Club meeting, 25 May @ 6:45 pm

Meadon Hall, Royal Canadian Legion, 120 Blain Road

Connie Thompson

CONNIE’S DAHLIAS – How to grow with success

Connie was first introduced to dahlias by her late partner in the summer of 1989 at the local Dahlia Society. She was smitten. That fall she went up island and helped him cut down and dig out 400 dahlias for a friend who was going to the arctic to work for a few years. She spent the weekend in the pouring rain, bagging up dahlias and getting them home to store for the winter. 31 years later, she is still soldiering on!

Connie’s been on a steep learning curve since then. She joined the Nanaimo Gladiolus and Dahlia Society and kept educating herself through the club meetings and shows. Later she became a judge herself, working through the system of the American Dahlia Society, to finally taking her exams for a Senior Judge; all the while continuing to grow her beloved dahlias.

In 2007 she moved with her new husband, John, to the farm with Connie’s Dahlias. They have slowly been developing the property to be able to grow and store Connie’s collection of now 800+ plants! Time no longer permits her to show or judge dahlias as now they are busy shipping tubers in the spring all across Canada. In late April they sell dahlia plants on Saturdays until they are sold out. In the summer months they are kept busy selling cut flowers, bouquets, corsages, swags etc for weddings. They routinely have ‘garden visitors’ during the summer months but these are made by prior arrangement. In the fall, Dahlias are dug, washed, split, labelled and put away for the winter, waiting for spring when everything starts all over again.

Connie is constantly honing in on what they grow, importing new varieties that produce both wonderful garden flowers and cut flowers. She has a newly published book “Connie’s Dahlias, a Beginner’s Guide” which will be for sale at the meeting at a discounted price of $20 for club members. She will also have potted dahlia plants available from $8 to $12. Payment can be made with cash or by credit card or debit Card.

This will be our first in-person meeting in two years! See you there!

General Information

Meetings are held at Meaden Hall (on Blain Road, across from Greenwoods) the fourth Wednesday of each month (except for December, January, July and August), starting at 6:45 pm, and ending by 9 pm.  In November, we hold our AGM.

  • It’s been such a long time! Can we even remember what happens at our meetings? Will we recognize each other? Here are some reminders and things to note……..
  • Please dig out and wear your name tag if you can remember where it is. Just this once you can enter the door prize draw without it because it may, like mine, be irretrievably lost. If so, put in a request at the membership table for a replacement for next month.
  • There will be a door prize draw, but only one prize. All other available prizes will be reserved for the draw for members who bring in something to show (see below*). The door prize box will be, obviously, near the entrance door as usual.
  • The membership table (the one just inside the door, remember?) will be open. If you have already paid your membership dues (January – August 2022) pick up your new membership card here. Dues will also be gratefully accepted from those who have not yet paid. If you cannot remember whether or not you have paid, there will be a list of paid-up members so we can check. Please be patient if there is a lineup – with suitable social distancing appreciated.
  • PLEASE RETURN THOSE LIBRARY BOOKS THAT YOU BORROWED OVER TWO YEARS AGO! (Start looking now – it may take a while to find them)
  • Our Parlour Show Judge, Ted Baker, has retired from this position. Until we can find a replacement (but who could possibly replace Ted?) we will have an unjudged show with no classes. So you can bring anything from your garden, whatever is looking good on the day. No excuses about not having the right thing at the right time. We will have cards available to label your display and take credit with your name too. Everyone who brings an item can put their name in the Display Table draw – and if you bring two things, put your name in twice! Let’s have a great display for our reunion!
  • Yes, there will be goodies.

PLEASE WEAR A MASK. (Recommend removal while consuming the goodies!) No, you do not need to show proof of vaccination. No hugging just yet………….


Every meeting features a Speaker. Many are local, but in the past, speakers have come from as far as Australia. Recent speakers have included Brian Minter, Jeff de Jong, and our very own Linda Gilkeson.

In lieu of a judged Parlour Show, we will be encouraging interested members to bring in one or two of their garden jewels to show at the display tables. A draw will be held from among the exhibitors to award two prizes.

The Library table is available with an excellent selection of books. Other books are available from the archive and can be retrieved on request.

Mentor Gardeners are always present to provide solutions for your gardening challenges.

Refreshments are available for a dollar (coffee or tea, and a tasty treat).

2022 Talks

27 April : Linda Gilkeson : ‘Resilient Gardens for a Changing Climate’

23 February : Daniel J. Hinkley: ‘Making the Windcliff Gardens’


2021 Talks

24 November : Matt Nowell: ‘Irrigation Tips and Tricks’

27 October : Anastasiia Dushyna: ‘All Season Herbal (Apothecary) Garden’

22 September : Jason Croutch: ‘Rose Care Through the Seasons’

23 June: David Whiting: ‘Sacred Space Gardens’

26 May: Bernie Dinter: ‘Small Fruits’

28 April: Matthew Shepherd: ‘Bring Back the Pollinators!’

24 March: Douglas Justice: ‘The Value of a Tree’

24 February: Brian Russell and Faye Ford: ‘Four Seasons in a Greenhouse’

2020 Talks

27 November: Jeff de Jong ‘In the Eye of the Storm’

23 October: Bernie Dinter on ‘Flowering Bulbs: Natures Gift that Keeps on Giving’

26 June: Gary Lewis of Phoenix Perennials on ‘Hellebores : Jewels of the Winter and Spring Garden’

26 June: Linda Gilkeson on ‘Gardening and Climate Change’

22 May: Jeff de Jong ‘Garden Jewels for Landscaping’

24 April: Robin Jenkins and Robias Carson talked about ‘Tiny Gardeners: Salt Spring and Gulf Island Schools’

27 March: Moe Wendt presented ‘Permaculture: Principles and Practice’

27 February: Donna Balzer ‘Vegetable Gardening: Tips and Tricks for Growing Great Grub’

2019 Talks

24 October: Kristen Miskelly spoke on ‘Native Plant Gardening for Biodiversity’

June 27: Mitchell Sherrin spoke to us about “Fire-smart Landscaping”.

May 23:  Connie Kuramoto will joined us to talk about “The Lazy Gardener”.

April 25:  Julia Common brought a talk about Bees, called “Hives for Humanity”.

March 28:  To be confirmed

February 28:   Brian Minter joined us in February for a talk entitled “Dramatic Changes in the World of Gardening”.