Study Weekend 2022

Hello Fellow Study Weekend Regional Partner Groups,

NPA is diligently working out details for our upcoming 2022 Hardy Plant Study Weekend event. I’ve attached our announcement, for your use. Please note we haven’t yet set costs, but have listed ‘estimated costs’.

NPA will issue this announcement to our members in our yearly mailed magazine, sent out in early January – so you are getting an early look!

The MAJOR change with past events is to hold all speaker presentations on one full day. This greatly reduces convention center fees, and thereby reduces the final event costs for attendees. Also, our Covid protocols might also shift with time, but we’ve noted they might change.

Please let me know if you have any questions,


Diane Dancer


Study Weekend 2022 Announcement

Upcoming and ongoing events

FALL STUDY DAY October 29, 2022

Saturday, October 29, 2022, 10:00 am – 3:45 pm

H.R.MacMillan Space Centre

1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver



$50 for members, $60 for non-members and all tickets at the door


To register please send either

1) an e-transfer to with YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND THE NAME(S) of registrants in the note section; we cannot contact you or register you without your email address and your name(s);

2) mail a cheque, payable to the ‘Vancouver Hardy Plant Group’, to Lindsay MacPherson, 11662 Carr Street, Maple Ridge, V2X 5M9. Cheques must be received by October 25.


Antony O’Rourke, English Heritage Down House, Head Gardener, Downe, England

“Charles Darwin – No Ordinary Life”

“The Living Landscape Laboratory at Down – How Darwin used his own back yard to test his groundbreaking theory of Evolution by means of Natural Selection 1842-1882”


Antony is a graduate of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. He has worked in numerous botanical gardens including the University of Bristol, Tresco Abbey in the Isles of Scilly and the Jerusalem Botanical gardens in Israel where he managed their centre for plant introduction and propagation. He ran his own very successful company in west London designing and maintaining high end gardens for a diverse client base. Now in his sixth year at Down, Antony is a passionate plants person and has amassed extensive knowledge in the cultivation and natural history of many plant groups. His particular passion is for carnivorous plants, orchids, tropical plants and hardy herbaceous plants. He is a passionate advocate of organic gardening and wildlife conservation. Says Antony, ‘I enjoy the challenge of presenting the gardens and landscape as the Darwins would have known it, from the ornamental beds through to the produce grown in the kitchen garden and of course bringing to life the narrative of the experimental Mr. Darwin at Down’


Riz Reyes, Assistant Director of Heronswood Garden, Kingston, WA

“Grow: Life Lessons from the Garden”

A young gardeners perspective in fine gardening and plant collecting. Join horticulturist and children’s book author, Riz Reyes, for a presentation that’s both informative and personal as he shares stories about extraordinary plants and introduces his new book “Grow: A family guide to plants and how to grow them”.


An early curiosity about fruits and flowers in his native Philippines developed into

award-winning garden/floral displays and recognition in the Pacific Northwest gardening

scene at an early age. Riz Reyes immersed himself in the remarkable diversity of plants that thrived in the maritime region and finds every opportunity to seek out and work with the most

uncommon selections in the trade and generously shares his knowledge and experience

with others.

He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. His own enterprise, RHR Horticulture, focuses on garden education/consulting and floral design.


Riz published his first children’s non-fiction book in March 2022 titled “Grow: A

family guide to plants and how to grow them”.


Gary Lewis, Owner of Phoenix Perennials, Richmond, BC

“The Complete Book of Groundcovers”


Gary will present to us the practical and environmental benefits of ground covers, strategies and opportunities for using ground covers, and ground covers in design from small to large gardens. It will include images from the book and likely additional images not included in the book from gardens and travels on at least four continents.


Gary Lewis has had a lifelong passion for plants. While completing a Masters of Science Degree in Botany, Gary became the owner of Phoenix Perennials on his 28th birthday. Since that time he has greatly expanded the business into a dynamic, award-winning, destination nursery for Western Canada with over 5000 different plants a year, many of which are grown at Phoenix Perennials from plant material sourced from around the world. In 2013 Phoenix Perennials launched mail order across Canada to bring their unique selection of plants to a broader audience.

Gary is a regular speaker at garden clubs and has appeared many times on radio and television. He has written for a variety of gardening magazines and in fall 2022 his encyclopedia, “The Complete Book of Ground Covers”, will be published by Timber Press. This compendium focuses on 4000 different ground covers for the temperate gardening world accompanied by 650 photos he took on travels around the world.

In 2013 Gary was selected as Communicator of the Year by the BC Landscape and Nursery Association and in 2017 was the recipient of the Retail Sales Award from the Perennial Plant Association.

Gary is an avid traveller and has led botanical and garden tours to Holland and Belgium, New Zealand, South Africa, and Western Australia with future trips planned to Ireland, France, and a return to South Africa.

 VHPG is adding a list of interesting websites,
videos, newletters, and instagram accounts on our website. Perhaps
this will give us a garden boost to where we can’t go in real life. If
you would like to add to this list, please send a note to

Virtual Chelsea


Virtual Kew


The Gardener – A film about Frank Cabot at QuatreVents


Facebook only

Peter Korn –

Tim Ingram –

On line zoom lectures from Xerces Society for Invertebrate conservation

Margaret Roach, A Way to Garden Website

Garden Masterclass with Annie Guilfoyle and Noel Kingsbury, Online Blog and Podcasts

Sarah Raven Website

Huw Richards Grow Foods Organically Utube channel

Great Dixter Zoom Lectures – next, May 9th –

The Garden Museum, London newsletter –

Art of the Garden: Dan Pearson –

Dan Hinkley’s weekly at Heronswood –

Ian Young’s Bulb Log, Scotland, weekly digest –

danger garden, a daily garden blog from Portland –

Instagram accounts worth following

John Grimshaw, Yorkshire Arboretum –  johnmgrimshaw

Fergus Garrett, Great Dixter head gardener – fergusmustafasabrigarrett
Aaron Bertelsen, Great Dixter veg gardener, kitchen and house manager – aaronbertelsenofficial
Great Dixter House and Gardens – greatdixterofficial

Tony Kirkham, Kew – kirkham_tony

Sue Wynn-Jones, Crug Farm Plants – suecrugfarmplants

James Hitchmough, University of Sheffield, Horticulture Ecology and Landscape Architecture – jameshitchmough
Nigel Dunnett, University of Sheffield, Planting Design and Urban Horticulture – nigel.dunnett

Jimi Blake, Huntingbrook Gardens, Ireland – jimiblake_huntingbrookgardens
Gravetye Manor, Gardens Team – thegravetyegardener
Beth Chatto’s Plants and Gardens – bethchattogardens

Panayoti Kelaidis, Denver Botanic Garden – panayotikelaidis

Sean Hogan, Cistus Nursery, Portland – _sean_hogan

Sue Milliken, Far Reaches, Washington – far_reaches_botanical-conserve

Amy Sanderson, Stellata Plants, Saanich – amysandersonflowers
Stellata Plants, Saanich – stellataplants

Liberto Dario, grower and tour guide, Greece – libertodario


Study Days and Open Gardens

**********MESSAGE FROM THE CO-CHAIRS**********

During these extraordinary times, we want our members to know that we are not able to continue to plan Study Days and Open Gardens so that we are prepared when the current safety measures are lifted. For now, we are cancelling our May tour to Surrey gardens, including ‘The Glades’, possibly to reschedule later in the year. We are cancelling Westside Evening Walk for June 11 and a proposed Arbutus Greenway Tour for Saturday September 12. Our Fall Study Day is Cancelled  for October 24.

SPRING STUDY DAY Saturday, February 29th 2020:

Spring Study Day

Saturday February 29th, 2020

10:00am – 3:45pm


To register for the Spring Study Day, please forward you cheque, payable to the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group, for $50 (members pre-paid), $60 (non-members and all tickets at the door), to Lindsay , 11662 Carr St, Maple Ridge, BC, V2X 5M9. If you are purchasing for others, please indicate their names and whether they are member or non-members. Cheques should be received by February 25th 2020, which will allow time for your name to be copied onto a name tag that you will collect and wear after signing in at the pre-paid table. This helps the committee with providing orderly access to the event. Cheques received after that date will be kept in the order they have been received and may or may not gain you entry to the event. You can send your cheques in anytime now.


Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum, Gardens and Horticultural Services Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, UK 

Following an apprenticeship in the forestry industry and 2 years as an arborist, in 1978 Tony started at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on the 3- year Diploma course, graduating in 1981 with honours. 

In his current role at Kew he is responsible for the management and curation of over 14,000 trees in the collections and curates and manages the hardy shrub and herbaceous collections as well. 

Since the great storm that depleted the tree collections in 1987, he has participated and led several plant collecting expeditions to Chile and the Far East of Asia, including China, Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea and the Russian Far East. He has also co-authored several books on his travels including: “Plants from the Edge of the World” for Timber Press and “Wilson’s China: A Century On”, which follows the travels of Ernest Wilson in Western China. 

In 2004 he completed the revision of the “Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers” with Timber Press and more recently has written “Essential Pruning Techniques” and in 2019 “The Haynes Workshop Manual of Trees” and “Remarkable Trees” for Thames Hudson. 

He has been featured on several tree-related TV programmes, including “A Year at Kew” and presented “The Trees That made Britain” for the BBC. More recently he featured with Dame Judi Dench in “My Passion for Trees”. He represents Kew as Vice-Chair on the RHS woody plant committee and the RHS awards committee, the scientific and education committee of the International Dendrology Society, Action Oak and is a trustee of the Yorkshire Arboretum, the Chelsea Physic Garden and TROBI, (Tree Register of the British Isles). He was made the Vice-President of the Arboricultural Society in 2019. Tony also lectures internationally and regularly writes articles and papers for publications.

In 2009 he was awarded the Associate of Honour for distinguished service to horticulture, the Victoria Medal of Honour in 2019 by the RHS, and was made an Honorary Lifetime Fellow of the Arboricultural Association in 2015.


Sean Hogan,

Cistus Nursery, Sauvie Island,

Portland, Oregon

Hailing originally from the Portland area, from the mid-80s to the mid-90s Sean was responsible for the South African, New Zealand, Australian, and New World Desert collections at UC Berkeley. He also curated the California Native Cultivar Garden at UC Berkeley Botanic Garden. 

The subsequent return to Portland was with the express purpose of establishing a design and nursery business, and in 1995 Cistus Design Nursery was opened on Sauvie Island in the Columbia River west of Portland. It quickly became a mecca for lovers of exciting newly discovered plants and cultivars. 

At the time, Sean was living in a somewhat neglected 1915 Craftsman style rental property in a Portland neighbourhood. The property eventually became a living experiment as new plant material which had previously been thought too tender for the local climate was incorporated into a strictly prosaic West Coast garden.  Within a few years the house and garden had been transformed into a lush oasis, stirring up interest among his neighbours and inspiring them to upgrade their own curbside appeal with exciting new plant choices.

Plantophiles of every ilk from near and far were astounded by the use of glossy palms, silver eucalyptus, blue yuccas, and other such exotica, happily thriving amidst native manzanitas and local staples like rhododendrons and azaleas. Sean’s ‘zonal denial’ was opening up exciting opportunities to both city gardeners and other nursery owners. Of course, this significantly contributed to the success of the nursery, which continues to be renowned both locally and internationally. 

In 2018 Sean sold his wonderfully transformed Portland home, and took up residence on the Cistus Nursery property. The business has continued to thrive and has become a ‘must visit’ destination for any plant lover living in, or visiting Portland. There is a healthy mail order business as well as the on-site shop and just browsing the array of desirable plants is a joy not to be missed. Sean is a highly respected personality among botanists and plant hunters near and far and is known for his affable nature and generosity. He is the author of numerous magazine articles and several books: 

Trees for all Seasons – Broad-leaved Evergreens for Temperate Climes Flora – A Gardener’s Encyclopedia Flora –The Gardener’s Bible 


SPRING STUDY DAY – Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Spring Study Day

Saturday, March 2, 2019

To register for the Spring Study Day, please forward you cheque, payable to the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group, for $45 (members pre‐paid), $50 (non‐members and all tickets at the door), to Lindsay Macpherson, 11662 Carr St, Maple Ridge, BC, V2X 5M9. If you are purchasing for others, please indicate their names and whether they are member or non‐members. Cheques should be received by February 22, 2019, which will allow time for your name to be copied onto a name tag that you will collect and wear after signing in at the pre‐paid table, thus helping the committee in providing orderly access to the event. Cheques received after that date will be kept in the order they have been received and may or may not gain you entry to the event.


10:00 – 10:10 Vancouver Hardy Plant Group notices and introduction

10:10 – 11:10 Panayoti Kelaidis – 40 Years at Denver Botanic Gardens

11:10 – 11:35 Complimentary coffee – you are encouraged to bring your own cup

11:35 – 12:35 John Anderson – Plant Hunting in Cultivation

12:45 – 1:30 Lunch – please bring your own

1:30 – 1:40 Door prizes and settling down

1:40 – 2:40 Panayoti Kelaidis – Genus: Iris

2:40 – 3:40 John Anderson – Gardens I Have Managed

3:45 Conclusion

John Anderson, Keeper of the Gardens, Windsor Great Park, UK

John Anderson began his garden training at the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, Dublin and went on to study at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. His first appointment as Head Gardener was at the famous Mt. Usher Gardens in Co. Wicklow, where he was also curator of the National Collection of Eucryphia, Eucalyptus and Nothofagus. Subsequently he undertook an appointment with the National Trust for Scotland in Inverewe, and then in 2006 moved to Exbury in southern England, home of the Rothschilds, located among 200 acres of woodland gardens along the coast of Hampshire. At each of these later gardens he was responsible for curating National Collections of various species of interest in our area.

John remained at Exbury for ten years before moving on to an even more prestigious appointment in 2016.  As the fourth Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park, he is responsible for the Savill Garden, Valley Gardens, and Her Majesty’s Private Garden at Frogmore.

In addition to his work at Windsor Great Park, John is also Vice-Chairman of the RHS Plant Committee and an RHS Judge.

 john anderson



Panayoti Kelaidis, Senior Curator & Director of Outreach,

Denver Botanic Gardens, CO, USA


Panayoti Kelaidis represents Denver Botanic Gardens in educational, professional, and promotional endeavors in his role as an expert in horticulture, science, and art. A past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS) and the American Penstemon Society, he is the recipient of the Award of Excellence from National Garden Clubs and the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal from Swarthmore College.

Panayoti’s association with the Denver Botanic Gardens spans almost 40 years, but he was already an enthusiastic gardener at age 8.  Much of his life has been spent exploring alpine trees, ferns, cacti, bulbs, and xeric plants both in the US and more exotic locations. He also co-authored the first comparative study of the steppe climate regions of North and South America, Africa and Central Asia, and has recently returned from a tour of the plant-rich high elevation areas of China.

  panayoti kelaidis

FALL STUDY DAY – Saturday October 27th, 2018

FALL STUDY DAY – Saturday October 27th, 2018

Time: 10:00am – 3:30pm

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre,

1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver

To register for the Spring Study Day, please forward your cheque, payable to the Vancouver Hardy Plant Group, for $45 (members pre-paid), $50 (non-members and all tickets at the door), to Lindsay Macpherson, 11662 Carr St., Maple Ridge, BC, V2X 5M9. If you are purchasing for others, please indicate their names and whether they are members or non-members. Cheques should be received by October 19, 2018, which will allow time for your name to be copied onto a name tag that you will collect and wear after signing in at the pre-paid table, thus helping the committee in providing orderly access to the event. Cheques received after that date will be kept in the order they have been received and may or may not gain you entry to the event.


Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson Gardens, England

Matthew will give two talks – “Making a Garden” and “Star Plants for Small Gardens”

Matthew Wilson
Matthew Wilson


Matthew Wilson is an award-winning garden and landscape designer, writer, radio and television broadcaster and lecturer.  He has been a regular participant on Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio 4 since 2009.  Matthew is a regular contributor to The Financial Times and often writes on horticultural topics for the paper’s House and Home section. He also writes extensively for other gardening publications including BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, The Garden, Gardens Illustrated and more.

In 2012 Matthew was named as Journalist of the Year by the Garden Media Guild for his writing in the Financial Times.




Richie Steffen

Director and Curator,
Elizabeth Miller Garden, WA

Richie will give us a new talk – “Gardening in Dry Shade”

Richie Steffen
Richie Steffen


A well-known personality on the Pacific Northwest horticulture scene, Richie joined the Miller Garden in 2000, bringing with him a variety of horticultural expertise. After moving from Maryland to Seattle in 1989, he worked at Sky Nursery in Shoreline, as propagator/nursery manager for the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and as a part-time instructor for the horticulture program at Edmonds Community College. He currently serves as a board member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation and the Hardy Fern Foundation (past president).

Richie is co-author of “Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns” published by Timber Press in 2015.



Ernie & Marietta O’Byrne,

Northwest Garden Nursery, Eugene, OR

Ernie and Marietta’s talk will be based on their book “A Tapestry Garden”

tapestry garden
The Tapestry Garden – Marietta and Ernie O’Byrne


Ernie and Marietta are the co-owners of Northwest Garden Nursery in Eugene, Oregon. Formerly a retail nursery specializing in unusual plants, it is now a wholesale nursery specializing in their creation the “Winter Jewels” series of hellebores.

Marietta and Ernie’s garden, situated on one and a half acres, is filled with an incredible array of plants from around the world. By consciously leveraging the garden’s many microclimates, they have created a stunning patchwork of exuberant plants that is widely considered one of America’s most outstanding private gardens. In A Tapestry Garden, the O’Byrne’s share their deep knowledge of plants and essential garden advice.