VRGC doesn’t limit itself to monthly meetings and garden shows. Members also have opportunities to go on tours, visit member’s gardens and occasionally participate in workshops.
Maureen Thompson does a great job of organizing tours to places such as nurseries, greenhouses, arboretums and public gardens, usually guided by one of the professionals at the facility. These events, generally attended by about 20 members, are very informative and a great social outing, especially with the lunch that follows in a nearby restaurant.
In 2019, we toured the gardens at Royal Roads University with the head of the wetland garden as our guide. Other tours have included:
- a commercial greenhouse complex that grows roses for the florist market,
- Foxglove Nursery on Salt Spring Island,
- an orchid grower in Central Saanich,
- Abkhazi Gardens,
- and Dominion Brook Park and Arboretum,
to name a few.
Garden Tours and Pop-up Gardens:
Members open their gardens for their fellow members to enjoy in various ways. In the past, we have organized ‘tour days’ or ‘tour weekends,’ with a list of gardens for people to visit. This year we introduced ‘pop-up gardens,’ which can happen any time a member has something looking its best in their garden.
A member can offer a pop-up garden visit by contacting a member of the Executive. The word goes out for members to come by and enjoy the display. Because this does not involve the whole garden, the member does not have to have their entire garden looking perfect. This year we saw Elaine Yaxley’s roses blooming over her front fence, without even going into her yard.
In 2018, Ann Fox hosted 2 flower arranging workshops in her garden. Two were needed to accommodate all the members who signed up for them. A member of the Floral Arts Guild led the groups. Everyone had a great time and must have learned a lot because we noticed an increase in the number of decorative entries at our shows and mini-shows – a treat for everyone who saw them. We hope to organize more workshops in the near future.
An excerpt from Celebrating 70 Years
Compiled by Carole Carver
Co-President 2018 +2020
Past President 2019
Newsletter Editor 2011 – 2012
Carole has also volunteered in many situations. She often can be counted on to chair a Garden Show or host the Centerpiece workshop in advance of our Annual Awards Celebration & Christmas Social.
updated Jan. 13, 2020