Next Regular Meeting

The next regular meeting of the Garden Club will take place on Thursday May 5, 2022 in the Dogwood Room at Echo Centre. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.

Our guest speaker will be Joanne Priestland speaking about the Shelter Farm and their PEP program.

As usual, we will have a Parlour Show where members display arrangements of plants from their own gardens. The theme for the Parlour Show this month is “April Showers Bring May Flowers”.

There may also be a plant sale of plants donated by members for sale at reasonable prices. And, of course, there will be a raffle.

Plant Sale

Our annual plant sale will take place at the Rollin Art Centre on

  • Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon. The Rollin Art Centre is located on the corner of 8th Avenue and Argyle Street. There will be a variety of plants available for sale as well as a few vegetables. There will also be a draw for a hanging basket.

Hope to see you there!

Amended Version: Leave Her Wild

Leave Her Wild,
4951 Benjamin Rd., Port  Alberni, phone 250-720-1225
Wide selection of designer hanging baskets, custom planters….bring your pots.
Some shrubs, vegetable and flowers…reasonable prices.
No discount at this time still building.
Hours of operation to the public…Wed., Fridays and Saturday
Hours 9:30-1:30 on those days.
Owner/operator-Shayla Lucier
Will be opened until the  end of June, then at Cherry Creek Market, and. Reopening on Benjamin Rd., in Sept., Good idea to call ahead as Shayla has two active young children and the most adorable  Doberman Pincher dogs…Roger and Rhonda will often greet you.
Directions:  Drive down River road, cross the grey bridge(that used to be the orange bridge) turn left at the Native Reserve Rd., continue on keeping to the left and going through the stop signs…..and yes…you have to stop………turn right on Rowe Rd.,  to the end at 4951 Benjamin Rd. ample parking.

Garden Shopping

For the convenience of all our Mt. Klitsa Garden members and new gardeners that have moved into our city or are  in the process I have put together a list of garden growers, sellers, garden equipment, soil and mulch  suppliers…most in Port Alberni area but a few in the surrounding areas.    Many will be well known to our membership…but we do have a few newer outlets.    Some of the retailers will give a discount  on some of the supplies or have a loyalty card that is marked to collect points for discount.   Take advantage as the points do add up.   Wear or take your garden club ID pins for discounts where applicable.   10% discount  on applicable items

AV Garden Supply
#4-2945 Alberni Hwy, Port Alberni- phone 250-735-1005
Fertilizers, pots, tools, hydroponic supplies , grow lights, and more.
10 % discount on applicable items.

Canadian Tire
3550 Johnston RD., Port Alberni,  phone 250-720-0085-Garden shop.
Seasonal plants, shrubs, fruit trees, peat moss, soil and fertilizers, flower baskets and hanging baskets, bulbs, tubers, garden tools and more. Garden furniture etc.
Use their plant card to accumulate points for a free plant.

West Coast Home Hardware
3550 Johnston Rd, Port Alberni., phone 250-724-3700
Fertilizers, peat moss, manure, garden tools, soil, seasonal bulbs and tubers.
No discount at this time.    Garden furniture and barbecues.

3355 Johnston Rd., Port Alberni, phone 250-720-0912,
Garden tools, seasonal plants and bulbs, tubers and hanging baskets, Mulch, Soil, Fertilizers, Peat Moss.   Barbecues and garden furniture.
No discount.

Shar-Kare Feed and Pet Supplies
4310- 10th Ave. Street. Port Alberni. phone-250-723-4991.
Seasonal plants, tools, organic fertilizers, soil, and all kinds of pet supplies…sawdust, etc.
Which can be used in the garden…worth a look see.
No discount.

Quality Foods
2943-10th Ave.,Port Alberni., phone 250-723-3397
Seasonal flowers, hanging baskets, bulbs and tubers, floral arrangements, indoor plants, manures, soil and specials…check flyers.   Use you’re QF card for discounts on plants.

Colyn’s Nursery
4360 Beaver Creek Road, Port Alberni., phone 250-724-2551
Soil, manures, bulk mulch and soil, u-pick up and delivery, bulbs, tubers, corms,
Hanging baskets, seasonal plants, indoor and outdoor specialties, Herbs, vegetable plants, berry shrubs and fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs, fresh cut flowers
and more.   10% discount to members.

Naesgaard’s Farm and Market
5681 River Road, Port Alberni, phone 250-723-3622
Seasonal plants, winter plants, seasonal  Christmas decorations, peat moss, soil, seasonal vegetable and herb plants, large selection of decorative pots in all colours and sizes, wall hangings…outdoor…seasonal berries, corn and other veggies produced right at the farm. Boutique for fashion items.
10 % discount to members.

The Shrubbers
999 Price Road., Parksville., phone 1-250-927-6422
No discount at this time….still building
Large selection of deer resistant hedges, all varieties of shrubs, trees, wooden hanging baskets.
Directions : coming from Port Alberni on the Alberni  Hwy. turn right as you pass Demxx
Retail and just before you pass Iretex Pumps….keep driving and turn right at chain link fenced nursery.    Small entrance: be aware.  Official greeter is the big loveable Labrador
“Bean”…treats appreciated.   Open Tuesdays to Sunday 9:00 to 5:00 dally.  
Still expanding….more to come.

Small Garden, Balcony, or Minimal Garden Space

Caddy available at $ Store .

This Caddy with enough room to plant six plants of your choice is a good choice for small gardens, balconies or any place you might have room.   Added bonus is that if you only have a short sun time in one area, you can move the Caddy to catch more light…..or shade which ever is needed.
The potting soil I used is also  from the $Store by Staples in Port and works perfectly for this project…$2.50 per bag.   Caddy $4.00….plus tax.

This shot  gives you a better view of the depth

of the container and that the holes for drainage are already there.   
This Caddy was planted with Mustard Green to be used in combination with different types of lettuce.

 This project I am planting a herb sampler……once again…space saver and when transferred around on to tables the chances of picking up a slug or other bug is minimal.   I added one alpine, rockery plant for hopefully flowers later in the spring.    When making a meal….bring in the whole Caddy and harvest what you need  and set out again.

This is the few Herbs that I will be using….make name tags for each plant incase you add, as I have , a plant that is not to be eaten.    Also the lid they are sitting in is the lid from a damaged
tote… the lids.     The ones with a slightly raised edge are great for  placing plants that require watering from the top or bottom…especially important during transplanting.

The picture above shows the finished product.    Ready for the door next to your kitchen, balcony, or any where that is convenient for your use.
Can you see this with a multitude of different coloured petunias,  floral mix…..use your imagination and let’s see what you come up with.
One thing I should mention….when these herbs mature they can be transplanted out into another area and you can start another crop of young tender shoots.    Happy gardening from your meandering  gardener.  ChrisMotyka.

Garden Club History

                                Mount Klitsa Garden Club.

The Mount Klitsa Garden Club was formed on March 24,1955 at the home of Ann Thomson of McCoy Lake. There were 15 members present. Meetings were held at Kleecoot schoolhouse (water bomber base) and members homes. The club’s emblem is the trillium. Our emblem was chosen due to the conservation and protection of this flower by the efforts of the Mount Klitsa Garden Club. The Conservation Law was passed by the government in 1958.

In 2001 the club gave a large donation to West Coast General Hospital for the purchase of tropical plants in the atrium (health square).

Garden Hints for the Novice or Seasoned Gardener

Now that Spring is well around us…pushing us to get all those jobs done we wish we could have started earlier and planned better…..unfortunately the weather does not always co-operate… here we are…raking, cleaning pots, burning last winter’s branches, cones, .and ordering more soil as we till what gardens we have.   We all know it is the beginning of slug season so here are a few ideas to control those hungry critters that all too well can destroy your day’s work overnight if left unchecked. One idea is to mix 1 part ammonia with 10 parts water…mix well and water your garden beds….it acts to kill the eggs, and grub and is also a fertilizer.     I have been told , but have never tried , ringing your plants with a thin layer of coffee grounds.    There is of course the old remedy of leaving a few beer cans lying about with a little beer in each. The problem with that is if you leave enough cans around your neighbours may think your marriage is in trouble as you have started to hit the bottle big time.     So. to protect your reputation, spread the word around!     There is commercial slug bait but is not recommended for vegetable gardens or for birds and snakes that may pick up the poisoned slugs.    Speaking of poison….with the mild winter this year the authorities have speculated that the rat population will explode this summer, especially as the population in the valley is already high.    Vancouver Island has been experiencing a large increase of Owls  catching and eating rats that have consumed the toxic poisons.   We have lost quite a few of these amazing birds so we are recommending switching to traps of various kinds and the sticky mats to control the rats.   All dead rats should be either buried or burned.    I might add using poison stations while, more convenient,   is very expensive costing for a single feed trap approx $13.99 plus tax…..and if there is one rat you can be sure there are more and they are all pregnant!.   All you gardeners are probably well on your way to setting up your seeds on your favourite window sill.   It’s a good idea, so shop now for seeds as they are going quickly. The cost  of plants this  year has risen once again, and some packages of 6 started flowers are over $5.00 when  you add the appropriate taxes.    Vines, shrubs, trees and novelty items are even higher with Rhododendrons at $29.00 or more.     Get out there and track down those bargains.     As we will not be having a plant sale this year other garden members may be willing to sell their extra plants or trade.   One exception….if you have an invasive plant in your yard please do not pot up a plant from that area.   Once established they are impossible to get rid of…so be kind.      If any of the members have any ideas on slug control that has worked for them , or any hints to share we will be posting a contact number for you to respond to at a later date…so  please keep us in mind as we are all here to help one another.   Next rambling will be on Dahlias…time to check out all your tubers, sort, plant….but wait that’s for another day.    Until then…Happy gardening.    

Suggestions for Growing Herbs by Chris Motyka

We would hope by now that most of you inspired gardeners have started to grow herbs in your gardens. They are one of the few plants that most deer leave alone and so it is a good idea for people just starting out to garden to establish a few at least at the start as
an exercise in success. Nothing is worse than planting a lovely garden to wake the next morning and finding everything has been eaten during the night. Herbs can be planted near or around your other crops, but I have found that since most of them come back year after year it is better to establish a separate area for them the thrive.
You could start these from seeds, but if you want a good harvest the first year a visit to your local nursery is a good plan. Plant a few that you use regularly, parsley, oregano,
sage, sorrel, ….you choose. Some herbs, like dill, need only for you to scatter seeds in an area that wont be disturbed. If you have gone to the supermarket lately you will see that it is well worth while to grow your own in many cases. Herbs can be dried easily by hanging them upside down in a warm, dry area until the leaves can be removed.
Other herbs can be frozen, almost all can be dried.

Almost all herbs require heat and sun so take that into consideration when picking your herb garden spot. You at this time can add Lavender for colour, camomile for teas, the list is endless so feel free to tuck in a couple of ordinary flowers for variety and colour. Camomile daisies can be dried for a tea that is tasty and healthy. It also , when cooled , makes a great hair rinse for light coloured hair. For dark hair, rosemary is the best. You will not only be eating better, but smelling better as well. Chris Motyka

Tomato Seedlings

In the next couple of weeks depending on the type and maturing time of the your Tomato of choice it is time to start your seedling. In most cases it would be prudent
to get the seedlings into the ground as soon as possible for the longest chance for
an abundant harvest and will always depend on the last frost and continued good warm
There are many ways to start your seed, but the simplest way is to fill a container with a lid to within an inch to half an inch of the top. Moisten the soil, but do not soak.
The night before soak your seeds and plant them next morning, just covering them with
sterilized seed starter. Place the lid on top…but just loosely and place on the top of
your refrigerator which will provide enough heat. Check to make sure the soil does not dry out…..but water sparingly….too much water would only encourage mould and rot, or damping off. When the plants are of transplant size they can be transferred to many other modes of containers,
Some people use papier mache egg cartons, which can be cut and planted into the ground with little disturbance. Others might like to use peat pots that, when having water added to them, expand to a desirable planting size. Whichever your choice once the replanting has been established move to a sunnier location. Once the plants have established themselves water sparingly with a no nitrogen fertilizer so the roots and growth are supported but that the plants do not become long and spindly.
The next while will be to maintain a healthy supply of water, being careful to water the roots and leaving the leaves as dry as possible.
Once into the ground consider staking the plants immediately to prevent root damage at a later date. Because the stem will develop roots if it is planted deep, if your plants do become too tall plant them deep to produce a sturdier plant. Continue to monitor the watering and it is recommended to water early in the day as opposed to in the evening and to avoid wetting down the leaves. If you live in deer country….and I believe we all do….a simple wire column might be of great help….for whatever reason, deer live to eat tomato plants and given the chance will pull them right out of the ground.
If there are any other hints for a successful tomato harvest please let me know and I will be happy to pass that on… good luck to a healthy crop. Chris Motyka.