History of the Comox Valley Horticultural Society

By Leslie Cox, 2013

The first meeting of what was to become the Comox Valley Horticultural Society was held on April 12, 1978.

There were six people present: Lloyd Park, Verla Park, Jean Farquharson, John Dickenson, Harry Wright and Gwen Wright.

They met at the home of Harry and Gwen. Jean Farquharson opened the meeting with a discussion on how they should get established, whether they should be a part of the B.C. Nursery Trades Association or whether they should form their own club. All present agreed they should form their own club.

Lloyd Park then discussed his various experiences involving different clubs. One thing was always specialized, he noted. For example: guest speakers. Someone to speak on roses, fuchsias, begonias, landscaping and pruning.

One suggestion arose that received some attention: a Fall Fair pertaining to horticulture. It was to be held in September with vegetables and flowers only.

Lloyd Park said he would check into a location for this event, possibly the Curling Club or the Sports Arena. Another suggestion of interest to the fledging club on their first meeting was to enter a float in the July 1st Parade. The members also talked about promoting the [horticultural] trade by giving a trophy to someone with a nice garden, for fixing up their grounds, for [beautiful] flower beds or nice hanging baskets.

Further discussed was the improper landscaping practices around some of the local commercial buildings. The members present were hopeful if their group became large enough they would be able to apply pressure to the City and Town Councils to ensure that landscaping would be carried out as originally planned. Also noted was the practice of the City of Courtenay of purchasing shrubs from non-local nurseries without giving local nurseries a chance to place a bid on contracts.

As the meeting wound to a close, attending members were asked to give some consideration for a name for the new club and to also think of a dues structure which would be used for advertising and office expenses.

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

A second meeting was held on April 19th at the home of Lloyd and Verla Park.

People present at the meeting, included the Parks, Jean Farquharson, Jock Smith, Pam Dickenson,Louise (no last name),Hugh (no last name), Harry Wright and Gwen Wright. Jean Farquharson opened the meeting listing the “Aims” and “Purpose” (later changed to “Benefits”) of the club they were forming.


The Forming of a Garden Club: Part I


  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.


  • Organization able to advise Municipalities in creating Bylaws etc. to include levels of landscaping for new developments;
  • Organization to convince local authorities that local people in the industry have a first chance to give estimates for local jobs;
  • Bulk buying;
  • NOT a price fixing group.