2022 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 lizatvhpg@gmail.com 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 Talk 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 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.