Upcoming Speakers and Workshops

VHS and its sub-groups, the Hardy Plant Group and The Fruit & Vegetable group, are constantly working to develop the most topical educational sessions for our monthly meetings.

Check this page for updates throughout our busy year.

VHS members have exclusive access to Speaker Notes and Workshop follow-up information.

April 2023

Speaker: Jeff de Jong
Topic: Plant That Earn Their Keep

With so many choices of Plant Materials and the cost of plants increasing we can be overwhelmed by making good plant selections. Our love of flowers may be only one reason to add a plant to the garden or a container. Plants have many wonderful attributes that can keep the garden looking its best. Jeff de Jong explores how to make the garden dance with beauty by making use of all the thrilling plant parts. Good choices make great gardens.

April 2023

Workshop: Mike Rogers
Topic: Ornamental Grasses

Mike Rogers will present examples of some of his current most favourite acquisitions. A recent tour of the “ornamental grass” section of several local nurseries has turned up many wonderful varieties and cultivars of true grasses and some sedges. These, along with examples dug from his own garden, will be shared and used to whet the appetite of soon-to-be or already converted grass aficionados. The talk will conclude with a few tips on care, upkeep and division.

As a keen gardener, when Mike arrived in Victoria from Calgary a few years back, he felt like a kid in a candy shop and enjoys trying to grow anything that will survive in our balmy Westcoast climate.

May 2023

Speaker: Bernie Dinter:
Topic: Dwarf Conifer – A Journey into the Miniature

Dwarf conifers allow the creation of gardens that fit your actual space. Gardens are shrinking as modern residences are built on smaller lots. Many species that we know as large trees are available in dwarf forms with their hardiness, interesting colours, textures and range of shapes. All the major conifer genera will be reviewed to show what is available to create a beautiful, small-scale garden.

Bernie grew up on the campus of Shawnigan Lake School, where his father was gardener from 1952 to 1972. He graduated from Shawnigan Lake School in 1969 and in 1976 graduated from UBC with a degree in Plant Science.

Bernie’s father began Dinter’s Nursery in 1973 and Bernie has been directing and managing nursery operations since 1976. Bernie’s daughter Tamara is now general manager. The nursery has been supporting gardeners in the Cowichan Valley for 50 years and now attracts customers from all over Vancouver Island.

Bernie is a member of the ‘Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society’, Duncan Rotary Club and a member of the ‘BC Institute of Agrologists’.

June 2023

Bob DuncanSpeaker: Bob Duncan:
Topic: Growing Citrus & Subtropical Fruit Trees in South Coastal BC

This presentation will provide information on training systems, pruning techniques, variety selection and suitable sites to successfully grow citrus- lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, kumquats, yuzu, sudachi, sub-tropicals- avocado, pineapple guava (aka feijoa), pomegranates and loquats on the south coast of British Columbia.


  • over 50 years experience growing tree fruits on Vancouver Island near Sidney, British Columbia, Canada
  • operates a specialty plant nursery and demonstration orchard – Fruit Trees and More
  • demonstration orchard includes many varieties of tree fruits including a large selection of citrus
    and subtropicals
  • other types of fruit trees grown include apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines,
    cherries, quince, medlar, kiwis, pineapple guavas, figs, pomegranates, loquats, persimmons,
    olives, jujube, avocado, pawpaw, white sapote
  • orchard used as a teaching tool to demonstrate various training systems and cultural techniques
  • nursery, Fruit Trees and More, specializes in warm temperate, citrus, Mediterranean and hardy subtropical fruit trees
  • trained as a Botanist and Entomologist – worked for Canadian Forestry Service as an Entomologist for over 35 years.

Owner of Fruit Trees and More Nursery, together with wife, Verna.
Other Bio information on website https://www.fruittreesandmore.com