August 19th, 2019 – Margot Moser: Hellebores

Margot has loved plants and gardening for as long as she can remember. One early memory
involved her bringing a small bouquet of bluebells to her grandmother. After exclaiming how beautiful they were, her Grammy asked if she had picked them from the neighbour’s garden. ‘Oh, no!’ Margot lied. And thus began her life of crime – and gardening.


Since then, Margot has developed a passion for growing plants and creating gardens, first as a child and then as a homeowner. Along the way, she absorbed garden knowledge from multiple sources – from expert gardeners, taking gardening courses and reading as well as learning from
her mistakes.


After taking the Master Gardener Course 25 years ago, Margot was inspired by the Master Gardener manual to design a perpetual garden journal called “My Growing Gardenbook” which sold over 8,000 copies across Canada and the US in garden centres and gift shops.


Her preference for a natural-looking landscape has led to special interests in BC native plants, rhododendrons, ferns and hellebores. Margot’s presentation, “Heavenly Hellebores” was developed as much from hands-on experience as extensive reading.

Heavenly Hellebores (PowerPoint presentation by Margot Moser)

The “Heavenly Hellebores!!!” presentation provides a broad overview of everything relating to hellebores:
– History – hellebores were known and grown in Greek and Roman days, often used for medicinal purposes.
– Species – there are about 20 species of Helleborus many of which will be shown in the presentation but the emphasis will be on hybrids of Helleborus niger and H. hybridus.
– Propagation – the intricacies of cross-pollination in seed selection and tissue culture will be discussed, featuring new introductions by many of the top propagation specialists.
– Culture – details of how to grow, where to grow, where to purchase; pest control, etc.

Dozens of slides illustrate the diversity of species and hybrids now available for sale.


June 17, 2019 – Bob Duncan: “Growing Citrus & Sub-tropical Fruit Trees in South Coastal BC”

Bob Duncan, of Fruit Trees and More in North Saanich BC, will be speaking about growing subtropical fruits that normally could not thrive in this northern climate.

He uses microclimates, partial shelters, an unheated greenhouse, and chooses varieties best suited to the south coast BC climate. Mr. Duncan has 40 years’ experience growing fruit trees on Vancouver Island, and 35 years’ experience with the Canadian Forest Service. The trained botanist/entomologist, with wife Verna, cultivates a demonstration orchard and specialty nursery with over 400 varieties.

Specialties include: avocado, fig, jujube, kiwi, loquat, medlar, olive, passion fruit, pawpaw, persimmon, pineapple guava, pomegranate, quince, and white sapote. His orchard is a botanical classroom for teaching fruit cultivation techniques.

Check out this youtube link to an informative video by Bob Duncan!