Upcoming and ongoing events

Dear members:

In these topsy times, we trust everyone is well and spending good time in their gardens.

As we move from lockdown towards socially acceptable physical distancing, we have decided to continue to put Open Gardens on hold for June. In the meantime, 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 danacromie@gmail.com

Virtual Chelsea



Virtual Kew



The Gardener – A film about Frank Cabot at QuatreVents



Facebook only

Peter Korn – facebook.com/peter.korn.5

Tim Ingram – facebook.com/gillian.ingram.773

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 – https://www.greatdixtershop.co.uk/PBSCCatalog.asp?ItmID=31488019

The Garden Museum, London newsletter – https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/

Art of the Garden: Dan Pearson – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2w0HILcvLw

Dan Hinkley’s weekly at Heronswood – https://heronswoodgarden.org/video/

Ian Young’s Bulb Log, Scotland, weekly digest – http://www.srgc.org.uk/logs/

danger garden, a daily garden blog from Portland – http://www.thedangergarden.com/

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