With 2018 drawing to a close, the Sooke Garden Club celebrated the end of another successful year – its 47th.
On Nov. 28, the club held its annual meeting and election of directors for 2019. Prizes were handed out for the annual photo and potato contests, and the year’s winners of the major parlour show trophies were recognized. The evening wrapped up with conversation and camaraderie fueled by a wonderful (and plentiful!) array of refreshments.
Outgoing president Ron O’Brien highlighted the year’s many achievements, noting that the theme of “Bee-ing Friendly” not only guided the meetings’ educational presentations, but also provided a focus for external observations, activities and discussions throughout the year.
He pointed to the tours of members’ gardens and visits to Anne Boquist’s delightful fawn lily garden, Lois Blackmore’s impressive rhododendron garden, the gardens at Government House, and Salt Spring Island. He also cited October’s hands-on pruning workshop in the heritage orchard at the Sunriver Community Garden and members’ satisfaction with the new mentorship program, which was initiated at the start of the year.
As the Sooke area continues to grow in population, so, too, does the club. Newcomers from eastern parts of Canada and The Prairies are especially quick to discover that gardening on the Island is a whole new journey of discovery.
Fortunately, gardeners out here are both passionate and generous, and newbies can always find a gardener nearby who is happy to share some hard-learned lessons and buckets of ‘extra’ plants.
While most of us are taking a bit of a winter break (bit being the operative word here) from working in the garden, the new board is busy putting the finishing touches on the 2019 calendar of events.
With the year ahead promising to be just as informative and rewarding as this year, we encourage anyone with an interest in gardening to consider joining the Sooke Garden Club. There is no bad time to join, but the best time is at the January meeting. For only $15, members then get to enjoy a full year of excellent speakers, activities, contests, parlour shows, excursions, garden-related problem solving, and lots of fun.
From the Sooke Garden Club to you, happy holidays and happy gardening!
Loretta Fritz writes for the Sooke Garden Club.