BC Council of Garden Clubs Judging Manual

August 2017 Report – Judging Manuals

The list of BC Council of Garden Clubs accredited judges is available on request.  The list is sorted by geographic regions, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands; Okanagan and Lower Mainland.  If you have any questions please contact me at: 1vicepresident@bcgardenclubs.com

I’m accepting orders for the BCCGC Horticulture Judging and Exhibiting Standards Manual.  The cost is $25.00 plus Postage.  This manual is 355 pages which contains a booklet ‘A Guide to Organizing Flower Shows for Garden Clubs’ by Ruth McLeod as well as information on Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables.  It also contains an Appendix, Glossary and Index.  This manual is suitable for Clubs, Club members who want to place exhibits in shows as well as for Judges.  Please e-mail me with your mailing address so I can let you know how much the Postage will be and send me the Order Form’  

The new Floral Design Manual was completed in the Fall of 2017.  It is over 300 pages of information on different aspects of Floral Design and Design Styles.  The Floral Design Manual costs $40.00 plus postage.

There is currently a Horticulture Judges course ongoing on Vancouver Island.  Anyone interested in taking either a Horticulture or Floral Design Judges course in the future please contact me at: 1vicepresident@bcgardenclubs.com.  We will contact people on the list with more information and details as details become available.

Anyone wishing to have their name added to the Speakers List please click here to complete the application form on-line or e-mail me your contact information and I will get in touch with you.

Cindy Tataryn
First Vice President
Committee Chair

June 2017 Scholarship Report

The 2017 – 2018 Scholarship Trustees, Lorraine Shenker (Chair), Gillian Davis and Rudy Solar, are a trio of gardening enthusiasts, galvanized to address three objectives this year:

  • Liaise with the educational institutions receiving the annual scholarship funds to ensure they are selecting students meeting the criteria outlined in the Scholarship Trust Fund (STF)
  • Contact students who have received scholarship monies, obtaining feedback about their horticultural learning experience and career objectives
  • Where possible, attend BCCGC’s member club meetings to introduce ourselves and foster support through donations to the STF.

The STF is currently managed by Vancity Community Foundation (VCF).  The Trustees and the Council’s current president, Lorna Fraser, had a productive meeting with VCF management in April 2017 and were satisfied that the STF is being appropriately administered in a manner consistent with the funds objectives.  According to the mandate of VCF, the current investment is well sheltered and the management of the fund will be consistent regardless of the rotation of Trustee members.  More information about VCF is at: https://www.vancitycommunityfoundation.ca/ and for donation purposes to the STF see: https://www.vancitycommunityfoundation.ca/give/donor-advised-funds/bc-council-garden-clubs-scholarship-fund. I look forward to reporting to you on our progress and welcome any suggestions you may have including an invitation to one of your upcoming garden club meetings.  Please contact me at scholarship@bcgardenclubs.com

Lorraine Shenker,

Chairperson, Scholarship Trust Fund

2017 June President’s Message

President’s Message

If you had asked me ten years ago whether I was a gardener looking for a garden club, I would have laughed and said no on both counts.  Yet here I am, all these years later, looking forward to my two year term as the recently elected president of BCCGC and very honoured to be representing an organization with such a long and proud history.

What happened?

During the summers when I was growing up in Nova Scotia, my family would host a parade of visitors.  One of our favorite activities, besides going to the beach or eating lobster, was visiting historic homes.  Every community seemed to have some mansion open to the public – interesting homes with lovely grounds and wonderful gardens.  My love of sitting in or walking though gardens probably dates back to these nostalgic summer days spent in the company of friends and relatives.

While I became a great appreciator of gardens, my actual gardening knowledge was minimal.  And so it remained until a couple of months before graduating from high school when our daughter announced that she’d invited her friends to our garden to have their photos taken in their graduation finery.  “What garden?” queried my horrified husband.  Fortunately I had recently become friendly with a couple of women who happened to be amazing gardeners.  At my cry for help, they gamely donned their gloves, welded their shovels and pitchforks and, in the pouring rain, we dug up plants, split perennials and rearranged rocks and plants to create something quite lovely.  Laying down their tools at the end of the day they said to me: “You are on your own now.  We think you have the makings of a gardener –  you just need some confidence.  Join a garden club.”  Feeling some responsibility to keep this newly created garden alive for at least two months, I joined my local garden club (the South Surrey Garden Club) immediately.

I have never looked back.  I love being a member of a garden club.  I can participate in so many ways. My initial concern over my lack of gardening knowledge disappeared as other skills and knowledge assimilated during a lifetime of work took on new meaning when I was asked to use them in the organizing and operation of the club’s activities. I have learned so much by listening to knowledgeable speakers on a variety of garden related topics, from managing bee hives to learning about plants that attract bees, from soil composition to composting, from landscape design to heritage tomatoes, from rare plants in Bhutan to invasive plants in British Columbia.  I have visited and admired fellow club members’ gardens, participated in workshops and gone on gardening tours.  My garden has benefitted with the addition of unusual plants from plant sales. When things don’t look right, there is always someone to offer a piece of useful, practical advice.  While I may not always remember the name of plants in my garden, I am constantly reminded of and can tell you exactly who has given me the various cuttings that have transformed my garden over the years.  And the pleasure of eating a tomato from my own backyard can only be understood by a fellow vegetable gardener!

I have come to appreciate that it is very relaxing to come together for a few hours every now and then with a group of people who expect nothing more of me than to show an interest in gardening and chat or work with them on some aspect of it.  It gives me a sense of connection meeting with a group of people who have a common interest in something so fundamental to our wellbeing.  When I meet someone new to my community, I suggest they join a local garden club.  If I were to move, I would check the BC Council of Garden Clubs website and search for a member club near my new home.  I would go so far as to say that probably the best thing I’ve done for my health in the last few years was to join a garden club and become more active with gardening.

Over the next two years I intend to look for ways to promote the various member clubs that belong to the Council.  Please contact me at President@bcgardenclubs.com if your club would like to give a short presentation at our October 14, 2017 Council meeting.  I also welcome suggestions you may have as to how to promote BC’s many and varied garden clubs to the general public.  I am certain there are many people in BC who, like me ten years ago, have not yet realized they are gardeners looking for a garden club.  What a worthwhile pursuit it would be to inspire even a few of them to join their local gardening club!

Lorna Fraser,

Surrey, BC

Congratulations to our new Board Members!

At the March 25, 2017 Annual General Meeting, three new executive board members were elected.

Congratulations to the following on their election to the Council’s Executive Board:

Lorna Fraser – President (president@bcgardenclubs.com)

Dr.George Marien – Second Vice-President (2vicepresident@bcgardenclubs.com)

Melodie Anderson – Secretary (secretary@bcgardenclubs.com)

Elected to the Scholarship Trust Fund Committee was Gillian Davis; and appointed to the committee was Rudy Solar who will be completing the term of Dr. George Marien who stepped down from the committee to successfully run for Second Vice-President.  All members of the Scholarship Trust Fund Committee can be reached at scholarship@bcgardenclubs.com.

A big thank you goes to the former board members who served the Council so very ably.  Thanks go to Barbara Puchala who is now Past President (pastpresident@bcgardenclubs.com); Mas Tanizawa who served for the last 4 years as Second Vice-President, Margaret Spratt who was the Council’s secretary for the past two years.

Richard Zuk stepped down from the Scholarship Trust Fund Committee after serving six years.

Everyone deserves the Council’s thanks and appreciation for a job well done!




At the Fall Meeting the delegates received some Notice of Motions in their packages, and the subject was presented during the meeting as well as being sent out in the recent Bulletin Express.

There are basically two areas which the motions cover.

  • Scholarship Trust Fund Committee:  Over the last few years, there have been changes in the way this Committee operates and the Board felt it is time to bring our Constitution in line with the way the committee actually operates. Review the proposed amendment here.

Delegates at the 2017 AGM will be asked to discuss and vote on these amendments.  A two-thirds majority will be required to pass these amendments to the Council’s Constitution.

Please take some time to review these proposed amendments.  If you have any questions, please contact any member of the Executive Board, or send an email to president@bcgardenclubs.com.




Call for Nominations

We’re looking for a few good people . . .


The BC Council of Garden Clubs elects half of its Executive Board at each AGM.

This is an odd numbered year so the following positions are open:


Second Vice-President


And at each AGM a member of the Scholarship Trust Fund Committee is elected to a three year term so we also have this position available:

Scholarship Trust Fund Committee member

See a brief description of the duties for each of these positions here.

To submit a nominations for any of these positions, email nominations@bcgardenclubs.com.

You may nominate yourself or someone who is interested in serving of the Board.  Please include contact details so the Nominations Committee may be in contact to confirm the nominee’s willingness to serve.


Under the terms of the Constitution, the President is allowed to serve no more than two consecutive terms.  The current President will be completing her second term in March 2017.  A new President needs to be elected.

To review the duties and obligations of the President see the President’s Terms of Reference.


The Secretary’s term of office is 2 years.

To review the duties and obligations of the secretary see the  Secretary’s Terms of Reference

Second Vice-President

The Second Vice-President’s term of office is 2 years.

To review the duties and obligations of the Second Vice-President’s Terms of Reference.

Scholarship Trust Fund Committee Member

The term for a member of the Scholarship Trust Fund Committee is 3 years.  One member is elected each year.

To review the duties and obligations of the Scholarship Committee see the Scholarship Trust Fund Committee Terms of Reference.


It’s that time of year again!  Time for the Annual General Meeting of the BC Council of Garden Clubs.

We have a very full agenda – Board reports, Amendments to the Constitution, Elections for President, Second Vice-President, Secretary and Scholarship Committee as well as two great speakers.

Not to mention the great lunch buffet, the world famous door draws, cookie break and vendor tables.  And best of all, a great opportunity to meet with other gardeners.

Complete details and registration options are available here.

Guest Speakers:

We have invited Julia Common from Hives for Humanity back.  Every meeting survey we had since her first appearance has had requests for her return visit and we are so pleased that she has agreed to come back.  Be prepared for a very entertaining and interesting presentation from her.

We also have Tasha Murray from the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver giving us the lowdown on the Aliens Among Us.  Invasive plants are a growing problem and the topic has been on our requested list for some time.

This program promises to be a great one.


There are several amendments to the Constitution that will be presented for discussion and vote.  There are two areas of our Constitution that may be affected.

The first is the Quorum. This subject came up at the 2016 AGM and the Executive Board was asked to bring this amendment to the 2017 AGM for discussion and vote.  The notice regarding the Quorum can be found here.

These amendments are related to the Scholarship Trust Fund (STF) Committee.  There have been changes made to how we manage the Fund.  Several years ago we established a Fund with the VanCity Foundation and moved all funds there.  As a result, the STF no longer has a bank account, issues tax receipts and is no longer a charitable organization.  All these functions are carried out by the VanCity Foundation in accordance to Revenue Canada Guidelines.  The Constitution still contains sections related to the STF and need to be amended to accurately reflect the actual operation of the Committee and keep the Council and Committee in compliance with the Constitution. The Notice of Motions related to the Scholarship Trust Fund  can be found here.

Please read the Notice of Motions as presented at the Fall Meeting so you are fully informed.  There will be time for discussion prior to a vote.

2016 Fall Meeting Registration is Open!

Well, it’s that time of year again – time for the BC Council of Garden Clubs’ annual Fall Meeting!

Make sure you mark your calendar for Saturday, October 15, 2016 and get ready for another great day.

In additional to great speakers, there will be all the usual fun stuff – refreshment and muffins, buffet lunch, cookie break, vendor tables, and our world famous Door Draw!  And of course, an opportunity to meet gardening friends both old and new and a chance to compare notes with other garden clubs.

Early Bird registration ($35) is now open and will close on October 1st; after October 1st, the registration will be $40. So be sure to register early.

There are two ways to register:

  1. Download the registration form, complete it and mail it in with your cheque.  Please note that a receipt will not be issued due to the number of registrations received by mail, nor will you receive an acknowledgment of the receipt of your registration.
  2. Register online directly, pay by credit card and be instantly registered.  A receipt and acknowledgment will be automatically emailed to you.

Registration will be available at the door provided space is available.