Volunteers’ wreaths attract fan following

Neither the rain, nor sleet nor snow dumped on Vancouver lately has dampened
the enthusiasm of holiday shoppers looking to UBC’s Botanical Garden for the
perfect wreath to adorn their homes this season.

“There are people who stand outside the garden gate and wait for each new load
of wreaths and baskets to be brought out, hoping to spot just the right one for
them,” said Judy Newton, education assistant at the garden. “Some of them will
come back day after day.”

Newton and education co-ordinator David Tarrant assist about 120 Friends of the
Garden–the volunteer group that supports UBC’s Botanical Garden–in making the
holiday wreaths and baskets which will total close to 400 this year. Each item
takes about one hour to craft.

Tarrant, host of the popular CBC show, Canadian Gardener, was
responsible for starting the fund-raising program eight years ago when he
joined the garden.

“Each wreath and basket is unique,” said Newton. “Year after year, the
volunteers can’t believe that they’ve actually made such a beautiful thing.
Even the people who don’t think they’re creative have never had a failure.
There’s always a buyer.”

The wreaths, baskets and other holiday items are available while quantities
last at the Shop in the Garden, 6804 Southwest Marine Drive. To avoid
disappointment, visit the shop early. All proceeds support the Botanical
Garden. For more information, call 822-3928.