Folly
Christine Allen shared her experience downsizing from a 9 acre farm to a city lot in Vancouver. In order to choose plants to use in her new property she set the following criteria for them:
- Plants that grow gracefully.
- Plants that die gracefully.
- Plants that know their place.
- Plants with at least two seasons of interest.
- Plants with two different attributes
- Healthy plants
Here is a list of the plants she chose for her garden:
Rosa gallica versicolor – rambler with 2 season of interests and repeat bloomer
Rosa Ghislaine de Feligonde – shortest rambler
Rosa Lykkefund – Swedish rambler – fragrant, blooms June and July, produces rosehips
Rosa pimpinellifolia – shrub rose – does run by suckers but can be controlled – flowers in May, dripping with pollen, fragrant, delicate foliage, red berries, shiny hips, fall color
Rosa glauca species – blue gray foliage, small pink flowers, hips
Hydrangea aspera ssp sargentiana – tree hydrangea, doesn’t need sunshine, stands on its own, big flowers
Hydrangea quercifolia Sikes – dward, fall colors, looks good with clematis growing trhout it
Hydrangea serrata Benny G. . - compact, lacecap, flower starts blue and goes to dark burgundy, fall foliage
Hydrangea serrata Beni – small flowers open white then go to bi color and red
Salix arctica – artic willow
Salix Helvetica – silver foliage and catkins
Salix gracilistyla melanocarpa – black catkins
Fothergilla Mount Airy – small, flowers in late spring, looks like bottlebrushes, smells like honey, attracts bees, fall color to dep red and burgundy
Lavender (cut back as hard as you can to green every year) – used as a lavender hedge that runs along the front of her propert
Clematis Miss Bateman – large white flowers, interesting seed heads
Clematis durandii – can trail through a shrub, long blooming
Clematis triternata rubra – scent, late summer, good to trail through a rose
Clematis Gravetye Beauty – red, starts blooming late summer
Schizophragma hydrangeoides Moonlight – will stick to a fence, not a hydrangea, nice foliage, loves shade
Ligularia Othello – winter seedhead interest
Phlomis russeliana – winter seedhead
Paeonia Festive Maxima – white, scented
Paeonia mlokosewitschii – yellow fall color, seed head
Paeonia obovata Alba – fall foliage, seedheads
Echinops ritro – good with tulips as they will grow and cover them
Enkianthus perulatus – pollinated by ants, needs complete shade
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 Projects (January 17, 2019)
Michael Denhamer spoke about the Edible garden project
The Mission Statement is threefold: We grow – We share – We teach
We grow: About 10,000 lbs of produce is grown at Loutet Farm, Sutherland High School and sharing gardens across the North Shore. Loutet farm holds 49 market days during the year provide revenue for the farm to keep operating For more information about Loutet Farm click here For more information about the Sutherland high school program click here
We share: The food hub and harvest project have about 30 to 50 volunteers who grow food which is offered to the food bank. They distribute 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of produce in this manner. For more information about the Sharing gardens click here.
We teach: Six elementary schools and one high school are involved in this program. It runs throughout the school year with different topics every month. At the end of the year the students harvest the produce they have planted and grown and make a salad which they all enjoy eating.For more information about the Edible Garden Project click here For more information about teacher resources click here For more information about Garden Smart Workshops click here
Farm visits can be booked. They consist of a 90minutes tour including a farm tour, a beehive demo, compost exploration and salad making. For more information click here
If you are interested in the history of the Edible Garden Project read more
Interested in volunteering? Find out more here
Find out about upcoming events here
Fall in Love with Unusual (Bulbs) – (October 19,2017)
Please visit the Botanus Site for information on bulbs.
Elke Wehinger – Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Botanus Inc.
Born in the heart of the Blackforest in Rheinfelden, Germany, Elke has a Master’s Degree in floral design and owned a very successful flower shop in Munich. She immigrated to Canada in 1996 and soon thereafter co-founded Botanus. Elke is very passionate about Botanus and along with her many hands-on skills and marketing genius, she is responsible for most of the wonderful plant photos in the catalogue. She’s also the brain-child behind the on-line Botanus Garden Club! Elke is a non-stop ‘life learner’ who enjoys giving informative presentations to garden clubs. In the spring of 2014 she took an intensive bee-keeping course and is the proud keeper of happy and healthy honeybee colonies at the Maples Discovery Co-op garden in Langley. She is an avid reader, kayaker, drummer, floral designer and DIY guru…A true powerhouse!
Pamela Dangelmaier – Co-Founder Co-owner Botanus Inc
A native Vancouverite, Pam’s love of gardening began as a child when she explored her grandparent’s sunken garden - an inviting European-style landscape they had created around their Vancouver home. After graduating from UBC with a Fine Arts degree she pursued an active career in theatre, television and film and then returned to her ‘roots’ when she co-founded Botanus. Pam’s flair for the artistic can be seen in all that she does - from creating the Botanus catalogues and email newsletters to appearing as a gardening expert on television and radio. She also LOVES being part of the Botanus Garden Club where she gets to have her ‘theatrical’ kick in front of the camera! Like Elke, Pam is a bee keeper at the Maples Discovery Garden Co-op where together they care for a few colonies of honeybees. Pam recently fulfilled her lifelong dream of writing and publishing her first novel. It’s called ‘Flour Garden’! It’s a delightful read for all of us who love gardening, baking and quirky characters!
Wendy Leroux – Customer Happiness Manager Botanus Inc
Wendy is our customer ‘Happiness’ manager, for her, the customers are now gardening friends and she loves to help them be successful in all their gardening endeavours. Her personal garden involves her whole front yard and she classifies it as ‘exuberant’ English Country. She spends many of her evenings in the garden until darkness forces her inside. Wendy is an avid Toastmaster member who enjoys mentoring and coaching new speakers as well as growing her own skills as a speaker. The advanced Toastmaster training has been crucial in allowing her to be comfortable in front of the camera while filming the Botanus Garden Club Episodes. In her spare time, she can be found baking sweet treats, felting up a storm, reading fiction novels and knitting in her cozy little home in Brookswood.Leroux,
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"
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 British Gardens (January 18, 2018)
Howard Wills of Fernwood Nursery, Devon, England holds the Plant Heritage National Collections® of Sempervivum, Jovibarba and Rosularia species and cultivars (Houseleeks). He spoke about some of his favorite gardens in the U.K.
Stowe is a Capability Brown designed National Trust landscape garden.
Carwinion House (now closed) is an 18th century manor house with a 12-acre subtropical woodland garden with a large collection of bamboos.
Trebah is a sub-tropical paradise with a stunning coastal backdrop.
Levens Hall has twelve wonderful acres of gardens that include a unique collection of ancient and extraordinary topiary characters sculpted from box and yew.
Marwood Hill is located in a steep valley in North Devon. Some of the plants you will see are massed camellia and rhododendron planting, a the bog gardens, carpets of primulas and iris as well as the National Collection of Astilbes.
RHS Garden Rosemoor is surrounded by woodland.Highly ornamental gardens with shrubs, roses, perennials and bulbs were established during the first ten years of the gardens' life, and now the emphasis has shifted to more extensive, long-term projects
Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.
RHS Garden Hyde Hall is a 145-hectare (360-acre) estate that is constantly evolving, as the gardening team strive to retain the original intimacy and charm of this horticultural gem, while at the same time aiming to restore much of the estate to its former rural glory, including its historic hedgerows and woodland.
Exbury Gardens are a spectacular 200 acre (80 hectare) site, world-famous for the Rothschild Collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, rare trees and shrubs.
The Gardens at Mount Stewart reflect a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry. The formal areas have a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape; the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world, ensuring something to see whatever the season.
Drummond Castle Gardens is one of Europe’s and Scotland’s most important and impressive formal gardens.
RHS Wisley is one of the largest plant collections in the world. Some of the highlkights are the glasshouse, the rock garden, the trial fields, the Jubilee arboretum, the walled garden and the bonsai walk.
Dewstow Gardens and Grottoes contain many ponds and rills and an interesting labyrinth of underground grottoes, tunnels and sunken ferneries.
Dyffryn Gardens cover more than 55 acres with intimate garden rooms, formal lawns and an extensive arboretum.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales has range of themed gardens, the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, a new tropical Butterfly House, play areas and a national nature reserve.
Stourhead is one of England’s greatest landscape garden.
RHS Garden Harlow Carr covers 27.5 hectares (68 acres). Some of the areas to explore are a hedgehog friendly garden, a streamside garden, a kitchen garden and an alpine house.
Presenter Biography, in his own words:
I am a life-long gardening enthusiast (plantaholic!) with many years of experience of growing a wide range of plants. I run a small nursery specialising in Sempervivums (Houseleeks) and related plants.
At Fernwood, I hold 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.
I have exhibited these plants at all the major Royal Horticultural Society Flower Shows and the exhibits have been awarded RHS Gold Medalsat 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 I am also very keen on watching, recording and studying our native fauna and flora. I also enjoy visiting gardens and natural environments both in the UK and in other parts of the world.
Great Britain has a large number of wonderful gardens showing an incredible range of plants and a fascinating diversity of gardening styles.
In this talk I describe a varied selection of British gardens that are, or have been, open to the public and which I have particularly enjoyed visiting, including some Scottish and Welsh gardens as well as those in England.
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.
Growing from Seeds (March 15, 2018)
Erika Simms has loved food and gardening from a young age, and has spent many years working as a chef always focusing on fresh, organic and local ingredients. She has worked in the food security sector, taught gardening workshops, and developed a community seed library. she is presently a customer service representative for West Coast Seeds
She spoke on the following topics:
The history of West Coast Seed, which can be found here.
Products and Practices:
- Untreated non GMO Canada No. 1 seeds
- F1 Hybrids
- Open Pollinated
Types of seeds
- Open pollinated
- Heirloom and heritage
- Organic (grown on organic certified farms)
- Fi Hybrids (mix of 2 seeds)
Supplies needed to start seeds
- Seed starter mix
- Warming mats
Ways to grow
- Companion planting list on website
- Plant same family
- Square foot gardening
Planning your garden – Question to ask
- What seeds are suitable for my region?
- What type of seeds do I want to grow?
- What type of soil do I have?
- How much space do I have?
- How much sun do I have?
- Seedlings require 12 hours of light/day ideally
- On the coast choose early variety tomatoes
Hives for Humanity (February 15, 2018)
Julia Common is a Master Beekeeper who has been keeping bees since her university days. She shared the history of the non-profit organizationHives for Humanity she created with her daughter in 2012. Hives for Humanity started with a single hive in a community garden in the Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, and has grown to include 250+ colonies throughout Metro Vancouver. Julia believes in the therapeutic power of the bees, and in their ability to connect all people to nature, community and self.
Julia also shared some interesting facts about bees
- A honey bee colony can have up to 60,000 bees
- The queen bee lays up to 1500 eggs a day
- Drones are male bees that die after mating
- Worker bees are infertile female bees that do all the work in the hive: cleaning, feeding the baby bees, feeding and taking care of the queen, packing pollen and nectar into cells, capping cells, building and repairing honeycombs, fanning to keep the hive cool and guarding the hive.
- Bees use a very complex language to communicate
- To make one pound of honey bees in a colony have to visit 2 million flowers
- One honey bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
- Honey never spoils
For information about the Feed the Bees Project of the Earthwise Society in Delta, BC click here.
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.
- 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
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.
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:
LifeSpaces (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.
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.
Click on the following links for further information:
Ron Knight's Caron Gardens
Mason Bees (February 19, 2015 and November 19, 2015)
Mike Nassichuck spoke about mason bees. His handout is below.
Orchids (February 21, 2019)
Title of Presentation: Orchids for the home
Bio: Margaret Nakahara and her husband Koichi have been growing orchids since the 1970s and their orchid collection has grown from a few plants to more than 350 today. They are both members of the Vancouver Orchid Society, the Fraser Pacific Rose Society and the Lynn Valley Garden Club. Margaret earned gold and bronze medals for floral art in the World Orchid Show held in Vancouver in 1999. In 2017 one of her orchids received the Award of Merit from the American Orchid Society, and she was able to name that cultivar for registration with the AOS. Margaret is a past-president of many floral art and horticultural clubs, including the BC Council of Garden Clubs. She is a founding member of the Horticultural and Floral Design Judges of BC, and a senior show judge of Horticulture and Floral Art.
She shared the following information:
There are 26,000 species or orchids that live in the wild. That does not even start to count all the hybrids and cultivars that have been derived from them. Here are some of the orchids Margaret talked about:
She shared a few tips with the group:
- Orchids are epiphytes not parasites. They grow on the surface of a plant and get moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, or from debris accumulating around it.
- The do not like to be wet.
- They can grow in a variety of media such as bark, perlite, lava rock and hydroponic beads – they just need something to anchor their roots in.
- In order to bloom orchids need a 10 degree difference between daytime and nighttime temperature.
- Repotting them can help promote blooming.
- Phalaenopsis can be repotted once a year.
- Cymbidium should be repotted every 3 years.
- They do not like to be potted up – they are happier staying in the same size pot
- When repotting an orchid note down the date it has been repotted.
- Cymbidium can be put outside in the summer but must be introduced to the sun slowly.
- Cypripediums are native from Alaska to California and can grow outside in the semi shade .however they need protection in winter from too much rain. They do not mind the cold.
- Do not cut the stalk on Dendrobium as blooms develop on it.
- Pleione is an outdoor orchid that needs a sheltered condition near the house but should not be allowed to dry out.
- If the roots look rotten sprinkle them with cinnamon or garden sulphur.
For more information on growing orchids visit the following websites
Permaculture (November 16, 2017)
David Catzel from Glorious Organics Cooperative, Fraser Valley
David has over 20 years growing experience using organic and ecological principles in a variety of settings, including garden projects in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, coordinating a permaculture project in Ecuador and farming in the Fraser Valley. In 1999 he received his Permaculture Design Certificate from Linnaea Farm Ecological Gardening and Permaculture Design Program on Cortes Island. In 2014 he completed an Advanced Permaculture Course in Teaching through the Cascadia Permaculture Institute. He has had the opportunity to experiment with seed breeding, low till annual production, intercropping and companion planting, and poultry and sheep integration. He has taught workshops in gardening, composting, and seed saving to adults and children. For the past 13 years David and his wife have made their livelihood helping run Glorious Organics Cooperative, a farming enterprise in the Fraser Valley, while cooperatively stewarding land at Fraser Common Farm Co-op where they live and homeschool their three children.
David spoke about permaculture
The overlying ethics of permaculture are:
Care for the earth
Care for people
Distribution of surplus
Permaculture means permanent agriculture.
The Permanent Principles website is full of information regarding permaculture. It explains the design principles and ethics of Permaculture. “The Essence of Permaculture” which is a summary of permaculture concepts and principles taken from Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren is available as a free download here.
David is part of the Community Shared Agriculture program
They now save seeds and are part of the BC Eco Seed cooperative.
Photographing Alpine Plants: A Landscape Point of View (March 16, 2017)
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.
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.
Pruning trees and shrubs: Getting started (April 19, 2018)
Ralph Nevill is an arborist with the District of North Vancouver where he responsible for enforcing the District’s Tree Bylaw and Tree Policy for all trees on District property and the supervision of the District’s field crew and contractors. He is also responsible for the District’s Noxious Weed program. His education includes a B.Sc. in Plant Science (Horticulture) from UBC, a Masters in Pest Management from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in Plant Pathology from Virginia Tech.
Topic: Pruning trees and shrubs: Getting started
Rain Gardens (May 17, 2018)
Topic: Introducing Rain Gardens or What's a Rain Garden...and why Should I Care?
Biographical Information: As volunteer Rain Gardens Coordinator for Cougar Creek Streamkeepers since 2006, Deborah Jones has been closely involved in the design, construction, planting and maintenance of 28 rain gardens at North Delta schools and other community locations. She also advises The Nature Trust of British Columbia on their rain garden grant program. She has a BA in Urban Studies, a Masters of Library Science, and worked at Vancouver Public Library for over 30 years.
Topic: “Rain gardens” are sprouting up everywhere. But surely every garden in Metro Vancouver is a rain garden, given the amount of rainfall we get? Not quite! Learn exactly what rain gardens are, the many benefits they provide, and why they’re essential to environmental sustainability and salmon. Take a photo tour of some of North Delta’s 28 school and community rain gardens, then get ideas for using rain gardens large or small to create drought-resilience and/or to solve property drainage issues in an economical and aesthetic way -- at your house, strata, workplace, church, temple or other property.
The following are some notes from the presentation:
Did you know that only 2.5 percent of the water on earth is fresh water and that only about 1 percent of this fresh water is easily accessible with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields? The rest of the water on earth is saline and ocean-based.
Rain gardens soak up precipitation, store it in the ground and slowly release the excess water to rivers, streams etc… They act as a miniature forest or wetland. When we develop landscapes water infiltration is reduced. For example on a natural landscape about 1% of the water runs off the ground, there is some evaporation and the rest is infiltrated in the ground. After an area is developed 40% of the water runs off the surface (roofs and pavements) using a drain system that connects to a network of underground pipes to a creek nearby. The runoff from the pavement picks up litter and pollutants which all end up in the creek. 80% of the plastic and oil pollution in the oceans comes from storm drain pollution.
See the handouts below (provided by Deborah) for ideas on building a rain garden, disconnecting downspouts to help slow peak flows and reduce stream erosion, home tips for healthy streams, a checklist for successful rain gardens, a list of rain gardens in Delta, and a list of successful garden plants for rain gardens.
Reducing water use and increasing urban ecology (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.
Rhododendron Heaven – Ron Knight’s Garden (September 17, 2015)
"Greer's Guidebook to Available Rhododendrons" was as a good resource.
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:
GrowVeg - garden planner app
UBC Alpine Garden (September 19, 2019)
Laura Caddy grew up gardening in Alberta, and decided to turn her passion into a career by attending the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture in Ontario. She was fortunate to be the Curator of the Patrick Seymour Alpine Garden at the University of Alberta (formerly Devonian) Botanic Garden for four years before joining UBC Botanical Garden in her current position as Curator of the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden. In her spare time, Laura volunteers as Editor of the Alpine Garden Club of BC Bulletin, and is an obsessive knitter.
The alpine environment can be defined as the area above the tree line. There are different kinds of environments who can be close to each other:
- scree has loose pebbles or gravel on a slope. The rocks are generally small in size
- talus generally has bigger rocks and the can be loose or not
- boulder fields have rocks that are more stable.
Some characteristics of alpine plants:
- low growing
- big flowers
- mat forming
- fuzzy leaves
- most are woody plants
- are adapted to harsh conditions such low temperatures, dryness, ultraviolet radiation, and a short growing season.
- most have a large, well-developed root and/or rhizome system.
Some interesting Alpine and Rock Gardens:
Davies Alpine House – Kew Gardens
Denver Botanical Garden Alpine Rock Garden – the best in North America
Betty Ford Alpine Garden – the highest elevation alpine garden in the world (Colorado)
Patrick Seymour Alpine Garden – University of Alberta
Urban Beekeeping (September 20, 2018)
Rob Callahan started urban beekeeping about five years ago and he shared his knowledge with the members of the club. He addressed the following topics:
The hive structure (as illustrated below)
Illustration from Trunch Beekeeping
The life cycle of bees (as illustrated below)
Illustration from The Terroir of Honey
Worker Bees live for 40-45 days and work from the day they hatch
- Day 1-2 - they clean cells and help keep the brood warm
- Day 3-11 - they act as nurse bees feeding the old and young bees and larvae
- Day 12-17 - they produce wax, build comb, carry food and clean the hive of dead bees
- Day 18-21 - they protect the hive from intruders
- Day 22 until they die - they collect pollen to feed larvae and gather nectar and water to make honey and of course pollinate flowers while doing this.
Check for the following:
- Excess wax
- Queen cells – remove them to prevent additional queens
- Diseases – preventative maintenance
- Quantity of activity – add box if he are overcrowded
- Replace or repair any parts as needed
Using Native Plants and Grasses (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)
Vertical Horticulture (June 20, 2019)
Traditional farming will always be with us, but alternative agricultural practices can alleviate the limits of conventional farming methods. Affinor Growers have developed patented agricultural technology and proprietary cultivation systems for vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture. Their technology is significantly more efficient in terms of usage of space and reliance on water than conventional agriculture. Such vertical farming systems also enable products to be grown in soils without the use of pesticides, and free from chemical contaminates.