American Rhododendron Society Fall Conference

Date: 1pm, Sep 27 to 2pm, Sep 29, 2019

2019 Fall Rhododendron Conference

A Vancouver Island Celebration of Gardening

Parksville Community and Conference Centre


The Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS) is bringing hundreds of gardening enthusiasts together for the fall conference of the American Rhododendron Society.


Rhododendrons by the SeasidE

Register at


With the theme of “Rhododendrons as the World Warms,” the lineup of speakers, workshops and tours promises a busy and exciting weekend for everyone. This conference is one of the biggest bargains of the year. An early registration fee of $95 will entitle you to 12 speakers over three days, including two workshops, choice of one of three bus tours, two continental breakfasts and lunch on Saturday. As well, there is access to a plant sale, a display of international rhododendron photos throughout the facility and a silent auction. Two keynote speakers follow the evening banquets on Friday and Saturday. Dinner is buffet style for an additional $50 for each night.

 The conference theme relates to climate change implications, but the context is for all gardeners who are interested in growing healthy plants of any type in our area. Speakers include a wide range of local and internationally-recognized experts in their fields;

Dr. Richard Hebda, Curator Emeritus from the Royal BC Museum; Dr. Linda Gilkeson, entomologist; Mike Stewart, rhododendron nurseryman; Steve Hootman, Executive Director and Curator of the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden (RSBG) in Federal Way, Wash.;

Dr. Nancy Turner, UVic ethnobotanist; Marc Colombel, author and hybridizer, France; Ron Long, botanist and wildflower photographer, Nancy Moore, landscape designer & horticulturist, Geoff Ball, executive director Milner Gardens and Woodland and Dr. Juliana Medeiros, research scientist, Holden Arboretum, Ohio. Bulb and seed propagation workshops will be conducted by Bernie Dinter, Cowichan nurseryman and Dennis Bottemiller, propagator extraordinaire recently of the RSBG.

For those who need a place to stay, the MARS website has a list of various accommodations near the conference site. For best choice and best price, we suggest booking early as late September is still busy with tourists.