Vice-President Cathy Legate conducted a very short AGM as President Kathleen Glynn-Morris was unable to attend the meeting. Sue Menning reminded members that they must be in good standing in the club to vote.
Cathy suggested that the proceeding of the West Vancouver Garden Club be simplified as much as possible with minimal accounting procedures and an open executive meeting. She told members that speakers and activities were in place up until Christmas and she hopes that after that members will sign up to get speakers for the meetings.
The garden club is employing someone to send out the newsletter, but a newsletter co-ordinator is still needed. Members were asked to think of any practical skill that they could demonstrate at the Christmas meeting. Thanks were given to Avis Lapham for acting as treasurer for many years. Avis Lapham gave a short financial report and pointed out that without some fund raising the club would have to dip into savings to meet expenses.
Cathy then welcomed Elke Wehinger and Wendy Leroux from Botanus to speak to the group on:
The history of tulips and some special varieties
Wendy told members a little about Botanus which is one of the largest independent mail order companies in Canada. Their specialty is Bulbs. They have a garden club online.
The tulip is a traditional symbol of perfect love. The Turks were the first to glorify the tulips and as early as 1000 AD the Ottomans had begun to cultivate the beautiful flower. Tulips thrived on dry hillsides in the area. Around the year 1500 the tulip made the trip to Europe. Carolus Clusius met De Budbec, the ambassador from Sultan Suleiman and Cluisius introduced tulips to the Hortus garden in Leiden. By 1636 tulips had become incredibly sought after and one tulip could be worth a fortune. The crash came in 1637 and the middlemen in the tulip trade lost everything. The love affair with tulips continues and 9 billion flower bulbs leave Holland each year. Tulips account for 3 billion of these. The Dutch started hybridizing the tulips although it is a long process with the seeds taking 6 - 8 weeks to develop and 4 - 6 years for the bulbs to bloom.
A new variety is 10 years from seed to market. Tulips are categorized into various categories such as ‘Double early’, ‘Triumph’, ‘Darwin hybrid’, ‘Single and double late’, ‘Fringed’, ‘Vividiflora’, ‘Parrot’, ‘Lily flowering’, ‘Parrot’, ‘Mini-botanical’ and ‘Multi-flowered’. Elke recommended not buying tulips too early as they should go in later in the fall. They need 5 - 6 hours of sunshine and areas that get a little less winter rain are best. Planting depth should be 3 times the size of the bulb but tulips can go in deeper to prevent squirrel damage. It also helps prevent splitting. Dusting bulbs with baby powder also discourages squirrels. After blooming plants should be dead headed but left to die back naturally. Elke then gave some hints and examples of companion plantings and mentioned that tulips do not thrive for more than a year or two after planting. She also made suggestions for using them as cut flowers such as making a pin hole right under the bloom to prevent drooping stems. The meeting closed with an opportunity for members to buy Botanus bulbs.