Thanks to everyone who helped out with our Snowflake Social and AGM. Almost forty people braved the cold to turn out and the company was warm and friendly. The sweet and savoury treats were delicious! It was fun to get together and connect with other gardeners in mid-December.

At this time, we’d like to welcome Janet Sullivan and Dianne (Baillie) Kirkpatrick who were elected to join the 2024 OHS Board. We are delighted that Tina Liu will continue as Director. Rebecca Webb has agreed to step into the Vice-President’s role and was voted into that office at the AGM. Julianne Labreche will continue as President for another year. Isabelle Garaets-Rose, Rebecca Last, Maureen Mark and D.J. Smith will continue as Directors. Thank you to all these fine folks for their willingness to volunteer on the OHS Board.

The results of the 2023 OHS Photo Contest were announced at the AGM. In total, there were ninety-one entries in this year’s contest – there is certainly lots of photographic talent among our members! There were multiple winners in first, second and third place among the seven categories. Check out all the winning entries by going to the AGM recording on our YouTube channel.

A big congratulations to Cynthia Sutcliffe who won the Judge’s Choice Award for her photo ‘Echinacea’. A big round of applause for Janet Sullivan who won the People’s Choice Award for her photo called ’Wildflower Vista’.

We are extremely grateful to Larry Chamney who did such a fine job organizing this year’s competition, including arranging an external judge who provided such excellent feedback. We eagerly await next year’s competition. Stay tuned for further details in late winter!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the OHS. Without them, the OHS would not exist. At this year’s AGM, we took a few moments to recognize all our volunteers who helped out in 2023. We are very grateful to everyone who took a pause in their busy lives to assist this horticultural society.

We also took a few minutes to recognize some exceptional volunteers who went above and beyond the call of duty to contribute to the OHS. This year, we recognized the contributions of Janet Sullivan who was awarded the Members’ Appreciation Award for her work with this newsletter, the Grapevine. Current Board member Rebecca Webb won the President’s Award, in particular for her work coordinating our plant sales. Honorary Life Memberships were awarded to James Robertson, Blaine Marchand and DJ Smith for their many valuable volunteer contributions over the years. Well done!

Don’t forget to pause to read the December issue of the OHS Newsletter, now available to OHS members on the website. There are articles about gardening on the West Coast, growing mushrooms, botanical artist Faith Fyles, rebuilding a garden after storm damage, creating pollinator-friendly neighbourhoods, gardening with native plants, invasive species, among others. Ho, ho, ho!