Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry; it’s never too late to turn your gardening skills around! And what better place to learn from the experts than Vancouver’s most iconic garden? Visitors were able to learn gardening from the pros of the Master Gardeners Association of BC . With a variety of workshops ranging from Soil Building & Planting Technique to Vegetable Gardening – Backyards or Balconies, there was a lesson for every type and level of gardener. 

Vegetable Gardening – Backyards to Balconies

Sharon Hanna


From a huge garden patch in the backyard to a tiny planter box on a balcony, more and more people are cultivating their own fresh veggies and herbs. In this workshop visitors discovered that nutrient-rich Kale is easy to grow and oh so tasty! They heard from expert gardener and best-selling author Sharon Hanna on how to plant, cultivate and harvest veggies wherever you can.

Sharon Hanna, Vancouver Master Gardener, writes, speaks and teaches in Vancouver, BC. She received the Mayor’s Prize for Environmental Excellence in 2005 for her gardening program at Queen Alexandra School. Hanna’s “The Book of Kale” is currently on the BC Bestsellers List.

Soil Building & Planting Techniques

Jill Wright


So you want to grow some veggies, herbs, flowers or ornamentals? Healthy plants start with healthy soil and smart planting techniques help get the most out of your flora investment. Visitors joined Jill Wright to learn about building the right soil for your plants, and when and how to plant for optimal growth.

Jill Wright is a Garden Designer, operating a Landscape business in Richmond. She has come to understand the importance of good soil when creating a garden that will be sustainable.  She has volunteered with VanDusen Garden and the Vancouver Master Gardener Association since 2006.  

Pruning & Training Trees for Optimal Abundance

Richard Hallman


Do you have trees that need some attention? Visitors joined Richard Hallman as he demonstrated how to direct the growth of your trees and shrubs so they look and grow the way you want them to. Visitors learned how to improve their beauty, resilience and health as well as their ability to produce flowers and fruit.

Richard is an expert tree and shrub pruner who developed his passion for pruning while growing up on an orchard in the Okanagan Valley. Since 1979 he has taught gardeners, orchardists and agroforesters across the Pacific Northwest the techniques of pruning and training. He has a horticulture degree from the University of British Columbia, is a Licensed Professional Horticulturist, an Arborist and a Master Gardener. Richard is currently engaged in coaching gardeners one at a time or in small groups how to prune their own trees and shrubs. He also provides online pruning mentoring and advises on ways to renew heritage fruit trees.

Composting – Black Gold! 

Heather Nielsen Glass


Visitors discovered how composting can turn household and yard waste into black gold: a concentrated soil enhancer that helps grow healthy plants and reuses valuable nutrients typically lost to the landfill.

Heather has been involved with the Master Gardeners of BC since 2005,  completing the MG Advanced Training as part of the class of 2007.  Her background in Marketing Management supports her love of working with kids of all ages in urban agriculture projects.

Walking Tours

walking tour van dusenVanDusen Garden Guides offered walking tours of the Garden hourly from 11am-4pm. Guides are knowledgeable about plants, the Garden, and the role of the plant world within our ecosystem. Tour participants learned how sustainable approaches in the Garden, and in their own gardens, can help avert harm to our environment while preserving beauty in the world now and in future.