Bee ready for Seedy Saturday

Oceanside's premier gardening event is gearing up for spring

Local farmers Sharon and Wayne Osborne were on hand at last year’s Seedy Saturday event to sell their seeds.

Local farmers Sharon and Wayne Osborne were on hand at last year’s Seedy Saturday event to sell their seeds.

The famous Qualicum winds can only do so much in terms of pollination, say organizers of the 10th annual Seedy Saturday event in Qualicum Beach. Plants need bees — or butterflies or other insects to properly reproduce.

Those insects however, are becoming increasingly scarce.

For this reason, pollination is the focus for Seedy Saturday, slated for Feb. 4 at the Civic Centre in Qualicum Beach.

In recent years, health problems in the honey bee populations have resulted in great losses. Despite these problems, plants can still be pollinated by lesser known native pollinators; Mason bees, benign wasps and flies.

By including plants that will attract them, and then providing suitable conditions, they can be persuaded to take up residence in your garden.

Gord Hutchings has designed special Mason bee condos and, in his talk entitled Native Pollinators and the Flowers They Love,  from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., he will show how to plant gardens to attract these pollinators that, despite their inability to produce honey, have the advantage of fitting into some slimmer flowers that the chubby little honeybees can’t get into. His famous Mason bee condos will be available for sale at his table.

Linda Gilkeson, entomologist, and ever-popular speaker at Seedy Saturday, is returning to discuss Fertilization For Your Vegetation, from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

During this talk she will cover issues of pollination but were afraid to ask. Gilkeson has written several books and those will also be available for sale. For those who can’t wait until Saturday, she is giving a special presentation on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Windsor Room.  So, have your questions ready for Troubleshooting Town Hall: Get Ready for Your 2012 Garden. There’s limited seating so get there early.

With the development of smaller, columnar varieties of fruit trees an orchard in a normal city lot is now possible and Bernie Dinter, owner of Dinter Nursery in Duncan, will show how to manage and prune home orchards to get the best fruit production. This talk will run from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. He will be bringing some select plants from his nursery for those interested in purchasing some stock.

With all this, a raffle and great door prizes, the place will be buzzing, but don’t forget to take a break now and then for a healthy snack or lunch at the Seedy Café.  Even very young gardeners can have fun at the Milner Garden’s Shoots With Roots program.

 

It’s all happening at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones St., Saturday, February 4, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission by donation.