Welcome to the Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society (CVRS) based in Duncan, British Columbia on southern Vancouver Island. We are affiliated with the American Rhododendron Society and the BC Council of Garden Clubs. Our Society has about 75 members from the local area who are passionate about Rhododendrons. Rhododendron means “rose tree” in Latin.
The CVRS publishes monthly newsletters and hosts monthly meetings with educational speakers, presentations and demonstrations. Newsletters are posted each month and contain valuable information. In the past, monthly meetings were held in-person on the first Wednesday of each month. Currently, due to COVID protocols, meetings are being held via Zoom. Zoom connections have expanded educational opportunities to our members through access to special presentations and speakers from other chapters in Canada and the USA, as well as from International societies.
Tours of private, local and regional gardens offered to CVRS and affiliate American Rhododendron Society members are popular activities, as are workshops such as propagating rhododendrons from cuttings or seeds.
Our members willingly share their amazing knowledge of rhododendrons and companion plants with others. They also share and exchange special plants from their gardens with one another. This year, several special outdoor activities are being planned that will allow members to once again gather together to enjoy their shared passions.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, the CVRS sponsored and organized the very large annual Cowichan Valley Garden Fair, where members and the general public could purchase often hard-to-find rhododendrons and other plants to beautify their gardens. The Garden Fair was also the venue for the Rhododendron Truss (flower) show.
For the past two years, smaller venues were found to host the CVRS Plant Sales, where adherence to COVID protocols were carefully managed. The 2022 CVRS Plant Sale, on May 14th, 2022, will also be held on private property, again with appropriately monitored safety protocols. On occasion, special plants are offered online.
Most years, the CVRS selects a local community garden to which it donates large beautiful rhododendron plants. In other years, it offers donations to organizations which protect and promote the genus Rhododendron.
We would love to have you join our society, meet new friends, and have fun learning about rhododendrons and other plants. Read one or more of the newsletters and send us an email in the contact section.
The Public Rhododendrons Gardens of Vancouver Island
by Ian E. Efford
A long-time Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society member has authored this excellent book (2015) about Vancouver Island’s rhododendron gardens. It includes descriptions of gardens to visit, maps, and beautiful photographs of both rhododendrons and gardens. You can contact Shirley Efford at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the CVRS to purchase a copy.
View 25-Year History of our Chapter
Ian Efford has published the “Rhodo Book” (December 2013). This book contains a 25-year history of the Cowichan Valley Rhododendron Society. View the “Rhodo Book”: Celebrating The First 25 Years – by Ian Efford and the first errata.