Garden Club celebrating 25th Anniversary

Colleen Clifford

Gabriola Garden Club

Tuesday, May 17 2016

In 1991, a dedicated group of Gabriola gardeners gathered together to establish the Gabriola Garden Club (GCC) with the following aims: to educate members; to share garden expertise and ideas; and to enjoy social sharing of gardens. Twenty-three people attended the first meeting of the Gabriola Garden Club on November 7, 1991. Peter Lissack led the meeting and was elected the club’s first president. 

Since that time the GCC has met regularly at the Agi Hall on the first Thursday of each month from September to June inclusive. In 2014, the executive made the decision to move the meetings to the Rollo Centre. Membership has fluctuated over the years, but currently stands at 164. 

The Gabriola Garden Club is very active. Members volunteer to open their gardens to other members during the summer months to share knowledge and experience. At the monthly meetings members are introduced to new plants, garden equipment, relevant books and magazines, “What to do in the Garden,” and guest speakers. Special projects have included planting daffodils along the roadways of Gabriola in 1993, and assisting with the native plant garden at the Gabriola Museum. In May, members participate in an annual plant exchange, and in June there is the annual broom-busting campaign. 

This year is the 25th anniversary of the Garden Club and the current membership has planned the following to celebrate this momentous occasion: 

“Grow and Show” Garden Show on Sunday, July 24, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at the Rollo Centre. This event is a free, non-judged celebration of gardening, and gardeners of all ages are encouraged to show off their green thumbs. There will be many different classes of displays: planting in an old boot; arrangements - seashore, monochromatic, Oriental style, summer glory; miniature in a teacup; succulents; flowering branch, tree or shrub; “3 of a kind” flower or vegetable in vase or on a plate. Anything that grows is welcome. 

The 25th Anniversary Celebration is on Friday, October 28, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Community Hall. This will be a trip down memory lane with displays of Garden Club events over the years, refreshments, finger foods and draws for several door prizes. We are very excited that Des Kennedy has agreed to be guest speaker for the evening. Des is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and environmental activist. He has been a columnist for The Globe and Mail and CBC Television, and is an accomplished author. His most recent publication, Heart and Soil: The Revolutionary Good of Gardens, was released in 2014. Two of his books were shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. He lives and gardens on Denman Island. Tickets for this celebration will be available at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, May 21; at the Grow and Show event on Sunday July 24; and at the Gabriola Theatre Festival’s Street Fair on August 21. Tickets are selling fast and are expected to sell out quickly.