Monday, December 5, 2016

No December Meeting!

Hello Grandview Gardeners,

We won't be having a meeting in December. But we're thinking that for next December we might want to organize a potluck supper for our regular holiday-season meeting night. (Seed-to-Sky does this and they also have a wreath- and garland-making workshop as a part of it.) It's too late to do this for this year, but let's keep it in mind for next year. Anyone want to take on the organizing tasks?

Our next regular meeting will be on Thursday, January 12th. The speaker is Janis Matson, horticulturist and landscaper, who will talk about the 25 top shrubs for Vancouver gardens.

I'll post another reminder in the week or so before the meeting date.

In the meantime, have a delightful holiday season.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

November Meeting

For our November meeting — Thursday, Nov 10th — our speaker will be Brent Burtenshaw, speaking about "Watering Systems for the Home Gardener", certainly a topic of interest to many of us.

Brent is the Service / Operational manager at Harris Irrigation.

He has been in the Irrigation Industry for 30 years, and his entire career has been with Harris Irrigation. He is familiar with all aspects of residential and commercial irrigation with a specialty in troubleshooting.

He will give us a basic run-down on landscape irrigation, along with answering any questions we may have that pertains to irrigation installation, maintenance, and specialized applications.

Materials used in his demonstration are being supplied by Vancouver Irrigation and Lighting Supply located at 1440 Venables.

Please do join us. We'll have door prizes and tea and goodies, and we always have a few master gardeners on hand to answer any miscellaneous gardening questions you might have.

Bone meal?

Q. Should I use bone meal when I am planting new purchases? ( Bulbs included)
A. No.
Bone meal is primarily made up of calcium and phosphorus, and quantities of both minerals are usually adequate in non-agricultural urban soils.
While both minerals are needed for plant growth, excessive amounts of these nutrients, particularly phosphorus, can interfere with plant growth.
Low levels of phosphorus in the soil stimulate plant root tips to secrete organic acids, which then attract mycorrhizal fungi. These fungi penetrate the roots and help the plant take up water and nutrients. Mycorrhizal fungi also help the plant to take up phosphorus from the soil.
Excess phosphorus inhibits the growth of these fungi. This, in turn, forces the plant to create an extensive root system to extract the nutrients and water it would have otherwise received via its association with mycorrhizal fungi.
While a more extensive root system sounds like a good thing, the plant is directing energy into roots that it could be directing toward other sorts of growth and production.

Monday, September 12, 2016

October 13th meeting

I have been sending out e-mail notices to people on our mailing list, but I dropped the ball about posting an announcement of our September meeting here on our website! I apologize, especially to Dana Crombie, our fine presenter, although there was a very good turnout for his talk on bulbs last week.

To make up for this lapse, here is an early description of our upcoming  October meeting. It sounds a bit out of the ordinary for our group, but should be interesting. Thanks to Ann Daskal for suggesting  and introducing Donna MacCrea.

Donna MacCrea, Master Gardener and Occupational Therapist, will talk about how to prevent common gardening injuries and how yoga has allowed her to continue to pursue her gardening passion despite injuries.
She will also show the evolution and
maintenance of her large garden to demonstrate how the practice of yoga and gardening are more closely linked than one realizes. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016


Tickets for the following tour may be sold out before our next Garden Club meeting, so here is the basic information for anyone who might want to spend a day in some lovely gardens:

The People, Plants and Places Tour is an intimate peek into Bowen Island's hidden homes and gardens.

Jack's garden

This biennial tour is held over the third weekend in July, and it welcomes over 1000 visitors to the island.

Hosted by the Bowen Island Museum & Archives, this sell-out event is a delightful way to explore Bowen Island.

Tickets: $25
(All proceeds from this fundraising event go to the Museum & Archives.)

More details are at

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July meeting, Thursday, July 14th, 7:00

Hi Gardeners,

Our next meeting is Thursday, July 14th.

GGC member Anne Worrall will give us a brief presentation on how to plant a tree to ensure that it survives and thrives.

Following Anne's presentation, Christine will show us some photos she took in the gardens that were on last month's 2016 East Van Garden Tour. We hope to have several of the gardeners from the Tour present as well, so please bring your comments and questions.
And if you didn't have a chance to go on the tour, you'll still get to appreciate some of the gardens — it'll be a sort of Virtual Tour.

As usual, we will meet in the "LRC" — the Britannia Learning Resources Centre, which is under the library. As you're walking toward the library, veer left, walk alongside it, and you'll come to a ramp entry to the LRC on your right. We start at 7:00 and end before 9:00.

Bring your gardening questions and concerns ... and your ideas for topics or speakers for upcoming meetings.

We always have tea and goodies and a few door prizes. Sometimes folks bring plants or seeds to give away.
Also, please bring specimens of what is looking particularly good in your garden on the day of the meeting.

See you July 14th!
This will be our last meeting until September.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Meeting June 9th! Hydrangeas!

Master Gardener Barry Roberts of Heritage Hydrangeas
"The Wonderful World of Hydrangeas"
Barry will talk to us about the many great qualities of these easy, reliable shrubs, and explain cultivation and pruning techniques. We hope he will also bring some interesting hydrangeas for sale.
His website is


Also, after seeing Barry's talk, you may be interested in visiting his hydrangeas:

As usual, we meet on the second Thursday of the month in the Learning Resources Centre at Britannia (under the Brit Library) at 7:00.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Next Meeting – Thursday, May 12th


Those who were at our July 2015 meeting will remember the short talk given by Dr. Veronica Wahl of UNIBUG. 
Veronica was so enthusiastic and her subject so interesting that we’ve invited her back to give us a more in-depth presentation.

UNIBUG (User Network for Insect Biology in the Urban Garden) is a Douglas College project that helps urban gardeners manage insect pests without using chemical pesticides. 

Read more about their project at

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Next GGC meeting, April 14th, Thursday

"Growing a City"
Vancouver gardens have come a long way in 100 years. Christine will take you from early struggles to beautify a slash-and-burn landscape, through the era of neat lawns dotted with a shrub or two, to the diverse gardens of today's Vancouver – as innovative, idiosyncratic, and inspired as their owners. 

Besides being our Grandview Garden Club leader, Christine Allen is a Vancouver writer and gardener.
In 1993 she gave up her career as a college instructor to move with her husband to a 9-acre farm in south Langley. During the following 14 years they raised sheep and chickens, and Christine developed a garden of old-fashioned roses, vines, and perennials. By 2006, when they sold the farm, Christine's rose collection had grown to 175 different antique varieties.
In 2010, after three years in Australia, the couple returned to Vancouver where Christine is now developing a new garden on their small city lot in Grandview.
Christine is a Life Member of the Master Gardeners' Association of B.C. She was president of The Vancouver Rose Society in 1996–1998 and of South Surrey Garden Club in 2005–2006. Until she left for Australia, she was a member of the Great Plant Picks Program, run by the Elisabeth C. Miller Garden in Seattle.
Christine has taught in the VanDusen Education program, and spoken to many garden clubs in B.C. and Washington. She wrote regularly for GardenWise magazine until its demise in 2013 and for other gardening publications in both Canada and the U.S. She is the author of several books including Roses for the Pacific Northwest and Gardens of Vancouver. Her most recent book is A Year at Killara Farm, a memoir of her experiences on the Langley farm.

We meet in the Learning Resources Centre (under the Britannia Library), at 7:00, on the second Thursday of the month.
Susan Lockhart, one of our members, had a brilliant idea: that we who are starting seeds, and who have too many seedlings of one kind or another (how many zucchini plants do you really need?), should bring their extras to our April meeting to share or trade with other folks in the community.

You could also bring any extra seeds you have that you won't be needing yourself. Please put them in envelopes or packets and label them.

Three Other Very Important Things!

  • RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP FOR 2016! If you haven't done so yet, now's the time to renew your membership! Bring your $20 and renew! If you don't renew, but want to come to a meeting, you'll need to pay a $4 drop in. If you come to more than five meetings over the year, the $20 membership is well worth the cost! Don't forget, with a membership, you get discounts at GardenWorks, Figaro's, and Magnet Hardware (for garden-related purchases). Plus you help us to stay solvent and to pay honoraria to our guest speakers.

    Bring a sample of something from your garden that looks just fabulous on the day of the meeting.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Vancouver Tree Week Film Screening "The Man Who Planted Trees" Monday, April 4th, 7:00 pm

FREE Vancouver Tree Week Film Screening
"The Man Who Planted Trees"
Monday, April 4th, 7:00 pm
Britannia Community Centre, Canucks Family Education Centre (CFEC), 1655 William (Above the Eastside Family Place)


Watch the beautiful 1987 Oscar-winning animated short film, “The Man Who Planted Trees,” written by Jean Giono after WWII, tells story of one shepherd's long and successful singlehanded effort to re-forest a desolate valley, presented by Vancouver Film School classical animation instructor Keith Blackmore.

Keith Blackmore, Vancouver Film School instructor & film historian will present the film and discuss how it relates to our own neighbourhood and personal initiatives. Since 1995 Keith Blackmore has been an instructor of Classical Animation, 3D Animation & VFX at the Vancouver Film School.  As a member of the SPARK CG Society and the Vancouver SIGGRAPH chapter he has been the Conference Chairman for several animation and VFX festivals in Vancouver. As an animation historian Keith has also been a guest lecturer at ECUAD, Science World, and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

Hear arborist David Tracey, executive director of Tree City, talk about our human relationship with trees. Our primate ancestors knew trees intimately as their homes, protectors, and providers. We climbed down to evolve as humans but in many ways we never left. Trees are still found at the heart of religion, myth, science, and story.

The Grandview Garden Club is sponsoring this screening in partnership with the Grandview Woodland Food Connection! It's part of Vancouver Tree Week. Please do come; it will be a really inspiring evening. The film itself is just over 30 minutes long.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Upcoming Events (March and early April 2016)

March 26–27, 10 am–4 pm
Vancouver Orchid Society Show and Sale
Floral Hall, VanDusen Botanical Garden
More information at:

April 2, 12–4 pm.
Alpine Garden Club Spring Show and Sale
Floral Hall, VanDusen Botanical Garden
Uncommon plants and seeds at amazing prices
More information at:

April 9, 10 am–4:30 pm
Vancouver Dahlia Society Tuber Sale
Floral Hall, VanDusen Botanical Garden
Admission by donation
More information at:

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Next Meeting Thurs March 10th – Growing Plants from Seed!

Our next Grandview Garden Club meeting is Thursday, March 10th, 7:00 (in the Learning Resources Centre, under the Britannia Library).

Our special speaker this month is Grandview Garden Club member, Mark Demers, a lifelong inspired amateur gardener. He considers himself more of a "plantsman" than a landscaper, and his particular passion is the soil. He will speak on growing plants from seed ... and he intends to talk about many different kinds of seeds and plants.

Mark's intention is to involve the whole group in the discussion about growing from seed so please bring questions and ideas to the meeting.

Hope to see you there!!

Three Other Very Important Things!


If you haven't done so yet, now's the time to renew your membership! Bring your $20 and renew! If you don't renew, but want to come to a few meetings, you'll need to pay a $4 drop in each time. If you come to more than five meetings over the year, the $20 membership is well worth the cost! Don't forget, with a membership, you also get discounts at garden shops, including GardenWorks and Figaro's, and for garden-related purchases at Magnet Hardware. Plus you help us to stay solvent and to pay honoraria to our guest speakers.


If you'd like to go on a special guided tour of the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, Janet will also have a sheet for people to sign up at the meeting and then she will let Bob and Hayne at Dr. SYS know how many are coming.

Tour of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Sunday, April 3, 10:00-11:30 a.m. — Please join Hayne Wai and Bob Wilmott who will provide us with an in-depth tour of the Dr. SYS Garden. They presented their PowerPoint on the Garden to our Grandview Garden Club last June, and we are pleased to follow up with a personal tour with them.

Regular tours at the Garden are about 45 minutes long but Hayne and Bob will spend extra time to introduce the Garden and discuss its maintenance and pruning to showcase its Ming Dynasty classical elegance. An optional dim sum lunch in Chinatown can be arranged afterwards for those who are interested.

We have been offered a special group rate of $10.50 adults, $9.50 seniors (regular admission is $12 and $10) with a minimum of 10 participants. Please also have a look at the Garden website for membership fees, benefits, programs and activities.


Bring a sample of something from your garden that looks just fabulous right now (in March!).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


At our February meeting, our entertaining and knowledgeable speaker Claude LeDoux mentioned the hanging basket workshops he will be giving in New Westminster this spring. He has now sent us the details (see below.) This looks like a great opportunity to learn from an expert at a very reasonable price, considering you walk away with a completed basket of your own.

Posted by Christine Allen

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Our February Meeting!

Thursday, February 11th, we will welcome the marvellous Claude LeDoux, Horticulture Manager for New Westminster Parks. In his talk, which he calls "Fifty Shades of Green", he will inspire and amuse us with his perspective on the unexpected pleasures of gardening!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Our January Meeting! First meeting of 2016!



For our first meeting of 2016, one of Grandview Garden Club's founding members, Tammyanne Matthew, will inspire us with a presentation, "Inspiration for Contemporary Urban Garden Design," showcasing some of the most Exciting Ideas, People, Plants and Gardens of the Modern World, this talk will be a sampling of new landscape architects, garden designers and their projects, new (successful) plant hybrids, current best practices for gardening in drought conditions, and innovative uses of materials and plants.

Tammyanne is a Vancouver-based landscape designer and the owner of Tammyanne ~ Specialty Garden Design & Collaboration. Her company specializes in innovative planting concepts, creating modern, ecologically functional landscapes and vibrant annual and bulb displays

Tammyanne's designs can be seen at some of the most prestigious homes and well-known restaurants throughout the Lower Mainland. She has designed and personally planted over 2000 containers for high-end commercial and residential clients, including Joe Fortes Restauarant's iconic rooftop patio. Her work has been featured in Grey MagazineWestern Living, and The Vancouver Sun. Tammyanne lives in Grandview with her two daughters, Anna and Sophia, Mister William the Boxer, Jane and Lucy the cats, assorted fish, honeybees and a baby parrot.