The Bowen Island Garden Club enjoys a 35-year tradition on the island. Our mission is to promote the love of gardening, to encourage sound horticultural practices through education, and to enhance civic beautification.

The following section provides an overview of upcoming events and club activities. For more information, we invite you to check the links provided in the menu.

Upcoming Events

June Open Garden: A Trifecta on Cates Hill!
937A Rivendell Drive
Bowen Island Municipality, British Columbia

Please mark your calendars for June 16, 2019 (1-3pm), when our open garden program will offer you not one, not two, but THREE beautiful small gardens in the Cates Hill area. What a way to spend a couple of hours on Father’s Day!

As usual, members attend free; non-members $3.

The gardens belong to Monica and Roy McKinley, Jovanka Buchanan, and Sheila and Dan Mcburney.

NOTE: Because there are three gardens on this tour, we are asking that everyone first sign in at Monica’s at 937A Rivendell Drive. Once there, you will be given a “ticket” telling you the addresses of the other two homes. Then you can either tour Monica’s garden or go off and see the others first. Refreshments will be set up at Monica’s.

Some notes from Monica and Roy McKinley: “I was moving from my old shade garden of 20 years to a new site literally a rock pile on a hill facing south east. I started by potting up many perennials from my old garden. Also, I bought quite a few young trees and shrubs from Linnaea. At the end of June 2017, with a huge delivery of 15 yards of good soil, I was ready to begin my “instant garden” of approximately 90 pots filled with various sizes and shapes of trees, shrubs, roses, vines, hostas, and tons of small perennials and ground cover. I have found a totally different climate here from my old shade garden and have had some challenges with the intense heat, wind and dryness in the summers, as well as the freezing winds of this last late winter.”

Some notes from Su Rickett about Jovanka’s garden: “Like many gardens on Bowen, Jovanka’s is on many levels and is perched at the top of a hill. In 2016, I was invited to take a look at possibilities for the site and after a lot of discussion, a plan was made for dealing with access that was safe and easy, pathways linking the various areas, planting that was full and interesting and of course, everything had to be as deer resistant as possible. Beautiful grasses and shrubs, fragrant lavender and herbs and all manner of lush plants were installed, make this garden full of texture and scent.”

Some notes from Sheila and Dan Mcburney: “When we purchased our house on the hill in August 2015, the “garden” was all blasted rock with nothing growing but two huge cedar trees that had been left behind. The builder had considered that the front “yard” would be a driveway… Today, the cars are out near the road and the fenced in yard has a big grassy play area, patio, and several rock gardens. One large garden is well established, while others are recently built and planted. The area of garden that runs down the side of the house is planted mostly with succulents as this area is very hot and dry all summer long.”

The Bulb Sale has started!
Bowen Island Municipality, British Columbia

Monthly Meetings are on hiatus for the summer, but there are still many great club activities to engage with this summer!

This year, the bulb sale offers Snow Drops, Dwarf Iris, and several types of Daffodils. You can also order Bobbex.

Place your order via and be sure to include “BULBS” in the subject line. Delivery will be in October.

These bulbs are hot tickets, so order your bulbs early, as to not be disappointed.


July Open Garden
680 Minnows Lane
Bowen Island Municipality, British Columbia

Mark your calendars for July 14, 2019 (1-3pm) for the July Open Garden at Doug Elliott and Owen Plowman’s home at 680 Minnows Lane. Perched at the top of Cates Hill, this large property, consisting of “a blend of wild and cultivated areas,” offers many delightful nooks and vignettes.

Light refreshments served. Members attend free; non-members $3.

Some notes from Doug Elliott: “We arrived here in May 2004 and inherited most of the lovely rock garden in the backyard at that time. Since then we have extended, relocated, and created numerous plantings and structures. In the fenced backyard you will find the more formal (though the style is very informal) part of the garden. There are a series of trails to walk through the Alder Woods. Don’t miss the area across the lane by the duck pond. Stop for a sit in the gazebo next to ‘Benedict’ our gargoyle, and our latest addition, a small folly of ‘The 3 Graces’.”


"August" Open Garden: in July!
736 Arbutus Place at Bowen Bay
Bowen Island Municipality, British Columbia

You’re not seeing double– this year, there are TWO open gardens in July!! Mark your calendars for July 28, 2019 (1-3pm) for the July Open Garden at the home of Judy and Jim Taylor, 736 Arbutus Place at Bowen Bay. We are pleased to be able to include Judy Taylor’s fabulous deck garden in the 2019 Open Garden program. On her deck, Judy has more than 80 pots filled with stunningly beautiful plants, arranged into “sections” by color palette. A special “Thank You” goes to Kathy Leishman for making this visit happen.

Light refreshments served. Members attend free; non-members $3.

Some notes from Judy: “Our deck garden is a source of constant enjoyment. Growing in containers is much more spontaneous than permanent plantings. If something works really well, we keep it in mind for the following year. If plants don’t perform well, they aren’t invited back. Many of the more permanent plantings overwinter in the greenhouse: the sago palm, the aeoniums, the eucomis and the salvias, for example. These plants form the background in many of the pots. To these, more than 80 plants are added, their arrangement depending on pot and plant colour.”


Summer Garden Party
835 Hummingbird Lane
Bowen Island Municipality, British Columbia

Our Annual Summer Garden Party Sunday is on August 11th 2019 from 1-4pm at Diana and Michael Kaile’s place 835 Hummingbird Lane.

Diana and Michael Kaile have kindly volunteered to host our annual summer party in their beautiful garden. Everyone is asked to bring either a savory or a sweet. Refreshments will be provided.

Although this event is for Garden Club members only and not open to the general public, any family and friends that may be visiting you are welcome to attend.

Garden Club News

The Bowen Island Garden Club publishes a monthly newsletter, Cuttings, which keeps members up-to-date on latest Club news and happenings. Some of the articles in this month's issue include:

Bowen Island Garden Club is planning a variety of activities for members including Open Garden Tours (on Bowen), as well as Guest Speakers at each of our meetings. Please go to the Scheduled Events to see whats new… we will update monthly.

The June 2019 issue of Cuttings includes information about a plethora of important events, including the Open Gardens for the rest of the summer and the Summer Garden Party. You’ll also find which bulbs are included in the Bulb Sale this year. Of course, no issue would be complete without Su Rickett’s garden advice column.

Past newsworthy events:

In May, 2018, the Garden Club hosted a presention on composting issues and options for Bowen Island. It was thought that the presentation would be of general interest. You can view the presentation at this site. Please note that this link will open a new window in your browser. You can advance the slides by pressing the up/down or left/right links on your keyboard.

Membership Information

The Bowen Island Garden Club accepts members throughout the year. The fee is $20.00 for a full year membership. Renewals before the end of February are eligible for the Early Bird special rate of $15.00. Persons joining from September through December are eligible for a discounted rate of $10.00, or can pay $25.00 and receive membership till the end of that year.

Membership benefits include:

  • Monthly Cuttings newsletters, delivered to your inbox. Those who do not have email will receive in regular mail.
  • Bi-monthly BC Garden Club newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Guest Speakers
  • Garden tours in the Lower Mainland
  • Open garden tours on Bowen
  • Summer and Christmas parties
  • Discounts on purchases at:
    • Phoenix Perennials in Richmond
    • West Van Florist in Ambleside
    • Maple Leaf in Dundarave
    • Maple Leaf in Lynn Valley
    • Mandeville Gardens in Burnaby
    • David Hunter Garden Shops
    • GardenWorks in North Vancouver
    NOTE: ASK if discount is given before shopping; you may need to show your membership card and register.

Membership Activities


On occasion the club will organize workshops with gardening experts on a topic identified by the members or suggested by one of the speakers. These workshops provide participants with added knowledge of a topic and/or hands on experience with gardening techniques.

Tours and Open Gardens

Off-island day tours provide an enjoyable and cost effective way for members to visit unique public and private gardens as well as specialty nurseries. On occasion we host other garden clubs for a tour of selected Bowen Island gardens. Tours and Open Gardens can suggest design ideas for your existing garden, or create a visual starting point for a new garden. Open Gardens are held during the spring, summer and fall. These occasions provide an opportunity to see how horticultural enthusiasts cope with our unique conditions including deer, a lack of summer water, and poor soil to create amazingly beautiful spaces. They also provide a great way to meet and get better acquainted with other Bowen Island gardeners.

Monthly Meetings

Monthly meetings are held at The Gallery @ Artisan Square from September through May (except December). The major focus of these events is presentations by prominent guest speakers. These gardening specialists share their knowledge, experience and insights on a variety of topics. After each talk, a convivial social gathering provides an opportunity for further discussion.

Social Gatherings

In addition to regular meetings, tours, and open gardens, the Bowen Island Garden Club holds a Christmas party and a summer garden party providing an opportunity to get to know fellow gardeners in an informal way. These celebratory affairs are also designed to impart a tangible expression of gratitude to our members for their support and involvement.

Annual May Plant Sale - 2019

We had another successful plant sale raffle this year. This was due to all the wonderful volunteers who contributed their time and effort, from potting up plant donations and staffing the sale itself, to organizing raffle sales and prizes.

Many thanks to the Snug Cove General Store and The Ruddy Potato for once again allowing us set up our raffle tables outside their front doors. We are also grateful for the many people who bought plants and raffle tickets. We really appreciate your support.

This year most of the raffle prizes were purchased from businesses who have donated in the past. The following also generously donated prizes:

Atlas Pots (North Vancouver) Bowen Building Centre (Bowen Island) Maple Leaf Garden Centre (Dundarave & LYnn Valley) Snug Cove General Store (Bowen Island)

2019 Bowen Island Garden Club Board Members

The Bowen Island Garden Club is an elected board. The 2019 Executive are:

  • President: Janis Treleaven
  • Vice President:
  • Secretary: Isabel Otter
  • Treasurer: Laura McGregor
  • Membership: Holly Cleator
  • Speaker Coordinator: Lyn van Lidth de Jeude
  • Social (Meetings): Dale Harding and Sue Jance
  • Open Garden Coordinator: Pam Miller and Anna-Marie Atherton
  • Cuttings/Facebook Editor: Melissa Rahme
  • Website: Jen Ritchie
  • Technical: John Hazell
  • Publicity: John Lawrence
  • Tours Coordinator:
  • Member at Large: Su Rickett and Sheila Webster
  • Past President: Lynn McArthur