Apple expert to address South Delta Garden Club

Laurelle Oldford-Down loves playing in her gardens and sharing her enthusiasm with other gardeners.

She’ll be speaking to the South Delta Garden Club on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Ladner Christian Reformed Church, 4594-54A St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Annual membership in the club is $20; guests are $5, which can be applied toward membership.

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Oldford-Down is a pomologist as well as a local apple grower. She's a major figure in the B.C. apple world and is much in demand, especially at apple harvest and apple festival time in the Fraser Valley where she lives.

She'll talk about growing fruit trees in containers and small spaces like patios and balconies. She will bring apple trees and some other interesting fruit and berry bushes for sale and will do an apple tasting, including apples from some local orchards.

“I live in Cloverdale on a regular sized residential lot and I do indeed graft and grow apples,” she said. “At the moment I have about 120 apple trees, though some are planted in my yard and the majority of them are planted in pots and will be heading off to the UBC Apple Fest. Each year I graft small apple whips along with a few of my fellow orchardists for events like Vandusen Plant Sale, Derby Reach Apple Days and the UBC Apple Fest.”

Fruit trees are not her only strength. She is a certified landscape designer and horticulturist who has owned and operated her own design and build company. She has a reputation for unusual residential gardens and three of her gardens have been featured in municipal garden tours.

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