Master Gardener

In 2007 I had the privilege of attending the wedding of two of my friends. They had chosen a stunning wedding venue called “Minter Gardens”. I had never heard of it before, but upon arriving, was awed by the beauty of it. The diversity in the plants, the rich flora that gave home to all sorts of animals, and the spattering of colour that looked like an artists palette made it the perfect backdrop for a wedding.

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Fast forward (like 3 arrows fast) 6 years, the year K & I bought our house and started on this landscaping journey. Trying to determine what we wanted to do with this yard to create our oasis and the yard of our dreams. Watching videos, reading articles, pinning so many ideas, and absorbing all the knowledge we could to help us on our fumbling journey through developing a 1/4 acre property into gardens that will feed us, feed and house animals, attract a plethora of insect life, and offer diversity in flora that will stun the senses.

Fast forward another 7 years, to this year. We have some experience under our belt in both landscaping as well as growing a successful garden, while still feeling like absolute novices with everything we are doing with our yard. The Student Union of the University I work at announced their Keynote speaker for their annual Common Voices lecture series, and low and behold, who should it be but Brian Minter, Master Gardener and owner of Minter Gardens. I should note that Minter Gardens was closed in 2013 as the Minter family made the decision to focus their energies on the Minter Country Garden Store that their family has owned and operated since 1970.

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Brian Minter – Vanouver Sun

Based on the Minter Country Garden website, Brian Minter is truly a Master Gardener with experience, accolades, education and awards to cement that position. He writes for the Vancouver Sun, hosts radio segments on CBC’s “BC Almanac” program and frequently gives lectures at conferences, trade shows and industry-related events. Needless to say, I was excited to attend his presentation “Embracing the Issues of Climate Change Through the World of Plants” which discusses many of the topics from Garden Media’s Gardens Trends Report for 2020 – Seeing 20/20.

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Garden Trends Report 2020

Climate change is a common topic of conversation, news, economics, politics, etc. Whether you are a believer in climate change and the potential effects it has on the planet, or not, this talk was interesting. We know plants and trees are important in any ecosystem and play a pivotal role in how our earth operates. Brian elaborated within his talk the value that our gardens can have to positively combat climate change including carbon sequestering, climate cooling and habitat renewal.

He discussed how the value of gardening has evolved over the years. From decorating with containers to growing our own food to gardening for pollinators to millennial gardeners and gardening for self-care & mental wellness. Even in the evolution of how and why K & I have gardened follows those trends. He shared how landscaping, architecture, urban development and design are all going to be changing, or are currently changing to include more trees, more green space, more diversity in plant-life, and how it all relates back to the way we live. He recently wrote an article for the Vancouver Sun that is a sample of his presentation, discussing many interesting points.

I think the biggest take-away for me from the presentation was the idea of needing to change the way we garden to what is called “Regenerative gardening”. The premise goes further than just sustainable gardening (which is still really good), and looks at how we can rebuild our soils. According to his presentation (which you can download here) 1/3 of the world’s topsoil has been washed away or stripped of it’s nutrients. Regenerative gardening is planning your gardening in a sustainable way but also in a way that will help rebuild soil organic matter by putting more into it than we are taking out.

I recommend checking out the link above, which is the slides from his presentation. You will have to provide some information to download it, but it is worth it. K & I are going to have to do some more research leading up to spring so that we can hopefully start utilizing some of Brian Minter’s tips to help keep our soil healthy. We want our garden to grow strong and healthy for as long as we live in this house.

 

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