Vancouver Island Heather Society
Vancouver Island Heather Society

Vancouver Island Heather Society

Meetings in 2021 will be held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Masonic Hall in Mill Bay unless otherwise stated:  February/March/April/May/June/September/October/November/


Dates may be changed dependent on speaker availability and COVID-19 protocol at the time.

Our various activities include visiting members and public gardens

For more details:      Contact: Earl Jenstad, VIHS president

Events in 2021:


We had a lovely outdoor "meeting" at Dorothy & Randy's home on Aug 24  with 21 in attendance.   Pot luck contributions were so very tasty and the protein (salmon & ribs) cooked up by D&R was exquisite.  Not a bite left on anyone's plate.  A fitting dessert - 80th birthday cake - provided by Auriol - completed the meal. Who was 80 - Earl ( you would never guess).   


It was great to see everyone in person:  Ken was almost dancing with his replacement knee.  Cecile & Gordon happy to have their granddaughter with them.


We remembered Michael, a favorite with VIHS, who passed away this spring.  Our love and sympathy go to Sherry.


We also missed Sheila who is now in a LT residence in the area.  We wish her the best in her new digs.  


Earl is now volunteering at HCP in the Heather garden - where else!  He has submitted a couple photos which I will post in the photo section.  


That's all folks and thanks to Dorothy & Randy for hosting once again.  Perfect hosts with a perfect venue.




Events in 2020: 


Our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held via ZOOM went very well.  Amazing when I think back to the crank telephone we used years and years ago.  Almost like the party line only with the visual.


Sadly but appropriately we have delayed our Annual Heather Sale by a year to March 2022.  We also postponed our annual Christmas luncheon to a Spring event when hopefully COVID-19 restrictions have eased.  


We also have decided to update our banking to include e-transfers to make it easier for members to pay dues.  This is ready to go  You will receive an e-mail with the info required. 


Thanks to Dorothy for setting up the ZOOM meeting and Earl for a well run meeting.   









Board meeting held at Masonic Hall on Oct 14.  Discussion on AGM and election of officers, possible heather sale spring of 2021 (preorders perhaps). 
General meeting was held on September 9 at Earl and Auriol's garden: 
it was a beautiful, smoke free day, a reprieve from the day before and the day after when the air quality was very poor.  10 people gathered to see the gardens which Earl and Auriol have developed in "Cedar-by-the-Sea". Shrubs and trees   provide the permanence to the garden, terraces masking the steepness of the property.  Although the fall show of mums, dahlias and michaelmas daisies are the seasonal feature,  the stars have to be the 165 named varieties of heather throughout the 1/2 acre.  Still in bloom were the callunas, daboecias, Erica cantabrica, cinerea, tetralix, watsonii, spiculifolia, and williamsii.    (Photos will be posted week of 20th sept.)
We met outdoors,  eating our "brown bag" lunch while we discussed how we can continue activities of the heather society during the pandemic. 
We will plan for another outdoor event , garden visits in October. The AGM  as an indoor event in November is a possibility depending on the pandemic restrictions on gatherings and members willingness to attend.
The Christmas luncheon is not possible as a catered event in the traditional space but rather than cancel the event it should be postponed to a later date, perhaps in May when it can be an outdoor event.  We discussed at some length the possibility of a March sale which needs further discussion.


Past activities - 2019 - 2020:  


March 11  - 12 noon (bring your lunch)


Board Mtg  at 11 was followed by General Meeting at 12 at the Masonic Hall in Mill Bay  - finalizing plants for Heather Sale followed by 


Very interesting talk by Ann Aylward on fruit tree pruning, blights and diseases.  

Christmas  luncheon was a smashing affair, good food, good company.   Thanks to Norma & Ken and all who attended.


Nov 13, 2019.   

Great AGM with all positions happily filled.  Earl Jenstad staying on as President for a further year.   


Oct 12,  - Public Presentation. HECTOR BUSSIERE 

“Twenty of the Best Perennials, Shrubs and Small Trees that would be Good Accompaniments to Heathers”. held at the Masonic Hall. Mill Bay.

Hector is a Victoria Horticulturist and expert gardener. Rather than a digital presentation, Hector had samples of the plants discussed.  A small but keen group enjoyed his interactive presentation.


Wed, Sept 11, 2019  Field Trip. Eurosa Farms. Brentwood Bay.

            Members met at 10 a.m.  for a guided tour - most informative  

Through over thirty years of dedication and rose growing expertise of their greenhouse operation, Eurosa Farms mission is to produce high quality flowers for the local market. The facility builds on the three generations family tradition that began in the Netherlands. Their product line includes not only roses but a wide variety of other cut flowers.

It was a great day with lunch at Brentwood Bay Inn Pub.  In lieu of the tour fee which was waived we purchased bunches of flowers at their roadside stand.  Mine continue to look lovely. 


Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Field Trip.

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific.   We enjoyed the day under sunny skies.  Picnic lunch and David Wilson gave a most informative talk on the history or the heather garden and those involved.over the years.  Members then had an opportunity to tour other areas of HCP and do a little shopping - plants or items in the gift shop)




Turned out to be a rather rainy day but a surprizing numbers of people braved the weather shopping for plants on their list.  We were under a big tree which helped initially.   Lovely exhibits and silent auction was a definite attraction.  Along with selling heathers had several inquiries - generally chatted with folk - all in all a good day - refuse to let the weather dampen our spirits.  



 MAY 15 - Visit to Ali's garden locally in Cobble Hill.  Beautiful garden and a wonderful tour.  Ali was so good at naming one and all.  Ali is busy propagrating for her next spring's charity sales so some of us have a list of things to look for at those sales.
Apri"field trip" to Comox. Nine people met at Filberg Park, a delightful landmark in Comox, home to many events and interesting gardens. Spring bulbs thread their way amoung the trees, First Nations artwork, totems can also be seen there. It was spitting rain, the irrigation people were testing sprinklers so everything was wet so hapy to have a member's invite to their cottage where  the view of Kye Beach was awe inspiring.  What  wonderful place to eat our picnic lunch.
From there we went to Anderton Nursery and garden centre. (The previous owner was John Prothero's brother) Ellen Presley gave us a warm welcome, staff were made available to answer our queries and help with our purchases. The sales area greenhouse was beautiful. Every area display was a "spring garden. Featured in every section were beautiful trimmed trees, Erica canaliculata in rosy pink, light pink and white.  Needless to say we purchased plants. Most of us became the proud owners of an Australian Mint bush, Prostanthera rotyndifolia "Australian. 
Our next stop Valley Succulents. Jamie Laughinger has been collecting and propagating cacti and succulents for a few years. His business is mainly web-based but Valley Succulents plants can be seen in nurseries here on Vancouver Island. Both of these nurseries were well worth the visit and I overheard a comment "One of the best outings" which made the drive to Comox worthwhile indeed
March 30 -  Heather Sale - the usual success, a great day with all our members pitching in enthusiastically (albiet 3 ill - get better quick) , lots of happy shoppers.   Surplus heathers we will have available at members' homes and at the Rhodo garden fair on the 27th at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. 
Feb 20 - .   

Both a board meeting and general meeting were held prior to speaker presentation at the Masonic Hall in Mill Bay.    Dustin Carlton:  - craftsman in designing and installing garden statuary spoke to our group focusing on garden designs and manufacture of his sculptures


Annual Christmas lunch 

Dec 12 saw a festive gathering for our annual Christmas luncheon.  Survived  Neil's trivia - thanks Neil and thanks to Norma for all the arranging.  Decorations were lovely and some of us went home with candies or a pointsettia.  Collected a goodly sum for the food bank $281.- Well done all. 


SATURDAY, October 13 at 1:30
Meeting with the CV Rhododendron Society at the Masonic Hall in Mill Bay.
Fellow members, Dorothy and Randy presented an exciting and interesting talk on native plants, their history, their use and their future.  







Welcome to the Vancouver Island Heather Society  website. 


The Society has rescheduled the annual heather sale to March of 2022.  Looking for heathers?   please go to your local nursery(s).  If we can be of help in determining which heathers would work best in your garden please contact us.  


Summer 2021 get together see activities


See Activities Page for