Coming Events

Upcoming MARS Events:

MARS March Meeting

Panel of Experts:  Plant Culture Round Table

This is your chance to get answers to your thorniest gardening questions!  Our experts will answer questions from the MARS audience on plant, and especially rhododendron, culture in an informal presentation.

While any question can be put forward, the following topics will be suggested to get discussion rolling!

  • What general garden activities are recommended in March/April: Fertilizing, pruning, etc.
  • What rhododendron care is needed through the spring?
  • Anticipating again a summer drought, what garden watering systems and procedures are needed?

We look forward to a lively discussion!

Our panel of experts:

Linda Derkach is a long-time member of MARS, a past President and current newsletter editor.  She is President of the American Rhododendron Society, and very active in the Master Gardeners Association of BC as well as many other garden clubs, including a recent enthusiasm for alpine and rock gardening, and a devotion to bringing native plants back to our gardens.  She is a passionate gardener and has collected many plants and been fortunate to have visited wonderful gardens in her travels. 

Dr. Glen Jamieson has been growing both temperate and tropical (vireyas) rhododendrons in Parksville for almost 30 years, has been president of MARS four times, is the current Director of ARS District 1 (BC), has been the editor of the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society (JARS) for the past 13 years, created and is the editor of Rhododendrons International, and received the ARS Gold Medal in 2020. Along with other Nanaimo and MARS members, he has organized both “Fall in Gardening” and ARS Fall Conferences, and regularly speaks to chapters on his exploratory travels, rhododendron biology and other aspects of gardening.

In 1985 Rosemary Prufer completed the Horticulture program at B.C.I.T. in Burnaby with the desire to work with trees and shrubs in wholesale production. Her first job was in a nursery in Maple Ridge producing over 600 varieties of rhododendrons for customers. It was there that Rosemary honed her skills propagating cuttings and grafting maples and conifers. Staying with small companies, she has enjoyed learning all aspects of growing including pruning, potting, weeding and shipping. She is always keen to share her knowledge and humour with anyone who is interested in the growing world.

Location: Qualicum Beach Civic Centre
747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach, BC
Date:
Wednesday March 13, 2024
Time:
7:30 PM

 

MARS April Meeting

Success with Summer and Late Season Bulbs

Learn about your favourite bulbs with Master Gardener Jo Canning.   In this seminar, she will focus on summer and late season bulbs, their special growing needs, and how to keep them healthy and productive. These geophytes contribute to the beauty of the woodland garden when many trees and shrubs are past their showy spring season yet provide a foundation of shape, texture and aspect that enhances these showy bulbs’ florescence. Our changing climate brings many challenges, yet can actually be an advantage when growing the summer bulbs.

Bonus:  Handouts will be offered for you to download!

Jo-Ann Canning, certified Master Gardener since 1996, writes and speaks on science-based sustainable home gardening. Her gardens in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, Nova Scotia, the American Southwest and the UK have taught her to focus on the importance of growing in harmony with the local environment. She has taught at horticultural societies, Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver Island University, and VIRL’s Virtual Gardening video series. Her articles and photographs have appeared in Canadian, international, and USA magazines and newsletters.

Location: Qualicum Beach Civic Centre
747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach, BC
Date:
Wednesday April 10, 2024
Time:
7:30 PM

Visitors welcome – no admission charge

 

2024 MARS Annual Rhododendron Show and Sale

Enjoy free admission to the annual MARS Rhododendron Show and Plant Sale, featuring the flowers of early to mid-season blooming rhododendron species, along with local vendors selling gardening goodies and a variety of plants (not only rhododendrons).

This is your chance to consult the experts and purchase from a top-quality selection of rhododendrons and azaleas, from iron-clad garden standbys to rare and unusual varieties.

Rhododendron Society members and the public are invited to show their favourite rhododendron blooms (known as trusses).  Click here for more information

Location: Qualicum Beach Curling Club
Date:
Saturday April 20, 2024
Time:
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Everyone welcome — tell your friends!

 

2024 ARS Spring Convention

Save The Date!  May 2 – 5, 2024

Don’t miss the 2024 ARS Spring Convention in Bellingham, Washington!

Click here to download a printable poster, or visit https://www.ars2024.org/ for complete information.

Hope to see you there!

 

MARS May Meeting

The George Fraser Project

David McIntosh will present the fascinating history of George Fraser, the hybridizer of Rhododendron fraseri.  David’s presentation traces George’s life in Scotland and his emigration to Canada, where George established himself as an expert hybridizer and nurseryman.

Rhododendron fraseri is an historic low shrub of twiggy habit featuring unusual free-flowering small purple-pink flowers in May.  The shrub was originally raised in 1912 by George Fraser in British Columbia (from Millais Nurseries in England).

David McIntosh was born in Victoria but has spent the last 50 or so years in Ucluelet. He taught history at Ucluelet Secondary School for 33 years, and local history was his gateway to George Fraser and his work. In the 1990s, David helped with the George Fraser Memorial Project, sponsored by the local Lions Club. He also met Bill Dale at that time and saw his presentations about George. Since then, David has been looking into George Fraser’s life. He claims not to be a rhododendron expert but he has come to appreciate these amazing plants, and his Ucluelet garden now contains about 60 rhodos.

Location: Qualicum Beach Civic Centre
747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach, BC
Date:
Wednesday May 8, 2024
Time:
7:30 PM

Visitors welcome – no admission charge

 

More events coming — stay tuned!

Want to see what we’ve been up to in the past?  Click here to view video archives of some of our previous meetings.

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