Saturday, December 27, 2014

First meeting of the New Year, January 8th, Thursday!

Our first meeting of the new year is quite early in the month, January 8th. We now meet on the second Thursday of every month, 7:00 p.m., at the hall formerly known as Astorino's, 1739 Venables St.
Featured speaker this month is Master Gardener and expert pruner, Mary Dunn, on Spring Pruning of Trees and Shrubs!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Next meeting, Wednesday, November 19th, 7:00, Astorino's Hall...

This is a reminder that we will be having a GGC meeting on Wednesday.

Our speaker will be one of our Garden Club members, Dana Cromie. His presentation is entitled "High Maintenance: The Training, the Joy, and the Lessons of a Plantaholic"...

Dana is a lifelong artist and gardener. He is currently a Friend of the UBC Botanical Garden, where he is head of the volunteer garden guides and assists in the buying of plants for the Shop in the Garden. He was Artist-in-Residence at the UBC Botanical Garden for 2012–2014, and during that time had a 3-month solo exhibit at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Dana's botanical drawings and watercolours were included in the group show Growing in Sight at Emily Carr University in July 2014.

Also, this will be our last meeting for 2014. We won't have a December meeting (too close to Xmas).
So we would really like folks to renew their membership for the 2015 year at our November meeting, if at all possible. Your $20 yearly membership fee helps us to pay for excellent speakers and gets you entry to all our GGC meetings and events through the year and a discount at Figaro's, Magnet, and other garden supply stores in town.

Meetings for 2015! Second Thursdays!

The hall at Astorino's isn't available for us on our proposed days for 2015 ... 
So please note that, starting in January, meetings will be on the second Thursday of each month! (Not Wednesdays as before...) 

You could write the 2015 GGC meetings into your calendar right now!
If you are a Garden Club member, we will remind you by e-mail as well, and let you know about topics and speakers, but here are the dates:

January 8
February 12
March 12
April 9
May 14
June 11
And note that the East Vancouver Garden Tour is on June 21!
July 9
August 13
Sept 10
Oct 8
Nov 12
Dec 10 (if we do decide to have a December meeting next year...)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mason Bees

At our meeting this week, there was some discussion about mason bees and wasps that prey on them. Member Chris Chow has sent along the following two links related to our discussion, as well as a couple of photos from her garden, one showing her bee condo, and the other a mason bee alighting on a daffodil.

Mason bees:

The wasp problem:

Posted by Christine Allen

Friday, October 17, 2014

Honey Bees in East Vancouver!

If you would like to host honey bees in your own garden (or would like to buy local honey or find out more about beekeeping), one of our new Garden Club members, Kathy Lau, has sent along this "Six Legs Good" link.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Here is a short list of invasive plants that we do not want you to sell at the Oct 15th GGC Plant Sale!
Bishop's Weed, Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria)
Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum)
Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
Euphorbia species (except blue/white variegated ones)
Houttuynia cordata
Wild Violet (Viola papilionacea)
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Plant & Seed Sale, Wednesday, Oct 15th

Hi Grandview Garden Club people,

For our October meeting, instead of a special speaker, we will be having a Plant & Seed Sale, 7:00-9:00, Wednesday, Oct 15th, Astorino’s.

All club members are invited to sell plants and/or seeds.

Please let us know if you want to sell. 

If you sell, you are welcome to keep your profits or we would really appreciate it if you were to donate your profits or a portion of them to the Grandview Garden Club.

We won’t be charging our usual $4 meeting drop-in fee that night. Anyone can come.


* Do not bring any invasive plants to sell!

* Make sure your pots are clean.
* Label everything you want to sell. 

* Price things yourself. 

* Bring some plastic shopping bags for people to take their plants home in.

* Be prepared to take home anything you bring that doesn't sell!

Thanks very much, and we’ll see you on Wednesday, Oct 15th!

PS – To hear the latest Grandview Garden Club news, please enter your e-mail address on the right-hand side of this page where it says “Follow Grandview Garden Club” … You will be notified of new posts right away.

Penny Street

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Upcoming events

Saturday, September 20, 12 noon - 4 p.m: Fall Plant Sale, Alpine Garden Club of BC. Floral Hall at VanDusen Botanical Garden, 37th and Oak St. Free entry. Details at

Sunday, September 21, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Tree talk on Paulownia tomentosa, the Empress tree. Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park, Columbia St. entrance. Details at

Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Spring Bulb and Organic Soil Sale, VanDusen Botanical Garden, 37th and Oak St., $5 per 20 litre bag. Details and pre-orders at

Wednesday, October 15, 7 p.m. Next meeting: Grandview Garden Club. Members' sale of plants and seeds. Details to follow. Watch this space.

Sunday, October 26, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mushroom Show. Displays, speakers, advice. Floral Hall, VanDusen Botanical Garden. Tickets $3 at the door. Details at

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Next Meeting, Sept 17th, Wednesday, 7:00

Our next meeting will be Wednesday, Sept 17th, at Astorino's Hall (Britannia), on the corner of Commercial and Venables.

Our guest speaker, Douglas Justice, Associate Director UBC Botanical Garden, will talk about “Trees of Vancouver”. Douglas will introduce UBC's new app for identifying trees around Vancouver and will answer your questions about suitable trees for East Vancouver city lots.

He's knowledgeable about all sorts of trees but has a particular expertise in maples.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 17th Meeting Highlights

Gailene Powell's gardening tips:

  • Put tomato cages around peonies when they are leafing out. The cages will support the blooms but be hidden by the mature foliage.
  • If you cut peonies for the house, stand the vase in water in the sink overnight to get rid of ants.
  • Sprinkle coffee grounds on your garden beds to deter cats
  • If you are planting bamboo, buy 80 mil bamboo rhizome barrier material to install around the roots so that the bamboo doesn't spread further than you want.
Michael Kluckner's advice on vegetables:

• You can continue to plant lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss chard until early August and count on getting the plants established before winter. All of them, even including the lettuce if it is mulched for protection, will make it through the winter and give fresh spring greens next March/April, well before any new plants can grow.

• Try planting peas again – my Spring pea crop planted in April has been fried by the hot sun and needs to be clipped off and cleared away. However, leave the old pea roots in the ground as they will continue to fix nitrogen into the soil.

• August is the time for constant harvesting of beans, broccoli, arugula and lettuce. Keep clipping them and eating or freezing them, as the plants will try to set seed and then die if you don't.

• Onions will bulb up above the ground and look ready for harvest. Make sure you harden them off (as you would do with garlic) by laying the plants out somewhere exposed to sun but protected from rain and dew until the vegetation dries off. They will then keep for a much longer time in a cool dry place like a basement.

• If you still have potatoes in the ground, harvest them and put them in cardboard boxes in the coolest, darkest place you can find. Don't wash them before putting them away or do anything to disturb their skins.

• Try to water only the soil, not the plant leaves, and try not to leave dampness on the leaves overnight. August is the season where the dew begins to fall and mildew can become a problem, especially on tomatoes.

• Harvest basil before the end of August and either dry it (hang the plant upside down in a warm place) or process it with a little garlic and oil into a "pre-pesto" paste for freezing.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Soil Available!

I have about 1~1 1/4 cubic yards of nice clean 80 % top soil/ 20% dirt mix in a trailer parked on Venables.  
Rocks are less than about 2” and the only “weeds” are some crocus bulbs. It has been amended with some  compost as well.

If any of your garden club wants it, they can help themselves. I can also deliver the whole load and shovel it off for $25 — an $80 value from any retail landscape supplier. The proviso is that I need to have it gone by Saturday noon!

I will put it on Craigslist tomorrow but I thought I would give you and your Garden Club first crack at it.

Tak Uyede
1803 Venables Street
Vancouver, B.C. V5L 2H6
Home: 604 253 9689
Cell: 604 209 4730            

Monday, July 14, 2014

Terrific Meeting This Wednesday!

Hi Grandview Garden Club people!

Please join us for this month's meeting, July 16th (this Wednesday), at Astorino's Hall (corner of Commercial Drive and Venables), 7:00.
Our SURPRISE speaker's topic will be "Growing Vegetables and Putting Food By"... It should be lots of fun and very informative. 
Bring your friends and neighbours! $20 for yearly membership and $4 for a drop-in.
We'd love to see you there!


This is such a good summer for vegetable gardening! Here's a shot from the back lane of a spectacularly productive Kitchener St. garden... Once the corn and beans are tall, they protect the shade-loving lettuce from the hot sun.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 18th Meeting: Derry Walsh on Fruit Trees and Mason Bees

Last night's meeting saw Derry field an array of questions on both topics. For those who missed her presentation, her website at has lots of information, including how to contact her if you have further questions or want to buy an apple tree of your own.
Highlights of her talk included:

  • Most Vancouver nurseries selling apple trees are selling plants left over from orchards in the Okanagan. These are not good varieties for our coastal conditions.  Two that are good choices for Vancouver are the Dutch varieties 'Belle de Boskoop' and 'Goudrenet'.
  • It's not a good idea to buy a plant grafted with several different varieties of apple. Within a few years all but the strongest variety will have died or become weak and unproductive.
  • In a small space, espaliers or cordons are good methods of training trees on dwarf rootstock.
  • Apple trees need one or sometimes two other trees that bloom at the same time as pollenizers. These don't have to be in your own yard, but can be anywhere within a block of you. Crabapples are excellent pollenizers. For an ornamental one with no fruit, Derry recommends 'Snowdrift'. For good fruit, she prefers 'Dolgo'. Bees prefer white-flowered varieties over all others.
  • Mason bees prefer wooden bee boxes or Kraft paper straws in a container over the commercial plastic boxes.
  • Mason bees lay female cells at the back of the nesting tube, male offspring at the front (because the males are expendable if any damage occurs)
  • If you see the rear end of a bee when you look into a nesting tube, it's a male; if you see the face of the bee, it's a female.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Next Meeting, Wednesday, June 18th, 7:00, Astorino's!

Our speaker for our June meeting is Derry Walsh, who will speak to us on “Fruit Trees and Mason Bees.” Derry holds a B.Sc in Botany and Zoology from UBC and a Diploma in Adult Education, and is a Life Member of the Master Gardeners’ Association  of BC.

She took the MG program in 1984 when it was being run by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. When VanDusen Botanical Garden took over the program in 1985, she became the program coordinator and ran it for the first five years (1986–1990).

In 1990, with her husband, Bill Chase, who was retiring from the UBC Dept of Medicine, she bought a farm in Aldergrove, five acres of pasture with a creek running through it. They planted 3/4 acre in fruit trees, mostly apple trees, and filled the rest of the land with llamas.
During the next twenty-four years, Derry learned a lot about fruit trees, met many fantastic people, and propagated some very old apple trees, including stock from Cougar Annie's garden north of Tofino, Derby Reach near Langley, and Glen Eagles Golf Course in West Van. She also brought back into circulation some apple varieties that were grown successfully by the pioneers in south coastal B.C. prior to 1950.

Derry is a riveting speaker, legendary for her vast knowledge of many aspects of gardening, particularly fruit trees suitable for growing in our climate. If you have ever considered growing your own fruit, you won’t want to miss her presentation. Bring your questions on this subject, or on beneficial insects, especially mason bees as pollinators, or on any related subject.

See you there!

Monday, May 26, 2014

GardenWorks Discount for Members.

Grandview Garden Club members can now receive a 10% discount on purchases at GardenWorks stores on production of a valid membership card. You will be asked to register your name and telephone number on your first visit. On future visits you will need to produce your card and also confirm your phone number.

It is worth noting that their Lougheed Highway location (the one closest to Grandview) has had an outbreak of European fire ants, a very aggressive, stinging ant. Although the nursery is dealing with the problem, it is best to take precautions by sinking any plants you buy in a bucket of water for 24 hours. Any ants that float to the top should be collected in a baggie and frozen for 24 hours before being disposed of in a sealed bag in the garbage.

Because this ant has been discovered in several locations around Vancouver recently, this is a sensible routine to follow on any plant purchases this season.

Posted by Christine Allen

Friday, May 23, 2014

Members sharing with Members

Hay there.

I was just given a bale of hay - WAY more than I can use! so I am looking to see if anyone might be interested in having some. I just used a small bit of it in my pathways. 
Folks could just help themselves from my spot - Salsbury and Adanac. 

Free Chips (wood, that is.)

Can you forward to the group that I have some free wood chips available (for paths, mulch etc). 

There is a big pile in the driveway of 1513 Salsbury (btw Gravely and Grant) and anyone is free to come and grab as much as they like. (note that there is some cedar in there that some folks react to)


Upcoming Events

May 24: 11:30am -1:00 pm. A View Within a View: Garden Expressions, Exchanges & Explorations. Free lecture at UBC with guest speakers from Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Japanese Garden.  Details here.

May 31 - June 1
: North Shore Art in the Garden Tour. More information and tickets here.

June 1st: Vancouver Heritage Foundation Heritage House Tour. Some of the houses have lovely gardens. A highlight is Casa Mia, the former Reifel family mansion on Southwest Marine Drive. More information here.

June 15: East Van Garden Tour. Our own annual neighbourhood event, this year featuring Strathcona gardens. If you haven't already bought your ticket, go here for information.

Posted by Christine Allen

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Next Meeting, May 21st

Please join us for the second meeting of the Grandview Garden Club, this coming Wednesday, May 21st, 7:00 at Astorino's Hall (now run by Britannia Centre) at the corner of Venables and Commercial Drive. Our guest speaker for the evening is Pat Logie, who will talk about container gardening and hanging baskets. As part of her talk, she will demonstrate the construction of a hanging basket and one lucky person in the audience will be able to take the demo basket home!
Paul Kjekstad will also be providing us with a few Gardening Tips for the month of May!
If you have any questions, let us know.
Penny Street

Monday, May 5, 2014

East Vancouver Garden Tour — Father's Day!

Take your Dad on Tour! On Sunday, June 15th, visit a dozen or so private gardens as well as several public spaces that have been "greened" by East Vancouver residents. This year’s self-guided tour will take you into some of the most creative gardens in the Strathcona neighbourhood of East Vancouver. Once you arrive at the starting place for the tour, you will likely be able to walk the entire route. Tickets are $12 per person. Register early, as the tour is very popular and tickets are limited. Purchase tickets in advance at Figaro's Garden (cash only) or register in advance after May 6th through Britannia Centre, in person at 1661 Napier Street, online at, or by phone at 604-718-5800.On the day of the tour, you pick up your map at Tour Headquarters at Figaro's Garden, 1896 Victoria Drive, and then head over to Strathcona.The tour is jointly sponsored by Britannia Neighbours, Britannia Centre, and Figaro's Garden Centre.Note that most gardens are not wheelchair-accessible, children must be 12 years or older or babes in arms, and pets are not allowed.For more information, visit the Garden Tour website at

Monday, April 28, 2014

Carpentry Sheds for sale

It's shed time again!The ACSS ACE-IT Carpentry Apprenticeship students are finishing up the construction of 6' x 8' garden sheds and they are for sale for $850.00 –our cost of materials.This price includes delivery and setup as well, so it's a nice and easy thing for you!Delivery can be arranged for the 2nd and 3rd week of June.Take a look at the attached photo to show you the details as follows:(attached photo is a slightly smaller shed at 4' x 8', everything else being equal)Comes with a framed floorSolid 2 x 4 constructionReal plywood sheathing – no cheap substitutesLarge double doors: 4' wide x 6'-6" highMay be placed against a house/wallFeel free to pay us a visit in room 166 and see them for yourself, or forward this email on to anyone else you might know that would appreciate this offer.Thanks for your support,Andy Gaumont

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gardening Tips for April & May

  • If you are adding peat moss to your acid-loving plants, soak it with warm water first. Otherwise it has a tendency to remain dry and unabsorbent. An easy method is to empty the peat moss into a wheelbarrow or bucket and pour the warm water over it until it is damp. Mix it well into the top few inches of soil so that it doesn't have the chance to dry out again.
  • It is time to plant peas and beans, spinach and lettuce. Choose a shady spot for the last two: otherwise, if we get a warm spell, they'll go to seed very quickly.
  • Do you have a shrub that hasn't leafed out yet? Not sure if it died over the winter? With your fingernail, scratch down the side of a stem. If you see green tissue underneath, that stem is still alive; if it looks hard and brown, it's dead.
  • Have you forgotten the name of a plant in your garden? Or seen one in someone else's garden that you'd like to get for your own? Take a photo on your smartphone or netbook, and bring it to the next meeting. One of our experts will help to identify it for you.
  • The annual Plant Sale at VanDusen Botanical Garden is on Sunday, April 27, 10:00 - 4:00. This is a great chance to find all kinds of plants, common or unusual, at very good prices, including the Melliodendron tree that Egan Davis spoke so enthusiastically about at our last meeting. If you are on a tight budget, there are always great bargains in the Pot Luck section. Take a cart, tray or box (your blue box works well) to carry your purchases.
  • As a bonus, entry to the Garden is free on that day. Park your purchases in the Plant Hold Area and take a stroll through one of Vancouver's most beautiful gardens before you leave.
- Christine Allen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Garden Club members get 10% discount at Figaro's Garden Centre and Magnet Hardware on the Drive

Wonderful news! If you are a member of the Grandview Garden Club and show your card at either Figaro's or Magnet Hardware, you will get a discount on your gardening supplies.
Magnet will give you a 10% discount on everything garden related except for Sea Soil, which they already sell at their cost as a loss leader.
Figaro's will give you a 10% discount on everything except seeds.
It's lovely that the garden-supply places in Grandview are supporting our gardening efforts!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fantastic First Meeting!

Hi Grandview Gardeners!
We had our first-ever meeting tonight and it was a grand success! Sixty or seventy people were there to hear our guest speaker Egan Davis give us some good ideas about how to tackle seemingly impossible tasks in the garden. Everyone enjoyed it immensely.
Our next meeting is Wednesday, May 21st, also at Astorino's Hall (on the corner of Venables and Commercial). Everyone is welcome, of course. Membership for the year is $20 or you can pay $4 per meeting if you prefer to drop in occasionally.
We welcome suggestions of topics or interesting speakers.
Penny Street

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Our Second Meeting! Wednesday, May 21st!


The featured speaker for our May 21st meeting will be Pat Logie, who will talk about preparing and planting containers and hanging baskets. Pat will also demonstrate how to plant a moss basket — which one lucky member will take home at the end of the evening! 

Pat Logie is a member of the Great Plant Picks Perennials Committee and a former president of South Surrey Garden Club. Pat was raised on the prairies and moved to the west coast in 1965. In 1985, after raising her family, she decided to pursue horticulture, and obtained a certificate in Basic Horticulture from Douglas College in Langley a year before it became Kwantlen College. After working in garden centres for two years, she started her own greenhouse growing operation in Richmond. She grew mostly annuals & some perennials for a variety of Garden Centres in the Vancouver area, and created containers and hanging baskets for businesses such as Steveston Landing and Morgan Creek Golf Course. In 1994, she moved to an acre of property in South Surrey and continued to grow for contracts until 2007, when she retired to concentrate on her own garden. She still grows annuals and baskets in her Victorian-style greenhouse, both for her own enjoyment and for the South Surrey Garden Club's annual sale.

Friday, March 14, 2014

This just in! Special Speaker for our inaugural meeting, Egan Davis!

Please join us for the first-ever monthly meeting of our brand-new

Grandview Garden Club
(northwest corner Commercial Drive)
on Wednesday, April 16th
7:00–9:00 p.m.
Britannia’s Astorino’s Hall
1739 Venables

Special Speaker — Egan Davis!
Brilliant, entertaining, award-winning gardener and UBC horticulture instructor whose diverse background includes garden design, landscape construction, botanical garden operations and greenhouse and nursery production.
Questions & Answers!

Note: May meeting will be May 21st ...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Brand new garden club for East Vancouver!

Nine of us met today to agree on some important first steps to get our new Grandview Garden Club up and running.
Our first official/public Grandview Garden Club meeting will be on April 16th, Wednesday, at Astorino's Hall (1739 Venables, at Commercial Drive).
We talked about lining up good speakers for our first couple of meetings.
We're working on a logo and a brochure and posters to promote our inaugural meeting.
We agreed that annual dues for a calendar year will be $20.
Christine has agreed to act as Chair and Program Coordinator for the first year. Paul will be Secretary. Penny will do the website and e-mail communication. And Jill will be club Treasurer. We will open a separate account at either CCEC or Vancity to keep Grandview Garden Club finances separate from those of Britannia Neighbours.
A few of us will be staffing the information table at the neighbourhood rummage sale at Astorino's on Saturday, March 15th.
Our second public meeting will be on May 21st, also as Astorino's. We have Astorino's reserved for the third Wednesday of every month from now until December. (The only problem will be that at some point Britannia will lose its access to the Astorino's building, but until that happens....)
Do watch this site for announcements about Grandview Garden Club and to find out about special speakers for our upcoming meetings.
In the meantime, Happy Gardening!! And we hope to see lots of people at our first meeting on April 16th!