Speakers at NRS

Speakers at Nanaimo Rhododendron Society 


Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified and ASCA consulting arborist. She is Washington State University’s Extension Urban Horticulturalist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at the University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. She is the award-winning author of five fascinating and fact packed books on horticultural myth-busting, sustainable landscapes and gardens, and plant science. – Sourches: NRS Newsletter March 2021

John Deniseger

John Deniseger is a retired aquatic biologist (BC Premiers Legacy Award, BC Hall of Excellence), outdoor enthusiast, and long- time member of the Nanaimo Rhododendron Society. He is past chair of the Milner Gardens and Woodland Society Board, and chair of the Greig Rhododendron Species Garden Advisory Group. John and his wife June received the ARS Silver Medal in 2021. – Sources: NRS Newsletter April 2023 

Linda Derkach

Linda Derkach is a long-time member of MARS, a past President and currently newsletter editor. She is an avid alpine gardener, and enjoys research, writing and learning about plants and horticulture. Linda is secretary for the American Rhododendron Society, and very active in the Master Gardeners Association of BC as well as many other garden clubs. –  Sources: NRS Newsletter January 2023

Dr. Linda Gilkeson

Dr. Linda Gilkeson earned a Ph.D. in Entomology from McGill University in 1986, then moved to British Columbia, where she has worked in the production of biological controls for the provincial government to reduce and eliminate pesticide use, as head of the provincial State of Environment Reporting Unit, and as the Executive Director of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. She now devotes her time to writing, teaching and consulting. Linda’s comprehensive gardening book, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, was a BC best seller and has just been republished in a new, considerably expanded edition. She continues to self-publish books for local gardeners, most recently “Resilient Gardens”, “Pollinator Gardens”, “Garlic Diseases”, and “Pest Update”. As a private consultant, Linda is a regular instructor in the Master Gardener programs in BC and is busy year-round giving workshops on pest management and organic gardening. – Sourches: NRS Newsletter January 2021

Dr. Glen Jamieson

Dr. Glen Jamieson is a retired Fisheries and Oceans Canada research scientist, having worked in the Maritimes (Halifax and St. Andrews) and in British Columbia at the Pacific Biological Station (Nanaimo). He has travelled extensively including exploring for rhododendrons in the Himalayas in both Yunnan, China and Sikkim, India. Glen is the ARS District 1 Director and is editor of both the Journal of the American Rhododendron Society (JARS) and Rhododendrons International. Glen received the ARS’s highest award the Gold Medal in 2020. – Sources: NRS Newsletter May 2022

Allison McCabe

Allison McCabe BSc, MLWS, ATAg – Allison will discuss a range of invasive plants found commonly in Vancouver Island gardens: Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, and Spurge laurel (to name a few!). She will explain how to identify them and how to stop their spread by using species-specific removal techniques and responsible horticultural practices. Based in Vancouver, Allison is the Senior Lead of outreach at the Invasive Species Council of BC. She works mainly with the PlantWise program, which aims to reduce the use of invasive ornamental plants in gardens and the retail industry. She also teaches horticulture part-time at UBC and is an avid vegetable gardener in her spare time. – Sources: NRS Newsletter February 2023

Brian Minter

Brian Minter, a University of British Columbia graduate (BA) and Master Gardener, quickly became BC’s go-to garden expert through his experience at both the garden centre and the display gardens. He has hosted countless radio and television shows, is a frequent gardening columnist, and is the author of Canadian Best Seller, ‘Brian Minter’s New Gardening Guide – Fresh Approaches for Canadian Gardeners’. A recipient of the Order of Canada, an Honorary Doctorate of Technology, and many other awards, Brian is well known from his magazine and syndicated newspaper columns and TV and radio programs. – Sources: NRS Newsletter March 2021 

Ken Nentwig

Ken Nentwig is a retired landscape architect currently involved in training programs internationally. He is a course developer/facilitator at Gaia College and at Pacific Horticulture College, and has presented courses at UVIC. Previously a College Professor at University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus (ON), he took an early retirement and moved to Vancouver Island in 2010. Ken has developed and manages the Canadian RWH Practitioners Certification Program for CANARM. He also consults on RWH system design for residential, commercial, and public systems. – Sources: NRS Newsletter February 2021

Rose Prufer

Rose Prufer– Rose’s passion for plants started at a young age in North Vancouver. After working at several jobs, she realized that working with plants was something she needed to focus on. In 1985, she completed the Horticulture program at B.C.I.T. and never looked back. Her first job came as a custom propagator of rhododendrons in Maple Ridge. Until recently, Rose was a member of the IPPS which is the International Plant Propagators Society Western Chapter. Rose has also been a member of the ARS for over thirty years. She has been an active member in several chapters and has taken on every position except for treasurer. Rose’s husband Art is almost always at her side helping with plants sales, games etc., even though he describes himself as a “dragee”. Art’s background in the IT industry has helped Rose set up newsletters and slideshows for the rhododendron clubs. Retired now, Rose loves sharing her knowledge and experiences with other folks who are like minded. – Sources: NRS Newsletter February 2022


Lionel de Rothschild

Lionel de Rothschild is the grandson and namesake of the creator of Exbury Gardens. He has written and lectured on Exbury Garden, rhododendrons, and other Rothschild gardens. He is also a trustee of The Rothschild Archive in London and sits on the Garden Council of Borde Hill Gardens in West Sussex. – It is just over 100 years since Lionel de Rothschild, the grandfather of  same named Lionel de Rothschild, started work on one of the best known woodland gardens in the world, one devoted above all to his favourite plant, the rhododendron. In just twenty years he created one of the largest gardens of its kind, as well as funding a number of the plant hunters of the day and creating many beautiful hybrids. His work was continued by his sons and is now looked after by the two generations after that. His grandson, Lionel, will talk about the history and about the plants in this iconic garden. – Sources: NRS Newsletter April 2022


Scott Wiskerke

Scott Wiskerke: “I took the Horticulture course at VIU in 1993 and have been pruning trees and shrubs ever since. First, I leased several local apple orchards, growing and selling apples at several Farmers
Markets. Next, I purchased an acreage south of Nanaimo and started my own apple orchard for which I grafted 1400 trees. By 2004, I got out of the apple growing game and started Roots and Shoots Horticulture as a residential pruning service which I am still operating today. Through my years of pruning, I have developed a broad knowledge of pruning many of the trees, shrubs, and plants common to our local gardens and landscapes.” – Sources: NRS Newsletter March 2023




Comments are closed.