Vancouver Island

The Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association (VIMGA) is the home for Master Gardeners living on Vancouver Island from Duncan north to Campbell River.

What is VIMGA's purpose?

VIMGA exists to provide education to the public on environmentally responsible and effective gardening practices by developing and delivering public workshops, seminars and volunteer clinics, and by publishing information on these topics.

What do we do?

Our members continually educate themselves in order to offer accurate and up-to-date advice at nurseries, garden centres, plant sales, farmers’ markets, garden shows and garden tours on Vancouver Island throughout the gardening season.  We also participate in speaking engagements on garden topics at newcomers groups, and garden club meetings, and write articles for local newspapers and newsletters.

How can you become a member of VIMGA?

If you are an experienced home gardener with a strong commitment to volunteering and like to work with adults or children, you may be interested in the Master Gardener Basic Training Program which is offered in collaboration with Vancouver Island University (VIU).  The program may be offered at the Nanaimo, Cowichan or Parksville campus.

All Master Gardeners who are members of MGABC have completed a MG Basic Training program. This program is based on a comprehensive set of material covering botany, plant identification, herbaceous and woody plants, right plant / right place, propagation, soils, basic entomology, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), plant diseases, vegetables, roses, vines, fruit and berry culture, and other locally oriented gardening information.

For information on course content, please select this VIU link to Basic Training Program

Usually this course is offered in alternate years with the next course is tentatively scheduled for September 2017.

Watch for the announcement of an information session to be held at the end of June.

What happens when you have completed the Theory portion of the Basic Training Program?

Once the classroom component including the assignments and exam are complete, you join VIMGA for a $10 fee and become a Master Gardener in Training.

MGs in Training must complete 70 hours of organized volunteer service over two years at clinics, providing education to the public.   During this time commitment, a plant profile project must also be completed.

Upon completion of the above requirements, VIU will present you with a Certificate of designation as a Certified Master Gardener.

How do I remain a Certified Master Gardener?

Certified Master Gardeners must complete 15 volunteer advice hours each year and 5 hours of continuing education.  Annual membership dues are $40.

Is VIMGA part of the Master Gardener movement?

Yes – we are a Chapter of the Master Gardeners Association of BC, and actively participate in the governance and administration of the provincial organization. The Master Gardener Basic Training Program meets all requirements of the MGABC and uses Sustainable Gardening, the manual developed by Washington and Oregon State Universities for Master Gardeners.

Contact Us:

Reviewed Sept 26, 2016

Chapter content


Garden Layers - Mycorrhizas, Mushrooms and Plants

Nov. 5, 2017, 10:30 am- 3:00 pmDeparture Bay Activity Centre, 1415 Wingrove, Nanaimo Kem Luther, MSc, PhD, presents a slide presentation on the role and science of mycorrhizal mushrooms and some common BC mushrooms ALSO! Joan Wynden, Master Gardener: “Practical Permaculture”AND...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 11:01 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more

Master Gardener Program offered this fall at VIU

Vancouver-Island-University,-Master-Gardener,-June-2017.jpg Vancouver Island University and the Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association collaborate to offer the Master Gardener Basic Training Program. Designed for the experienced home...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 08:44 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more

and the WINNER is: Cornus Canadensis (Bunchberry)

July update: Thank you to everyone who voted. The official winner ( by a mile or perhaps kms ) is Cornus Canadensis commonly known as Bunchberry       What’s the National Flower of Canada? We have an official tree- the maple, but we do NOT have an official flower!  ​​Master...

Saturday, June 10, 2017 - 07:29 in MGABC , in Vancouver , in Okanagan , in Prince George , in Thompson Shuswap , in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) , in Victoria | Read more

VIMGA Spring Education Day March 25, 2017

Spring Fling a Big Success for VIMGA Our small yet enthusiastic chapter met on March 25 for the annual spring education day and clinic sign-up party. Because we are much like fine cream cheese (amazing to experience, but always too thinly spread) each district or island area has...

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 09:53 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more

Exotic Indoor Winter Blooms

Nothing says winter exotica like the blooms of the winter lily. I began my adventure with these beauties last year when I rescued a bulb that, mistreated, was struggling to survive in the back of the display box. I was always appalled at the price asked for these bulbs, but...

Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 20:03 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more

Me and the Hornet Queen: When the Wasp Decoys Don’t Work

For many years I’ve kept yellow jacket wasp nests away from our house with a wasp nest decoy. I bought the first one which cost  $10, and was eaten by the wind by June. Then I discovered a DYI that has worked beautifully for years, and cost nada. These decoys work because wasps...

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 12:18 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more

Lessons Learned Transplanting in the Dry Areas of the West Coast

After a recent gardener to gardener chat, it was suggested to me that I might commit some of my thoughts ‘to paper’. For the scientists in the crowd there are no p values, just things I have learned, mostly the hard way. I am a master gardener, with basic training. I think by...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 06:24 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more

Mid Island VIMGA members - Horticulture Therapy at Cerwydden Long Term Care Facility in Duncan

DSC_0138_1.jpg DSC_0146_1.jpg DSC_0150_1.jpg DSC_0151_0.jpg DSC_0176_1.jpg DSC_0185_1.jpg...

Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 12:31 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more


Before the mercury dropped to three degrees today in mid-February, my daughter and I took up the Milner invitation to walk among the snowdrops in the garden.  We were delightfully surprised, and found many brave winter bloomers to brighten up this dreary day.  Below are some of...

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 13:38 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more


  VIMGA Volunteer Season: Behind the Scenes   VIMGA has always been challenged by its extensive area, stretching as it does almost from Campbell River to south of Duncan. Nonetheless, every year there is a spirited sign-up session, usually in Nanaimo, a central location not too...

Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 03:09 in Vancouver Island (VIMGA) | Read more