The Sooke Garden Club marks its 45th anniversary next Wednesday.

Celebrating 45 years – and still growing

A special speaker will discuss the therapeutic aspects of gardening during the event.

Loretta Fritz


In 1971, a small group of gardeners and friends decided to establish a club for Sooke-area residents interested in various aspects of horticulture and gardening.

The idea was to create opportunities for learning, sharing, and socializing around this shared interest. The idea took hold, and at this month’s meeting the Sooke Garden Club will celebrate its 45th anniversary.

Club president Ron O’Brien is the featured speaker, and will be talking about the Therapeutic Aspects of Gardening.

Club members and guests will also be invited to share garden-related stories or anecdotes that illustrate how gardening, whatever the scale or scope, or simply being in a beautiful garden is truly “good medicine.”

O’Brien understands individuals’ need for therapeutic activity, whether that activity is self-generated or professionally structured. Before retiring to Sooke five years ago, O’Brien, who was born in Victoria and has lived most of his life on Vancouver Island, spent 40 years in the counselling field: mental health, addictions, and employee assistance.

He also spent 20 years in private practice, presenting workshops on such topics as the healing power of humour.

An avid gardener for more than 60 years, O’Brien insists he is still learning. He has a passion for photography, nature, and growing just about everything – flowers, vegetables, shrubs, trees and good soil.

Also on this month’s meeting agenda: judging for the photo contest; prizes for pumpkin/squash decorating and weight; door prizes; and the annual fall plant sale. A special social will follow the meeting.

The Sooke Garden Club encourages all members, past and present, and anyone interested in gardening to take part in its 45th anniversary celebration and see how it is “making the world a better place, one plant at a time.”

Please join us on Wednesday (Oct. 26), 7 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. New members are welcome.

If you have questions, please go online to the club website at or email


Loretta Fritz writes for the Sooke Garden Club.




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