SOOKE GARDEN CLUB: It’s a New Year – Here We Grow Again

Jeff de Jong aims to inspire at next meeting

Loretta Fritz | Contributed

When we moved from Saskatchewan to our rock-and-broom covered Otter Point property, we literally had to start from scratch in terms of gardening. A savvy neighbour offered two pieces of advice.

First, “Don’t worry, things will grow. What you have to learn is how to manage their growth.”

Second, “If you have $10 to spend, put $9 into the hole and $1 into the plant.”

While it also pays to know about the habits and food preferences of local fauna, “solid” plant choices for the area, and when to plant what, that initial neighbourly advice has proven indispensable.

Gardening is a learning process. We get better at it through reading, watching, listening, sharing, and, above all, doing.

In many ways, Vancouver Island provides the ideal classroom because we can work, putter and even plant outdoors nearly year-round. Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration and perhaps some courage.

Whether we are seasoned gardeners or novices, we get a fresh start on the West Coast much earlier than people in other parts of Canada. That’s why it’s important to get a peek at the year’s new plants and growing ideas as soon as possible. And that’s just what we’ll be doing at this month’s meeting of the Sooke Garden Club.

In his presentation Here We Grow Again, long-time gardener and horticulturist Jeff de Jong will reveal the most exciting new introductions of plants and seeds for flowers and vegetables. In his capacity as educator, garden designer and garden tour leader, he will also share some interesting observations and ideas from his travels that relate to our own gardens.

Jeff’s goal is to inspire everyone to jump with both feet into the new gardening season. “It’s an exciting time to be living and growing on Vancouver Island,” he points out. “Our mild wet winter has a number of plants leaping to start growing.”

If you want to be first to find out what the best things to happen in 2019 will be – at least from a gardening perspective – please join us for our first meeting of the calendar year on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m., St. Rose of Lima Church on Townsend Road. It’s membership renewal month ($15) and the perfect time for new members to join.

Questions? Visit our website at sookegardenclub.ca or email us at sookegc@gmail.com.