I’d like to welcome everybody to the New Year and wish them the best of luck in their gardening efforts in 2010. It seems to me that I heard, some months ago, talk of this being an ‘El Nino’ year, which usually results in a milder winter, and if our current congenial weather holds for the next couple of months we should be in for a good start to the gardening year.

One thing to watch for in the lower mainland, at least in my experience with roses, is that February can sometimes be mild and sunny, thereby bringing on new growth early in the year, only to be followed by a miserable and freezing-cold March which promptly kills all that tender growth and sets the plants back. I usually wait until the last possible moment in the spring, sometime in late March or into April when buds are breaking anew on my roses, before doing my annual pruning; better safe than sorry when dealing with an overly seductive February. We should be crossing our fingers and hoping that isn’t the case this year.

I’d like to thank you all for your confidence in electing me president of our club (it helps to be the only nominee). I’ll try my best not to disappoint and would like to be a net benefit to the organization. If I had any broad goals I guess they would be increase the membership, particularly to attract more male members (as you know, we do come in handy from time to time) and to increase our bank balance. It seems to me that our most profitable endeavour is the annual spring plant sale so we should likely be doing as much as possible to set aside plant material in the fall and winter in anticipation of spring.

Jim Thorleifson