March 19th, 2018 – Zac Kregosky: ‘Xeriscape’

As our summers get hotter and water resources lessen, it will be even more important that we make the right decisions in our gardens. A garden should provide as much enjoyment as possible, while impacting our environment as little as possible. A great garden starts in the soil, and if done right, it should require little care.

Attendees will learn about plant physiology and how it relates to making waterwise choices. The next important consideration is site exposure; choosing the right plant for the right location is key to creating a thriving garden. We will examine types of plants and specific plants ideal for xeriscape gardening. I firmly believe in and practice being a lazy gardener.

Bio:
My passion for plants started while pursuing a degree in Biology with a focus on plant sciences. A horticulture program at Malaspina solidified my desire to work with plants. I started my career at the Art Knapp location in Vernon, becoming the nursery manager. I continued this vocation at the local Art Knapp. For the last 3.5 years I have been running my own gardening business.

February 19th, 2018 – Chanchal Cabrera: “Ethnobotany of Tribal People in Southern India”

At the southern tip of the Nilgiri Mountain range in Southern western India, where the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka meet, where the misty mountains run down to the steamy jungle, there is a rich abundance of flora and fauna. Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve, this area is home to numerous distinct tribal groups who still harvest wild herbs for medicine and who still practice some of the old ways of healing. 

 In 2011 Chanchal spent a month acting as staff botanist for a documentary film crew as they recorded these ancient ways and vanishing medicines. This illustrated talk will discuss 5 different tribal groups, their clothes, and customs, their traditional medicines and healing ways, and the challenges these people face in the modern world. Showcasing the beauty and the magic of India, temples and palaces, mountains and valleys, and highlighting unusual or useful plants, many of them unknown in western herbal medicinal practice. 

Biographical Information:

Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) since 1987. Awarded Fellowship 2009
MSc in herbal medicine at the University of Wales in 2003
Faculty chair in Botanical Medicine at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster  2004 – 2016
Diplomas in Botanic Garden Management and in Botanic Garden Education from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 
Certified Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) practitioner
Certified Master Gardener 
Certified Horticulture Therapist
 
Chanchal lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she and her husband run Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden, a 7 acre registered botanic garden specializing in food and medicine plants, and run apprenticeschips in organic gardening and herbal medicine. They also host Gardens without Borders, a federally registered not-for-profit society established to run therapy garden programs for people with disabilities.

January 15, 2018: Carolyn Herriot “Natural Pest & Disease Control in the garden”

Carolyn Herriot – Natural Pest & Disease Control in the garden.

  • Getting your garden into balance with nature means you spend more time enjoying the garden and less time fighting problems. In this talk Carolyn looks at the role of soil, insects and wildlife in maintaining a healthy garden.

Carolyn Herriot ran The Garden Path Centre in Victoria for 25 years. She is a passionate gardener and cook, who encourages others to grow food and save seeds. She is a well known lecturer, and the author of ‘A Year on the Garden Path- A 52 week Organic Gardening Guide’ and ‘The Zero-Mile Diet’(Harbour Publishing) 

Zac Kregosky – Xeriscaping

On Monday, September 18 we welcome Zac Kregosky of Plants I Dig Landscaping and Consulting. Zac will talk about xeriscaping, the art of creating gardens and landscaping to minimize water use and maximize water efficiency. Xeri is the Greek word for dry.  It’s many benefits include reduced water use-by over 50%, depending on the design and plants used; saving time- less watering, trimming, weeding and mowing; saving money- less chemicals, fertilizer and replacement of dead plants. Plants whose natural requirements are appropriate to the local climate are emphasized, and care is taken to avoid losing water to evaporation and run-off.

If you want your garden to give you maximum enjoyment and value for your expenditure of time and money, xeriscaping is the answer! Garden with the natural environmental conditions we live in rather than fighting against them. What a timely topic for the Comox Valley!

April 24, 2017: Lynda Smith “Lawn to Food”

The Comox Valley Horticultural Society welcomes Lynda Smith who has transformed her quarter acre suburban lot at 1483 Hillside Avenue in Comox into year round food production. She helps people take responsibility for their own health and food security by planting vegetable gardens, fruit shrubs and trees.

Lynda competed on Chopped Canada last year, spreading her passionate “transform lawn to food production” message. She owns Urban Farm Stand which is stocked daily with seasonal produce from their organic gardens, baked goods, local free range eggs, bedding plants and artwork. She also builds new gardens and provides seasonal maintenance for vegetable plots in Comox and Courtenay. If you aspire to have a few veggie pots on the patio, or grow a self-sufficient food supply, she can help you reach your goals through inspiration and/or perspiration. You too can live in a vibrant environment with nutritious food a few steps from your door. Her website at www.lawntofood.com is filled with food adventures, recipes and enthusiasm.

This April 24 meeting is also our very popular Members Plant Sale, so don’t miss this opportunity to find some new plant treasures at very reasonable prices. Membership offers many benefits for only $20 (family couple $30). Further details can be found under the Membership tab above.  Doors at the Courtenay Filberg open early at 6:30 pm for this meeting only. The meeting starts promptly at 7:30 pm.

March 20, 2017: Lynda Smith “Gardening with Kids”

Speaker Change for the CVHS General Meeting – Monday, March 20, 2017
 
Unfortunately, our scheduled Guest Speaker, Chanchal Cabrera has become ill after a very long trip back from the UK.  Therefore, she will be unable to speak on the topic of Shinrin Yoku as planned.  Chanchal has provided us with a recorded talk on Shinrin Yoku that she did a few weeks ago (alas, without the pictures).  You can find that talk (and other topics that may be of interest) that presented at The Plant Medicine Summit at https://shiftnetwork.infusionsoft.com/go/pmd17a16677/a16677
 
Using her magical powers, our Program Chair has waved her wand and has already scheduled another Guest Speaker for Monday night.  Lynda Smith will be speaking about “Gardening with Kids.”  For those of you that have children or grandchildren that you would like to get involved the garden and the hobby of gardening, this topic is going to be of great interest to you. 
 
We start at the usual time on Monday night – doors open at 6:45pm.  And don’t forget it is our “Spring a Friend” meeting where all guests get into the meeting for free and are eligible to win a free 2017 CVHS membership (up to a $30 value)!

February 20, 2017: Donna Balzar “No Space? No Problem!”


6:45 p.m.       Doors open
7:30 p.m.       Announcements
~ 7:45 p.m.    Guest Speaker presentation
~ 9:00 p.m.    Meeting wraps up after Question period with our Guest Speaker


Our very special guest speaker Monday Feb. 20 features Donna Balzer, award winning HGTV host of Bugs & Blooms, a regular CBC radio guest in Alberta and a home gardener who says she makes mistakes so you don’t have to. Donna will speak to us on maximizing space in smaller gardens, by creatively cultivating  in vertical gardens. You can grow more food more efficiently, and multiply your yields faster than breeding bunnies! Donna is also the co-author of the popular, NO GUFF Vegetable Gardening,  with Steven Biggs. Their “she-says, he- says” banter shows there is more than one way to slice a tomato and turns growing gardens into a really fun process. Their gardening journey started out in Montreal, spending some quality time in Alberta and Qualicum Beach.  With Donna’s 30 years of horticultural experience, her tips,techniques and hand outs will make this evening a “can’t miss” event. Donna is currently writing the Gardener’s Gratitude Journal, and Under Cover:Grow Food Faster, and is a contributor to Groundbreaking Food Gardens by Nikki Jabbour. Donna will have copies of her book available for $25 cash, or $27 (including GST) if paying by credit card.

The doors at the Courtenay Filberg open at 6:45 pm, with our Guest Speaker starting around 7:45pm. Come early to fill out your $20 annual membership form (family $30) and join us to reap the many, many benefits of being a Comox Valley Horticultural Society member. Guests are welcome for a $5 charge.

January 16, 2017: Gordon Mackay, “Pruning Trees and Shrubs: the how, when and …WHY! “


6:30 p.m.    Doors open
7:30 p.m.    Announcements and Business
8:00 p.m.    Guest Speaker presentation
9:00 p.m.    Meeting wraps up after Guest Speaker question period


On Monday January 16, Comox Valley Horticultural Society welcomes Gordon Mackay, from Alba Plants in Cowichan Bay, with his very timely topic of Pruning Trees and Shrubs: the how, when and …WHY! Mackay will speak on pruning techniques, covering do’s and don’ts, with special reference to fruit trees, and summer and winter tasks. Gordon’s passion for all things green began in Glasgow, studying at the Threave School of Gardening, where he was mentored by Magnus Ramsay and achieved the top student award for plant identification. In 1994 he was invited to Vancouver Island to establish a specialty plant nursery, Alba Plants, and decided this was the place to be. He is a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture, and instructor at the Horticultural Centre for the Pacific in Victoria.

Our doors at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay open at 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17, 2016: AGM & Kem Luther – “What does it MEAN? mycorrhizas, mushrooms, and plants”


6:45 p.m.    Meet ‘n’ Greet
7:15 p.m.    Announcements, Business, Election of Officers – starting 15 min. early!
8:00 p.m.    Guest Speaker presentation
9:00 p.m.    Meeting wraps up after Guest Speaker question period


The Comox Valley Horticultural Society welcomes guest speaker Kem Luther to their October 17 Annual General meeting. The guest presentation will follow the AGM.

Kem Luther

In his recent book, Boundary Layer (Oregon State University Press, 2016), Kem Luther focuses on regions that lie between large, stable systems, showing how they develop their own rules and practice a logic that belongs to neither of the bounding systems. One of the in-between systems discussed in his book is the strange world of plant/fungal symbionts.

In this slide talk, Kem overviews the science of mycorrhizal mushrooms and explores how research on mycorrhizas could shift our understanding species and ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest.

Kem Luther grew up in the Nebraska Sandhills, studied at Cornell, the University of Chicago (PhD) and University of Toronto (MSc). He taught at Eastern Mennonite University; Sheridan College where he was dean of a joint program in Communication, Culture, and Information Technology with the University of Toronto; at York University; and the University of Toronto.

After living for several years on Ontario’s Grand River, the naturalist/writer moved to the southern tip of Vancouver Island in 2004. For the last two decades, Kem has focused on writing interpretive articles and books. He is the author of Cottonwood Roots, The Next Generation Gap, and Boundary Layer. (For more information about Kem Luther and his latest book, check out his website at http://stegnon.com.)

Copies of his books will be available for sale at the meeting.

The CVHS welcomes all those who are interested in gardening and the natural world, from beginners to master gardeners. Non-member fee is $5.

Boundary Layer - Kem Luther

Sept. 26, 2016: Gwen Odermatt – “The Secret Life of my Garden: Gardening to build habitat for beneficial wildlife”


6:45 p.m.    Meet ‘n’ Greet
7:30 p.m.    Announcements and Business
8:00 p.m.    Guest Speaker presentation
9:00 p.m.    Meeting wraps up after Guest Speaker question period


The Comox Valley Horticultural Society is pleased to welcome guest speaker Gwen Odermatt of Langley at their September 26 meeting. She will be speaking about attracting beneficial wildlife to the garden.

Gwen OdermattGwen is a passionate life-long gardener. Her keen interest in the harmony between plants, insects and the diversity of the natural world led her to obtain a degree in science at the University of Alberta. For the past twenty years she has operated “Petals and Butterflies”, a farm nursery that specializes in growing plants which attract butterflies and other wildlife into the garden.

Gwen is on the Selection Committee for Great Plant Picks and teaches the Advanced Master Gardener Right Plant/Right Place course. She is a member of the Vancouver’s Hardy Plant Group and a long-term member of the South Surrey Garden Club. Her own garden has been open to local, national and international tours.

Everyone who is interested in growing plants which will attract beneficial wildlife to their gardens are welcome to join the CVHS meeting on September 26.  Non-member fee is $5.