Gardeners share their experiences

Open Garden at the home of Linda Lundeberg.

Open Garden at the home of Linda Lundeberg.

The Maple Ridge Garden Club is one of our most active and successful local interest groups.

It has more than 100 members. They meet monthly to present informative talks about a wide variety of topics important to home gardeners.

Club president Linda Lundeberg and past-president Selene Jacobson will tell us many stories about their group at the April 28th meeting of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.

In 1948, a small group of enthusiastic gardeners formed the club to learn more about their craft. One of the priorities was to produce impressive flowers, vegetables and fruit to dazzle the judges in our fall fair.

Sixty-two years later, present day members are still encouraged to participate in this annual agricultural event.

Experienced gardeners are willing to share their expertise with beginners.  At each monthly meeting in Fraserview Hall, at the corner of 116th Avenue and 227th Street, there is time for questions about garden pests and growing tips.

A friendly competition among members for arrangements of cut flowers is another monthly feature.

The Maple Ridge Garden Club hosts a speaker each month on a wide variety of horticultural topics, from garden design to ferns and mosses.

Sometimes growers bring specimen plants or bulbs and tubers for sale.

Another popular activity is the occasional bus tour to Lower Mainland nurseries and specialized plant gardens.  They have even ventured as far afield as Victoria, Seattle and Summerland.

On April 30, the Maple Ridge Garden Club will host its popular annual plant sale.  This will take place at St. Patrick’s School gym from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., when there will be hot competition for special plants donated by club members, complete with growing information and tips for cultivation.

This sale is the club’s major fund-raiser for the year.

The garden club continues to meet during the summer months, with the additional feature of open gardens. Club members have the opportunity to view the results of other members’ work.

Not just mature gardens are put on show. Beginning gardeners are encouraged to share their efforts and learn from the experience of master gardeners who attend.

Lundeberg is justifiably proud of the public garden tours that the club has hosted since 1987. This represents a great deal of organizational work, so the tours have not been repeated every year.

The money raised by these tours goes to a charity, the Sunshine Foundation’s Dreams for Kids. The club has raised $39,000 over the years, which Lundeberg says is, “A great way to give to the community and share our love of gardens”.

Today’s photograph shows a previous garden tour at the Lundeberg’s home.

• Tickets for this year’s tour are being sold at Trice Nursery. The April 28 meeting of the Maple Ridge Historical Society, at which you may hear more about the activities of the garden club, will be held at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Heritage Hall, 22279 116th Avenue. Drop-in visitors are welcome to attend for a $2 fee.

Sheila Nickols is past president of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.