History of the CVHS

When plant enthusiasts gather there is a great sharing of knowledge, experience and goals. The CVHS was founded for these very reasons in the year 1978 by a group of individuals focused on the desire to network in their horticultural industry and promote local gardening interests…. 

The first meeting of what was to become the CVHS was held on April 12, 1978. There were six people present: Lloyd Park, Verla Park, Jean Farquharson, John Dickenson, Harry Wright and Gwen Wright. 

A few of the particular points of discussion were: 

  • whether they should be a part of the B.C. Nursery Trades Association, or form their own club
  • specialized horticultural Guest Speakers
  • a Fall Fair pertaining to horticulture, in September with vegetables and flowers only
  • enter a float in the July 1st Parade
  • promoting the horticultural trade by giving a trophy to someone with a nice garden, for fixing up their grounds, for beautiful flower beds or for nice hanging baskets.
  • improper landscaping practices around some of the local commercial buildings
  • work with City and Town Councils to ensure that landscaping would be installed as designed
  • ensure local nurseries had the opportunity to bid on municipal contracts 

And so ended the very first meeting of a new garden club.

Some details from the first year of the club…

Original Committee Chairs:  

President – Jean Farquharson
Secretary – Harry Wright
Treasurer – Lloyd Park
Membership Chair – Jock Smith

The original Aims of the club: 

(1) Organize the Garden industry;
(2) Create a vehicle through which we can promote general gardening interest on the Island;
(3) Create competition among home gardeners;
(4) Make Vancouver Island the Garden of Canada through creation of Flower Clubs, Vegetable Clubs, etc.

The Benefits of creating such a club:

• the ability to advise Municipalities in creating Bylaws and develop standards of landscaping for new developments;
• to convince authorities to allow local companies to bid first for local projects 
• Bulk buying, but NOT a price fixing group.

Items to be included in the first annual Fall Fair were:

• Fruits: apples, pears,peaches, grapes, plums;
• Vegetables: bean family, peas, corn, pumpkins, squash, carrots, cucumbers;
• Flowers: Dahlias,Mums, Gladiolas, Roses,Carnations, Fuchsias, Geraniums (likely zonal Geraniums or Pelargoniums), Sweet Peas, Mount Washington (Indian Paintbrush), Sweet Williams, Zinnias, violets, and any others in bloom. 

Membership Fees…  Business: $25.00, Couple’s Membership: $15.00, Individual: $10.00, Seniors & Youth: $2.00 

Possible names for the fledgling club. Names proposed were: 

  • Growth Galore
  • Gardens Galore
  • Upper Island Sow &Grow
  • Upper Island Earth Society

It was decided they would use the name “Horticulture Club” for the time being. It seems deciding on a name was tough!  

Classes of Entries for the first Horticultural Club Fall Fair:

  • Chrysanthemums and dahlias naturally each had their own division, as did Gladioli.
  • a Fall Flower Division for asters through to zinnias
  • a General Growing Division in which assorted plant species were grouped such as roses, calendulas and sweet peas.
  • Flower Arrangement Division with its “Nursery Rhyme” theme:
    • Ring Around a Rosie:mass arrangement
    • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star: vertical design in blue & gold
    • Rub a Dub Tub, Three Men in a Tub: composition using three blooms
    • Goldilocks, Goldilocks: arrangement of marigolds
    • See Saw Margery Daw: Siamese twin arrangement, one container higher than the other
    • Olde King Cole: design using a large flower & three smaller ones
    • A Tisket a Tasket: arrangement in any basket
    • There Was a Crooked Man: design using red flowers
    • Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush: composition using fall flowers & berries
    • Wynken, Blynken & Nod: composition incorporating driftwood
    • Nursery Rhymes: miniature composition depicting any nursery rhyme, not more than four inches all ways and must be titled.  

The information above was compiled by Leslie Cox, past President of the CVHS (2013).

To read the original history of the CVHS as compiled by Leslie Cox, President CVHS 2013...