With spring soon to be upon us, the Williams Lake Garden Club is ready to plant the seeds for another successful season with a variety of meetings, workshops and garden tours.
Past president Leanne McKerlich and publicity director Carol Thiessen are excited by what the club has planned for this year and were eager to share. Both have been members of the club for some years now and avid gardeners for even longer.
McKerlich joined the club back when she moved to the lakcity from the coast as it is totally different growing a garden here than it was “in the tropics” of the Lower Mainland. She said it’s been a very helpful commitment as every year she finds she’s learned something new.
“I think some people might think the garden club is for expert gardeners, but it’s not at all,” McKerlich said. “We have a full range of beginners through to people who know all the Latin names for everything.”
Thiessen is another coast transplant who has found the welcoming and patient people in the club wonderful to be around. Even with years of experience, she too finds she’ll always learn something new each year and discovers new techniques she’d like to try.
Despite the fact they meet at the Seniors Activity Centre each month and have a largely senior based demographic, McKerlich said she wants it to be known the club is not just for elderly or retiree gardeners. Everyone, regardless of age or experience, is welcome and encouraged to join the club. In fact, the club’s co-chairs this year are a young couple, Rob and Christine Lyons, who have brought some great energy and ideas to the group.
This year the fee to register for the year is $20 per person and $30 per family, or $5 to drop into one of the events. The club meets on the first Thursday of each month at the Seniors Activity Centre from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
In addition to their usual meetings, members of the garden club can often be seen throughout the community working on church gardens, community gardens and public flowerbeds. They’ll also take part in community events such as Seedy Saturday like they are this year Thiessen said. They’ll be setting up a table with whatever plants they’ve produced and will be answering questions for those who may wish to develop their green thumb.
This year the club will also host its very popular and bi-annual Garden and Art Tour, though the details of that event are still being ironed out.
The current schedule for the Williams Lake Garden Club’s other 2020 activities are as follows:
March 5: Membership renewal followed by guest speakers Rob Borsato of Mackin Creek Farms. Borsato’s talk is titled Growing Plants from Seed – Seed Exchange.
April 2: The guest speaker will be Frank Wijma of Frank’s Plants and Produce out of Horsefly. Wijma’s topic will be Greenhouse Gardening.
May 7: Fraser Valley native Joyce Wihnan will be speaking about growing dahlias.
June 4: Jean Atkinson of Richbar Nursery, Quesnel will be the guest speaker discussing the topic of New Annuals, Perennials and Shrubs for the Cariboo.
June 10: A day trip to Richbar Nursery with attendees carpooling from the Seniors Activity Centre.
June 25: A day trip to Sandy McNie’s garden out in Horsefly, carpooling from Seniors Activity Centre.
July 11: City Garden Tour, which will take the place of the club’s regular meeting.
August 6: Potluck in a Garden, courtesy of Maureen Byman who has invited the club to her property on West Fraser Road. All attendees are asked to bring a dish of food, their own plates and cutlery and a chair. Carpooling will once more be done from the Seniors Activity Centre and this event will replace the regular meeting.
Sept 3: Guest speaker Sharon Rosk of Horsefly will be discussing Growing Peonies and Cut Flowers.
Oct 1: The club will host its AGM with guest speaker Tom Salley of Mackin Creek, Growing Applies in the Cariboo. Salley will be providing samples of the various apples he grows.