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.

Tuesday March 5, 2024

Speaker: Jeff de Jong
Topic: The Garden in a Changing World

There is no denying that our World is in transition and so is our home gardens. A warming climate is changing the way we garden. The Pacific Northwest always had its own unique situations with our weather patterns and climate. Are you ready to explore and even embrace changes? Jeff de Jong will be delving into the possibilities of how our gardens can remain our place of pleasure. It’s the perfect time for making choices to keep your garden beautiful. Sometimes small actions are a big deal.


Jeff de Jong works as a Instructor at UVIC in Continued Education. He developed a Course on Landscape Design with the University which was focused on the home gardener. Along with teaching he can be found speaking for various Garden Groups around BC.

In July, Jeffry will be leading a Botanic Watercolour Course for the renowned MISSA 24. The International Summer School of the Arts.

He continues to find his home garden in Port Angeles a thing of JOY. The garden which is now 7 years old is home to a rain garden, veggies, greenhouse and hundreds of plants celebrating the PNW.

Tuesday March 5, 2024

Workshop: Victoria Floral Artists Guild
Topic: Linda will present a demonstration of Asian Inspired Design and Susanne will present a demonstration of Dutch Lush design.

Tuesday April 2, 2024

Speaker: Angela Hoy
Topic: The Complete Guide to Home Composting

Bio: Angela has had a lifelong love of gardening. She became a Master Composter in the UK in 2012 and ever since has enlightened the gardening public about the joys and benefits of home composting. Since arriving in Canada in September 2017, she has volunteered at Riley Park Community Garden where she was instrumental in setting up the present compost system. In 2020 she took the Vancouver Master Gardener Course, and organizes MG Clinics at the Riley Park Farmers Market. She has also recently taken the Master Recycler course and is currently accruing volunteer hours to achieve certification.

Tuesday April 2, 2024

Workshop: VIRAGS – Vancouver Island Rock &  Alpine Garden Society
Topic: TBA

Tuesday May 7, 2024

Speaker: TBA
Topic: TBA

Workshop: Victoria Rhododendron Society
Topic: TBA

Tuesday October 1, 2024

Speaker: Gordon MacKay
Topic: Fruit Tree Pruning in the Small Backyard Orchard

‘Flush cuts, compartmentalization of decay, UFO, bevel cuts, slender spindle..: what the heck does it all mean…..?’
Pruning is a part of successful fruit production in the orchard. This talk will discuss strategies to utilize pruning techniques as one method to improve fruit production and ultimately tree health and longevity. Summer pruning versus winter pruning, tree training, rootstock selection, young tree versus mature tree and various methods to grow your trees e.g. slender spindle, espalier etc. will all be covered. Some discussion on potential pest and disease issues will also be included. This presentation will focus on apple and pear production.

Bio: Gordon grew up in the city of Glasgow, often called the ‘dear green place’. Inspired by his father at an early age to pursue horticulture, he was fortunate enough to be able to follow in his footsteps completed the 2 year Diploma program at Threave School of Gardening in southwest Scotland. It was at Threave that his love and deep appreciation for all things plant related was fully realised. Working under the head gardener and plantsman, Magnus Ramsay, it was soon apparent that pruning trees and shrubs was going to be play a large part of this obsession. Further training was sought in the 3 year Diploma program at Pershore College of Horticulture in England. Since immigrating to Canada in 1994, Gordon has developed and established his own arboriculture business specialising in fruit tree pruning and tree care. He works part-time at a local retail garden centre; this somewhat helps to satisfy his plant obsession! Along with being an instructor at the Pacific Horticulture College, he is also an avid beekeeper.