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 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 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 – 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